Touched By An Angel

 

Today, I would like to honour a dear friend, Michelle Riccio, who passed away on Thursday, December 8, 2016, from a long and courageously fought battle with breast cancer. Michelle, in her short life of 36 years, taught me about living life fully, and making a positive difference in the lives of others.

I honour Michelle’s past, with a link to her blog site, Tit Happens. You’ll remember that she joined me in 12 in 12 during May when I followed the Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet. We made delicious Granola Bars and Clusters, Guacamole, Cashew Sour Cream and fresh Almond Milk together, with her little one, Taylor. In addition, I’ve included her recent appearance on Cityline, in Toronto (link 1; link 2; link 3; link 4) and a feature in Today’s Parent Magazine.

I honour Michelle’s present, as I share the tribute card from her Celebration of Life service I attended today with several hundred people who were blessed to know and love her.

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I honour Michelle’s future, with links to causes near and dear to her heart. Please consider giving a gift on her behalf, or on behalf of a loved one. I’m sure every person would be thrilled to know that they continued to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

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Thank you, my dear friend, for reminding me once again that the most important things in life aren’t things. They are the people and experiences we gather along the way. I am so grateful our paths crossed. I take your strength and courage with me into the coming year, and always.

Love,

Mare

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Life Off The Plate

I’m so proud of the women my daughters have become – they’re bright, compassionate, creative, and funny as heck. However, it’s their sense of wonder and curiosity I admire most. My eldest, a seasoned globetrotter, has made a career out of her passion for travel, and my youngest, a self-proclaimed hermit, got out of her shell and taught in South Korea for two years. I have no idea where they got their adventurous spirit from, given that their father never gets off the couch, and I’m the ‘play-it-safe’ mom who won’t touch risk with a ten foot pole.

I love listening to their travel stories, and live vicariously through their photos and postcards that I proudly hang on my fridge. They represent an accomplishment that allows them to say, “been there, done that”. Exploring this great, big, beautiful world has enriched and transformed their lives in so many ways. Sure, I’ve fantasized about taking off from reality and doing my own version of Eat, Pray, Love, but my responsibilities, pocketbook, and germ-a-phobia get in the way of making it happen. Lucky for me, not all journeys require a boarding pass and vats of hand sanitizer.

Two years ago today, at a whopping 253.8 lbs, I took my My Last Before photo and vowed to scour the ends of the earth (okay, Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Area) to find my right-sized body in the hopes of snapping my first ever after photo.

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I took the scenic route during my first year, testing 12 diets in 12 months. I either consulted the diet gurus in person, or followed their protocols as prescribed in their books.  When the experiment ended, I decided to create my own plan, which I dubbed The Best of The Best. Well, that blew up in my face! In two short months, I regained 20 of the 58 lbs it took me a year to lose! I was at risk of regaining all the weight in half the time it took me to lose it! Talk about epic fail! Or was it?

Wrong turns and detours often take us to places we wouldn’t discover otherwise, and it was at that very junction I found my solution – a 12-step program that not only dealt with my problem with the scale, but the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of food addiction. The program offers an abundant food plan, but it’s the support and structure that continues to transform me from the inside out.  I have no doubt I’ll snap that after photo soon!

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When I started the blog, my hope was to get to 140 lbs…. Well, I’m just a few pounds away from that, so it’s time to tweak that goal to what I now know is attainable for me: 125 lbs.  I am certain that I will not only get there, but maintain it, providing I continue to work the program.  Sooooo, that means the journey continues!!!

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Interestingly, the high point of this journey hasn’t been taking progress photos along the way, but rather what happened in the meantime.

A lot of living and learning has taken place over the past two years. Before embarking on this quest, my primary travel destination was to and from the fridge.  My frequent binge miles only earned me saddlebags and a ton of regret. Somewhere along the way, I stopped living on my plate and discovered a delicious life off it. I now have an insatiable appetite for calorie-free experiences, and as a result, I too can look back and say, “been there, done that!” rather than, “I shoulda, coulda, woulda” which was my mantra before I booked my passage on this wild and crazy ride two years ago.

Best of all, I’ve met wonderful people who have helped me along the way and I’m extremely grateful to those of you who read and support me via the blog – I’m beginning to view my entries as postcards of my journey – I hope you’ve enjoyed receiving them : )

For those of you pondering a similar quest, I encourage you to take action – you don’t have to see your destination to know that it’s there, you just have to take the first step.

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  • Weight –107.4 lbs
  • Chest -10.25 inches
  • Waist -11 inches
  • Hips -18.5 inches
  • Wrist -0.50 inches
  • Forearm -2 inches

A big thank you to Jennifer Wood of JAG True Beauty for taking my ‘Last Before’, my ‘Halfway There’, and ‘Almost There’ photos. Jen, I’m booking you now for my After!

The Results Are In

To find out how much I lost last month, click here.