I drove down after work on Thursday - and I remembered why I despise driving in Illinois. A good session of rush-hour driving on a toll highway in Illinois is enough to drive anyone batty. But after THREE HOURS, I made it out of Illinois and headed alllllllll the way down to southern Indiana, home of the Hoosiers.
I ended up arriving around 11pm, and instead of going right to bed like a normal person, broski and I sat up talking for a few hours. I'm yawning and my eyes are watering at the very thought of it. At about 3:30 in the god damned morning, I hit the couch and didn't move for a good chunk of time, thank goodness.
The next day brought eggs, bacon, coffee and a semi-loosely put together plan for the day. Head to the beach (Lake Monroe) for a grill out with a few of his friends, then head to another friend's place for a Fourth of July grill out. When I say "semi-loosely", I mean as loosely as plans can be while still being plans. We forgot: to bring our swimsuits, charcoal, plates, forks, knives, cups, ice, flip flops, and towels. We basically just put a six pack of beer in a bag and showed up only to find out beer wasn't allowed on the beach. After a re-do, we had things slightly more in control, and relaxing by the water happened.
Now, I haven't worn a swim suit in public in YEARS. Ever since my uncle told me on the beaches of Florida, "Well, you look okay, but you could stand to lose 10 or 15 more pounds" -- while I was at my lowest weight -- I've stuck to tank tops and shorts or parkas and muumuus as my beach couture fashion pieces. I had brought my one piece lap suit with me in the event I could sneak off and do some swimming in the lake without a soul seeing me, but alas no opportunity presented itself. But I put it on, thinking I'd just suck my stomach in and stick my chest out and hope no one had vision while I was there.
While I didn't end up going in the water, I actually felt really comfortable in my suit (under my tank top and shorts). His friends and I got along great, we chit chatted, drank beer on the sly and had a really great day by the beach. I realized as my buddy and I were driving back to his place that I hadn't made one disparaging comment about myself and my weight, even though discussing beachwear and swimming has always been an open minefield of me making beached whale comments about myself. It was really nice to not constantly play a loop of self deprecating comments about myself, for once in what has felt like years.
That night we continued the festivities, staying with those two friends and heading over to a grill out and their aunt's house. Ribs, steak, chicken, potato salad, cake, dip, chips... you name it, I took it in. I gnawed the meat off some of the most tender ribs I've ever eaten and gave the bones to the dog to enjoy, I gladly took seconds and thirds of beer and even tried some White Lightning (after all we were on the north end of The South...)
Mmmm young Burt Reynolds....
Again, on the way home I silently took stock of the day and the events and I realized, I had a really, really good time and didn't worry about things like if I had a stomach pooch or if I looked piggish taking more food. Again, it was like I was magically given extra time to enjoy myself - self loathing and worrying about what you look like to others really eats up a lot of time.
The next day we went kayaking out on the lake, remembered how much of a workout kayaking is, grabbed dinner, and hit the town for some good ol' fashioned college bar drinking. After all, there IS Indiana University there... so ya know...when in Rome, right?
Overall, it was an awesome trip and a perfect chance to really figure out what's important in my world: friends, laughter, food (obvs), enjoying what my body can do (kayaking and some pretty epic burps). What DOESN'T fit on that list is the constant picking apart of my body. The constant mental put downs. The nonstop "Why do you think you can do X or wear Y or say Z because all people see is a fat girl."
People see me for who I am. A hilarious, outspoken, outgoing woman who has better things to worry about than whether that tank top makes her look like her arms are flabby.
I'm so glad that this weekend I forgot that I was fat.
Enjoy your week, everyone!