Dear Dr. Wallace:
I’d really like your opinion. I am 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weigh 103 pounds. I’d like to get my weight down to double digits (99 pounds), but my friends and family think I’m already too thin and need to gain 4 pounds instead of lose 4 pounds. That would put me at 107 pounds — 8 pounds more than my dream weight!
My best friend says I am already “borderline” anorexic. Even though I don’t eat breakfast or lunch, I always eat a balanced dinner. I tried eating a light lunch for a while, but I had to stop because I was really feeling guilty and was gaining more weight than I wanted to. Please, tell my friend I am not anorexic because anorexics do not eat well-balanced dinners. I always have a great appetite at dinner, and the rest of the day, I’m just on a diet.
— Dreaming of 99,
Charlotte, North Carolina
Dear Dreaming Of 99: Your letter worries me. I don’t know if you’re anorexic or not, as it’s not my place to make a diagnosis. But something is certainly going on with you regarding food and weight that reflects many of the warning signs of an eating disorder.
Why do you want to weigh 99 pounds? What made you feel guilty about eating a light lunch? Even though you’re very thin, do you feel that you weigh too much? I urge you to discuss your eating patterns with your parents and ask them to make an appointment for you with a health professional who specializes in weight issues. Do this right away for the sake of your overall health, both physically and mentally. Seek guidance right away, and do not go this alone.
You need some sound advice about your nutrition and eating habits. I fear that you’re pushing yourself in the wrong direction. Several dietitians have advised me over the years that a well-balanced, nutritious breakfast is the most important meal of the day for maintaining good health. According to your letter, you are in the midst of permanently skipping breakfast. Your situation cries out for a reset of your eating habits to ensure your overall health.
Dear Dr. Wallace: My guy and I stopped dating a month ago because he became too possessive and got angry if I talked to another boy. I also didn’t care for him anymore and told him I would never go out with him again. I told him not to call or contact me in any way.
Lately, he has been sending me flowers to my house. The note says, “I’m sorry. I love you.” I called and told him that I wouldn’t accept any more flowers and to stop wasting his money. He continues to send flowers, and I continue to refuse them when they are delivered. Is there anything I can do to get him to stop wasting his time and money? My mom says I should just accept the flowers and then take them down to our local nursing home so they can be distributed to several of the residents there. What do you advise here?
Fort Worth, Texas
Dear Anonymous: Continue refusing the flowers. Eventually, this guy will get the message --or run out of money to spend on flower deliveries at some point. I feel it’s best to refuse the delivery versus accept it and pass the flowers on to a third party, which was a thoughtful suggestion offered by your mother. He will know where you stand for sure when you refuse each delivery. Should you accept the flowers and pass them on unbeknownst to him, he will assume you kept and enjoyed the flowers. This would give him false hope, both exacerbating and elongating the time frame you would have to deal with this issue.