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.
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:
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.