Body Talk: When You Don’t Fit


It seems so trivial, so unimportant a thing to be worried about. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to never have to worry about this. In the daily life of a fat girl, this is a constant struggle. I’ve started sizing up chairs like upperclassmen do freshmen, started having to do mental calculations where x is the width of the thing I want to fit in, y is my own width, and the z factor is the fear of not fitting.

There shouldn’t be shame in not fitting. There shouldn’t be constant fear and pain of not being able to sit where everyone else does. I shouldn’t be crying after the embarrassment.

I remember when I didn’t have to fear not fitting. I was always above average size, but there was a time where I didn’t look for a chair with no armrests because my thighs would end up bruised by the time I stood up. There was a time where I didn’t hurt.

I wander the world on my own two feet, looking at every chair, every pair of jeans longingly. When my friends sit down I stand, because I know I won’t fit. I will never fit.

They’re looking at you.

I sit down after checking the base of the chair, eyeballing the width. My thighs bounce off the armrests and I slide forward because I can only fit on 1 inch of the chair at the edge. I’m much bigger than I thought I was. My thighs spill out on either side of the armrests and I’m in pain. Pain of not fitting. Pain of never fitting.

I swallow deep, stand up and walk around, not looking around and assuming everyone is looking at me. What were they thinking? God, she’s so fat. She can’t even fit in the chair. What an idiot. Or was it oh no, she didn’t fit. I feel horrible but I don’t want to embarrass her by asking to help. Was that just my own opinion of myself speaking? Did they really honestly not care?

My hands shake and my eyes widen, already tearing up.

I think about it for the whole day. It weighs on me as heavily as I do on a scale. The voices in my head– oh, how they laugh. They laugh and call me names, and they have faces. Faces, not of the ones I hate, but of the ones I love more than anyone in the world. The ones whose love I never questioned, whose poisonous words sting the most. Fat idiot. Stupid. You’re a disappointment to us all, Cora.

When I don’t fit in a chair, I can’t sit with my friends. When I don’t fit in a chair, I can’t live like everyone else. When I don’t fit in a chair, I’m reminded just how far past gone I am, just how far I have to go to be normal again: to be able to run, to sit, to have fun with my friends. When I don’t fit in a chair, I remember that I don’t want to live like this anymore. When I don’t fit in a chair, it hurts.