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DEAR HARRIETTE: I ran into a woman I’ve known for a long time at an event recently. That sounds funny to say because we are only just now going outside to social functions. Anyhow, this woman saw me and made a negative comment about my butt getting big. She is often snide and rude, but it really annoyed me. I quipped back, “Well, I got it from my mother!” who happens to be a woman with a round butt. That may seem like nothing, except I saw the woman frown and then retreat. Then I remembered that she was adopted, so she doesn’t know her mother. I think I ended up hurting her feelings deeply when honestly I was just trying to make any kind of comeback after she insulted me on a rare day when we were at a social function and I had been feeling pretty good about myself. Should I revisit this with her? My intention wasn’t a tit for tat, but as I remember this woman, she often says mean things to people. I worry that if I do go back to talk to her, it will turn into a petty argument. – – Can’t Win
DEAR CAN’T WIN: Unless you are a therapist, I would leave this alone. Chalk it up to being a rude moment that is not worth exacerbating. Do your best to feel good about yourself, however you look. As you venture back into the world, know that people who haven’t seen you in a while might make com- ments. Decide that you are going to feel good about yourself no matter what. Also, make a pledge to affirm the positive in others rather than being snarky. That doesn’t mean you have to let people insult you. But you might consider saying things like, “It’s nice to see you, too!” or changing the subject entirely to, “How have you been doing?” or, “What did you do during quarantine?”
If something is just too rude for words, you could challenge a person in the moment with, “I really don’t appreciate that.” Then keep it moving.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I now have at least three sizes of clothes in my closet, with barely any room to store things. I’m afraid to give too much away, though. I have a limited budget, and I worry that if I gain or lose a lot, I won’t have clothing to wear if I purge. My sister just lost 25 pounds and is having a hard time finding clothes in her closet to wear. I’m hopeful that will happen for me, but so far I haven’t been able to lose very much. What should I do about the excess clothes that I have? — A Storeful
DEAR A STOREFUL: So many people make the mistake of holding on to wardrobes of clothes over the years, even when their bodies and styles change. Purging is good. One recommendation that many follow is to give away anything you haven’t touched in a year. It’s difficult, but it truly helps to cut down on clutter.
Evaluate your body changes over the past couple of years. How much variation has there actually been? Be honest with yourself. Continue by checking in to see what your plan is for weight loss right now. If you are committed to significant weight loss, give yourself a goal to get there, after which you promise to purge most wardrobe items that do not fit your body when you reach your deadline. Sure, you may end up giving away something you wish you had kept, but it’s better to be free of mountains of unworn clothes than to cover a need you may never have down the line.