If you saw the Ryan Reynolds' movie "Just Friends," you know the story of my life. I was him-the character he played in the fat suit, not the millionaire actor (unfortunately).
I was fat, but my weight didn't define me. What defined me was my sense of humor, caring nature and intellect. I was a really nice guy - the kind of guy that girls have as their really good friend.
My best friend was Nikki.
Ah, Nikki. So many nights we'd text until the sun came up. We'd share secrets, laugh and even cry.
Nikki was gorgeous. She was our class president, homecoming queen and a top student. She was pretty and smart. She was everything anyone could ever want in a girl. And everyone wanted her. Jocks, skaters, preps and, of course, me.
I knew she was out of my league. We were just friends. Best friends, mind you; but nothing more.
We were neighbors and hit it off right away. We'd eat breakfast together. At school, she got me in with the cool kids and I'd sit by her at lunch. And after school we'd watch TV together while we did homework. Then we'd IM until one of us fell asleep.
We were basically inseparable, until Nikki started dating in high school. Then I'd see her once in a while or she'd text me when one of her boyfriends cheated on her or broke up with her.
We went to different colleges and stayed in touch once in a while. We'd see each other in passing on holidays. But we kind of lost touch. It was fine, I told myself, because she had a serious boyfriend at her state school and I was focused on my political science club at my private, liberal college.
But at night, when no one else was around, I'd always find myself thinking about her, wondering how she was doing and wishing I could make her MY girl.
I couldn't, of course. Nikki just wasn't into me like that. She seemed to have her pick of guys and she always picked the best looking and most popular. Nice guys finish last, right?
Her current boyfriend fit that description. I didn't. I was overweight and kind of a dork and not someone that girls would typically date. I was basically a good friend who was a boy, not a boyfriend. I was kind of sad and lonely.
Until I changed my life forever.
On spring break of my senior year I flew to Mexico to have gastric sleeve surgery. By the time commencement rolled around I had lost over 100 pounds, had a lot more energy and was as confident as Ferris Bueller.
I went home to see my folks after graduation and guess who was there? That's right, Nikki.
We hit it off immediately, again. But this time something was different. There was a serious spark between us. Our best friendship felt different. She was into me and I was, of course, into her.
So with my heightened self-confidence since having weight loss surgery and graduating, I asked her out. And she said yes. And now she's my girlfriend. I'm so happy I had weight loss surgery. It has completely changed my life in so many ways it would take a novel to allow me to properly explain. And, most importantly, I'm so happy Nikki and I are no longer "just friends."