Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Two Milestones!

Two great things have happened the past several days! First, when I went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter this past Saturday for a local Tweetup, I was able to get one click of the restraint at Forbidden Journey BY MYSELF for the first time!!! Usually I had to have the attendants push to get that first click, so what a great feeling it was to be able to pull down and get it myself! Still had to have help getting the second click, and could not get the third click, but this is definitely progress! Here is a picture of me in the ride vehicle after getting that one click by myself! Picture is courtesy of Matt Roseboom from Orlando Attractions Magazine.



The second milestone comes in my end of the month weigh-in. As you recall at the end of June I weighed 305 lbs. As of this morning, I am at 299 lbs! That is another 6 lbs that I've lost, 12 since I started the blog. What makes this a milestone for me is the fact that I haven't weighed under 300 lbs in several years. I am so grateful for all of your support! Without you, the supporters and followers, I may have quit weeks ago. It's been hard, I get cravings all the time, especially where I work. But it's your constant love and motivation that is keeping me going, and to that I say Thank You.

Press is starting to pick up again for this blog. A couple of local NBC affiliates in Florida ran the story, and now I'm hearing word of others in Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and Los Angeles running the story. Even MSNBC featured this in the Travel section! So to all the new readers and followers I've gotten as of late, welcome!

Question of the day/Shameless Plug of the day: Are you a Disney fan? You should check out www.wdwnewstoday.com! It's a great site that covers all of what's happening at the Walt Disney World Resort. I actually work there as a Reporter, and am also one of the co-hosts for the WDW News Today Podcast, which you can subscribe to on iTunes. Check us out!

117 comments:

  1. I'm one of your new readers. Good luck!

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  2. Hi Banks,

    Glad to see someone taking charge of their life and making progress towards a healthier lifestyle.

    Haven't read through past posts yet, but what are you doing differently as far as exercise/eating? Are you riding bikes at all? Cycling is a low-impact sport, easier on the joints, and you should try cycling to work if it's close enough by.

    Plus, wanting to get into cycling spandex could be another motivation! Let me know if you ever want to redesign your blog and/or move it over to Wordpress.

    - Ashley
    http://redd-design.com

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  3. This is amazing news! I've been following the blog and your FB since this began, and I just want you to know that you've inspired me to get into better shape as well! I needed to lose a few pounds myself, and I just want to tell you how great it's been to unite with another park geek to do so. (My husband has joined in too.) I've lost three pounds in the last two weeks and counting! Congratulations!

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  4. Hi Banks,

    I read about you on MSNBC, and like most of the commenters there, we are happy for you, but more than that, we admire that you did not try to sue the company. You are to be commended.

    Best of luck.

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  5. I just saw your video and I think you are doing a great job and its inspiring. I have started to lose weight myself and have been in a lull. I am going to go put some more effort into it and get rid of more weight. Thanks a lot for putting this out here !!!

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  6. Hi Banks,

    Congrats - keep up the hard work!

    I have lost 11 pound over the last two months and am really amazed at how much healthier I am now.

    Can't wait to keep reading about your progress Banks.

    Amy

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  7. Just saw the report on MSNBC. You are going to be an inspiration to a lot of people. As I'm sure you've heard, the ride is completely worth it. It's the most fun I've ever had on a ride (my daughter and I got to go on it three times). Keep working it and that third click will be a sweet sound. Now excuse me I am inspired to go for a walk :-)

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  8. Hi Banks,

    Good going at getting below 300. I too am carrying around more then I should. While I have never had to do a walk of shame, the restraints on many of my favorite coasters are maxed to the limit and make the rides less then comfy.

    Keep up the good work and you will get on that ride.
    Dave

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  9. I love that you started this blog. You must have saw my life and decided to start a blog about it! :) At my birthday party Sunday I disclosed to a large group of friends that I have never ridden a roller coaster. They asked why not and I was a bit shy to disclose, but said it was my goal to go to the Harry Potter theme park on my birthday next year (today is my actual birthday, so I have exactly one year!). They all wanted to go to the local theme park Lagoon on the spot. I brushed away the idea...the reason I have not yet been to Harry Potter world (I am a Harry Potter FREAK), nor ridden a roller coaster, is because I am afraid of the ride not clicking closed and being embarrassed! I have not ridden a ride except a tilt-a-whirl and a gondola ferris wheel (no clicks needed!) for years, since I last rode the Scrambler and had an uncomfortable time with a bar shoved in my gut. I've lost 78 pounds and still going...I know by next year I will be able to ride whatever I want confidently! Success to you!

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  10. I just read the article on MSNBC.com about your blog. I am also on a weight loss regime. Well actually a nutritional change. I had a moment of realization after a friend of mine started losing weight. I have dropped 60 pounds since February. I wish you all the best and keep going. I have been overweight most of my adult life and now at 40 I am making the change. I wish I had done it when I was your age.

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  11. Congratulations on your latest milestone! That's awesome and it's awesome what you're doing. I'm a new reader as well and I already have a ton of respect for you. I wish you the best of luck and I will be cheering you on!

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  12. Hey Banks,

    Congrats on getting your first click on your own and another 6 pounds!

    Have you tried getting the 100 calories snacks from Nabisco? They tend to help me with my cravings - especially love the chocolate covered pretzels. :D

    Just got back from my Orlando vacation and I'm happy to report that after almost two month of dieting, I was able to ride the Forbidden Journey. It was a close call mind you as the attendant had to push and push to get that third click in the morning. When I returned in the afternoon, I wasn't able to ride it again (guess the rock cake and cauldron cake tip the scale in the other direction). Now I'm back home and continuing on my diet; I want to be able to get on without help next time.

    For the question of the day, well I was in Orlando for a week - went one day to Wizarding World of Harry Potter and had a 5 day hopper for Disney. I especially love Pluto!

    Keep up the great work and looking forward to your next milestones!

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  13. Banks, Good work man! Keep it up! I went to Indiana Beach last August and I couldn't snap into the flying swings ride. I was about 307 at the time. I was embarrased that I had to leave the ride before it even began. I made a point that the next year I would get on those swings. I go back to Indiana Beach August 28th, in three weeks. I am now 274 and I have worked hard for those 33 pounds. I hope to be down another 5-10 pounds by the time I try to ride them. Just letting you know that I am pulling for you and I hope that you get on that ride by the end of the year.
    Good Luck,
    Brandon
    Indianapolis, IN

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  14. HI Banks! I love disney... the movies, the parks...everything. I just wish they would lower their prices so I can go more often. I live in Tampa so it's not that far!

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  15. I'll be watching you!!! This will be the hardest journey of your life. Watch the "Biggest Loser" and get some help on food choices. It is very simple: Calories in must be smaller than calories out. So you really don't have to do anything and you can loose the weight. Ask any prisoner of war! The problem is the burning hunger and that is where the food choices come in to play. Certain foods make you feel full. As your stomach shrinks the hunger pangs should be less drastic. Good luck and I have full faith you will succeed. You must succeed as the eyes of the world are upon you. Do this for yourself and failure is not an option.

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  16. I saw ur story on MSNBC and immediately i had to become one of your supporters! I myself am trying to lose weight after giving birth. You can do it Banks! Im rooting for you!

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  17. New reader on this, and Banks... more people need your attitude. Way to step it up and make something positive rather than blame others. Spot on. Good luck.

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  18. Rock on, Banks !!!!!!!!!
    Keep up the good work !!!!

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  19. Hi Banks,

    I wish you the best, but there is something you need to know. You CANNOT lose weight through exercise. You have to walk 35 miles just to lose one pound! Exercise has lots of benefits, but it makes virtually no difference in your weight. And since it makes you hungry, it can actually cause you to gain weight.

    The only way to lose significant weight is by eating less.

    Good luck, and I hope this information helps.

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  20. Just read your story on MSN. Good luck to you and your journey. I weighed 270 pounds 4 years ago and got upset over stretching into 2XL shirts. I now weigh 165. If I can do it, you can do it. There will be times when you will want to quit, but trust me, it is all worth it when you reach your goal.

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  21. I found you on the MSN home page... wow! I feel the same way as many other comments I've seen-- it's great that you're taking this course of action rather than suing Universal Studios/Wizarding World of HP. I just started my own attempt at weight loss about 3 weeks ago, so I feel your pain lol! Best of luck! :)

    PS. Thanks for the link to the Disney site. I'm a huge Disney fan! My dream is to work at Disneyland after I finish school.

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  22. Just saw the video on MSN. We have something in common, I remember having to sit out on a ride at busch gardens until the "fat" seat was available, which was very humiliating waiting on the other side of the ride and having everyone facing towards you. I weighed 305 also last month and just started doing the atkins diet so far in 3 weeks I have lost 16 lbs, by far the easiest diet I have tried. Being a huge Harry Potter fan, I knew that i would run into this problem if I went to the park, this is why I have set my goal to the beginning of the new year. We shall see what happens.

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  23. Good for you! I found your blog after seeing a national news article about it. Your healthy attitude and determination are fantastic -- keep up the good work -- there are so many praying and pulling for your success!

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  24. Congratulations! That is a fantastic start. Hope you keep up the great work. You are a wonderful inspiration to many people. Congrats again!

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  25. Hello,
    I read your story today, you are making history by being one of the main stories on MSN. I wanted to say good luck and to tell you that I know you can do it. Last year at this time I weighed 265 pounds, as of today I weigh 193, and I did it the same way you are. I watched my intake, increased my exercise, all walking and using the pool at the Y. You can do it and I am waiting for the picture of you making that third click and enjoying the ride to the fullest.

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  26. Kudos to you for taking this journey and being brave enough to share it with the world! Losing weight is tough, but it's people like you who help motivate and inspire us to keep going with our journey.

    Best of luck to you! Can't wait to hear about your success. :)

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  27. Just got wind of your story and blog... wishing you the best in your journey. You are an inspiration. Good luck!

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  28. I think you are doing a great job and are well on your way to success. I also love to ride the rides at amusement parks but between my weight and larger bust it is sometimes hard. You have inspired me to try and get in shape so i can do what I enjoy, going out and riding those coasters!

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  29. Congratulations! Just watched a video on you, and it is great that you are getting motivated! I have been losing this year too! I have lost 30 pounds so far and hope to lose another 30 to 40 by the end of the year! Good luck!

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  30. I just came to your blog after seeing a small news clip about it.

    It is awesome that you are taking charge of your own life. So many people are willing to blame everyone and everything else for their life's disappointments. You are using a disappointment as motivation. The world needs more people like you.

    Best of luck on your journey!

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  31. I saw your story on my msn home page and I just wanted to tell you that my first thought was that they were going to say you're trying to sue them or something. I have to say that I am glad you are doing the right thing by taking on the challenge of losing the weight. Instead of trying to make it someone elses fault like so many people do, you are not suing and saying its there fault you can't ride, you are using it to change your life and lose weight. Congratulations on the weight you have already lost and I wish you many more pounds of weight loss! I have always found that having support is the best way to accomplish any goal. I know I get to the gym if I have someone to go with. I also eat better when I know everyone is watching because they know my goal :) Eating a balanced diet and exercise will not only get you to your weight loss goal but it will make you healthier and happier in the long run! Good luck keep up the good work!

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  32. Keep going on the journey to better health! I could not fit on the rides at Cedar Point (Ohio) and that was my breaking point! I have lost 95 lbs and can ride any of the rides now! I have even run a 1/2 marathon!

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  33. Banks, congratulations on your wonderful attitude. Thank you for taking responsibility for yourself and not blaming someone else. You are an inspiration to me and so many others. Please keep up the fight. By the way, I really like your first name. Are you named after a family member?
    -Barb

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  34. Congratulations on losing 12 pounds! You are really an inspiration to me. I don't have a problem with weight, but I certainly have other things I need to work on. Over the past few years I've made every excuse not to do what I need to do in order to really make the most out of my life. I've blamed circumstances and blamed those around me for my shortcomings. It is really refreshing to see you throw away all the excuses, set a goal and go for it! You have an awesome attitude. Thanks for being such a great example. I'm rooting for you all the way!
    --Thanks and good luck from NYC!

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  35. I am trying to lose weight as well and find you to be refreshingly positive and a great inspiration to my own weight loss journey! Good luck with your progress and don't give up, even if you have a bad day. You can do this. :)

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  36. Congrats man, good to see you taking responsibilty for your health.

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  37. Congratulations on your success, Banks! You keep on plugg'in...you're gonna make it!

    Now here's some new inspiration for you: what are you going to do with your "fat pants"? I've lost 33 pounds so far in 3 1/2 months (doing healthy stuff...nothing drastic!) and was nearly killed by my fat jeans. LOL. So I came up with a creative way to immortalize them and motivate myself...here ya go:
    http://battleofthebutt.blogspot.com/2010/07/reincarnation-of-my-old-jeans.html

    Keep going!!!!

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  38. Good luck with your weight loss. It is so refreshing to see someone take control of a problem instead of whining.

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  39. I think you are fantastic for taking this on as a challenge to get better, get healthy. Many others would have complained and blogged about how they were embarrassed by not being able to get on a ride. But not you! Here's to good health and happiness, and always--have fun!

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  40. Congratulations on your loss so far! I lost 75lbs a couple years ago but gained it all back while I was pregnant and postpartum. I'm now back on the plan I was following before, and down 3 lbs so far (hey, it's a start right?) What I do is..6 days a week, low calorie meals, small portions, around 1,000 calories. Then one day a week, I have a "free day"...where I eat/drink whatever I want. It helps me deal with cravings, and it resets my metabolism like a jump start. And I go to the gym 3 days a week. Really easy and it works. I can't handle the slim fast type diets, cause I will jump off the wagon in spectacular style. I'm 60lbs overweight and my fiance is about 120lbs over and one of our motivators is to be able to take our daughter on the rides at Disney when she's old enough! Good luck, I'm totally pulling for you! :)

    Jenna

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  41. Excellent achievements! My frame is very similar to yours and I remember the first time I was asked to hop off a roller coaster ride because I was too big. At the time I didn't use it as motivation. My son is now my motivation. My wife and I just signed him up for soccer and its my motivation to loose weight and get back into shape to be able to run and practice with him. Thanks for the inspirational story and good luck with your progress

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  42. Just passing through. I saw the MSNBC article about you, so I came to check out your blog. Congrats on your progress!

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  43. YOU ARE AMAZING.

    I know I can never truly understand what it's like to be denied from riding a ride, but I still know that you are an amazing person for not suing the park for trying to be safe. You are an example for America. The "sue for everything" problem is definitely a problem, and BAH my sister and I saw a video about you and we're like I WISH I COULD HUG THIS GUY.

    So yeah. consider yourself hugged.

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  44. Hey Banks,

    You are truly an inspiration! Last year I was unable to go in a ride at the fair for the same reason. I quietly walked away, feeling like crap about myself. But this year I am deciding to do something about it. So I think that I will take this journey with you. I would love to go on more rides with my son, and we plan to go to Disney in the next year or so, and I don't want to be turned away.
    Good luck and keep us up to date on how your doing..

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  45. Hey Banks,

    I wanted to congratulate you on taking charge of your own health. My friend and I started a similar blog to yours last year and we have both lost a decent amount of weight. It isn't an easy task, but once you figure out a program that works for you, it becomes easier. Watching the numbers on the scale go down certainly helps with motivation too. I look forward to watching your progress. Good luck on getting your three clicks!

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  46. Just followed a link on MSN.com. You were a featured article on their home page! You are truly inspiring and I wish you all the luck in the world. My prayers are with you!!

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  47. Way to go! Keep up the great work and kudos for taking it public.

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  48. I've just found you through NBC, and I just wanted to say that seeing someone as mature and rational as you getting national attention made my day. It is truly inspiring to see someone facing head-on a serious issue that is nevertheless often ignored. Best of luck to you!

    On a different note, I'm a huge Disney fan! I was at the Hong Kong Disneyland launch day. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on that news site.

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  49. I really think it's awesome and inspiring that you're taking charge of this situation, rather than blaming someone and trying to make a quick buck. We need more people like you! Keep up the good work and cheers to three clicks!

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  50. Keep it going! The hardest part is getting started. Lots of little changes will have a huge impact when they add up. You have a rare chance to inspire thousands so just keep up the good work!

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  51. Just saw you on MSNBC. Keep up the great work!!!!! I can't wait to see where you go :)

    Christi

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  52. Congrats! Thats an awesome milestone! I am working on my under 150 right now. I'm so close I cant wait. I weigh in at least once a week though and I have a set exercise plan each day 30 min or more if i want to or not! The weight goes off faster but some days suck. To fight cravings you have to learn to manage your eating. Its ok to have a handful of m&m's once a week, its not ok to have a bag of M&m's twice a day! That sort of thing. It becomes second nature after a bit!

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  53. This is my first visit to your blog - found you via the story on MSNBC. Congratulations on your positive progress! Here is my advice:
    Stay away from the artificial sweeteners AND the corn syrup because they will sabotage your efforts -
    1) they are equally bad for weight control
    2) both will give you an even bigger appetite
    I also echo Ashley's advice above - cycling would be a great tool for you and you might also consider rollerskating or rollerblading.

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  54. Awesome job, and good luck on your journey, here is my good friend Brian LaMee talking about how he did it: http://www.brianlamee.com/downloads/healthyliving/CD/msa.htm

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  55. I just wanted to post a congratulations to you and your positive outlook. I saw your story when I logged into my IMs today. That's awesome that you made it to another milestone. Slow but steady wins the race and you'll make on the ride, I have faith.

    Good Luck!!

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  56. I've been following your blog but I haven't commented lately.

    I know you're getting tons of support, and hearing stuff from a stranger might not help. But I live daily with a very restricted diet, and it stinks. It really does. If it were a month-long thing, or even six months, you could steel yourself for it. You can do anything for "X"-amount of days.

    But committing yourself to a lifestyle change is the hardest thing you'll ever do, by far. The exercising isn't bad; just walking does as much as your body needs. Anything above that is icing on the cake (oops---maybe sugar-free whipped cream on the whole-grain granola?). But the eating, that will make you frustrated, you'll feel left out, misunderstood, ignored, shrugged at, and neglected. And you'll always be hungry. I've been hungry---cold-in-the-stomach, slightly-nauseated hungry---for four years now.

    But the way you'll feel about yourself as your body changes, not just with the weight loss, but with your increased muscle mass, tone, and increased energy, will make it all worth it. You'll see the progress from many different angles, and you won't want to go back.

    And I envy you, that you live in Orlando and are in the middle of all that FUN every day! What motivation. And, on the other side of the coin, what temptations to overcome. Those parks are the indulgence destination for millions of people, but for you, it has to be a way of life.

    I can't wait 'till your next update! Slow and steady, 6 pounds in about a month is absolutely perfect.

    Keep it up!

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  57. I just heard about your story. Good luck! I know first hand how difficult it is to lose weight. Don't give up...even when you "mess up". Get right back on track. Life is wonderful and you don't want to miss out on any of it! (Especially that Harry Potter ride!!)
    Cheering for you in Volusia County!

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  58. Excellent work! I'm a new follower; I saw an article about you and your quest on msnbc.com. Best of luck on your journey to a more healthy you! I'll keep checking back.

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  59. Under 300! WO-HOO!! As a former member of the 300+ pound club, I know how you are feeling right now. Hearing your story reminds me of when I dropped below 300 for the first time - one of the most rewarding feelings ever. Those of us that have been there know the feeling, it is one of the greatest in the world.

    It is great to hear that you are doing well in this. Getting in shape is probably the single hardest thing to to do in life, but you are on your way. I can't wait to hear more. You rock - keep up the good work! Just be careful, getting in shape can become very addictive!

    Travis C
    http://finallyairborne.blogspot.com
    1 YEAR - 100 POUNDS - 1 MARATHON

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  60. I just read a news story about you and I wish there was more Americans like you. Rather than suing the theme park or causing a huge uproar, you took responsibility for yourself and your weight and to me that is a BIG deal. Good luck on your journey, I'll be reading!

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  61. we all have our shortcomings, keep up the positive attitude for change

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  62. I just read your story on MSNBC. Great job buddy and keep moving forward!!

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  63. Congratulations Banks for being more mature than most adults. I'm pulling for you. Keep your head up and stay strong.

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  64. Wow... I just read your story on MSN and could not believe myself.
    I can totally relate to this. About 7 or 8 years ago I was rejected from Batman at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Southern California because of my size. I have never gone back again since. Instead of taking your approach I actually went the other way. Around Christmas 2009 I reached 340 lbs. it wasn't until early this year that I went through a deep vein thrombosis in my leg that I realized that I had to do something about it. I stopped making excuses and since have lost over 70 lbs. I’m currently at 265 lbs. and hope to continue down this path. It’s been hard for me, yet I found motivation on family and the small rewards. Like being able to shop at the mall again because I’m down to size 38 instead of 46, or keeping up with my kids at the park without feeling like I could pass out at any time. I'm still scare of returning to Six Flags but it’s definitely in the back of my mind.
    Again, it’s amazing how I relate to your story. Thx for sharing it. I’m sure it’s helped a lot of people.

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  65. Hi,
    I too am working on fitting into the ride. I have lost 13 pounds since the beginning of June. Good Luck and keep up the hard work!

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  66. Just wanted to congratulate you and thank you for your good example. Especially the not complaining and sueing part. Just a great guy! Good luck

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  67. Banks,

    I can understand that you want to lose weight to "Fit" into the ride. I myself paid for an Annual Pass just for this attraction (I do not go to Universal for anything else) just to be turned away.
    My issue is that America is Overweight and the people who designed this ride did not take it into account and only cared about the bottom line.
    I am 350 pounds, I have an underactive thyroid which makes losing weight difficult as well as a diabetic. Medications do not help in losing weight either.
    Even if I lost the weight my shoulder width makes it a tight and uncomfortable fit. I asked to have my money refunded, which they refused.
    If you want to "Fit In" that is cool, but those of us who cannot or will not conform to Corporate America or to what someone thinks is the appropriate size for the general public have the right to demand change and the right to demand their money back. Think of the people who traveled thousands of miles for this event just to be turned away.
    I say, give my money back or change the ride to include larger people on at least every third seat.

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  68. I am proud of you for making the effort to make this happen. Every milestones counts. I would encourage you to get an accountability partner. This person will "push" you to exercise when you don't want to, or help you make better food choices. Seeing a little success has always motivated me to push harder for more results.
    I am proud that you are taking personal responsibility for where you are. You will go far in life with that attitude.
    can't wait for you to hit 250 and then ???
    Good Luck from Dallas

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  69. Hi Banks,

    I wanted to say congratulations on your progress! Slow and steady wins the race. I too am overweight but I've been working out hard. I started off at 210 in 2009 and am now at 189. It took awhile, but I'm happy with the progress. My goal is to get down to 160, so I still have a ways to go. Keep it up and in no time you'll be in there doing 3 click by yourself!

    Mike Kim

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  70. Thank you! You have inspired me to lose the weight I need to lose! I was at WDW earlier this year and avoided several rides because of my weight. How disappointing to my granddaughter who was with me!!! I am now motivated and am into the third week of shaping up---and am down by 8 pounds! I think we should have a 3-click meeting someday for everyone who has been inspired by you. We will all meet and ride the Harry Potter ride. I suggest March 3, 2011 (at least it's 3-3)!

    Thank you!

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  71. Hi, I just saw your story on MSNBC and at first I thought it was going to be about some guy filing a complaint for being unfairly mistreated at a ride. I was pretty surprised to see the opposite. It takes a big person (no pun intended) to actually turn that into a positive situation and that's probably why you were able to do it. Also wanted to mention one thing. I see you are getting alot of support from people and you don't have to listen to little old me but please remember that if the support ever ends, please don't let it be the end for you either! Remember the motivation you had for yourself always. Good Luck to you on your journey! : )

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  72. Congrats on the click and the under-300!! Way to go!!!

    We're headed to Orlando for our annual summer WDW vacation at the end of the month and I can't WAIT! :-D We're not going to Universal this trip but are planning on it when we come down next May. Hopefully by then the lines will not be as crazy for the HP stuff.

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  73. Good for you for taking responsibility for your health! I would like to suggest that you look into trying green smoothies if you've never had them. If you've never heard of them...or tried them...it can sound a little scary. But, they are delicious and are great for weight loss and/or weight management. Basically, you just add greens to a smoothie. You can google green smoothies and will find tons of links for ideas on making them, as well as benefits. Just a suggestion that might help keep you healthy while you're cutting calories. Good luck!

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  74. Awesome job! Congrats :) I do love Disney! I can remember going all the time as a little girl. We went to Night of Joy every year as well and it was always a blast!

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  75. Congratulations on these two wonderful milestones! Twelve pounds is a significant amount. Even though it feels slow, it is healthier to lose weight gradually from eating well and being active than it is to go on crash diets or to push your body too hard too soon. I just read all your previous posts and saw your comment about how hard it is to give up soda. I agree! I have been cutting down on soda too (with the goal of cutting it out eventually) and while it is hard, it makes a HUGE difference and it has the added benefit of not having to exercise off those empty calories! I'm sure you need the extar water anyway with the summer heat in Florida. Keep those fruits and veggies coming and keep walking in the parks - you're doing GREAT! Looking forward to the day when you can do three clicks all by yourself!

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  76. I just read the article featured on MSNBC and I just wanted to say that it's refreshing to see someone making a change and not making excuses! I'm still on my journey to being healthy and I'm going to continue to follow your progress! Continue to be positive and excited about what you're doing and you'll reach your goals in no time!

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  77. Banks,Congrats on your achievments so far. Keep it up. The more weight you lose, the happier you will become. You will become a source of encouragement for a lot of people with your actions. I wish you a longer and healthier life.

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  78. Hi there -

    I'm one of your new readers :0) You were featured on the NBC station here in Philadelphia. Congrats on your weight loss!

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  79. Newbie to the blog here. I saw an article about your quest on MSN.com (you're becoming quite a star!) and was excited to see the courageous steps you are taking to change your lifestyle. I haven't gotten all the way through your posts (I'm only 35 days behind :P ) but would encourage you to make this more than just a sprint, but a journey. Temporary changes are easily obtainable. Lifestyle changes are much more challenging but present the greatest rewards. If you don't mind, I will share this blog with my wife so she can post it on her blog (http://www.nikeathena.blogspot.com)and spread the word about your amazing journey.
    Here's to a healthy and happy life! We are all cheering you on!

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  80. Just found your blog thanks to the MSNBC article on my home page. I love that you have taken control of your life and are making changes.

    I hope you will blog more often, even if shorter posts. It's easy to set up an email in Blogger that so you can email in a post. So if your phone is email capable, you can send out a quick update anytime from anywhere!

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  81. So, I officially love you.
    I saw this on msn news and flew over to your blog to tell you how PROUD I am of you.
    I don't really hand off my pride that easily so take it and bask in it :P
    Anyways, I'm so glad that finally someone is taking responsibility for their weight.
    I was so tired of hearing people complaining that McDonald's made them fat and all these ridiculous lawsuits.
    I really commend you for doing this and I wish you well on your weight loss journey!

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  82. Glad to hear about your story on MSNBC website. You remind me of myself. Throughout my life I've been obese. Just one year ago I was over 270 lbs. Finally with the help of friends, I am down to 190 lbs.
    A year ago, and all years past, I would never even attempt to get on a ride for the fear of exactly what you went through. Yet just last week I joined my buddies family at the amusement park and rode everything with no fear of being too big.

    Cheers

    Jay

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  83. Awesome. Keep it up! And dont give up doing what you love (swimming) after those three clicks!

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  84. hey,
    i think it is so cool that instead of filing a law suit against the park or crying, "discrimination!!" you are willing to own the issue and make positive changes for yourself that will result in earning the "right" to do something that you want to do. this is really a cool story - i give you props for the way you are handling this. good luck on your journey. we will be watching and hoping you reach your goal!

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  85. Congrats Banks on working towards a HUGE goal!!! I wish you the best of luck.

    I too am on a weight loss journey and will run my first 1/2 marathon in November.

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  86. In a world of "feel sorry for me" this is a very inspiring story. Congratulations on your positive attitude...may you achieve all you set your sights on, and may your story continue to inspire others. Well done !
    (BTW your story has made it to the other side of the world !)
    Russell Jackman,
    Melbourne Australia

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  87. I just read about your original ride/3 click incident and I am very happy to see that instead of blaming the ride designers or the park you decided to take it upon yourself to lose the weight. You should be proud of yourself. Good job and I am pulling for you.

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  88. I'm about 6'2 240. It's nice that you are trying to do something about your weight and remain positive about it, but for me it's very hard. I was actually at 300 once also, all thanks to a drug called Clozaril that I never should have been on.

    Not everyone in this country who is overweight is at fault. I'm pointing my finger at the drug companies and the doctors who prescribe these drugs as a reason why quite a few people are overweight in America.

    I have struggled since I was in my eary 20's with losing weight only to gain it back because some quack thanks I should be on the newest "miracle drug."

    Drugs that are supposedly supposed to cure us of our mental disorders seem to only help in making us and even fatter nation. And I'm not saying doctors and Pifizer are the main reason, or even one of the top reasons behind the obesity problem in this country, but they surely are not helping the situation any.

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  89. Good luck with your journey. I saw you mention cravings and have a suggestion for you. Baggies... Every day put your snacks in baggies. For example those mini rice cakes are yummy and you can eat six or seven for about 75 calories. Kashi cereal has a crunchy cereal that's high in fiber and you can get about a half cup in a baggie for 70ish calories. When you start craving something you can pull out a good snack instead of hitting the vending machine for some high calorie junk food.

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  90. I am a 52 yr. old Harry Potter fan and mom to 2 boys that grew up with the books. We are so much looking forward to going to Hogsmeade! I am so impressed with you! I don't even know you and I am really proud of you. I am about 75 pounds overweight and you have really inspired me. I do NOT want to miss out on the Forbidden Journey! I have been riding my exercise bike and trying to eat better since I read about you and I have lost a few pounds, so I know how hard it is. Keep up the good work! You are amazing! I know you will get the third click by Christmas! Holly

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  91. I am so proud of you!

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  92. I just read the article about you on MSN. I wanted to say congrats and keep up the good work! :-)

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  93. Haven't followed you for a few weeks but glad to be able to check in and find you going strong! Loved the picture! Yes, I am a big fan (still working on becoming physically smaller myself) of all things Disney! My favorite Disney song is 'When You Wish Upon A Star' and my favorite character has to be Tink! What is your favorite song? Who is your favorite character?

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  94. Hey Man,
    I think this is great what your doing.
    I would love to go swimming everyday, it is great exercise but i do not have a pool or one accessible. I was so excited when i heard they were making a "Harry Potter" theme park!
    Then i found out they were turning over-weight and obese people away for safety reasons, when i saw a news broadcast on my local news station here in SC. I was mad, pissed even, but as i listened more, the more i wanted to follow in your foot steps in the quest for the three clicks.
    I weighed 240 lbs for most of my life, when i was a kid i was diagnosed with trick knees. My knee caps would slide and wear away the ligaments and i would have no support, my legs like a noodle, and i would fall flat on my face. After surgery i had to learn how to walk again at age 8. So i became an overweight adolescent that wasn't very active. I went between 220 lbs to 240 lbs from then on till 3 years ago, 2007. Then my appendix ruptured and i went toxic, i got a form of copd because i used to smoke and then a form of staph infection in my colon. I almost died! I spent a month in the hospital and my muscles atrophied and i had to learn how to walk again with physical therapy. Since then I've gained over 100 lbs, i am 30 y/o at 387 lbs. I had reserved myself to never being able to ride another roller coaster, which is one of my passions, again. I exceed all the weight limits on most, if not all things. I had lost hope and felt despair. I read all the "Harry Potter" books and i was enthralled that they were making the park. I was equally crushed when saw your news bit. But you have given me new hope, like i mentioned i have followed you and wanted to complete the quest for the three clicks. You are an inspiration to us all who can only get 1 or 2 clicks, or for people like me who can't even get one click. I would love to get back to my slightly over-weight self at 220 lbs to 240 lbs. I will work with my exercise routine and work out on my recumbent cycle and sweat blood and tears until i can tour "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" without being turned away!!!

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  95. Congratulations. As a physician, fellow blogger and strong believer in life style modification and personal responsitiliby I tip my hat to your efforts. May your roller coaster eventually lead to your roller coaster.
    Here's my thoughts on your efforts.

    http://thehappyhospitalist.blogspot.com/2010/08/three-clicks-weight-loss-blog-banks-lee.html

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  96. I HOPE YOU READ THIS, you hasve so many comments. I also got here through MSN BUT I AM DIFFERENT THAN MANY OF YOUR COMMENTERS - I HAVE BEEN THERE. A year and a half ago I weighed 330 lbs, and today I am down to 250. My blog talks a lot about the journey (as well as special needs). I urge you not to be satisfied with making three clicks--- go for a complete life of health. I have discovered a few things:
    1. I am not on a "diet" (something temporary)- I have made, instead, a change in the way I livem for good.
    2. I am not TRYING to lose weight- I am determined to.. No "if"s.
    3. I have discovered that exercise (walking) LOWERS the appitite, and makes me feel GREAT, which helps considerably. Don't wait to lose weight to get out- if you get out and walk, your chances of permanent sucess are much greater.One of the annonymous posters above said that exercise will not help you lose (35 miles/lb.) and will make you hungry. This is only half true. Don't count on it helping you to lose (35 miles/lb), BUT IS WILL NOT MAKE YOU MORE HUNGREY BUT THE OPPOSITE. Exercise (EXCEPT swimming) heats the body and this decreases hunger.(I read a medical study on this once!) I have found walking , and the enrgizing effect it gives me to be a BIG aid in controlling my food cravings.
    Anyone who wants to join me in this journey is invited:
    http://beneaththewings.blogspot.com/

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  97. Awesome! Keep it up. I was getting ready to grab an ice cream sandwich when I first saw your story. Going to do sit ups instead. :)

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  98. Saw your story on our local news this evening (NBC 13 / Birmingham, AL) and just wanted to say good luck to you! I've recently lost 16 pounds (in 10 weeks) and would like to lose about 10 more. Restrictive diets aren't realistic for me.... I'm trying to look at it as more of a lifestyle change so I find just eating what I want but LESS and counting calories works best for me. I naturally make better food choices so I can eat more within my goal calorie range. :) I also exercise 30-60 minutes, 3-5 times a week. You can do it - keep up the good work!!

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  99. Well done Banks!!
    I have been following your blog from the beginning.
    I wish you every success in your bid to ride the FJ!
    I get my chance in September traveling all the way from Australia!

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  100. Keep up the good work. I have lost 25 pounds in the last year. I walk/jog 1.5 miles every morning and the same every night with my dog. When you walk try to do some stretches of jogging. This will bump up your heart rate and help you lose faster. Make sure to change it up as well. Try going up hill a few times a week to give your body something different. Don't forget veggies and fruit are your friends. Can't wait to see a picture of you on the ride. Good Luck

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  101. Many congratulations on your progress. Keep going, and you will be able to reach that third click.

    I hope you will keep the weight off, not only for your health, but so you can ride all the rides you want!

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  102. Hey Banks,
    Keep up the good work. I'm proud of you! It's not easy to make a complete and total life change with your diet and the way you take care of yourself!!! I wish you the best of luck and know you can meet your goal!
    I know from experience. Back in early '03 I went to see my Dr and she asked me if I wanted to watch my kid grow up? "Of coarse", I said. She said if I didn't change my diet( McD's #2 everyday for lunch) and the way I was living I would have a heart attach or diebeties by the end of the year. This was hard to hear cause a few years earlier I weighed 195lbs and had 3% body fat. At the time I weighed 256lbs( I'm 5'10"). I think I wore a size 42 pants. Well all this was motivation enough!
    She told me to keep my crabs below 60-70 per day and to exercise, exercise, exercise!!!!. I started walking 3-5 mi every morning Mon-Fri. If I had a good week I would cheat a little on the weekends.The crabs thing was kinda hard at first but got easier the longer I stuck with it. The first two things that made a huge difference was I stopped drinking Cokes and watched my bread intake. A single Coke has 120 carbs per serving.(20oz bottle) So you can see how quick that can add up!
    To make a long story short I now weigh 191 lbs. I got all the way down to 172 but my wife said I looked to skinny. Loosing all that weight made me feel so much better, just in general! Slept better, no hot dagger heartburn everynight, could do more physically. Most of all it made me feel better about myself!!!!!
    Good luck in your endeavor! I look forward to future updates!
    Go Bless!!!
    Cousin Will

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  103. Your story is awesome. I would like to offer my encouragement to you on your Journey. On April 23rd 2009 I went to the doctor and weighed in at nearly 250 pounds and that was my wake up call. I started out on the slim fast diet and lost some weight then I moved to weight watchers and lost some more , but I have has the most success with the high protein Curves diet plan (I know the gym is for women only but the diet is not). Now I am down 50 lbs and still working, I'd like to shed 100.

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  104. Hey Banks, Sorry to hear about the denial its sucks!! I got denied from Rip Rocket last year it was a little humiliating. I barely fit in the Mummy Ride too. I'm 6ft 300lbs as of today, in April I weighed 375!!!! I am a major Disney nerd and advid roller coaster whore. I have alot of the same motivations as you. First thing is to go talk to your doctor and tell him you need to lose weight and start from there. Unfortunaly the cravings dont go away!! You HAVE to learn to substitue them with good foods. Believe me I LOVE sweets and I mean LOVE, UMMMM CAKE. Now I eat Chicken 6 days a week and one day a week I can eat what I want for Dinner only, this helps with getting at least a taste of what I call GOOD FOOD. I go to the Gym 2-3 days a week,use the treadmill and lift a little weights thats all. At first it sucked but now I am enjoying it. I hope this helps. I cant wait to get to Orlando this November and see what I can ride this year hopefully everything!!

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  105. Hi Banks - keep up the good work. You are an absolute boon to young people. Bless you 100 times.

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  106. Banks - Congrats on those 12 lbs gone!! You're doing a fantastic job, and your attitude is a joy to behold.

    I know someone already suggested it, but you really should check out sparkpeople.com - nutrition and fitness trackers there, plus oodles of support.

    I'll be watching, regardless, to see your success in riding at HP.

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  107. Great job, Banks!!!!!!!!! I keep checking in here to see you progress and you're doing AMAZINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!! :D

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  108. I'm a new reader cheering you on. I'm on my own weight loss journey and am currently 81 pounds below my top weight. Those of us on this journey must stick together!

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  109. I just wanted to say Good luck. I myself in July had the same thing go off in my head! I went to Universal and could not fit on the Mummy ride because I was 1 click away!! I left that ride disappointed and upset, as i have been trying very hard to lose weight for some time now, and despite losing 40 pounds I was still so close but yet not there to fitting on the ride. I AM A HUGE POTTER FAN! And I have been waiting for the time for it to open so I could go! But experiencing the Mummy ride I decided to not try to fit but to come back to Tampa and work my hardest to lose wieght by the end of the year when my family comes to visit. I am determined to fit on that ride! I WILL DO IT! I am with you on this journey one hundred percent! GOOD LUCK! I know you can do it!!

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  110. Hey Banks, it's great what your doing...I recently went this last july, and I JUST BARELY, got the third click. There was no room left whatsoever. I'm 6'5", 290...42 inch waist and 52 chest. So pretty close.

    I think you are almost there...keep up the good work, and don't stop after you get on the ride.

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  111. That is wonderful! Congratulations on your progress! Keep going and good luck.

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  112. keep it up,at least you are trying to do something to get yourself healthy and do fun things like this.i am so tired of goinn on facebook and hearing people blaming universal for them beeing to big to ride this ride.some cant help it if they are to tall or women who are large chested.but you are doing your best to get there.i saw your story on channel 2 and thought it was cool.keep it up and good luck with your goal.

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  113. Keep up the good work - I know it isn't easy!!

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