A man’s appetite for speed led to a nearly 200-pound weight loss journey.
Jared Ream weighed 430 pounds at his largest, which prevented him from comfortably participating in one of his favorite activities: riding roller coasters.
Having grown up visiting Kings Island with his family, once the park announced its planned Orion roller coaster, the Ohio man knew he had to make a serious change and ended up losing 190 pounds in a little under a year.
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In a personal essay Ream wrote in the Springfield News-Sun, the passionate roller coaster enthusiast described his struggle with his weight and how that interfered with his love of roller coasters – of which he has ridden on nearly 300 all over the country – when he had his first “Walk of Shame,” what he writes is the moment the safety harness cannot fit around your body.
“Being told that you are too big to ride a coaster is painful for anyone, but it was especially hard when I had my first ‘Walk of Shame’ on Millennium Force,” Ream, who stands at 6’ 9” wrote, noting the 310-foot coaster was his all-time favorite, and what sparked his love of the thrill rides.
After the embarrassing incident, Ream lost more than 100 pounds.
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However, after switching to a desk job, Ream saw his weight reach over 300 once again, and then, eventually 430 pounds, and he stopped visiting theme parks.
All that changed, though, when the park he grew up visiting announced their plans for the 300-foot-tall Orion coaster.
The day the park made the announcement in August, 2019, Ream writes that he decided he “would lose all the weight and ride it on opening day.”
The park scheduled the opening of the ride for April 11, 2020 – about eight months away.
Ream writes that he began eating better, focusing on keeping his calories under 2,000 each day, and then slowly introduced daily exercise. Ream also added intermittent fasting and a regimented sleep schedule.
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As he continued to track his progress, he seemed on track to hit his April goal. Then coronavirus struck and the theme park, along with the rest of the country, was forced to shut down.
Undeterred, Ream writes that he continued on his path and hit his goal, even before the April deadline. However, with time left before the park opened, Ream kept going with his weight loss routine.
Then the day he had been waiting for came – a July 2 opening of the park, and Orion. The special day even came with a personal invitation for Ream to ride the new roller coaster before opening day after Kings Island heard of his amazing journey.
And was it worth it?
After four rides in a single day, it appears so.
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“You couldn’t see it because of my mask, but I had the biggest smile on my face. I was so happy and excited that I forgot to look around and enjoy the view,” Ream wrote of his first ride on the Orion.
“I was having the time of my life. We hit that final break run and all I could think was, ‘Amazing!’’