Dear Abby: I, too, have a weight problem, which I am working to resolve. But I can tell you from experience that the worst kind of discrimination is directed against people with weight problems. I have been insulted in the workplace, in restaurants and doctor’s offices. I have not been hired for jobs because I am perceived as fat and lazy.
I am NOT lazy! I keep a clean house, work hard at my job as a secretary every day, and I am a good wife and parent. We may ignore it and pretend that it doesn’t hurt us or matter, but I can tell you it IS painful, demeaning, and it doesn’t go away. I have been in meetings or at social functions and have had to excuse myself to have a good cry.
:Still Suffering in Kentucky
:Dear Abby: Please let “Losing Slowly” know she has another option to continue her new, healthy lifestyle in a safe environment. I have worked in malls for years, and they have all had a mall walkers’ club.
The mall allows people in to walk, including many seniors, before it opens in the morning. There, she will have access to a place where everyone is on the same page. The walkers are safe from traffic, the climate and morons who have the manners of a junkyard dog. The regulars there can tell her how many miles they can cover. It’s a great society of people who support and root for each other.
:Never Giving Up in Southern California
:Dear Abby: I would suggest the two ladies create T-shirts that read “At Least We’re Trying!” and watch the jeers turn into cheers.
:Carol in Wisconsin
:Dear Abby: I applaud her effort and your response, but may I raise the issue of people like myself who are ridiculed about being too THIN? Strangers say things like “Eat something, or the wind will blow you away!” Please remind your readers that making fun of very thin people is just as hurtful as doing it to overweight individuals.
:Wisp of a Woman in the West
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.