I haven’t forgotten about posting. I’ve been avoiding it because I’ve been struggling with food, not exercising, and all my body issues. The usual. —
–But today it hit me (in the butt actually) as I took my daughter to the local theme park. This is just a dinky little place about the size of a city block, but it is a fun place to pass a few hours and isn’t nearly as expensive as the big-named theme park. We did have fun, but believe me there was no point during the five hours that I spent here that I forgot about my size.
First there was squeezing my life-sized ass into the various sized seats. Probably the most “fun” were the swings. You know they hang from chains and gently fly out as they spin around a column. I’m sorry to say that it was a super-tight fit. Metal bars pushed against my thighs, buttocks, and belly. The chains groaned and creaked giving me visions of newspaper headlines such as “Fat Girl Flies off Adventureland Swings” or “Young Child Flattened by Falling Mom.” Despite this I really loved the feeling of swinging round and round, up so high.
Second on the you-gotta-be-kidding list is a three-way tie between the haunted house ride, the carousel, and something called a music-makes-the-world-go-round. The haunted house had a seat for “two.” I suggested my daughter take her own “rickshaw” but she was a little scared so we pushed our two fat butts into the seat. It was definitely the scariest part of the ride. The carousel had several comfortable-looking seats, but what’s the fun in that? No! I had to ride a horse which jiggled and wobbled so much from my weight as I got on and off that I thought I was going to snap the poor mare’s neck.
The so-called music-go-round is one of those rides with a small circle of cars that follow an up-and-down track and uses centrifugal force to squoosh one rider into the other. On our first round I stupidly sat on the inside. I spent the full ride using every bit of strength trying to keep my weight off my daughters. Our second round we switched seats. “I don’t mind if you squish me,” I foolishly said. That was the closest to a heart attack I think I’ve ever had. My “little girl” is over 200 lbs. Add the centrifugal force (physics anyone) and the fact that I left my arm between me and the seat and it was all I could do to keep breathing throughout the ride. I really wouldn’t want my family to have to go to a funeral and keep a straight face if I died on a theme-park ride. I mean, that would just be cruel.
Not all the rides were tight seated. I had plenty of room on the balloon-shaped Ferris wheel and the Pirate’s Ship, but had to squeeze through a narrow passage to get to the roomy seats.
I did notice that while there were many other full-figured men and women at the park, few of them were braving the rides with me. Heavier moms mostly pushed strollers and held drink cups while their children ran from ride to ride. Big dad’s carried cameras and filmed the kids having fun, without participating. Only the thinner parents seemed brave enough to climb on the rides with their kids – although to be honest, plenty of thin parents watched from the sidelines as well. I don’t really get that attitude. Sure it is uncomfortable jiggling into a tiny seat, but don’t people want to play with their kids? Not just watch them play?
I also have to give props to the staff at Adventureland. Not one of person gave me attitude or treated me in any way that made me feel bad about my size. One kind woman saw me struggling with a seatbelt and saved my feelings by saying “only kids have to wear them,” and not, “Lady, you ain’t never gonna get that belt around your belly.” The staff smiled at me, and urged me to ride again and again, despite the strain I must be putting on their machines. As a fat person who often gets called out on it, I appreciated that attitude.
So, as much as I’d like to pretend that I’m not fat or that I’m controlling things, the truth is I know I’ll feel better if I just lose a few. I don’t need to be thin, but I should be able to walk around a theme-park without my ankle killing me and I should be able to squeeze into a regular seat. And I should be able to play with my kid at the park without feeling like the end is imminent. So tomorrow is another day — for me to get back on track.
Wish me luck!