Good News, Bad News, Part 2

ThumbupSo the good news is that my right thumb is fully operational again. The bad news is that while I was focused on my thumb, I gained back the weight I’d previously lost.

Since I wrote my last post, I’ve been thinking more about what happened. Maybe what I need to learn from this situation is that while detours and setbacks are an unfortunate part of life, full out backsliding doesn’t have to be. I need to “change the script.”

I tend to treat diet and exercise as a black and white activity. Either I’m being “good” or I’m not. There isn’t much middle ground. Yet I don’t treat the rest of my life in this manner. Why should I treat my relationship with food any differently?

Except I do. Food is how I comfort myself, how I self-medicate. If something isn’t going right in my life, I eat. And when I eat, it’s not fruit and veggies that I crave. So when my thumb got infected, naturally I turned to my old pal food. Because if you don’t need a lot of comforting after your thumb nail floats off in a cup of bleach solution, well, you are a far more evolved person than me.

Instead, I called Nate and cried. He brought me flowers, a vente caramel latte, and a Kringle from Trader Joe’s. (This man truly knows the keys to my heart.) if you haven’t tried a Kringle yet, beware. It’s essentially crack in pastry form. If you think I am kidding, then you haven’t tried one.

So I ate. And ate….

Clearly this needs to change.

BalancePart of my struggle as a single mother of a special needs child is balancing my needs with those of my daughter’s. I made time for doctor appointments and physical therapy because I had to, but it came at the cost of other things. Mostly things I needed, like exercise, stress relief, creativity, and the all important fun.

I need to think about how I can halt a diet and exercise “relapse” before I gain all the weight back. Ten pounds is far easier to lose than 35, but somehow instead of thinking that, I get depressed about the ten and then let everything go to pot. I need to lose this all or nothing approach and find a healthier, more sustainable one.

Earlier this year I dubbed 2015 as the Year of Self-Care. At the time I was taking about slowing down and handing things off. That is certainly part of my self-care needs. But perhaps I need to also look at exercise, diet, and my dysfunctional relationship with food—along with the always elusive balance.

Perhaps then I will have the answer to what works best for Cynthia—mother, sister, daughter, writer, poet, autism advocate, attorney, social entrepreneur, environmentalist, nonprofit starter, reader, editor, world traveler, and instigator—in terms of self-care.

Until next time,

About Cynthia J. Patton

Writer, Editor, Advocate, Speaker, Special Needs Attorney, and Autism Mom. Also the Founder and Chairperson of Autism A to Z, a nonprofit providing resources and solutions for life on the spectrum.
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