DEAR HARRIETTE: In recent years, I have gone up a size almost every year. It’s awful. I have been working like crazy at an office job that doesn’t allow me to work out much. But this is not good. I know it’s not healthy for me to have put on so much weight.
I recently started buying stretchy clothes so that I wouldn’t have to keep upgrading my wardrobe, but I know that’s not a real solution. What do you recommend to help keep off the pounds when I’m too busy to get in the squats? -- Need to Lose Weight
DEAR NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT: It is time to evaluate your priorities. Yes, a time-consuming job is understandable, but if you don’t have your health, your fancy job won’t matter at all. You should make time to exercise at least three times a week. Do your best to carve out time for this.
To lose weight, though, the biggest culprit that health educators point to is what you put between your lips -- what you eat or drink. The number of calories that you ingest daily has a direct effect on how much weight you gain, maintain or lose. What you can do right now is to change your eating habits. Cut down on carbs. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Drink water. Don’t eat late at night. If you follow these simple rules, you can start to shed pounds. Good luck!
DEAR HARRIETTE: A new restaurant just opened up in my neighborhood, right next door to a restaurant that has been dying on the vine for years. I am friendly with the owner of the old spot, and I feel kind of bad going to the new place, but I want to check it out. It is drawing crowds of new customers, and, as they say, there’s a lot of heat around it. But it’s sad and awkward to see the old restaurant sitting there empty. I feel bad when they see me go over to the new place. I have stopped going to their place because I’m not sure what to say. What should I do? -- Split Loyalty
DEAR SPLIT LOYALTY: If you still like the old place, don’t give it up entirely just because a new one has joined the block. Be brave and go to both. When you visit at your friend’s place, do not feel that you have to give a report about the new place. Instead, just be present and with them during your time together. If they ask you questions about the new establishment, tell the truth. Be careful not to bad-mouth the other place because you are with your friend. Be neutral and honest. If you notice things they can do that may enhance their own experience, you can share, but be careful. You do not want to be in the position of savior. Stay in the role of friend.
You can tell your friend that you will always appreciate them and be a customer, but you do intend to visit the other restaurant from time to time.
(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.)