Several times today I returned to that picture and thought about the genesis of this project. I like to say that the idea occurred when we wanted to have a second baby, but it really started a few years prior to that.
When Gigi was little I was big. I was 319 when I got pregnant, and by some bizarre twist, one thing that can go right for pregnant fat women is that they can lose weight while pregnant without even trying sometimes. I lost 30 pounds with each pregnancy, so I ended my first pregnancy around 290, my second around 260, both times I was determined to continue losing weight. Yeah right. I had that baby and life became what I always wanted. I was a mom! I scrap booked, held the baby, played with the baby, cooked with the baby, but didn’t do too much in the way of exercise with the baby. I gained weight. Then I gained more. Eventually I hit around 330-340, my high weight bouncing up and down all over. And I couldn’t move.
You know how I always talk about my aspirations to become a runner? A hiker? A swimmer? An all around active person? I hated my lethargic, slow lumbering self. I loved me, but the body was tricky. I didn’t want to do things like walk places, go to the park, run with my daughter, make her a little airplane and fly her around the room. Disneyland was exhausting. I told myself those were daddy types of activities anyhow. Bradley could do them.
But all along it ate at me. I knew I was settling and I knew that I was limiting my family from truly living. Eventually, they would realize that I was holding them back and either learn to resent me or leave me behind. Or I could change.
We went to a local water park/amusement park the summer when Guinevere was almost two. We bought our season passes without even thinking about it and went in. I couldn’t fit the rides. I was on the roller coaster trying to get the bar to go down and I couldn’t force it. Fat is squishy, but it has mass. I had to get off the ride and take the most horrible walk of shame ever, past all the little 14 year old girls and boys who silently watched the fat lady walk past before they turned and whispered behind their hands. We didn’t go back that summer. Or ever, for that matter. I refused to go, holding my family back.
Watching Guinevere’s cute little mouth blow kisses and make sounds, watching her take steps and cautiously walk into the world made me realize that she needs two parents who can run and play. Who can ride the roller coaster. Not one. Not only that, but my health was rapidly deteriorating because of all the weight and I was surely looking at a shorter lifespan. I didn’t want to leave her behind. I didn’t want her to have to miss me prematurely. And even more selfishly, I didn’t want to miss any of it. If I could be there for every moment of her life, I wanted to try. Graduation, wedding, first love, first break up, first days of school and all of those times her sweet little arms wrapped around my neck and those lovely little girl lips kiss my cheek… How could I ever even think of compromising that?
So I am. I’m trying. I won’t compromise.
I promised my girl, years ago, that mommy would be here for everything: Graduation, wedding, first love, first break up, first days of school and all of those times her sweet little arms need to wrap around my neck and those lovely little girl lips kiss my cheek… I promise again, today, to a little boy, now, and a little girl, to be here as long as I can. I don’t want to miss a thing.