I'm in Nashville right now helping a friend who had surgery today. While we were at the doctors office for her pre-op appointment, I was waiting for the restroom and overheard a conversation.
The doctor is an orphopaedic surgeon and he treats a lot of athletes. Not sure if this guy was an athlete or not. I am standing feet away from he and one of the staff when he starts telling a story of how he had to sit on an airplane next to a fat man with “rolls hanging over the arm rests.” He went on to say that he had to spend an 11 hour flight with his shoulders cramped up because he didn't want to use the guy's “fat roll as an armrest.” A chuckle followed.
I stood there just shaking my head in frustration. Do I say something to him? Explain that the “fat guy” was probably even more uncomfortable than he was on the flight? Do I try to explain my position that he should put himself in others shoes before just looking at it as “fat versus skinny?” That the guy didn't CHOOSE to overflow into his seat? That he probably landed and had deep bruises in his thighs from the arm rest?
The problem is that I get it. I understand it's not comfortable for the person who has to sit next to me. I am over-conscious about this. I get major anxiety about it.
I don't want to be the token fat person sticking up for others. But I want people to open their minds to consider the other persons situation. What if the “fat guy” had lost over 100 pounds (like myself), and still “imposed” on other people? Does it matter?
The other day when I was on the airplane, I wanted to blurt out my weight loss status to the guy sitting next to me. What caused this urge? Did I want to do it to try to validate myself? Or to try to gain sympathy from him? Or to offer an apology of sorts? Was it to try to make myself feel better about the situation?
In the end, I didn't speak up to the patient at the doctors office. I didn't blurt out my weight loss to the stranger next to me. Instead, I sit here wondering if I did the right thing in both situations.
What would you have done? Am I making way too big of a deal out of this?
PS: I got to meet Emily of Big Life, Little Blog for lunch. She is awesome! As someone who has been through 2 half marathons, she really gave some great encouragement for Sunday's race! Thanks Em.