Tracy Takes on Toronto
It's been awhile since I've checked in, so I thought I would tell you about my recent trip to Toronto. It was an incredible trip which was full of Non-Scale Victories (NSVs) for me!
A little backstory:
For my 30th birthday back in March, my amazing sister and brother-in-law gifted me with tickets to see my absolute favourite (obsession) singer, Macklemore (& Kesha), in Toronto. Needless to say I was speechless and more excited than I've ever been about anything in my life.
However, leading up to the concert (July 16th), my big-girl anxiety began to kick in as I predicted it would. Not only would we be driving the 18 hours to Whitby and taking a train into Toronto for the concert, there was a whole plethora of other things to consider and be anxious about: the seating, the crowd, the inevitable summer heat (outdoor stage), and just generally the physical requirements of being on a big city adventure.
Before I get to the good part
Let me tell you a little bit about what would have happened before my weight loss. I would have struggled the entire trip. We were taking a train from Whitby into Toronto, and the train ride itself would have stressed me out because I would have been terrified that I wouldn't fit into the seats. What if I had to sit next to someone I didn't know? Trains and airplanes alike... the seating is not big-girl friendly. You tend to spill over the edges and it's just super uncomfortable and sometimes painful.
The journey through the train station would have made my back so sore that the following walk from the train station to where we met with our Uber driver would have been torture. That was a mere hour and a half into our journey. The seat belt in the car may or may not have fit - I would have stressed about it the entire time. Not just the safety side of things, but also the humiliation of not being able to buckle a seat belt.
The walk into the concert area would have made me sick to my stomach - the crowd, the tiny gate you had to pass through to be scanned by security, all of it. I lived my life being constantly ready for the pity-filled looks, the comments, and the stares from onlookers about my size. I used to be in a perpetual quiet mood when out in public because my internal battle was so loud that I had to focus all of my energy on just putting one foot in front of the other.
Then, the final walk into our seats would have exhausted me further, finishing at what would have been an uncomfortable seat that I probably wouldn't have fit into. The concert itself would have probably still been incredible, but it would have been dimmed by my dread of standing for hours, and the post-show walk back to the train station.
So again, before my journey to a healthier me (thanks to Nutracelle), that's how my trip would have been.
Instead, here's what actually happened:
Not only was I so excited ALL day that I couldn't stop smiling (and taking selfies), but we did an escape room before we headed to the concert. I've never done an escape room before, and previously I would NEVER have agreed to do anything before the concert. I'd have been too focused on keeping myself calm to want to do anything fun.
The train ride was so much fun! The seats were comfortable and although it was sort of warm, I still enjoyed the ride. I'd been on a train before, but was much heavier and not nearly as excited. Our train arrived at our station where we learned our next train was cancelled - uh oh! This would have sent me into a panic before, and although it was slightly stressful, we caught an Uber and all was well!
Arriving at the concert grounds was SO exciting! The atmosphere was so positive and everyone was just... so happy. A little background for those of you that don't know: Macklemore & Kesha are on tour together, and they're both artists that are HUGELY supportive in the LGBTQ2+ (sorry if I got that wrong) community. They're all about being who you are, loving yourself, and not feeling the need to apologize to anyone for that. That reverberated throughout the entire concert and its attendees. People were decked out in glitter, rainbows, capes, bedazzled vests, and just all-around happiness was everywhere. My soul was happy.
Okay, so let's get back to the fun: we get through the security scans and walk over a bridge and through all of the vendors selling yummy-smelling unhealthy snacks which I happily avoided. We find our seats, which are typical stadium-style seating, and lo-and-behold... I fit! Not only did I fit, but I was COMFORTABLE. I could have cried. I'm surprised I didn't, to be honest! (Spoiler alert: that comes next haha!)
The concert ended up being delayed by almost two hours due to an insane thunder & lightening storm, but that didn't dampen my spirits. I jumped up and screeched as soon as Macklemore started his first song. I'm going to fast forward to when he sang his song "Glorious", though. It was one of his last numbers, so by that point I had been standing for his entire show, singing, dancing, jumping, and just overall being ridiculous. Glorious though, oh goodness. That song just hit me like a tonne of bricks.
I feel glorious, glorious
Got a chance to start again
I was born for this, born for this
It's who I am, how could I forget?
I made it through the darkest part of the night
And now I see the sunrise
Now I feel glorious, glorious
I feel glorious, glorious ♪♪
I was singing those words out loud when suddenly it hit me: not only had I overcome an insane amount of personal physical battles to get where I was, but mental ones as well. I've struggled with my mental health my entire life and I still do. I work hard every single day to see positives, to work on my weight loss journey, and to be a kinder person to myself than I have been in previous years. Some days are better than others, of course, but in that moment singing one of my favourite songs with my favourite artist... it hit me like a (wonderful) slap in the face: I was HAPPY. And I cried. I sobbed, and I sobbed, and I sang, and I jumped, and I screamed, and I cried. I'm wiping away tears as I type this blog post, reliving that moment.
I don't think I'd ever been as proud of myself as I was in that very moment. Which is huge for me. Giving myself credit is one of the hardest things for me to do - especially without discounting it with something negative. But damnit, I was PROUD.
I will forever be thankful to my sister and her husband for making that journey with me, especially considering they did it for me. Though my sister is a fan of Macklemore, the tickets and the trip was all for me. I am so lucky to have people like them in my corner.
One more NSV (Non Scale Victory!):
Being a bigger-than-the-average-big girl has been tough, especially when it comes to purchasing things like merchandise. The largest sizes never fit, and I'd always end up having to buy whatever wasn't clothing: pins, hats, lanyards, etc. Unfortunately most of the time those items aren't available and it's typically shirts for sale.
At Macklemore I stood in line to buy a t-shirt, but as I got closer to the counter I started to get scared that the shirts wouldn't go up to the right size. I didn't want to have to awkwardly walk away when the lady told me the size, so I just gave up and walked to my seat. I wasn't upset - I didn't need a shirt to commemorate the trip, I just wanted one. However, after a little while I began to regret not buying one. I convinced myself that I could always buy whatever the largest size was and use it as my goal shirt.
I hesitantly went back and lined up, only to find out that... whaaaat?! The shirts came in MY SIZE?!
I have only worn it once since I got home (I'm trying to preserve it), but it was the best day. I was all smiles all day. I felt so amazing.
Here's a photo of my beautiful sister and myself as we were heading to the concert, my favourite photo I snapped during the concert, and me sporting an ear-to-ear grin with my new favourite shirt:
My trip was about so much more than seeing my favourite artist on stage. It was about celebrating the newer me. The version of me that ignores her fears and focuses on the positives, that doesn't say "I can't" but instead pushes through and does it anyway, and she feels so, so very good.
I also have to give a shoutout to our incredible head office team who covered my duties while I was gone and allowed me to be completely work-free for a week. Not only did they cover my duties, but when I DID try to hop in and work a little bit one day I was promptly told to go away. You have no idea how awesome that was. Thank you so much Michelle, Jeff, Steph, Chels, and of course Melanie! #dreamteam
Thanks for reading, my lovelies.