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Dear Harriette by Harriette Cole
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have started walking for fitness, and it is good for me: I am slowly getting healthier and shedding a bit of weight. Because I am still heavy, though, I can walk only so far before my knees start hurting. I work with a trainer who recommended that I walk 3 miles or less to protect my knee. That works — except when I meet up with one friend. She walks a lot and almost always pushes me to walk farther. The route she likes to take is more like 5 miles. I want to keep up with her, so I try to do it, but usually after- ward I pay with pain. I have told her repeatedly, but she doesn’t listen. I don’t want to lose my time with this friend, but I don’t want to hurt myself either. What can I do? — Walk Too Far
DEAR WALK TOO FAR: Your friend is either selfish or unconscious. Either way, you do not have the luxury of indulging her whims. Tell her one more time what your limitations are, then design the route you will walk yourself. Figure out how you can walk 3 miles and end up at home — whether or not she walks the whole route with you. Do not give in to her plan when you know it doesn’t take your limitations into account. If she refuses to walk your path, stop walking with her. Make other plans to get together with her that do not involve exercise.
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been wearing loose clothes for a long time to disguise my growing body. I started gaining weight a few years ago. At first, I tried exercising and eating better. But nothing really changed. I know I should not give up, but I have. The other day, I was hanging out with friends, and we took a group pic- ture. One friend posted it on social media, and I was shocked at how dumpy I looked. I can’t tell whether it’s the oversized clothes or my extra-large body right now, but I looked a hot mess. I feel like I should start wearing tighter-fitting clothes, even if I don’t lose weight. I’m kind of afraid to do it, but another friend who was with us is big, and she had on fitted clothes and looked better than me. What do you think? — A Better Fit
DEAR A BETTER FIT: Wearing clothes that fit is always a good idea. It helps you see yourself for who you are, not in disguise. So yes, go through your wardrobe and find tops and bottoms that fit – – not too tightly, but that skim the body. If you need to invest in a few pieces, please do so. Structured clothes will also help you figure out what size you need to wear — this means you shouldn’t go for leggings; look for actu- al pants with waistbands.
As you begin to see your real body reflected back at you, inspire yourself to make healthy choices. Don’t feel resigned to being overweight. Start moving your body and paying attention to what you consume. You can transform yourself if you work at it.
Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initia- tive to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to askharriette@harriet- tecole.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.