How can you make traveling safe, easy, and healthy?

I travel a lot so I know all about the ups and downs, and ins and outs of travelling from two perspectives: that of an overweight passenger (337 lbs!) and that of a now 125 lbs lighter, and healthier 🙂 passenger. Overweight and obese people experience great difficulty when flying. It’s unsafe; and physically/psychologically tiring for them (and those sitting next to them). Obese travelers also face increased health risksHeavy D, the rapper, died of pulmonary embolism from a long flight late last year, he was overweight.

The need for effective/appropriate policies for dealing with heavy passengers is more urgent now with the obesity epidemic on the rise – over one-third of Americans are obese, and obesity contributes to 20% of our healthcare budget! Some airlines are now viewing obesity as a disease; Air Canada gives a free extra seat to obese customers who have a doctor’s note. U.S. airlines will probably be slow to adopt this policy. Even if they do, ticket prices will go up to compensate for the free seats.

What can you do to fly safe and comfortably if you’re obese? The answer is simple: lose weight and get your health back. Easier said than done, but it really can be easy if you undergo a lifestyle change. I did that and lost 125 lbs+ over 20 months. I retrained my brain, altered my diet, and added regular exercise to my schedule.

I also maintain a healthy lifestyle while travelling. This is vital since frequent travelers are more likely to be obese due to poor food & health choices they make away from home.

I now fly safe, easy, and healthy! Plus, I no longer need an extension seatbelt 🙂 I’ve done it, and I’m sharing information and tips that have worked for me with you, so you can too! Please share any stories/progress on where you are on your journey.

Dr John Ellis MD

Board-certified anesthesiologist, with expertise in cardiovascular anesthesia and the implications of obesity and sleep apnea in anesthesia. See for professional information. Dr. Ellis has used the strategies in here to: (1) lose 120 lbs over 18 months, (2) stop all antihypertensive medicines, and (3) no longer need CPAP treatment for sleep apnea.

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