“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Jul 12, 2014
Dear Amy: I'm a 16-year-old girl. I'm worried about my dad. I think he may have an eating disorder (most likely anorexia). He eats very little, often just an apple for dinner, logs his calories and often does high-intensity workouts. He's worried about the possibility of gaining weight and sometimes tries to restrict our pets' food too though they're healthy.

My mom has a healthy enough relationship with food, though she has felt pressure over the years as my dad engages in disordered eating. My younger sister and I are slowly realizing just how much this is harmful, and sometimes I've caught myself with an unhealthy preoccupation with my weight too.

What do I do? I want to talk to my dad about this somehow, but I have no idea how to do this. He's very stubborn and focused, so getting him to change wouldn't be the easiest thing to do. If my behavior with food becomes a problem, I'll tell my doctor and try to get help. Worried

Dear Worried: It is not your job to police your father. Realistically, aside from registering your concern to him and your mother, there is little you can practically do to get him to change.

Eating disorders are linked to addictive behaviors the person with the disorder becomes addicted to feeling a certain way and obsessively clings to the feeling of control that comes from limiting food.

One concern is how this disordered eating is creeping into the rest of your household. If your father is truly limiting the pets' food, then the pets should be placed in a safer environment. Unlike people, animals cannot always fend for themselves.

You should speak with both of your parents about this, not offering solutions but simply being honest about your concern. Start with this: "Dad, I'm worried about you."

Dear Amy: I'm sitting in a coffee shop next to a woman who has been on her cellphone the entire time, talking loudly and showing no respect for my privacy. I came in here to read and not be disrupted by someone invading my space. This is no longer relaxing and I am not ready to leave.

Whose right is it? What should be done? Linda in Michigan

Dear Linda: The person making the call isn't respecting her own privacy. I think we've all listened to others reveal personal and business information through overhearing loud phone conversations.

Some places have rules about cellphone use if this place does, you should ask the manager to intervene. Otherwise, I think it's acceptable to interrupt and ask the person, "Could you lower your voice, please? We can all hear you."

Dear Amy: I strongly disagree with the message you gave "Mike" about telling his 20-year-old daughter to move out of the house.

To me, she sounds depressed. Divorced family, messy room, mom doesn't want her and, although she sounds justifiably annoying, her dad doesn't want her either.

All of this combined with her age and the stress of trying to manage her first job requires gentle support, not confrontation.

I would suggest therapy for dad and daughter to see if they can work it out before he does something that might have a lasting impact on their relationship. Jenny

Dear Jenny: A 20-year-old working part time, partying and staying out all night doesn't sound depressed to me, but I agree that therapy would be useful for father and daughter. Excellent suggestion.

Dear Amy: I think you misread the letter from "Flummoxed," whose 37-year-old daughter is three months pregnant. I think this mom was trying to come up with a way to suggest that her daughter have an abortion.

I don't know your views on abortion, but you should have addressed this in your answer. A Fan

Dear Fan: I am pro-choice. But "Flummoxed" said her daughter "wants the baby." So suggesting a second trimester abortion to a woman who wants to have a baby is strange and, I believe, not helpful at all.
Cass

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

#2 Jul 12, 2014
LW1 - Your father may or may not have an eating disorder. Is he abnormally skinny? Focus on yourself, though. You have the right idea about talking to your doctor about your own view on food, weight, and body image. FWIW, a person who tries to restrict his/her pets calorie in-take is a bit crazy. It's one thing not to overfeed the pets. It's another to put them on a diet when they are perfectly healthy for the *fear* that they will gain weight.

LW2 - Hate to break it to you, Linda, but coffee shops are not libraries. It's lovely to sit in them and read while enjoying a cup of coffee. In fact, yesterday, I did exactly that - went to the coffee shop to write and enjoy a cup of coffee. But such establishments' primary purpose for existence is to sell beverages, pastries, and such. If the cell-phone talking customer buys $10 of coffee and danishes, they prefer her over you, who gets a $1.50 small coffee and occupies the comfy chair with her book for the next 2 hours.

LW3 - Even if a young adult IS depressed, "gentle support" is not going to help them get their brain chemicals in order and stop being depressed. They may need medication or therapy or both. But once they are adults, you can't force them to get either.
boundary painter

Waco, TX

#3 Jul 12, 2014
Actually, LW1 would not be out of line to ask her father if he might
have cancer, as long as she conveys the question in a caring tone.

Linda needs ear plugs--or to go to a public library like Cass suggested.

Good answer to LW4. Now, let's let her be.
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#4 Jul 12, 2014
LW1: Convincing someone else to change is difficult. Raise your concerns and lower your expectations.

LW2: Team Cass.

LW3: Exactly. The woman in question is 3 months pregnant and wants the child. Abortion is off the table and adoption is not an option that she is likely to consider.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#5 Jul 12, 2014
Lw2: Were you born this stupid or do you have to work at it?

1) why do you think you have the right to privacy in a public place?
2)she did NOT invade your privacy. She disturbed your perceived solitude. Want solitude? Go the f home.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#6 Jul 12, 2014
L1 There is a well established set of research that calorie restriction with balanced nutrients is a method for life extension. In short, people who eat much less live longer.

My FIL has followed this approach. He is 98

Here is the Wikipedia entry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie_restrict...

L2. Turn around and participate in the conversation. Frankly listen and make appropriate faces. I guaranty the person on the phone will hang up or leave. If they confront you, you can share your opinion of their having private conversations in public places.

Or, you can whine to a newspaper advice columnist and nurse your grudge.
Julie

Chicago, IL

#7 Jul 13, 2014
re LW1:
boundary painter wrote:
Actually, LW1 would not be out of line to ask her father if he might have cancer, as long as she conveys the question in a caring tone.
HUH?

re LW2: Totally Team Tonka.

re LW3: Pellen, IMO, the fact that the father's preoccupation with his caloric intake has made the LW overly concerned w/her own weight is an indication that the father is mentally unwell. And the further fact that he is also trying to restrict the calories of the family's healthy pets makes him sound batsh*t crazy. He sounds completely obsessed and downright nuts.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#8 Jul 14, 2014
PEllen wrote:
L1 There is a well established set of research that calorie restriction with balanced nutrients is a method for life extension. In short, people who eat much less live longer.
My FIL has followed this approach. He is 98
Here is the Wikipedia entry
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie_restrict...
L2. Turn around and participate in the conversation. Frankly listen and make appropriate faces. I guaranty the person on the phone will hang up or leave. If they confront you, you can share your opinion of their having private conversations in public places.
Or, you can whine to a newspaper advice columnist and nurse your grudge.
Interesting about the calories restriction extending life. I remember hearing that somewhere but none of the details. I think I rather die a bit younger than not enjoy a good meal now and again.

As for L2, love your answer. It is crazy, though, to expect a Starbucks (or whatever) to be like a Library. Tonka's right (and many others).

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