A few weeks ago, I took the kids to Arby’s because it seems like at some point in every pregnancy I’ve had a craving for roast beef and curly fries. It was a cold night and I was overwhelmed by a walk/date at the mall with Greg that wore me out, so we decided to eat in versus just grabbing the food and heading home.
The entire restaurant was booths, but that didn’t phase me until I tried to sit in the seat with Evan. I couldn’t. The belly just would not fit. I tried, but I was squeezing the babies. And let’s be for real. I have a big belly, measuring about 5 weeks ahead of my actual due date, but I was actually not all that big when I got pregnant. That belly should fit in a fast food restaurant booth. I grabbed a chair, one of two in the whole place, and sat on the end, crowding the aisle. As I shoved calorie-filled food in my mouth, I got angry. That booth should NOT have been as small as it was, considering it was a fast food restaurant. No way. Have they seen an average American? Even someone who was not overweight by medical standards would have been tight in there.
Somewhere between Arby’s sauce and horsey sauce, I let it go. That was until last weekend when we had our family Valentine’s Day date at the local Chinese restaurant. It was in the middle of the white-out snow storm and moments after Evan had his blood drawn up at the hospital, so we wanted to make it special and eat in versus doing take out. Arianna scoped out a table as we ordered, then loudly proclaimed, “We have to go home, Momma. There’s only booths in here and you are too big to fit!” I turned around to see that she was right, yet a lone chair sat against the wall, my savior in the moment. Both kids were sad that I couldn’t eat with them, and I was sad I couldn’t stare into Greg’s eyes as we shared some hot and sour soup.
But, it’s my reality. This belly is full of love and babies. And someday after I deliver them, it will go back down to a smaller size, but I’ll still think about this booth experience. I think back to when I was a bigger woman. What on earth did I do then? How did I ever gain the weight eating in places I couldn’t even sit down at? What would I have done if I wasn’t pregnant and had my kiddos with me and couldn’t fit – how would that have felt?
Even as a “smaller person” the pain and struggle of being overweight is still very real, very raw for me. I’m angered at how we have to be some certain size or build to be able to sit and enjoy a meal in-house with our family and friends. I’m angered that my daughter is already seeing the impact of being bigger and how it makes her want to just eat healthy and drink water so she doesn’t get big like I was. I’m angered that I would not have been able to eat at those places with many of my family and friends. I’m angered that even when people bust their butts to be healthy, it doesn’t always change their emotions.
Yet, I did get a moment of redemption yesterday. Greg and I went to lunch in between oil changes and work. Our choice, Qdoba. I remembered not fitting in the booth pregnant with Evan or even for about a year post-Evan; however, they do have tables there so I wasn’t worried. Greg asked me to try to head to the back, where the booths were. I was skeptical, but I gave it a shot. And guess what? We fit. Barely, but me and my sweethearts fit and got to sit in a booth and nosh on guacamole while looking into the eyes of the man I love. Thank you, Qdoba, for being just a little more “average” friendly.