The simple fact is that I am fat. Fat! Capital F-A-T. I’ve seen plenty of Disney discussion posts where people refer to themselves as Pooh size – round, fluffy, even cute. Nope, not me. I’m in the Ursula category – large and undulating.
If I told you my weight you’d be shocked. At barely five feet, three inches, the number that registers on the scale is staggering. I’ve even had nurses argue with me about it…as if it can’t be correct. And yet it is no surprise to me. It’s no revelation. It is a number – that’s all.
I’d like to think I’m a superhero. Most people couldn’t carry around an extra two hundred pounds, day-in and day-out. And yet I do it each and every day. In my head, I can even click my heels together while doing it!
For close to four decades now I’ve been the fat one. So if past performance gives any indication of things to come, then, you guessed it, I’m going to still be fat next year. And am I a horrible person if I’m pretty much okay with that? What if I told you I never want to be thin?
I’m actually pretty good at this fat thing. I think a lot of people need some ‘fat’ in their lives. In that sense, I’m kind of an ambassador…an ambassador of fat!
But what about your health? And for those who might pose this question of me, I will say that I agree. I’d love to be as healthy as I can be, but it’s all about balance and not all about my weight as you might imagine. I could be very restrictive and lose a lot of weight fairly quickly. I could work really hard and lose slowly. Or I could not do much and maintain. For the first two scenarios, my chances of long term success are slim-to-none. So where’s my incentive? Why would I torture myself with something that I am almost sure to fail at? The math doesn’t work.
I absolutely fell in love with a quote I saw recently from J.K. Rowling, of Harry Potter fame…
“Is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me.”
The way I see it women, in particular, spend most of their lives hating themselves, comparing, and judging. Skinny or heavy, we don’t like ourselves and spend a lot of energy wishing we were different.
I love to eat. I enjoy good food and the social aspect of a great meal. I never have to drink or smoke…not one day in my life. But no matter what I choose to put in my mouth, I will always have to eat.
And be careful about putting me in your ‘fat box’ and swinging away at me like some jolly piñata. If we justify intolerance of the obese, if we regulate what we feel is acceptable and unacceptable in the name of weight, we are setting a cruel precedent for dismissing others based on their choices. To put it another way, do you smoke? Did you ever forget to wear sunscreen? Ever drink too much? God forbid disease strikes, I would still support your treatment.
Why am I telling you all of this?
I recently returned from a trip to Walt Disney World, and I have to tell you, I wondered if I was up for the challenge. My husband and I are both heavy, and in all of my planning I kept reading about all of the walking we’d be faced with. I looked for articles about this very topic, being fat at Disney, of which there were few.
We did try and walk semi (not so) regularly for several months before our trip. This actually seemed to help and was one of the most useful tips I found for us fat folk. If anything, walking is super good for you, and after you get over the “I’m going to fall over and die – my legs are going to spontaneously combust – I will stab you with the first fork I find” phase, it wasn’t all that bad.
So here are my tips on being fat at Disney…
You are not going to have a skinny person experience. If you are Ursula size, you are going to have a fat person experience. And that’s okay…just know that going into it.
I can’t think of any attraction where I didn’t ‘fit’…even at the water parks, and we did both! If you want to ride every thrill ride, waving your flabby arms in the air like you just don’t care, then Disney is your place! Just take your time and know that some attractions will be more difficult for you to get situated.
One of the best tips I can offer is if the ride has an old school seatbelt, pull it out as far as possible before you sit down. This makes fastening much easier.
The parks are set up to be as accommodating as humanly possible and Disney’s cast members are truly the best in the business.
Short, chubby arms do not make for the best selfie.
If you can’t fit through a turnstile, don’t try. You can ask the nearest cast member to enter an attraction else where, or create your own entrance. I have no problem unlatching a chain and bypassing a turnstile that looks suspiciously narrow.
If you know you’re not going to fit in a booth at a restaurant, ask for a table instead. Don’t set yourself up for an uncomfortable meal.
I will say, I did squeeze myself into one of the cars at Sci-Fi Dine-In, and am glad I did. My brother’s family looked sweet and cozy in their car, with Andy and his wife in the backseat, and their three kiddos neatly tucked into the front.
Our car most definitely had the fat dispersion going on, but it was still a fantastic lunch!
Take Care of YOU!
Being fat can be painful. Your legs and feet are going to literally carry the load on your Disney trip.
If your doctor agrees, increasing the amount of pain medication you take shouldn’t be a problem for a limited amount of time. It can be very helpful to stay on a regular schedule of Motrin or acetaminophen while hauling yourself around the parks.
Make sure that you apply powder, if you are prone to chafe.
If overheating or sweating is a problem, I highly recommend giving these a try:
I also brought along back patches and creams, as well as foot soak to use, as needed.
Find opportunities to give those tootsies a break!
You Are Worth It!
Did you know that being fat has nothing to do with your worth? Chant it if you have to, but know that your value is not diminished because of your weight.
We are dearly loved by God, each and every one of us. Whether we are drawn like Jessica Rabbit or waddle like Tweedle Dee, we matter!
…there is no partiality with him. (Ephesians 6:9)