Dear Amy: My son, who is 21, has been dating the same girl for three years. When they began dating she was tiny, but now she has gained a significant amount of weight.
She is petite, about 5 feet 3 inches, but I'd say she weighs 150 pounds. My son is very active and fit. He says it bothers him that she has gained weight and he has tried to encourage her to work out with him. She had a foot injury that prevents her from doing heavy running, etc., and she says she has gained since going on birth control. I've heard of women gaining on the pill, but not 30 to 40 pounds! She eats a lot of pizza, carbs, etc.
This relationship seems serious. I've talked to my son about it because he is a handsome guy, into fitness, and he is starting to wonder about the future of the relationship if she continues on this path. She's endangering her health as well as hurting her appearance.
I tried talking to her indirectly, but she said she accepts her weight gain. I also talked to my son about whether I should offer to take her to some of the Pilates and yoga classes I attend, but I wonder if that's being overinvolved on my part. Is this my business?
I hate seeing this beautiful girl, who is in many ways a good companion to my son, become so unhealthy and probably risk losing him because she is not taking care of herself.
— Overly Concerned Mom
Dear Mom: I'd say this ceased being your business just before you started talking to your son about his girlfriend's body and speculating about its affect on their relationship.
If your son brings up this topic with you, your response should be, "Honey, if this is a deal breaker for you, you should discuss this with her, not with me."
Other than urging this young woman to see her physician for a checkup (significant weight gain could signal a serious health problem), you should stay out of this. If she comes to you for health/weight mentoring, generously offer it.
Dear Amy: A recent letter from "Suzi" posed the question: Is it necessary to love your family members if you don't even like them?
You compared some toxic family gatherings to "Satan's cocktail party." While this might be apt, I do believe it is still necessary to love your family.
— Loving reader
Dear Reader: Other readers agreed with you, pointing out that there are many different forms of "love."
Send questions to email@example.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.