THE POUNDIES

January 23rd, 2006

Hello, and welcome to the first annual Poundies Award Ceremony. I know what a lot of you are wondering…what are the Poundies? Let me explain:

The Poundies are special awards given out to the various factors that contributed to the twelve pounds I, Meg Cabot, have gained in the twelve months since the last time I went to my doctor's office and got weighed.

Yes! Twelve pounds in twelve months!

I know, I know…it's wrong to brag. But the truth is, I couldn't have done it without a lot of help. And that's why we're here today—to give long overdue thanks to everything that helped me achieve this awesome accomplishment.

Now, if you are under the age of twenty-one, and so are still growing, gaining twelve pounds (or more) in one year is no big deal. In fact, it is normal.

But if you are in your mid-to-late thirties, gaining twelve pounds in one year—if you don't NEED to gain weight, like Courtney Cox—is really something. Because generally, by the time you hit your mid-to-late thirties, you should pretty much be the size you're going to be, and shouldn't need to buy a whole new wardrobe every year because you've gotten too big to fit into your old clothes.

It turns out my theory–that all my pants were shrinking—was incorrect! Who knew???

While I would like to take ALL the credit for my incredible feat, the thing is, a lot of factors contributed to my 12 extra pounds, and I want to make sure they don't go unappreciated.

So here, without further ado, are the Poundies—one Poundie for every pound I gained this year.

Poundie #1:
The first Poundie goes to US WEEKLY, for telling me that movie stars like Sarah Michele Gellar enjoy gnoshing on single-serving bags of microwave popcorn, a “light and healthy snack.”

The thing is, the serving size in those bags of popcorn is too little to satisfy a normal-sized woman's appetite.

So I've found that having two bags in one sitting is really preferable.

But wait, there's more:

Poundie #2:
The next Poundie goes to BUTTER. Because what's the point of eating popcorn—or anything, really–if it isn't smothered in butter?

Which brings us to Poundie #3, which goes to Michael Chiarello of the television cooking show NAPASTYLE. Because Michael recommends grating fresh parmesan cheese over buttered popcorn.

The problem is, to make the parmesan stick to microwave popcorn, you have to use EVEN MORE BUTTER.

And to actually get enough cheesy goodness to satisfy your craving, you need to use about a half cup of parmesan per bag.

US WEEKLY, butter, and Michael—thanks. I couldn't have done it without you.

(Please hold your applause until all the Poundies have been given out.)

Poundie #4 goes to…The bread basket at A&B Lobster House here in Key West! Yes, bread basket, you did your part, by providing me with all that delicious hot French bread, with it's thick, crunchy crust and squishy warm insides.

And let's not forget that A&B presses their butter into the shapes of the letters A and B, making it irresistible to those of us who are fond of butter in any form, but ESPECIALLY when it has been molded into little shapes.

Bread basket at A&B Lobster House, I really couldn't have done it without you.

But wait! We have more Poundies to give out!

Poundie #5 goes to…BACON! Yes! Bacon has been a good and loyal friend this year, appearing nearly every morning on my plate. Particularly the applewood smoked bacon from Faustos. Congratulations, Bacon!

Poundie #6 goes to Russell Stover Low Carb Toffee Squares. It turns out low carb doesn't mean low cal, and that you can't sit there and just eat one after the other of them and not gain weight. Who knew? Thank you, Russell Stover (I know you probably get tired of hearing that, but really, it can't be said enough)!

This naturally leads us to Poundie #7 for the sugar free chocolate chip cookies that I've been eating for dessert after every meal, thinking they are calorie-less, too. Oh, how I'll miss those tiny, rockhard pellets of malitol. Who knew they were contributing to my arm cellulite? Thank you, sugar free chocolate chip cookies. You really outdid yourselves.

Poundie #8—and there was a little competition for eighth place, but our winner truly trounced all others—goes to Hurricane Wilma, for wiping out the bike path so I couldn't exercise, even if I'd wanted to.

Which of course I didn't, or I'd have found a way. I mean, it's not like I don't have a pool I could swim in, or—wait for it—sidewalks I could walk on!

(Hurricane Wilma also gets points for wiping out my doctor's office—but unfortunately not the shelf with the files labeled C, as in Cabot, so that my doctor still had the results of last year's physical examination and could point out my weight gain to me. Thanks a lot, Wilma!)

Poundie #9 goes to Captain Bob Elkins's home-made, fresh-baked zucchini bread, which he makes every time he has an open house at my old house, which is still for sale. Zucchini bread, with your slightly caramelized crust—you're the best. I realize I could just have one slice of you, and not the whole loaf…but who could resist your sweet goodness? Not me!

And how could I forget Bob's mouth-wateringly sweet/salty home-made peanut brittle, which he served during the holidays, and which I ate an entire tinful of–then asked for the batch Bob burned and didn't want to serve.

But it didn't matter, I ate it anyway—it was THAT good!

(Audience, please hold your applause, or we'll be here all night.)

Poundie #10 goes to…mimosas! Yes, this light and refreshing beverage has been a stalwart companion. In fact, after what few bike rides I did go on last year, I liked to stop at Louie's Backyard for a glass or seven of this. Apparently mimosas are not what they mean when they say to hydrate after exercise. Who knew?

Poundie #11 goes to a little something I like to call wine. Wine is actually good for you if you stick to having just one glass a day. It's when you have a little more than one glass a day—say, a cocktail before dinner, wine during it, and an aperitif afterwards–that wine becomes less healthful, according to my doctor.

Oops! Don't worry, wine, that'll be our little secret!

The twelfth and final Poundie goes to ME! MEG CABOT!

Because let's face it, people, without me, none of the other recipients of this year's Poundies would have stood a chance. Not to sound conceited, but I am the one who did not consume any of the above foods in moderation, like you're supposed to, and who completely stopped exercising! None of us would be here today if it weren't for me, the girl who made all these other Poundies possible….

(APPLAUSE. STANDING OVATION.)

Thank you. Thank you. People, please, sit down!

Well, this concludes this year's Poundies. I'm so glad you were able to join us. While hopefully we won't ever have to give out any Poundies again–because this year, I will make healthier food choices and exercise at least a half an hour a day–you never know!

And next year–if we're lucky–we might even be able to get Jon Stewart to host!

Thanks, again…Go home, people! And good night.

More later.

Much love,

Meg