No matter how much you may deny being overweight, there is one thing guaranteed to make you face reality — economy airplane seats.

I recently traveled to the Midwest on a work trip and all I could think about as I walked down the dimly lit carpeted tunnel to the plane was that I hope I don’t have to squeeze in with someone my size or bigger. (I acknowledge what a hypocrite this makes me.)

As I found my seat, my heart sank because it was a full row, meaning my hip would probably have to duke it out with the hip of someone else for a space under an armrest for several hours. The alternative would be to sit with my muscles clenched, which was unlikely to last but a few minutes.

And don’t even get me going on having to sit next to very broad-shouldered men — it makes me feel like I’m going to turn into someone in an old V8 commercial (the one where people walked sideways because they hadn’t had enough vitamins).

There is nothing like seeing the equally disappointed look on the face of your seatmates when you reach your row to make you realize that you may have been the person they were hoping they wouldn’t have to share the space with.  In other words, I need to get my eating/exercise under control and get fit again.

One thing skinny people may not realize is that fat people, no matter how short, also have less front-end leg room…. for me it’s because my excess pounds seem to congregate around my hips and butt. The bigger the butt, the further out your body extends from the seat and the less room there is between you and the next row.

After four such flights in the last week (I had to transfer planes both times), I think I may finally be motivated to start doing something about it so that the next time I have to fly all I will have to dwell on is whether the plane will make it to its destination in one piece or not.

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What’s the point in getting a US Passport Card if I can’t use it for international flights?

In starting early preparations for a trip to Rome in November, I’ve begun looking into what I’ll need to bring. And yesterday I checked the expiration date on my passport. Luckily, I have another year until it expires.

I also decided to check out whether it might be a good idea to replace my “booklet” passport with the slimmer wallet-size US Passport Card. I was thrilled with the idea of being able to just slip it into my wallet when I travel.

It turns out that the design is the only good thing about a passport card. It can only be used for “land and sea travel between the US and Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda,” but not for international flights.

Urg.

I guess I’ll have to stick with my standard bulky passport until the US government decides to come up with something slimmer that other countries will accept.