DEAR HARRIETTE: I started a fitness regimen this summer and was doing pretty well, but I kind of slacked off when the cool weather came. I got an email from a colleague who had been doing something similar when I saw her this fall, and she told me that she has now lost 25 pounds. I have probably gained back half of what I lost. I am so bummed. I feel like a failure. I know my friend wasn't trying to upset me, but her message really messed me up. I haven't responded yet. I don't want to come off wrong, but it's hard for me to be happy for her. What should I say? -- Heavyweight, Madison, Wisconsin
DEAR HEAVYWEIGHT: As hard as it seems right now, what you can do is turn your feelings around. Rather than being sad because your friend has made more progress than you, congratulate her and find out what she has been doing. Ask her what has kept her moving in the right direction. If you can, be honest with her and tell her that you have been struggling. Perhaps she can be a sounding board for you, a source of support.
Perhaps you can identify someone who can be a fitness buddy for you -- it could even be this woman. Losing weight is difficult for most people. If you can team up with someone who can help keep you honest with yourself, that may be helpful.