DEAR HARRIETTE: I have gained a lot of weight in the past year. I noticed it when a friend sent me pictures of myself and them at an event that I attended recently. I was slouching in one photo, and good lord, I looked like a hot mess.
I have spent so much time by myself at home in front of a tiny little screen wearing sweats, I hadn’t paid attention. But I see that things are out of control.
I am not a young person. I’m worried about whether I can get the weight off at this stage in my life, but I have to do something. Where should I start?
— Pounds Be Gone
DEAR POUNDS BE GONE: Be grateful for those photos. They were your wake-up call! Sometimes we need others to reflect back to us where we are.
You should start by getting a complete physical. Make an appointment to see your internist. Be honest about what you have been eating, drinking and doing since your last visit. You must share with your doctor everything you eat, like late-night snacks, sweet drinks, your salty stash, etc.
Your blood will tell a story about your health that will help your doctor to evaluate your physical state of being. From there, you can get advice.
Request a meeting with a nutritionist who can direct you on healthy food choices and portion sizes. Ask for a medical referral for a physical trainer. Get as much support as you can to jump start your return to good health. Then commit to the work and go for it!
DEAR HARRIETTE: I have been traveling a lot for work and generally overdoing it, and I don’t feel well.
I know that I do not have COVID-19. For my job, I have had to get a COVID-19 test every day for weeks. So I continue to go to work, even though I am coughing and definitely not at my best.
People look at me funny when I cough, and I assure them that I do not have COVID-19. But I know I’m not well, and I remember pre-COVID-19 that when people got sick, they often stayed home. Nobody does that anymore, so I’m afraid to take time off.
What should I do?
DEAR UNWELL: Schedule a visit with your doctor and describe your symptoms in detail.
You are right. COVID-19 is one disease you may have, but not the only one. This time of year, many germs are out there. Clearly, you have caught something.
Rest may be the best healer for you — especially since you say you have been on the road so much. But you may also need medication to knock out an infection in your body.
Don’t try to self-medicate. Let a doctor test you to see what’s going on. Get the medication and care you need. And if it makes sense to take a sick day, do it.
You do not want to be responsible for sending a group of people home on sick leave because you didn’t take care of yourself.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to [email protected] or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)
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