Will I Fit?

If you can't fit in a restaurant booth, you probably shouldn't be eating there. After all, restaurants are designed to be accommodating for guests of all sizes, designing their chairs and booths to fit a wide variety of sizes. Unfortunately, when I weighed 300 pounds, I was outside of the standard-sized restaurant booths.

If you can't fit in a restaurant booth, you probably shouldn't be eating there. After all, restaurants are designed to be accommodating for guests of all sizes, designing their chairs and booths to fit a wide variety of sizes. Unfortunately, when I weighed 300 pounds, I was outside of the standard-sized restaurant booths.


The first time I got stuck trying to slide into a restaurant booth was a mortifying experience. A friend and I decided to go out shopping one evening, and left the children with our respective husbands. We picked a new casual dining restaurant. We walked through the line, making our selections and paying for our food. The cashier put the little order number "tent" on our trays, and told us to sit anywhere, and the server would bring our orders in a few minutes.



We looked around the restaurant and I noticed that there were booths along the walls and tables situated in the middle. My friend pointed out an empty booth and said, "How about that one?" I said, "Sure." It didn't even cross my mind there might be a potentially embarrassing situation looming in my near future. We walked across the crowded restaurant, put our trays down, and decided to get our drinks before sitting down. Walking back across the restaurant to the drink station was uneventful, except for the fact that I occasionally brushed people's shoulders as I squeezed through the packed tables. I arrived back at the table to find my friend already seated. I put my drink down, bent my knees, leaned down a bit and started to slide onto the booth seat. 


Whoops. There wasn't enough room between the seat and the table for me. My first attempt left me hanging halfway off of the booth seat, with my bottom half on the seat and half in the air. I sucked in my air, and tried to force my way in. It was impossible. My friend looked on in horror as I continued to move around in a vain attempt to fit. I finally settled for hanging my legs over the outside of the booth and kinda sitting on the seat. This was clearly not going to work. At this point, I had attracted some unwelcome attention. To make matters worse, here came our friendly server, ready to put our meals on the table. She stopped in her tracks when she saw me sitting sideways in the booth. I said, "I think we are going to sit at that table over there instead."


She nodded, and put our food on the more accommodating table. I scooped up my drink, silverware, purse and pride, and walked over to the table. What a good friend, to stick with me, even in an embarrassing situation. Once we were settled at the table, I apologized to her for the embarrassing moment, and she just shrugged it off.


After that experience I became more practiced in judging the opening between the seat and the table. I was making accommodations for my size instead of changing my lifestyle.


If you are making accommodations instead of changing your choices, I’d encourage you to stop accommodating and making excuses, and instead put that energy into getting healthy and fit. I’m so glad I no longer have to worry whether or not I will fit into booths, and instead slide in without any effort!  

Your Parent Has Dementia: What to Talk to Their Doctor About

Make sure all their doctors are aware of all the medications she is taking.

Q: My mom is 94 and has dementia. She is taking a whole medicine cabinet-full of medications and I think they actually make her fuzzier. How should I talk to her various doctors about what she is taking and if she can get off some of the meds? — Gary R., Denver, Colorado

A: Many dementia patients are taking what docs call a "polypharmacy" — three or more medications that affect their central nervous system. And we really don't know how that mixture truly affects each individual person.

A new study in JAMA Network that looked at more than 1 million Medicare patients found almost 14% of them were taking a potentially harmful mix of antidepressants, antipsychotics, antiepileptics, benzodiazepines such as Valium and Ativan, nonbenzodiazepine benzodiazepine receptor agonist hypnotics such as Ambien or Sonata, and opioids. And almost a third of those folks were taking five or more such medications. The most common medication combination included an antidepressant, an antiepileptic, and an antipsychotic. Gabapentin was the most common medication — often for off-label uses, such as to ease chronic pain or treat psychiatric disorders, according to the researchers from the University of Michigan.

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