This picture was taken in 2011, but is pretty close to the size that I was on that dreaded day in October 2010. A couple friends and I decided we wanted to go to Cedar Point for their Hallowed Weekends and I was super excited. I love Cedar Point and I was looking forward to being able to ride all the rides. Unfortunately, not all the rides are built for people my size. That day, my two friends, James and Katie, and I decided we were going to ride the Millennium Force. It's one of the best rides in the whole park. Because it was just the three of us, we had been taking turns all day with who is riding with who and this time, it was my turn to ride solo. On the trip to James' house that morning, I told Katie that I was afraid there may be some rides where I didn't fit and this was the one I was most afraid of. As we got on the ride, the I realized that what I was most afraid of, was happening...in front of everyone else waiting to ride the ride. As the ride operator was trying to squeeze me into the buckle, I had to fight back the tears knowing that it was not going to buckle and I was going to have to take the walk of shame across the platform and all the way down off the ride. I quietly got Katie's attention and just shook my head and told her I'd wait at the roller coasters picture booth. I left the platform and their ride took off. I went and sat down briefly, trying not to cry, but as I felt a couple tears fall, I knew I NEVER wanted to feel this way again...EVER! I wiped away the tears and walked to the photo booth to wait. As the ride ended, James and Katie joined me and James said to me "Sally, where were you? One minute you were in the seat behind us, and then the ride was over and you weren't there." I came up with some lie like I didn't feel well, but I felt like he saw straight through it. The rest of the day, I felt completely defeated. I was afraid to ride any ride. On the rides that the buckle did click, but it was super tight, I held on for dear life for fear that the buckle was going to break during the ride but then I loosened up my grip at the thought of being put out of the misery I was in if the buckle did break and I fell out of the ride. I was not in a good place mentally after not being able to ride that ride. Well, it wasn't until about a year later that things finally started to fall into place for me with realizing that I couldn't just exercise and I couldn't just diet. I had to both move more and eat less if I really wanted to change me. I began doing a little more here or there to try and move more and eat less, but it wasn't until August 2011 when my grandma was diagnosed with Leukemia that I actually started doing something that clicked with me. At that point, I decided I was going to make some actual goals for myself. Not just the goal to "lose weight." I made the goal to get under 200. Then I made the goal to get out of the "obese" BMI range. Then I made the goal to get to 175. Then I made the goal to hit 100lbs lost. And now I'm working on the goal of my UGW of 130-145. I have a wider range because the good Lord blessed me with boobs, butt and hips so I don't know if 130 is even possible for my body shape. ANYWAYS...I had made a few rewards for each goal, but the biggest one for me was to hit 175lbs. I don't know why I had that number in my head since that put me only 10lbs away from 100, but that was my goal with the biggest reward. The reward for hitting 175 was a trip to Cedar Point so I could ride Millennium Force again. Well, I hit 175 last summer and none of my friends wanted to go to Cedar Point. They all said "we always do Cedar Point, can we do something else this year?" For most people, I blew it off. But when James said it, I said to him. "You may not have known this, but I think you probably do, but when I didn't ride Millennium Force that one day, it wasn't because of whatever lie I gave you. It was because I did not fit. That was the most embarrassing moment of my life and it was even harder to have it happen in front of so many people, including you and Katie." He then said something to me that caught me off guard. He said to me, "Sally, I believed you when you said you didn't feel well because I don't view you the same way you view you. You see that number, I don't. I just see you." I told him that, even though he doesn't see the number, I still do and it is something that I'm still working on. But with that, I have goals and then I told him that Cedar Point was a reward for hitting my goal. He said we would try to go, but by this point in the summer, I knew it wasn't going to happen. So, this year, my friend Ashley knew my goal as well and has continually said to me "We're going to Cedar Point this year. Even if no one else goes, we are going to Cedar Point." I'm so thankful for her for that. Well, we wanted to go to Cedar Point last week but she ended up having a job interview so we cancelled our plans. But then at church on Sunday, I talked to the youth Pastor and asked if he needed extra leaders for the churches Cedar Point trip and guess what!? THEY DID! So, on Thursday, June 20, 2013, I was FINALLY able to make my reward trip to Cedar Point happen. And even better yet, because I was a leader, I didn't have to pay for breakfast, lunch, dinner or my ticket! So, here are a few pics from my reward trip to Cedar Point.
This is my view on the trip down. We had so many kids come that I, along with a few other leaders had to stand on the bus for the entire trip.
I was at the very back of the bus so when we stopped for gas, I opened the back door and hung out the back to cool down a little bit.
This is the first thing we saw when we got there. The new roller coaster, Gate Keeper, is the largest winged coaster in the country, if not the world. I rode it and will probably never ride it again because the chest harness covers your stomach up to your chest and is so tight that the entire ride, I was trying to take a breath, but couldn't breathe. Not everyone had the same problem as me, but probably about half the students on the bus said they had this problem. Guys included.
Senior Highers were allowed to go on their own throughout the park, but the Junior Highers had to be in a group with an adult. So this is my group. From left to right it is Jordan, Jeffrey, Jessica and Brianna. Brianna is the only one who really rode rides with me. Jeffrey rode Raptor with us, but didn't ride any others with me.
Once we got in to the park, my kids wanted to ride Blue Streak first so this is me in line for Blue Streak.
Eventually I thought I had talked my kids into all riding Wicked Twister, but last second, they all ditched me except for Brianna.
My kids loved riding the carnival type rides and I'm not a big fan of them so I let them ride while I sat off to the side charging my phone and that's where I saw this mother duck guarding her nest.
At the end of the day, we had about 30 minutes before we had to return to the bus so I allowed my kids to ride the boat on repeat until I said it was time to go. I sat out and watched them as I charged my phone for the trip home, but I was just so thankful for such an incredible day.
The day did not go completely as I had planned however. As soon as we arrived, my severe acid reflux problems kicked in and stuck with me until about 3:30pm. Because of that I was beginning to think I was never going to be able to ride roller coasters again. Until my stomach began to feel better, I felt like I was going to throw up on every single ride! I'm not one to get motion sickness at all, but my acid reflux made me feel like I was going to lose it repeatedly. Also, not only did I have a hard time breathing on Gate Keeper, I also was dealing with my lightheadedness before getting on. I felt like I was going to pass out before I even got on the ride so the harness making breathing difficult did not help at all. lol But, I was able to accomplish the biggest thing I had set out to do that day.
This picture is of me and Brianna, my riding buddy for the day. Brianna rode almost every ride I rode and loved every one of them. When it came to this ride though, she was scared out of her mind. I told her she had to walk through the line with me and then she could change her mind later if she wanted...but then once we got in the line some I told her she couldn't change her mind. lol The biggest thing she kept saying was "That hill is soooo big!" I said to her "it's only the one hill and then it's all easy after that." Well, I completely forgot that there were one or two more hills and so when we hit the second hill, she was yelling at me saying "YOU LIED TO MEEEEE!!!!!" I felt bad, but couldn't help but laugh either.
This ride wasn't just another ride though for me. This was THE ride that I have been waiting three years to ride. This was the ride that I could not ride last time. The ride that caused me so much pain and embarrassment and the ride that I was determined to ride again some day. Throughout the entire line, I could not stop smiling and jumping up and down. By the time I had gotten to the platform to ride the roller coaster, the group in front of me and the group behind me both knew the significance of this ride to me and this picture was actually taken by one of them and then texted to me because I left my phone locked up in a locker. We got to the platform and got in line for the seats and I realized, I was about to sit in the same seat in the same row that I did not fit in 3 years ago. I got in, I buckled the buckle and when I heard the click, I said "HA! TAKE THAT 100lbs!!" and I couldn't stop smiling and laughing. The ride operator came by to check buckles on everyone to make sure they were secure and I said "this is 2 years in the making and 100lbs later!" and again, I still hadn't stopped smiling and laughing. The guy smiled and laughed and said "Congratulations! You look great, your belt needs to be tightened and you're good to go!" As we were cleared to go and the ride began to move, I wanted to so badly cry, laugh and scream all at the same time. It was such an unreal experience and the feeling I had is almost unexplainable. In that moment, I was so unbelievably proud of myself and of how far I have come. I didn't think about the fact that I've really only lost 10lbs in the last 7-8 months, I only thought about how great I felt to be on that ride, with the seatbelt not only "clicked" but having to be tightened.
Today, 3 years later, I am 100lbs lighter and 5 pant sizes smaller than I was when I last tried to ride Millennium Force. It took a lot of work to get here and I've hit some bumps along the way, but roller coasters wouldn't be fun if there weren't any flips, turns, hills and drops along the way!