Chairs, benches and escalators..oh my!

September 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about fitting in chairs!

But I have to admit

It NEVER gets old

One of the worst things about severe obesity

Is outgrowing the world

Outgrowing chairs

Even the escalator

To navigate 417 pounds onto an escalator is VERY risky

Your stability and balance are not the greatest

And fitting on the escalator step is even tough

If you go to the mall

With your little ones

You want to hold THEIR hands when they get on an escalator, right?

Because you want to make sure THEY don’t fall

But with me

That was impossible

I could not hold my child’s hand on the escalator

Because there was simply no room for us to fit next to each other on the step

Of course all of this assumes that I was even in the mall to begin with

Which by the time I got over 400 pounds

I was no longer able to do

Because simply walking at all had become excruciatingly painful

But still…I can remember the times that I tried

And the pain that went along with those moments

One thing I will never do

Is forget the places I could no longer fit

The chairs I broke

The chairs I was forced to squeeze into

With arms that would dig into my legs until they bled

And eventually I couldn’t even fit into those either

My body was a prison

I was its prisoner

And it was a life sentence

With no possibility of parole

Until finally one day

Hope came shining through

Like someone who walks into a dark room and throws open the blinds

Hope came in the form of weight loss surgery

And an exercise program that started with a mere 30 seconds

And with that came the light

13 months later, I can do things I only dreamed about before

If I even DARED to dream them

Annabelle started middle school this year

If there was ever a time to go clothes shopping at the mall

This was it!!

The mall with its endless hallways and crowds was a place I could never go before

Even if I could have handled the walking

The crowds would have been too much for me

I couldn’t fit in a crowd

Literally running into people without meaning to

Because of my size

Unable to fit between the clothing racks

Or the small walkways

The mall???

NEVER!

But “never” is not in my vocabulary anymore

It’s been replaced with “someday soon” or even better yet

TODAY!!!

Annabelle and I went to the mall

And not only did I have the balance and stability to get on the escalator

We got on it TOGETHER

On the SAME step

I not only FIT on the step

I shared a step with my daughter!!!!

Cue the Hallelujah chorus please!!

But that’s not all

Because last week we went to Sam’s Club

And I fit on the BENCH

You know the kind I am talking about

Where the seat and the table are attached

Oh how I have hated these benches

It’s as if they are telling you

You can only be THIS big

Because you will NOT scoot that bench out from the table

We will not allow it!

So if you don’t fit

You don’t sit

These are the types of benches they have at the elementary school

And it’s the reason I can never go have lunch with my kids

Though they’ve begged me to over the years

But my stomach was too big to fit on those attached benches

But not anymore!!!!!

And I have room to spare!!

This means that THIS is the year I can go eat lunch with my little ones at their elementary school

And that alone is like winning the lottery!!

But the excitement just keeps going!

Because I did something this past week

That I haven’t been able to do in YEARS

YEARS AND YEARS

I went to a salon

And got a PEDICURE!!!

Let me explain

That getting up into that chair is no small task

And once again

THE ARMS on the chair

Always say….THIS big and not an inch more

But not only did I fit

I had some room to spare

The pure joy of getting a pedicure

Feeling a little pampered

Has been lost to me for many years now

When my husband first left me back in 2006

I felt worthless

And I will never forget what my mother did

She sent me money to get my hair done

And a pedicure

She wanted me to feel special

And she continued to send me money every month just for this

She told me it was important for us to do little things for ourselves whenever we could

Because when the world is tearing us down, it’s easy to give up

But doing something special for yourself reminds you

That you ARE special

Regardless of your circumstances

But soon I had outgrown the salon chairs and I could no longer go

Like most everything

That was taken from me too

That’s when I stopped getting my hair cut as well

I could no longer fit in the chair

My hairstylist was sweet

He would pull out a bench for me to sit on

But the embarrassment of it all became more than I could bear

I should have gone anyway, right?

Because we ALL deserve these things

Regardless of our size

But I quit going

I retreated into my house

Which just made it easier to get even bigger

But now I can fit in the salon chair again

More than that

I can WEAR the robe they give you

My hairdresser used to have to give me two robes

I would put one on like a coat

And the other like an apron

The same way I had to use two hospital gowns

But a few days ago, I went to get my hair done

And the robe FIT

JUST ONE

Never mind the crazy foils in my hair!

I’m pointing to the robe!

Because I can’t believe it actually fits!!

Last night when I had to spend most of the night in the Emergency Room

Once again I was reminded of what an amazing difference losing 180 pounds has meant to my life

Because we were there for 8 hours

And 13 months ago, I could NOT have fit in a single chair there

Because they ALL had arms

I could not have stood on my feet for 8 hours either

What would I have done?

I’m really not sure to be honest

But I know this

Last night I sat in the chair at the hospital

 

And while I wasn’t happy that my children were sick and hurt

I was ecstatic that I fit in the chair

It’s a tight fit even still

You can see that I’m still right on the edge

So can you imagine what it was like 180 pounds ago??

When you can’t fit in a chair with arms

You have another option

It’s a stool that ROLLS

Now who wants to get on a rolling stool

When they are obese?

It’s hard enough to navigate your weight onto a chair of any kind

Much less one with WHEELS!!

But guess who can get on that thing now??

And not fall off ?

It may seem odd to be smiling while at the hospital

But even in the midst of our sad and frustrating times

The kids find joy in seeing me fit places

They’ve never seen me fit before!!

Last week was a special night at the church I attend

It is an annual event called “The Night of Champions”

David Robinson who retired from the Spurs basketball team

Was coming to speak

There is great music

And it’s a lot of fun for the kids

My kids wanted to go last year

But we couldn’t make it

Why?

You guessed it

I couldn’t fit in the seats

And because the auditorium is so big

I couldn’t make it up the stairs

But this time was different!!

For many years I couldn’t even attend church physically if I wanted to

Because I couldn’t fit in the chairs

I couldn’t handle the stairs

And I couldn’t stand up to sing

It’s a horrible feeling to be excluded from all of society

Because you live in a physical prison

But it was during those years

That I found God was willing

To come to ME

To my home and my heart

Wherever I was

He never excluded me

He was never far away

I can go to all these places now

To a church event

Or the hair salon

To eat lunch with my kids at their school

Sit on the bench or the chair without issues

Ride escalators at the mall

But I’ll never forget the pain and isolation of my prison cell

Because I know that prison cell is occupied by many others just like me

Who have lost hope

They need to know

That hope is out there

Their day is going to come where the blinds will be thrown open on that darkness

And they too will rise from the ashes

To claim their new life

It’s waiting for them

Just like it was waiting for me

Take the first step

And you will see

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Bernadette September 6, 2012 at 8:06 am

Beautifully written. Go YOU!

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blackhuff September 6, 2012 at 8:42 am

I want to laugh with joy together with you, as I know how you felt the days you discovered that you fit into chairs and escalators you could not before 🙂
People do take this for granted.
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jennxaz September 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm

too cute! Beautiful pictures and love how you celebrate everything–so positive!

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Ronnie September 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I love your chair posts! Strangely, they give me a little extra bounce in my step every time you post one. I’m so proud of you, lady!
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Amanda September 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Wahoo for fitting into the world again!
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Lady Amanda September 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Lookin Good wild woman!

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CottleFamily September 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm

I read your blog entry and I went from feeling a little teary eyed to feeling overwhelmed with happiness that you have come so far in your journey. Love your writing. Love your story. Keep inspiring us!

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Tracy aka My Tiny Tank September 6, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Omg I love this post!!
Still to this day, after 12 years I am delighted when I go to hair salon and the cape fits me.
Yesterday I was giddy as I wrapped the gym towel around my body. Sometimes I take a picture of that one since I still can’t quite believe it. I love that you are celebrating in these areas.
I love hearing about them. Tracy
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down September 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm

I can’t wait until the towel fits around me!!!!! That is awesome Tracy!

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Elizabeth September 6, 2012 at 7:18 pm

YOU ARE AWESOME!!!! Cute pics!!! 🙂
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adorkbl September 6, 2012 at 10:43 pm

I LOVE love LOVE that you take photos of all these moments. How amazing to be able to look back and see all that you have accomplished. Keep on rocking it!! 🙂

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Michele September 7, 2012 at 1:44 am

Wow! What a terrific post. It must feel soooo good where you are right now. What a transformation for you. You WILL be there with your kids and get to enjoy life with them. Good for you! You are an inspiration!
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Staci September 7, 2012 at 2:00 am

Did they turn on the massage machine in the pedicure chair? And did it nearly knock you out in the floor? LOL It does me EVERY. TIME. I have GOT to learn how to use that remote that comes with it! Haha So happy for you and the way you are constantly the piece of the puzzle that FITS!
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Linda Kuil September 7, 2012 at 10:56 am

I hope everyone is feeling better!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down September 7, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Thanks Linda! We are working on it!

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Alisa September 7, 2012 at 7:45 pm

You make it so possible to believe that anyone can do this, that we can take control and make the changes necessary to live a FULL life. Thank you for sharing your story. You are a true inspiration and so deserving of all things good.

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Sheila September 7, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Your smile says it all (even in the ER, lol!) And I absolutely adore that pink ruffle blouse on you!
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Trisha September 8, 2012 at 1:25 am

great NSV’s!! I, too, have been enjoying being able to sit in chairs out in public comfortably now!! Just today the docs office, before I sat down I thought to myself “oh shoot… am I going to have to stuff myself in?!”— but I fit with PLENTY of room to spare! my hips didn’t even touch the arms when I sat down!! SO I know exactly how you feel!!! 🙂

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Pam September 11, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Beautiful! The normal world takes “fitting” for granted. But for us former morbidly obese individuals, just to “FIT” means so much. I got to thinking about a family reunion I attended last month. I NEVER would have gone before I lost the weight. I hated to be seen, and it was just easier to stay home. Now you can’t keep me at home! I want to go all the time. Last Thursday, I spent the afternoon substitute teaching a group of loud third graders. I was afraid to do that before. I trained to be a teacher, but for almost 40 years I was afraid to try teaching. First I had to take a college class (which I took last Fall) to get my teaching certificate renewed–and I always feared those attached desk/chairs, because I didn’t fit in them before). But I lost weight, took the class and now substitute teach when I get a chance. It’s great to be able to stand for hours in front of those kids, without fear of ridicule for being fat, and squeeze between rows of desks without any effort at all.

Like you, walking was painful for me, it hurt AND it wore me out, so if I thought a situation might involve much walking, I just didn’t attempt it. And stairs in an auditorium–so difficult—and as you are laboring up those stairs, you just feel everyone’s eyes on your fat lumbering, wheezing body. Much easier to stay home! But now I go to volleyball games and speeches and concerts without a thought. Oh, that’s not true, it’s never without a thought. I never forget where I came from. It’s important to remember so that we don’t go back there.
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Barbara September 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Amazing Holly! Like ALL of your writings! . . . what stands out the most in your photos is your beautiful smile and the smiles of your children. I’m happy for you! AND I despise those flimsy resin chairs that are everywhere these days! Not much fun going to a restaurant when there’s the constant fear of being over the weight limit of the furniture!!

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