Fitting In

photo (2)
Fitting in, on a metal bench.

There are little things that are not considered by those who are smaller, normal or even somewhat overweight. Things that aren’t informed by a mirror or how you look in your favorite pair of jeans. For those who are significantly larger – beyond the tipping point of society’s generic sizing – negotiating life, space, and places can be fairly miserable (negotiating and navigating people requires an entirely separate post).

At a certain size (the tipping point: it’s different for everyone but for anyone who’s considerably overweight, there’s probably a number on the scale that they can assign to this; there’s a number at which you know your ability to navigate the world is or will be compromised greatly), the world doesn’t fit around you. Chairs, booths, turn-styles, seatbelts, spaces “between” things (think: clothing racks), certain doorways… really, you do not fit into the world.

The world is made up of averages; the majority of things and spaces are constructed with the averages in mind. I don’t think that most of society is consciously trying to make obese people feel even more horrible (those in the fashion industry and media are external to this thought) – it’s simply trying to fit as many people into as many economically viable spaces as possible (more seats on a plane = more paying customers).

Is it fair? I used to think (easily) “no”. But now I’m not so sure. Really, I think most of life is functional and meant to serve as many people as possible (I could go into the privilege of being normal or “getting by” in society based on size, but I’ll save that for the next post that will be specific to the people side of size); the fat, the tall, the physically impaired, etc. are (still) the outliers. That doesn’t make traversing life any easier. Even a greater understanding of society fitting what’s purely functional hasn’t made me contemplate my space and place … any less. In fact, particularly in this year of losing weight again, I may be thinking about it more.

This brings me to what I’d really like to share here: the spaces and places in my life that are now easier to “fit”. The spaces and latitudes I can now be a part of without special accommodation. Most of these spaces are more easily understood in pictures. So, as I come across them, I’ll be adding more pictures to this post as examples. My first picture is actually one of the spaces I’ve always felt completely “off” in (though I’ve never openly shared this): with other people (that would be me in the middle). In most pictures, I’ve felt like a glaring exclamation point in the midst of smaller punctuation points that come together in the picture’s otherwise perfect grammar.

airplane space
12.15.14: for the first time as an adult, fitting in – in an airplane seat with the table down and more room left on the seatbelt (without an extender).
skinny legs
12.15.14: marveling at fitting in – in “skinny jeans”; months of walking and more recently run/walking have lead to this… ((cheering))

When you’re larger, simple hugs with friends can seem awkward. And of all the places I can currently think of where I now don’t worry about fit, more naturally among friends and family is my favorite one.

seat belt
Fitting in, in a) a seat belt, b) the driver’s chair with extra space; dare I say that’s a thigh gap!?
chair
Fitting in, in a chair at a conference table I am always at.
Fitting in, to the smallest clothes I have ever worn since 9th grade.
Fitting in, to the smallest clothes I have ever worn since 9th grade.
Fitting in, with great friends.
car door
Fitting in, between two cars. In the past, this space sometimes required a fair amount of shimmeying and sucking in.

6 thoughts on “Fitting In

  1. Fitting in is something you’ve always been great at. Being big or small had nothing to do with the size of your heart, your humor or personality. I love you for becoming the person you want to be, but i think you were always that person. You know what, i dont think i ever noticed your size, until you brought it up. You’ve always just been my Ally! Thanks for being so forward, open and honest in everything you do in life. You make it easy to say “shes my friend” Love you to pieces.

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  2. Fitting in is something you’ve always been great at. Being big or small had nothing to do with the size of your heart, your humor or personality. I love you for becoming the person you want to be, but i think you were always that person. You know what, i dont think i ever noticed your size, until you brought it up. You’ve always just been my Ally! Thanks for being so forward, open and honest in everything you do in life. You make it easy to say “shes my friend” Love you to pieces.

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    1. Love you, chica. You’re right, I’ve always had the benefit of “fitting in” where it was most important – my family and friends have almost always been an oasis. But there are things that have nagged at the corners of my mind and hampered some of the mundane, daily things that I would have rather given no mental space to but had to (by default). All the sides of “me” have created the person you know. ❤

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  3. Youre an amazing woman in so many ways, and I think its awesome seeing you make these changes throughout your life. Keep up the good/hard work and positive attitude and anything is possible!

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