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I’m on the phone with my friend. She’s had a very rough winter. A strange malady has sapped her energy. The slightest chore sends her crawling to the sofa. Her doctors assure her it’s nothing life threatening, yet they can’t figure out what ails her.
I call her regularly to boost her morale. Sadly, she reports about all the things she can’t seem to do, how she feels old and vulnerable, how bored she is and how she doesn’t even have the energy to eat.
I’m about to shed tears on her behalf when suddenly there’s a shift. With a noticeably lighter tone, she states “…and oh, by the way, I’ve lost 10 pounds!” Her silver lining. I experience an immediate change in my own attitude. Empathy has been replaced by envy. Her malady would pass, and she would be 10 pounds thinner. No-diet weight loss is so unfair!
I find my response alarming. Envying my poor tired friend because she was spared calorie-counting and gym workouts? What did that say about me? Wasn’t there a condition that would work for me? Nothing serious, but maybe a prolonged stomach virus, or perhaps some dental work that would render me unable to chew?
I remember my trip to Mexico when, in addition to a tan and a pair of huaraches, I arrived home with some strange flora. Despite the fact that medical tests didn’t discover any deadly organisms, my stomach had turned into a blender with the button stuck on “puree.” A little inconvenient, but over three weeks, despite eating hamburgers with the bun and a side of fries, I managed to shed seven pounds.
Finding the Silver Lining
I acknowledge that it’s completely insane to focus on bacteria as a means of weight loss. So my thoughts turn to another sure-fire path – stress! This has some immediate possibilities. In another week, husband, dog and I would be heading up north for the summer. Since I compulsively feel the house must be left in perfect order, I will frantically move about the place cleaning, washing, straightened, organizing. I’ll run up and down the stairs with armfuls of clothing.
I’ll lie awake at night creating to-do lists. Closets must be organized, and perishable foods disposed of. I’ll be exhausted by the end of each day, and realize that I’ve forgotten to eat. By the time we’re ready to leave, I will be bone weary and sleep deprived.
But living through all this hysteria is guaranteed to shed a few unwanted pounds. And that, my friends, is the silver lining!
Read more from Susan at susansunfilteredwit.com.