Too fat for Thorpe Park – How I found the motivation to turn my life around

Losing weight isn’t easy and keeping it off is even harder. I wanted to lose weight for years and couldn’t seem to find the motivation to stick at it despite the fact that I could see how badly it was impacting my life.

So, what changed?

I believe that if and when we REALLY want to make a change, we can! But what makes us get to that point? For me it was Thorpe Park! 

Why Thorpe Park, you ask? Well… I loved theme parks when I was younger, so I decided to go for my 30th birthday with my brother. I was looking forward to it, oblivious to what was going to happen when I got there.

I was excited to go on the rollercoasters, something I hadn’t done since I went to Alton Towers with school when I was about 15 years old – so it had been quite a while! 

We rocked up to Colossus first, the world’s first 10-loop rollercoaster. I queued for about 45 minutes to an hour from memory and the moment came for me to get in – so I did and I clicked down the over-the-shoulder restraint all the way down to my belly. Well, there is also a strap and clip that comes up from your seat to click into the restraint – and to my absolute horror, the two wouldn’t meet! 

I was one of THOSE people who was just too big for a rollercoaster! I knew I was big but I didn’t dream I was THAT big! My brother started to try and help me squeeze it down and a member of staff who was checking the belts stopped at me and also started to help – pushing and squeezing. I wanted to get off but he called his colleague over to help and now two members of staff were pushing this thing down, squeezing my belly until it did eventually click in.

I was horrified, embarrassed and ashamed. What were the onlookers thinking? 

The ride left but I was so squeezed in, I felt so uncomfortable to the point that I was even worried that I would just burst out and fly to my death! I laugh about this bit now, but it was a genuine fear at the time! 

I was so relieved when the ride came to a stop and couldn’t wait to get out of there – not the experience I wanted nor expected.

Now I DID get in, in the end, but I had to be rammed in and I couldn’t bare the thought of going through the same thing to ride the other rollercoasters, so we stuck to the safe options – Rumba Rapids, Loggers Leap etc.

It wasn’t the trip I wanted and I felt dreadful about myself on a day that I was meant to be celebrating. 

This wasn’t a magic trigger to suddenly lose weight and I didn’t get straight to it, but it was certainly something I used to motivate me in my journey – it was a real physical example of the impact my weight was having on my life and I’ve never forgotten it.

I went back to Thorpe Park with my brother on my 35th birthday after I’d finally lost weight, 8 stone lighter, and comfortably rode every rollercoaster there with the exception of Colossus which was strangely closed – almost as if it knew I was there to ride the others that I didn’t get around to before! 

I felt great to say the least! Losing weight had enabled me to do something I had wanted to do for a very long time. 

I always struggled with motivation to lose weight despite wanting it so desperately, but maybe I just didn’t want it quite enough until that point.

If you struggle with motivation, try and visualise yourself achieving the things that you want to achieve that your weight has prevented you from doing – either physically or mentally! Or picture yourself looking the way you want to look and being able to wear clothes in the size and style you want. Once you start down that road and you start to lose weight, the changes will then motivate you to keep going. Every time you manage to get into a pair of jeans one waist size smaller, every time you do your belt up one hole further you will feel amazing – trust me!

And like me, you’ll look back and wonder why you didn’t do it earlier! But it’s better late then never! Everyone has it in them to achieve their goals – it’s not easy and you have the really want it and work for it, but finding something that motivates you can help get you there.