I missed last week because I was traveling for work – something that until recently seemed impossible.
In 2018 I flew to a new city to start a new job. My weight was climbing toward 300 pounds, I was swollen for no apparent reason, and I was crushingly exhausted all the time. Now I know it’s lipedema, but that day, when I sat down and for the first time couldn’t buckle the seat belt… I wanted to melt into a puddle and disappear through the cracks in the floor. Overwhelmed by shame, I covered my lap with my coat and pretended to be asleep when the flight attendant came through the cabin to check. The world was no longer for me. I didn’t fly again for three years.
When I flew in December 2021 – even though I’d lost nearly 100 pounds – I bought two seats just for the peace of mind. The woman at the ticket counter pursed her lips. “You don’t look like you qualify,” she said finally. I took a deep breath of confidence and told her I have a fat disorder. Like most people, she was lost for words and quickly printed my boarding passes. I fit in the seat, but it was snug.
My office booked the ticket for my trip last week, so I was at the whim of the travel agents. I ended up in a middle seat on a sold-out flight. Even though I knew I’d fit, I still held my breath as I dropped into the seat and reached for the belt. Click. No thigh overflow onto neighboring seats. Keto works. Fasting works. Compression and stress management work.
Two years ago, this moment and this trip felt impossible. I was counting calories, exercising regularly, and getting worse. I thought it was my fault.
This Music Monday, Sturdy Readers, I bring you Sia’s “Angel By the Wings”. It’s a little more mellow than usual but I encourage you to take a few quiet minutes to close your eyes and be reminded “you can do anything.” It’s a gorgeous way to start the week.
Oh so, your wounds they showSia “Angel By The Wings”
I know you have never felt so alone
But hold on, head up, be strong
You can, you can do anything
Use the comment section to let me and other Sturdy Readers know what you’ve accomplished in the face of chronic illness.