My 30th Birthday in Disneyland

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 On Monday February 20, I turned 30 years old!  I am still in complete shock haha. I have no idea how I am 30 already!

 A few days after my 25th birthday is when I finally decided that it was time to change my life.  I was over 500 pounds, could barely get out of bed, and did not love or respect myself or my body. I used food to comfort me and the more unhappy I was, the more I kept eating.

The actual moment that I decided enough is enough was a few months before the “change” happened.   My sister, Kevin and I decided to take a trip to Disneyland!  We had not been in a while, because my weight really kept me from doing a whole lot.  I decided a trip to Disneyland was just what I needed.  I had no idea at that time that my life would change forever.

I had to rent a wheelchair because I could barely walk from the car to the main gate and I am embarrassed to admit this now, but I felt like I was about to die.  Everything hurt.  I remember that day so clearly.  I was wheeling down Main Street and everyone was staring, pointing, laughing.  Then it happened.  I tried to go on a ride….bad idea.  I picked a ride I thought I would fit on, except I forgot one teeny tiny detail…the turnstile.  And I got stuck.  That was my low point.  It was at that moment I decided that I needed to change, I wanted to change, I HAD to change.

Since I was turning 30, I figured what better way to bring in this new decade, and this new me, than at the place that started my whole transformation…DISNEYLAND!  Not only is this my absolute favorite place ever, but it holds so many memories, mostly good…but some not so good.

 I cannot even begin to express to you what this trip meant to me.  I had been back a few times during my weight loss, however this was my first time back after losing 350 pounds and with most of my excess skin gone!  Having my parents, sister, Kevin and my cousins with me on this special trip really meant so much to me.  My family means the world to me and without all of their support and unconditional love I don’t think I would ever be where I am today.  Just thinking about how much they supported me and were there for me through the good times and the bad makes me so emotional.  

We flew out Friday night and there was a he storm in southern CA.  I was so nervous all day thinking our flight would be cancelled, since almost all of the other flights going out that day were being cancelled.  I was crying all day and hoping that we would be able to make it.  Sometimes some things are just meant to be, and our flight was not cancelled and we made it!

It was a little rainy but that was not going to stop me…the rain never bothered me anyway!  I think the rain kept people from the park because it was not crowded at all!  The rain let up in the afternoon and we were able to watch the electrical parade and even saw the fireworks!  I think my favorite part of the whole trip is going on splash mountain (my favorite ride) and sitting in the back with my cousin and not getting wet at all, while my other cousin rode in the front and got drenched!  Or riding on the Cars ride with my whole family and my little cousin holding onto my arm for the whole time, hanging onto me for dear life.  I also loved having my birthday breakfast with my whole family in the park at The Plaza Inn with Minnie!  There are just so many good memories that I cannot pick just one!

 I even allowed myself to enjoy a few of my favorite treats, which I have not done in Disneyland for about 5 years!  

 I was really sore by the end of the trip, especially in my back and on the incisions on my arms.  However to be honest it felt kind of good to be sore.  It felt so good to walk, move, be outside and just enjoy life!

This journey has been far from easy, but it is moments like this that make it so worth it.  Being able to walk around without needing a wheelchair, and going on the rides and knowing you are going to fit.   I still sometimes struggle with turnstiles and sometimes when I see one I hold my breath as I go through, but once I walk through I am filled with so much pride and relief knowing I will never get stuck again. It is moments like this where I feel like I can do anything!

5 years ago I hoped, dreamed, wished, and prayed to be exactly where I am today.  No I am not perfect, and no my journey is still far from over, but I am so much better off than I was 5 years ago.

This weekend was seriously a dream come true.  I feel like over the past few years I have grown up so much more than I ever expected.  I learned so much about myself, my strength, my willpower and my determination 

Spending time with my family in Disneyland, flying on an airplane, riding the rides, walking, going through turnstiles are all things a lot of people just do and take for granted actually being able to do it.  For me I am grateful and thankful for all of the small moments like these.  So even if I still struggle mentally sometimes, my weight no longer holds me back physically.

I am so happy that I was able to turn 30 and start a new decade of my life in the happiest place on earth with the people I love so much.  Disneyland will always have a special place in my heart and will always hold so many memories for me.  it is a place that taught me that anything is possible.  It taught me that dream really do come true.  As much as I don’t like the fact that I am 30, this trip will probably go down as one of my favorite memories.

As Walt Disney said “All dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

 

XOXO

Jacqueline


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