I just wanted to reply and let you know that you can do this! If you put your mind to it, you can do anything you want. It sounds like you have your b-friend's support and you definitely have us KH'ers for support as well.
I've always been "thinner", but had a serious bout with depression last year and was a lot less mobile. I gained about 20 lbs and had to go buy bigger clothes.
I couldn't stand it, so I picked my favorite dress and made a commitment to fit into that dress by April 2007. I started "dieting" in January 2007 by doing the Slim-Fast program. I had a shake in the morning, a sensible lunch, and a shake at night. I switched to low/no-fat everything and started counting calories. It was amazing how the weight fell off, just by making a few healthier choices. I lost all 20 lbs and I fit into the dress. Another motivation was I hung the dress in my closet so I saw it every single day to remind myself of my goal. I have since gained a few lbs, but after making the healthier choices it is easy to stick with them now. Also, I would allow myself to "splurge" about every 2 wks or so. But if I hadn't been "good" for that 2 wks I didn't let myself splurge.
Exercise helped a lot too - walk your dog, walk the block, or go to the mall and walk around (I would go before the stores opened or I would be in trouble
). Even walking 20 mins a day can make a huge difference.
Choose what is best for you. Find a motivation. Stick to it. You CAN do it. And you have all of us here to help. Best of luck and let us know how you are doing!