Turning 40 is supposed to be a kind of monumental experience. Some people fall into a deep mid-life crisis while others embrace their amazing selves. So how does it feel to be 40, fabulous and fit? I don’t know. Ask the extra tire I’m carrying around.
It would be so easy to blame “the baby weight.” Oh yes. That ubiquitous problem most women face. Well, except for you crazy skinny people that have legs up to your eyeballs and immediately dropped down to your size four jeans a month after the baby was born, exclaiming, “I am SO fat.” Yeah. Don’t even get me started.
Nope. No baby fat here. I actually dropped the baby weight after my second son was born. It’s called Weight Watchers online and yes, it works if you do the program. I even kept the weight off for two straight years thanks to my new eating habits.
But then, Sensory Processing Disorder took over the house. In the beginning, I was able to manage my older son, Vman, with his OT needs. Occupational therapy once a week was manageable. But then it ballooned to twice a week when we entered him into an OT group with other boys his age. Suddenly, two full afternoons of driving to and from OT was on the calendar.
Then the bomb dropped. Hbomb that is. My little guy turned three and while he was muttering a mile a minute, he wasn’t speaking a single word. I took him to a neurologist to be evaluated. Ironically, she asked me if I needed a referral to a good OT because she thought he should be evaluated for SPD. Yep. Turns out while we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to manage Vman and all of his outbursts and sensory overloads, our chilled out, mild, cuddly Hbomb was quietly suffering.
Realizing that one child has been overlooked because of another was a devastating discovery for me and my husband. How could we have missed this? How could we not have seen what was going on? However, as we’ve learned, Hbomb has the exact opposite sensory issues as Vman. And, well, we all work on what we know. So the fact that Hbomb was so mild mannered, liked his quiet time and was so gentle didn’t make us question if he was having problems.
The strong winds in our house flourished into a full blown tornado. Suddenly, I had two sons with SPD. That meant three occupational therapy appointments a week. Plus, Hbomb had two speech therapy appointments a week. Add on to that the child psychologist we were working with for Vman, my own psychologist (all this stuff messes up a girl!) and the ongoing illnesses in the family thanks to our inherited allergies. I logged in more than 270 medical appointments in 2011 alone!
So although the boys were getting what they needed, there simply wasn’t anything left for me. Eating on the run, too tired to cook and countless hours in the car and waiting rooms took its toll. Plus, I’m an emotional eater.
There are people out there who don’t have a problem with food; however, I believe we live on separate planets. They casually say things like… just eat less. And I respond, Wow! What an earth shattering idea!
Food has always been a comfort for me. I remember as a young kid being so desperate to fill the void I was experiencing that I would actually eat a whole head of lettuce because that’s all there was in the house. My mother must have thought me crazy. I also remember sneaking off on my bike to buy candy and hide it in the house. It was the one place I could turn to silence the bad feelings and disappear for just a minute.
With the whirlwind of crap in this house, it was just too much. I needed comfort that I wasn’t getting and couldn’t create. It was an immediate and available fix for me. But I’ve officially hit a point where I simply don’t feel comfortable in my own skin. I’m not talking about “walking the catwalk in a bikini” uncomfortable. I’m talking about the “I don’t want to go to the beach because goodness help me if anyone should see me” uncomfortable.
All summer long, I’ve been talking about taking back my body. Basically, I’ve been doing the talk but not walking the walk. And now it’s time to at least start walking. Just down the block would be a good start.
I’m writing this down as a contract to myself. Because honestly, the only reason to lose weight is for oneself. And I’m not hoping to be a size four again. I’m just ready to start feeling like myself. I’ve taken such strides in taking care of my mind and emotions. It’s high time I start honoring my body.