The not so friendly skies

26 Jun

Nothing brings home the reality of being fat than flying. Airplanes, for those who aren’t independently wealthy, are never comfortable, no matter what your size. But for those of us with a few (or a lot) of extra pounds, it can be an even more trying experience,

The seats are small and you are closer to your seatmates than anyone should ever be with a stranger. You are surrounded on all sides. A little bit of belly fat slides across the arm rest every time you shift to try to get more comfortable. And you aren’t quite sure what to do with your arms. You can’t keep them comfortable away from your body. There just isn’t enough room. Do you rest them on your stomach, drawing even more attention to your bulk? Ram them against your sides and live with the discomfort? Sometimes, I put the tray table down and lean on it, pretending to be so engrossed in my book that I don’t care that I resembled Quasimodo on a bad day, and praying that there will be enough room between the edge of my tray and my bellybutton. I can’t imagine the pain it causes people who are heavier than I am.

It seems that every time I have a good day and I start to feel pretty confident about myself, I am thrust in to another situation that shines a spotlight on the fact that I am no where near the person I want to be. I think that is something that those who have never been overweight will never understand. There are so many situations where your weight becomes the focus. From something as simple as walking by a window and catching a glimpse of yourself from the side to being stared at or forced in to a confining airline seat. It’s impossible to escape the fat and I find it to be overwhelming at times.

It doesn’t help that I am on my way home. I want to be confident and proud of what I have accomplished but it’s not nearly enough for me. Why should it be enough for anyone else? The glow of my shopping trip has worn off and all I can seem to think about is how fat I still am and that is all people are going to see. I don’t want to see those people from high school. They might not even notice or care but, again, I will be reminded that I am something less (or more, I suppose) than I once was. I will compose in my head all the horrible things they all *must* be thinking of me. Probably much worse than anything they would or could ever come up with, as I am an expert at such negativity . But it’s something very difficult to turn off.

I found myself overeating yesterday as I prepared for my trip home. I was consciously aware of what I was doing and I made little effort to stop myself. I am regretting it today, of course, as I sit here in this tiny seat. Rationally, I know I did not gain all the weight back overnight, nor do I look worse than I did yesterday. But the emotional toll is still weighing on me. Why do I let my little fat girl demon come out? Why can I sometimes stop her when other times I am powerless? How could I eat a whole tortilla after I’d gone *months* without even craving one?

I was literally sitting in my favorite burrito place, talking to myself inside my head. “You are going home and it will be stressful! You need something to soothe you! You haven’t been hungry for days so a few extra calories, fat grams and carbs won’t kill you.” You know the worst part? I didn’t input any of it in my food diary. Not one thing that went in my mouth yesterday was recorded. I can try to play it off as being too busy but we all know that is a lie. I just didn’t want to deal.

And I still don’t. Plus, I am petrified! I don’t want to slide backwards. I’ve made it so far. So much farther than ever before. If I let it get to me and I start to make excuses, eating some pasta here and some fries there, how long can I do that before I fall off the wagon and end up right back where I started from?

Okay, I think my back my seize up if I sit like this any longer. I have more I want to say but being able to walk during my vacation is probably important.


9 Responses to “The not so friendly skies”

  1. The Troescher Team June 27, 2005 at 3:50 pm #

    I know what you mean. The last time I flew fat I realized I was almost getting too big for the seat belt; I vowed never to fly that heavy again. The discomfort is a minute by minute excruiciating reminder of the undeniable fact that I have a long, long way to go. Totally sympathize.
    Debra at

  2. Mamato2boys June 27, 2005 at 7:57 pm #

    OK yes flying fat SUCKS ass. If you can get a wondow seat on the return flight. You at least get to lean on the window. It helped me.

    The next thing. Please cut yourself some slack and move forward with that great positve attitude that you had. Beating yourself up over slips just causes more. I am learning that more and more and maybe one day it will stick.
    I hope that you enjoy your trip! Just remember all those people are all WAY to self involved to worry about how you look, lol.

    Smiles 🙂

  3. Stacy July 2, 2005 at 2:20 pm #

    Hi there! Just found your blog and the timing is perfect! After several years without getting on a plane, I’ve had to fly 3 times in the past 3 weeks. Not only did I fly, but had to be the ‘middle’ seat for two 4-hour flights. ugh! What a reminder that I have so far to go… I definitely understand where you’re coming from.

    Good luck on your trip! I hope you enjoy yourself!

  4. Janan July 3, 2005 at 10:10 am #

    Hey, surfed on it thanks to the Sunday Time’s article about your blog.

    Keep going, I’m also trying to lose weight, I’m sick of my friends telling me to control my diet.

    The only way to shut them up is to lose weight.

    Period, materialistic, but it works.

  5. Rachel F. Hutten July 3, 2005 at 11:15 am #

    There is an effective fat burning treatment that i have been using. its called naturalis cellulite treatment , i buy this from . it took me a week of use to lose 2.5 inch around the waist and i now weigh 3kg less. so far this is the best treatment that actually works for me. please share any other good products.

  6. Anonymous July 3, 2005 at 1:51 pm #

    Hey, your blog was actually featured in my local newspaper as a hot blog to read and I have to say I am also inspired.

    Keep going

  7. The Princess July 3, 2005 at 2:12 pm #

    Dearest Yoyogurl,

    You know something? You really write well, and I can see that you’re a really talented girl. Being a writer myself, I admire people who can express their emotions as vividly as yours. I do feel sad when I read your blog. Somehow I can relate to how you feel, although you may think that “those who have never been overweight will never understand.” I agree. But what I want you to know is, I know that feeling of wanting to “fit in”, the pain of not being “no where near the person I want to be”…But as I gradually come to understand myself, I realize that what matters is that I become WHO I want to be, not WHAT I want to be. You may think its all bullshit, and I hope one day you will come to understand the difference.


  8. svc1979 July 3, 2005 at 2:47 pm #

    Love your blog. I am someone who has to lose lots of weight too started with 100 kg and now abt 93 kg lots more to go before i fit into my skinny jeans..keep in touch..

  9. Mae July 4, 2005 at 5:13 pm #

    Oh, how I understand what you mean… of course, I’d just be happy if putting the tray down were even possible. The last two times my husband and I flew we bought an extra seat (neither of us is small, which makes it even harder). I am a lot heavier than you are, and I worry that they might demand I buy an extra seat at the gate, especially given I’m sitting with my hub. He can do it alone, and it’s not terribly comfy, but possible. People are probably not thrilled to be next to him – but it’s possible. With me, it seems pretty damn unlikely, unless that person is at the opposite end of the spectrum!

    I can also relate to that emotional eating you don’t stop – even when you are able to realize you should. Been there! All you can do is try to learn for next time…


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