Evidence

You asked for Chicago photies and I shall obey you!

Exhibit A: Token Food P0rn

Food

American Snacks were provided yesterday afternoon so I got to experience Chicago Dogs and these giant pretzel things, served with mustard and a delicious pile of yellow goo!

Exhibit B: Brush With Fame

Buff

Jen and I went to a lunch with Jillian Michaels, trainer extraordinaire from The Biggest Loser show – just a dozen or so chicks sitting round chatting to this superbuff dame. She was only obliged to be there for an hour but instead it almost hit two because she just wouldn’t shut up, in the most wonderfully open, honest way. Sweeeet.

Exhibit C: Windswept Vixens

Vixens

Back: Jen of AFG and YAWWBlog, Queen Jennette. Front: Corinna of Celebration of Curves, that Dietgirl weirdo, Wendy! Five chicks who happen to write about their bodies sometimes. But a helluva lot of other stuff too.

Late last night I also got to hang out with Weetabix but I was too intoxicated to remember to take a photo! But you will just have to take my word for it that she is hilarious, foxy and a most generous hostess to boot.

Over the past year or I’ve felt a little lost. First I went through a phase of being rather obsessed with reaching my magical goal weight, then lately I’ve moved on from that obsession and lumped with a sinking What The Fuck Do I Do Now feeling. Because I’ve spent 6.5 years pouring so much energy into Operation Lard Bust. I’ve wondered and worried as to what I’m all about; what there is to me aside from being The Chick That Lost Heaps Of Weight.

But meeting all these foxy vixens this weekend has truly kicked me up the butt. I met them because of what they’ve written about their body Issues, but now I’ve found out more about what they do and what they think about when they’re not talking about their butts. So it’s a timely reminder that there is so much more; that I have done so much more with my life than this. And I can do so much more. We all can. You can look after your body and get healthy and sweaty but it’s just one cog in the wheel. Rock n roll.

Hail To The Queen

Very quickly and shoddily written first impressions from Chicago!

Chicago – rockin’

Jetlag – turns me into a babbling moron πŸ™‚

Deep Dish Pizza, slice of, eaten at midnight – will take approximately seven weeks to digest

Meg – hilarious, wonderful, even-better-in-person got me smashed on a margarita!

Jen – warm, funny, oozes intelligence and a great gal for a good chinwag πŸ™‚

PastaQueen – tall, slinky, gorgeous complexion, witty… she’s not The Queen for nufin, people!

Pamela – We meet at last! She is a lovely, lovely woman and I can’t wait to chat to her more. I also met her wee son and her Scottish husband and I almost burst into tears o’ joy at hearing his accent. Mmm, Scottish accent.

Kate – Another chick who just radiates so much intelligence that it makes you swoon. I was glad to chat to her for a few wee minutes πŸ™‚

Weetabix and Sarah – I managed not to squeal like a fangirl and even tho I only got to talk to them briefly they were incredibly charming. I hope to stalk them further today!

Wendy – Oh man. Mah hero! She did a great job on the Bodies panel yesterday. I hope I get to chat to her again, and I hope I don’t make a dick of myself. I stood up in the panel yesterday and sprouted some incoherent babble and did you know what I thought? "Aww man. I can’t believe I sound so stupid in front of WENDY."

Hehe.

Sorry this entry is devoid of all style, wit, substance, editing, etc etc but it’s breakfast time and I don’t see the point of being at a blogging conference and spending your whole time behind a computer. That’s what you do back home in your jammies! Now is the time for pressing the flesh. And eating the free bagels.

A quick word about the Bodies panel yesterday – I felt quite gutted by some things I heard; the thoughts we have about ourselves. I just wanted to crash tackle some people to the floor with a bear hug. Because I used to feel like that and I remember it all too well. And though I will never be a You Go Girlfriend Love Your Body type of person, I have to say how amazing it feels just to enjoying occupying my skin, every lump and bump. I just want to eat up the world with a spoon, the same way I used to do with the Nutella. I wanted to tell people that it is possible to get a different place, even though it’s a very loooong and wacky road to get there.

I Shall Call Him Bitey

I’d really been looking forward to meeting friends and heroes at BlogHer this week, feeling excited rather than nervous or insecure or enormous. But then I went camping on Friday night and got attacked by small biting insects called midges, and now my ankles are insanely itchy, swollen and covered in giant red freakish sores THAT I AM TRYING SO HARD NOT TO SCRATCH darnit. So I’m feeling a wee bit Freaky McFreakerson now.

Many people have said they were bedazzled by the pristine beauty of the landscape featured in my hillwalking entries, and I agree that we are fortunate to live in such a bonny part of the globe. But as much as I like to do my bit for tourism I feel it’s important to paint a full picture of the great Scottish outdoors for any would-be visitors. For every one beautiful sunny day there’s at least ten rainy ones, or a few where your body is ravaged by evil bitey things. You have been warned πŸ˜‰

Witness the Fitness

Well I fought The Law again on Sunday and this time I won. We had blue skies and a gentle breeze so there was no excuse not keep huffing to the top. And then on to the higher but gentle Ben Cleuch, then down a couple more hills to complete the wee circuit.

As I said before, The Law isn't high but it's rather steep. I tried to make a video as we came back down but of course it doesn't look particularly daunting on film. ARRGH!

You just can faintly make out the path in the bracken, on top of the green, slug shaped hill. Then admire my cinematography skillz as I oh-so-steadily and expertly pan to the top. Please forgive the demented singing!

Continue reading

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 πŸ™‚

. . .

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 πŸ˜›

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 πŸ™‚

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!

Comeback Kid

Dudes! I'm afraid of being hit over the head with a bag of frozen peas if I admit this to you, but there's been some positive developments in the dreaded Hurty Knee Saga.

It's been two years since the initial injury and a year since I reluctantly gave up all forms of cardio except very low impact, in-a-straight-line stuff in the hope of calming the knee down and strengthening the surrounding muscles. So finally on Monday I felt ready to try an RPM class again (the Les Mills answer to Spinning).

It was bloody brilliant. The music was rockin', the pace was relentless and the sweat was drippin'. And finally I could do the Standing Up In The Saddle bits without my knee screaming. I'd forgot how uncomfortable that seat is though, even with padded shorts on. It felt like I'd been hit in the groin with a mallet.

Anyway, that was Monday morning. Monday night we went for a two hour walk along the sea and today was a two hour walk up a hill, and (so far… fingers crossed… chucking salt over my shoulder…) my knee still feels good!

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Woohooooooooo! Let us all rejoice, for now you shall be spared from my incessant bitching!

Now I must find a way to persuade Gareth that it would be a real tops idea for us to invest in a spin bike, just like the lovely Mistress Kek has just done. Out of bed and straight onto the bike in her PJs, how's that for an exercise commute?

. . .

In other news, I bought some new undies today. Nothing saucy, mind; just practical everyday boring ones in a multi-pack. They're a size 12. Holy crap!

. . .

Now let's talk about the weather. The sultry Scottish summer drags on! Today we were dog-sitting these two wee stumpy barrels, Tibby and Toby and took them for the aforementioned long walk in the hills. We'd only been out for ten minutes when it completely chucked it down. It was that special kind of rain, so heavy that your trousers are instantly glued to your thighs and you can't see a thing because your eyeballs are being gouged by the horizontal raindrops.

But by the time we got to the top we had dried out. You can see the dogs were still so cranky about it they refused to look at the camera.

the top of dumyat.

Five minutes into the descent it kicked up again, even heavier than before. Everything turned slippery and sludgy and just bloody marvelous. The dogs waded around with mud covering their stubby little knees, turning around every now and then to give me the stink eye.

In the spirit of that recent entry about capturing the moment, here's photographic evidence of us poor creatures (click to see bigger version). It's the precise moment I stopped feeling cheery about the new undies and instead kind of disgusted because they were glued to my skin. Is there anything more revolting than the feeling of cold, heavy, sopping clothes clinging to your body?

But at least the rain stopped and the rainbows came out. AHH SCOTLAND. You gotta love it.

wet wet wet. not just a shithouse band.