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    Flight takes off. Aeroplane Travel is so uncomfortable for big people

    I sit here writing this mid flight on a jam packed flight from London to Malta.  I’ve just enjoyed one of the most amazing experiences of my life, but to some extent that has now been tainted. I am very close to an anxiety attack and am hoping that writing down my thoughts right at this moment will help me re focus my mind. But at the same time I hope it serves as a reminder to myself and others that I (or we) need to help myself (ourselves) some how achieve a better quality of life.

    As I sit here right now and write this, I am uncomfortable and miserable. The events of the past few hours have led me once more to the edge of sanity. First and foremost, whilst the past 48 hours have been a truly amazing experience, they have also taken their toll on me both physically and mentally. I am really tired right now, and one of the things I’ve learned over the years is that tiredness is the anxious man’s enemy.

    Unfortunately, on this day we have been unlucky with flight delays. It’s nobody’s fault, these things happen. But anyone who has been through that in the past, probably all reading this right now, know it is no fun at all and can be a stressful experience. Now, if I was to try and sell you that story as the main reason for my current mental health predicament, I’m afraid i would be bullshitting us all. The real reason is more painful than i would really like to admit. Life for the fat man or woman can be hell.

    And the simple truth is i am an obese man. Its makes me very sad to admit that, but it’s the truth. As i sit on this plane, I am about as uncomfortable as any human being could be. My butt is wedged into the seat and the arm rests are digging into my sides. Its painful. Because of my size for this three hour flight I have to lean into the aisle, so as not to encroach into the next persons space. My arms have been up for more than two hours. Because if I put them down that makes me even wider. And to add insult to injury, these days, including today, I must suffer the indignity of asking for a seat belt extension. I am so uncomfortable and unhappy right now, I just want to stand up and scream.

    On a full aeroplane there is little room to breath or move
    This flight like many, packed to the core, uncomfortable for normal people, let alone us larger than usual types.

    But as I’ve always done I pretend nothing is wrong, because I don’t wish to draw attention to myself and add shame to discomfort and anxiety. Oh, and it’s fucking boiling in here. I’m sure it’s warm for everyone, but when your fat, your body just retains more heat. Honestly right now I feel like playing the victim, by insinuating that the world just hates fat people. To a certain extent I take some pleasure in believing their is truth in that. It’s far easier to blame others rather than really looking at yourself right? But deep down, unfortunately the pragmatist in me knows it’s bullshit.

    Yes, it may be that case that genetically speaking the odds are stacked against me. But it is just a lack of discipline which has led me to where I am right at this very moment. I know what it takes for me to lose this load of extra weight. Simple fact of the matter is, whilst difficult, I have failed to do it. And that is it. The facts while devastating for me to admit, are clear. I have no one to blame but myself. Is it good to wallow in self pity? Of course not. But sometimes you need to reach bottom before you can start making your way back to the top. 

    There is no room or time for excuses. The time for moaning, whining, complaining or blaming others is over. It is time to accept accountability. Change is in our hands. I hope this time I can finally achieve it.

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    1. Thomas

      Keep strong. Anything is possible.

      Good luck

      1. davidoziborg

        Thank you.

    2. Darren Cassar

      Always an honest, interesting an well written piece Oz. Thanks for sharing; hard as it may be.

      1. davidoziborg

        Thanks mate. Appreciate it.

    3. Pierre

      i feel your pain – whilst not having the problem of the extra kgs, i have the problem or reality of long legs which don’t bloody fit into the miserable space allocated to the cattle class.

      As for the heat, well i am with you there also – too many times you board an aircraft and learn that for some stupid reason you have to stay put for those extra 20-30-40-60 mins without a/cs on. Its hot for everyone mate 🙂

      1. davidoziborg

        Haha. Thanks for sharing mate. For me at least, air travel has almost become unbearable….

    4. Rachel Williams

      Hey. I understand you completely. And you have just had the most amazing experience ever, so it’s doubly hard. I know that you work hard at reducing your weight – I would never think of you of obese. It’s hard when clothes don’t fit and normal things – or what are normal things for other people – cause angst. It’s no use telling you how many times I find myself nodding in agreement with your rants on the breakfast show, and think ‘Damn, this guy could be my twin!’ cos it’s not going to make you feel better, nor will me telling you how much good you do for everyone in different ways. But I’m with you, I understand, you aren’t alone even if it seems so.

      1. davidoziborg

        Thank you Rachel.
        I realise I am not alone. Again, I am not looking for redemption, recognition or sympathy. My only goal in sharing my experiences is that it may help others in some way, shape or form. I only find myself in this position to share after many years on working very hard on my mental health issues to the point that I feel talking about it won’t bring my world crashing down. In general I am in a pretty decent place, but of course, even on a daily basis, it is still a struggle.
        But I don’t let it get to me anywhere near as much as I used to.
        Thank you for your support as always.

    5. Emily

      I’ve been following your blog for a while and have read your articles with admiration; it takes some b*lls to admit to struggling so well done you. I follow yours and Jay’s radio show and it brightens up my day. I would have never guessed you struggled with mental health.

      I also suffer from anxiety and depression and reading this particular article really resonated with me. To some, it may seem like a ‘not a big deal’ scenario but I so understand how something which to many may seem insignificant can make you feel like it’s the end of the world. I encounter that situation almost daily. Whether it’s worrying about work, home, money, whatever; it feels like you’re drowning and you’re just trying to keep your head above water (and often times feeling like you’re failing).

      Thank you for sharing this as it has provided me with some pointers about how I can deal with my own anxiety issues.

      1. davidoziborg

        Hi Emily.

        What a wonderful message to receive. Thank you so much for your lovely comments. Admittedly, I am not really looking for recognition or sympathy, only to help others where I can to realise they are not alone. What I have to come to realise since I began this part of my journey, is there are so many of us out there. Thank you for sharing your own experiences. I truly believe if we are no longer ashamed, if we openly communicate our struggles, sooner or later we will be able to open this currently still taboo subject to the point of real change.

        Keep fighting the good fight.

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