It’s Not MY Butt That’s Dragging!

I love hockey.  I love going to the games, sitting in the stands, yelling my head off.  When the Preds do something great, I jump up and cheer.

When I first started going to games, though, I couldn’t jump up.  The armrests blocked my hips.  I had to turn sideways a little before I got up.  The truth is, that’s embarrassing – realizing that you don’t fit into a seat at an arena.

Me in the hangar

Side shot illustrating how overweight I was.

The last time I flew before my lifestyle change, I realized that I didn’t fit completely in my own airline seat, either.  I didn’t have to ask for a seatbelt extension; but, that seatbelt wouldn’t have held much more.  I’m sure the person sitting beside me didn’t love sharing their row with me, either.  I wasn’t actually IN their seat, but all kinds of encroachment was going on.  That’s embarrassing – realizing that you don’t fit into a seat on an airliner.

Those situations were real, tangible demonstrations that I was bigger than I thought I was.  If you don’t fit into a seat in a room decorated with finger paintings, you’re in a kindergarten.  If you don’t fit into a seat in a lecture hall, you’re in a world of trouble.

Now, let’s fast forward 11 months from my new birthday (July 24).  On a gorgeous June Saturday, we went canoeing down the Harpeth River.  Winter and Spring had been on the dry side, leaving the river a little low.  On several occasions, our canoe dragged the gravel on the bottom of the river.  Embarrassed, I shifted my weight each time, trying to wriggle us off the gravel bars. At some point, I realized that my efforts had no effect.  Huh. Curious.  Then it occurred to me: it wasn’t MY butt that was dragging!

I wanted to sing!!!

Me at near my goal weight

Near my goal weight

I turned to the man I was seeing, a height/weight proportionate tall man, and announced that it wasn’t me!  It wasn’t my fault we were dragging!  I was thrilled. He thought I was nuts.

You see, he’d never had a big weight problem and he’d never known me at my biggest.  He had no idea what it felt like to be truly and deeply embarrassed about his size.  But I do.  And, perhaps you do, too.

People who have quite literally always fit likely can’t appreciate the wonderful, liberating lightness that comes with not being the one weighing everyone down.  But I do.  And I know that you can, too.

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