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.

Sample Platter

Marianne Williamson’s, A Course In Weight Loss has me digesting more than healthy food, it has me sampling healthy thoughts and beliefs as well.  Below is a short video – an appetizer, if you will – of a few quotes from the book that whet my appetite and is nourishing my soul.

Bon appétit!

The Missing Ingredient

Like most young girls, I learned to cook at my mother’s side.  She’s a wonderful cook, so you would think that I would be too. Wrong. No matter how much I try, my dishes never turn out the same as hers. Mine taste rushed, but hers taste like comfort. I asked her what I’m doing wrong and she explained that I neglect to add the key ingredient… LOVE.

Really? Love?! And where, pray tell do you find ‘love’ in the grocery store? Is it in the spice aisle between the garlic salt and mustard powder? “How do you add ‘love’ to a dish?” I inquire. “Ah! Much to learn, the young generation has”, she replied, sounding much like Yoda’s Nonna.

As I pondered her comment, I began thinking of all the things I do love…. I love God. I love my daughters. I love my family and friends. I love traveling. I love laughing. I love writing. I love going for walks along the lake. I love my church. I love movies. I love seahorses. I love organizing. I love birds. I love sock monkeys. I love my city. I love disco. I love curling up with a good book on a rainy day. I love volunteering. I love the free samples at Costco. I love playing Yahtzee. I love jumping on my mini-trampoline. I love Curious George. I love to give big momma bear hugs. I simply love to love, so when I learned that compulsive overeating was an act of self-hate, it knocked the wind right out of me. All this time I thought I was comforting myself with food, but instead, I was abusing myself.

Wow! This revelation got me asking myself, do I love me? I meditated on that for a long while and came to the sad realization that I don’t.  The more I thought about it, the more it disturbed me… how can I have sooooooooooo much love to give, and not direct an ounce of it toward myself? Messed up, right?!

Addicts experience levels of self-loathing that cut to the very core of our beings, and we punish ourselves with our substance of choice.  We’ve come to believe the lies we tell ourselves… I’m worthless, I’m stupid, I’m not good enough, there’s something wrong with me, etc.

Where did these beliefs come from? For me, I’ve accumulated them throughout the years, ingesting them in the form of binge-foods, and I now carry the consequences, not only on my hips, thighs, and butt, but in my spirit as well.

In order to free my spirit of the weight it carries, the final plan in my yearlong experiment goes to Marianne Williamson’s, A Course In Weight Loss where she guides students through “21 spiritual lessons for surrendering your weight forever”. How’s that for a claim?  I’ve never been on a diet that addressed my spirit!  And get this, the key ingredient to her method is… LOVE!

This course is not about your relationship with food; it is about your relationships with love. For love is your true healer.

-Marianne Williamson, A Course In Weight Loss

Each plan I’ve tested throughout 12 in 12 requires a lot of pre-work, and this month’s plan was no different.  Sometimes, I must read and study a book or guidelines (The Start Here Diet; Eat Right For Your Blood Type; The Mediterranean Diet); attend meetings (Weight Watchers; 12-Step Program for Food Addicts); invest in equipment (The Biggest Loser), or supplements (The Hormone Diet), or purchase specific foods (The Caveman Diet; Whole-Food, Plant Based Diet); create visualization tools (The Gabriel Method); or keep my eye on the clock (The 8-Hour Diet).  A monumental shift in my spirit has already occurred as a result of my reading A Course In Weight Loss, and I haven’t even begun to do the assignments yet! What’s wonderful about the plan is that Marianne tells you exactly where to find the love and how to incorporate it into your life.

This course is not so much about your relationship to food as it is about your relationship to your Creator. In healing your relationship with Him, you heal your relationship to yourself; and in healing your relationship to yourself, you heal your relationship to everything.

– Marianne Williamson, A Course In Weight Loss

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To learn more about the plan I’ll be following for Month 12, click here.

The Results Are In

To find out how much I lost last month when I tested The Gabriel Method, click here.