Tag Archives: plus size

Extended

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A couple of weekends ago I had to fly to Brisbane. It was for a 90th birthday, a beautiful gentleman who, when asked what it felt like to be 90, replied with, “Up the shit!”.

The last time I flew was around two years ago. That flight, I was heading to Melbourne. I remember the angst on the lead up to the flight.

I knew without a doubt that I would need a seat belt extension. Some people don’t even know what they are, or even that they exist. You know the seat belt they use in the safety briefing before you take off? Well that can click into both ends of the standard seat belt on a flight, thus extending the length of the belt so that every passenger can be safe. I rang the airline to get the seat measurements. I wanted to be sure that my sizeable bottom would fit. I contemplated booking two seats, so that my overflow wouldn’t affect the person sitting in the same row as me.

Because that’s one of the things I used to worry about, that my too-bigness would infringe upon other people. That taking up too much space would inconvenience the people around me. That I should do whatever I could to make amends for being the size I was.

That I should wear a sign, apologising for myself.

For me, my weight was a shame that I wore on the outside for the world to see. I took on the stares and the comments. I absorbed the giggles from children in the street. I carried every single one of the observations about my size and even though they were pointy and hot and uncomfortable, I carried them close to myself until they became myself and there I was, a walking ball of shame and grief and sadness and disappointment.

For me, my size mattered, 100%. And a lot of my time was spent trying to minimise it. I’d sit hunched and curled into a ball. I’d move with a nimbleness that belied my size when I felt like I was in someone’s way. I’d stand rather than sit, lest I break a chair or block an aisle.

Now, I still stand. But it’s more about not wanting to sit still. And now, when I do sit, I tend to sprawl in a most unladylike manner. Because screw being a lady.

When I booked the flights to Brisbane, that little voice made me wonder. Would I still need a seat belt extension? I’ve tried and tried again to explain how hard it is for your brain to catch up when your body changes. I knew that in losing over 50kg, the chances of me needing that extension were pretty slim. But what if. What if I hadn’t really changed my body shape that much? What if that apron of skin was going to be still too big for the standard seat belt?

Turns out, it wasn’t.

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And it also turns out that the tray coming down is a thing. The tray never used to come down. Not even close.

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No worries.

These are the victories that, for the run of the mill person, seem a little odd. If you don’t even realise that a seat belt extension is a thing, then what’s to celebrate if a normal aeroplane seat belt fits you?

Here’s what’s to celebrate:

I didn’t have to walk sideways up the aisle. I didn’t have to whisper that I needed an extension when I boarded, and hold it close to my body as I took my seat so that nobody would notice. I didn’t have to tuck it down the side of my seat when I got off the plane, trying to hide the shame I felt. I didn’t have to pre-book a specific seat at the window, so I could at least spread in one direction in an attempt to minimise the impact I had on the person sitting next to me.

You might think I am being too hard on myself. You might think that most people wouldn’t care.

If that’s the case then thank you, you’re a human with a beautiful heart.

But the reality is that a lot of people are not like that, particularly with strangers.

I’ve discovered that as a whole, society still believes that fat is something that people choose and therefore something they can quickly change. And as a result we have created what seem to be quick fixes for this problem. I’ve always been very careful to state clearly that for me, what was going to work was earning every single gram lost through sheer hard determination, through pushing my body, through walking and running and riding endless kilometres and lifting and pushing and pulling different weights. I had to respect what I had done in order to maintain the weight loss. For me, and I can only speak for myself, that’s what I had to do. Not everyone’s solution looks like that. But I can’t speak for everyone, only for myself.

As the seat belt clicked shut, and I tightened the strap, it sounded like victory.

But in my victory, as in any victory, I remembered the battles lost in winning the war.

So to the me in the plane. Taking up space. Wearing an extension. Desperate for the flight to end:

I’d rather you were safe with the extension on. You have an equal right to be on board this flight. Where are you going? Are you excited? Who are you seeing? Don’t let this moment rob you of your joy regarding travel. You go, you get there, you have an absolute blast. Because regardless of your size, you matter. Your heart is ticking, your soul is full and your smile lights a room.

Extensively.

 

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Bessie

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I hit a new personal best today at the gym. 3km in 32 minutes. Here is my after face:

Image by The Naughty Corner

Image by The Naughty Corner

Full of sweat and stinking like a fly blown cow.

It’s a funny thing. Shops like Lorna Jane don’t stock workout gear that fit larger people, when it’s larger people who actually need that encouragement to get active. As it is, the range of work out gear for bigger people is still decent, if you don’t mind tights as pants. I’ve found ways around this and yes occasionally I do wear tights as pants for the gym. But I make sure these aren’t days when I have to get fuel.

What I don’t understand is why there isn’t a better range of plus size sportswear, swimmers, sports bras and so on. I mean, aren’t we the target market for “get fit” wear? Why then have we been so forgotten?

A couple of weeks ago, I decided I wanted to buy a sports bra. Now, my puppies are definitely shrinking but the thing is, it is still really hard to get a decently priced sports bra to fit my girls. So I turned to the internet, and found not just one but a range of sports bras that would fit!

Not being a fan of underwires, I went for a soft cotton scaffolding system. It was reasonably priced. Had good reviews.

Then I saw the name of this particular bra.

You know how you can buy bras with names like “Luxury” or “Comfort Plus”?

My bra?

It’s name is Bessie.

Fucking Bessie.

So now, I go to the gym in my tights as pants or men’s sport shorts. I have my special joggers on that keep my Achilles happy.

And I wear Bessie.

She’s comfortable, she’s supportive, and I’ll buy more Bessies.

But what the actual fuck is with that name. Pretty sure it isn’t something Lorna Jane would sell.

The battle now is that I need new swimmers. I’ve got my eye on the Minky Deluxe, although the Flipper 500 seems to have a supportive shelf in the bust region.

What do you reckon? Can you point me towards somewhere decent to get my gym gear from?

Of Animal Print and Denim Undies

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So, the little countdown timer on the right of this page keeps reminding me that I am holding a book launch this weekend. I am holding a BOOK LAUNCH!! THIS WEEKEND!

I have the shot glasses. I have the balloons. I have a shitload of almond meal, green M&Ms, a box of champagne. I have a venue. I have a team of volunteers. Tick, tick, tick.

I have dyed my hair… and my eyebrows.

I have an awesome cake topper thingy that came from a shop that I wanted to lick.

What don’t I have?

Something to WEAR!!!!!

Several shopping expeditions have proven fruitless. Why, you ask?

LET ME TELL YOU WHY!!!!!!!!!

I am on the festive side of physique. Jolly. Roly poly. This limits me, not in terms of where to shop, but in terms of what is available to purchase. I make these observations as a fatty, as someone who is experiencing all manner of hiccups in trying to find something to wear to my book launch.

Here is a list of the things I have discovered about fat arse fashion in the last week…

1. Animal Print is IN.

In your tops, in your bottoms, in your underwear, in your shoes. I can only assume this is for camouflage purposes.

2. Denim Undies are IN

In your bottom, generally. But IN. Now, look. These things are hideous. I do not know anyone who looks attractive in these horrific denim short shorts. They have got to be uncomfortable – if not physically, then emotionally. The pockets hanging below the cuff, the sneaky pubes poking out, the fact that they seem to be designed so that they are a size smaller than advertised… Truly horrendous. But I am seeing these things in the large size section!! Seriously! You can buy a pair of these babies in any size at all. However, it has dawned upon me that perhaps they are meant to be unflattering and tortuous for the wearer and beholder…. so maybe size 26 denim undies make sense…

3. Skinny Jeans are IN

And again, in the plus size shops. Um… Irony?

4. The kind folk at some shops have a range of plus size sporty wear, which is tops. Great for the gym, or wearing when you want people to think you have been to the gym. But. BUT. They have slogans such as this scrawled across the front: “Athletic!” “Fit!” “Active!” Point made.

5. Old Lady Clothes are IN.

Because really, only old people are fat.

 

So, it has been to the op shops for me. Op shops, and digging through the caverns of my wardrobe. I have found some great stuff. I had wondered where my wet weather pants got to. Not quite right for the book launch, but perfect for rainy Cub camps. I have already blogged about my op shop strategies, which have been maintained on these missions.

But I am getting worried. The launch is close. I have begun considering fancy dress – as a book, or as the logo from my book.

Or, I can conform to fashion and get myself a pair of denim undies, a leopard print athletic shirt, some clacky mules and look as though I am the height of fashion…