Gasp! I said it. Yup, I put right out here. I’ve gained weight (…like you haven’t noticed…smh). I have the full-blown mom-bod and yikes! I feel frumpy as hell. But wait till you hear about my crazy idea to have professional photos taken and what happened.
The Lies I Told Myself
I’m always the person behind the camera taking photos. But once a year, typically around Mother’s Day, I’ll beg my husband to snap a few photos of my son and me. My husband is a pretty good photographer considering he knows nothing about it but there are still limitations to what he can do. I love all the photos I have of my family and me because there are so few of them. Well, this year, I decided to let my husband off the hook and have a professional come take photos of just me and my son. I had a lot of wild thoughts running through my head:
- Of all the years to finally do this I’m older and fatter than ever
- This is a stupid idea – I’m a photographer and should take these myself
- People will think it’s egotistical (or weird) I’m having a photographer take photos of just me and my son
Of all of these thoughts the “fat” one was the hardest for me to process (and second to that “old”). My family moved about 1 ½ years ago and wow, I packed the weight on. In the beginning it was a health issue, but after I just waned and never got my healthy-mojo back. Mind you, my husband is a Crossfit stud and he is seriously built like Hercules (for that I am lucky!). But even still – looking at his ripped body every day didn’t inspire me enough to do anything about mine. And so life went on. Me not finding the time to practice self-care and the weight slowly (but also really fast) ballooned.
I had gained 20lbs since we moved. I was nearly at my pregnancy weight (I gained 25lbs when I was pregnant). You guys, that’s A LOT of weight to put on – and no baby to show for it! My self-image was at an all time low. I kept thinkg, “…And now I’m f@#$ing taking photos! Oh, gawd what have I done!”
Timing for the photos were horrible too. Or so the lie I kept telling myself in my dark moments of wanting to cancel. My shoot was scheduled the day after I returned from a photography retreat. I was utterly exhausted from not sleeping and lord knows that does no favors for a mama’s eyes! I did book my make-up and hair artist Vani Leon because I would be remiss if I didn’t. And I’m so thankful I did. (Lastly, if you’re curious I prepped my son for our photoshoot by telling him I had a friend coming over who was going to take photos of him and I playing together.)
The Truth About Love
Three weeks went by after the shoot and my gallery landed in my inbox. Here were my first three thoughts:
- OMG! My heart is bursting with so much love for my son
- Why haven’t I done this earlier?
- I’m forever having photos taken a few times a year (one session with me and my son and a family session)
I had been so worked up about looking “fat” and “old” but when I saw the photos of me and my son, the only thing I felt was my heart bursting. Sure, it was obvious to me I’m heavier than usual. But I didn’t care. In fact the total opposite happened. I got a major self-confidence boost from looking at these photos. Not because the photographer made me look good (well, that doesn’t hurt) but because I saw what an incredible connection my son and I have. All of my superficial issues went out the door. All that was left was a feeling of: Yes, I’m a good F@#$ing mom and I got this shit down. And damn my son is the cutest being that ever lived!
So to all the mamas and dads out there: The next time that voice of insecurity creeps into your head whispering lies, don’t just shut it down – terminate it. Because the voice you hear is your ego who is scared of everything, but mostly scared of you living your best life. At 20lbs overweight or more, f@#$ those lies. We’re all beautiful but the connections we have with our family is even more beautiful.