DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been super busy at work and unable to exercise like my doctor told me to do. I am in a slump regarding my health. I was doing so well this year getting my weight under control, but now I feel like I have gone all the way back to the beginning. I have gained back the 15 pounds I lost last year, and my motivation is shot. My doctor cautions me to lose weight in order to get off my medication. I feel like time is up for me. I’m going to the doctor soon. What should I say? -- Lose It or Lose Everything, Boston
DEAR LOSE IT OR LOSE EVERYTHING: Stop beating yourself up. That doesn’t help to inspire the motivation you need to excel. Instead, get super practical. Having a rigorous work schedule can make it seem like there’s no time for anything else. Your doctor is trying to help you prioritize and know that if you don’t make time for your health FIRST, the rest will surely crumble. He is not exaggerating. You must have a healthy body in order to have the strength and stamina to work long hours and be fully present in your life.
Make a schedule for yourself. Plot out your time week by week. Figure out when you have to wake up in order to get to work on time, and add 15 minutes. Get up just a little earlier and do some stretching and cardio at home before you start your day. Make smart choices about what you eat and drink, especially when you are tired. Eliminate sweets and salty foods. Drink lots of water. Your discipline will pay off. The good news is that you will probably have more energy for everything if you follow the discipline your doctor ordered.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I hate having my picture taken, but some of my friends couldn't care less. It seems like every time I turn my head, one of them is snapping away. I don’t like it, and don’t feel like I should have to accept it all the time. I want to cut off social media and phones when people visit me. It’s one thing to be at an event where photos are being snapped and quite another to allow it everywhere. Do you think it’s reasonable for me to have a no-paparazzi rule in my home? -- Cut It Out, Pittsburgh
DEAR CUT IT OUT: You have every right to make whatever rules you desire in your own home. You can require people to put their cellphones and other electronic devices in a basket at the front door when they arrive. Let them know that you want your time together to be without the intrusion of social media or the myriad distractions that come from holding a little computer in your hand.
Add that you do not appreciate being photographed and posted about without your permission. Tell them you love them but want to be clear about boundaries. Do not scold them; just be clear. Then create a warm and loving environment for your friends. If they have a good time, they may come to share your view -- at least a little bit -- about being in the moment, free of distraction.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)