DR. WALLACE: I'm 19 and dating a very nice guy, who is 21. We met at a friend's birthday party. He is fun to be with and seems to be an all-around good guy, but he is flawed in one major way. He constantly tells lies. If he is late, he makes up a stupid excuse, such as, "My dog got out of the house and it took 30 minutes to find her." He has told me that his father owns a big company. I found out that his father owns a coffee shop. I could give you five dozen more lies and fabrications that he has laid on me. I have told him a dozen times to stop lying, and each time, he has insisted he was telling the truth.
Last week, he told me that his cousin was in the military and was killed by a roadside bomb. I called his sister and she said that their cousin is in the Navy and stationed in San Francisco. She says that her brother is a good guy, but he "fibs" to get sympathy.
I'm at my wit's end. How should I handle his lying? — Veritas, via email
VERITAS: Unfortunately, your friend likely has a serious psychological problem. Seeing him on a regular basis while this behavior rampantly continues will cause you both frustration and anger. The sooner you tell him goodbye, the sooner you can find a guy who will stay within your comfort zone regarding truthfulness. Since you know his sister and you say he is a good guy, you might delicately suggest (to his sister) that he seek out professional help if he wishes to deal with his ongoing urgent need for sympathy. Let her know you do like and respect him in all areas but this one — and it's a deal-breaker when it comes to your relationship.
A HEALTHY "QUICK-FOOD DIET"
DR. WALLACE: I'm 19 I considered to be a fast food "junkie." I am a hairstylist and love my work. My roommate is also a hairstylist. Both of us hate to cook, so we often eat at fast-food restaurants. Many times, we eat all three of our daily meals while on the run.
My problem is that I've gained 9 pounds in the last year, and that trend must stop! I'm not going to cook, so I probably will continue to eat at fast-food restaurants.
My mother said that she read about a "Fast-Food Diet" somewhere, but she can't remember if it was in our newspaper or in some women's magazine she glanced at somewhere.
Sometimes, mom thinks she might have read something somewhere, but it was only wishful thinking. — Busy Bee, Seattle
BUSY: This time, mom was reading; it was not a wishful thought. The "Fast-Food Diet" was developed by a registered dietitian at a New York Hospital in Manhattan, and it includes three meals a day, plus a snack. What is the secret to this program? In each daily menu, it includes fast foods low in fat content, with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
The program includes these helpful tips:
1. Avoid anything labeled "big," "deluxe," "supreme" or "whopper." Plain-Jane items are lower in calories. Even "extra-crispy" has about 100 calories more than "regular," mostly from fat.
2. Stay away from fatty extras at the salad bar, such as bacon bits, taco chips and croutons. Fill up on carrots, tomatoes and dark green vegetables; use low-calorie dressing.
3. Select grilled chicken fillet sandwiches instead of fried chicken.
4. Select a roast beef sandwich over a hamburger. The former is about 250 calories less.
5. Pass on eggs and sausage for breakfast. Better choices are dry cereal with low-fat milk or an apple bran muffin.
This plan is also helpful for those who don't seek to lose weight but just want to eat a healthy fast-food meal and maintain their current weight. Now that many fast-food chains are offering delicious, healthy choices, you CAN have it your way, if you simply do the research on what is best to eat — and have the willpower to stick to those healthy items. Good luck!
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.