Lola Rolls
Advice on Life from a Former Sideshow Fat Lady

Fat, Bored, and Lonely

Posted By on Saturday, April 18th, 2020

Dear Lola,

Like everyone else in the U.S., I’m stuck inside working from home. I’ve done the Zoom happy hours and WebEx meetings. Nobody expects this to really take the place of human contact, but it doesn’t even come close for me. I’m bored, bored, bored. And all I do is stuff my face with cake and white wine. Then I get depressed because I’m gaining weight and feel hung over half the time.

I know I’m lucky to be healthy and have a good, secure job during times like this. So many people are way worse off. What I want to do is appreciate what I have and stop getting fat. Any suggestions?

–Fat, Bored, and Lonely


Dear Fat, Bored, and Lonely,

First off, I think you should give yourself permission to feel bad, to put down your pom-poms, and to stop trying to cheer yourself up. Wanting to remain upbeat and appreciative during these difficult and unusual times is a less than realistic desire. Certainly there are people in much worse spots than you, but your recognition of that fact doesn’t benefit them in any way. Both you and they would be better served if you were to volunteer your time or money to provide them assistance. Acts of kindness like that may also help ease your own anxiety and depression.

You also ask how to stop getting fat. As someone physically abundant enough to qualify for the sideshow back in the day, I have trouble viewing your weight gain as some sort of horrible occurrence. I do see though how you are struggling with the lack of control over your eating and alcohol consumption and your social interactions, and over everything really. This is the unfortunate situation that we all find ourselves in these days.

My advice would be to seek out other, or even additional, ways to soothe yourself besides food and wine. As mentioned, giving to and helping others would be a good place to start. You could also dig into all the books and movies you never had time for and go back to old favorites that you didn’t even know you were missing, or sort through the endless options for online classes, new hobbies, and informative videos. None of these suggestions will take the place of life as we knew it, but they may provide a useful, albeit second-best, stand-in and some degree of comfort or sense of accomplishment.

Take good care of yourself.


Barbara Boehm Miller
Fiction Writer and Creator of the Character, Lola Rolls

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