Let me start with a story.
A week ago today, I went to the theatre. For Paul’s 30th birthday, I was stuck on what to buy him as a present, so he suggested we go to the theatre together for the first time as a couple. The West End cast of Mary Poppins is at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle until the end of October, it’s a show he really wanted to see, and he’d been wanting to go to the theatre with me for ages. It seemed like a wonderful idea.
At some point along the way, I forgot to take into consideration that I am fat, and we booked up regular seats.
That was a mistake which I am still paying for now.
A day before the performance, I started to feel very anxious.
“What if I don’t fit in the seat?”
“What if I have no leg room?”
Paul worked out that we were going to be at the end of our aisle, and he was happy for me to have the end seat, so the only other persons personal space I could possibly be encroaching onto would be his. This reduced the anxiety I was feeling somewhat, although it didn’t fade completely. Still, I put on a brave face, and off we went.
The act of sitting in my seat once we got there was sadly agony. The wooden, static armrests dug into my hips, and my knees were pressed against the seat in front. My sides went numb, but my knees didn’t and I was in a lot of pain. As the end of the first half of the show rolled around, the tears had started to fall.
After the intermission, I gave up on my seat and sat on the stair immediately next to it. I could enjoy the rest of the show without pain.
The damage was already done though. It’s been a week, and here are my hips this evening:
As well as the bruising looking quite bad, both hips also hurt when I do anything approaching slightly physical. It’s not enough to stop me doing things, but it’s damn annoying.
I guess that’s the end of the story, and now I should explain why the title of this post is “Feeling Lost”…
I have cried a few times since I saw the show. I told Paul that I felt “less than human” in the initial aftermath. That I didn’t “fit into the world”.
I want to go back and see more shows at the theatre. My trouble fitting into the seat aside, I really enjoyed Mary Poppins. But to go back, and not end up in tears again, I know in the future I will need to pay more to get a more suitable seat….at the very least with more leg room.
And it’s thinking about this that leaves me feeling confused and lost.
I feel so…separate to the world at times. I’m sure most bigger people do. It’s easy to feel like we don’t fit because so often, we don’t. So many things are designed without us in mind. This is where Thin Privilege comes in. My thin friends can enjoy a trip to the theatre without worrying about whether the seat they’ve paid for will bruise their hips like mine did.
I don’t know if I should try and lose weight….to try and conform making living in this world easier, or whether I should not try to force any change with myself in that regard, and instead stand my ground? Be angry and upset at the fact that next time around, I will have to pay more for a seat that allows me to enjoy a show without pain?
If I do decide a change is in order, does that mean I’m less “body positive”?
Prior to this whole incident, I had been thinking about trying to bring more exercise into my life anyway. Since I passed my driving test and the household got our car, I am so much less active. I’ve felt a difference in my joints, most specifically my knees. I don’t believe this change is weight related because I have not majorly changed in size. The big change, is how much I physically move myself.
That is not a weight or size related driver to exercise. It is a “I want to be more active, I want to move my body more” driver.
But…I’m conflicted now. Because my hips are bruised and sore and part of me wishes I weren’t as big as I am. I want to interact with the world more easily.
It’s taken me so long to be comfortable with my body. To find love for it despite so many external sources around it saying that I shouldn’t. I know that the journey of self love and acceptance of your body is never a straight and forward line. Perhaps these conflicted feelings are just a blip.
I know I can exercise without weight loss being the goal. If exercise brings about weight loss, then that is a by product I will have to deal with. Our bodies are forever changing; that’s something I need to keep in mind.
Finally, I’ve also struggled with whether or not to write about this. Ever since my depression and anxiety worsened at the end of last year, I have found that I don’t engage as much as I used to online. I think part of that is a fear of troll and hater backlash. This particular topic is something a concern troll could go nuts over; a fat person being too big for a seat. Even though my anxiety has been much better managed for months now and I do have a presence online again…there is a fear about talking about this kind of thing. I’ve decided to try and push past my comfort zone though. Being open and honest with the people who read my ramblings has always served me well in the past; it may do now.