What I Did With My Summer Vacation

I just had the best summer of my life. Seriously. When I was a kid, I was too busy worrying about, well, pretty much everything to have a truly great summer. (Yes, I was that kind of kid.) Rather than being able to relax and enjoy the moment, I had my gaze fixed firmly on the future -- on a time when things would be better, whatever "better" might mean.  

"Better" finally arrived this summer -- and it wasn't disguised as books on a beach, as I had long suspected it would. My summer was filled to the brim with activity, including tons and tons of work.

It also happened to be awesome.

As you may already know, I am busy researching and writing a book -- and I couldn't put that on hold for the summer. So I simply decided that I was going to make this the best summer of my life by making conscious choices about everything that was within my control, including my working location (I chose to work from my cottage), the food I chose to eat (healthy, whole foods), and the way I treated my body (lots and lots of walks, both on and off my treadmill).  

The result? I felt -- and continue to feel -- amazing.

Treating myself well has become a habit (a habit that took a mere 49 years to cultivate).

And now that I'm in the habit of fuelling my body with good food, giving it the exercise that allows it to feel less anxious during the day and to sleep better at night, I'm not about to stop.

I'm in the process of designing a new fall routine for myself that includes early-morning walks, lunch hour fitness breaks, and a pleasant new working environment. (My office has moved back home.)

Of course, it doesn't hurt that I spent my entire summer immersing myself in research about mental health -- poring through journal articles and other information in order to try to tease out what allows us to thrive (as opposed to merely survive). Officially, the research is for the book I am writing for HarperCollins Canada (for publication next year), but I'm already reaping the benefits of some of what I've learned.

I've always felt really lucky. (Well, at least since I became a grownup and escaped the clutches of the playground bullies.) And now I feel positively blessed, being able to do work that I love (writing and speaking) -- and to see my own health and happiness be so enriched by what I am learning.

A few years back, when I was experiencing my truly horrific depression, I couldn't imagine ever feeling this good again, let alone feeling fantastic -- joyful -- creative -- inspired -- filled with possibility and hope.

Life can be so good. *

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* Writer-buddies: Please forgive the totally over-the-top use of italics and dashes in this post.  

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And now for some stats on the weight loss front:


  • I'm now more than halfway to my goal weight. I've lost 83 lbs since early January (starting weight: 286 lbs; goal weight: 154 lbs), which leaves me with just 49 lbs. left to lose.
  • My BMI has dropped from 46.2 to 32.8. I am within spitting distance of being "overweight" as opposed to "obese."
  • I am now wearing a size 16/18 (XL) -- down from a size 26/28 (3 XL).
  • I've lost 7" from my bust, 8" from my waist, and 12" from my hips. 

What the numbers don't reveal is how fantastic I feel. The only way to measure that is by the smile on my face.  

Thanks for all your love and support, friends. I (truly) couldn't be making these changes without you. <3


Fall 2012: When I was at my heaviest (286 lbs.) A friend's photo, shared on Twitter. Inspired me to want to make changes. (Thanks, MM.)

Fall 2012: When I was at my heaviest (286 lbs.) A friend's photo, shared on Twitter. Inspired me to want to make changes. (Thanks, MM.)

July 2013: When I had lost 68 lbs.

July 2013: When I had lost 68 lbs.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
— Lao Tzu