Owning Your Comfort
We all want to be comfortable (who doesn't love to lounge on the couch in pajamas?). But we often find ourselves in an uncomfortable world. This can be even more true for people with bigger bodies, who can struggle with everything from comfortably traveling on public transportation to finding a truly comfortable outfit in their size.
It's up to you to put your own comfort first, so we've put together some useful strategies for finding comfort wherever you find yourselves.
Comfort is a Mindset
First off, let’s get one thing straight: you don’t owe it to anyone to force yourself to be uncomfortable. You are allowed to take up space. It may take some time to adapt your mindset to prioritize yourself and your body, but it’s an essential part of owning your comfort.
With that being said, let’s get into some practical tips for making yourself comfortable in some potentially uncomfortable situations you may already face.
On an Airplane
Flying in an airplane already tends to be an uncomfortable experience for most people, and upgrading yourself to first class isn’t always an option (though you totally deserve it). It’s a fact that airplane seats and their corresponding legroom have gotten smaller over time.
Choosing an aisle seat may help, as the open space of the aisle can give you more breathing room. Selecting an exit row seat typically means more legroom and space in general.
Some airlines offer wider seats, so consider inquiring about seat options or possible upgrades when booking. Otherwise, airlines usually stock seatbelt extenders, so don't hesitate to ask if you don’t have your own.
Taking Public Transportation
When riding the bus or train, seat choice is often based on when you get on. Grabbing a wider seat (or one facing the aisle as opposed to facing forward) can also give you some more space. If your hips take up more than one seat, well, it’s not the end of the world. You are allowed to take up space!
Dining at a Restaurant
Request a booth seat to ensure you can eat your meal in comfort. Always remember that the portion size is determined by the restaurant, so don’t hesitate to ask for a to-go box or leave food on your plate.
Visiting a Healthcare Provider's Office
Healthcare provider offices can vary in how well they can accommodate people of larger sizes. Some will carry exam gowns, blood pressure cuffs, and other medical equipment in larger sizes—call ahead to see if this is the case for the provider you'll be seeing. You can also check out the Obesity Awareness Coalition's list of advocate providers who may be able to better serve your needs.
When it comes to stepping on the office scale, did you know it's completely within your right to ask to only be weighed when it's medically necessary? So while it makes sense to get weighed during a weight loss journey check-in visit, other reasons for visiting, such as getting a vaccine, may not require you to step on the scale all all.
On that note, not all healthcare visits may require an in-person visit. See if a telehealth visit is an option if you don't feel comfortable going to talk to a provider in person.
Let's Get Comfortable!
Remember, what works for one person’s comfort might not work for another. Experiment and find what brings you comfort and helps you feel like you belong in this world.
(It's important to note that these tips are not meant to replace professional medical advice. If you have any concerns about your health, weight, or mobility, talk to a healthcare provider.)