I went through a stressful time recently and gained 20 lbs. I never want to dress up anymore and I feel like a guy would never fall in love with me like this. Help!

by Simone Kornfeld

Dear reader, we are so sorry to hear that you've been having hard times! And we are especially sorry to hear that you feel unworthy of love. Stress affects us all differently. Ariel has the tendency to break out with acne during trying times. Simone gets patches of eczema all over her right hand and fingers. We both reach for food for comfort, and sometimes we get a little big for our britches and can only fit in flowy dresses and elasticized pants for a while. It happens! But during such times it is of utmost importance that you stomp out your self-deprecation and bump up your self-care. First off, we advise that you explore the weight gain from the medical perspective, not the fashion magazine perspective. See your doctor and find out if you are actually at an unhealthy weight, or if there are other factors such as high cholesterol or raised blood pressure that could be compromising your long-term health. Listen to your doc's response and act accordingly with exercise and diet changes. But don't do this because you want guys to want you, do it because you want to take care of your awesome body so that it takes care of you deep into old age. And make it fun! Hire a hunky trainer and tell him you need LOTS of positive encouragement. Take radical cycling classes with club music and strobe lights. Find a yoga teacher who is famous for kindness and bake in the good vibes.

In the meantime, celebrate what you've got right now. Hide away your old wardrobe and get new clothes that you feel comfortable in. Appreciate this body exactly as it is. How can you spin your dressing from bummed out to inspired? Perhaps your bosom is suddenly more bursting than ever... Treat it to some soft V-neck sweaters and pretty necklaces. Maybe your curves are suddenly super 70's diva... Fashion an epic hairstyle to match. And when you go out smile and laugh more than ever before. Do not postpone your choice to enjoy yourself until your body changes shape. In fact, behave as though it is perfect in its present incarnation. Practice absolute self-acceptance with where/how/who you are. Love this life now. That's what will make you supremely lovable.