And She’s back to the Chairs again…

January 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

I never go very long

Without discussing chairs

Do I?

I don’t think that will ever change!


Chairs and I have had such a tumultuous relationship

For so long

That it’s hard to believe

We are just now starting to trust each other

And maybe even

Become friends


This past week

The children and I went to a restaurant

After church

That we had never been to before


You see, one of the AMAZING things

About losing weight

Is being able to venture out into unknown places

Somewhere that hasn’t been ‘scoped out’ in advance


You can just walk into a restaurant

And know you will fit

No need to call ahead and ask

For the layout of the land

Like a soldier would do

Going into enemy territory


You never know how crowded it might be

What kinds of chairs they will provide

Will there be a booth?

Will the chair be sturdy?


You get to a point

Where you no longer have to worry about that

Too very much

Because you start to realize

You fit


But when I walked up to this chair

I cringed



It had some kind of weaving

For the seat


Definitely not ok

NOT OK !!!


When I saw it

I stopped in my tracks

And I felt my heart sink


I creeped up to it

And I began to press on it

To see how sturdy it felt

The waitress staring at me

With a blank look on her face


The kids all gave me smiles

And nodded

As if to say

“It’s ok Mama…the chair can hold you”

They instinctively know what I’m thinking

They’ve grown up this way

With a Mom who can’t fit

Most anywhere


So I sat down

Not comfortably at first

But carefully

Waiting to see if it would buckle and break



It’s amazing to know

That I can fit in a chair

And it will support my weight

That I won’t break it

And end up on the floor


Because that’s not a fear

Gone unrealized

That’s a fear

That’s become reality


My living room table

Came with 6 chairs

I broke 4 of them

Finally we ordered benches

And just gave up on chairs


I hated going to anyone’s house

When invited

Because I never knew the seating situation

And I’m not one

Who can just easily squeeze into

Any chair


Many years ago I was invited so many times

To a friends home

That it got to the point

Where they were taking it personally

That I never accepted the invitation

So I put aside my fears

And went


They had two types of chairs

And I had to ask them

If I could sit in the more sturdy one

That was embarrassing


Many people

Who have never been obese

Just don’t think about those things

It’s not their fault

They just don’t have that frame of reference


But they quickly got me

The sturdier chair

And then I very promptly

Broke it


I was careful as always

Trying to slowly ease onto it

To test it out

But when I finally sat down

It crumbled beneath me

Like a cracker


And there I was

Laying on the floor

Flat on my back

In shock


They immediately came to my aid

Making excuses for why the chair had broken

But we all knew

It was me



It’s paralyzing to never know

If you can even sit down

Because you can’t risk

Ending up on the floor

Once again


I cannot count the number of times

Over the years

I had to stand

Because there was no seat available

Without arms

No seat that I could fit in

Or no seat strong and sturdy enough

For me to risk it


And how many times

Have I had to come up with an excuse

For why I was standing?

I would have a receptionist

Or someone sitting in one of the chairs say

“Why don’t you sit down?”


“Here is a free seat”


Maybe it doesn’t occur to them


Or that I just don’t fit!

But not wanting to say that out loud

I would reply

“Oh I like to stand”

Yeah right….


If there was ever a time in your life

When you needed to sit down

It’s at 417 pounds

And yet that is the time

You just can’t roll the dice


So you smile and pretend

That you like standing

Sure…no problem….

I love excruciating pain

Doesn’t everyone??


How many times can you fall?

How many times can you break a chair?

How many times can you tolerate the humiliation?

Before you just stop leaving the house

Before you just stop accepting invitations

Before you give up


And just lock the doors


Obesity breeds isolation

Because on top of the health issues you have

There is the fear

The anxiety

The growing realization

That you just don’t fit anywhere anymore

So why try


Last month we went to Hobby Lobby

And there was this pole in the aisle

A small space to walk in between

The pole and the shelf

And just for fun

CJ asked me to try it

“I bet you can fit Mama”

And I did!



I simply never get tired

Of finding new places I fit!!

Just knowing that I can go somewhere

And not worry in advance

That I will break the chair

Or get stuck in a tight space

Has added a calm to my life

That I have not experienced in years


You know sometimes when I am walking

Down the street

I feel the abscence of my weight

It’s hard to explain

But it’s like a part of my body is missing


Because for so long it was there

And now it’s gone

The sides of me are shrinking

And sometimes

It feels weird!


I can’t explain it

But it’s just as if some parts of my body

Have disappeared

And I guess quite literally

They have


But I still can sense it

I can feel the abscence of it

And it’s strange

To feel so free


It’s been SO long since I was this weight

That I can’t even remember ever feeling this way

I know I lived a significant portion of my life

Not super obese

But it’s been so long

It doesn’t even feel familiar to me at all


I remember when I hit 200 Pounds

For the first time on the scale

Savannah was one year old

And in February

She turns 17


It’s been 16 years since I weighed

Under 200 pounds

And today

I was 209


I can’t believe it’s going to happen

But more than that

I can’t believe a plan so simple

Could be responsible

For so much joy


Starting small works

Adding a little bit every day works

Plodding along like the tortoise works

It just requires patience

And consistency


That is what I will bring into the New Year

That reminder

That what we do every day counts

No matter how small


If we just keep chipping away

If we just don’t give up

Then one day

We’ll find ourselves

Fitting wherever we choose to go


No more fear

No more pain




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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda Kuil January 2, 2013 at 11:11 am

Yep, it’s all about wanting to fit in and not stick out like a sore thumb. It’s hard, still thinking that everyone is staring at you when you walk in the room, wondering if you’re the heaviest, comparing yourself to every other person there. We all just want to be “normal.” So, how was the food? (Of course I went there!)
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tz January 2, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I would hate it when there was an overcrowded restaurant and I would have to weave between already seated patrons to get to a booth (where I was never sure I’d be able to squeeze into)….I would always scope a place to see what my easiest least invasive exit would be….Good post, I so get it! And congrats again on the weight loss…it’s amazing.
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Adelyn January 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I have my own “chair” thing…it is sizes of clothes. The other I got an email at work asking my size for a free Nike jacket with our school logo. I went all kinds of crazy not knowing what to ask for–and being SO excited to get one as very few people do. I said Large, hoping HOPING that it would fit. When it came I realized I should have ordered at least a medium…maybe a small. Who AM I?
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Lady Amanda January 2, 2013 at 2:11 pm

I always love hearing about your chair success stories! Woo hoo! Love it! The pic of you at the store is really cute too. Another awesome blog!


Lori January 2, 2013 at 2:52 pm

You fit everywhere you want to fit!


Chris January 2, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Wow. What a great story. You look great. I hope to follow your example.

I know about chairs. Once, as a soccer coach, I flattened a chair in front of the whole team. It was quite a laugh—I wished I would have taken action then, but I am now.

Thanks for your story. I got about 125lbs to lose.
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MandaPanda January 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Oh the places you will go! Hubby has had all these exact same experiences. Some restaurants were banned altogether because of the seating situation. Now we ONLY sit in booths just because we can. And you’re right…thin people don’t get it…they’ll never get it because I know I didn’t before I started dating Hubby. So close to under 200…amazing!
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Margaret January 2, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Oh, how well I know that fear! The embarrassment of making everyone wait longer at the restaurants because I need a table, not a booth. Not now! I’ve lost enough weight where I can fit into booths again! Good for us!
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Staci January 2, 2013 at 4:14 pm

You weigh less than me now, girl. Any time you see a chair, just think “Hey, Staci wouldn’t break it so neither would I!” Lol
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Christine January 2, 2013 at 4:34 pm

You are closing in on 200 pounds and then onederland…won’t be long now!
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Karin Canazzi January 2, 2013 at 5:21 pm



Kelly @ Curvy Fit Girl January 2, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Just Keep Chipping Away – how right you are, my friend!
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Holly January 2, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Congratulations! You are such an inspiration. I know the chair woes all too well. I can’t wait for the day when I stop fearing plastic resin chairs!


Robin January 2, 2013 at 7:14 pm

I love your “Chair” posts! I can identify with the issue so much.

I have the same feeling about airplane seating and seatbelts. The best feeling ever was the day that I was small enough to use the seatbelt without an extender, and then had to *cinch* it down. OMG! I wanted to cheer out loud, but the other passengers would have thought I was a crazy lady! 🙂


James P. January 2, 2013 at 7:22 pm

WOW! Thanks for sharing this. This is EXACTLY what I go through EVERY SINGLE DAY. I pray every single day that anything I sit on throughout the day holds me up (sad way to live). Reading your post was like I was listening to someone read my mind, crazy. I’m starting my weight loss journey this year but have to complete a 6 month supervised diet plan per my insurance requirements. I hope I’m able to help those who struggle with obesity and can be an inspiration like you. Thanks for all you do, I hope you truly understand how inspirational you are for many of us.


LoriGee January 2, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Hello Dear,
I found your website via Not Jared from Facebook and “liked” you yesterday. Your chair experience reminds me again that I am not alone in this isolation. Your posting is just what the doctor ordered. None of my friends or family are as heavy as I am (405lb) so they don’t understand. I have a current job that has tremendous potential for me to branch off in a whole new direction and yet I am paralyzed with fear because they want me to travel the world. Heck I won’t even go downstairs to get lunch at the cafe because my knees hurt so much under all of this weight. I love your comments about being FREE. That is what I want so back to Weight Watchers I go and strive to be FREE. Thank you so much for this website.


LM January 2, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Saw your You Tube video and came over to your site – just wanted to say that you’re AWESOME times a million, congrats on your amazing progress, and keep up the excellent work!


Tess January 2, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Once again, you amaze and inspire me! Thanks, Holly! And keep it up!!


Daphne @DaphneAlive January 2, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Whenever I put my hands on my hips or waist I still gt surprised by how small I feel!

I remember one of my relatives had outdoor furniture that was completely made of wicker! Not only did it look like it was going to break, it was always too low to the ground! It was impossible to get out of once you got into it! I also remember plastic and metal folding chairs to be scary too, especially when you could tell that they where cheap quality.
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Alix January 2, 2013 at 9:26 pm

This made me cry. I am so happy for you!


Yazmin @ A Pretty Rock January 2, 2013 at 9:37 pm

“I simply never get tired Of finding new places I fit!!”

That made me giggle out loud. 🙂
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Trish @I_am_Succeeding January 3, 2013 at 12:08 am

Oh man oh man can I relate to this!!!!
I am beginning t love it as well! =)
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Debby H January 3, 2013 at 1:13 am

You have an amazingly beautiful smile!!! Every time you post a picture, thats the very first thing I notice!!
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Mandy January 3, 2013 at 1:42 am

I so hear you with the chairs. I hate booths and I had chairs with arms and I once broke my work chair while people watched me fall to the ground. It was the most embarrasing time of my life. THANKS for this post. Thanks for posting as well because it is so great to know others feel the same.


Rhonda January 3, 2013 at 2:51 am

So happy for you… how exciting to almost be in Onederland! That is going to be a good blog day I bet. Hugs to you and your very sweet kids. Happy New Year.


Pam January 3, 2013 at 2:59 am

Oh Holly–I just love your blog. I look forward to your new posts so much! Everything you talk about just speaks to me and the journey I’ve been on, even though I’m YEARS older than you and our situations are a little different. Being morbidly obese is a club we both belonged to for way too many years and finding our way out of the obesity has opened us up to so many wonders of a normal, average-sized world! Chairs were my nemesis too. It’s embarrassing to point out your need for a sturdy WIDE chair, but it’s even more embarrassing to sit down and BREAK a chair! Oh the humility! But at my weight I needed to sit. I couldn’t stand for any length of time, and was always looking for a place to sit down. I would be walking down the hall at work and one of my co-workers would want to talk to me. I couldn’t do it. Thank goodness, it was an old building and had very sturdy built in wooden benches lining much of the hallway, those benches always came to my rescue. But I wasn’t always so lucky, sometimes there was no place to sit down and rest my weary, over-taxed knees and hip joints, when someone wanted to chat, so I would just have to walk away and find a safe chair somewhere where I could SIT.
That chair in that restaurant you encountered scared me for a long time too. Today when we go out to eat it is such a joy when they ask, “Table or booth?” and I answer, “It doesn’t matter!” Fitting between narrow aisles and getting through tight spots is also wonderful. And just walking anywhere, is just like you said, it’s as if a part of you is missing and it feels SO GOOD to be SO FREE!
Last night we went out to a local restaurant to celebrate my 62nd birthday. It’s hard for me to say that number, but then I remember it’s that magic Social Security age, so I guess I’m okay with it. The fact that I am so much healthier today than I was at 32 or 42 or 52 helps. At the restaurant, I felt such empathy for our waitress. I’m pretty good at guessing people’s weights, and our young pretty waitress must have been close to 400 lbs. I wonder how long she would be able to keep a job where she has to be on her feet all the time. I worry for her future, for her health, and yet I know there is nothing I can do to help her. I carry around the newspaper article that the local paper ran just before I was on the Today Show. I often think about whipping it out to show people like her, as inspiration, to show her it can be done–people can change. I want to tell her about you, about me, about Sparkpeople. But I know she has to come to that realization herself, there is nothing I can say or do to get her started. To confront her would just be humiliating.
My own 35-year-old son weighs in at 400 lbs. plus, and I know there is nothing I can do to motivate him to make a change in his lifestyle. it scares me. As my husband says, “We do not want to have to go to his funeral.” I can understand now more how my parents felt about my morbid obesity.
If only my son could experience the world I am getting to be a part of finally, as a normal-sized person. He would realize it is worth every bite of food he has to give up. It is worth a million dollars…MORE than a million dollars. I often say I have a weight loss that money couldn’t buy. No amount of money could have bought what I have regained by losing weight. I think with our blogs we are both inspiring others, now if only I could inspire my own son….
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Doreen January 3, 2013 at 4:18 am

Hello Friend!
I just read this and cried, because i FELT LIKE IT WAS ME WRITING IT!
I totally understand “chairs” booths, cars, airplanes… all things I have never done before! Standing instead of sitting, scooping out the places you got to make sure you can get a table and not the dreaded scary “booth”. I just lost 150 pounds on my own and I went to an NBA game with friends and it was AMAZING!!!! Walking to the Arena and FITTING into the chair was such a amazing feeling!!! I get it… I too understand about the weight being a part of you, and almost missing it in a way. But being isolated and scared is NO WAY to live!! Now I wake up and LIVE my life to the fullest!! No more out of breath walking! I am traveling to Vegas at the end of the month to see a CONCERT something I have not done in 15 years!!!!! Life is good!! You are amazing!! Thank you for writing this!!!!!! xo


Tammy January 3, 2013 at 4:26 am

I hate chairs. Congratulations on winning the battle. Keep chipping!
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Lindsey January 3, 2013 at 5:31 am

Your blog is so eye-opening for me. It is impossible to realize the pain and the struggle without having experienced it. You have given me so much sympathy for people in the situations you describe, just trying to have a normal life but encountering problems with every step. I have become a less judgmental person from reading your blog, so thank you for sharing your struggles.


Jacquie Roeten January 3, 2013 at 6:27 am

The thing your blog does for me most is realize (once more) that we are not alone…’cause most of the time i feel alone. Nobody understands about chairs or booths or food.
I lost 60 pounds in 2012 and gained 20 back in December. I want it to stop, i want to be healthy i want to go on bike rides with my son…..
What i need to learn is to break the chains…..
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Wendie January 3, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I soooo understand your feelings about chairs! I believe my second post ever was about fitting in chairs and the embarrassment it brings.
As I read your post all that kept coming to my mind was Dr. Seuss…

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
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Pippy Reaux January 10, 2013 at 8:37 pm

After 112 lbs down in 7.5 months, I don’t get tired of the new fit either. I look at tight spots and wonder then I take the leap and fit. Chairs still scare me but I have learned to enjoy the fact that I can fit into booths. There are times I have a hard time keeping up, then others where I don’t feel different. It’s weird how our brain works with our bodily changes.

FYI- the wicker chair would have scared me to. I still find myself sitting gently and trying not to shift or move much. But it keeps me centered. Blessings Sista!


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