Remember the old days when I was hysterical about keeping this blog anonymous? After a very public outing to friends, family and colleagues via the Scottish papers I thought, "Righto, that's it. Finally everyone knows." But there was one frontier that I'd forgotten, and that's Folks Back Home. Home, as in the wee town where I grew up.
When I left for university in 1996 I was already a considerably lardy lass, about 100 kilos (220lb). I managed to gain a spectacular 59.2 kilos (130lb) over the next five years and was so bogged down with shame and loathing that I basically became a hometown hermit. Whenever I went back I'd hide out at Mum's house, not telling anyone that I was around. We'd go out shopping but I'd insist on waiting in the car, not wanting anyone to see me waddling down the aisles. I lied my way out of many parties and reunions. It wasn't until I was back down to about 120 kilos that I started venturing out again. I remember feeling rather smug and evil, "MWAHAHA. Nobody will ever know how big I got!"
But now people have found the site and the truth is in here. It's nae bother now, though. I yam what I yam, I was what I was. It's all me, no matter what size the undies are. So welcome aboard, old chums 🙂
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Speaking of friends, I finally met my dear mate Argyro in Athens this week. The Greek Goddess first wrote to me many years ago when she found this blog and I was instantly charmed by her passionate prose, endearing English and general lust for life. Her blog is private these days but she's an inspiring dame for many reasons, one of which being she's lost over 50 kilos.
Argy was one of the first people I ever "met" who'd lost a shitload of weight so I was overjoyed to find someone who understood all the crazy things you go through. I have a tendency to get intense and obsessive but like to smother those feelings with lame jokes. Argy always cut right past the jokes and made me get to the honest guts of the matter. She's a good egg, I tells ya.
I've not met many fatbloggers in person yet but from my limited experience I can already see one pattern. People are always smaller than you'd imagined. It must be the way we describe ourselves in our writing, full of sprawling adjectives. We speak of mammoth chests, loaf-like arms and bulbous butts that knock over children and trash cans when we walk down the street.
It happened when I met Lainey last year. She stood up from her chair to greet me looking bloody gorgeous and I remember thinking, "Where's the rest of her!?" Likewise in wee small hours of Friday morning when I stumbled off the plane, there was Argy holding a rose and looking SO bloody tiny. I don't know if we describe our bodies in such terms because this is the way we perceive them, or maybe we're trying to lower expectations? Hehe.
I know Argy mou has a lot of fans out there so I'm happy to report that she is even more brilliant in person. After about 27 seconds lounging in her stylish abode, it felt like I'd known her for a hundred years. Do not hesitate to meet her, and I'm especially lookin' at you Cat 😛
So we had a lovely five days in roasting hot Athens. Argy is an extremely kind and generous hostess. After all these years of tantalising descriptions, I finally got to sample her culinary skillz for myself. Oooh yeah. Stuffed peppers with bulgur wheat and loadsa herbs, pasta with lobster sauce, pungent homemade pesto I'd sell my grandmother for. We made Greek salads sprinkled with the famous herbs growing in pots on her verandah and ate cherry tomatoes still hot from the vines. I ransacked her gigantic jar of homemade pickled veggies and we sampled her homemade peach liqueur, warm and potent from baking on the windowsill. Everything tasted so pure and clean and fresh and made you glad to be alive.
It wasn't all about the food, of course! I met her family and friends and swam and pottered around Athens. We went shopping. We went to the farmer's market. Hang on, that's more food, isn't it?
I also thought I would wilt away while visiting the Acropolis. It was 41'C (106'F) in city on Tuesday, and lord knows how many degrees hotter it was up there on the hill with the sun bouncing off all the bright white columns of the Parthenon. DUDES. I was frying, despite giant hat and 27 layers of sunscreen!
(NB – I was at the Acropolis by myself so a nice American tourist took my photie. She put me in the corner! I promise I wasn't doing the old Fat Girl Hiding trick 🙂
But my most favourite part of the trip was when we were lazing around at 4AM, talking about everything under the sun. Inevitably the subject of lard-busting would come up from time to time, and it was heartening to see we've both reached a peaceful place with food now. A year ago I'd have been sick with worry, going to Greece for five days with all that amazing tucker to tempt me. But these days I'm more calm and rational and in tune with the ol' body. And although my jeans felt a bit snug on my return, I got back on track right away. I can finally enjoy food passionately but moderately; there is no more Crime and Punishment mentality.
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I've been back in Scotland for three days but my head is still reeling from all the sights and senses and emotions. There's so much more I want to say, and no doubt will end up writing on WNP, as that's where I keep all the travel stuff. But what I do know is that the more I venture out into this world, the more I learn. I see things in different ways and feel my mind opening up, exploring and discovering again what's important.
PEOPLE! That's what's bloody important. Not wobbly bellies or doughy arms. I was so scared of people for a long time, hiding away in my house with the blinds drawn; thinking I shouldn't disturb anyone with my lardy presence. But now I'm determined to make up for those lost hermit years. Life just gets so much more interesting when you reach out and connect with the humans. I'm determined to make a better effort. There are some bloody brilliant people out there. One day we all shall have that Fatblogger's Convention.
Right now I've got a huge stack of emails with a Reply To label stuck on 'em so I'm going to get cracking. Bon weekend, comrades!