I am too fat to fit in the chairs at the theatre where we saw Hamilton

Mary Duncan

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A few months ago I had the pleasure and good fortune to go see Hamilton the musical with my sister, and what was supposed to be one of the most fun days I’ve had in ages turned into a nightmare that I still can’t stop thinking about.

We had nosebleed seats up in the balcony — we didn’t care, but I certainly needed to take the elevator because my poor, arthritic knees couldn’t handle all the stairs.

Even luckier to just get the tickets, we had seats right on the aisle so I didn’t have to sit next to anyone but my sister.

I have wicked bad social anxiety, and the thought of touching strangers freaks me out…but that isn’t why I was lucky to be on the aisle.

I barely fit in the seat.

This was the first time in my life where I thought to myself, “Oh, my god, I don’t fit here.”

My knees were jammed up against the seat in front of me, my sides were squished against the arms of the chair, and I had to put one foot out in the aisle just to not get cramps that had me wanting to get up and walk around through the entirety of the show.

For two and a half hours, I could barely move because my body wouldn’t fit into the space it was given, and it was a feeling that horrified and disgusted me, and I just can’t stop thinking about it.

I literally don’t fit in this world anymore.

I’ve gained forty pounds in the last year and never noticed that it was happening because all I wear are leggings, skirts, and dresses.

I haven’t put on a pair of jeans in over two years, and the freedom that comes from wearing loose clothing is my number one excuse for not noticing how much weight I was gaining while it was happening.

But screw excuses.

I can’t believe this has happened to me.

I’ve always been a big girl.

When I was in elementary school, I was always one of the biggest kids in my class, and I remember, cruelly, being thankful for the one girl who was bigger than me, because at least I wasn’t the fattest one in school.

I leaned out a bit in high school because I gained a few inches and was active in marching band, and then for a few years after I was a comfortable, curvy, sexy size twelve that I’ll always aspire to get back to.

Having a kid and never losing the baby weight was my downfall, and it only got worse from there.

I weigh almost one hundred pounds more now than I did before I got pregnant — that’s like a whole other person I am carrying around with me all the time.

No wonder I feel like crap all the time and don’t fit in places where I should.

I can’t get over the shame I felt sitting there, wedged into my seat, next to my thin, gorgeous sister who was easily able to cross and uncross her legs even while jammed up next to me and someone else on the other side of her.

She fit in her chair and had room to spare.

I left feeling sore on my sides from pressing against it for so long.

I have to lose weight, but I’m not ready.

I know it sounds ridiculous — but I am not ready to lose weight.

Losing weight is, in my brief experiences of trying out diets and succeeding for a little while, the hardest thing a person can do.

You have to WANT to lose weight more than anything else because if you’re as big as me and on that mission, dieting completely consumes you.

Trust me, I’ve dieted before and failed.

Actually, it seems like every time I go on a diet and lose a little bit of weight, I gain that weight back and then some.

Because there is no such thing as dieting, in my opinion.

You have to change your whole life to lose weight.

For that, you have to be ready.

I have so many things I want to accomplish this year, and losing weight is on my list as it is every year, but I don’t feel like I am ready to make the commitment again of logging every calorie I eat on an app that only serves to remind me how lost I’ve become and how far I have to go to get out of this body that I don’t fit into, and doesn’t fit me.

I have to want to lose weight more than I want anything else in the world to be able to really do it, and the thing is, I want to write more than anything in the world.

I’d rather be a writer than be thin, and though I don’t think those things are mutually exclusive, I don’t feel like I have the time or energy at the moment to focus on both of those things with the intensity that they both deserve.

Is it wrong for me to put my writing above my health?

Probably.

But I am doing so many other things that are good for me, I try to cut myself a bit of slack.

I have been writing every day and even exceeding my goals.

I have been more calm and loving toward my daughter lately.

I’ve been more loving to myself, believe it or not.

This is my body, in all its curvy, blubbery glory, and I’m going to keep on living in and be kinder to myself and keep doing the things I love, and maybe soon I will get to the place I need to be to focus on my health above all else.

But I’m not fitting myself into that place, yet.

I’m going to have to live with myself, and love myself the way I am, just a little while longer.

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I write about relationships and parenting.

Connecticut State
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