Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Let’s talk about airplanes for a minute. As a ‘person of size’ (or however you like to refer to yourself), does getting on an airplane terrify you not because you’re afraid of flying but because you’re afraid you’re going to take up too much of someone else’s space or the seatbelt won’t click? Do you see the fear on the faces of travellers you pass as you’re heading to your seat and can almost see their minds thinking ‘not next to me, not next to me’ (or at least do you think you see that)?.
I recently went to Hawaii on vacation. I hadn’t been on a plane since last summer when I went to Chicago. Granted, two different airlines – the seats are going to be different but not that different. I remember last summer clicking the seatbelt and thinking, oh dear, that’s getting snug again. And thinking back to several years before when I’d lost a good portion of weight that I was so thrilled I could not only buckle my seatbelt but ‘pull it tight’ like they demonstrate (which always made me smirk before because who the hell has room to pull it tight!?) Anyway, this time when I went to Hawaii I literally barely got it closed. I willed my ass and thighs to be smaller, pulled hard, sucked in my gut and just barely barely barely heard it finally ‘click’. And I thought then, omg, I’m almost at the ‘seat belt extender’ size. I was there before – a long time ago and it seems I’m heading there again.
Then of course I spend the entire flight with my arms crossed because I don’t want to spill over to the other person’s personal space or take up any more room than I’m allotted. I always put the seat rest down – so that it keeps me ‘contained’ and entitles the person sitting next to me their allotted seat space but it doesn’t do anything for my wide shoulders etc. so the arms tend to stay crossed. This is also why I don’t put my seat back – I did this once last year and it appeared I was the one person on the whole plane who had a broken seat as I ended up almost in the lap of the person sitting behind me. Was it my weight or was it really that the seat was broken? Don’t know – not going to find out again though. So I sit up straight, arms crossed for 6 hours – and the person in front of me ALWAYS puts their seat back the second they’re able to and leave it that way the whole time. So my face is like 8 inches from the seat in front of me. I only get up to pee once and only when I really really have to. Because trying ‘pass’ someone in the aisle is an embarrassing escapade – you’re going to stick your butt or boobs into someone’s face inevitably. This is one of the reasons I tend to choose seats near the back – less people to get past. I also always choose the aisle seat too – that way I can sort of ‘lean’ out to the aisle (except when the cart is passing).
I know I’m not alone in this – I know there are others out there that consider this when they fly. I love to travel and I travel by myself quite a bit so I don’t have the luxury of ‘sharing’ my travel partner’s space so staying in my allotted zone is a constant concern for me. And this recent vacation really pointed out how much I have slipped and how uncomfortable that flight was. If I keep going this way, the next time I get on a plane I’m going to have to have that embarrassing conversation with the flight attendant where I have to actually ask for a seatbelt extender. Which is humiliating.
So this is another reason why I came back to SP to try to gain control of my life again. I’m doing small things this week – trying to eat a few fruits and vegetables, reading a book on Kundalini yoga and planning my return to a yoga routine (which honestly I have really missed and am looking forward to having again), ordered an exercise ball from amazon (working on setting up a home gym, almost done!). I can’t do it all at once, I’m just trying to pull myself out of a long depression so I can’t just flip a switch and go back to all my exercise and eating habits at once. So baby steps it is.