Wow, we're going into week 15 of weight loss challenge! Those of you following along with your own journey, how are you doing??
It has most definitely been a challenge in the past week. Many of you know (from reading our "about" page), that we have special needs children, all of whom are near or into the teens. All three are on the autism spectrum at varying levels, one also has MR and bi polar disorder, one has severe combined ADHD (and no, absence of sugar or glutien doesn't phase it), and one has ADD. Life is not boring here. Middle child, with autism/MR/bi polar disorder, had some changes at his non-custodial dad's house that broke his heart around Thanksgiving (his stepmom of 10 years walked away for good without saying anything to him and his dad moved on to another girlfriend), and then this week had more news that really changes his world there. When he has changes that big, he doesn't handle it well. He has meltdowns, refuses to go to school on the bus (school for him is 15 miles away at a program that really works great for him), refuses his showers and meds, and so on. Thankfully, he is maturing, nearing 13 years old, and after a while I can get through to him that it's ok to be sad and upset, but it's not ok to hurt people or other people's property. He is old enough and mature enough to understand consequences for actions, even those done in anger, and those have helped him learn to contain his aggression as well. We understand he hurts, he's angry, and he has frustration, but we also can't let him get by with hurting us, others, himself, or destroying the home, or refusing to go to school. That would be more hurtful to him to let him get by with the actions than to teach him appropriate responses to upsets. It's also a chance to teach him that we love him no matter what, and that we're here to provide the boundaries and stability he needs and hugs he needs when he doesn't think he needs them.
There's a sector of people out there who believe in the idea of not holding children with autism accountable for their actions. We're not in that group. We as parents are supposed to teach our kids right from wrong, prepare them to be able to function in the world around them, and at some point be able to live without us. If we let them beat up people when they're mad or upset, tear apart a house on a whim, in essence hold us hostage and let them get away with murder, then we've failed at our job. It *IS* ok to say no to a special needs child, to teach them appropriate behavior, teach them manners, and treat them like you would other kids who may or may not have the same special needs. It's not easy to teach them like that, there's definitely challenges, but it's better to do it while they are younger, before they reach adulthood, than to try to teach it after they've made into the legal system or into group homes or institutions!
Anyway, I'll get off that soap box now. This week has been stressful in dealing with the issues that popped up with middle child's dad. Remember, oldest and youngest are my stepchildren, middle is my biological child. We are a blended family that's been together for 8 years. Holidays are harder with kids on the spectrum, most definitely. You know how we as adults feel frazzled and harried and so busy keeping up amidst the holiday festivities, presents, decorating, and so on--imagine what it's like for kids like ours, who going into the shorter days, longer nights, changes in schedules, the lights and music, noises and so on. So far, ours have handled all the holiday things rather well, and I'm proud of them.
We've had other minor stressors this week, with septic system backing up, vehicle maintenance, and some workman's comp things for hubby (that went smoothly, but initially hubby had a concussion due to his young client--hubby works with children much like ours part time. He is great with kids, especially special needs ones). God provided for all of those issues, even went above and beyond on them! For instance, the vehicle maintenance was for brakes on hubby's little Dodge Dakota he bought off the wholesale lot. He believed the brakes were going out. So despite little money in the bank he put it in the shop and had it looked at. All they needed were cleaned, and lo and behold--the brakes were brand new and in great shape! Praise the Lord! We've also went over a week with almost all gloom and clouds, I think the sun peeked out for a few hours one day, and we have a week ahead of the same--that also affects each of us and puts us in a less than cheerful mood if we don't really fight it, especially the kids.
Weight wise, I didn't weigh in, and probably won't until my next appointment in early January. But, there are positive changes. I've met the walking 3 miles a day 6 days a week goal, and even went above it a little by adding another mile or two before bed some nights. This is probably the best I've slept on the days/evenings I did a combined 4 to 5 miles. I've been out walking with a buddy around the town square on mornings that work out for both of us--between sickies with kids, us, gloomy/drizzle weather and the cold, it's been trying to get out there first thing in the morning before my buddy goes to work and I have my household things to do. The walking with her has been therapeutic, we chat and work out problems in our lives and so on--it's rewarding! We average about 45 minutes circling the courthouse square, when it's still rather empty and before the staff and courts start their day. At home, I'm putting in the DVD's and doing 3 miles or so on the days I don't get to walk the square, and then in the evening another mile or two. I admit it, I don't always want to get started and do it. I'd rather do other things. But at the end, I'm glad I did.
Body wise, the hard to lose fat on the upper legs, from knees up, and in the belly where it hangs, is going down. Yay!! I'm learning that the only way to really get rid of the belly fat and leg flab is to keep on walking, keep on doing aerobic work, keep using the muscles, and keep on with the eating healthy idea. It's not going as fast as I'd like--I'd be happy if by some miracle it'd all leave today--but it's going down, and that's what matters. I can get the knees way up now in the knee lifts, the kickbacks are much easier and don't hurt, side steps are stronger and wider. In the dvd's, Leslie Sansone and her walkers in the background clap on side steps. Not me--my hands don't do the clapping, my thighs do! That just tells me I need to do more of them to keep working them! I really like seeing the overall body fat going down, it tells me I'm on the right track, and that all that walking daily is helping.
Eating wise, still doing soups daily (most days anyway), fruits, baked chicken, veggies, and overall behaving. We had my stepdaughter's birthday this last week, and I made her a cherry chocolate cake from a box mix with coordinating frosting to take to church, as it was Wednesday. The leftovers came home, and didn't last long. It. was. awesome! I took into account the calorie intake from the Red Baron pizzas we had for supper and the cake intake, and been mindful of any sweets and looking at the calorie count and weighing if I reallllllly want that or not. I've stayed out of the Christmas candy aisles, and did sugar up on Friday with the trip to deliver son to his dad's, with a salted caramel cappuccino and a Snickers to enjoy on the hour and a half trip back home. Thankfully this isn't an every day occasion! If I did this daily, I'd gain a lot back, and it's not worth it. But a once in a while thing isn't bad, especially when you have been really craving it--it beats eating everything in sight and still not being satisfied but way over your calorie limit. I did try a regular Coke this week, and it wasn't satisfying at all. Honestly, none of the carbonated drinks seem satisfying anymore, whether full sugar or sugar-free. Now a good cup of coffee or tea, those hit the spot! I still can't stand the taste of our city's bleach tasting water, so still doing coffee and herbal teas to fill the void, along with skim milk and "diet" juices--I believe it's Ocean Spray that does "diet" cranberry and blueberry juices at 5 calories a serving. They taste good and have much less sugar!
I have to say that all the veggies and fruits and good for you things I've been eating on regularly has been beneficial beyond weight loss. We're in the sickie season, and the kids are all sharing the yucks by way of sneezles and wheezles and coughs and snots. They love sharing. Until last evening and this morning, I've been able to fight off the direct attacks from the sickies, and even what I have now is a sinus/ear thing that with rest and meds I'm able to keep under control. The main thing is rest, which doesn't seem to happen much with the high energy of the kids and the needs of the household and so on. So I took the day off of church to get the huge head pain under control and rest, and recoup to be able to function through the week and be back in service again Wednesday. I seriously think that with all the flu and stuff going around, the veggies in soups and raw, and all the fresh fruits have been a major player in keeping the nasty stuff at bay. And for that, I thank the Lord!
This coming week I'm preparing to make homemade peanut brittle and caramels to send out to family and friends. I also plan on baking some goodies to give to son's bus driver and others who are local. I wouldn't be a good cook if I didn't sample the quality, now would I? I will have to be more careful in what I do, as yesterday when I attempted to slice some bread loaves I'd made and left sit to harden the crust a little, the serrated knife tried to go through my thumb. Did you know bread knives will go through finger nails and into the nail bed?? Trust me they do.
I've started alterations on my clothing, as I ran out of skirts that fit, and I had my cape dresses sitting needing work. I took my 34/36 skirts and added darts to make them fit at the waist and flare a bit. Right now I have a cape dress that was sewn to fit the body size I was, torn apart and prepared for new darts and having the side seams taken in from sleeve hem to where the bodice meets the skirt. The skirt will have to be gathered tighter too at the seam to fit. This is a good thing! There's 2 of those to do, and then there are 2 that are still in the cut but not sewn position from the summer that will have to be re-cut and trimmed down. I'm having to make use of my little book on alterations to do this, as it's easier to me to just make garments from scratch than alter ones already made. This weekend I pulled out all my larger clothing and went through them, and many are going into a trashbag to go off to the thrift shop for donations. Very little fit anymore or are really fit for alterations. I'm so grateful for the large amount of clothing that the Lord provided a few weeks ago--they've more than filled my side of the closet and provide inspiration to keep going, and it's awesome feeling some of the clothes feel a little looser than they were when they first arrived! They have really been helpful too in filling the gap between old body size and current, and it's also nice to exercise in yoga type pants and capris, that don't flap around or get under foot and get in the way. And as it gets colder I can wear them under dresses and long skirts for extra warmth!
I hope you all are having a great week, and I keep you all in my prayers! I may not know all of you who read Sunny Patch by name, but the Lord does, and that's what matters!
You all have a great week, and I'll see you again soon!
Shared at: Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth , A Proverbs 31 Wife, Darling Downs Diary, Raising Homemakers, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
If you'd like to have Sunny Patch delivered to your inbox, click to subscribe today!
Subscribe to Sunny Patch Cottage by Email