Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

After Gaining Weight, Reader Is Living in the Past

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am having a hard time reconciling the fact that I used to be thin and physically attractive as a younger woman with how I look now. Today, in my 50s, I am much bigger. Yes, I dress well, but I’m definitely not thin anymore. My doctor recently told me that I am obese! I do work out and am trying to get myself in a better position, but I can’t seem to stop talking about the way it was. My daughter tells me that I am always saying that I used to look just like she looks now. She tells me I say it too much. I don’t mean to live in the past, but I guess I miss it now that it is gone. How can I accept who I am today, appreciate my past and work to get healthy? -- Waxing Nostalgic

DEAR WAXING NOSTALGIC: Come up with a nutrition and fitness goal -- with your doctor -- that is realistic and healthy. If you have been diagnosed as obese, you have work to do in order to be healthy for your daughter. Make that a priority. You do not need to have the goal of being the size you were many years ago. Instead, create a goal that is reachable. Get a referral to a nutritionist if you want another layer of help. Set time targets for your progress that will help you to stay on course. Rather than living in the past, celebrate your daughter for where she is, and honor yourself for where you are and where you are headed.

Also, teach your daughter what she can do to stay healthy. The fact that she looks like you did years ago does not mean that in years to come she has to look like you do now. If you are at an unhealthy weight, make it clear to your daughter through your words and deeds that you intend to correct that. If she stays the course from now on, she may avoid obesity altogether.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I just got tagged on social media by a friend from college; I was surprised to see a photo from one of those throwback Thursday posts of a group of us from our college days, more than 20 years ago. One photo featured me and my ex-husband. He and I divorced on horrible terms. Even though it has been a long time, I can’t imagine that he would appreciate this posting. Should I say something to the woman who posted it? I think she should take down the photo. -- Social Media Privacy

DEAR SOCIAL MEDIA PRIVACY: By all means, contact your college friend and ask her to remove the post in question. Don’t take it any further. You do not need to contact your ex to let him know it happened or that it is resolved. Resist the temptation to draw any more attention to him. Let your complete separation be enough for you to know that he does not need or expect you to reach out to him. By getting the post removed immediately, you reduce the amount of vulnerability that this has created.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)