Sense & Sensitivity

DEAR HARRIETTE: My cousin and I are extremely close. We're like sisters. We both started a natural hair journey together, but with that comes trial and error. Certain styles that my cousin does with her hair are not the most flattering to her features. I don't want her to go out in public and have someone make a rude comment because of it. I've tried to tell her about this before, but she gets extremely offended and defensive, saying that she doesn't care what anyone thinks as long as she's happy with her hair. Sometimes it’s embarrassing to go out with her hair looking crazy. How should I resolve this issue? -- Bad Hair Days

DEAR BAD HAIR DAYS: Siblings and cousins who are like siblings disagree about things. The fact that you and your cousin began your natural hair journey together does not mean that you will choose to do things identically, that you will always come up with attractive styles or that you will consistently agree with the creative ideas that you try. That’s OK.

Learning how to manage natural hair, especially if it is curly, can take a lot of time and the right products to manage. Give your cousin the space that she needs to experiment. You can tell her when you think she’s gone too far, especially if she has a particular function to attend, but for the most part, just let her be. If she gets negative feedback, she will have to deal with that herself. Stop trying to protect her, as it feels like control to her. You might also look online for ideas on natural hair looks. Have fun exploring!

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am so mad at myself. I made the commitment in January to work out at least three times a week after my doctor told me that I need to lose weight. I thought I was motivated to follow his directions, but I can count the number of times I have worked out so far this year on one hand. I know -- it’s awful.

Now it’s about to be summer, and I feel like a fat pig. I am up a whole clothing size, even though I was supposed to be down three sizes. I saw a photo of myself from over the weekend, and I was mortified by the person I saw in the pictures. I feel like I should just stay home and hibernate. I normally love summer, going to beach, all of it. But I can’t bear putting on a swimsuit looking the way I look now. What should I do? -- Beached Whale

DEAR BEACHED WHALE: It is not too late for you to take action. Resist the temptation to hibernate. What you need to do is move your body. Get up and take a walk. We are supposed to walk 10,000 steps every day. Get a free step tracker on your phone, and build up to 10,000 steps. (That’s about 5 miles.) It will take time to develop the stamina to do it, but you can. Consider going to the gym or taking a dance class. Find something that you enjoy that gets you moving. Drink lots of water, and cut down on the calories. If you commit today to moving your body, you will see results over time. Go outside and enjoy the weather! You deserve it.

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

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