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Dear Abby 5/19

Husband plays the heavy in wife's weight-loss plan

DEAR ABBY: I lost quite a bit of weight on a great diet that worked well for me. I did it for my health and because I was tired of carrying all that extra weight around. Everyone has been complimentary, except my husband.
    He accuses me of "setting a bad example" for our kids, complains that the diet "costs too much," and says we can't share a meal at a nice restaurant together anymore. (Not true!) He also makes unwanted comments about what I'm eating, how much I'm eating and when I'm eating it.
    I have invited him to go on the diet with me, because he could stand to lose about 20 pounds himself, especially around the middle. He refuses and insists that all he needs to do is exercise. Well, it hasn't worked, and now he needs to buy larger clothes while I am able to get into the clothes I wore when we first met.
    I thought my husband would enjoy the new me, and now I am wondering what could be wrong. Jealousy? Fear of losing me? What's your opinion? -- PUZZLED BUT STILL GOING STRONG
    DEAR PUZZLED: Congratulations on your weight loss. Losing weight is much easier if couples do it together, but you are to be especially commended because you are managing to do it in the face of serious attempts at diet sabotage.
    I don't know what's eating your husband, but I do know he appears to be invested in keeping you fat. Maybe it's insecurity, or maybe he has eating issues of his own that he hasn't had to face because you were his partner in crime. Maybe he feels deserted (no pun intended).
    I hope you will continue to eat and live more healthfully. This will require not allowing his problem to become yours, and "selective deafness" when he's spouting off. It also may require some professional counseling if he doesn't ease up, so be prepared.

    DEAR ABBY: I want to be an actress more than anything else in the world, but my parents are against it. In fact, they are so against it that they have said repeatedly that they'll disown me if I become an actress. They think I am "too smart" to major in theater, and they don't ever want me to leave my hometown.
    It's time for me to start thinking about college, and if I do what my parents want me to do, I don't think I will ever be happy. I don't want to stay in this town and be a teacher. I want to live in New York City and be an actress. -- DESPAIRING IN THE SOUTH
    DEAR DESPAIRING: When parents give a child life, it is their responsibility to help that child develop his or her talents so that he or she can be successful and happy. It is possible that your parents are so emotionally invested in you that they are having trouble letting go.
    If your dream is to be an actress, then that is the dream you should pursue -- if only as a minor in college so that you will have a degree in something else in case "Plan A" doesn't work out. Not only is it time to start thinking about college, it is also time to start researching scholarship programs that will help you finance it. Please don't wait to do that -- the sooner you get started, the better.

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