Taking just a moment here, between basting the turkey and putting together the green bean casserole, to reflect on the day.
I am thankful for so many things at this point in my life. It has been an amazing year; at times so stressful that I lived in utter terror of what the next day was going to bring, and at times (more of these, though) so wonderful that I couldn’t imagine what I could have done to deserve all that I have. I’ve been exhausted, stressed, heartsick and at my wit’s end…and I’ve been ebullient, overjoyed, and so proud of myself I could shout.
I have come a long way since last Thanksgiving. Last year, I was on the inward downslope of a slump, one that I wouldn’t snap out of for about 8 months. I was wearing out, losing interest, losing faith, and thinking about giving up. I was, in short, burned out. This year, I am on the upward slope of a peak, feeling wonderful about my life and my lifestyle and pretty much everything in the world. I am very hopeful that the peak will not actually be a peak (because a peak precedes another slump, after all), but a plateau. I know, I know, plateau is a dirty word in Diet World, but think about it. If you’re on a plateau, you have come WAY the hell up from where you started. A plateau sits pretty high above the surrounding landscape, right? It’s not something to curse, I don’t think, but something to embrace as a big improvement over where you started!
Anyway. This year I feel that I have so much to be thankful for. I have a wonderful husband who has shown me just how wonderful he can be this year, who has forgiven me my vicissitudes and lapses of intelligence, and who has stepped up to the plate when I needed him to fill the gap left by my absense due to working two jobs – and has shown almost no signs of resentment in the process. I have two beautiful, wonderful daughters, both of whom are maturing so quickly it’s frightening and who amaze and delight me every day. I am blessed with (though sometimes it feels like a curse) two jobs that enable me to climb my way out of the hole I have dug for myself – and with coworkers who, for the most part, are not bad to be around. Some of them are TRUE blessings; I have met some wonderful people this year who have changed me and my life for the better. Some of them are people I will hopefully stay in touch with when this phase of my life is over and I move on. Some of them I would not hesitate to say I love.
But one of the biggest things I have to be thankful for is my health. My lifestyle has changed so much in the past year and a half that it is barely recognizable. I still have lapses, some of them rather revolting – but my status quo is not the same. It’s nowhere near the same. I don’t drink sweetened sodas; even diet soda is something of a rarity. I never eat white bread, or anything really made with white flour, even when I’m being “bad”. I just don’t. These were two of my main weaknesses, so that’s a big deal. I avoid sugar – I may have it once a week or so, again even when I’m being bad, instead of daily, which was the norm before. Most profound of all, I exercise. Not every now and then, but regularly. It is a normal thing for me, where before I owned a NordicTrack and an exercise bike and hadn’t touched either one in about ten years.
I am not only smaller – and yeah, I’m happy about that, don’t get me wrong – but I am so much healthier. My body composition has changed so much. I have more stamina than I ever thought I would have; still not as much as a lot of people, but amazing for me. I can RUN, which I never could before, even when I was thin. My skin is clearer, my blood pressure is down, my blood sugar stays pretty steady, I don’t have migraines monthly. I am stronger. I feel ten years younger than my age, instead of 20 years older. I love life.
I am so thankful for the changes that have been made. Part of that I can just be proud of, without having to thank anyone, because I’ve done it. But a big part of it, I owe some serious thanks on. I owe thanks to NBC and the creators of The Biggest Loser, the editors of Prevention Magazine, and everyone involved with the Biggest Loser Club website – because had I not stumbled on that site last summer, I would not have done this. I know that I wouldn’t. Not couldn’t, but wouldn’t. It was a sheer accident that happened at exactly the right time, and I know without doubt that it was an act of God. So ultimately, the thanks go to God – but I also owe them to all of the people mentioned above, as well as every contestant who has ever been on the show and all of the trainers. It is a complete package that has given me the inspiration and impetus to change my life, and I am incredibly thankful for that. I know that people think the show is cheesy, melodramatic, and overly commercial, and all of those things may be true. But it is still a tool that I have been able to utilize to assist me in the most incredible life change I have ever attempted, and I am thankful for it.
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