On an index card in my pocket, just waiting...

They haven't announced the winners from the fitness challenge yet, but when they do - I'm ready with my acceptance speech:

Thank you.  No, thank you, I'm humbled.

I would be remiss if I didn’t take this occasion to thank the folks who got me where I am today.

First, I’d like to express my thanks to my wonderful, handsome, kind husband Matt.  This man has loved me through thick and thin and really thick and thinner – and without him, life would be dull and dreary.  His willingness to eat weird recipes with way too much spinach in them has been impressive, his devotion is heart-warming and greatly appreciated.  He’s everything you could want in a mate, and he’s all mine!  He rarely eats the last of something without telling me, and has saved me from myself on many occasions.  Baby, you’re the greatest!

Thanks to my family for their support, and for occasionally offering advice that pissed me off.  Anger burns calories.  Also, thanks for trying the chicken burgers and Popchips.  They were good, I know. Let's let that be it.  Or at least go towards it.

I appreciate my dog, Lola – for getting me up every morning, and for doing enough gross things to squelch my appetite from time to time.  You’re a fine animal, and I’m sorry I lost your cardiac meds that one time.  Remember – money I spend on you, I’m not blowing on dinner…

I’m grateful to my Weight Watchers group – from my leader and her crazy sweaters, to the occasionally flaky weigh-in ladies, to the crazy chubbies  sitting in the studio audience with me – their advice, support and product reviews have been invaluable.   The Laughing Cow Tuna Melt is divine, even if we couldn’t find a Points Plus value for Nutella.  Which probably means we shouldn’t be eating it anyway.

Mad props to GLOZ – the Gorgeous Ladies of Zumba.   We’ve been through several instructors, lots of scantily clad classmates and more renditions of G Slide than I could have ever wanted, but we’ve banded together week after week to sweat, kvetch and encourage. 

Lots of gratitude to my Aqua Fit Saturday ladies.  You may all have similar silver pixie cuts, and wear comparable threadbare black swimsuits, but you are all unique little snowflakes.  And thanks for letting me see you naked in the dressing room.   What a treat!  Time has been unkind to your flesh, but you are young in spirit.

Special thanks to spinach.  Gracias for filling my belly with your fibrous, leafy goodness.  You keep me full and regular.  Thanks to Jell-O for your sugar-free pudding – especially the Dark Chocolate.  Could you put Cinnamon Bun into wider distro?  Thank you, Ole Xtreme Health Tortillas.  Your twelve grams of fiber keep me going!

Laci LeBeau Dieter’s Tea:  You kept me a on my toes, but I’m sure I’ll never forget that special Monday we shared.

I’ll raise my insulated 24 ounce plastic glass to the nice folks at Tervis.  Your stuff is crazy expensive, but without you, I’d be thirsty.  Thanks for the military web discount code.  I should feel ashamed, but I don’t.  My brother-in-law is a Marine, and some day, I’ll buy him a Tervis.

Trader Joe – you are the other man in my life.   You are the meat in my oven, the cookies in my cabinet and the milk in my fridge.  If you know what I mean… What I mean is that you make my life steamy…with your pasta, lentils, turkey meatballs… I could go on.  I won’t.

A shout out to the Bali Bra Company – you support me and lift me up when I’m sagging.  My cup runneth over with gratitude.

Finally, although I started this journey without regard to prizes, fame and adulation, it was the thought of those very things that kept me focused.  And because of that, I have to thank a few special colleagues.

Natae and Sebastian  - you were colleagues first, but you’re my friends foremost.  I appreciate your unflagging support and encouragement.  We have had some good times in the past, and now I’m healthy enough that I can ensure plenty of good times in the future.

Jim – thanks for mitigating my paranoia, sharing your gum, picking lunch destinations that don’t derail me, and most of all for sitting next to me while I was detoxing from sugar, salt, carbs and fat.  That can’t have been fun.  I’m lucky that you lead our elite team of two.   I’m really sorry you have a funny accent, but I’m glad you’re my friend.  GO PREDS!!!!!

Colby and Paul – Well, I knew his first day on the job that Colby and I would be friends.  Thankfully, he concurred.  Paul and I bonded over Mac ‘n’ Cheese at Thanksgiving and have kept the witty banter up ever since.   These two are the reason I have the opportunity to give my acceptance speech today. Creative sabotage plots, bacon-based presents and many, many lunch discussions were the wind beneath my decreasingly flabby wings.  I could not ask for better accomplices.

To the team in charge of this contest, I can only say, WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG???  It’s unwise to toy with people who may be undernourished, and/or sugar-deprived and cranky.  Also, next year – publish rules or something so we don’t have to drag it out like we did this year.  Seriously, what a cluster!

To those of you who didn’t win today, do not despair.  Clearly, you just didn’t want it badly enough, lard-asses.  Better luck next time.  And don’t beat yourself up for being a hideous, flabby freak.  I’m sure your mother still loves you.  To put it another way… suck it.

Again, thank you, good health, and good night!