SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

April 25, 2013

Dear Abby: Stranger’s encouraging words inspire woman toward her goal

:Dear Abby: I was moved by the letter from “Losing Slowly in Ohio” (Jan. 14), who is 50 pounds overweight and walks every day with her friend to lose weight. She said that almost daily people made fun of them. My heart goes out to her.

I was in her shoes once. With diet and exercise, I lost more than 60 pounds, and I’ve kept it off. But I was never ridiculed as she was. On the contrary, one day after I had just begun a daily one-mile jog and was struggling to keep going, I passed by a man who cheerfully called out to me to “keep at it, and one day you’ll be a 10!”

Abby, I can’t tell you what that meant to me. I thought about his encouragement whenever I felt hopeless and was thinking of giving up. The memory of his kind words inspired me to go on. Thirty years later, I still think about his encouragement with amazement and gratitude.

We all have a choice: We can be kind to each other and offer friends and strangers alike support for the challenges we all face, or we can make ourselves feel superior by being cruel and demeaning. In the end, our choice shapes our character and we receive what we give, so we must choose wisely.

I’m sorry that “Losing” has met with only ignorant jerks so far. I would be honored to pay it forward and tell her how incredibly brave she is, and to encourage her to stick with it. Because she has the courage to keep exercising in the face of constant humiliation, I know without a doubt that she will reach her goals.

:Wendy in Colorado

:Dear Wendy: Thank you for your upbeat response. Many other readers were quick to “weigh in” with letters of support for “Losing Slowly”:

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lifestyle
  • Dear Abby: Dating scene is frustrating for strong young woman Dear Abby: In short, my son is a klutz -- to the point that it affects his self-confidence. He's different from everyone else in the family. Is being a klutz genetic? Is it permanent? He's not doing well academically, either. How can I help him? Par

    July 29, 2014

  • Monday's Best Bets Best Bets for Monday, July 28

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Son-in-law’s abusive father makes gatherings painful Dear Abby: I adore my son-in-law, "Tom." He's a wonderful husband to our daughter. He's always inviting us to dinner along with his parents and family. We get along with them but can't stand how they treat Tom. We have never seen parents treat their

    July 28, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday, July 26

    Looking for something to do today? Check out The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Shore religion news in brief Congregation Shirat Hayam is offering a free, five-week Hebrew Reading Crash Course on Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. from Sept. 2 through Oct. 7, at the synagogue, 55 Atlantic Ave., Swampscott. Led by Nancy Miller, the course is open to the community and is

    July 26, 2014

  • North Shore religion calendar Wednesday, July 30 Book Club, 7 p.m., Aviv Centers for Living, 240 Lynnfield St., Peabody. Women of all ages are invited to a free book group with conversations about Jewish identity. Group will discuss "The Harem Midwife" by Roberta Rich. RSVP to Sh

    July 26, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Teen is looking for direction after high school graduation Dear Abby: I am an 18-year-old high school senior who is scared about what's going to happen after graduation. For the past three years I have known exactly where I'll be and what I will be doing in the general sense. Now that I have one more year to

    July 26, 2014

  • macaws Vet Connection: Pet birds need training, social interaction and time out of the cage People are fascinated with the big colorful birds on display at Animal Kingdom and wild bird sanctuaries. It's always fascinating to see someone walking down the street with a big-beaked bird on his or her shoulder as a companion. We are all drawn to

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ask Dog Lady: Her little dog is obsessed with food Dear Dog Lady: I have a 3-year-old, long-coated Chihuahua named Mexipep (after a brand of hot sauce). She has many fine attributes -- she's very sweet, not nervous and barky like the short-coated Chihuahuas can be. On the subject of food, however, th

    July 25, 2014

  • howe Book Notes: Local novelist sees ‘conversion’ syndrome in witch trials The parallels between 1692 and today are so close, they're frightening. That's one conclusion you could draw from reading "Conversion," Marblehead resident Katherine Howe's new novel, which compares the world of the Salem Witch Trials to the life of

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker