I’m 30,000 feet above you right now, flapping my wings on a return flight from Chicago for a blog conference. The Healthy Living Summit was a weekend long event gathering passionate bloggers who write about health, food, and fitness. While I was thrilled on Friday to be headed east to meet the bloggers I’ve been stalking for years, I’ll admit I was slightly nervous that I’d show up at the hotel and be met by that guy from “To Catch a Predator.” The main problem with that scenario being that I never dress my best when traveling. And let’s just say I’d rather not be caught ‘cuffed on camera in what some consider a leisure suit. NBC, please let me change first.
Meeting lots of my online friends was what I imagine online dating to be. We’d built relationships on keyboards and mouse clicks and when the time came for the unveiling, I crossed my fingers that my toothy grin didn’t upset anyone’s apple cart. The beautiful women I met were warm, charismatic, and full of enthusiasm and dedication. I had the best of times. A special thank you to the ladies who put up with my shenanigans and allowed me to superglue myself to their sides: Amy, Megan, Sarah, Caitlin, Megan, Gracie, Heather, Julie, Ali, Rachel, Gabriela, and Laura. You each deserve a cupcake.
I’ve been reading blogs since I lost 135 lbs five years ago. The fascination started with Cristin’s blog, Eat Like Me on Self.com, because I’d gone to school with her brother. From there I popped over to Kath’s, then Jenna’s, then Tina’s, and Caitlin’s. My Google reader multiplied by two each day. I loved the blog world immediately. After losing the weight, I found it incredibly inspiring and encouraging to be a part of a community that celebrated and affirmed wellness. And for such a newb to health, I was able to see that people do indeed manage to live in balance. Of carrots and cake. It helped to learn about normalcy, as foreign a concept as it was, and to find comfort in the shared experience- women navigating the same world.
Fast forward a few years and it seemed outrageous that I wasn’t actually a part of that online world. Always a reader, never a writer. So I started this blog. Because I wanted to share my own walk through life, loss, and love of food. I had a library to fill with my thoughts on eating and emotions and the expectations of thinness. A zillion and one dishes in my recipe box. A kitchen to invite you all into.
The fact that you visit daily and are treated to a plate of my antics and a mug of my musings is just a perk. Bless you for your tolerance. Thank you for reading about my failed sports career, my journey to now, my insecurities, my letters to the editor, and making my mother cry. Remind me to send you a slice of cream cheese pound cake as a thank you for your patronage.
Here are some photos from my stay.
Sarah, Kari, and yours truly
Bratwurst with sauerkraut on a pretzel bun with German potato salad at The Berghoff
Now We’re A Poppin‘ popcorn in cheese and caramel
Classic Chicago dog with all the fixins at the Halsted Street Deli
Cheeseburgers at the Billy Goat Tavern. Remember “Cheezborger! Cheezborger!
No fries, cheeps! No Pepsi, Coke!” from SNL?
Unforgettable deep dish pizza at Giordano’s