How to handle catcalls

Q: I am 255 pounds, age 40, and really want to start walking my dog in the neighborhood for exercise. My biggest fear is teenagers and people in cars making fun of me. It is hard enough to walk without the catcalling, to which I am extremely sensitive. I have heard the saying, “Get over it,” but I will never be able to tolerate the “fat-cat calling.” Do you have any advice?

A:  Isn’t it sad that many people are so rude and thoughtless? We are all sensitive, but don’t let that kind of treatment keep you indoors. Does it really happen often? Or are you mostly anticipating the negative remarks and living them in your head, day to day?

Try walking (carefully) with headphones to keep you immersed in soothing or stimulating music. Think about how good the walk is for you and your dog. Do your best to ignore any of the “fat-cat calls,” and you may notice people who are giving you the nod for your efforts to take care of yourself and your pet.

Find a friend to walk with who can support you when you encounter negative behavior. We all need someone to lean on from time to time.

Write back when you’re feeling better.

What you have in your mind?