"I Hated My Friend for Losing Weight"
Val's Total Transformation
"Oh my God! You look fantastic." I first saw Val at her daughter's school play two months after the operation. She had already shed more than 40 pounds. "I can't buy too many new clothes," she said, "because I'm losing weight so fast." She was delighted by the quandary, and I was genuinely thrilled for her.
At the seven-month mark, though, my worry returned full force. At 180 pounds, Val now weighed less than I did. I fluctuated between resentment -- no fair, she didn't even have to try! -- and feeling bad for being so petty about my sentiments. I vowed to rise above my jealousy and use Val's success to motivate me. If I started right away, I could catch up with her.
But despite my best efforts (Weight Watchers, Atkins, diet shakes, nutrition bars), the scale refused to budge. My age (40s), a sluggish thyroid, and a desk job all conspired against me, and I lost weight by the half ounce, only to regain it all with one extra dessert. Val tried to nudge me along the path to fitness. One day, she invited me to go bike riding -- just one of the many new activities she mastered -- then sailed ahead as I puffed to keep up. I came up with a new name for her: The Exercist. As Val neared the first anniversary of her surgery, 100 pounds lighter, I pretended to be happy. But I felt ungainly next to her, and ashamed that I couldn't get my own weight under control.
"This morning I got into a size 10!" she reported the next time we spoke. "Wow," I replied through gritted teeth. "Super, Val. Keep it up." Ugh. I hated myself for resenting her. What kind of friend was I -- what kind of human being -- to begrudge my friend's success?
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