DEAR ABBY: I am an obese woman. I like the way I look and feel, so why can't other people accept me the way I am? I admit I am about 75 pounds overweight. I've tried all kinds of diets, diet doctors, fat farms, exercise classes - but nothing works for me. The weight comes off, but it doesn't stay off.

I work for a company that requires uniforms, so when I went to be measured for my uniforms, they had a man there doing the measuring. First he asked me to try on a jacket. It was very snug, so the man said, "Gee, lady, you really should do something about all that fat!" I love my job - that's why I chose to write to you instead of reporting that rude man to management.I like myself the way I am. Being fat protects me from being raped, chased by dirty old men and getting AIDS because men aren't interested in fat women. So please ask people to lay off fat women. - HAPPY WITH MY SIZE

DEAR HAPPY: If you're really happy with your size, you have no problem.

People who make personal remarks about other people (too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, etc.) are rude. Ignore them.

Being fat does not protect you against being raped or chased by dirty old men - or dirty young men, for that matter.

I applaud you for accepting yourself as you are. There are others who share your attitude. They are members of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance - NAAFA. I have seen their newsletter. It's filled with pictures of good-looking, confident men and women attired in evening clothes, sportswear and swim suits - having fun, just being themselves with not even a hint of self-consciousness.

NAAFA is dedicated to improving the quality of life for fat men and women everywhere through education, research, advocacy and support. The organization is a godsend to people who are tired of being discriminated against because of their size.

For information about this national organization, write to NAAFA, P.O. Box 188620, Sacramento, CA 95818. It is a well-established, legitimate, non-profit organization, so please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

DEAR ABBY: On Dec. 14, my husband and I were having dinner in a nice restaurant in Bakersfield, Calif. Across from us, at a table for two, a nice-looking, middle-aged man was sitting alone. We exchanged several friendly glances, and as he was leaving, he paused at our table, smiled, and said, "Good night." We replied in kind. A short while later, our waitress came to our table and told us that the gentleman who had just left had paid for our cocktails, steak dinners, wine, the tip - everything! She then added, "He asked me not to tell you until after he left."

We were speechless! What a lovely holiday surprise. We have no idea why a total stranger would want to treat us. Have you?

If that gentleman reads your column, we want him to know that we donated the money we would have spent at that restaurant to our favorite charity. - JOHN AND AUDREY IN BAKERSFIELD

DEAR JOHN AND AUDREY: I, too, am wondering why the gentleman wanted to treat you anonymously. It's possible that he was lonely dining alone, and after having exchanged several friendly glances, he had hoped you might invite him to join you.

Or maybe he just liked your looks and is the kind of person who enjoys treating people anonymously.

By popular request, Abby shares more of her favorite prize-winning, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)