Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind

Being squished into seats


I spent this week at my favorite conference with 1800 of my best friends. The sessions are stimulating and practical – and very crowded.

People with bodies my size have a hard time at meetings like these. All those chairs chained together make it difficult to have personal space – whenever a row is filled, people sit in every other chair so there’s room to spill over without risking having the rolls of fat hit anyone else. But then the session turns out to be popular and the chairs fill, and we sit squished on the row, everyone uncomfortable and awkward and vulnerable. Even the thinner people want space around them; for me, it’s a necessity.

I never felt judged for my size – and there were plenty of other people my size or larger who both attended and presented sessions. We know our stuff and are valued for who we are when we go to something like this, not our pounds or body shape.

But it mattered to me. I don’t expect to be skinny; my goal is to be healthy and thinner but not skinny – but I hated that I didn’t go to some sessions because the only seats were those little 1/2 seats left when people on either side had spilled over, just as I know I do. Standing up for an hour wasn’t really an option because my knee was hurting more and more as I walked myself silly.

Crowded planeBeing on the plane on the way home felt the same. We get herded like cattle through security, with instructions barked at us to take off shoes and coats, remove any liquids and put them in little plastic bags, take laptops out of our bags, put everything in the machine, stay in line and don’t change to confuse things, keep moving, have your boarding pass that you just showed to the person who let you into the line in the first place, having bags searched or items wanded to make sure we’re not bringing bombs in with our CPAP medical machines.

Obviously today was not a happy travel day. After a happy 45 minutes of security, we waited in herds before getting on planes where we were chided, er, reminded, that this plane was extremely full (has anyone been on a plane in the last year that WASN’T completely full?) and to keep moving, get our bags shoved in the overhead compartments ASAP, sit into the little squished seat, and try not to breathe for the next 4 hours. Assuming the plane is on time; if not, you have extra time on board while it circles. Getting out is like releasing that “snake in a can” that would explode when the can was finally opened.

As I was looking for a picture of a full plane, I ran into this page that just made me cry. The author is entitled to his opinion. I don’t have the energy to deal with it tonight.

I’ve been eating out for 10 days and wasn’t able to preplan much of anything. I overate points every time I opened my mouth and even though I did record them at the end of the day when I had time, I felt out of control and bloated from not enough water. The hotel water was terrible and bottled water in the quantity I drink got expensive plus I had to be sure not to go far from a rest room – hard to do at a meeting or on a plane.

Now I’m home with a chance to sleep until I wake up, and grocery shop for healthy food. It’s actually a relief to get back to the foods that make me feel good, to my WW meeting on Sunday, and the routine that helps me stay on track.

3 thoughts on “Being squished into seats

  1. Those airplane seats are very tiny. No average-sized or larger person is actually comfortable in one, especially if there is someone next to them. On my way to NYC there was a guy in the aisle seat and I was in the window seat. He kept saying over and over, “I hope no one sits in the middle.” Even if everyone is sort of thin or small, I can’t image there still aren’t elbow/leg issues unless everyone sits without moving for the entire flight. Airlines are starting to fly less flights, I think, so they are all full.

  2. Yes, and some airplane seats are just smaller. When I flew back from Tampa, the seats were reasonably good — I don’t think I even needed an extender on that flight. And with each leg of the flight, the seats got smaller and smaller and smaller. I felt like Alice in Wonderland.

    Let’s face it, air travel has really gotten ugly and unpleasant.

  3. That’s the thing about travelling to any kind of convention or expo — our physical bodies are more ON us than in almost any other circumstance. Swimming? There’s still space. Wedding? There still space.

    What is it with “space,” anyway? A strange concept when you think of it, & becoming rarer & rarer.

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