Some times it’s the small things that make a big difference in life. Other times, it’s the big things that make a bigger difference. Allow me to explain…
The last day of 8th grade, the entire graduating 8th grade class went on a field trip to Carowinds, a local amusement park. I was having a great time riding all the roller coasters and drop towers.
Cue the bully that called me fat in 7th grade… “I hope your restraint doesn’t break on the way down. You’re so fat, can you even fit in the seat?” she said to me (in front of the guy I had a major crush on, no less). I was embarrassed beyond belief. I acted like it didn’t bother me and continued walking.
As my friends ran to get in line to ride “Drop Zone” a 100 foot drop tower, I peeled off and went to the bathroom… where I faked being sick so I could call my parents and go home. From that day forward, I never went to an amusement park again.
I understand the irrational thinking, but I was a teenage girl… give me a break. Of course I would have fit and my restraints would never break, but I was humiliated.
Fast forward to 2010.
I began my weight loss journey on May 5th. I was determined to change my eating and exercise habits. I was sick of being overweight. I was sick of holding myself back from things I wanted to do in life. After meeting with a nutritionist and health guru, I had my plan…
- Eat 6 small meals a day that are 1/2 cup to 1 c up in size (about the size of a fist).
- The first, third, fifth and sixth meal should be all protein (aim for about 100 grams of protein a day).
- The second and fourth meal should be a combination of protein, veggies and fruit. (1/2 veggies, 1/4 protein, 1/4 fruit).
- Drink 1/2 gallon of water for every 50lbs of fat (so, if you weigh 200 lbs, drink 1 gallon of water a day).
- Exercise 2 hours five times a week– aerobic workouts and weight training.
In addition to these rules, I also began taking a host of vitamins, minerals and got very picky about the water I consumed. I’m really into “new age” type things, so I only drink distilled water with a pH of 8.
I lost a whopping 120 pounds under my nutritionists’ plan. I didn’t need a trainer at the gym because I was always into sports and lifted weights religiously… so I knew my way around.
Now, fast forward to June 9th, 2012.
My wonderful boyfriend, Bill, is a big roller coaster nerd. He’s been trying to get me to go to amusement parks with him since we started dating in 2009. I’ve refused… I’ve even cried to get myself out of going.
Last Saturday, Bill woke me up at 6am. If I wasn’t so tired I would have yelled at him for waking me up so early on a weekend. “I’ve signed us up for ‘Coasting for Kids.’ You have to go, I’ve already paid.” He had been talking non-stop about this charity for weeks. I knew exactly what he was talking about, I knew there was no getting out of it.
So off we went to Allentown, Pennsylvania at 6am. We arrived at Dorney Park about 3 hours later, where I was supposed to ride roller coasters for 6 hours non-stop… all for charity. As we entered the park, I made a beeline for the ladies room. My heart was pounding. I needed to think of a way to get out of this park without getting on a ride. For 10 minutes I stayed in the ladies room trying to think of a way out. My mind was blank. I new I had to face my fear.
I would fit in the seat… right? I mean, I weight less than my 6 foot, 5 inch “beanpole” boyfriend. I just don’t see it when I look in the mirror. I still feel like that 300 pound girl, but I’m not. After almost having a panic attack while standing in line for my first ride of the day, the train came into the station and the gates opened.
I wanted to run, but Bill was conveniently behind me shoving me into the train. I sat in the seat. “Okay I fit in the seat… now what about the restraint?” I thought to myself. I pulled down the harness and buckled myself in. “WOW I fit!” I said out loud… unable to control my happiness. Bill looked at me like I had three heads. “Of course you fit. I told you would, now relax,” Bill said.
The ride quickly departed and I soon found out that my restraint was not going to break. It was the happiest day of my life. I finally faced my fear of not fitting in the rides that I loved so much as a child. I always knew my weight held me back in life, moving forward I’m determined to “re-discover” the joys that my struggle with weight took away.