DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I can't stop eating since my wife left me. I've gained 28 pounds as of this morning, eating large loaded pizzas and drinking beer every day. I don't have the heart to cook for myself. Yesterday, my mom and older brother came over. He said, "You look like a slob. Look how fat you got in four months! Are you trying to kill yourself?" My mother was also in the room and she didn't stop him. She just looked worried. I think she agreed. Last night, I took off my clothes and had a look in the long mirror in the bedroom. I look like I'm pregnant, and I used to have a good body. I'm a guy, so I guess I'll just starve myself. On the other hand, why bother? -- Separated Fat Guy, Fort Garry
Dear Separated: Why bother? Because you're depressed and dealing yourself out of the game of love. Every diet boils down to a new lifestyle -- eat lots of protein and veggies, with less carbs (basically, foods with flour or sugar). Forget desserts, except once a week, and exercise a lot -- both weight-lifting and aerobics. If you need to soothe your nervous energy problem by chewing, chew sugarless gum until you get sick of it and would rather not chew anything. That takes about two weeks. Starving can create an empty sack of skin and make you very sick. This way you lose the fat off the right places and replace it with muscle that's attractive to women. And dump the beer habit now, before you're addicted. If you suspect you already have a problem call the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba for an assessment. To make yourself start feeling better from the inside, which will reflect in an increased desire to fix your outsides, your first move should be to haul yourself off to a counsellor to talk about the issues you had with your ex. Find out how you can fix those problems so the next love of your life will stick around.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I keep getting this urge to run away -- from my family, my job, my husband and my big house in Linden Woods. I spend a scary amount of time fantasizing about a tiny boathouse on a dock by the ocean. In my dream, I live there and there is no pressure on me from anybody. In reality, I have two half-grown kids, a husband, a dog and a cat and we have a gigantic mortgage we can't afford with my not working. The kids wouldn't want to move to a boathouse and my husband would probably have me put in a psych ward if I went off and tried to do that. I asked him how he'd feel if I went away for a few weeks' holiday on my own, and he said, "Are you crazy? We have two kids and we can't afford a live-in babysitter," as if he couldn't look after two kids for two weeks. I would probably come back a much saner person. Right now I kind of feel like I hate him. -- Need Meds? Linden Woods
Dear Need: A vacation or meds? Hmm. How about a third alternative -- a new lifestyle with a job to help you afford to live large, to reconnect with adults and have fun again? You may have the idea you should be home with your kids, but they are half-grown. A mom who is slowly going out of her mind at home is not good for them either. A vacation "escape" lasts two weeks but then you'll tense up all the way home to re-enter exactly the same situation that is driving you crazy now. Even the act of getting together a resumé, networking and answering ads will make you feel you are coming back to life. Your husband is probably cranky because he has been carrying a big financial burden and you are unhappy all the time. Things will improve with him when you start helping out with the responsibilities he carries. If he isn't terribly attached to the big house in Linden Woods, how about downsizing this spring to something more manageable?
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