This is going to be a very open, very raw, very humbling post. If you comment, please only comment with words of encouragement. I do monitor comments, so nasty comments will not be approved, but I will still see them and it is not okay to be mean to someone. I share this because special needs mama’s and self care a lot of times seems like an oxymoron. I know that I have felt that way. But have recently learned that if I don’t care for myself, I’m not going to be able to care for my special needs children, and then who will! So, with that said, let’s get to it.
Special needs parenting is hard. Special needs parenting takes a toll on your psyche. Special needs parenting is isolating. Special needs parenting is depressing. Special needs parenting is a lot of work. But special needs parenting can be joyful, especial when your child, who isn’t expected to walk, takes his first steps. When your special needs child, who isn’t expected to talk, says his first words. Or says, “I love you,” for the very first time. Special needs parenting is rewarding when your child, who has a heart of gold, wants to help the homeless man he sees standing with a sign on the street corner. But at the end of the day, after the day is over, and the to do list isn’t even halfway done, special needs parenting is very often times, EXHAUSTING! I know it’s that way for me. I am EXHAUSTED all of the time. For years I just went with it because there were so many other appointments for the kids that there was just no time to add in appointments for me, unless I was really sick!
A couple years ago, we went through a really difficult time and my depression hit an all time low. I was already on antidepressants; however, I was sent to a psychiatrist, because my family doctor felt that she could no longer help me. If it wasn’t for needing to take care of my husband and my kids, I would not have gotten out of bed. My psychiatrist put me on a second antidepressant and thankfully, I am doing much better now on the depression side of things. However, there was many other ways of self care that I was neglecting.
I have always been an emotional eater. Lord knows, over the last 15 years there’s been plenty times as a special needs mom, there’s been plenty of times that I was emotional, stressed, tired, and/or overwhelmed. When Tony and I first got married and before we moved to Kansas, I always did fairly well with meal planning. However, since moving to Kansas, and being in the throws of trying to get a diagnosis for Caleb and working full-time, my meal planning skills went out the window. (It didn’t help that the people I worked for bought my lunch every day basically from wherever I wanted!)
Over the last few years, we have had some real struggles. There’s been days that it was all I could do to get through the day and fixing dinner was out of the question, so we ate out A LOT! And my weight has suffered for it. It has just been climbing over the last several years. I’ve tried various things to lose weight and had several friends talk to me about several programs that their involved in. Last week I finally made an appointment with my doctor to discuss a couple different programs that I was interested in trying and seeing what she recommended. She wanted me to go meet with a weight management program that is part of the clinic where my doctor practices. I met with them on Tuesday and decided that this is what I was going to do. It’s called the HMR Program. It is shake and meal based. For the first 12 weeks, I will eat nothing but the shakes and/or food through HMR. Upon entering the second phase, they will help me to start transitioning to a more normal diet while watching my calories.
I have to do something for me so that I am able to take care of my family.
So I am going to blog about my weight loss journey for a couple reasons. One, it helps me to be more accountable. And I also want other special needs mamas to know that they can do it as well!
I have been so unhappy with my appearance that I have NOT wanted my picture taken. But here is my before picture:
So my initial weigh-in was 306.9. I will go and weigh-in on every Thursday. I’m hoping that I see big results quickly so that I can keep momentum going!
If you’re struggling with self-care, please pick one thing and focus on working on that. Self care is so important!