Monday, May 12, 2014

Subway Stories

Some of you may already know this story...

Last fall, pre WLS, I was on my way home from work on the subway. When you are carrying around so much extra weight your body gets tired, fast and standing for long periods of time can be difficult. The only person. I ever complained to about standing on the train to was Charlie.  He hates the subway and avoids it at all cost ( a byproduct of living in NYC most of your life, IMHO). I got on the train at Union Square and was standing. It was fine. Usually seats open up once we get in Brooklyn. However, today a seat opened up at the next stop and I gladly took it.  The seats on most of the new trains fit 3/section. I always did my best to squeeze into the smallest amount of space possible as to not force my body on anyone else (don't even ask about flying!). There was another person sitting in my section if three and there WAS enough space for another person to sit down. At Canal a family got on the train...a mother, grandparents and a little girl maybe 8 or so. The Grandmother and the little girl say across from me, the mother in another seat, and the Grandfather went to sit inbetween me and the other rider. There was enough space. He determined there was not and choose to stand.

Now the story should end here but it does not.

When the man went to stand by his wife after he was deterred, the Grandmother began to talk about me.... And point (it was in another language however the pointing gave it away).  She was laughing at me and laughing with her family... snickering. It took everything I had not to cry. Once safely home, the years flowed. Embarrassed and ashamed.

Plus size people deal with things like this every day. It is hard and painful. I'm sure you have judged quietly or not so quietly at one point or another. I know I have.

As of today I am down just shy of 113 lbs. I am still a plus size woman, despite being at my lowest weight in the last 9 years. Today I got on the train and had a moment of panic when all the seats filed up quickly even tough I got on at the second stop on the train. I moved through the car and found a seat between a gentleman and another woman. I set my bag down, smoothed down the back of my dress and took my seat. I fit, something that always surprises me now.  There was no uncomfortable subway dance of sitting bodies trying to move just a little further away from eachother in order to prevent touching. I slid right in. The spot was mine. No shame. No snickering by other passengers at my audacity to think I would fit. I fit.

In my mind, I suspect part of me will always feel like the me of the Fall, and the last few years. Depression was a major factor in my weight gain as well as food addiction and compulsive binge disorder. It is hard sometimes to see his I DO fit into my world.

Note: The man sitting next to me as I wait for my stop offered me the seat first. Something that never happens to fat people.

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