A Little Disney Magic

Tinkerbell, the Castle, and spectacular fireworks just before we began our family 5K

Mother’s Day weekend I had the pleasure of running the Neverland 5K and the Tinkerbell Half Marathon through the streets of Disneyland and California Adventure along with my family (the 5K) and my good friend, Jacee (the half). We signed up for the race back in August (Disney races are known to sell out almost immediately) which seemed far enough away to take the leap even with all the uncertainty I felt. My heart was still aching from the loss of my dad in April, but I knew I needed to do something to keep myself moving forward.

When race weekend arrived a few weeks ago, I’ll admit that things didn’t look like what I had imagined they would. Don’t get me wrong: a fun weekend away with my family, visiting with my good friend, racing through the magic that is Disney–That was all perfect. But I wasn’t the me I had hoped I’d be. My training had gone fine and I was prepared for the distance, even if it was going to be at a snail’s pace. But I was still struggling with my grief and coping with the roller coaster of emotions with food, especially the sweet stuff. Despite training for a half marathon, I still managed to return to my heaviest weight. And I was frustrated and angry with myself.

But the magic of Disney helped me see a silver lining. The Tinkerbell Half Marathon was my sixth half marathon and probably one of my more challenging races. But you know what? I did it! I completed the race even though my health wasn’t where I wanted it to be. It reminded me that I can do anything I set my mind to as long as I try and I believe.

So I came home with a reignited sense of belief in myself. With this belief, I decided to tackle my weight issues. I took a big leap and gave up sugar, following the Prevention Magazine 21 Day Transformation challenge. Normally I’d be too afraid of something so drastic, especially since I often rely on sweets to deal with difficult emotions. But with my new sense of strength and optimism, I jumped in and have now been successfully living without sugar since the 11th. And it feels great. I’ve already lost 10 lbs, I feel in control, and I have seen a dramatic decrease in cravings.

This Disney race came at the perfect time. It was just the encouragement I needed to help myself become the me I want to be. I couldn’t have imagined taking this leap without my new sense of self belief. Tinkerbell has now become a new symbol of strength for me and she pairs perfectly with my old favorite “Believe.”

My new Tinkerbell running shoes, complete with wings, pom-poms, and inspiration

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