DEAR HARRIETTE: I was ill recently, and I spent some time in the hospital. Due to my illness, I have gained about 20 pounds, and my clothes don’t fit the same. I went shopping the other day, but everything made me look fat. I’m so distraught. I’m not feeling my best, and now I look horrible in my clothes. The salesperson assured me that I looked fine. I know her, so I don’t think she would lie, but right now I can’t trust myself. How can I get past this feeling of terror about my body? -- Feeling Fat
DEAR FEELING FAT: Before you do anything else, acknowledge how grateful you are to be alive after your medical ordeal. You are still healing from whatever drove you to the hospital, so take it easy on yourself. You may want to ask your doctor what you can eat to help heal your body completely and lose weight responsibly. If you are allowed to exercise, that may also help ease your discomfort.
Because you are so sensitive to how your body has changed, now is a good time to trust the salesperson to help you select a few wardrobe items to fit your body today.
As your body heals, you may consider getting a therapist to help you navigate this tender time in your life. You can address your physical and mental health concerns in a safe space.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)