Airplanes, Long Weekends and the Little Joys of Life

Oh man, first things first.  Sometimes you can’t see in the mirror that your ass really is smaller, but American Airlines is happy to let you know.  Seat belts are just as good as showing progress as a notch on an actual belt, not that I’ve worn one in years.  When you’re super short waisted and very large busted, there is nothing less flattering than a tucked in shirt with a belt.  You can validate this statement by looking at any picture of me between 1994-1999.  Shudder.  Not okay.

I know the vast majority of people reading this have no idea what I’m talking about, but there is nothing worse than the day that stupid airline seat belt won’t fasten.  Not even with Spanx, not even when you skipped breakfast.  It sucks, and it’s a pretty humiliating experience.  Not the worst one I’ve ever had, but right on up there.  I have had countless experiences in my life that you’d think would humiliate me right into motivation at the gym, but you’d be wrong.  Hell, I’ve been offered a new car if I would get down to a normal weight for my height.  No dice.  The human brain is a stubborn beast.

I can’t remember the first time I needed an extender.  I’m sure I was embarrassed and I was probably flying alone, but like most bad experiences, I just try to block it out and move on.  (Yes, I know I probably need therapy.  Bill my bio-dad.)  I’ve been within 20 pounds of my highest weight just a handful of times, thank goodness, and each time I swear I’ll never be there again.  Right around my high school graduation, my last year at TCU, right around graduation from SMU and of course right around one year ago.  Crazy how fast I packed on those pounds.  Clearly school (and work) stresses me right into the fridge.  When you’re making your way closer to the largest pant size at LB, it’s time for a little talk with yourself.  I’m not sure of the day or time, but an AA flight attendant took pity on me during one of those time frames and told me to just hang onto my extender.  No more asking!  I kept it right with my shoe bags.  For someone that earned status on AA before she started traveling for work, that was GOLD.  Not having to ask every time just brightens your day.

I think it was official the last time I flew, but not only did I not need an extender today, I actually had three extra inches on the seat belt.  I think it was the particular plane I was on, but I don’t care.  Extra inches?  I didn’t have to suck in and pray?  YESSSSSS!  Happiness abounds.

Not as happy was the lack of leg room since I was too cheap to pay the extra scratch for my typical seat in 9E (14B would suffice.)  Life will go on, though, and I can start booking the exit row again.  Did you know you can’t have an extender in the exit row?  I didn’t until one insanely crowded flight had an empty exit row, and I was sympathetically told no when I asked to move into one.  The girl that ended up in that seat looked substantially larger than me, but hey, the seat belt doesn’t lie.  I’ve avoided the exit row for a while because you lose a couple inches of precious ass room, but bah.  The exit row is mine again, bitches.  These long legs can stretch out ALL. DAY. LONG.

I need it, too.  Hard to juggle my healthy, soy/dairy/gluten free oatmeal (thanks Starbucks!) coat, scarf, water and a neighbor with only four millimeters between my knee and the chair back.  I guess that extra leg room up front does make a difference.  I’ll try not to pout that I was number two on the upgrade list and still didn’t get it.  Sigh.  At least the person in front of me didn’t decide to lay back on my legs for his inflight nap.


So great to see the Nestlerodes and meet their darling baby.  Hard to believe it’s been 2.5 years since I’ve been to Chicago!  Just like my visit a few Februarys back, I was blessed with sunny skies and moderate temperature.  I didn’t even mind the snow – Katie and I walked up to the local TJ and quilt shop and I was happy as a clam.  Don’t mind the puffer coat, I am totally skinny underneath it.  Promise.


Back to the grind of the week – meal planning before I leave work today and stopping by the grocery store on my way home.  I was a little less strict than I’ve been in the past this weekend, and my foot definitely paid the price.  I had an amazing hostess that let me pick out my own groceries, but I didn’t ask about vegetable oil (soy) at any restaurant, enjoyed the hell out of some french press coffee both weekend days and best of all, had a couple bites of the most delicious butter cake in the world at Mastro’s Saturday night.  That steak!  Insane.  I hobbled around all Sunday morning, but I suppose I can split that blame between wearing heels on Chicago streets and having some of the things I know aggravate my inflammation the most.  Oops.  Worth it, though.

Cheers and stay warm, east coast friends!

7 thoughts on “Airplanes, Long Weekends and the Little Joys of Life

  1. I have avoided flying for years for just this reason! The last time I flew, I weighed around 230, and the seatbelt BARELY fit.. and walking in the aisles was also no picnic.

    Congratulations on getting your seat of choice back! I’m proud 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no, don’t avoid flying! I ended up flying all the time for work, which made me extra thankful for my own extender, but heaven forbid my big behind wasn’t on a plane at least once a month to go somewhere. I’ve gotten greedy about first class, sometimes lucking out with an upgrade but occasionally looking for a decently priced flight and booking it as is. Sanity saver, I guess?

      From what I can tell in your most recent blog, you should be good to start flying again, seriously! Maybe they’ve gotten more generous with the length, but since I weigh considerably more than 230 now, I would think you would be okay. I know body shapes and sizes, differ, but I hate to think you’re avoiding when you might be good to go 🙂


      1. That’s a good point! I am very bottom-heavy. I’m between a 22 and 24 in pants, while my upper body can easily fit a 16 or 18! I’d like to go see my family in California sometime, so it will be nice not to have to make excuses!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, you’re good! I have the same issue. Right now I’m a 22/24 on the bottom and an 18/20 on top. My flight to Chicago was right on and my flight back had the extra inches. And even if you do have to ask for an extender, it’s totally worth it to see your friends and family 🙂

        Thank goodness for fit and flare dresses and a good tailor. I usually have to add darts or take in the shoulders and back to accommodate the girls. Oh, the joys of shopping. But that’s a whole ‘nother post.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I am all about the fit and flare! And a-lines. I want to wear shift dresses in the worst way because they are so cute, and they just never work for me! If they fit the hips, then the bust is way too big, but if they fit the bust, then it’s tight at the hips! So sad, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your writing, Christina! You express yourself in such a warm & friendly way…thank you for being honest about your struggles and joys along the way…love you 🙂


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