When I think about all the crazy things I’ve done over the years to look thinner, younger or prettier, it blows me away.
As a 10-year-old, I drank vinegar because I read somewhere that it melts fat. I spent a week eating only vegetables. For six months, I had a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch and a sensible dinner. I once spent five hours doing laps in a pool to work off a bag of chips.
I’ve put lemon juice, eggs, bananas and olive oil in my hair, and some of those things were also spread on my face with the intention of removing wrinkles or – egad! – liver spots.
I’ve invested hundreds of dollars in cellulite-melting lotions, never wondering why, if these products worked as they claimed, that my fingers didn’t become anorexic from spreading the stuff.
I’ve set my inner clock to 4 a.m. so I could apply fresh makeup, then return to bed so I could wake up next to my then boyfriend (now husband) looking “naturally beautiful.”
I’ve picked, plucked, pulled and pried away my body’s undesirable features in all manner of painful ways.
Today, I’ve traded vinegar for water and my health and beauty regimen is sensible, not insane. I exercise regularly. I eat everything – in moderation. And I realize the woman staring back at me in the mirror is aging every day, and that’s what she’s supposed to do – it’s OK.
Maybe it sounds weird but I credit where I live for a lot of my healthier lifestyle choices. I’m in Ladner, B.C. on a floating home in a rural area. Shopping is just five minutes by car (or 20 minutes by minimalist runners) from our house. It’s easy to shop local, thanks to the abundance of farmland, artisans and independent businesses nearby. And we never suffer from nature deficit disorder due to the fact our house sits in a river surrounded by wildlife and open spaces.
Swans swim by our porch, seals pop their heads up outside our living room window and great blue herons rest on our top deck. There’s an eagle nest across the road and a resident goose that visits at least once a week.
Our second vehicles are bicycles and our third vehicles are kayaks. We use both to go to the pub for dinner.
Community events abound, and I volunteer for one of them: the Ladner Pioneer May Days. Yup, they still crown a May Queen in my ‘hood.
Sure, this isn’t the kind of place for everyone. There is no happening night life, unless you consider the Royal Canadian Legion hip. And while the area has some nice high-end stores, you have to venture into another city entirely to visit Tiffany’s, Holt Renfrew or even a Gap. But it’s definitely the kind of place for me.
They say “location, location, location” is the key to successful real estate. I think it’s also key to a positive outlook and overall sense of personal satisfaction.
I can easily say that happiness, optimism and a little fresh air have done far more for my health than vinegar and cellulite cream ever did.