Hi Everyone! I had an amazing day yesterday and thought I would share some of my experiences with you all. I have a lot to share so please bear with me…I think you’ll find it’s worth the read.
My husband and I had happened to plan a day trip to Busch Gardens the same day the calendar results were announced. We had just arrived there and I checked my phone and saw I had been chosen as part of the Top 24. Thank you all so much!
It’s quite an honor and the calendar has been a big motivating factor for me these past 6 months. I would like to share the rest of my calendar pics with you today. The photo you voted on was my least favorite because it reveals my extra skin. But it is also a wonderful photo with my son, who was less than cooperative that day!These past few months I’ve been in “perfectionist” mode. I’ve come to realize that my stretch marks and extra skin are part of ME- the ME that made the journey from obesity and unhappiness to healthy. The me that made a little human then lost 100+ lbs after, for a total of 128 lbs, nearly half my heaviest weight. I have slowly come to accept that perfection is not an attainable goal, and I should be proud of the evidence of my hard work. Even if it isn’t what the rest of the world considers beautiful.
It was quite the coincidence that we were at Busch Gardens when I found out, because my calendar application included my most mortifying moment as an obese person. It happened right there. It was a story I told NO ONE for years because I was so embarrassed. Today I’ll share it with you.
This is from my calendar application-
” A trip to Busch Gardens remains my most mortifying memory. I sat on Apollo’s Chariot and reached for the bar that was supposed to lock me in. It wouldn’t lock. As the roller-coaster filled, I grew more nervous. I was trying with all my might to make it click over my thighs. A scene played in my mind. I imagined myself being told I was too fat to ride and would be forced to walk the walk of obese shame in front of everyone’s peering eyes. I felt full panic, palms sweaty as the park employees walked down the rows, checking that each person was locked in properly. The worker got to me. He pushed on it. It didn’t lock. He really leaned on it. I held my breath…Finally, it clicked! I didn’t have to suffer the humiliation I imagined that day. ”
Yesterday, when I went to ride Apollo’s Chariot, I said to my husband, “This is it.” The very roller coaster that burned that moment of humiliation into my memory. He smiled at me, kissed me and told me he was so proud of me. Not even 5 minutes later, we watched the SAME thing happen to a 20 something overweight girl. She sat with an anxious look as the amusement park worker tried to push the bar down and get it to lock. Three tries, and it wouldn’t. She got up, humiliated and about to cry. There were snickers and laughs from nearby observers. My husband and I looked at each other, both feeling terrible for her. He urged me to talk to her. I remembered how bad that moment felt for me, knowing hers was worse because I didn’t get kicked off the roller coaster. I went over to her, looked her in the eye, and told her it happened to me too. That she wasn’t the only one. I told her to use this moment as motivation for the future. That someday she was going to change her life and she would ride this roller coaster. Her eyes lightened a little bit but you could tell she was hurting. I just hoped I had given her some of the support and motivation she needed to get through that moment.
We rode Apollo’s Chariot and it was amazing! It was the first time I’ve ridden any roller coaster at a healthy weight. I’ve always felt self conscious and nervous boarding roller coasters ever since that moment. I’ve felt “watched” and uncomfortable. But the proof is in the pudding. Not only did I have that moment, but another one. As we boarded a different roller coaster, the Griffon, a larger man was seated next to me. I got all locked in and ready and the park attendant asked me to switch seats with this man, because he needed the “larger” seat. After you go from 260 to 132, you see yourself in your mind often as an overweight person, rather than as you actually are and how others see you. It takes a while for the mind to catch up to your new body. So that moment really clarified that in this situation I was the “skinny” one. Me!! Haha. It was a really good feeling.
I’m sharing my before pic, calendar pics and most importantly the pic we ended up buying from Apollo’s Chariot. I NEVER spend $$$ on those souvenir pics but this moment meant so much to me that I did buy that. Thank you for this amazing experience and for allowing me the honor of representing a NEM in the 2015 calendar!!!