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Too big for the subway seat

I have a 20 minute commute and nothing irritates me more than when I see someone taking up a seat and a 1/2. Or, even worse, when you make yourself crouch so that you can fit into that 1/2 seat and you get grunts from the bigger person next to you, as if how dare you try to sit there. Same on planes. Being that big really puts a burden on everyone.

Thu. Nov 15, 9:26am

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I'm wondering if you're super-petite, OP. b/c the only time in my life that I haven't been too big for the subway seat was when I weighed 115 lbs. Now I weigh 135 (healthy weight for my height) and my shoulders always touch the person next to me. I have broad shoulders. I think the seats are designed to pack people in like cattle. The more people in the car, the less cars they need.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 9:41 AM

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OP: Just because this is a health site doesn't mean you should be bashing people who are heavy. What's the point?

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 10:11 AM

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OP. Have you ever wondered how they feel? and as 9;41 says, planes etc donĀ“t have what you could call very acomodating seating for anybody.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 10:21 AM

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OP, have you ever considered that the seats are getting smaller because they can fit more people on there and save on gas money, therefore, keeping your fair lower?

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 10:44 AM

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Let them argue with you, but I agree fully. I've had the on the plane situation. I am incredibly claustrophobic, and I was stuck in the middle seat in between a larger man and a woman about my size. The larger man was on the outside seat, and if I had to use the rest room or just to take a breath in order not to freak out about the cramped space, he would become pretty much infuriated that he had to stand up to let me out. Nevermind the fact that he had been in at least a quarter of my seat the whole flight. He's really lucky I didn't have a panic attack.

To be perfectly honest, they're putting a huge burden on themselves as well as everyone else. I used to be a fairly large girl (never two seats full, but enough to be unhealthy), and now I'm lighter and healthier. Much lighter and much healthier. Mind you, we don't know everyone's story, we don't know why they've accumulated so much weight (a health condition, medication, extreme stress, depression), but as human beings we were gifted with self-realization and the ability to take charge of our own health, mind, and bodies. People need to stand up and take responsibility for themselves.

I'm tired of people (in life and on this site) coddling the morbidly obese. I by no means think that we should be horrible to people that are overweight, but I don't see why they're off limits for ridicule when very thin people aren't. How many times have you seen "stick thin anorexic" or some other ridiculous thing on this site? Or how many times have you heard a friend say something about someone's LACK OF heft in public? No one ever becomes irate about that. But one little comment about people and their lack of fitting into a seat on a subway bus, and all hell breaks loose.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 10:50 AM

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I was stuck in the middle seat on a plane for 5 hours. The man to my left was of a healthy weight (I amost said 'normal' weight, but normal is unhealthy and large, now). The man to my right was obese. His thigh had to be touching my thigh the whole way home...and it was driving me crazy! I paid severl hundred dollars for my seat, and if he was going to be using a piece of it, I should have charged him! I, too, am claustrophobic and have panic attacks. I tried to keep myself as busy as possible (reading, listening to music, thinking about other things). It's not that I hate fat people. I don't. I just don't want them to infringe on my comfort and life. Everyone has the right to be anything they want, until it affects someone else in a negative way. I'm trying not to be too mean, but I have the same problem on the subway, too. If you sit down next to me and your arm is on my arm or your leg is on my leg (obese or not)...I'm going to freak out!.
...or at least move.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 11:19 AM

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Thank you 10:50. No, I am not super petite and I am certainly not complaining about my shoulders brushing someone else's shoulders. I am referring to 1/2 of the very large person's body being taking up their seat and 1/2 of another available seat. I understand being crowded. What irks me is having an entire 1/2 seat taken up for the sole purpose of accomodating an extra 100 pounds.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 11:51 AM

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10:50, so because you are no longer heavy, that gives you the right judge heavy people. Why do people always feel everyone is 100% responsible for their weight? What about those of us who have medical conditions for which we cannot control or there is no cure? Did you ever once put yourself in the shoes of the man next to you on the airplane. Can you imagine what he was thinking? He was just as frustrated with your ailment as you were with his.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 12:44 PM

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12:44, 10:50 pointed out the fact that we never know why someone is obese. BUT it didn't change the fact that that man was spilling over into her seat. I don't think anyone is judging the person for being obese per se, but judging them when their obesity begins to affect strangers around them.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 12:59 PM

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Oh, you're right, 12:44, I am just being completely insensitive by suggesting that people take responsibility for themselves.

I've personally never heard of an incurable/un-treatable medical condition that causes extreme weight issues that cannot in any way be resolved. Perhaps I'm just not up to date on that.

But really, how many obese people in the United States are obese because of uncontrollable health problems? Probably a small percentage in comparison to those that are obese because of unhealthy behaviors.

I guess I am a bit harsher on heavier people now that I am no longer heavy because I have been there and pulled myself out of it. In fact, many people in my life have had horrible illness-induced weight issues and pulled themselves out of it. My mother-in-law is a great example. She had cancer and diabetes, both of which had her at a borderline morbidly obese weight, and with diet changes and exercise, now has a healthy body and mind. She took responsibility for her issues and she's a better person for it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 1:11 PM

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Well said 12:59.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 1:11 PM

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I'm a small person, and also very short. As such, airplanes are very uncomfortable for me. Most people think "you must think it's so roomy!" But, look at the seats on an airplane. The top of the seat juts out forward, I suppose to be at the crook of the neck of a tall man. But it's the top of the back of my head! Which means I'm already forced to be hunched over for the duration of the flight, just by the shape of the seat, so I am already uncomfortable.

If someone is too big for the seat that they purchase, they should have purchased a different one. Being big is fine, but they do not have the right to have any of my space. I have the right to use it all as I feel fit. If they ask to raise the armrest, my answer is always "no." Raising the armrest is just a guarantee that they are going to take up some of my space.

In general, I am very respectful on airplanes. I don't put my seat back, or if I do, it's only an inch or two, to try and realign my neck (as I discussed before). I don't talk to my neighbors unless they start it, and if they do, I try to be pleasant. I don't listen to music too loudly or eat smelly food or take off my shoes. If I didn't purchase an aisle seat, I try not to have to get up during the flight (and therefore don't drink a lot.) I try to take up my space and only my space. If someone is particularly large, I'll even indulge them by trying not to use any of the armrest; they can have it. But they need to stop at the armrest! Why is it so hard for people to understand that? Why is that considered rude?

And, for the record, there are plenty of people who are not obese who try to take other peoples' space. There are lots of thin guys, for example, who sit with their legs so spread apart they could take up 3 seats! Don't try that next to me; I will put my legs in a position to block you. I don't want your dirty shoes getting all over my bags, and I want to be able to put my feet anywhere I want, so long as it's in front of my chair and not anyone else's.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 1:14 PM

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Frankly, I think you guys are looking in the wrong direction. Why not take on the airlines and the subways for substandard and undersized seating?

I was on a 4 hour flight recently and the guy in front of me decided to but his seat back. The set was pressing on my knees. I am 5'8" which is tall for a woman but not extraordinarily so. I fit the airplane seat but it is not very comfortable. The plane I was on was a supersized earlier flight was a 44 seat jet and frankly I had more leg room (but not much head room for standing).

We are crowded into as little space as possible...and we shouldn't look at the guy next to us as the cause of our discomfort, but the people who designed the poor quality seating.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 1:23 PM

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1:11 so because you lost weight, you know are harder on heavy people? How did you feel when people looked at you or judged you when you were heavy? My guess is your feelings were hurt and you may have felt a little insecure about yourself and your weight, and now you've become the judger of heavy people. You've become the person who used to judge you.

Oh, and rheumatoid arthritis, Corticobasal Ganglionic Degeneration (CBGD) are just two diseases that greatly impact a person's ability to exercise, move, lose weight, etc. That's the lesson for the day.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 1:31 PM

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I think if I were insecure about my weight and what others thought, I'd be very careful not to bother them due to my size.

It's the people who don't care that they are overweight that let it all hang out and take up others' room!

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 1:34 PM

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So, what's the point of this thread? Do you want obese people to 'admit' to being out of control, disgusting, seat hogs? People who are on this site have taken a step to make changes - how does pointing out how much of a burden you think they are on society really help anything? And when has riding the subway ever been a comfortable ride no matter what size the occupants?

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 3:15 PM

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1:34--but they aren't inconveniencing you, you sat next to them. Aren't you inconveniencing them when you have to get up all the time in the plane to go to the bathroom because your ailment is closterphobia? You seem very selfish in my opinion.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 3:38 PM

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I think people are missing the point of this post. It is to point out that people do not like their bubble being invaded. Ever hear of personal space??? Yeah, there are people who cannot help what their size is... but why should other people be uncomfortable for something that is not their problem.

So if you are saying we should be considerate of others.. how about they do the same. Buy two seats if you cannot fit in one. Why should your seatmate have to suffer for your issue. I have been on a 18 hr flight uncomfortable because my seatmate was big and was spilling into my space. That sucks!

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 4:24 PM

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1:34pm poster here. I'm actually also the 1:14pm poster, who said that I try not to get up and disturb people, even to the extent of not drinking anything if I am seated in a middle or window seat.

And no it is not our fault for sitting next to them; seating is pre-assigned on airplanes.

I've asked to be moved before b/c the person next to me is sick and I don't want to catch it, w/o worries of repercussions from offending the sick person. But it does not seem acceptable to ask to be reseated because the person beside me is too big. So yes, they ARE inconveniencing me, and society says there's nothing I can do about it!

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 4:34 PM

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you can do something about it if you don't like it, get a car and commute by yourself and buy a first class ticket. there ya go. problem solved.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 4:49 PM

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I think it's one thing to be heavy and another entirely to be rude. If a healthy-looking person was sitting on the aisle having histrionics every time I wanted out, I'd be equally annoyed as if the person were heavy.

My husband has, through his own choices and actions, overcome anxiety. What's wrong with the rest of you? I say this faecetiously, fully realizing that just because one person has overcome a mental disorder with exercise and dietary changes, it does not follow that everyone who has that disorder just hasn't chosen to overcome it yet; I say it to make a point. Obesity is not just about weight; most overweight people also live with a mental component, and controlling that is no more cut-and-dried than controlling claustrophobia or anxiety is cut-and-dried.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 4:54 PM

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I think the 1:23 posted nailed it. Airplane/subway seating no matter what your size is just plain uncomfortable.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 5:06 PM

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Oh, for the person who made the comment about buying a first class ticket. Is the fat person going to buy it for me????

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 5:20 PM

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why should they, you're the one complaining about it. Should you buy someone's ticket because you go the bathroom alot because of your disorder? step outside of your box and see both sides of the picture.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 5:25 PM

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Then why should I have to buy a first class ticket since somebodys too fat to fit in a seat?

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 5:27 PM

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because if you don't like it, don't say there aren't options, there sure are options. Public transportation is crowded no matter what size people are. If you don't like them, don't take them. If it makes you that unhappy (and i doubt this is the only thing in your life making you unhappy), then change it. Deal with it or change it. Those are your options.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 5:34 PM

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Whatever. Other people should not have to suffer for somebody elses inadequacies... Hey heres an idea lose the weight people

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 5:37 PM

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Obesity In Transit & Travelling

I always feel sad for people whose girth is painfully obvious, and hope that they find the means or inspiration to improve their health.

Friday, November 16, 2007, 12:00 AM

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What do you want them to do? Stand up while riding the train. Even if they are big they have a right to sit down. You should not look down on them because that person may be trying to lose weight.

What I can't stand are people who are thin enough to take up one seat but choose to spread out and take up the other half or don't move over a little so that you can sit down. The men tend to do this (spread their legs wide open). I feel like telling the "boys" don't need that much air.

Friday, November 16, 2007, 5:34 AM

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Hello!! OP!! This is a weight loss sight idiot!

Friday, November 16, 2007, 8:00 AM

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4:49, 5:25; totally accurate.

5:37- Your claustrauphobia and anxiety is an inadequacy, why don't you get over it? Get counselling or suck it up. You're the one with the problem. Quit expecting everyone to make your life or a$$ more comfy. If you want your space, gte a first class ticket.

People have some naive notion that others have a responsibility not to irritate/offend/bother you. WRONG. Freedom isn't unlimited, but it's not dictated by individual comfort levels or even sensibilities. Some things are a courtesy- be happy when you get them, don't expect them.

Saturday, November 17, 2007, 2:45 PM

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i'm new to this thread, but agree with the OP completely.

yes, the seats are small, and people will end up shoulder to shoulder. but i HATE when someone huge takes up more than one seat and there's the "wedge" left, which means stand the entire time...or squeeze in and be smooshed.

and i'm not a petite little thing. at 5'8 and 150lbs i'm far from tiny. but i do fit more than comfortably into the seats, with at least 1-2 inches on each side of my hips if i'm centered.

airplanes are uncomfortable hieghtwise for me (my legs are cramped) but the width is fine.

if a person is going to take up two seats, im sorry, but they should BUY both seats. airplanes may have started doing this, or it may be in the air, but some lines have begun asking passengers to buy 2 seats if they're heavy. it makes sense. i paid just as much money as you did for the seat i'm in. you have no right to take ANY of that seat up, whether your "heft" is due to negligence, personal choices, emotional disorders, fat genes, etc etc.

and i'm surprised no one mentioned this..but movie theatres (during a crowded movie/opening night) are also a terror! and i'm not just talking about heavy people..i'm talking about my being stuck next to a 534534 lb person who is spilling their super buttery popcorn all over me and practically bruising my sides every time they reach for their drink.

in all honesty, be whatever size your heart/mind/etc desires. i dont care if anyone has a medical issue. just PLEASE don't infringe on MY comfort!

Saturday, November 17, 2007, 2:56 PM

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Saturday, November 17, 2007, 3:47 PM

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Sadly I am one of those people in this world who is classified as obese (5'7'' and 279 lbs) but I take NO offense in this thread, because I agree. I as a fat person have no right to any part of a seat I didn't buy. I enjoy my personal space as do skinny people. In a subway car you are paying fair for one person's worth of space, be that standing or sitting, and just because you don't have assigned seating as an airplane does, does not mean you can take up a whole bench.

The ladies or gentelmen who were offended are probably the people who would take up that whole bench and think "I paid my fair, who cares if you people have to stand"

Me being fat doesn't give people the right to make fun of me or look down on me, but I also try not to give them a reason. When people say "God! I hate sitting next to fat people" It's not because that fat person stayed in their own space and was accomidating to the people around them, it was probably because they were inconveincing and "spilling over".

Saturday, November 17, 2007, 5:52 PM

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My husband travels by air very frequently. He is 6'4", wears a size 54 jacket because of his broad shoulders and he is not over weight. He'll take a free upgrade to 1st class whenever possible, but if he can't, his row-mates are just out of luck. OP, what do you say about that?

Sunday, November 18, 2007, 8:41 PM

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I am a small person and when someone is too big for their seat and spilling into mine, it sucks for me, but I deal. As long as I can still sit down, all is well. But what really ticks me off is when that person gives me grief about it, dirty looks and whatnot. Why should I feel like the intruder when all I want to do is sit in the vacant and should-be-empty seat?

Sunday, November 18, 2007, 10:31 PM

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when I sit on a plane, I find that large people sometimes deliberately sit by me, so they have some room. As long as we aren't touching, I'm ok. I sat next to a big Hawaiin dude once, and he was large framed and broad chested (and a heavy, but mostly broad). He kept his hands between his legs trying to make himself smaller not to bother me most of the way. he was miserable. One time on a small puddle jumper, there was a VERY obese woman. As we all got on, all the seats filled except the one next to her. THe last person on happened to be a VERY obese man! He looked around, but it was obvious no one was going to change seats. He sat next to her, but I suspect the flight was nearly unendurable for both of them.

Sunday, November 18, 2007, 10:45 PM

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Ok people settle down! Just face it, no means of public transportation is designed to be comfortable or roomy for anyone. I am 5'2 and a half, don't forget that, very important to us shorter girls, lol, and I weigh 121, thin and not fat but slightly muscular, and even I don't fit comfortably in an airplane seat. Most of those seats are no larger then 15 inches wide and leg room? forget about it. Same goes for all public transportation whether its in the sky or on the ground. I do agree as far as planes goes if the person is clearly so large that they can't fit into their seat and actually will take up another paying customers seat they should have to pay for 2 seats or fly first class where the seat are bigger. As far as buses and subways go, you can always move or stand so it really isn't that big of a deal to me. Heres a funny story. I was on a subway for about 30 min and dozed off, the lady next to me was really heavy, probably about 100 pounds overweight but I woke up and realized I had dozed on her. She was really soft and it felt very relaxing.

Monday, November 19, 2007, 2:10 AM

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