Friday, June 4, 2010

Introduction

My name is Banks Lee, and I'm a big guy. Not obese, but still big. I'm 6'2" and weigh roughly around 310 lbs. Why am I telling you this? Because I am not able to fit onto the new Harry Potter & the Forbidden Journey attraction at Islands of Adventure in Orlando, FL.

But don't worry. This blog is not to criticize Universal Orlando for not making the ride vehicles roomier. No, this blog is to chronicle my journey to get into shape and lose enough weight to be able to get on Forbidden Journey. Even when I achieve this goal, it doesn't mean that I'm going to stop exercising or eating right.

Now, Forbidden Journey is not the only ride I have problems getting on, but it is the only ride I am not able to get on. I still fit (albeit pretty tightly) in the bigger seats on other attractions like Hulk, Dragon's Challenge & Hollywood Rip, Ride, Rockit. This mission is also going to help me not have to always ask for the bigger seats on those rides, and finally allow me to sit in the front rows!

You may be wondering where the name comes from. In the test seats at Forbidden Journey, in order to be able to ride, the over-the-shoulder restraint must click down three times. At the time of starting this blog, I'm able to get two clicks, but only with a lot of help by a Universal Team Member working at the attraction.

So that's basically it! I will try to make one post per day, and plan on doing one video update a week. Thanks to everyone for the support, this is a long time coming for me. I've never really had the motivation to do this, so I'm excited to see where this will go!

124 comments:

  1. Banks i am excited for you!!!! I have got a weight goal that I am trying to reach myself. Make sure you keep your bestest posted on your track and I will make sure i keep you up with mine.

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  2. Good luck on your journey! I shall be following (and trying to do my best at home to join in lol) and any time you need encouragement - just yell! :~)

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  3. I'm so happy to see that HPatFJ has such great meaning to people! :) I know it's not just this one attraction that probably has added up to your decision to lose weight, but I'm happy for you and glad to see you going for a goal! I myself need to work on some weight loss too. Maybe if I move to Florida I'll sweat it all off. ;)

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  4. This is such a great idea. There is no better reason to lose weight than to ride an amazing new theme park attraction! Good luck. I look forward to reading about your own journey.

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  5. Congratulations on taking the first step in your journey to a healthier lifestyle!

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  6. I'm 6'3" 240 lbs and once I hear about the restricting restraints I've been on a whirlwind exercise routine to try and shave off an inch or so before I try to ride Forbidden Journey on June 25th. Good luck to you.

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  7. Good luck to you! I wish you were closer to West Palm Beach, we could work together. I began walking nightly and watching what I eat because I know I won't fit in FJ. I can barely fit in the big boy seats on Hulk and DD. My goal is to fit into FJ AND Dr. Doom. I haven't fit in Dr. Doom in years. I've been walking for about 2 weeks now, and my pants are already looser. Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading more!

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  8. Best of luck on your journey! I just completed my own, it wasn't always easy, but it is so worth it in the end. Get in your exercise, watch those portions, and if you can don't drink your calories. One of the best decision I made was giving up Pepsi. Helped me lose weight so much faster!

    Hope you get your 3 clicks quickly!

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  9. Banks, I'm with you 110%. Since we live together, it'll be easy for the both of us to help each other lose weight. I like what John said. I used to walk all the time back home, and I did actually lose weight, so we should give that a try.

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  10. Good Luck Banks! This is such a fun way for you to motivate yourself and others on your way to achieving your goal! I'm going to enjoy following your blog, and I hope that you will get to ride HPFJ very soon!

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  11. Do you happen to know ur chest size or waist size since that seems to be the main reason why people cant get on. just to compare :)

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  12. It worth losing the weight. The ride is Awesome and you will love it when you get there. I use to be fat in High School and lost the weight. It the greatest feeling in the world. :) Good luck and I look forward to riding the FJ with you.

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  13. hey man..i'm rooting for you! it's gonna be tough, but what a cool reward system! Keep us posted. it's great to see you make the positive change!

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  14. I tried to get on Dr Doom and wasn't able to to. I would love to go along this journey with you and also lose enough wait to ride FJ! I'm 25, 6'4" and weigh 295. What are you doing to lose the weight? I've tried the milkshakes, the cayenne pepper mix diets, and even the subway one. I'm now just going to work out, bike, and eat healthy. Hopefully one day soon we both can ride FJ!

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  15. Most people would complain to the park managers to make accommodations, so I think it's really awesome that you're going the positive route and trying to lose weight instead.

    Plus, it's awesome that you've given yourself such a finite reward for after you've achieved your goal. I'm rooting for you!

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  16. http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/

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  17. Hi Banks! I just wanted to let you know that I'm fully behind you on this and will support you!! I know you can do it :D

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  18. Good luck on your journey!

    I think you've got a terrific goal, and I'm looking forward to reading about how you get there!

    FWIW, last fall, my husband's doctor called and said he had to lose weight - or else. We started walking, and used the South Beach Diet Book to plan our family's meals, and he's lost more than 60 lbs since then. :-)

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  19. Go, Banks, go! You CAN do this, and having a goal like this is a great way to lose weight.

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  20. Will be following your quest and look forward to your subsequent visits! This is really a positive outlook and a shining example of the attitude we wish we encountered more. Not that the seat's aren't really restrictive as they are. -sad face- Good luck muggle!

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  21. Best of luck to ya! I went was in the Wizarding World Thursday and it's so cool. I am rooting for you!

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  22. Good luck, sir! We're all rooting for ya!

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  23. This blog is awesome and I will be following you on your journey!!!!!! Maybe when you make it, the Park Geeks can come down and ride with you!

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  24. Good luck! This is a GREAT idea for a blog and I wish you well. While I'm small and would fit in those restraints, I still am trying to lose weight myself (I'm 5'4"/172 lbs. I want to lose at least another thirty pounds (it's all a tire around my waist)).

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  25. Hi Banks, Love your positive attitude.

    We'll be visiting from the UK in September and plan on visiting WWHP and of course would like to ride FJ. I have broad shoulders weigh around 250lbs and am about 5'11 inches.

    So I'm going to take a leaf out of your book and rather than moan about Universal I intend to lose enough weight so that I'll fit and like you am looking forward to the the 3 clicks.

    Thanks for the inspiration and all the best in your endeavours.

    Cheers
    Pete

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  26. Hi Banks,
    Best wishes on your journey, you've inspired quite a few people to follow in your steps and get more fit....including myself. Will be looking forward to reading all about it.
    Maureen

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  27. Hey Banks! Good luck with your journey! I'll be here following you every step of the way!

    Yuki

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  28. Good luck to you! I hope you reach your goal and can ride the Forbidden Journey!

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  29. When you take a negative and turn it into a positive, it makes life so much better.

    I'll be bookmarking your blog and checking back to see when you achieve your first goal. Good Luck!

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  30. DONOTwantaTMhelpingtopushmychestdownJune 17, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    Yes, congrats on your determination and hard work so far! I see someone else had commented and asked the size they need to be for this ride, and I didn't see an answer to the question. I am 5'8 - 5'10, somewhere in there, and I'm overweight, probably about 200lbs, and I'm large-chested. Is your problem getting into the ride more based upon your height or your girth (stomach, etc - obviously not chest since you are a guy!). I started reading the HP series just to enjoy this park more as we visit Universal every year. Love the books - about to start #5 and hoping I get thru them in time for my next visit in Feb '11. But I'm afraid I'll find out I won't fit on the Forbidden Journey! Please help!!! Good luck to you!!

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  31. WOW!! That's amazing what you're doing. Most people would have complained and did nothing about it ... going on with their life the same. I applaud you! You will feel so much healthier - not only on the outside but inside. Especially dropping soda drinks. That carbonation is truly a killer for the body. Does no good whatsoever - only bad stuff. Anyway - keep it up. If you want to know a way to lose your weight SAFELY and the best healthy way possible, contact me: lisa.may@att.net Our bodies are so full of toxins. I know a way to rid them so quickly which rids fat like a miracle!

    Cheers!
    Lisa

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  32. This is a great goal, and I am so happy for you that you have such a great attitude, and such a fun thing to shoot for. I found out four years ago I have type 2, and I lost about 80 pounds in three months just by walking and cutting carbs out of my diet. So, you can do it! And when you reach a weight you're happy with, you will be motivated to continue it just because you feel so much better and will have so much more energy.

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  33. I applaud your attitude. Too many people turn into "haters" in situations like this. Best of luck on achieving your goals.

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  34. When I first heard about the ride not being conducive to heavy people, I was upset at Universal, but I realize that I should really just be upset at myself. I think your blog is a great idea and I am going to follow it and see if it will help motivate me so that when I cross the country to go to the new theme park, I won't have to worry.

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  35. I love, love, LOVE that you are doing this! I will be bookmarking your blog and following along. I am so very excited for you. I would love to be there the first day you walk your sassy self right to the front of the line, sit down and *click, click, click* your way onto your journey. Best of luck!!

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  36. I'm so glad to have found your blog, I wish you the best of luck! 2 years ago, at the Minnesota State Fair, I was removed from a ride for being too large, and it was NOT fun at all! I'm 5'10", about 280-290lbs, 50 inch chest, 54 inch stomach, so around the same dimensions as you. The girl literally was hanging off the restraint trying to force it down. It was shameful having to walk off the ride in front of a huge line of people, ask the operator for my tickets back, and then live with the memory of being too big for something seemingly so trivial. I've used that memory as a motivator for myself. AND I hope to someday go to the new Harry Potter theme park and ride this same ride! Can't wait to see the end of your journey!

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  37. " This blog is not to criticize Universal Orlando for not making the ride vehicles roomier." Good for you! Too often in today's society people are so busy trying to blame someone else for their problems that they ignore the more proactive approach of finding a way to get what they want for themselves! You'll reach your goal of riding the ride you want in the short term, but you'll also have the added bonus of being healthier.

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  38. Hi Banks,
    Great idea to find something to motivate you. Keep at it, it looks like you have a large following now.

    I don't want this to sound negative or uncalled for, but I think being honest about the situation going into a weight loss program is important. At 6'2" and 310 lbs, you are most certainly obese. The category of "obese" is based on the Body Mass Index scale, which assigns numbers based on your mass. A healthy BMI is about 18 to 25. 25 to 29.9 is overweight and anything over 30 is obese. Your BMI is 39.8.

    Again, I don't want this to seem like I'm being pointlessly harsh, it just seems that much of America has redefined what being obese is.

    I have lost 70 lbs in the last year and have another 40 to go, so I know the challenges and am right there with you. But make sure you are aware of the reality of the situation and what a final goal should be to ensure you are healthy.

    -Mike

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  39. Dude u said youre not obese are u retarded
    I'm a big guy. Not obese, but still big. I'm 6'2" and weigh roughly around 310 lbs.
    Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater
    Your BMI is 39.8 look at the results do some research before u clarify yourself something you're not.

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  40. Hey sug, good for you. I've been reading all the complaints & that they should be more accommodating and so forth. I seriously applaud you for taking responsibility, standing up and making a change. A few years ago something similar happened to me: I blamed everyone else around me for -my- situation, blamed everyone else for not being more accommodating.. and one day I suddenly woke up and realized it's my body and it's up to me to lose the weight. 100+lbs later I couldn't be happier. You can do it! It's hard work but your determination will help you through! Pss.. what helped me a LOT was keeping a food journal. At the end of the day I would keep a log of everything I ate, with the calorie count (assuming you're doing calories, you can substitute this with carbs, fat grams, whatever you're keeping track of). It was an eye opener to actually see what I was consuming written out.

    Good luck! You can do it!

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  41. I am so happy to hear your story. I wish more people were like you, becoming inspired by something they want, and making a lifestyle change that will ultimately lead to meeting so many more goals than the one that started it all. Good luck in your adventure, and I hope the ride is everything you wanted and more. I can't wait to get down to Orlando to try it out myself!!

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  42. go on a diet you fat walking obese moron

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  43. Read the yahoo plug...

    At 310 and 6'2" your technically obese class II and almost III with a bmi of 39. Dont sweat it, im obese too and have been fighting to get to "overweight" status. Good luck bro!

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  44. Hey, Banks,

    I read about your blog on Yahoo! and was immediately delighted and impressed with your positive attitude & creativity (with your blog title). It's wonderful that you've decided to use this barrier to improve your life, instead of just bitchin' about it.

    I don't have a weight issue, but you are an inspiration to me all the same, with your sunny outlook and enthusiasm for life. With an attitude like that, you are sure to reach your goal - and sooner rather than later!

    I look forward to keeping up with your journey and am totally cheering you on. Go, Banks! Thank you for being you and for making this blog. :)

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  45. Banks, Congratulations on the decision to get into shape. I know EXACTLY how you feel. About 2 years ago, I was at Universal California and couldn't get on many of the rides. See I am 6'5 and weighed 330 (gotcha by a little on both).

    I started to lose weight for a different reason (to donate a kidney to a stranger)and I can tell you with the right diet and exercise it is not hard. I am now 6'5 and 253!

    Keep in touch! Good luck!

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  46. at 6'2'' and 300 lbs, my husband is Obese. That gives him a BMI of 38.5 and anything over 30 is Obese. I don't mean to be a downer, I just hope you know that by losing weight you are saving your health. I hope you do well and I am cheering you on.

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  47. Your attitude to this situation is so refreshing to see! Too many people would be so quick to complain about this situation; citing discrimination towards overweight people. I whole heartedly applaud the initiative you are taking and wish you the best of luck!

    I started getting into serious cardio workouts about 3 years ago. Getting started is the hardest part. But, stick with it!!! It may take a couple weeks or even up to a month to start seeing changes. But, once you start to see a change you will become even more motivated to keep going and push yourself farther. I don't even know you, but I wish I lived in the Orlando area so I could help you achieve your goals.

    GO BANKS!!!

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  48. I read the article today on Yahoo and followed the link to your blog. Good for you. I lost 40lb in the last year. It is not easy to do and congrats to you for taking things in to your own hands. I scaned your post here so I will keep it up beat as you have. I will keep reading on your progress....

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  49. Good for you, Banks! I am highly impressed by your steps to take personal responsibility and make a life change! I have been there and have been at my goal weight for 3 years now... and event today it can be a struggle. Keep your eye on the goal...and Good luck to you!!!

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  50. I just wanna give you prop's for thinking this way instead of the other. People in America are so used to everything being adjusted to their needs, that they dont realize sometimes that they are the one's who need to make some changes! I haven't gone on the ride but my husband and I plan to make a trip on October (We're Californian's. Atleast your issue is something you can actually do something about! I am only 5 feet tall, I hope their height limit is not to strict, cuz I will literally cry if I dont get on those rides! Anyway! Best of luck to you and I hope that your mentality remains the same for anything other chalenges you might come across with in the future!

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  51. Wow, I have never responded to anyone's blog before, but personal responsibility instead of blaming the park? You are to be commended. Best of luck to you! You are an inspiration!

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  52. Good luck! I just read an article on Yahoo and it mentioned your predicament and i was compelled to come here and tell you that you can do it! Keep working hard!

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  53. Great blog. I love the idea. People see the motivation and progress and are inspired to do the same. Keep it up! I am getting into shape for my own trip to Orlando in November, so I'll be subscribing to your blog to see how you're doing.

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  54. Good luck to you, Banks! You will be an inspiration to many. It is a big challenge to lose weight and a constant struggle to push on when it would be easier to give up. I hope you can achieve your goal and be a lot healthier,too! So nice to hear of someone taking the responsibility for their own health rather than blaming someone else. Bless you and have faith!

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  55. Hey Banks,
    You said "I'm a big guy. Not obese, but still big." At 6'2 - 310 lbs., that is considered EXTREMELY obese! Sorry to break the news to you buddy! Anything under 307, for your height, is considered "Obese" and anything under 229, for your height, is considered "Overweight". Normal weight for your height would be 190 max. Average would be around 170.

    I used to be extremely obese, but I've lost 60 pounds and working on another 40 or 50. I am 5'9 and originally weighed 260 lbs.

    A few tips - lay off the red meat, dairy and fast food! Also, watch your portions and drink lots of water! Don't skip meals! Good luck!

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  56. FANTASTIC!!!!
    Such a positive way of going about it!!! I'm glad you're not one of those who would run to the media and complain that Universal is being unfair. Adopting a healthy lifestyle will have so many rewards in the future including being able to go on this ride. I hope you get through it.
    Respect!

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  57. Hi Banks! Just wanted to lend my support too. I think its great that you are taking this as an opportunity to make a positive change. I've never had something like that happen, but I have a friend who was too big to fit in movie theater seats, rides, etc. I know the embarrassment is extremely painful, and its so easy to allow that sort of embarrassment to be destructive rather than take it and turn it into something positive for yourself. I am working on changing my own health habits too and have been posting my progress on Facebook. Feel free to friend request me at www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/profile.php?id=1541077787.

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  58. The best of luck to you Banks! What an inspiration you are to so many! I'll follow your blog and cheer you on :-).

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  59. I'm with you...i stood in the 2 hour walk of shame knowing I would have to exit at the top. It has become quite the motivator.

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  60. That really is the spirit. I believe Universal is doing a great justice to society by challenging us all with our weight.

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  61. Go Banks! I know you can do this, and it's so inspiring! At the beginning of last year i was WAY overweight but i've lost nearly 70 and with your inspiration i know i can lose more! Thank you!

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  62. You are an inspiration! My question is what IS the acceptable weight? I mean do they provide dimensions of any sort to shoot for?

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  63. Good for you! It's so great to hear of someone turning a negative into a positive. You will go far. Keep it up! Ed in California

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  64. You go Lee! I cannot wait to see you in shape to ride this ride!

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  65. Go for it man, will be following you and cheering you on!

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  66. Way to go man! We're routing for you in Cali to reach your goal!!!

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  67. i've been needing to lose weight too, as i'm in the MORBIDLY obese group. it's just harder for me because my eating is _very_ disordered; ranging from basic binge eating, to full-blown bulimia (with the purging). sometimes i do drop weight, a bit too fast as i'm barely eating, but exercising all the time; but when my emotions switch up i gain it all back (plus some extra). sigh

    i'm gonna start following your blog. maybe you can inspire me to be more positive about my self-esteem & healthier with my eating.

    http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/english_bmi_calculator/bmi_calculator.html - this is where i got my bmi info, if anyone else wants their bmi.

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  68. Congratulations on your goals... and it looks like you're doing a great job. I wanted to clarify something from your first post. You gave your height and weight and stated that you are a big guy but not obese. Actually, these measurements qualify as obese (actually even the second class of obesity). I do not say this to bring you down, however to enlighten you and others on obesity. We are changing are own concept of obesity in America, however the medical definition of it stays the same...as do the negative side effects of being obese. As both a registered nurse and someone who also struggles the battle of the bulge, I realize that it is important to have an accurate understanding of where we stand and to promote proper education of the public. Best of luck... You are off to a great start!!!

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  69. Banks, This is a great approach to living. You must be a great friend to have. I just wanted to mention that my dad was 6'2'' and most of my life weighed 240 to 260. Later,due to kidney disease and on a low protein diet, he got down to 185 pounds. He looked incredible. Still the big guy, Double XL chest and gunboat hands and feet. He turned into the Amazing hunk, after having spent a lot of his life being the Amazing hulk. He felt better and even at 55 and 60 made the girls swoon. I am sure the benefits of this quest will spread way way beyond anything you might imagine now. You inspire me to take my own actions. Thanks.

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  70. Not to burst your bubble, but you are technically "obese" with a BMI of almost 40. Good luck to you, and keep inspiring all of us fat-asses to get in shape.

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  71. Best of luck!!! Your positive attitude is such an inspiration!

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  72. Banks, you are awesome! I saw your story on Yahoo and had to come over to give you my support. Keep fighting and don't give up, this is the best thing you'll ever do for yourself. You've inspired me to get up off my butt and get moving. I'm at the heaviest I've ever been in my life. My BP is high and I can't run around with my kid like I used to. YOU are my inspiration! If you can do it to get on a ride at Universal, I can do it to play with my kid. Thanks!

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  73. My boyfriend and I really admired your attitude--so many people would just feel lousy and angry when this happened, but you decided to do something about it! I am just glad you publicized your journey so that maybe people will follow your example. I have been struggling with my weight for the past few years also and have been working on gradually making changes. Your story makes me think that a specific concrete goal would provide more motivation for me. We plan on visiting the Harry Potter park next year and, while I think I would (probably) fit now at 5'4" and 208 lbs, I would certainly like to get in better shape for the trip. Like you, I thought I was just big, but not obese...it was a bit of a shock when I realized that medically I am considered obese. I like the way your blog points out that getting in shape is a good idea not just for long-term health but also for everyday enjoyment of life!

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  74. Good luck! I will be trying to lose weight as well! i think it's great you turned this negative into a postive!

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  75. Good luck with your quest. I experienced the same problem trying to get into the test seat for the Incredible Hulk roller coaster. I am 5'11" and currently 295 lbs. However I could lose 30 lbs and still have trouble getting into the seat. The issue isn't how fat you are as much as how big you are. I wear a 56 Jacket and a XXXL t-shirt just to get over my arms and shoulders. There is no three clicks. IT is nothing short of outright discrimination. When I sit in a theatre seat the arm don't squish my fat they contact my pelvic flanges. It's outright BS.

    Good Luck!

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  76. Just read the Yahoo! article and I am going to add your blog to my "favorites" so I can keep checking back on you. Your attitude is amazing! Getting on the ride is going to be small potatoes compared to all the other things you are going to accomplish! Take care and good luck!!! -jLow

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  77. I am so impressed with you!!! I think your mind is in a great place. Taking the high road and doing something great for yourself rather than criticizing the situation. Wishing you the best of luck!!!

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  78. hey man i just wanted to say i really respect you for finding the good in a kind of unfortunate situation. unlike many who would just push for bigger seats, you are using it as motivation and i just think thats so cool. keep it up the good work!

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  79. What a positive example you are setting!! Good luck to you on your weight loss journey. It will be a sweet reward when you are finally able to ride forbidden journey. I hope someone films it so we can see your joy. I'll be following you from Wisconsin. ;)

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  80. I am so impressed that instead of getting angry at Universal you have made the choice to better your health. I know it's not easy. I workout every day because I feel better when I do and it gives me the freedom to eat more than just fruits and veggies. We all struggle with motivation and impulses. You are not alone on your journey. You are doing the right thing and have handled an uncomfortable situation with maturity and class!

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  81. Keep up the good work, Banks! I was once 209 lbs and I lost 76lbs by eating healthily and exercising, so I know you can do it! Just so you know that this news has reached Asia, so.. I shall say that your positive attitude has touched people around the world! Keep posting your blogs, and cant wait to see your new weight!

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  82. Good Luck!!! I think this is a wonderful idea, instead of blaming the ride you are staying positive and are trying to live a more healthy lifestyle which not only let you get on an great ride but would be good in general for you. That takes guts, kudos!

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  83. I'm a doctor and I know how important proper weight etc. is for everyone, yet . . . let's just say I'm not perfect. Not bad, mind you, but not perfect, and I understand totally the dilimma folks face that don't fit the rides. Folks, don't get mad, take it as a challenge. It will give you many more years to ride on those rides with your great-grandchildren! You will FEEL much better too, as I found out myself. Stay positive!

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  84. Banks, I'm so proud of you! I just read the Yahoo article and was so pleased to see someone have a positive response to the situation, rather than what is becoming the all-too-typical complaint about how accomodations must be made for THEM ... you are doing something that is going to help YOUfeel better, be more active and healthy - kudos! I can't wait to hear about your first ride!

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  85. Good for you! I had this same problem when I went to an amusement park in California. Before stepping into the park, I was admit I hadn't really considered the fact that my weight might keep me from riding any of those rides. It's just a thought that didn't cross my mind. So you can imagine my frustration and embarassment when I had to get off a ride because the harness wouldn't click down. Unlike you, I didn't go on a quest to get healthier. But your blog has inspired me. I don't want to keep missing out on life because of my weight. I want to enjoy it to the fullest. Thanks!

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  86. Keep it up!!!!! You are doing the best thing for your future

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  87. What an inspiration! Universal Studios should jump on board and provide an incentive of giving you a free annual pass upon reaching your goal weight. It would be a bonus for you, and great PR for them. I'm proud of you, and will be following your progress. Just remember that during the toughest times, you still have the strength to keep moving forward!

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  88. Banks,

    This is really amazing and inspirational. Instead of complaining, which is becoming an all-too-popular response to situations like this, you took the initiative and decided to do something that will change your life. Don't wait for others to change...make it happen!
    I hope your story of motivation will encourage others to get on the path of exercise and healthy eating. Even more so, I hope you reach your goal and are able to click down soon! Good luck!

    Sarah

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  89. GO FOR IT! I think what your doing is wonderful I know you'll make it and you'll ride the harry potter ride and it will all be worth it and you'll be healthier and happier! I'll be cheering you on the whole way!

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  90. Hi Banks! Good luck on your journey. You're taking a very good step in the healthy direction. Keep it up!!!

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  91. Banks, what a great role model you are, not only in your lifestyle change...but in your attitude. Way to take an embarrassing and negative situation and turn it into something positive and inspiring! We could all learn a lesson from this, no matter what our size. I will definitely be keeping up with your blog and your journey! Best of Luck to you!

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  92. Banks,

    I found this blog through yahoo and followed the links to here. I think it's amazing what you are doing!!! I know the struggles all to well. One year ago this past April I found myself in a bad situation, I am a diabetic and I had gained weight and I have to say a massive amount of weight and I got very ill and went to the emergency room where they told me I had a obstruction in stomach but I was to heavy to operate on, I was admitted and got better, but when I looked at the scale I got depressed. When I got home for 2 months I was in denial then I said wait this is not an option anymore. I have since June of last year lost 118lbs and still losing. I changed my eating to a diabetic diet and lost the sodas (diet)and started drinking water's and tea. I finally this past April was able to be operated on and have the surgery to fix the stomach issue. I feel great now and still have another 100 lbs to lose, but I know I can do it and so can anyone if they put their mind and soul in it. There is no exuses , I used them all!!!!! Good luck on your journey I will be watching and doing the same thing making my goal of being healthy and happier a reality!!!!

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  93. I think that is so great that you're trying to do something about it instead of complaining. I hope that you reach your goal and have a blast at the Forbidden Journey. Keep up the good work, you're inspiring more ppl than what you will ever know!

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  94. I wish you all the best on your "journey". And kudos for not blaming the park or being negative about the whole thing - turning it into a positive is awesome! I think your positive attitude is the "secret" to becoming healthy, so keep us all updated :-D

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  95. I wish you the best on your journey to a Healthy body. I would like to help please take a look at my website. I can work with you. My website is http://fixithealth.myshaklee.com/us/en/category.php?main_cat=WeightManagement
    Give me a call or email me and we can get that weight down Naturally period. I have a girl whom has lose about 150 pounds on the weight lose program. So what do you have to lose.

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  96. Thank goodness that instead of being a complainer, you decided to do something good for yourself and have a goal in mind, YOU CAN DO THIS! I promise. I have a wedding to go to in August and since march have lost 20 lbs. Just stick with it!

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  97. Mr Lee,
    I can speak from experience, that a doctor assisted HCG program can work wonders. I WAS a diabetic, with high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Learning how and what to eat is the key. If your serious about losing weight, ask your doctor about HCG. Research HCG on the internet---but get the program from your doctor.
    Paul

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  98. You certainly are an inspiration to many people. You took a negative situation and are turning it into a positive one for yourself. You will be so much better off not just to be able to ride the rides but for your life. Don't pay attention to the people trying to help you by selling you some sort of product. You don't need special products to get healthy. One thing that has helped me is sparkpeople.com. It is a FREE website that has a lot of good information on it, including exercise trackers and nutrition trackers which you can log in the foods you eat and it will track the calories, fat, carbs and protein. Good luck. I will be following your blog to see your success.

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  99. Actually you are obese not even that you are 9.9 points from being overweight to be on the verge of being overweight you would have to weigh 233 pounds so to even be overweight you would have to lose over 80 pounds, who told you were overweight?

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  100. I'll be following your blog, wishing you well on your journey. I'm sure you will inspire so many people. Good luck!

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  101. Best of luck on your journey to lose the fat so you can get on board Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey! (I rode it and it was awesome!)

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  102. You are a positive role model and I hope that your determination will inspire others. I was thankful to see a young man like you take the challenge and refuse to blame the Disney park for not being able to ride. GOOD FOR YOU!!

    Keep it up and know that no matter what, you have made a difference!

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  103. I just wanted to express my support to you my friend! Good Luck with your endeavour, and I'm sure the effects of your quest will be far-reaching beyond the goal!!! :)

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  104. I'm excited to follow you on this journey, and I love the motivational factor too. Good luck!

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  105. Good luck, Banks, I wish you nothing but the best on this!

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  106. I am similar in your overall frame (same height but a few pounds less). I have lost weight before, but became lazy and the weight returned. I found success with a low-fat, lower calorie diet with exercise. I have a BowFlex, which I love, and an exercise bike. I find walks with my dog (now dogs) also worked well.

    As I wrote, weight has returned. I need to lose some fast for some huge upcoming events in my family (parents' 50th anniversay and my sister being married at the same time). As I'm sure I'll be in photos, I want to shed pounds. I only have two months for this, so I have to be realistic, but like you, I hope to continue afterward.

    Hopefully we can inspire each other!

    Good work so far!

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  107. The name of your blog is really neat. Gaining motivation from not getting those 3 required clicks is endearing but it's also a fun goal for you to aim for! I definitely smiled when reading about your story on Yahoo news. When you reach that goal, I bet you'll have the most fun on that ride than anyone else!

    Good luck!

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  108. I am very impressed that you have turned this problem into a personal challenge. So many people blame Universal Studios instead of taking responsibility for themselves and their health. Way to go!

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  109. Good luck to you on your weight loss goal. I have been researching nutrition lately, and there is more to it than just counting your calories. I recently watched a movie called Fat Head (google it or go to amazon and search for it), and it will change the way you think about eating and diets in general. I highly recommend you rent/buy it and watch it. It might just change your life!

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  110. Good for you!
    Good luck on your journey!
    Stay on track and don't get discouraged by setbacks along the way. You can DO THIS!

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  111. Mr. Lee, as a "man of size" I admire your motivation to lose weight. I'm not as big as you (6ft, 220lbs), but I have a weight requirement as a condition of employment that I have fought with for my entire career. I'm a firm believer in the thought process that one need only find the motivation that sticks in their minds when they breath, eat and sleep in order to have taken the first step to beating their weight problems. I look forward to following your progress! Stick with it, and dig deeper!

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  112. Banks, well done!!
    It is so refreshing to see somebody actually take responsibility for themselves instead of expecting somebody else to fix it!
    You, Sir, are an inspiration, and I hope you get to take your Harry Potter ride soon - it will be all the sweeter for the wait and the effort you have put in!
    All the best from Australia!
    Dave

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  113. actually at 6'2 and 310lbs you have a BMI of 39.8 and are severely obese but good luck.

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  114. An honest assessment is probably a good first step:

    http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/defining.html

    http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/english_bmi_calculator/results_obese.html?pounds=310&inches=74

    You seem to have a good attitude about the situation, so, good luck!

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  115. We have such a distorted view of obesity. Your BMI places you at Obese, and a pound away from Morbidly Obese. Three cheers to your efforts to downsize. Don't give up. Exercise and eliminate processed foods. Don't eat anything marked "diet" just choose real foods: fruits, vegetables and lean meats. I am dropping a pound a week by following these simple rules.

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  116. I was actually reading a Yahoo! article about the girth restraint on the ride and your blog was actually mentioned in it :) And I was like I have to follow just because I'm glad that you're not the type of person who decided to take something like this and bash Orlando studios and so forth but has taken it and turned it into something good and life changing and I'm glad to know there are still people like that out there. I wish you the best of luck in your journey to ride in the front rows of rides :D

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  117. So I just happened upon this. I'm a lot less embarassed now to admit that I'm doign the same thing. Friends and I are going in October and I'd already wanted to lose weight as I want to not be afraid to put on a swimsuit in public, or worry about whether or not I'll fit on the rides. Last time I've been to an amusement park was to Cedar Point and I had a few moments of "omg, is this not gonna close?!" and I ahte to admit I've gained weight since then. So I was already worrieda bout it and then started hearing about this. I'll be damned if I don't get on that ride, I'm far too excited.
    So tomorrow is when my journey starts. I'll be following yours as well. Personally I'm going to get in touch with a friend who works at Weight Watchers to help me out, as well as my mother who knows the plan. I have a cousin who's really into fitness that I'm going to see if she'll help me (she was an American Gladiator when it returned a few years ago, so I'm hoping she can help lol), but it's shameful that I honestly ahve no clue where to start - not only to lose weight to get on this ride and really enjoy my trip, but to keep that going and start a healthier lifestyle. I'm always so busy, I just kind of eat what's convenient when I have a moment to squeeze in a meal. I rarely do anything in t4he form of exercise. It's really sad and just ridiculous that I don't even know how to begin getting in shape and eating healthier. Gonna be really rough and really swallowing my pride to ask for a loooot of help.
    I wish you all the luck in the world and will be rooting for you along my own journey! :)
    Kristy

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  118. Good Luck! You have a great attitude! Ill be rooting for you!

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  119. Good luck on your odyssey!

    I've been on the ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and it is totally worth it as a reward at the end of your journey!

    I want to recommend a website which you may find extremely helpful:

    http://sparkpeople.com/

    This website is entirely free. All you need to do is to choose a username and password, and it will give you an amazing array of tools that will help you toward your goal. It was started by a guy who made a load of money creating a company which he eventually sold to ebay, and he decided to devote his life to helping people reach their goals and become healthy.

    You can track your foods and see exactly how many calories you are consuming. You can track individual nutrients (are you taking in enough iron? Enough Vitamin C? Too much soduim? The tracker will let you know.) You can input your own recipes into the website, and it will break all the nutrition information for you, telling you how much of each individual nutrient is in each serving.

    There are message boards which will answer questions for you, and where you can interact with other members. Again, it's all free, and it won't get you targeted for spam. You can choose whether to receive informative emails--or not, your choice. (Examples of the types of emails you might choose to receive: new exercise a day, new recipe a day, healthy eating for a family, etc.) You can sign up for teams, organized around all sorts of things: interested in karate? Running a marathon? Have a history of depression? Want to learn how to use a slow cooker? There's a team for each one. You can find the team of other people in your own city and join other people for meetups. You can find out about healthy restaurants in your home town.

    Once again, it's all absolutely free. Do check it out.

    Good luck! I will be watching your progress and cheering you on.

    I'm on Sparkpeople as bluesox4113.

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  120. Your first line says you are big, not obese. Actually, you will be out of the obese category when you lose about 75 pounds. I have no doubt you CAN do this. Way to go! I will be cheering you on and following you. Amazing to me...

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  121. This is my first reply to any blogs. But this is so parallel to my experience. For the first time in over 10 years, I was able to fit on the rides (except 1) at Six Flags. I vowed that next year I will lose enough to get on that ride.
    You are an inspiration to me. Because I want to experience everything at Harry Potter World.

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