Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Self reflection on the menu


This past weekend we were lucky enough to see a friend of ours swinging through town on a quick overnighter.  I've written about this guy before and I have to say we always feel so energized when we leave him.  His enthusiasm is contagious no matter what his future plans.  He asked how the blog was going since he hasn't been able to keep up lately and I told him sometimes I feel like I have nothing to offer because we're stuck right now.  I feel like "still exercising...still trying to find a balance...still fat...how exciting!"  He said maybe to think back to how things used to be and see if there was anything I could offer newer readers who maybe haven't been along for the ride.  I noted his suggestion and later that night I got to thinking about the first time we met him and his ex-girlfriend (a friend of mine) when they were coming into town.

When they first moved to Chicago (a town the Mr and I both LOVE) we were quite honestly, too fat to be able to visit them.  I can't remember exactly when they moved but we were at or close to maximum density.  She begged me to come to visit and I would put her off not because I didn't want to go but because I was too embarrassed to admit that we couldn't "do" that town.  That is a walking city and even short distances would've had me huffing and puffing at 450-494 pounds.  Not to mention many of the restaurants there are short on space and try to cram as many tables in as they can.  So not a lot of room for a big ass to be trying to suck it in between full chairs while dealing with the disgusted looks of people having to scoot out of the way and being humiliated in front of our friends.  The whole potential of the situation was enough to send me in a fetal position sucking my thumb.

When they came to visit in February 2010, I was 380 lbs so I was 114 lbs down from my highest but we were still not at that place where we could go to any restaurant we wanted.  Invitations to things were still being turned down if we didn't know the restaurant or they had chairs we couldn't fit in or booths only.  I was very insistent that we go to this one ethnic restaurant because 1)  I thought they'd like it and 2) I knew for sure we'd fit there.  I think she might have suggested someplace initially and I internally freaked out and said "oh, we can go there but I was really hoping we could go here because I think you guys would love it and it's one of our favorite restaurants" and really built it up like it was the best place ever.  Thankfully she agreed to go there, we got a nice table with chairs with no arms and we were able to enjoy our time with our friends without a social anxiety pit in our stomachs.

When we got together with him last weekend, we suggested one of our favorite hipster pizza places not because we knew we would fit but because it was good.  Of course there is a wrench thrown into it.  They have chairs with no arms on all of the tables but then they have like 4-5 bar stool tables along the wall.  I HATE bar stool tables and they've tried to seat us there before and I've asked for the low (normal height) tables.  This ass is still not ready for every bar stool chair out there since we had to actually leave a restaurant once because that was all they had.  Baby still got back.  Wouldn't you know, those bastards stuck us at the bar stool table!?  Internally I was freaking out and just praying to God we didn't have to say "excuse me Miss?  Only one butt cheek sits on this stool, we need a short table."  But thankfully we didn't have to.  I now know I can fit at the table and be fine.  Granted, I'm still not wild about them because I'm tall and my knees either knock against the table or my legs are almost long enough to hit the floor but then I'd be sitting weird with my back arched like I'm trying to get people to look at my boobs.  This was yet another step into feeling somewhat normal at a restaurant and for anyone who has been morbidly obese, knows that restaurants can be a big source of emotional stress before ever stepping foot in them.

I'm grateful to my friend for suggesting I look back to remind me of how far I've/we've come given my current state of stuckitude.  I'm glad I can actually go into a restaurant without feeling that sense of dread, anxiety and impending public humiliation that was my reality for a good seven years of my life.

Has your weight ever stopped you from being able to go to certain restaurants because you couldn't fit?  Do you look back to help yourself move forward?

====================
Like this post? Don't miss another one...subscribe via email or RSS feed. (Or you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter )

22 comments:

  1. It's always a good thing to reflect back a bit and remind ourselves how bad things were so that we can appreciate where we are now even if we may not be where we ultimately want to end up yet. It was a great dinner and he is as inspiring as ever. So glad we got a chance to see him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it is. The past 2 months have been excruciatingly frustrating and very bad thoughts have been running through my head. Sometimes perspective is all you need to hopefully help you remember it could always be worse. Yes, always good to see him.

      Delete
  2. I'm so glad to hear that someone else had/has to consider restaurant choices based solely on seating. There are several that I just won't go to because they are booths only or they are SO crowded. I'll be SO glad one day when I don't have to say to the hostess, "Table, please - NOT a booth".
    Thank you for going back and remembering how it used to be. I just found your blog, and although you are stuck right now, I am very encouraged.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome aboard Carol! That day will come for you and it will be a victory that will make you smile. I still have a pic of the first booth I was able to fit in a few years ago. Seems stupid to others but only people who have gone through the frustration can understand what a milestone it is.

      Delete
  3. What a great and relevant blog Anele. I can so relate to being extremely limited in where you go and what you can do, when you are obese. There was a local bar/restaurant that hubby liked, and I could NOT go there. All they had were tall tables with barstools, or extremely tight booths. At my heaviest (328 lbs.) I could still fit in most booths (although not these), but they were very uncomfortable, and my belly rubbed against the table. Bar stools were extremely uncomfortable too--I have short legs and bad knees and unless there's someplace to put my feet, my legs fall asleep and everything hurts. I'm better now, although still not a huge fan of bar stools. I remember once at the bowling alley, I wanted to sit at a table behind the lane where my husband was bowling and someone else had already "claimed" the table with the regular chairs. I went ahead and sat down at one end of that table anyway, and was told to "GET OUT!" It became an embarrassing screaming fight between me and this person. And this was all because I simply did NOT fit in the other place available to sit--the bar stools at the counter right behind the lanes. I also could not STAND the entire time, (or even for a short time!), it just hurt too much.

    Walking? I had given that up, which pretty much eliminated all vacationing. It is such a sense of freedom today to be able to walk for long distances and no longer be limited in where I can go!! In the last year we took vacations to NYC and DC and walked all over both cities! GLORIOUS!

    Sorry for the length of this response, but I had forgotten too, all the inconveniences and humiliations I used to endure. We have gained so much, Anele, even if everyday continues to be a struggle, we realize it is all well worth it!!! Thanks for the reminder, I needed it today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bar stools are just plain irritating. You either have ones that are about the same size as a normal seat which was be fine but the other half are much smaller and are made for people with teeny, tiny bums. It's a shame that jerk at the bowling alley couldn't just share ONE freakin' chair. What does it hurt them even if they say when their party comes, they'll need it back. People are just jerks. Same with us on vacations. Many a time in Hawaii was spent watching others from the balcony or a car window having a good ol' time while we were too embarrassed to go out. Hmm, that might light another blog for next week.

      Delete
  4. I'm not a fan of bar stool tables either which leads me to wonder - if no-one likes them, why do restaurants have them? I'm fortunate that my weight has not yet prevented me from going places that I want to go, but there are certainly some places that are more comfortable than others. One of the worst things for me is having to ride in the back seat of a car. Once in a while I will ride with other people to "stuff" and if there are several of us I generally let someone else have the front seat (my mom, a co-worker...) and I sit in the back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, right? Keep bar stools AT THE BAR. This one restaurant we went to had ridiculously small stools and that's all they had in the whole place. Of course thin girls and metrosexual hipsters in their skinny jeans were fine but no one over 200 lbs could eat there. Maybe by design, the chef IS pretty high on herself. (Though now that I think about it, I don't think even SHE could sit comfortably on them since she's got a little meat on her bones) I think I've only had to be in the backseat once or twice in the past 10 years but for me, it's more height because my legs are long. My knees jam into the back of the seat in front of me no matter how far up they scootch the seat.

      Delete
  5. Thanks for writing about this. I often avoid going out because of this problem, or I suggest the place to go like you mentioned. I cannot wait until I know this won't be a problem anymore. Many of my good friends know now where I need to sit, and it's great that they accomidate me, but it's still embarassing. I went to a movie with a guy I like the other night and was so nervous about sitting next to him. If I sit by myself it's ok but to sit right next to someone (someone I'm trying to get to know better but don't want to sit on top of) was difficult. It was ok but I left wishing I was more comfortable. I'm down almost 45lbs which is great but I have more to go. Getting to the 'sitting wherever I want' stage is a goal and I can't wait to be there. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a good feeling when you are fairly confident you can fit most places. It's good your friends are accommodating but I know what you mean, it's not the ideal situation. Just be glad you had people who are willing to do that or even THINK about it. I don't think anyone around us ever even thought of that when we were at our heaviest especially thin people. If they've never been through it themselves, they would never know it could be an issue. I try to make sure when go out for birthday dinners and such that I pick restaurants I know have comfortable seats for all since I've walked a few miles in those shoes. You'll get there girl, keep it up!

      Delete
  6. I'm almost 5 years into maintenance and I still think about the booth size. (I also always choose the larger, "handicap" stall in the ladies' room, but that's another topic entirely. :) )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure this will always be a knee jerk reaction for me (and many of us who have been there). I could be 130 lbs and still freak out on many of my former "triggers" like booths, chairs with arms or the worst...those cheap plastic chairs so many restaurants like to use now.

      Delete
  7. I've been doing a lot of looking back lately too. I have to remind myself that I have come a long way in not only size, but also in mentality. Before a lot of what I do now was a "Did hell freeze over?" moment, but I don't even bat an eyelash now.

    Thanks for the reminder that we may not be where we WANT to be, but we sure as hell aren't where we USED to be either!! That's a good reminder fo sho!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can be a good thing to look back on occasion and when you're in a holding pattern, maybe a little more. So glad we're not where we used to be!

      Delete
  8. Looking back at where I came from is what helped me keep going when my weight loss slowed down or stalled completely. My weight didn't stop me from going to certain restaurants completely, but it sure affected my choice of where to sit in some. And it definitely affected what I did and where I went in other ways (no horseback riding, too heavy for most; avoid amusement park rides; choose the handicap stalls in bathrooms because the toilet was too close to the door in the regular ones; avoid places that required a lot of walking). We've come a long way, and it's good to remember that periodically.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah there are still a lot of things I can't do (roller coasters, ziplining, things with certain weight limits, etc) and I have about 50-60 lbs before I can be rid of those chains. My body is making me completely break for it too. So enjoy that for me until I get there!

      Delete
  9. I freaking hate bar stools. I fit on them just fine now, but the rungs on the stool are never in the right place. My legs either dangle like a little kid (which means they fall asleep), or my knees are way too high. I'm not tall either, 5'6", so it's irritating that I can't seem to rest my feet properly.

    We've been re-visiting a lot of places that gave me issues 1-2 years ago. It's been a delight to see how much better I fit, and I want to shriek with happiness when I can actually, finally sit in a seat that I couldn't fit into AT ALL. (Example: the dentist's waiting room. I've never been able to sit in their chairs, not even on the edge, and always had to stand. Now I fit just fine.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, bar stools are just plain uncomfortable...restaurants ...take note! So glad you're able to fit in places that were difficult in the past! WOO HOO!

      Delete
  10. I still can't fit in most booths/armed chairs at restaurants. I don't go out that much to them, but once a month I meet up with a group of friends and we go to a different place every time. It's a HUGE source of anxiety for me because I'm the only one at the table who's overweight. I've had it where I'm so physically uncomfortable that I can barely eat my food because I'm being squeezed to death. Not surprisingly, those are moments when I most want to go on a private binge (but refrain) because of that feeling of hopelessness. As for high stools, I've never liked them because I feel like I'm pitching forward all the time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know that anxiety and it's especially bad when you're the only one who would need "accommodating." I would be petrified to go to work functions because inevitably it was always someplace that wasn't friendly to the fluffies. Sigh. You will get there girl! Let that continue to fuel you forward!

      Delete
  11. I have a wide butt so bar stools dont go well and then I remember in grad school, getting drunk on my bday...and imagine trying tos it on a bar stool when tipsy..not a fun picture...:(

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great post! You hit a topic I know all about...I'm almost 100 lbs lighter now, but when i was knocking on 400 lb's door a reality that I had outgrown booths smacked me in the face...I remember being seated at a Denny's booth and my middle fat roll had no choice but to hang onto the table. ... I once went to a birthday party at Hooters and stood the whole time because the seating was those tall round seats and I didn't feel like I could even hoist myself up into it...let alone stay on it...another time I had a work function and I got there to find the seating was out on the patio, in metal chairs with decorative arms, and when I sat down my leg fat dug into the decorative metalwork...It pinched my thighs so badly I had bruises later and felt the soreness for DAYS. Great post, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to comment! I appreciate thoughtful readers like you! If your comment doesn't show up right away, check back in a few minutes. I promise it'll get posted. The system can get a little glitchy. (Rude or spammy comments will be deleted. Fair warning.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...