I've mentioned seat belts dozens of time across my social media since embarking on this weight loss journey. I'm talking specifically, aeroplane seat belts. In short:
Before I lost weight, plane seat belts would be so tight on me that it'd leave semi-permanent red marks across my tummy. When they were just too tight and I just couldn't hack it, I'd undo it and drape a huge cardie or jumper over the top to hide.
As I lost weight, the seat belts fit better. I would delight as the flappy bit at the end
|Technical term: "Flappy Bit" noun|
As I've started putting on weight again, the flappy bit has slowly gotten shorter and shorter in length...
A few weeks ago, I flew to Sydney for the day. The flappy bit has been long gone, and I was expecting to have a tight fit of the belt. I breathed in, and...it didn't do up.
I was the first passenger on the plane, which was helpful. Even still, I turned around to check no-one was watching. I sat back, as deep into my seat as I could, breathed in again, and pulled.
I tried again, raising a sweat and my heart rate, but it wouldn't reach.
The dread spilled over me. It had actually happened. The seat belt wouldn't do up. I was horrified, as even at my biggest, it would always do up. I may have not been able to breathe, but it would do up.
I took this photo and sent it to my friend. (It reached a bit closer than the photo: I needed 3 hands to show just how close it was). I couldn't believe it.
I then realised - it was probably where I was seated! On some aircraft types, the seats are narrower the further down the back of the plane you sit. I was in Row 29! If the seats are narrower, then the seat belts could be smaller. Maybe?
I went with that, anyway. It made me feel the tiniest bit better. I tried to relax, as I was seated in Row 19 that afternoon. It only *just* didn't do up in Row 29, so I should be sweet in 19!
I tried to just relax and keep smiling, but on the inside it was like someone had punched me. (Well if you think of it metaphorically, I had punched myself)....
My day itself was a bit upsetting. In between flights, I had to don safety gear, including a white coat - like a lab coat or factory coat. I was with a group of people and they gave us a big pile of coats to wear. I tried to be inconspicuous while I furiously scanned my eyes over the size of the coats before anyone smaller got their hands on them. I chose what at mega quick glance appeared to be the biggest coat, and I put it on.
It went on, but the buttons didn't do up, but I kept looking busy and like I hadn't noticed. It went on, and that's all that mattered. I had a high vis safety vest underneath, and my normal clothes of course. The white coat didn't do up, but it was on. I silently hoped it wasn't supposed to do up (safety wise), and carried on putting on steel capped boots etc.
About 5 min. later, the lady who was in charge, walked past and handed me another white coat. It was a flurry of activity in the room so no-one would have noticed if she had, but even still, she didn't say a word or even make a face. She looked into my eyes only and kept walking to help other people in my group.
I looked down, and the coat said "XL". This beautiful lady is a fair bit larger than myself, so I instantly realised she got it. She had quietly left the room and gone to fish out this bigger one for me. She didn't need to say anything, it was an unspoken thing. While joking around with the group, I swapped coats, and gratefully did up the buttons on the new one, that now did up.
I was so completely grateful for this lady. I was crushed having two "I've put on weight reminders" in a space of a few hours, but I just sucked it up and cried a bit on the inside, and just focused on how grateful I was for what she did.
|Row 8: love|
It did, just.
The following week, I again flew to Sydney, again for the day. I was seated in Row 8 in the morning and Row 10 in the afternoon, so I wasn't too worried. Hoping I could leave the Row 29 incident as a distant memory, I jumped aboard, and Row 8 did up. It may have cut off my blood circulation, but it did up.
Coming back that afternoon, I was really not concerned. Row 19 did up, Row 8 did up, Row 10 surely would, too.
*insert expletives here*
How? Why? What? Seriously?
My row / seat belt length theory was squashed - either that or I happened to have been very bloated the morning of Row 29 and the afternoon of Row 10. :/
I (unexpectedly) happened to know the person sitting next to me, and she was there already when I got onboard, so it probably didn't help that we were chatting away while I was trying to do my belt up. There was a limit to how much I could breathe in, pant and fight the belt, while trying to appear calm and at ease chatting, while I attempted to buckle myself up.
My theory was further disproved the following week, when I flew to Sydney again, in Row 27 going there, and in Row 8 coming back: and both times it did up.
Anyway - whether it doesn't do up or it *just* does, either way it's a sure sign reminder that I have to continue pushing away and never give up.
It doesn't make this kind of thing feel any better, knowing that it's your own doing. If anything, it makes it feel worse.
I've made no progress in the past few weeks - depending on how you look at it, I've gone backwards. But I haven't given up. And one day soon, I'll be posting photos proudly on here once again, with flappy bits everywhere.