Hi!  My name is Rachel.  I’m an Italian/American/Australian immigrant living in Scotland, where I am constantly cold (and frequently complain about it).  I moved around a lot as a kid, and I’ve lived in a few countries around the world (Indonesia, Venezuela, England, the USA), but have been in the UK since I was a teenager.  I like a lot of things about the UK (free health care, self deprecating humour, castles, not having to tip), but don’t know where I’ll end up in life.

I was always pretty sporty when I was at school, and always pretty skinny.  Here I am at a swimming tournament in Indonesia:

And here I am with my enormous little brother (this photo is adorable, by the way.  I especially love the home-cut fringe I’m rockin’):

When I moved here during high school I decided to stay for University.  At home, my mother was a food Nazi (no fizzy drinks, no junk food, healthy healthy blah blah blah) so as soon as I lived without parental control I hit the high-calorie fun food.  In a big way.  From being a varsity volleyball/basketball/soccer player, I went careening into obesity thanks to overindulgence.  Please see Exhibit A:

Obviously I’m the rhino on the left, not the dapper chap on the right.  And let me tell you, that corset did wonders…

I went through my chub-phase always telling myself I could lose the weight if I wanted to, all I’d have to do is try.  It made me believe I could stop being ‘heavy’ just as soon as I put some effort into it.  No problem.  In my mind, I was as fit as I was at school, just carrying some extra weight.

The turning point came when I went on holiday to Australia to visit my grandparents in 2004.  The plane journey was horrible.  It was like trying to stuff a handful of play-doh into a thimble.  I went through the holiday feeling overheated and uncomfortable, and I hated every photograph of me.  But the real stiletto  in the balls?  Having my own grandmother walk past me making brownies in the kitchen, slap my butt, and ask, “How long do they take?”  I told her they’d take 25 minutes, and she replied, “You’d be better off spending 25 minutes on the exercise bike in the garage.”  Cold, grandma.

As soon as I got home I signed up to the gym.  And kept going.  I lost about 80 lbs. over the course of a year, and a lot of that was due to running.  I learned to love it: it helps keep me feeling good about myself, it allows me to feel in control, and you don’t feel so guilty eating a curry and washing it down with beer if you’ve had a good sweat earlier in the day.  I was back on form.  Obligatory ‘Exhibit B’ image:

Now, apart from not living in a dive studio flat in Camden, I continue to photograph poorly, but sadly, don’t really run very much, thanks to a lingering knee injury picked up in September 2014.  Instead, I’ve gone back to swimming (open water swimming in Scotland may yet be the death of me), and I’ve fallen in love with my road bike.



34 thoughts on “About

  1. So my question is – what did your grandma say about you when you visited THIS time 😉 Proud of you girl! And grateful to have a running friend to swap stories with. Keep up the hard work!

  2. So THIS is what an “About Me” page needs to look like! COOL!

    Seriously, thanks for your comment, and thanks for this. I need to get to work on mine. 🙂

    • I don’t think there are any rules about how to set up an “About Me” section, so I wouldn’t worry! Strictly speaking, you don’t even need one. Mine is as lush as the Garden of Eden for one reason alone: I’m a narcissist!

    • Well, it’s not like you could call it ‘hill running’, that’s a completely separate activity! How about ‘munro bagging’ or ‘blister forming’ or ‘going for a delightful stroll in the Scottish highlands while cold and wind eat your face’? I would suggest all 3 more accurately describe ‘hill walking’! 🙂

  3. WOW! Are you really the same person in “Exhibit A” and “Exhibit B”? Holy cannoli, Batman! If that’s not inspiring…!

    I’m getting back into running…again…for the upteenth time. I’d like to actually stick to it this time. Doing that Couch to 5k training program now. I’ve been on Week 2 for 2 weeks now, but hopefully not 3. lol I just want to move to the following week knowing I killed it the previous, ya know?

    ok, sorry for yapping!

    • Yeah, best to be on top of your training before trying to do more.

      And yep, same person in all the pictures, just +/- 80 lbs. In my head I was still the volleyballing, basketballing, soccer playing healthy teenager I started out as. So deluded! 🙂

  4. Hello!
    I’ve nominated you for “The Versatile Blogger” award! http://neversaynever0304.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/thank-you/
    Here are the rules for receiving the award: (1) thank the blogger who nominated you (2) include the links to their blogs, (3) include the award image in your post, (4) copy the award image to your site, (5) give seven random facts about yourself, (6) nominate 15 other bloggers for the award, (7) when nominating other bloggers include the links to their sites, and (7) let those bloggers know they’ve been nominated.

  5. Well that’s pretty impressive. Many congrats for losing 80lbs, thats some going in a year.
    Like you I did the Santa Run in December last year and the English Tough Mudder in May. The beer at the end took away some of the pain…!

    Good luck with the schedule. I’ll be watching with interest!


    • Ha ha, don’t feel like you’re failed your detective 101 course yet – my own mother didn’t recognize me when I picked her up at the airport having not seen me for a year. You feel pretty foolish trying to deliver a hug in public when the recipient walks right by.

      That corset was inspirational as well, though. I sold it on eBay to a crossdresser when I shrank too much.

  6. In touch with the ground
    I’m on the hunt I’m after you
    Smell like I sound I’m lost in a crowd.
    And I’m hungry like the wolf.
    Straddle the line in discord and rhyme
    I’m on the hunt I’m after you.
    Mouth is alive with juices like wine
    And I’m hungry like the wolf. 😉

  7. The dry, self-deprecating humor (no “u”) of your adopted people has clearly worn off on you. Well done!
    I hate to run. And yet I find myself entering race after race. One day I hope to enjoy it but, for now the sheer generosity and friendliness of the running community is my reward and comfort.
    Keep up the fantastic work!

    • Hey – I was a BIS girl myself, and I was there a bit earlier (about ’89-’93). I hear it was a bit tumultuous not long after I left! Did you ever visit Sambolo? And if so, did you ever see the 3-storey bungalow? I remember getting to stay there once and felt like a king!

  8. I just stumbled across your blog and really enjoyed reading through your commentaries and your about me section. I recently became a magpie for the “success-nuggets” and find comfort that I’m not the only one with a weird hobby of dragging myself round horrid routes in bad weather for a bit of metal. Keep up the fundraising and keep on running!

    • Hey, thanks for reading! You are far from alone, I promise you, but it’s always good if the route isn’t horrid and the weather behaves. 🙂 What’ve you got lined up for the rest of the year?

  9. Hey Rachel – just found your blog. You are very inspirational – Thanks. Looking forward to reading about your future runs. Whats next? Jon.

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