If any of you follow my This Lunch Rox blog you’ve probably heard me mention someone named Maria quite a bit…if not, here’s a little backstory:
Maria Emmerich is the person responsible for my family’s transition to a healthier lifestyle. You can go back and read about it HERE, but to summarize…I had been working out for a little over a year and was so frustrated that I wasn’t achieving my weight loss goals. A friend of mine from the gym introduced me to Maria one day while we were working out and I learned that Maria had a book called “Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism”. I purchased the book that day and the rest is history. Everything she wrote in her book made perfect sense to me and since then my family and I have taken baby steps toward a healthier lifestyle and the results in how we all feel is nothing short of amazing.
Maria and I talked often at the gym and over the years have become quite good friends. She encouraged me time and time again and helped me achieve not just my weight loss goals, but also helped my family learn healthier eating habits. Words really can’t express all that she has done for me. The fact that I am no longer plagued by sugar cravings, tired for most of the day, forgetful (the list goes on and on)…it truly feels as though Maria has given me the best gift a friend could ever give. With her help I’m so much more awake, alive and energized and my day isn’t consumed (pardon the pun) with thoughts of food than I’ve ever been before. I can safely say that my life has changed for the better because of the hard work and dedication Maria has put into her research about food and how it affects our bodies.
Not long after I purchased Maria’s book I learned that she wrote the book as a way to fund the adoption of two precious boys in Africa. For two years I’ve agonized with her as they were met with one delay after another. They were matched with their sons over one year ago and expected them to be home shortly thereafter, but yet again there were delays. It has been heart-wrenching to know how eager Maria and her husband, Craig, were to get those boys home yet have absolutely no control over it. Imagine the joy we all felt when we received word that they got the go-ahead to head to Africa to retrieve their boys. They kept me updated on their travels back to the states via texts and I breathed a huge sigh of relief when they finally touched ground in the United States.
Maria and Craig were so eager to have photos taken of their family that they invited me into their home just days after they arrived. I didn’t want to interfere at all with their bonding time so I quietly observed and captured moments as they unfolded. It took every ounce of energy not to pick these little guys up and snuggle them to pieces during the session. Luckily, since then I’ve had plenty of opportunities to spend time with them and they have given me the unofficial title of “Auntie Jamie” which absolutely makes me heart sing. The little boys will always hold a very special place in my heart to say the very least.