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Fit older woman can inspire, not discourage

DEAR HARRIETTE: I just saw a post on social media from a woman I worked with years ago. Unlike me, she looks even healthier after the pandemic, social isolation and slothfulness that defined the past year-and-a- half for me. This woman is at least 75, and she looks 50. She had on a bathing suit, and her legs looked tight and lean. OK, yes, I am jealous. I feel like I never want to go outside again. I can hardly get into my bathing suit. How can I stop feeling jealous of people who were more disciplined than I was and make the decision to get healthier? Envious

DEAR ENVIOUS: Instead of wishing you were in your friend’s situation, jump- start your life. Consider her as inspiration rather than proof that you are a failure. Seeing her can serve as motivation. If she can be that tight and together at her age, so can you. You just have to take action. It absolutely is not too late for you to come up with a plan that will get you healthier.

My recommendation is that you start with your health professionals. Make an appointment with your internist for a complete physical. You want to get clear on what health issues you may have as well as your overall state of being. Ask for a referral to a nutritionist. What you eat is essential to how healthy your body can become. Work with the nutritionist to create an eating plan that you will follow. Set weight and fitness goals that correspond to timelines. This will help keep you accountable to yourself. Create a calendar that reflects daily, weekly and monthly goals. Engage your calendar every day. This will help keep you on track. If possible, secure an accountability partner who will work out with you, talk to you and help keep you on course.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I was close friends with a girl a couple years ago, but since then we’ve drifted. She hangs out with different people now and rarely does anything with me. It feels like I’m always the one asking if she wants to catch a movie. She never even asks about my day anymore. I’m sad because we used to have so much fun together. I’m not sure if she’s feeling the same or even how to restart the friendship if we both wanted to. Any advice? Distant Friends

DEAR DISTANT FRIENDS: You actually do know that this friend has drifted away from you and is not interested right now, anyway in spending time with you. It is just hard for you to accept. There’s a saying that we have some friends for a reason, others for a season and a few for a lifetime. Sounds like this friend’s season with you has passed. As painful as that may be, it is time for you to let go. Pressuring her to hang out with you, when she has demonstrated that you are not her priority, will not get her to change her mind. Sadly, that behavior probably reads as annoying or even desperate to her.

Lick your wounds and move on. When you open your eyes to other potential friendships, that’s when you may notice someone who wants to be in your company.

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