It only matters what works for you.

Once upon a time in 2010, Southwest messed up but good. They kicked a fat guy off a plane in a ham handed decision to unevenly apply their rule about larger passengers who encroach on other seats.

They picked the wrong fat guy, because that happened to be Kevin Smith of Mallrats and Dogma fame. He’s a fat guy with a rabidly loyal fan base and a mouth more like Jay than Silent Bob. So, seriously bad move on their part.

On the other hand, every business will eventually publicly make a horrible decision (United anyone?), so what will set them apart is how they fix the issue.

Southwest claimed at the time to have a written policy, and their FAQ says their policy has been in place 30 years. I don’t know. I don’t really need to do that much research on the past when I know they are getting it right today.

Today, Southwest has a clear policy that is easy to find, and actually makes sense, and has worked for me exactly as advertised.

If you need a third seat, you can negotiate at the counter with staff and they may, or may not have one to issue you. Flights these days are often packed completely full. Also, with their boarding method, it doesn’t guarantee you early boarding if you check in later. So the only other spare seat may be in a different row, which is not useful and awkward and embarrassing to fix.

Buy a third seat. Just do it. And when you get home from your trip, call Southwest, give them your details, and they will refund the cost. In full. Super easy. You’ll get your money back in about a week. No fuss, no hassle.

A third seat will guarantee you have the space you need. You’ll even get an extra boarding pass that says reserved seat that you can discretely place in the empty so the Fight Attendants all know why that seat is empty and not include it in the empty count on a full flight.

Your third seat will also allow you priority boarding, meaning you skip the lines and you can pick your spot. It will allow one companion to join you in priority boarding, so you can claim your whole row (not the exit row, don’t be ridiculous) with minimal fuss.

I know it’s an extra expense up front, but it is worth it. My stress levels about travel have fallen dramatically. I have never had a Southwest employee be anything less than professional and pleasant about what I need, and frankly, my extra seat is more comfortable for everyone.

That’s how we got here:






Getting it done.

I don’t much care for exercise. I never really have.

I hear people say how invigorated they are after a run, or how their body just craves movement after a long day.

I am baffled. I have never, ever felt like that. Not even as a child. Maybe when I was very small, before conscious memory, but most of my childhood involved sneaking around until I could find a quiet place to read my book, so I’m doubtful.

But the reality is, getting exercise is the only real way to keep your muscles strong and responsive, and to keep aging joints loose and as mobile as they’re going to get. Now there are lots of ways to exercise. Dancing is great exercise. Hiking, biking, walking the dog. If you can find something you enjoy, absolutely do that.

I’ve never been able to find something I really enjoy. So I’ve settled for maximum result with minimal pain. Both figurative and literal. Iron will now sees me in the local rec center pool for mornings a week. I have to work hard not to resent it. It feels like it takes up so much time for other, more interesting things I could be doing.

I  can’t read or write in the pool.

It does do the job though. I walk in the shallow end. Buoyancy takes the weight off my knees, but moving the water adds difficulty and builds strength. Adding floats lets me bring my arms in on the action. I’m there with a collection of regulars, most of whom are older than me, but we’re all friendly. I’ve even made some good friends in the pool.

I was grateful during some recent travel that I’ve been putting in the effort. I was able to navigate long airport hallways and getting in an out of small seats much more easily than this time last year.

Me and my creaky knees will see you in a pool then.


When I went to see my sleep specialist, he did 2 things. He gave me a great new med that seems to have fixed my restless leg. And he referred me to another sleep study.

The new drug works great. Restless leg is basically a misfire in the brain, and the drug stops that. It’s lovely. My husband reports that he no longer sees me rhythmically twitching when he comes to bed. This is excellent. Not only am I sleeping better, but my knees are much happier when they aren’t running marathons all night. Who knew.

The sleeps study. Well, that’s the reason for the Harry Potter clip. Because in dealing with insurance, it’s all about getting the incantation correct, and I guess we didn’t. My rejection letter was pretty ridiculous. It said that we had failed to prove that my daytime sleepiness wasn’t from a more common cause like sleep apnea. Even though they already paid for the study that clearly found restless leg and no sleep apnea at all. So I guess they didn’t even bother to read my chart before they declined.

It’s appalling really. We have excellent insurance. And yet it’s a darn good thing I don’t have a traditional day job because I have spent hours in the last year getting various issues sorted that should have been covered, but I had to argue about it. I even have a company-supplied advocate who helps me with these arguments.

Our system is so very, very broken. Excellent insurance should not still require me to fight for necessary tests and justify things  with reams and reams of paperwork. I’m grateful, but disheartened.

Scary things.

I think taking beautiful boudoir pictures of a plus sized woman and projecting them on the streets of NY is probably a pretty scary thing to do. There is a short video in the article that I recommend watching. I couldn’t get it to embed here, silly wordpress.

I am gratified to see that she got a lot of very positive comments on both her bravery and her beauty. I think this might just indicate a bit of a shift in society. Maybe it’s a shift underground, and only those who are part of it can see it, but success of things like her art, and model Tess Holliday are very encouraging to me. I’d love to see a world where people can be people, and not card board cutouts of conformity.

As much as I’d like to think it’s 100% about my own brand of sexy, I know that this says something much larger: Clearly, people want to see more images of plus-size women in the mainstream media. They want to see more realistic representations, which includes sexy ones. Here’s hoping the media takes note.

After beloved husband had his cardiac bypass, he was ordered to go on a low fat diet. Fair enough. We adjusted our long time low carb ways according to the doctors specifications. He has a food tracker on his phone and he relentlessly enters data. Eggs were replaced with a high fiber cereal. He added even more salads for lunch, more salmon for dinner, crackers and nuts replaced cheese and sausage for snacks… All the right things. His calories and his macro ratios are perfect.

He also spent three months in a supervised exercise program, building him up slowly, making sure nothing over-strained the new arteries. He’s getting more exercise than he has in years.

And he’s sleeping! Eight solid, enviable hours a night. More than he’s ever had. And a lot of studies show that lack of sleep can definitely contribute to a weight issue.

So he’s dotted all the ‘i’s’ and crossed his ‘t’s’.

Oh, and he’s gaining weight.

That’s right, I said gaining.

So much for calories in, calories out.

Of course we have a revised plan. But seriously? How is this even possible? He’s very disheartened. I’m sad for him. It’s always been my lot in life, but I didn’t mean to drag him along with me.

Egg white omelettes, here we come.

Is it really hate?

I recently read this viral post on Facebook about one woman’s journey to Thin, and how it wasn’t as great as she’d always been told it would be. (It was such a big hit that Cosmo did an article on the post.)

A life long fat person, she finally decided that society was right, and everything that was wrong with her life was because she was fat.

I felt deep inside that as long as I was fat, I wasn’t going to be able to stop hating myself enough to ask for more. So much cultural messaging says that if you are fat, you should be grateful for whatever love you can get – even if that love isn’t love at all.

So she went on a program of extreme weight loss. She doesn’t detail her method, because that’s not what this is about. I’m sure it was calorie restrictive and exercise abusive, because that’s what she says, and she got down to a place called Thin.

And you know what? Every horrible voice in my head, every bit of horrible anti-fat messaging from society was validated when I lost weight.

Attention from the opposite sex and better jobs and everyone was nicer and more thoughtful. The heartfelt dream of every fat person in America.

For five years, I got to be treated like a human being.

And it pissed me the fuck off.

I think that quote, right there, is one of the most important things she says in the whole piece. We the fat are told that all our problems will go away if we can just get to Thin. So she did. And sure enough everything was fixed and everyone was nice, even though she was exactly the same as she’d always been.

I understand completely. Glennon Doyle Melton talks in some of her interviews about how women are taught to be smaller and smaller and take up less space until we’re barely even there. Being fat flies in the face of this cultural imperative. Not only that, we do it on purpose. It’s a different kind of prejudice than racism, because your skin color is luck of the draw. If you’re fat, It’s Your Fault. So we deserve every molecule of heaped scorn and derision. No accomplishment can ever balance out the size of your behind. It boils us down to one, single aspect of ourselves and balances the entire universe of our experience on that soft, jiggly fact.

Statistics prove that We the Fat make less money, get less comprehensive medical care, have fewer opportunities, and miss out on more social niceties than those of normal weight. Put a normal weight person in a fat suit and they are horrified and astonished every time. It’s not codified. There is no law that allows it. But it is unending and universal.

Then life happened, and she didn’t have time to obsess about every bite of food she put in her mouth, and she didn’t have time to exercise every day. And she had a baby. And over time, she put all the weight back on. And now she doesn’t care, and she’s going to fight a society that says she has to.

My allegiance lies with fat me who missed out on half of her life because society said that she didn’t have the right to live it. …My allegiance lies with every kind and wonderful person out there who is told that they have nothing to offer the world because their body takes up too much space.

The second line that really, really stuck in my head is this.

I will not give the abusive assholes who say that they matter more because they weigh less the satisfaction of watching me hate myself into a small enough body to be loved by them.

Is the obsessive dieting and the endless determination to be thin at all cost a form of self hate, rather than the self love that society and medical professionals tell us it should be?

Frankly, I haven’t decided what I think yet. They tell us to diet to be healthier, but it hasn’t actually done me any good in the long run. Extreme dieting isn’t sustainable, every bit of data and research proves that. Yo-yo dieting is worse than no dieting at all. The research shows us that too. Did I diet all those years because I loved myself and wanted to be healthier? Or because I hated myself and wanted to be the ‘good girl’ that society wanted to see?

I think I know the answer, and I think I don’t like it.

Sleep envy

20160621_201948Now that beloved husband has his cpap machine, he does the strangest thing.

He sleeps. All night.

He almost never even has to get up for the  bathroom. He just puts on his head gear, turns on the magic machine, and sleeps.

All night.

He’s getting about an hour less sleep than he’s ever needed before, and consistently wakes himself up at his designated time.

Seriously, it’s bizarre.

We’ve been sharing a bed for 17 years, and I’ve always had plenty of company for my nightly wanderings and endless rolling over. Now it’s just me.

It has been very interesting to see how much of my night time restlessness was caused by his night time restlessness. The answer is, quite a lot, but not even close to all of it. I apparently was quite bothered by his inclination to stop breathing on and off all night, but I have more than enough issues of my own still ensuring not-quite-restful sleep.

I’m not sure I realized how bad mine was, until I watched him do all this…sleeping.

One more week until my sleep specialist appointment.