Logistics Department

There was a girl waiting on the train platform this afternoon, approaching the same size I was at my largest. She looked nervous as the train pulled in, shuffling from foot to foot. I wondered what was wrong. Sometimes I look nervous when a train pull in too, because I’m always trying to judge where exactly the carriage doors will be when it stops. I have good Door Karma lately; the doors have landed right in front of my nose so I can get right on board and have a good chance of actually finding a seat. It’s a beautiful thing!

I had good Door Karma again today, and was about to get on when I saw the girl again looking even more flustered. This may sound stupid, but I suddenly recognised that agitated expression. It all came flooding back to me. I stepped back and let her get on first.

She didn’t venture into the carriage proper, where most of the seats are; but instead hung round in the end bit. I dunno how to describe it, but there’s an open sort of area with a bike rack and a toilet and just one seat that folds down from the wall. She swooped on that solo seat quick smart. It’s hot and noisy as hell there, but everyone packed into the main bit of the carriage and fought over the seats, leaving her in the end by herself.

Please don’t think I am being patronising or pitying, it was just a moment of recognition and empathy. I’d almost let myself forget how when you’re very overweight, every day is a series of logistical operations. How to maneuver my bulk through various challenges. Getting down a narrow aisle of a shop without knocking over merchandise. Getting to work early enough to get a park close to the building, and early enough to get the lift instead of walking one flight of stairs without anyone seeing me. Making plans with friends then fretting as to whether I should put anti-chafing powder on my thighs in case they want to walk anywhere. Finding a solo seat on a train so I don’t have to squeeze past anyone. I had to plan ahead and think quickly.

The Dietgirl Logistics Department has been retired for quite sometime; I don’t have to worry about non-retracting seat belts or breaking chairs in restaurants anymore. But today I remembered how exhausting it is, physically and mentally, just getting around. All the dread and fatigue and panic came rushing back, and I moronically kept patting the empty space on my seat, making sure I really did fit on it.

. . .

Thanks everyone for your most excellent comfy shoe suggestions in the last entry! There may be hope for this gigantic clumsy-hoofed beast after all.

While I’m on it, apologies for the lack of speed in my email and comment replies lately. It’s summer in Scotland and we have been trying to pack lots of Stuff into our spare time, so I’ve not been online as much. There’s such a teeny tiny Window of Opportunity for doing stuff before the dreaded cold and dark comes back again so you really have to go for it!

. . .

Hello to the folks coming over from the MSN Health article on Diet Blogs! If you’re starting out and feeling baffled, try the About page or the 5 Year Anniversary recaps.

I met with the journalist last week and she was so much fun to talk to. Normally I am terrified of journalists, which is a hangover from the days of my journalism degree when I was scared of journalists, journalism teachers, anything to do with journalism at all, really. Newspapers, editors, spiral notebooks, pencils; you name it. But this girl was lovely and I came away from the wee chat feeling very happy and thankful about this whole blogging palaver. Woohoo!

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20 thoughts on “Logistics Department

  1. Alas, still doing some of the logistics thing here, esp re flying: having to squeeze all my lard into my seat, hoping I don’t bother the person next to me, which means sitting cramped in a corner, not moving a muscle, which complicates all the back, hip, knee issues that the lard already contributes to…sigh. Nothing like an upcoming flight to keep me sticking to my diet. : ( Good of you to recognize the moment and treat the other woman and yourself kindly. Her with your quiet support, you with your quiet awareness of how far you’ve come.

  2. It’s hard to see why you, with your talents, would be afraid of anything to do with writing, but I love the idea of the alarming qualities of spiral notebooks.

  3. Ohhh I too remember those days of blubber logistics – especially when I was in Hong Kong/Thailand/Singapore/Malaysia

    What annoys me greatly on buses in New Zealand is that when you try to squeeze past someone to get out (say you’re sitting next to the window and someone has plonked down next to you), they won’t get out of their seat and let you out, but rather they’ll just swivel their knees to the side without getting off their butt.

    I’m all like, “GET UP! FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY! I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THE LARD!” It generally ends badly O_O

  4. I know exactly what you mean about the lard logistics – I thought I was the only one. Making sure that no-one else in on the stairs when you are going up them; finding a new hairdresser not taking into consideration their talent with the scissors but rather, the size of the seats in the salon, etc etc. Just reading about it made me realise what a stress it is having to take all that into consideration each day. I can’t wait till I no longer have to worry about it.

  5. That look of worry that crossed people’s faces as I came down the airplane aisle – ‘Will that enormous beast try to fit in the seat next to me?’.

  6. i knoooooooow! *squirms*
    now gareth keeps saying “Is there anything i can get for you, YOUR MAJESTY?!”.

  7. Woo! The Queen! Get that girl a crown! Too true. Was that a photo of you on the first page?

    Oh I remember the horrid days of Lard Logistics. I think my low point was when a group of us went to a fancy restaurant, and I couldn’t fit – literally couldn’t fit – into the booth. We had to wait 45 minutes for a table to become available.

  8. It never got that bad for me (although when I was full term in my pregnancy, I had to employ some of these logistical maneuvers), but I remember being haunted by the ghost of the fat girl. Hell, I still am.

    This entry is so bittersweet.

  9. marla! no that’s not me! but i did look at that pic and think it looked a bit similar… hehe

  10. wow what a stunning article 🙂 Well done!!

    It is amazing how quickly we forget what it was like being much bigger. But it is good to be reminded of it every so often. I don’t ever want to forget what I was, it just makes me appreciate what I have achieved and what I am becoming 🙂

  11. Good for you, ma’am. How privileged we all feel for being your readership.

    That was so kind of you to let that woman on first. Seats are a constant difficulty. They don’t come in a one-size-fits-all shape. And even worse if you are seated next to another hefty person because you both spill into each others’ seats. Women’s loos too. I always have to move the sanitary bin away from the side of the loo.

  12. Glad you liked the article. Emma’s such a sweetheart and has got a witty, yet gentle manner, when touching upon a more senstive subject.

    I still do the logisitics on the bus seats and when I have to pass a lamp-post that is precariously close to the edge of the pavement – will I get past without having to step off?

  13. Poor girl. I never worried about catching trains or trams – my desire to get a seat, any seat, overcome that one quickly but my worst fear was travelling in friend’s cars and the seatbelt not fitting, esp if you are in the back seat. The seat belts in the back are always shorter than the front ones! Sometimes I’d just pretend but really just have the seatbelt across my lap and not plugged in.

  14. Hi – I just wanted to say I love your blog! I can relate to so many things you mention. I have just started out on my journey to lose weight successfully and you are helping to provide me with much needed witty and insightful inspiration! Next time you see train-dilemma girl give her a smile and a kind word. She may not be fortunate enough to have found your blog yet… Keep up the good work! In a strange and slightly bizarre way I’m proud of you and hope that I will achieve similar goals. Regards
    F.G.I. x

  15. Just found you for the first time. The last entry is how we all feel fighting the lard battle. I will keep reading and thanks for making me realize it can be done!

  16. When you are not in a very large persons shoes you tend to not realize that simple things like sitting are walking are so troublesome. I imagine going out causes alot of anxiety. Very enlightening post. As for the people not moving for you thing, i used to (emphasis on used to) be very lean and muscular, meaning i was small but heavy (5’10 180 lb) i would have to be very mindful of others walking. If I would not pay attention and bump into someone I would end up knocking them over. Now that I am much heavier i still have to be mindful of it. I assumed that people would notice my weight easier since i was bigger. Wrong. Why dont people move? Its not me who is going to get hurt.

  17. Have been reading your website for awhile now and it has motivated me to get off my ever widening ar*e and lose the weight I put on, 7 years ago when I found love, got married and got happy….time to make myself happy again by losing all my “let myself go” weight!