Every year since 2002, People has released a list of inspirational people who are now “Half Their Size” thanks to diet and exercise.
And while all of this year’s half-ies look (and hopefully feel) amazing, Christina Jordan’s story in particular has us seriously thinking about how hard it is to exist in public spaces — like, say, Disneyland — with a plus-size body.
Jordan, a 34-year-old mother of three, told the mag she was at the Anaheim, California park about nine years ago with her family when, after waiting in line for two hours for a ride, the seat belt wouldn’t fit over her lap.
“The poor kid that’s manning the ride says, ‘I’m sorry ma’am, it doesn’t fit, you’re too large to ride this ride,'” she explained.
(In the below photo, Jordan is the blonde.)
“I bolted off that ride. And I go to leave, and I couldn’t fit through the people counter. My hips were too wide, so they had to open the gate, and I felt like cattle being brought out to slaughter. It was the most embarrassing moment of my life. But it also opened my eyes to the fact that I had to change.”
This led Jordan to embrace “holistic nutrition” to shift her focus to “being healthy” instead of skinny, which is great, as it truly sounds like she lost the weight (and kept it off) in a healthy way, and under the consult of her physician.
However, the whole part about the ride at Disney — the part where she felt like “cattle bring brought out to slaughter” — is a good reminder of how, for some people, simply going somewhere like a public park or (notoriously) an airplane can be a major trauma. There are literally dozens of blogs out there that exist to help larger people get through a day at Disneyland without being mortified for existing in their bodies.
And while you can avoid Disneyland if you so desire — which you shouldn’t have to, because it’s great — air travel is typically harder to avoid. And sounds freaking awful.