After reading the article posted on the SSBBW Facebook page, I thought I would share my story.
One seat or two. That is the question. Who should decide whether or not we need 2 seats on an airplane.
About a month ago I was traveling for work from Salt lake City, Utah, to Phoenix, Arizona. This is a trip I have taken many times. Every other week or so for about 2 years. I was stopped at the Phoenix airport by the curb side check in attendant and ask a bunch of questions regarding my weight. Now mind you the woman asking me these questions was no small woman. Her 3rd question was "Do you fit comfortable in the aircraft seat." Which my response was, "Do you, or does anyone?" I then explained that if she was to check my flights for the last two years she would see that I had never been asked this question. That she did and I was allowed to bored the plane with no other incidents.
Now after boarding the plane I was feeling a little down. I looked around and noticed that there were many men on the plane over 6ft in height and weighing 200 + lbs. I was wondering if they were asked the same questions I was. As it didn't look as though they looked very comfortable in there seats either. But these men would not be considered fat. Most were in fit shape but where just big men. Thus making me wonder what the parameters for needing to have two seats should be. Since the flight is a short one only about an hour and a half or so. I let my thoughts go and returned home.
In preparation for my next flight I decided that maybe it would be a good idea to purchase 2 seats. After speaking with my company they agreed.
So 2 weeks later I am at the Salt lake airport and precede to check-in. Showing the flight attendant at the desk by my gate that though I am only one person I have acquired 2 seats.
After a 20 minute wait we begin to board the plane.
I am about the 20th person on the plane. I site on row 14, the seat by the window. (This airline does not have assigned seating.) Because after traveling so much you learn to figure out which seats have a little more room than others. The plane begins to fill, and fill, and fill. A larger gentleman sits in the isle seat of my row. And normally I would be relieved by this, because this would insure that no one will sit in the middle of us; as they would be squished. But knowing that I had already purchased the seat next to me I had no worries.
Then it happened. The flight attendant came over the loud speaker and announced that the flight had been over booked. As usual.
The flight attendant starts showing passengers where there is open seating. And of course she goes to seat someone next to me. I object. I explain that I have purchased 2 seats and that no one will be sitting next to me. The flight attendant explains to me that she does not care and that because the seat is open, someone will be sitting there. I then explained that according to airline, I am sitting in both seats. Needless to say I do not win the argument and a very nice elderly woman ends up in the middle seat. I do not mind that there is someone in that seat. Though I know none of us were comfortable.
I get to the Phoenix airport where I get off the plane and head straight for the airline desk. Because they are about to get an earful. I am not trying to be angry or hostile. I would just like a refund and maybe an extra flight credit for the ticket that went to waste.
I begin to explain the situation to a very thin, high maintenance, holier than thou, snobby woman. She did not want to listen to a word I had to say. Explaining that it is not her fault that I purchased two seats and only used one. I called for her supervisor which lucky for me was a woman of normal size, who looked as though she was not anymore happy about her employees actions than I was. I received a refund along with 2 round trip tickets to any destination the airline traveled as long as they were used within the year. And the supervisor assured me that they would put a note on my frequent flyer info that would list that I do not need to ever again purchase a second seat.
I thought this was great. My business trip went well and I returned to Phoenix airport 3 days later to return home, when I get stopped by the same woman who had grilled me the trip before. My end of the conversation started of with, "Are you kidding me." I show her my boarding pass, my ID, and ask her to please look in her system at the notes in the margin. She does this and still insists on calling the manager. It is the same manager that helped me before which was a great relief. I got a smile and a wave and a thank you for flying are airline, see you next trip.
So with all of this being said, I do not mind buying an extra seat if the airlines policy is that I do so. But make it clear what the guidelines are for needing to purchase the extra seat, to both me and the airline employees. And don't ever fill that seat if You, the airline have overbooked the flight. And if you do fill that seat, the person who paid for that extra seat should get a refund and never have to purchase a second seat again.
We will see how my next business trip goes.
This is my first post for SSBBW. I am very happy to be writing this post and sharing the experiences that me and my children are having. I thought I would start with a short introduction. My name is Pamela. I am a 37 year old single mother of 2 who is a SSBBW and proud to be it. I work full time for an architecture firm and have been in the industry for 18 years now. I do love my job. One of the most trying things in my life is raising my two children and the things they have to hear and go through having an overweight mother. Just today I was at the mall with my son. We where there getting me some new glasses. While waiting for my glasses we decided to have some lunch in the food court. This made my son very happy. We ate at Subway. His choice and a healthy one at that. Because I am always trying to make sure that my children make better eating choices as children than I did. But there were a couple of teenagers in line behind us. And of course they thought it would be fun to crack a few fat jokes that my son had to hear. I am immune to these jokes having heard them for most of my life. But my son who is only six asks why they are so mean. He is such a wonderful boy who even thought he understands that I am a bigger woman I am still beautiful. I just explain to him that these boys have nothing better to do. And that as long as they are making fun of me someone else isn't getting their feelings hurt. It is easy to explain these things to him. It is harder for my 14 almost 15 year old daughter to explain to. She too knows that I am beautiful even though I am large. But she gets made fun of at school because of me. You see my daughter is not overweight. She is on the verge of starting to date. And sometimes when the boys see here mother they are worried about what she may turn into. This saddens me deep in my heart. But I always remind her that beauty comes from within first and for most. And though we are both beautiful on the outside we are extremely beautiful on the inside. If others cannot see that, they are not worth the time to know.
Hello. I come to you tonight asking for help dealing with a bully. There's a woman who was recently so kind and supportive and is now saying vile, hideous things to me. I think the last thing she called me was a circus freak. Can you imagine? I would never call someone else something so cruel. I doubt I would even think it of someone else. I think I understand what prompted this most recent attack, but still, no one should be treated so abusively.
I would avoid contact with her, but she lives with me; in fact, she lives within me. I am confessing to you, my new cyber family, that I have been awful to myself over the past few days. Where does this garbage and distorted image come from? Right now, I am more interested in learning how to make the attacks of self loathing stop than I am interested in its origins. I suspect that blogging will help me vanquish this lying bully for good. I strongly hope that by writing about my struggles, I provide some comfort and rest for you as you fight your own demons. It's not easy work; we are better off doing it together.
Please be nice to yourself. Trust that you are all the wonderful things you believe yourself to be on the clear, calm days. Believe that you are as enjoyable as you let yourself be on the super fun days. Know that you are as beautiful as you see yourself to be on the really great hair days. I'm going to try and do the same.
And on those days when I am bullying myself, I'm going to say, "Be nice". I'm only going to ask once, then I might resort to "Shut up, you bully". If that does not work, I'm going to report the bully to someone who is stronger than I am in the moment, someone whose voice I can hear and trust. I'm not taking this abuse anymore, and especially not from you, I mean me.
It's the new year and I'm the new girl. Thought I would take a minute to say tell you just enough about me to have you wanting more. Actually, I want to get started before I chicken out. I'm quite excited by and grateful for this opportunity.
In 2 weeks, I will be 50. I know, shocking right? I'm in love with being 50, absolutely in love with it. I started claiming it about 6 months into being 49.
I'm sure it is because 6 months into being 49 I started taking better care of myself socially. That's right, the old girl started dating after 21 years of not. Yes, reread it, not 12, but 21. I promise that I will write more about that in the future.
In June of 2012, I took my attention off my 20 year old son and put it on myself- new clothes, make up, cleavage. Started talking back to boys when they talked to me, which was a lot.
Once the social void that I allowed to create was filled, I was able to look at other ways of taking better care of myself. I'm cooking again, eventhough, it is for me and not a family. I'm good. I enjoy it. And, I can buy what I like. I like to eat well. Eating well is leading to feeling healthier, which is leading to weight loss. Now, I'm going to go on record here, that I hate when people an organizations preach size acceptance and then write about diets or worse, take before and after pictures. Of course, I would like to weigh less. I would like to move better and fit in more places (physically, not emotionally). But, you are not going to get diet tips from me. You won't get any tips or advice from me. I will share my experiences and what has worked and what has not in all aspects of my life.
When I am happy and focused on myself, I make better food choices. For one, I eat more regularly and more food. I have spent a lifetime trying to work out my relationship with food. The truth is that I don't want a relationship with anything that is not breathing, so that's people, pets, and plants - in that order. I don't want food to have more than its appropriate place in my thinking, whether it be what I am eating or not eating. So, I'm feeling better and freer to really think about how certain foods make me feel. That's all good stuff.
Ok, that's pretty deep for what I thought would be an introductory post. I hope you enjoy reading me, cause I so love to be enjoyed. I hope I share something helpful. I'm excited to be here. I hope this excites you too.
I'm obese. For most of my life I have been chubbier that those around me. But until I was in grade 7, from what I can remember, I wasn't bullied.
Now, I have never been physically bullied but definitely have been emotionally bullied. Other children would snicker and make fun of me. Point at me and laugh. The nickname given to me was "Big Bertha". In High School there was one individual who was the worst. To this day I still remember things he said or did although I doubt he remembers any of it.
Adults these days talk about how awful bullying is in the schools, especially with the internet and social media. Do these same adults realize that they might also be bullies? "What? Me? I'd never bully anyone!".
Perhaps not on purpose but what about those fat people you see in the malls or restaurants. Do you stare at them out of the corner of your eye? Do you look them up and down with disgust? Do you check out their grocery cart? Do you nudge your friend and point at them? Do you perhaps make a comment under your breath about their eating habits or how they look? If you answered Yes to anyone of these then you are a bully.
When you look at a person in a wheelchair you probably think either a) they were born like that, or b) they were in an accident. Poor things, how terrible. But look how they go on with their life, have families, jobs, dreams ... good for them!!
When you look at a fat person you probably think they sit at home eating junk food and never getting off the couch. That they are lazy, unhygienic, probably have no family because who could love something like that. What, you have never ever thought even one of these things? Ever? Are you certain?
I am 335 lbs. I used to be 470 lbs. I've been married. I have a great job and great friends. I have travelled. I am smart, funny, loyal, caring and a good friend. Do you see any of this? Do you see that I have lost 135 lbs? Do you see me working out with my trainer? Do you care?
Do you care that because of the constant bullying since my childhood I have had a long journey to accept and love myself? Do you care that I suffer from depression because everything around me tells me that being fat is wrong and bad.
I am fat - being fat is wrong and bad - therefore am I wrong and bad?
Oh and by the way - you don't need to tell me how to eat. I have been on just about every diet out there. I know that salads are good and french fries are bad. I probably know more about eating healthy than you do.
Alot of us are emotional eaters. You aren't helping when you are causing us bad emotions. You want to help - smile at us - treat us with respect.