Here Comes The Sun

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 🙂

. . .

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.

Huge

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.

Argy

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.

Saald

Peaches

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!

Parthenon

(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.

. . .

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.

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!

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33 thoughts on “Here Comes The Sun

  1. I do not believe you said nothing about Feta!!!!

    Poor poor neglected feta 😉

    And even more…poor poor neglected neighbour!!!! hehehehe

    It has been a pure joy Shauna mou. I had not felt so peacefuly calm and myself next to someone for ages! And yes…those 4AM nights/mornings were indeed the highlight!

    Them and the profiterol 😉

  2. Sounds like a wonderful trip, and that jar of peaches is beautiful! How do you make “peach liqueur”?

    I just started reading “Sophies World” and it was crazy that I had just read all about Athens and then you come along just hours later and share photos:)

  3. Ok, so I have to tell you the funniest thing that happened to me in my Greece travels…and I hope this isn’t a “you had to be there” moment. More funny than impersonating various animals to people selling food to try and figure out if said animal was in food (I was a lamb on a ferry to Corfu, bleating while pointing to vine leaves), more funny than the pink panther lamp in some old Greek mumma’s room I rented, more funny than…OK. I’ll stop.

    Now what was I going to tell you again?

    OH! Ok, so I’m in Corfu. I don’t really want to be there, but the girl I’m travelling with really wants to go to party like it’s 1999. It’s the middle of the night, and I am trying desperately to get to sleep. Backpackers are screaming, singing, squealing like banshies. I look at the window at one point to see staff trying to break up two young Americans having sex…in the middle of a road. I am not joking. They were humping like dogs.

    I finally doze off, and am awoken by a pant pant pant…I open one eye. The door to my room is ajar. I am scared. I look across the room – and holy f*ck, what is THAT? A large white DOG is sitting on my mat.

    I thought I was dreaming. I had never seen this dog before. I thought ‘the only surefire way to ensure I’m not dreaming is to talk to it, see if it moves.’ The dog appeared to be smiling at me. I said “Herro boy whose a good dawgggggg” and he wagged his tail thumpthumpthump.

    Right, I am not dreaming, I thought. I jumped up, and attempted to get this flea ridden hound out of my room. He. Was. Not. Going. Anywhere. That cheeky hound bared his teeth at me!

    I gave up, locked the door, and he ended up sleeping on the floor all night. In the morning I let him out and off he trotted with a wag of his tail.

  4. Sounds like you have a ball!

    I reckon a lot of the fat blogger thing is because that’s what we’re writing about – so you focus on the fat and the kilos you still have to lose and all the problem areas.

  5. Aahhh so she regaled you with tales of my cowardice eh? 🙂 can you see my face turning red and hear the nervous laughter? see like you once were, im not yet over my people fear even though some of you’ve become closer than my nearest and dearest thanks to this fandangled internet thing 🙂 I may be ‘only’ 17kg down but the blinds are still drawn. Time is aaalll i need. PS super green envy occurring over here cause, yes, there’s fear but still!! you went!! and hugged and talked and had all time fantastico 🙂 you rock Shauna, fun times! So, when’s the next trip? 😉

  6. Glad you had a good trip and I know what you mean about your ‘hermit years’ – it is so easy to hide away. Not anymore.

    Can’t wait for the convention.. Must dash, must go a pack a bag!Lol!

  7. Kathryn – Yes! You are right, methinks. It always amazes me how many adjectives there are to describe my flabby bits 🙂

    Ahh Cranky, that’s a classic tale!

    Sandra – Thanks! I am a dab hand with the Photoshop brushes 😛

    Cat – I know comrade, I completely understand 🙂 I think we should all meet up in Holland next year, I’m busting for some more frites with mayo!

    (And KLM quite often has cheap airfares to A’dam, hehe)

    Loretta – Argy simply stuck a bunch of peaches into the jar, added a wee bit of sugar, then filled with water (is that it, Argy? I’m pretty sure) then she just stuck it outside on the kitchen windowsill and let the blazing sun work its magic. It had been poaching away since May and tasted bloody fantastic!

  8. Howdy DG!
    Sounds like you had a great trip in scorching hot Greece. I can really feel, by your words, that you’re truly relaxed and happy… Anyways, when are you coming to Luxembourg??? :)) cheers xx

  9. Oh I love that last cartoon. I remember reading Argy’s blog around the same time I came across yours – and then it stopped. (Well obviously it went private). So glad she’s doing well.

    I know I don’t comment very often so therefore feel I know you way more than you feel you know me (does that make any sense at all) but if ever you have any time spare when you’re visiting London I’ll love to show you round my little corner of it (some absolutely scrumptious Turkish restaurants…..!!)

  10. Beautiful stuff, especially the sheer joy and the leaving behind of “crime and punishment” and… the love of humans. I’ve just had dear relatives visit, which was a great reminder of that fundamental truth. Keep it up, DG. Hope to meet you someday, too. I keep thinking of that darned croup my boy had, which kept me at the hospital instead of heading toward Edinburgh. 🙁

  11. I’m glad to hear we fatbloggers are thinner in person. I’ve been wondering if anyone I meet at BlogHer will secretly think, “I thought she’d be thinner!” Not that it matters what other people think, but I guess it sort of does or else I wouldn’t be thinking about it 🙂

    Also, I know want to go to Greece and eat the country.

  12. I’m so glad you met Argy! She is one of my favorite bloggers and I’d love to visit her in Athens – or anywhere else, for that matter.

  13. Wow!!!! Greece is the top of list of places I want to go. Your trip just sounds absolutely wonderful. And I would have been in heaven with that kind of food…I try and do stuff like that myself. The pictures look great.

  14. Wow!!!! Greece is the top of list of places I want to go. Your trip just sounds absolutely wonderful. And I would have been in heaven with that kind of food…I try and do stuff like that myself. The pictures look great.

  15. Hey there! You are looking fantastic. Even though I went offline with my blog for a bit, I still made sure to keep up with yours. Still one of thee most motivational bloggers I have ever read.

    Just wanted to hijack your comments for a sec to tell you that I opened my blog with a new update and an invite to boot! I will be closing it again in a few days, but wanted to let you (and anyone who used to read me or wants to join in on my inane musings)know to check in. I lost all my fellow weightloss buddies email addies when I deleted my old email address.

    Thanks! Fig aka santanacody

  16. Glad to hear you had a great time in Greece Shauna. I cant believe it was 41 degrees? gee whizz… reminds of XMAS time in Australia… it can get that hot too… but you would know that already. I would love to meet you someday… as I am sure everyone who reads your blog would. So sign me up for the convention! It is so true what you said about connecting with people… it changes your life so much, instead of locking yourself indoors… I have been there and done that and will never do it again… life is too enjoyable to hide away 🙂 HUGS Amanda.

  17. how cool is it that your mates found ya and now you are so blaze with the whole them finding you scenario! DG – you lost weight and grew balls! Well done old lass. And can you please give Argy a big kick up the arse and tell her that Airlie is still waiting for her to let me into her journal!

  18. I am still finding it hard to believe you had such little faith in yourself, even with your lardy bits. I am so sorry I missed you when you came ‘home’ to the ‘ wee little town’. You always brightened my day!. Now at least I can recapture some of that.

  19. Mmmm. Feta. *tummy growls*

    I’m glad you two had a great week, how beautiful spending time in Greece! Am so jealous. (In a good way!)

    And I’m up for a FatBloggers convention, haha. When I get closer to goal, anyway. 😉

  20. Maybe we can do a mini fatblogger meeting at BlogHer, all go out together or something. Hope that we cross paths, anyway.

  21. Sounds like a great trip – what is it about losing weight that makes us appreicate people more? I suppose not being scared of taking our bodies outside is part of it. But I too emphasize the people in my life much more than I used to..and I’m happy to read about all the cool people you have met thru your blog. Congrats!

  22. GOD!!! I soooooo needed to read something just like this, just right now! =) I do read you a lot, but mostly lurk. Today, though, I just had to THANK YOU for your gorgeous exuberance and, as my old friend Iggy says, your unabashed “lust for life.” I’m already feeling it rub off a bit! And, of course, ditto on what everyone else has said about the food, the country, travel, and friendship . . . Brava! ;~)

  23. Gosh, isn’t it amazing what we used to put ourselves through! I sometimes forget and when I think about it, do you ever find that you can’t believe you’re the same person? How far have we come 🙂

    Love love LOVE that you met Argy. You two are amongst my favourite bloggers! Her culinary skills sound so devine also, you lucky thing. The heat sounds intense but right now I am crying for some warmth.

    PEOPLE! You said it sista. Connecting with others is what makes it all go ’round. Cheers to ditching the hermit habit!!

    x

  24. Sounds like a beautiful trip – so much so, that you gave me that bloody travel itch all over again!:-)

    I absolutely adore travelling. And you’ve taken on such a wonderful philosophy – life happens, and lard-busting takes place along the way. Not the other way around!

  25. Hi Shauna,

    Thanks for your comment on my blog- I didn’t even know you read my blog!

    I love the pic sooo much! It really reflects how I feel right now in my life.

    I would love to have an international fatblogger’s convention! What an exciting idea!

    Ash
    xox

  26. As always, Shauna, you’ve hit the nail on the head and made me wonder if we possibly share the same brain. It is about people. It’s about life, and experiences, and living it. Your comment about hiding yourself away so as not to disturb people with your ‘lardy presence’… oh, I felt that. Have felt myself slipping into that again lately, despite the fact that I shed the lard a couple of years back. I guess it may take another couple of years until I shed the mental fat, and when I’m having a bad day and fear I will never be rid of it, your blog gives me hope!

    Lovely and inspiring, as always.

    X
    Steph R

  27. I love the picture of the two of you…I’d frame it up and put it somewhere so that you can look at it when it’s cold there in Scotland. 🙂

  28. Oh! You went to Athens, you met Argy, you had lovely food. Yeah!

    I was in Athens only last week – bloody hot it was. And not diet friendly. Anyway, I’m back, thanks for your comment. xx

  29. So glad you had a wonderful time, and the pictures are phenomenal.

    Argyro, is there somewhere we can read your archives? I’d love to delve into writing that came with such a high endorsement.

  30. How come whenever I check back in after a while you’re always saying exactly what I need to hear RIGHT NOW?

    Thank you, for being you.