Fat People Don’t Fit


Gaining weight is never fun. I thought I was having fun throughout the years as I ate pizzas by the round, candy bars by the half dozen and cookies by the package, but I realize now that I wasn’t really enjoying myself. Sure the food tasted good when it was going down, but once it was gone I didn’t feel any better.

Besides the guilt of overeating, another aspect of gaining weight that isn’t fun is increasing in physical size. You know it is inevitable that as your weight increases, the physical space you occupy also increases. It’s not often talked about, but it can be very problematic for an overweight person to fit into a space not designed for them.

I found this to be true. As I increased my waist size to the mid 50’s, my hips also increased proportionally. And as my hips increased something rather strange happened to the chairs around me. They seemed to shrink. I noticed as I got bigger, I found it harder and harder to get comfortable in average sized chairs.

Folding chairs used in our church were very narrow, or so it seemed to me. I clearly remember climbing up the stairs to our class and trying to settle my bulk into the metal chair. I would gingerly lower myself into the old chair, trusting it would hold my weight. Once in the chair, I would continually shift my weight and my girth until I was finally comfortable. I would sit until the class was over, always aware that my thighs were hanging over the sides and my backend was poking out through the back of the chair. Once the class was over it was such a relief to extricate myself from that chair that I would often be the first one out the door. It was a gift to be able to sink into the comfortable padded pews for the service. After all, they didn’t have any edges!

Bucket seats in cars were another problem for me. I usually could buckle the seat belt, but it wasn’t comfortable having my thighs hang over the edges of the seat. I felt “too big” for the space, and often wished my friends had a different type of car.

Even riding in an elevator was a potential source of embarrassment for me. When standing in an elevator I was acutely aware that I was bigger than I should be. I knew I was taking up space for two people, and it made me feel awkward as the other people in the elevator moved around to accommodate me. I found myself waving people on, and waiting for an empty elevator in order to avoid the stares and strained silences.

One place I avoided completely for the entire eight years I was overweight was the dentist’s office. I’ve never been a big fan of the dentist, and the thought of trying to fit my big self into that tiny chair was impossible to wrap my mind around. Several times throughout the years I made appointments for a check-up, but cancelled at the last minute. In fact, when I lost weight and finally went to the dentist I had to explain to him why I hadn’t visited him in eight years. He then explained to me that I had eight cavities that needed filling – one for each year I had missed.

I don’t share these experiences to make light of a tough situation. I share these so that if you do struggle with your weight you know I share your pain. Fat people don’t fit into our average sized world. It is my hope that my story will prevent those of you with no weight problems from allowing the desire for high fat, high calorie food to push you into the world of the obese. If you do struggle with your weight, then it is my hope that my story will help you transition from the world of the overweight to the world of the fit. Diane

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