Okay… so this problem had plagued me for many, many years.
One of my biggest concerns for years was whether or not I could fit into a bathroom on a plane – especially for the incredibly long trips like the ones that I am currently flying when I go to Copenhagen, Denmark. 7 hours without relieving one’s self is an incredibly challenging proposition.
But it is something I have worried about every single time I have flown… ever. I have never used the bathroom on a plane because I was always worried about being that spectacle… oh the overweight guy couldn’t get into the bathroom or… if I got in the bathroom I would get stuck. The horror of those images and the ridicule I would have suffered has traumatized and scarred me for a lifetime – so much so that I truly have never gone to the bathroom on a plane… ever. I am now 50 years old.
On a recent return flight to Edmonton from Reykjavik – I was in Copenhagen changing the conversation around obesity… I was blessed to be seated in the business class section with only one other man.
Business Class literally to myself again… so freaking cool… but I digress… lol
I decided while it was all quiet and the fact that there was only one other man in Business Class, to see if I could get into the washroom. If there was ever a time to do it, now would be that time… when there was no one around to see the potential disaster of what could happen… to see and to know if the fat person could fit into the bathroom or not…
So I walked through the curtain and stood in front of that bathroom door. I stared at it and that bathroom door was staring back at me… scoffing at me… laughing at me… knowing full well that this would not end well for me. I looked at that door for a very long time… Fuck that door looks small. In my mind, I am already convincing myself what the door is already telling me… you’re too fat sweetie… you are gonna get stuck… go back to your seat and sit your fat ass down.
But I am determined… I tell my mind to shut up and convince myself to reach out my hand and un-latch the door… and that is what I do. I reach my hand out and I open the door up. I feel my heart racing… literally. I am overwhelmed with a queasiness in my stomach. Like I am going to get sick. I look at that opening… damn it’s small. I am never going to fit through that opening… I let my mind take over again and I am about to close the door and turn away. But I convince myself that if I am going to get stuck, getting stuck with no one watching would be the best thing. I HAD TO KNOW. Can I fit into this bathroom?
I did not turn away… I walked forward and I put my faith in me and…
I walked into that bathroom and I stood in the bathroom on a plane for the first time in my entire life. I closed the door and stood there. I was truly overwhelmed with emotion. I will be honest with you all that I actually cried a tear… because for years I didn’t think that it would ever happen. That I would fit into the bathroom on an airplane.
I came out elated and went back to my seat relieved that my flying life may have considerably changed. When I walked out of the bathroom one of the amazing stewardesses, who I didn’t realize had been watching the whole thing, knew exactly the feeling that I was experiencing. She smiled a smile and I looked at her and said, “I didn’t think I was going to fit in. It’s my first time in a bathroom on a plane ever.” She gave me a hug and said it was all good.
For many of you this is not a problem and you are probably saying what a loser… but for those of us who live and struggle with obesity each and every single day of our lives, these are the types of struggles we are constantly thinking and stressing about.
I just wanted to share. Thanks for listening… and by the way… I didn’t have to go to the bathroom… lol.