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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Roller Coaster Tears

Growing up in Orlando you get to go to a lot of theme parks. I've always loved the parks, and especially roller coasters. I have never not ridden a coaster due to fear! I have been afraid, but I always got on... Until a few years ago when a different fear came into play.

As most of you know I've always been heavy. Over the years I just got heavier and heavier to the point that I could no longer do one of my favorite things because I could not fit in the seat. I remember it vividly... At first I would have to be moved to the "larger" seats in the middle of the coaster which often meant being pulled to the side by the attendant and waiting for the next go round. Then, it got to the point where it didn't matter where I sat, I just simply didn't fit.

It was humiliating. I finally just started making excuses for why I wasn't going to ride. I'm sure my family could see through the excuses, but they never pushed me. It was so disheartening to know that I couldn't join friends and family in something I absolutely loved to do. But it was way more embarrassing to tell them why, and so I just said they made me sick and I'd sit out and wait for them.

On Saturday, Scott and I took our niece Ally to Sea World to spend the day with some friends. One of the last rides I attempted was Kraken at Sea World, but of course, I didn't fit. This time I was determined to at least try. I mean, come on! I've lost 65 pounds and 13 inches in my waist! I just knew I had to fit.

Manta is a new ride at Sea World, and I was so hopeful I'd be able to ride it. I got in line, and waited my turn with knots in my stomach. My turn finally came, and not only did I fit, I got the bar to click down TWICE comfortably!!! I was smiling like an idiot! LOL It was so much fun!! By the end of the ride I was fighting back tears. It had been so long since I'd experienced the thrill and rush of a coaster. It was such an accomplishment! :)

My next feat was Kraken. I just had to try it again. I sat in the test seat in front of the ride and was able to latch the harness! It was snug, but hey, it fit. So, I got in line, sat down, and the belt wouldn't reach! :( I was so mortified... I kept trying but just couldn't get it to latch. The attendant came over to help and finally he was able to latch the belt! I couldn't believe it! I was finally going to ride Kraken for the first time!!!!! It was so exhilarating! I cannot wait to go back! :)

I don't think I have fully comprehended everything I've allowed my weight to take from me. But I plan on taking all of them back and then some!!! :)


  1. I don't really understand your love of roller coasters but I'm so glad you get to enjoy them again ;)

  2. Oh girl, you are now making me cry here at work!! I partially understand the humiliation of not fitting in the coaster. My dad has always been large, but I remember one time he begged me to go on Montu at Busch Gardens with him. As you know, I'm a chicken when it comes to riding roller coasters. But I decided that I would go and ride it with him, as long as I could sit right next to him. Well, we waited in the long hot line. When it came time to get into the coaster and buckle our seats, my dad couldn't get his to lock down. The coaster attendants couldn't either. I felt so embarrased for my dad (NOT OF HIM!! don't read that wrong!!), and needless to say we both got off of the coaster. But wow Amy, I'm so proud of you!! Keep going girl!!

  3. I'm so happy for you, Amy!! You're such an inspiration!!

  4. That is a great story!! I am so happy for you! There is not limit to what you can accomplish. You are a true inspiration!

  5. Congratulations on all you have accomplished. I can 100% relate to the problems at amusement parks - I had the same experiences. I'm so happy that you have done so well!!

  6. I've been there - I think the last time I went to Great Adventure was for a work retreat years ago, and I had to get off the roller coaster when the bar couldn't close. All my staff (young, skinny kids right out of college) had no idea what was going on or why I wouldn't ride, so I had to explain to them (in front of everyone after already being plenty embarrassed). I won't even waste money going back to one of those parks until I'm significantly smaller. Luckily Disney is much more forgiving in their seat sizes!

  7. Hi Amy.... I am so happy for you, and at a low point in my journey.... I find you to be an encouragement to me! Keep up the great work! It is so worth it! Blessings on you my blog friend! Hey, I am also now "training" to do my first 5 km walk.... starting little.
    ANY HINTS? I am so proud of you!!

  8. cool!! I remember one of the things that made me want to change was that last summer, I went to a park and had to have the guy next to me help me put the seatbelt was sooo close! I was so embarrased