Dear Maxy ,
I was recently diagnosed with high blood pressure and my doctor told me to stay away from salty foods . I have been doing that. I haven't told any of my friends or co-workers because I want to deal with my health challenges in my own way . I don't think it should be any of their business but that's where I'm having difficulty . I go out to eat with my co-workers several days a week . It's a nice ritual that we have developed over the years, except what where we usually eat has really salty food . I don't know how I can change my eating habits and keep going to these greasy holes with them . I want to keep my privacy, keep my friends and improve my health . What can I do ?
Dear Blood Boiling ,
Your doctor likely also told you that in order to improve your health significantly, you will have to change your habits . You already know that you cannot eat out at those places several times a week and consume unhealthy food if you want to lower your blood pressure .
Until you feel comfortable, you do not have to tell your co-workers about your health condition, but you can tell them that you have decided to get healthier . Tell them you have made a pledge to yourself and that includes eating better . Ask if anyone is interested in doing this, too . Suggest alternative places to eat out together . Change your pattern entirely by preparing your lunch and bringing it from home . This will enable you to control exactly what goes into your body .
Dear Maxy ,
I enjoy reading your column and agree with most of your advice, including your recommendations when it comes to handling alcohol addictions and binge drinking .
I do not work in this field , but I've seen alternatives to AA that may be more palatable to some who are seeking assistance . Would you print this information , too ?
Austin , Texas
Dear Austin Texas ,
I actually have printed alternatives to AA in the past and am happy to do so again . Whatever helps . I recognize that some people are not comfortable with 12-step programs or those mentioning a "higher power," and others are searching for something more specifically tailored to their needs . So here are a few suggestions .
Moderation Management (moderation.org); Hams (Harm Reduction, Abstinence and Moderation Support) at hamsnetwork.org ; Smart Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training) at smartrecovery.org ; Rational Recovery (rational.org ) ; Sober Recovery (soberrecovery.com); SOS (Secular Organizations for Sobriety) at sossobriety.org ; LifeRing ( lifering.org ); Women for Sobriety ( womenforsobriety.org ).
I realize this list doesn't include everything , so readers can find more resources through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration ( samhsa.gov ) at 1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357) .
Every time I see my grandmother ... every month ... she gives me a present . She is so sweet and I really appreciate it . My question is should I be sending her a thank you note every time ? Since she's been doing this for years , I really haven't been writing her notes . But then I had the thought the other day that she probably would appreciate a note from me and it might even spark her interest to write back . It would be awesome to have letters from my grandmother to hold onto.
What do you think ?
Should I write ?
Dear Georgia Peach ,
Since you see your grandmother so frequently, which is a blessing, and she always gifts you, you may want to consider your note to her differently . Yes you can say thank you for her gift, but more than that, share with her a few bits about your life . Tell her in regular notes about experiences you are having . Write her in detail, knowing that she will likely use your stories to brag to her friends about your experiences . Choose to relay positive stories that she can embrace . Keep your challenges and negative experiences to yourself to share with your parents, friends or even a professional when needed
Older people tend to worry more, and you have no reason to give her something that will upset her . You can include your thanks in the notes
Whenever you find that you really benefited from something your grandmother gave you , by all means , write to her and say so . She will surely write back and then the two of you will have a new way of interacting with each other .
Cherish the time you have with her and build memories to keep for the rest of your life.