DR. WALLACE: Before you know it, summer will be here, and that's good. But since last fall, I've gained about 8 pounds, which is bad. I usually spend a great deal of time during the summer wearing a swimsuit at the ocean's edge, so I need to lose those naughty extra pounds. I've already started a low-calorie, healthy diet.
Since I don't eat a big breakfast, I was thinking of eliminating breakfast altogether. My grandmother does not think this is a good idea. If she happens to be correct, why is this not a good idea? — Sera, Naples, Florida
SERA: Grandma sure knows what she is talking about! One should always eat a nutritious breakfast, even when dieting. Breakfast provides the body with fuel for the day, which allows it to burn calories at a higher rate. Healthy eating and dieting are similar to many things we come across in our lives, so I suggest two very useful principles: moderation and logic.
Logic would suggest that you eat regular meals consisting of healthy foods in moderate proportions and regularly exercise to burn those calories quicker as you strive to reach your target weight. Do these two things together and you'll also receive a fitness benefit as well.
HE LOVES ALCOHOL AND ME
DR. WALLACE: I'm 20, and the guy I am dating is 22. He has a good job working for his father who owns an automobile agency. He is quite intelligent and could have earned a college degree by now, but he was more interested in making money than hitting the books. We have been together for almost 2 years, and he wants us to get married. I do love my man, and I would marry him tomorrow except for one thing: He loves alcohol, and he drinks almost every single day. He never gets nasty when he drinks and never gets so drunk that he can't function, but when he drinks, it's obvious sometimes that he has had just a touch more than he should.
He claims he is not an alcoholic and that he would quit drinking hard liquor if I would marry him. I don't quite believe that because I grew up in a home where my father was an alcoholic, and our family suffered greatly. My dad also wasn't violent or rambunctious when he drank, but boy, did my father drink! I think I know when I see an alcoholic, and I'm pretty sure my boyfriend is one. What should I look for to either confirm or eliminate my suspicions? — Concerned Girlfriend, Tempe, Arizona
CONCERNED: A thought for you to ponder is that even if he gave up "hard liquor," this implies he would continue drinking other forms of alcohol such as beer or wine, and the concerns you've voiced here would not be eliminated.
You are in a delicate position in that you are in a serious relationship where a major red flag is present. Ask yourself if you feel his drinking will likely increase or decrease from present levels as you both age going forward. You've seen firsthand in your childhood home what a committed drinker looks like via your father's actions.
Ask yourself if you can commit to a lifetime of being with someone who drinks alcohol to this extent on a daily basis.
Finally, in a tender moment, you may want to carefully confess your concerns to your boyfriend and perhaps suggest he seek assistance to evaluate his situation. You can and should do this from a position of love and care, mentioning that if the roles were reversed, he might very well take these same steps to help you.
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.