I love the idea of travelling – seeing new things, visiting new places and meeting a variety of people. And I just started a new job a few weeks ago, and this week, I’m travelling to Edmonton, Alberta. I’m tremendously excited to spend time with my boss, visit another part of the country (even if it is Alberta in January) and hopefully catch up with some old friends.
However, being overweight presents many obstacles (some real, some perceived) when it comes to flying. Any new chair or seat presents an unspoken anxiety for me (I’m looking at you white plastic lawn chairs – you’re the spawn of Satan). Compound this with sitting in close to proximity to another human being while travelling – often stressful for many people.
I have flown a few times in the last few years, and these are the incredibly embarrassing things I think about and do.
- quietly ask for a seat belt extender
- desperately try to arrive at my seat first so I can get in with the arm rest up, and then push it down as far as I possibly can so the person sitting next to me doesn’t notice that it’s not pushed down all the way
- politely apologize for the amount of space I take up to the person who sits next to me
- and then do everything I can to shrink myself so as to not take up too much space (shrink shoulders, fold my hands on my lap and aim to not move a muscle
Now, most of the time, people are polite, kind and understanding. However, the last time I flew, the man sitting next to me wasn’t so kind. As he sat down, he looked at me, and rolled his eyes in disgust.
He then slammed the arm rest down as hard as he could into my leg – causing it to bruise. But the physical pain was not nearly as bad as the shame I felt for how I looked. That two-hour flight was the longest two hours of my life. I’ve avoided flying since. Obviously, I think this guy is a jerk. But it’s hard not to feel bad when that sort of thing happens.
Thankfully, I have lost weight in the last few months, and – at the very least – am feeling more confident than I was the last time I flew. At least now, I’d have the ability to clap back at a jerk like that guy. I’m still nervous though.
Weekly check in: Down another two pounds, which means 25 in the last three weeks at Port City Training and Fitness’ six-week challenge, and 52 overall.
best meal: spaghetti with spaghetti squash