Friday, November 8, 2013

Why I take pictures of empty concert seats

I have come to believe that there is a phenomenon among people that have lost a significant amount of weight that I would like to call the "Flashback Phenomenon." That makes it sound more impressive than it actually is, but sometimes I like to be fancy like that. It happens when you come across something that you know would have given you a problem at your heaviest. Depending on my mood and/or self-confidence on that day, I vacillate between being relieved that I don't have to worry about that anymore, and on some more crazy occasions, still somehow worried that whatever it is is still going to cause a problem for me now even though I've lost almost 160 lbs and am pretty average-sized now. So this phenomenon happens for me almost every time I sit in a movie theater seat or sit in a restaurant booth, but there have been some other more notable instances lately.

The first one was probably at this concert I went to near my birthday. The stadium had pretty narrow seats and I remember when I had been there before (not even anywhere near my heaviest!), it was still a pretty tight fit to squeeze in there. This time when I went, I had no trouble fitting at all! I then probably looked like a freak because I decided to take a picture of the seat so I could remember that occasion.

My best friend was there with me and asked me why I was taking a picture of a random seat (as any normal person would have every right to do). When I told her why, she said that she had never even thought about not fitting in the seat before. I think it has been somewhat enlightening for her to learn about things like that that normal-sized people tend to take for granted.

The next occasion would probably have to be surfing. Now on this day, my self-confidence was pretty low because I was fairly sure I was going to make a fool out of myself when I tried surfing for the very first time. So when I found out I had to wear a rashguard, I had a slight internal freak-out thinking that they wouldn't have my size and I was about to be humiliated. And then come to find out, I fit in a size small! Then when it came to actually surfing, I was determined to go out of my comfort zone and try it, but also was pretty convinced that people like me didn't surf and that I was going to fail at it. And guess who stood up on that surfboard (albeit with my hands raised for some reason, instead of out to the side like a normal surfer)? Hey, the picture speaks for itself.

Because trust me when I say I have nowhere near the skills needed to somehow Photoshop me onto a surfboard. And if I did do that, I would probably move my hands out to the side. Alas, as with many technological skills, Photoshopping eludes me.

Then a few weeks ago, I went with my family to this place called Wonderworks in Myrtle Beach. It's kind of an interactive museum place, and I was so excited (I think my family probably thought abnormally so) when I heard about the exhibits there. There was awesome stuff that adults and kids could do. As excited as that place made me now, I can say without a doubt it would have filled me with dread at my heaviest. That's because most of the coolest exhibits had a weight limit of 250 lbs. I know I would have been so embarrassed to have to sit those things out and to know that everyone would know why I had to do so. They were hard-core about the weight limit too; everyone had to stand on a scale before going on. There was a really cool roller coaster simulator, as well as this bike that you pedaled to try to get it to go in a circle and flip you upside down. That's what I am trying (and failing) to do in the picture below.

I failed to make my bike go in a complete circle because, though I have lost a large amount of weight, this sadly does not translate to my having grown taller. My legs were just too short to reach the pedals properly when I was upside down. Oh well, my sister had the same problem.

We also did an indoor ropes course with a weight limit that was awesome (although would probably be ill advised for those scared of heights). I can't say that the harness you put in to go on the course was exactly flattering, but it was really fun and great practice for your balancing skills (if you were inclined to practice that kind of thing). Like the harness, the picture angle was less than flattering since it was taken from below by my mom, but still a good memory!

I wonder if I will ever someday go do activities like the ones above and not  think about what problems I would have had with them at my heaviest. What's more, do I want  to forget? Like most everything else, I think moderation would be best here. I never want to completely forget how hard everyday living used to be for me when I was so heavy because I never want to become complacent and forget how hard I fought to be where I am today. But yes, I do think in time, it would be healthiest to not have my first thought when sliding in a restaurant booth be "This would have been a major problem at 328 lbs." That is not my reality anymore, and though I should never forget where I started out, I also should focus most on where I am at the present moment.

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