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Getting Kicked Off a Ride at Disneyland for Being Too Big Inspired One Woman to Lose Half Her Size

People logo People 5 days ago Julie Mazziotta

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For many people, a Disneyland vacation is a dream come true. But for Christina Jordan, who weighed 271 lbs. after years of struggling with overeating, extreme dieting and more, a trip to the iconic amusement park became one of the worst days of her life.

It was also a major turning point.

“My family and I waited two hours in line for one ride, and we’re hot and cranky. And when we finally go to sit, the seat belt doesn’t fit over me,” Jordan, 34, tells PEOPLE. “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.’ ”

“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.”

“I didn’t want to live the rest of my life on the sidelines.”‘

Christina Jordan © People.com Christina Jordan On that day, Jordan committed to paving a new road to health. Nine years later, she’s lost — and kept off — a whopping 134 lbs., making her one of PEOPLE’s 2017 Half Their Size stars.

After years of trying every diet imaginable, including a doctor-prescribed 500-calorie-a-day plan, Jordan took matters into her own hands.

“I started reading everything I could find on holistic nutrition,” she says. “I decided to stop stressing about being skinny, and just focus on being healthy — wherever my body decided to take me.”

Oprah gets candid about her years of diet struggles & how she triumphed with Weight Watchers – without giving up bread, chips, or wine! Subscribe now for the superstar’s emotional interview – only in PEOPLE!

Jordan began eating five to six times a day, incorporating a lean protein, a complex carbohydrate and a healthy fat into every meal. In nine months, she had lost half her size, and she maintains that weight today.

“I eat five times more now than when I was obese,” she says.

For more on our six Half Their Size stars and their incredible weight loss stories, watch the full episode of People Features: Half Their Size, available now on the People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN) and at People.com/halftheirsize. Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the app for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Xumo, Chromecast, Xfinity, iOS and Android devices.

The Queen Creek, Arizona-based mom of three now runs her own business as a nutritionist, helping people lose weight just as she once did.

“I had almost given up,” she says. “I said this is just the size I’m meant to be. But I didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel alive.”

“I realized that I would be the best mom and the best wife, by being the best me.”

Hear more from Christina on The Doctors Jan. 11. Check your local listings.

HEATHER PATTERSON, LOST 127 LBS.: "One night a friend tagged me in a Facebook photo, and you couldn't even see my chair. I immediately reached out to a friend who was a health coach for Take Shape for Life, a weight-loss and healthy-living program. Then, with the help of a trainer, I started strength training and steadily lost 10 lbs. a month. Now I'm a health coach myself … I feel like I had been in a coma. This is what it's like to live." Inspiring Quotes From PEOPLE's Reigning Half Their Size Weight-Loss Winners

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