DEAR JANN: I’m 28, and I’m very happily married to the most wonderful man in the world, but I can’t even get undressed in front of him because I hate my body. In the past, it never occurred to me to get help, but now I have an 11-month-old daughter and I want her to have a good self-image. I look at you and I see a beautiful, strong, confident woman. Do you have some pointers on how I might become a happier person on the inside so that I’m a better role model for my daughter? NO CONFIDENCE

Dear No Confidence: You have to address your own body image issues before you can do anything for your daughter. I’m telling you that a healthy body is a perfect body. If you have your health, everything else is gravy. There are so many wonderful ways to gain control over your weight, if that’s something that you really want to do. If it isn’t, well, embrace you. Just love yourself; tell yourself good things every day. Make sure the language you have in your head is positive and not cruel. You’re going to be what you think; believe me, your thoughts will negotiate your path in life. These are powerful things, not to be taken lightly. Be encouraging to your daughter. Just make sure that the language you use with her isn’t the same language sabotaging your life. You can change; you can. Every single day we have an opportunity to start again. Walking does wonders for the mind and the body. Start small, and just be persistent. Change will come. You can do anything you set your mind to.

DEAR JANN: Would you break up with someone if they lied about their age? I told my 26-year-old boyfriend that I was his age, when I’m really 32. I was going to tell him the truth, but I couldn’t find the right time. Meanwhile, someone blew my cover. My boyfriend broke up with me and said he could never trust me again. I think he’s being a little dramatic, don’t you? NUMBER CRUNCHER

Dear Number Cruncher: Quit lying about your age. For one thing, you’ve earned every single day on this planet, so claim it, own it and show it. I’m 43 years old and have laid claim to every scar, stretch mark and wrinkle. You should be proud of the time you’ve spent here, not try to sweep it under your immature way of thinking. Believe me, you want to get old because the only other alternative is dead. You don’t deserve to be trusted. That, my dear, you will have to earn back. i don’t blame him for not trusting you. I mean, if you lie about your age, where indeed does it end?

Visit our forums to chat about relationships with other ELLE Canada readers!

Photo courtesy of Norbert Mayer