Behind the Glass

October 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

My kids love the park

The problem was

I could only watch

From behind the glass windshield

Sitting in my car

Getting out of the car

Up the curb

Across the uneven playground

Was an impossible task

I could barely walk

My swollen feet no longer fit in shoes

My ankle that had been fractured 4 or 5 times from my weight

Threatening to buckle at any time

The stabbing pain in my feet

Made every step like walking across a bed of nails

I still would do it at times

Trying so hard to be “normal”

To be there for my kids

The bench was just a few feet away from my car

But it felt like a thousand miles

Every single step taking me further into the pain

And the fear that if I fell

No one could get me up again

Even if I managed to get to the bench

I couldn’t fit on it

It wasn’t the length

Because benches are long

It was the width

For me– it just wasn’t enough

I would try to fit on it

But that was the problem

I didn’t fit

Not anywhere

Not anywhere ever

If I tried to fit on that bench

I would just be on the edge

Right on the very edge

Using all of my strength

What little I had

To push myself backwards

And not fall off

Because I just couldn’t fit

I had outgrown the world

But I did not want to deny my kids

The simple pleasure of going to the park

So I found ways to take them places

Without having to get out of the car

I found this park by the library

The parking space was just a few feet away from the playground

And I could watch them

From behind the wheel

Behind the glass

I would tell myself

It’s no different from being on the bench

I can see the bench

It’s just a few feet away

So what’s the difference

It’s ok that i can’t get out of the car


It’s ok

That’s what I would tell myself

And this was my view

I would see other parents

Laughing and playing with their children

Going down the slide with them

But not my kids

They won’t get that memory

Cheated once again

Oh forget that

Stop that thinking

You can’t do anything about it anyway

At least you brought them to the park,right?

You’re doing the best you can 

And I was

I really was

Because it already took an unbelievable amount of effort

For me to get off the couch

Get dressed

Get in the car

And drive up to the park

It’s hard for me to explain

The amount of serious heart racing exertion

Those simple tasks took

That alone was a major workout for me

It was the best I could do at that time

It was all I thought I would ever be able to do

And even that was becoming too hard

I couldn’t go down a slide

I couldn’t even fit up the ladder

The ladder with its rails

On each side of you

The rails that say like everything else in the world

You can only be THIS big

They weren’t wide enough for me to get through

Like chairs with arms

They define what is acceptable

And not an inch more

There was another problem though

My kids could never go longer than 5 minutes playing

Without coming back to the car to check on me

I’m fine!“, I would say, “Go play! Go have fun!

But inevitably they would end up by my window once again

Checking on me

They didn’t like leaving me in the car alone


Relegated to a life of watching them

From behind the glass

Yesterday my kids wanted to go to the park

And as they hopped out to play

I sat there behind the wheel of my car

Once again

We all just went about our usual routine

Them playing

Me watching from behind the glass windshield

Until suddenly it occurred to me

I don’t have to do this anymore!!!

I’m free

I got out of the car

Not with any big effort

Not with any big exertion

I just stepped right out

And I walked over to that bench



No pain

No walking across hot coals or a bed of nails

Just amazing, wonderful, pain free walking

And that bench

The one I had sat just a few feet away from all these years

Looking at from behind the windhsield

The one I had tried to fit on in the past

Only to be shoved to the very edge

Not this time

Now I could sit on the bench

With no problem

Not on the edge

Not using every ounce of strength I had to keep from falling off

Instead I could sit back


What a glorious word

What a glorious feeling

To sit somewhere



It’s a feeling like no other

You’re not sitting there wedged in

Circulation being cut off

Shoved to the edge because you don’t fit

You’re just…

Sitting there…


With no problems

No issues

Fitting easily

It’s funny really

That something as simple as sitting on a bench

Could be one of the most serenely joyful moments of my life

But it was

For I had sat a few feet from that bench for so many years

Wishing I could make it there

Wishing I could sit there

But the journey to get there

Was a thousand miles long it seemed

I glanced behind me

At my empty car

Sitting just a few feet away

Imagining my former self

Watching me from behind the wheel

Saying “We made it!”

The kids ran over and hugged me

“Mama! You’re out of the car!!”

They took my hands

And we played together


ME playing with my children

Playing with my children at the park

Just like any other parent

And finally

I could FIT onto the ladder going up to the slide

The ladder that says

You can only be THIS big

It can no longer hold me back

It can no longer tell me where I can’t go

Each side of me still touches the railings

But I fit

It took me losing close to 200 pounds

Before I fit

But I got there

I never thought I would

I never dreamed

That one day I would be out of the car

Out from behind the wheel

No longer watching through the windshield

But I am


And now that I can fit on that bench

I don’t even want to!

I don’t even need to!

Because I have the energy and the stamina to stand

To walk

To play

And the pain in my feet and my back


From the weight no longer crushing it


Sometimes I feel like someone who has been sitting in a museum

Observing a painting

Observing it with great love and adoration

This painting of children playing in the park

And then one day

The opportunity comes along

To step inside the painting

To no longer sit and observe it

But to leap inside

To not just watch the characters in the painting

But to join them

To bring that painting to life

That’s what my life is like now

That’s what it feels like

As if I somehow

Leapt inside the painting

And now there is another character

Drawn into the portrait

Where the picture only had kids playing

Now there is a mother too

Painted in between the children

Running, laughing, playing

Swinging, Sliding

Climbing up and down the ladder

Hopping across the rocks

Because I’m no longer only watching

From behind the glass

From behind the windshield

The painting has come to life

And with it

So have we


I can fit on the slide!!

I can finally fit between these two tan doors!!




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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna October 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm

You are gorgeous….and this is a beautiful post. The smiles on your children’s faces is priceless….and this is so inspirational. Thank you!


Stephanie October 10, 2012 at 12:29 pm

You look amazing and I am so proud of you!


sandie October 10, 2012 at 12:43 pm

So VERY PROUD of you.
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Courtney October 10, 2012 at 1:01 pm

What I love so much about your writing is how you give us a window into a world many of us know little about. At 25 or 50 or 75 pounds overweight I might casually say to a friend who is significantly heavier than me that I understand what she means since I’m heavy too. But there are aspects of those people’s struggles that I would never comprehend, because I would never even imagine them. Thanks for opening my eyes a little more today Holly and for helping me to see outside my own frame of reference!

As always you and your children look so beautiful!
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Sweet Addy October 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm

You look so beautiful and JOYFUL. It’s heartwarming to see.
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Lady Amanda October 10, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Loved all of the pictures! Looks like you guys had fun!


annamarie October 10, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Just as Courtney stated….thank you so much for opening my eyes to another world. I am so happy for you and your children. Especially happy that you now play and really live it up with your kids. This will be something that you and your children will remember and cherish as the years go by.
Also I sincerely want to thank you for all your inspiration and motivating words. I am so glad to have found you.

BTW…………..your are looking mighty good there and your children are adorable.

Many hugs,
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Tess October 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm

It’s the little things, right? YAY!!!!! Good for you! The smile on your face says it all…IT’S ALL WORTH IT! 😀


suzanne October 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm

You look so wonderfully free! If that makes sense!
I’m so happy that you’ve made the journey to health and are continuing to do so. I love that you’re taking us with you and showing us the pure joy that you feel.
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Sandra October 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Beautiful post, Holly! Thank you for sharing with us … it helps, it really does. My older children knew a mom who could play a little bit, walk a little bit, participate at the part a little bit … but my last little guy, my little tag-along gift from God, my 5 year old … only knows a mom who sits and watches the world go by, who can’t walk or run or play at the playground. So this post gets me and inspires me and gives me hope. I am so PROUD of you, Holly, and of all you have accomplished! Your children are precious bundles of love and support and joy … I love seeing how happy you all are in these pictures! YAY!


Staci October 10, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Wow. My heart just feels all warm and gushy right now, and I have a smile on my face. Love it!
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Pam October 10, 2012 at 3:33 pm

WOW–this blog makes me cry, that’s how happy I am! The pictures of you with your kids at the park are just priceless! You are all so beautiful! I don’t think normal people realize how much we, who are morbidly obese, just yearn to be normal. Just normalcy in our lives, that is ALL we want! And yet we feel like it is beyond our grasp. It is too hard to attain. We can’t do it. And then we find out we CAN do it! What a sense of freedom you are feeling now. Isn’t is wonderful? I have that same sense of freedom. It used to leave my heart racing to walk the few steps from the lounge chair where I slept to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Any effort at all left me breathless, and now I can literally walk for miles! Change is hard. Being fat is harder. We chose change. YEA US!!!

I am loving following your journey. Somehow I feel at the end of this road for you is the supreme satisfaction you will have of looking at your ex, and saying, “You gave all this (pointing to your beautiful self) up!” That is going to be one great day! Maybe that’s not what you have in mind for yourself, but I think it would be a great end to a chapter in your journey. But never the end of the book, that won’t end until you are gone from this earth. Until then, we are working, working, working to be healthy!
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Lee October 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Your story about stepping into the painting reminds me of Alice In Wonderland and Thru the Looking glass! Way to go lady! You are looking fantastic!


Nikki Mohamed October 10, 2012 at 4:25 pm

So proud of you! Love the happy photos. Enjoy the time with your kids…they grow up so fast, as I’m learning now. *sigh* You’re beautiful. Keep up your great work.
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Marc October 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Very good post Holly! To your credit though…when you were too obese to participate at least you drove them to the park and watched from the car. There are plenty of moms in this world, physically able, who don’t even manage that because it interfers with “their” life. So you were a good mom then. I think you just enjoy motherhood more now as an active participant:)
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Linda Kuil October 10, 2012 at 4:59 pm

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CottleFamily October 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm

I remember too well “looking behind the glass” of my car’s windshield as my little ones played at the park. I was too embarrassed to get out and waddle over to the benches which were so uncomfortable and hard that they made my legs and ankles swell up. My kids didn’t understand when I would decline to play with them and every time I said no, a little piece of my heart broke to see the disappointed look on their faces. Yesterday I walked three and a half miles around this same park. I am so glad that this is a happy place for me now… and that I’m making good memories there instead of remembering the bad. Thanks once again for your post.


Chubby McGee October 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I’m proud of you! I completely understand this post. Since the weight loss, I feel amazing and I’m able to actually be a part of my kids’ lives instead of just blobbing out on the sidelines.

Getting fit is the best gift you can ever give yourself…and your kids.

Congrats, girl! So happy for you! So proud!


M October 10, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Holly, this post made me first want to cry, then stand up and cheer! No words can describe your triumph, I know, but you have a very, very good way with words. Congratulations on how far you’ve come! You look fantastic!! You really do.
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jennxaz October 10, 2012 at 8:26 pm

its the little things, isn’t it! I love not being winded anymore and that I can usually out play my little boy…took awhile..your journey is amazing and always inspires!


16blessingsmom October 11, 2012 at 1:34 am

This post has me in tears! Please don’t feel bad, sad, guilty about the past. Your kids are very blessed to have a mom like you! I also agree with the others that you are beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing!



Kara October 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm

I’m so happy for you!
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Tina October 11, 2012 at 11:35 pm

Holly, you look amazing! You are really reaping the rewards for all your hard work. Good for you, girl!
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fattyboombatty October 13, 2012 at 2:10 am

Good for you! You look fantastic, keep it up!


Cheri October 15, 2012 at 6:21 am

Love this. 🙂 I love that you took your children, even when you were limited to watching from the car – as you described, that took every bit of strength you had, and you did it, because you loved them so much. And I love that now you can play with them, and the joy that brings you, and them. 🙂


Fee October 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm

So happy for you, I am crying tears of joy!


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