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.
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!!!
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.