Welcome to my NEW Disney Series!
I am so excited to be starting this new Blog Series!!! The fact that I love Disney is no secret, and if for some reason you missed that little fact about me, now you know! Disney holds a special place in my heart. My whole family is Disney fans. We have been going to Disneyland at least once a year since I was born..well actually since I was in my moms stomach.
Ever since I started sharing my whole fitness/weight loss journey, I have put off sharing much about my love for Disney, because I thought no one would care. So I just shared my weight loss and skin removal journey.
I think it is time to introduce/share this different side of my story. This new side to my journey. Something that is a big part of my life, my journey, and is part of what makes me, me.
I know this Disney Series might not be for everyone and that is ok!!! If you believe in the magic and dreams and that anything is possible with a little faith, love and pixie dust than you have come to the right place. This new series will be for those of you who also love Disney, love seeing me post about Disney and share how much Disney helped me become the person I am today.
How do Disney and Disneyland play a part in my weight loss journey and my whole journey to losing over 300 pounds?
Disneyland is a place that I have been visiting since I was born. I loved being transformed into this world where I thought anything was possible and where my dreams could become a reality. I grew up dreaming big, chasing my fears, and knowing that anything was possible. In the real world, I had a lot of struggles and have always struggled with my weight. Being made fun of, not having many friends, being “shy” and then taking on the persona of the “shy fat girl” really crushed my dreams and made me doubt who I was and who I wanted to become.
But when I entered those magic gates of Disneyland, something always changed for me. I began to believe in my dreams again, believe in myself again and knew that I was so much more than that “shy fat girl”. I felt free! Free to be ME!
A glimmer of hope
But as you can imagine, weighing over 500 pounds caused a lot of problems and challenges for me. One of those challenges was flying in an airplane, walking, riding rides and there came a point in my life where I lost all of my magic and all of my dreams seemed to be slipping away. I was not able to travel to my Happy Place and so instead, I suffered silently in the dark, feeling lost, confused, stuck and didn’t know who I was, who I wanted to be or where to go from there. I knew my weight had completely taken over my life. My weight/size had completely consumed who I was and everything that I was/wasn’t able to do. I had gotten to the point where I didn’t know what to do. I had never felt this darkness or this loss of hope before…ever.
So naturally, my family thought a trip to Disneyland would help me. I figured it was worth a shot. So after the worst plane ride of my life, we made it to Disneyland. Walking into the park I almost passed out. I could not walk at all. So I ended up renting a wheelchair. Wheeling down Main Street I felt the looks, the stares, and judgments. It felt like everyone was staring at me, judging me, it seemed like everyone said and thought: “here comes the big girl in a wheelchair”. I thought to myself, how did my life end up like this.
Here I was in the Happiest Place on Earth, a place where I seemed to escape from all of my problems and troubles, and yet for some reason this time, they were all still with me. It’s like the quote, “you can’t run away from trouble…there ain’t no place that far”. That’s how I felt. I didn’t ride any rides because I knew I would not fit and I just sat in my wheelchair, pretending to have a good time, but inside I felt like I was slowly dying. It felt like I had finally hit rock bottom. But boy was I wrong.
My sister convinced me to go on a ride in Fantasyland where there was no real seatbelt and she said I would fit on that ride. I knew she was right and so I decide to attempt this. I figured, what could go wrong. Well, I forgot one important detail…the turnstile in the ride queue. As I went to go through the turnstile to get on the ride, I got stuck. I could not get in or out. There I was…stuck. Naturally, I did what I do, I laughed it off, made some jokes and got myself unstuck. My sister and my boyfriend Kevin were with me and asked me if I was ok. OF COURSE, “I am ok” is the response I gave them as I continued to laugh…but deep down inside I knew THIS was my rock bottom.
I then went into the bathroom, sat in the stall and cried. I cried a lot. How did I let this happen? How had I allowed my life, my weight to get me to this point? Here I am in my favorite place in the entire world and how do I feel this awful? Would I ever get myself out of this hole that I had dug for myself? Then what I call Disney magic came over me and all of a sudden I wiped my eyes and I felt better. I felt strong and I told myself I CAN overcome this, I knew I was strong, I knew I was worthy, I knew I was capable and just like all of the Disney Princesses taught me…I can do it.
When we got home from that trip, I began my transformation journey and I have never looked back.
I can’t Go back!
I found my way back to Disneyland to go on a trip with my cousins for their first trip to Disneyland and to celebrate my cousins 5th birthday. Returning for the first time since I had gotten stuck made me so nervous! Would I fit now? Did I lose enough weight since my last visit? Should I go???….but I knew I had to go!!! My cousins took my hand and we walked through the gates. I held my breath at every turnstile…but I fit. That was just the confidence boost I needed to keep going on my journey. I made a promise to myself in the parks that day that I would never allow my weight or myself to hold me back from living my best life ever again.
There Really Is Disney Magic!
Then you guessed it, a few months later we were back at this magical place, almost 200 pounds lost from my starting point. This was a family trip for the Holidays, it was Christmas Eve. Let me just say, the magic only continued on this trip. Kevin, who has been by my side through it all, proposed to me in front the Disneyland Castle. Talk about feeling like I was living in a fairytale. I felt everything truly come full circle. My lowest of low moments happened in this park, and now, the highest of the high moment was happening. I always knew this place was magical, but I never realized how much until these past few years.
As you can see, Disneyland is a huge part of my life, not just because I love being there, but it was where my whole journey began. Disneyland is where I finally learned to love myself, take care of myself and believe in myself again. When I thought all of the magic was gone, I just had to dig a little deeper to realize it was there all along. I just had to continue to believe. I needed to believe in the power of my dreams, and the magic and the power of me.
There’s More to come
So in this blog series, I will be sharing everything, Disney.
New merchandise, new foods, ranking foods and letting you know if I think they are worth it, sharing my favorite healthy eating options, my favorite treat options, how I stay on track in the parks but still enjoy myself. Most of all I will be reminding you to never stop dreaming or stop believing in the power of your dreams…because anything is possible!
Disney and Disneyland are a big part of my life and who I am, and I am so very excited to share this part of my life, my journey with all of you!!!
Are you looking at planning a trip to any of the Disney Resorts? I am proud to have partnered with Get Away Today to have them help you plan your next trip. You can check out there site HERE to book vacation packages or if you are only looking for tickets you can also use the link to access discounted tickets to Disney and many other theme parks and attractions! You can also us the Coupon Code JJourney10 to receive $10 off your next Southern California vacation package.