When I reached my goal weight, I had planned on giving an acceptance speech thanking every person and product that had helped me get to 160 pounds. I imagined it like the Oscars, me stumbling up to the stage stunned and stunning in a size 10 dress, taking the podium and saying, “Thank you, thank you, I wasn’t expecting this at all,” as I whipped out two pages of perfectly typed notes. Then the orchestra leader would set his baton down while the bassoon player went out for a smoke. I’m not sure if I can squeeze into a size 10 dress (possibly, depending on the manufacturer) and I don’t weigh 160 pounds. But since I’ve decided I’m happy with the weight I’m at, this will be an entirely different type of “acceptance” speech and I’m giving it anyway.
Thank you to my mother (and my father) for never fucking me up about my weight. They never put me on a diet, never called me fat, never made me feel self-conscious about my weight, and made me feel a sense of value and self-worth that had nothing to do with my body. I’ve read several weight memoirs in the past years and I’ve come to appreciate how exceedingly rare this sheltered kind of life is. It’s as if I grew up in a bomb shelter in the backyard while everyone else was exposed to the evils of magazines yapping about cellulite.
Thank you to my brothers for never teasing me about my weight, or if you did I don’t remember it. Thank you to my younger brother for setting a good example by losing a lot of weight four years ago and gentling nudging me in the right direction. It was awesome having someone to chat about the glycemic index with who didn’t fall into a coma afterwards.
Thank you to the makers of sugar-free fat-free pudding, no-sugar-added fudge pops, fat-free Cool Whip, Lean Cuisines, and diet sodas. There are probably too many weird preservatives and artificial chemicals in your products for my own good, but you helped me out more than you’ll ever know. Big props to the string cheese manufacturers, pistachio growers, and the fruit and vegetable farmers of the world. You give me quick, healthy snacks in a fix. Rock on.
Thank you to Arthur Agatston, whose book gave me good ideas on what types of foods I should be eating (not chocolate frosting), Ana Caban, who makes great Pilates DVDs (that have made my butt a bit perkier, perhaps?), and Cathe for the weight-lifting DVD (that made me unashamed to wear a tank top last night).
Thank you to the happy fun and fitness trail that runs next to my apartment. I love running amongst the bugs and leaves, even when I have to drag myself out there against my will. Your delightful nature always wins me over and I never regret spending time with you. (Except when you’re covered in ice and snow and freezing fog.)
Thank you to all the bloggers and commenters who cheered me on. I remember when you all first started stopping by I wondered, “Who are these people and why are they being so supportive? How odd.” I didn’t understand why strangers could be so excited and happy for me. But when I was running my half-marathon and someone yelled, “Go, Jennette!” at mile 13, I truly understood. You need people cheering you on or else you’ll faceplant on the pavement. Thank you for keeping the skid marks off of my rosy cheeks.
Thank you to my treadmill, my dumbbells, my Pilates mat, my YMCA membership, and my poor broken bicycle. Thank you to my heart-shaped silicone muffin pans, my silicone whisk, my breadmaker, my hand-mixer, my skillet, and my cookie sheet that I’ve roasted hundreds of veggies on. Thank you to fat-free cheese. Thank you to my cute activewear, my sweat-wicking socks, my running shoes, my MP3 player, and to cheesy techno music. Thank you to sexy boys and adorable children on the trail. Thank you to personal records and finish lines. Thank you to sunny days and endorphins.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.