Write to Mita
I'm a 21-year-old woman. I'm a bit on the heavy side, and the close-to-perfect people around me and especially media images make me feel very insecure. It's not that I eat a lot, but I do eat quite a bit of rice and sweets. Also, my mother's side of the family is inclined towards gaining weight. Like I said, I'm not 'fat' yet, but I am afraid of becoming so as I grow older. What can I do to counter this and how can I be more confident about myself and how I look?
Dear Weighed Down,
First of all, don't compare yourself with close-to-perfect people. This is self-defeating and will get you nowhere because no matter what you do there will always be someone who is more beautiful, slimmer and better-shaped than you. The important thing is to be confident about who you are as a student, a professional and most importantly as a person. Regarding your weight, of course you should go on a diet and avoid sweets and carbohydrate. Measure your rice intake and supplement it with fruits and vegetables. Get into a regular exercise regime, there is no alternative to this. Exercise increases your metabolism and makes you burn fat easily. Don't sweat over this excessively, rather concentrate on your studies, family and friends and have a good time.
I am a working mother. My child is seven years old and goes to school. But when he is at home, I'm not able to give him enough time. I have office work to get done or family and work events to attend. My son accompanies me to the former, but it's not exactly a place where we can bond. Not only am I afraid of his academic achievements suffering due to my not being able to guide him, but I also feel our not being able to spend quality time together is getting in the way of our developing a close and strong bond. My husband is also at work all day and overall we do not get to spend a lot of quality time together as a family. What is a way around this?
Dear Busy Mom,
In our fast-paced urban lives, your type of problem is common. I suggest that you slow down on your social events. Don't go to all the parties you are invited to or take turns between your husband and yourself to attend these. Regarding office work, try to complete most of this in the office if you can. However, there are times when you have to bring work home. In that case, work on it after your son goes to sleep. You must prioritise family time and try not to break that routine. Remember, these are precious times with your son, you will never get them back. Therefore, no matter what your present preoccupation might be, your son and family must take priority.
I used to be in a relationship with a man who is now my colleague at work. We had a somewhat bitter break-up but we both got over it and he has married and obviously moved on. So have I, and I plan to get married next year. However, it's somewhat awkward being around him. I don't love him or hate him and most of the time I don't even think about our past together, but sometimes I am reminded of it and it's not a pleasant feeling. Also, I don't like the idea of having to work alone with him one-on-one, but I also don't want to make an issue of it lest members of the organisation we work for come to sense that something is up. It's not a job either he or I can or would quit easily. What can I do in this situation?
Stuck at Work
Dear Stuck at Work,
What happened was in the past and both of you have moved on. He is already married and you are planning to. You have to be professional and matter-of-fact about the situation. Don't think about it and go about your business as usual. It is natural for thoughts from the past to interfere with the present. Don't let it bother you and distract yourself with work and your coming new life. If it is too uncomfortable then have a talk with him, come to a common understanding on where both of you stand. This is just a temporary phase and will not matter eventually so don't sweat over it unnecessarily.
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