DEAR ABBY: I weigh 327 pounds. I’m 5 feet 11 inches tall, and I carry it better than most. I’m trying to diet to improve my health, but I crave sweets.

I am employed as a receptionist. My desk is behind an L-shaped counter, which is eye level above my computer screen. My boss insists on putting a candy dish right above my computer monitor, directly in front of me. I have tried moving it to the ends of the counter, out of my range of vision, and I have tried placing it on the end tables in the reception area, but he moves it back again.

Abby, my boss is a small person. If he were a girl, he’d be called “petite.” He doesn’t battle weight like I do, nor does he seem to crave sweets the way I do. I sometimes work 10 or 12 hours a day, and it’s torture. I have talked to him about it, and he just laughed. I need my job and can’t afford to lose it. Do you have a clever way I can get the point across? – CONSTANTLY TEMPTED IN CANTON, OHIO

DEAR TEMPTED: The real problem, however, isn’t your boss; it is your compulsive eating. An organization that has been mentioned in my column before – Overeaters Anonymous – could give you support and help for the problem. Over the years it has helped thousands of men and women overcome the compulsion to binge. There are more than 8,000 OA chapters in 58 countries, and the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop eating compulsively. There are chapters in almost every city, but if you have difficulty locating one, log on to, or send a long SASE to OA World Service Office, P.O. Box 44020, Rio Rancho, NM 87174- 4020. They will help you regain control.

It appears your “little” boss has a sadistic sense of humor. On lunch breaks and your other break time, get out of the office and walk. Also, use NOT touching the candy as a way of showing the man who’s boss.

DEAR ABBY: I’m writing concerning my daughter, who is 10. She signed up to play basketball, but now she cries when she has to go to practice or to games, and says she wants to stop playing.

Her mother and I are divorced. Her mom says it’s OK for her to quit, but I was raised believing that when you start something you should finish it. Now it looks like I am the bad guy. Should I let her go ahead and quit, or maker her finish? – THE BAD GUY, CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO

DEAR BAD GUY: Before making your final decision, talk with your daughter and find out what’s going on at those basketball games and practices that’s driving her to tears. She may have a good reason for wanting to quit. However, if she does quit, she should replace basketball with another sport or pastime that will keep her active — such as dance, self-defense, gymnastics, etc.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 14-year-old Jewish girl. At least, I THINK I am. My parents told me I was Jewish. My father is Catholic, and my mother was Jewish before she converted when I was 10. Some people say I am Jewish, and others say I’m not. I hope I am. What do you say? – 14 AND WONDERING

DEAR WONDERING: I don’t know what religion you are practicing, but Jewish ancestry is matrilineal – traced through the mother. Therefore, you could be considered Jewish if you WANT to be. According to the “Jewish Book of Why” by Alfred J. Kolatch (Jonathan David Publishers Inc.): “A child born of a Jewish mother is considered Jewish regardless of the future actions of the mother or father. The child’s Jewishness is considered his or her natural right, one that cannot be denied by the action of either parent.”

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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