DR. WALLACE: I'm a young woman who is 19, and I would say I'm about 50 pounds overweight. I'm heavier than I should be. I've never had a date, and I want you to help me change that, if possible. I've been told by some of my girlfriends that I'm pretty but much too heavy. I've tried dieting, but after losing a few pounds, I always wind up overeating again. I see a lot of people jogging, and I'll admit most of them look slender. Would this be a good thing for me? I'm really serious about losing weight. My life revolves around food, and it's got to end, so I'm thinking an exercise program would be a good way to start my journey toward a "new me." — Anonymous, Columbia, Missouri
ANONYMOUS: Jogging and even walking briskly are excellent aerobic exercises, and regular exercise is a good start toward a more trim, healthy body. But before you start, please visit your doctor for a thorough physical examination. I'm sure that he or she will suggest you start very slowly and take time to build up to a good pace and longer durations as your stamina develops.
Next, make an appointment with a licensed nutritionist, who will recommend a healthy diet just for you. You need to take a multifaceted, long-term approach to health and slimness. Your behavior and mentality will play a major role in your transformation. Think positive thoughts, and keep a log or a journal to keep track of your progress. If you slip a little here and there, forgive yourself.
It's more important to get back on track than to worry about a day without exercise or an unhealthy meal. Remind yourself why you wanted to make these changes in the first place, and review all of the progress you've made up to that point.
I commend you on your desire to improve your health and wish you every success on your journey!
GO TO THE SLUMBER PARTY
DR. WALLACE: A new girl moved into our area, and she now attends our high school. Last week, this new girl invited me to a get-to-know-each-other slumber party at her house. She said that both of her parents would be there and that my parents (and any other parents, too) would be welcome to attend and even spend the night if they wished to. I understand that about a dozen girls were invited to this party.
My best friend, who wasn't invited, said I shouldn't go because she heard that this new girl has a very bad reputation. Now I'm not so sure if I should go. What should I do? I really don't know her too well, so I don't know anything about her reputation. — Slumber Invitee, via email
SLUMBER INVITEE: Go ahead and plan to attend this party. It's nice that a new girl in town invited several girls over to get acquainted. Let your parents know all about this well in advance. Also let them know both of this new girl's parents will be present, and inform your parents they are welcome to attend as well. If you do attend and for some reason the party is not what you expected, you could always have your parents pick you up.
I do think you will have a good time and will likely gain a new friend. Is it possible that your best friend might be a bit jealous since she was not on the invite list?
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. Email 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.
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