Flying High with Burdens Lifted

Sometimes good things just happen, and yesterday was definitely one of those days though it didn’t seem like it would be in the beginning. My friend, Char, picked me up to take me to the airport early afternoon. And between my leisurely packing and traffic, I was really late! Passengers were already boarding when I checked in, and the security lines were long. There would be no pre-boarding and discreetly asking for a seat belt extension, but I accepted that because I really did not want to miss my flight.

After getting through security I immediately heard the last boarding call for my flight which was at the opposite end of the terminal. Opposite, as in, the very last gate! I decided that I had nothing to lose so I ran for it. I can’t remember a time in which I’ve run so hard for such a long distance, but I did it. Though I’m sure I looked like I was lightly jogging to others, I felt like my legs were on fire. And I made it! They literally closed the door right behind me, and I was able to take my seat.

Speaking of my seat…I was in the middle of the front row. Really?! This would have encouraged a panic attack in my mind last year, but yesterday it wasn’t bad at all. I had plenty of room even though the arms did not move, and I was even able to enter and exit the lavatory without struggling to fit. Sorry if that’s too much info, but it’s a huge accomplishment in my world! I couldn’t have done it at this time last year!

When I took my seat I politely asked for a seat belt extension, and I received it in a not-so-discreet way. (But hey…I’ve made amazing progress so it didn’t bother me much.) After getting comfortable (yes, comfortable) in my seat I realized that the woman sitting next to me looked quite familiar. We figured out that we attended school together – small world. We chatted about our mutual friends, goals, where we live now, etc.

After chatting for a while my friend mentioned that she didn’t think I needed the seat belt extension. Though I knew I’d still need it for a few more months I decided to see how close it was, but guess what…it buckled! 🙂 There are no words to express the feelings of excitement and determination that charged through my body when I realized that I will not need to ask for an extension on the way home.

Yesterday’s flight was easily the best flight ever. I’m looking forward to several trips before the end of the year, and I feel as though a burden has been lifted.

Lessons learned:

  • When you think you’re leaving early enough to arrive at JFK, leave earlier. 😉
  • And on days in which you’re struggling stay focused on the fact that these seemingly small points of progress can turn into huge, life-changing successes.

The confidence I have in myself and my body’s abilities are growing as my body shrinks. I’m still learning to trust my legs to carry me, but there’s no way I’m willing to give up these feelings of self-satisfaction, accomplishment and pure happiness. It feels so good, and I know it’s only going to get better.

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weekend. Today was an extraordinary day for me, but tomorrow is going to leave today and yesterday in the dust. I am so utterly thankful for the life I have and the people in it. Just saying.

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Missa
    June 13, 2010 at 11:17 am

    How cool. I love it when the seatbelt extender is not required!!!

    Cheers,
    Missa
    LosingEthel

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  • Reply
    Rhonda
    June 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I have tears in my eyes for you Kenz! How exciting; what an accomplishment. I know you've struggled in the past with boarding planes and the seat belt issue…So WONDERFUL!

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  • Reply
    JewliaGoulia
    June 13, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    I AM SO HAPPY for you!

    Seriously, it's those little things (and by little, I mean things that other people wouldn't notice) that matter.

    Sounds like you are on to greater things from here! 🙂

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  • Reply
    Annie
    June 13, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    Yay for you!!!! Sounds like a fantastic day full of NSV's! Way to go!

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  • Reply
    Sean Anderson
    June 13, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    This is one of the best feelings, huh? The dreaded airplane seat—It no longer holds that power over you–just another facet of your freedom. And the running!!! When you talked about what it may have looked like to others, but what it felt like to you—I could totally relate…Shoot, I can totally relate to everything you write, well–almost everything…I am a guy…;)
    Congrats on the running and a big time congrats on the entire seat-belt extender-free trip!!!

    My best always,
    Sean

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  • Reply
    Drazil
    June 13, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    I'm doing cartwheels for you! Seriously – this post made my day!

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  • Reply
    Heather
    June 13, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Woo! Woo! Woo! I'm doing a happy dance for ya!

    Wonderful milestones and well-earned! You've been working so hard. Now, breathe and enjoy your moments. You deserve it! 🙂

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  • Reply
    Anonymous
    June 13, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    I don't believe a word about being comfortable in the seat and having 'plenty of room' unless you were in 1st Class. Sorry but you're still close to 300lbs and those seats are anything but roomy even for people of average weight! I applaud your ability to run to the gate that was great progress but please don't insult your readers' intelligence. I like your blog and find you to be generally truthful but I've noticed another instance of embelishment with your recent trip to the pool. The towel you were able to wrap around yourself was an oversized beach towel, not a regular bath towel and so it's not really so much of a victory. Sorry.

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  • Reply
    Deb Willbefree
    June 13, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    oooo. Not nice, Anonymous, not nice at all! Really. In fact, unnecessarily brutal to stomp on a post filled with genuine delight and gratitude. One ought to take heed before attempting to shred a heart.

    Kenz, sorry about the above. I just couldn't let that pass–even if Anonymous never reads it!

    Hmm. I'm so annoyed, I can't get to the happy spot I was in when I read your post….

    Okay. Congratulations on recognizing and enjoying your NSVs! Joy arises in the strangest places and in the strangest ways sometimes, doesn't it?

    Hugs, Kenz!

    Deb

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  • Reply
    Diz
    June 13, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Kenz-

    This post is a MILLION times different than the first one I read about a year ago, when you were getting on the plane. I am so proud of you and your accomplishments between then and now. You've lost a little over 70 pounds since then! You are amazing girl!!! Congratulations on not having to get the seat belt extension- I love, love, love it!!

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  • Reply
    Tammy
    June 14, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Wow! Sorry about the hater showing up! If last year you couldn't wrap a beach towel around you and now you can, then that's progress! You didn't need a seat belt extender, that's progress! You ran and made the plane, that's progress! You are DOING IT! Ignore the haters and enjoy the admiration that most of us feel for you! Enjoy your vacation!

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  • Reply
    ♥ Kenz ♥
    June 14, 2010 at 1:04 am

    Well, Anonymous…you don't have to believe what I say, but it doesn't make it any less true.

    The fact is that comfort is relative, and I was comfortable on that flight yesterday. I did not spill into the seat next to me nor did I have trouble going in and out of the lavatory. That, to me, equals comfort. I have a long way to go (as I say all the time,) but I've also come a long way.

    Was I as comfortable on the plane as I was laying in the sun on a beach towel the week before? Of course not..but I was comfortable..no bruises on the sides of my legs, no worries that I would disturb someone if I stood up and no feelings of anxiety.

    Now about the towel..of course it's a beach towel. It's quite huge, but it was not nearly big enough to wrap around my body last year thus the victory I feel.

    You'll note that I said "First, when I got out of the pool I noticed that I could wrap my towel completely around my body. And to some of you, that's perfectly normal, but it didn't come close to wrapping around me last year. It's an unmistakable gauge of my progress, and I'm feeling pretty good about it…"

    I was referring to MY towel..the same towel that I used last year..it's a reference point, and I don't think I was confusing or misleading..

    My blog is on the web for anyone to see so you're welcome to browse if you will. I cannot nor would I have any interest in stopping you. But your attempt to degrade my progress is not welcome here. I treat people (online or not) with respect, and I will accept nothing less than the same.

    It is clear to most who read my blog that my confidence has increased substantially over the last year or so. And your attempt to cut me down has not diminished that. I know where I've been, and I know where I'm going. It's a good place Anonymous…

    I sincerely hope that you'll find your own success and happiness because life is too short and too precious to waste time trying to make others feel bad. Please find that happy place for yourself. Until then, keep the rude comments to yourself. 😉

    Sincerely,

    Kenz

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  • Reply
    Genie @ Diet of 51
    June 14, 2010 at 2:28 am

    Congrats on your victory over the seatbelt extender! That is really something to rave about!

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  • Reply
    Lisa
    June 14, 2010 at 6:23 am

    I am SOOO proud of you. you have uplifted me today.

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  • Reply
    TxMarianne
    June 14, 2010 at 11:32 am

    This is so awesome & made me smile & tear up at the same time. I'm so happy for you. Thank you for being an inspiration!

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  • Reply
    Jessica
    June 14, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I know you must have been thrilled 🙂 Congrats to you! 🙂

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  • Reply
    Vaia
    June 14, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    I think the victories that come with weight-loss are sometimes even more important than the weight loss itself!! Am so glad you reached this 'milestone' and now you can travel even more and in comfort all the way!!

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  • Reply
    New England Girl
    June 14, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    What an exciting day! You are doing so fabulously well… a true inspiration, day in and day out! Keep up the good work, lady! 🙂

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  • Reply
    Pamela E. Williams
    June 14, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Kenz this post just made me smile. First off you live in NY. OMG I heart you for real because I so want to visit there one day. Don't know if I could take the winters enough to move there. Second just your accomplishments with your weight and overcoming seat belt extensions are amazing, but wait running. LOL, I laugh at myself as I type this because I want to be able to run. I tried it a few months ago and it wasn't pretty. I was barely scooting. Hurray for you!! Keep up the good work. And don't you dare give up your feelings of excitement, self-satisfaction, accomplishment, or happiness.

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  • Reply
    Lil
    June 14, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Congratulations, Kenz! That's wonderful. And congrats on ALL of your successes. They're inspirational, especially to those of us who are newer to the path. 🙂

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  • Reply
    SeattleRunnerGirl
    June 14, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Congratulations! I just found your blog today and look forward to following!

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