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Dear Mari: Daughter with a weight-y issue

HER MOTHER is constantly bugging her about her weight. How should she respond?

HER MOTHER is constantly bugging her about her weight. How should she respond?

Dear Marilyn,

As a woman, I hope that you can help me out with this particular problem. I am a 19-year-old girl with a body that is just OK. I have struggled with my weight my entire life. It is even more of a struggle now that I am growing up, as I have so many things going on in my life.

DearMarilogoI have work, and school, and taking care of my body is a task of it’s own. I do work out at least three or four times a week, and I have a gym membership. I also eat things that are as healthy as possible.

My mother is extremely critical of my appearance. I have a younger sister that is genetically blessed, and she looks great. My mom is always reminding me of this.

If I eat even one calorie over what I’m supposed to consume, I gain a little weight. Then my mom starts in with the comparison with my sister. She constantly tells me that beautiful women in the world are put up on a pedestal by society. She says that average, hard working women are not given the same type of praise.

I feel like my job and college work should be my primary focus right now. But, since my mother puts me down, and makes me feel physically worthless, so I am not sure how I should be spending my time. I have tried diet pills, and they have worked in the past. However, as soon as I stop taking them, I gain the weight back, even with careful eating and exercise.

Can you recommend a way that I can take my mom’s helpful, yet negative comments without feeling badly? I admit that I am not able to deal with her comments without feeling hurt, even after all these years of hearing them. I can’t ask my mom for advice, because she is the one that is causing the problem.   So, I’ve decided that you are the best person to ask for advice. I am hopeful that you can help me out.

Signed, Just Average Weight

Dear Just Average Weight,

   You mother is absolutely wrong in so many ways. You are a smart, thoughtful articulate young lady.

   She is wrong to obsess about your weight, and to require that you to do the same thing. She is wrong to advise you that society values beauty, and not a hard working woman. She is wrong to compare your weight with your sister’s. She should focus on your true beauty, rather than a specific weight that she has in mind for you.

   These are the reasons that you can’t stop feeling hurt when she starts in on you. You are not wrong for feeling hurt. She is wrong for hurting you. It is absolutely time for you to stand up to her. When she starts in on discussing your body or your weight, firmly let her know that you are proud of yourself for your many accomplishments.

   When she starts in on beautiful your sister looks, you can agree that she does look great, but do not let that turn into an implicit statement that you don’t. You are focusing on doing well in college, and doing well at your job, and you still work out regularly and eat right. You are doing great.

   Since your mom as treated you this way for so long, it may be that she won’t change. If you stand up to her, and ask her to stop making the negative comments, and she continues to do so, then she, not you, is continuing to make mistakes. Don’t continue to subject yourself to that. Growing up means making your own decisions, and not being dependent on your mom and her approval. Keep up the good work. You are doing great. Be proud of yourself.

Dear Marilyn,

I am in a relationship with a guy. I am 20 years old, and he is the first person that I have ever dated.

I don’t feel the same way about him that I did in the beginning of the relationship. I have started to wonder how it might be to go out with someone else. We have been dating for over a year now, so I feel that I’ve already dug myself into a deep hole.

I mean, I really like him, and I don’t want to hurt him. I don’t know how I can break up with the poor guy. He is very nice. What should I do? Should I tell him how I really feel?

Signed, Yearning For Freedom

Dear Yearning For Freedom,

   Yes, it is time for you to tell him how you feel. And yes, it is a very difficult conversation.

It is so difficult to hurt someone you care about. However, the alternative is even worse. It will not be easier to break up at a later time. And you don’t want to stay in the relationship just to prevent hurting him.

   So, let him know that you care about him, but that you need to break up. It will be very difficult at first, but time and distance will help you both in the long run.

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