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Flying

Jen581791

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Know what I hate? I freaking hate flying. Everything about it sucks, but it's so much worse if you're fat. I spend a lot of time before each flight worrying about how small the seat will be, about whether the person next to me will be annoyed that I sort of overflow into their space, about whether my hips will be so scrunched into the seat (man, airline seats have gotten smaller in the last couple decades!) that they will be a bit bruised feeling when I get off the flight. I worry about people giving me the side eye when I get into my seat. I stress about how uncomfortable it is to spend 15 hours with my arms crossed so I don't impinge on my neighbors' space. I remember overheard conversations or internet comment sections about fat people flying and how horrible the awful rude fat people are to subject all the other passengers to their horrible awful fatness. I hate flying as a fat person so much that I have not done it in almost two years. Me, a person who usually travels a LOT! Know what I'm doing at the end of this week? Flying. On purpose. To go on vacation. I'm still fat, but I'm a lot less fat, so I know that I will have a less bad time. Flying is horrible, but I will be so happy to fit better in the seat. Not so happy that I will enjoy flying (blerk) but happy enough to do it again. 

I've done a little shopping to get ready for this trip, and it's been... a mixed bag. On one hand, I can go into the straight sizes part of the store and not worry that nothing will fit me (well, I worry, but stuff fits, even if it looks like it'll be too small). On the other hand, when I get it on, I am faced with the voices in my head that are always very loud in changing rooms. I look *better* than before (oh, so much better!) but I still don't look *good* to myself. The good news is that I feel a little more detached from my appearance than I usually do: I feel like this is how I look today, but I know that next week, next month, next year I will look different. So I feel like I'm judging a work in progress, rather than judging the very essence of who I am, which is an improvement. 

I've already had to bail out of some plans set up by one of my travel companions. I'm going with my husband and another couple we frequently travel with, and the other couple is, well, much sportier and fitter than we are (particularly than I am). They will be climbing a volcano. I will not. It's an all day sort of deal, like hours and hours of hiking, starting out at like 8500 feet (2500m) in elevation, and I really really know that I do not have that in me right now. It felt sad to have to explain that to my friend, but at the same time, I know that because of my WLS, I will be able to do stuff like that in the future. As of six months ago, my future didn't look like it was headed in an "improving" sort of direction, health-wise, so that's a good thing. 

I've got two flavors of Syntrax Nectar individual packs and two boxes of protein bars to take with me, so I should be set for protein intake. I'm going to Guatemala, and will have no opportunity to buy that stuff there. I have an idea of what awaits because I've been there a couple of times before: food should be fine, lots of beans and eggs and cheese to be had. I've got my vitamins ready to go. I think with all this WLS stuff, I'm going to have very little room in my luggage for my other stuff!

I think it'll be a good trip. I have a ton more energy now than I have in a long while, and I'm able to move around so much more easily in my body. I have a more positive outlook about things, and I don't feel so self-conscious. 

I'm not going to be able to weigh myself for 16 days. SIXTEEN DAYS :blink: Yes, I know how many of you feel about daily weighings, but they are my jam. I also won't be able to log my food every day since I will be without internet at some points. I'll be flying blind for more than two weeks, and that scares the heck out of me. Logically it shouldn't, but I think we left the world of logic behind a few months ago. I'm curious to see whether no scale and limited food logging will feel freeing or frightening. Could go either way.

Wish me luck! I'm a little nervous about the flying.

 




18 Comments


Oh, I hope you have the best time ever! Way to plan! I totally get how being away from constant monitoring could make you nervous. I hope it's freeing and feels like living! Have a blast!

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Hope the experience is freeing for you!!!  Have a nice vacation....

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Have a great trip.

You're much braver than I. I was due to head off overseas in two weeks. It would have been my first trip out of Australia. Yes you read the "would have" correctly. I ended up bailing out. While I had a good excuse, in all honesty I was looking for one almost from the moment I agreed to go. I was really concerned about eating options, along with limited mobility due to a major foot issue. Then there was the overwhelming reminder of how dreadful my last flight was when I was at my heaviest. I know my size is very different now so that shouldn't have made the trip as uncomfortable as the last flight was, but the reality was also playing on me that my companion is much larger than me and the thought of having her in the seat next to me wasn't exactly reassuring either.....gosh that makes me sound very hypocritical.

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Lots of luck @Jen581791! I wonder how much of your flying nerves is tied up to your anxiety of fitting in the seat, spillage into your neighbor, side-eye from other passengers, etc? I ask because I used to think I was anxious about flying (e.g. safety of plane, etc) but realized it was just transferred anxieties. Last month I flew to Africa when I knew surgery and a smaller me was on the horizon. I was remarkably calmer about the situation. 

Either way, nerves are no joke. I like to take deep breaths and distract myself. Bring a good book, new magazine, new CD (okay, download one bc who really buys CDs anymore?). But save these for the flight so you can look forward to it.

And while I don't have a solution to your lack of scale (but sympathy for the upcoming data gap!!), you can still log food. I have an awesome invention you may have heard about - pen and pencil - its really quite miraculous! Needs no batteries, lasts and lasts! Lol But seriously, when I was in a very remote area of Panama, I had no electricity so could not use many of the modern conveniences. I had a small notepad that I jokingly called my 'App' where I could record the things I would normally write into my log/calendar/etc on my phone. My students gave me grief at first but were soon requesting their own 'Apps' so they could stay on top of all the various tasks. If you bought yourself a cute little notebook (Dollar store, Fabric stores have lots of fun options)  it might be a way for you to feel some accountability since you will be outside of your typical methods.

Most of all, have fun! Enjoy all the amazing things you will be able to see and do. You may still be working up your muscles but your energy has to be so much higher!

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Think about how much better your thighs are going to feel after your flight! From now on, no more clenching your body, only to depart the plane with sore legs. Sure, we are still a work in progress, but each trip is going to be easier and easier.

I'm so excited for you. My mom has lots of teenage memories of climbing into volcanoes in El Salvador to pick wildflowers. Someday, that will be us! Did I mention I'm excited for you?

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@Aussie H sorry your trip didn't pan out. Very understandable with foot issues, for sure - limited mobility makes for difficult travel. You're on the right path now for improvement in that area soon, though (it won't feel like soon when you're foot is out of service, but...). Better luck next trip! You'll be able to get out and explore the world a bit.

@CurvyMermaid my hatred of flying is about 75% fear of being uncomfortable and 25% hatred of security theater. I dislike feeling like a crime suspect while at airports :angry: I usually fly quite a lot and have been borderline assaulted by TSA more times than I'd like. I was on one of the first flights back from Europe after 9/11 and that's when all that began. No, TSA, I do not want your hands inside my underwear - yes, that was the day after the underwear bomber. So, I guess if I'm thinner I'll be more comfortable and can focus my hatred on TSA. Can someone go ahead and invent teleportation, please?

I literally never thought about paper before. Yes, a small pad of paper ought to do it. Thanks!

@NerdyLady Yes, looking forward to better airline comfort as well as volcano climbing at some future date :) 

 

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So, on a flight to Asia my sleep apnea-related snoring woke everyone else up. I had to stay awake despite my need for sleep. 

For those of us who want less TSA hassles, just sign up for TSA pre-clearance... it's wonderful. Through TSA in 2 minutes.

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Oh no :( I bet that was awful. Any sleep apnea improvements so far? 

Yes, I suppose I could do TSA pre-clearance and Global Entry. When I'm living abroad, as I will be again soon, I usually only enter the US once or twice a year - it's all the other countries, too! Seriously, I just want to be in stasis for the whole travel experience. 

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I think you'll be fine. Use the paper App to enforce mental discipline while you're off-line, eat lots of grilled fish/shrimp, you'll be fine!

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7 hours ago, Jen581791 said:

Oh no :( I bet that was awful. Any sleep apnea improvements so far? 

Yes, I suppose I could do TSA pre-clearance and Global Entry. When I'm living abroad, as I will be again soon, I usually only enter the US once or twice a year - it's all the other countries, too! Seriously, I just want to be in stasis for the whole travel experience. 

Yes, my sleep apnea is essentially gone. It's remarkable and I am sleeping though the night for the first time in years. I think there are some complications of obesity that get better just as the weight goes off, and others that get better once you pass some threshold. For me my sleep apnea was a threshold thing. 

If you get Global Entry it includes TSA pre-clearance as a freebie. I've found that just not missing one international connection is worth the cost. Plus when you get back to the US and you bypass a two hour long line in customs in 2 minutes you think you have just gone to Heaven. 

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8 hours ago, BurgundyBoy said:

So, on a flight to Asia my sleep apnea-related snoring woke everyone else up. I had to stay awake despite my need for sleep. 

For those of us who want less TSA hassles, just sign up for TSA pre-clearance... it's wonderful. Through TSA in 2 minutes.

You poor man! Sleep apnea on an airplane is humiliating. I've stayed up on many a cross Atlantic flight, desperate for sleep. 

I love my Global Entry/SENTRI/TSA Pre check. It's especially helpful with a squirmy toddler. I second @BurgundyBoy's suggestion. 

On a side note, I had a nightmare appointment filled with a whole lot of racism and BS. That's a story for another day. 

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You will do great!  Notice how much room there is between the tray and your lap!  I love pulling the seatbelt snug instead of letting it out.  It lets me know I'm smaller than the last person who sat there, lol!  Oh the simple things:). 

Have fun!

Edited by Cheesehead
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I hope you and your husbands make some special plans while your friends are hiking. I like this statement you made, "The good news is that I feel a little more detached from my appearance than I usually do: I feel like this is how I look today, but I know that next week, next month, next year I will look different. So I feel like I'm judging a work in progress, rather than judging the very essence of who I am, which is an improvement." You expressed that feeling in a way I will keep in mind as I change. Thanks!

Edited by Alioops
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22 hours ago, Cheesehead said:

You will do great!  Notice how much room there is between the tray and your lap!  I love pulling the seatbelt snug instead of letting it out.  It lets me know I'm smaller than the last person who sat there, lol!  Oh the simple things:). 

Have fun!

@Cheesehead, you're so right, yet another great moment that could be : Now back to the poster @Jen581791 :

you posting made me think about what is enjoyable in Central America, and flying. So here's a suggestion: Maybe you can go zip-lining! Since you are so svelte these days maybe you can spend ALL DAY zooming about while your friends huff and puff and pass out from lack of oxygen near the volcano top. Before the dragons (where did you THINK they lived, come on!??) come out to toast them and eat them, poor souls.

Heh heh heh. Let flying have new meaning. 

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4 hours ago, BurgundyBoy said:

@Cheesehead, you're so right, yet another great moment that could be : Now back to the poster @Jen581791 :

you posting made me think about what is enjoyable in Central America, and flying. So here's a suggestion: Maybe you can go zip-lining! Since you are so svelte these days maybe you can spend ALL DAY zooming about while your friends huff and puff and pass out from lack of oxygen near the volcano top. Before the dragons (where did you THINK they lived, come on!??) come out to toast them and eat them, poor souls.

Heh heh heh. Let flying have new meaning. 

Hmm, that's an idea. There is a zip line thingy we will be staying near during our travels...

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I'm afraid of heights - so when my son asked me to do this with him a few years ago in Panama it wasn't easy for me. It was glorious and being so far out of the box for me ... and I think the dragons only eat people who don't zip-line, out of respect for their bravery. That's what my son told me. B)

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I love to fly but totally echo all your sentiments - I always make my husband sit in the middle seat when I can, or we'd try to snag the emergency row in the middle so that I didn't have to subject another person to my fatness! 

Revel in how that seat feels! Try to enjoy your vacation without the daily weights - even without the crazy volcano hike (I'm sorry, am I the only person who doesn't dream about becoming super fit in the "after" world? Like, I want to walk and swim my heart out but I have no desire to become the kind of fit that climbs mountains for fun!) I'm sure you will be moving lots - you'll have nothing to worry about! Enjoy and have an internal (or external) victory dance as you sit much prettier in that airline seat. 

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