DR. WALLACE: I'm 16 and live with my mother and her boyfriend. He moved in with us six months ago. My parents are divorced and my dad is now living in England and has remarried.
My problem is that mom's boyfriend is making sexual remarks to me whenever my mom is at work. Now I'm really afraid to be home alone with him. I told my mom what he was saying to me, but she said that he wasn't serious. I think he is.
Last night he put his arms around me and tried to kiss me. I pulled away and ran to my room and locked the door. This morning he told me that he was going to take the lock off my bedroom door so he could come in whenever he wanted to. I'm really frightened now. What should I do? — Nameless, Cleveland, Ohio.
NAMELESS: Tell mom that you no longer want to live in the house while her boyfriend is living there. See if she can arrange for you to live with a relative immediately. If mom won't cooperate, tell your school counselor about your home life. Ask that your counselor have a meeting with your mom to discuss your problem. Many times parents will take the advice of an outside person, especially if it comes from a school professional.
If for some reason mom doesn't see that her live-in boyfriend has a serious emotional problem, then do what you can to move in with a friend's or a relative's family. Do all you can to remove yourself from a miserable and psychologically dangerous home life.
I'm constantly amazed at the number of mothers who refuse to acknowledge a daughter's word of sexual advances by her father, stepfather or mom's boyfriend!
DO I NEED A VIBRATING MACHINE?
DR. WALLACE: I'm 17 and I have excess fat on my upper legs commonly known among females as "saddle bags." I've tried every kind of exercise possible to eliminate this fat, but nothing has worked.
A friend told me that her mother got rid of her saddlebags by purchasing a vibrating belt, which melted the fat away. Is this a good way to eliminate excess fat? If so, I'll purchase the vibrating machine. I don't wear tight jeans because I'm embarrassed about how I look in them. - Nameless, Lake Charles, La.
NAMELESS: Save your money. Vibrating belts do not melt away body fat. Spot reduction is impossible. Only through proper eating habits and regular exercise five days a week (brisk walking, swimming, biking, etc.) will help you to lose excess fat - all over your body, including those unwanted saddle bags.
Regardless of what you hear, you have absolutely no choice about where you take off the fat. I often receive inquiries asking if sit-ups reduce fat on the stomach. Again, the answer is no. Abdominal exercise will tighten the muscles of the midsection beneath the fat, but unfortunately, the fat will remain.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. E-mail him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.