Ask Amy: New vegetarian worries about Mom's diet

October 21, 2013 

Dear Amy: I am 15 years old. I have recently become a vegetarian for several reasons (mostly that I disagree with beef-production methods).

My mom is slightly overweight, but certainly nothing bad. She recently decided to become vegetarian as well, but I suspect she is doing so because she thinks it will help her lose weight. I am very health conscious, enjoy fruits and vegetables, and believe in well-rounded meals.

Is it possible for a mom to be anorexic? She seems to take eating to the extremes. She will often not eat more than a few noodles for dinner, skips breakfast often (she "forgets"), and I have no idea if she eats anything when I'm at school.

She claims she can get by eating much less, and will almost never have dessert or any sort of fried food. I have tried to help her realize this is not healthy, but she is in denial.

I am growing increasingly frustrated and worried. What do you suggest?

— Frustrated

Dear Frustrated: Anyone — at any age can develop an eating disorder. You should be honest with your mother about this. If you continue to suspect she is in trouble, tell an adult family member or friend who might be able to help.

Adult women and teenagers have different metabolism and needs. Your mother may eat her biggest meal at lunchtime (I do), and then try to have less food in the evening.

As new vegetarians, you both need to make sure your diets are nutritionally balanced. It would be best to see a nutritionist together. Also cook and eat together. The first function of food is to nourish your body. But food provides an important communal and family function.

Dear Amy: My marriage was much like "Wondering (not Wandering) Wife." Sex slowed and then finally ended about six years into our marriage.

It's been 13 years now, and I never strayed. We are best friends, there's no one else I'd rather spend my life with. I accept him the way he is, and in return, he does the same for me.

He held my hand every step of the way through my battle with breast cancer. We found out this year he has had colon cancer, which has spread. This was the reason for his inability to function sexually. Our time together is limited. I would gladly live out the rest of my days in a happy (but sexless) marriage with my wonderful husband if I had a choice.

— Lucky wife

Dear Wife: Your gratitude is inspiring. Thank you.


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