Faith, Love and Respect for ALL

Archive for the ‘Becoming Healthy Parents’ Category

Home Therapy

Today was my first Physical Therapy session for the tendonitis/impingement in my shoulder. Thanks to Beth’s OT, I have a PT  who comes to the house, which is pretty cool for a SAHM who has difficulty scheduling time out of the house. The woman is wonderful and I really like her, plus she gives you an ultrasound massage at the end of the session. She said Friday we may try the Tens machine as well.

I found out today that Home Therapy equals Creativity. Since we don’t have any fancy machines, or exercise accessories, Ms. A found items in my house to use for our sessions. Here are my Home Therapy Tools:

JTP home therapy tools

There are several different stretches/exercises using the broom, which I must say are quite painful at the moment. The mandarin oranges are my 1lb weights for the arm exercises. The beach ball is used for a stretch that goes up the wall, and a pressure holding exercise. The angry bird is used to pass around my body in circles. The stretch resistant band is used for several arm exercises when hooked up to the handle of our patio door.  Many of the stretches/exercises are done in the chair, and others are done standing, using my Home Therapy Tools. There are also stretches and push ups using the wall, where my body weight is the Therapy Tool.

As I progress in therapy she would like me to buy some hand-weights, ankle-weights, higher resistant bands, and a pulley-contraption to really work on strengthening and loosening the shoulder. Until that time, I will be using my fun tools, and Henry will be keeping Anne at bay, because she wants to share the toys with mommy.  I am very thankful that Ms. A can see me while Beth is at school, because as long as we let Anne swing or blow/chase bubbles, I can do most of my session in peace.

I was quite sore by the end of our hour session, but the ultrasound massage alleviated some of the pain. Then I iced both shoulders, and now am feeling pretty good. I am hopeful the next 6 weeks will see me building strength in my shoulders and being pain-free a little bit more each day. Cheers to another facet of becoming a healthy parent for my energizer bunny girls, and being strong enough to carry them around when they need a little extra attention from mommy.


Creative Commons License
Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Our Week

As my father always says: “Do you want the good news or the bad news?” I always take the bad news first, so I think that is how I will deliver Our experiences this week.

The bad…

My best-friend, who just happens to be married to my uncle, had to put her furry child to sleep today.  Lulu has been a part of our family for 10+years and I simply cannot fathom going to their house and not seeing her. As adults we know she is no longer suffering, and has gone onto a better place where she will be sickly no more. This brings us solace and will help us with the grieving process; however, Beth does not understand these things. She is a child who will miss her and ask for her, she is a child that will break Marie’s heart every time she asks where Lulu is. How do I tell her Lulu is gone, and make her understand? I wish I knew the answer to that question, perhaps Beth will surprise us all, and understand everything in her own way. Perhaps she will be the key to healing for all of us.

rip lulu

I have been having horrible pain in my right arm for a few weeks. I thought it was a pinched nerve or perhaps a pulled muscle. However once I accepted that nothing was working to make it better for any length of time I went to the doctor. It turns out I have arthritis in my shoulder.  So now I keep doing what I am doing (taking ibuprofen, doing stretches, icing it, massaging castor oil into it, and praying for relief). I have been dealing with arthritis in my knees for 20years, so I will find a way to deal with this too. We are getting healthy for our children and I will not let this stand in my way of being the fun-active mom I know I can be.
The good…

Today Beth brought me some books, crawled in my lap and actually sat and read with me.  She wanted me to read first, then paraphrased what I said or told me what she saw in the pictures. It was 20 minutes of pure bliss, especially since she let Anne sit with us during story-time.  Anne giggled, babbled and pointed to pictures and touched Beth as much as she could. It was one of the rare moments when they could tolerate each other, and their sisterly love shone through. It was a moment that my heart truly needed today, as always my girls heal my heart in a way that only they can. As if that was not enough pride and joy for mom, we had a tea party in the bath this evening, and it was wonderful. I can honestly say that it was the most peaceful and enjoyable bath the girls have had in quite some time.

After 6 weeks of committing to being Healthier Parents for our kids, Henry and I are making great progress. I have lost 17lbs and I am feeling better everyday. Henry has lost 20lbs and dropped his AC1 from 8.5% to 7.1%. Anything under 6.5% is considered non-diabetic, so we are definitely on the right track. We are making small, but effective changes,  and we can see tangible results. I am getting my stress/mood eating under control, and have been able to make better choices when I feel the need to eat my blues away. The best part for me was when I had a cola yesterday (in an attempt to boot a migraine), and it tasted horrible. Now if I can just get rid of my chocolate cravings, at least now I choose dark chocolate and have 1 or 2 squares and I am done. We are taking Baby Steps after all.

So there you have it, our week in review. There are always rainbows mixed in with the storm clouds, and we must always look for them, because they fill us with light and love. Have Blessed week friends, and be thankful for the clouds and rainbows that color your world.


Creative Commons License
Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Seeking New Voice

Beth said something to me yesterday that cut me to the quick, and has left me with an aching heart. Henry was laying on the couch (not doing what I wanted him to) and I snapped something in his direction, he bit back and I had to have the last word, or so I thought. Beth looked right at me and said: “Mommy don’t yell at Daddy! Stop, no yelling!” My heart broke and I wanted to crawl in a hole and die. I told her I wasn’t yelling at daddy, which I wasn’t, but I also wasn’t talking very nicely to him either. I assured her it was okay, and I made sure to watch my tone the rest of the day, but the damage was already done. This image came to mind continuously throughout the day:


Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, I am giving my children a horrible inner voice. When I really listen to how Beth talks to Anne, or how Anne talks to the cats, it is not nice. I reprimand them and tell them to use nice words, and not to be mean; however I realize they are simply copying me. More often than not, I have always been surrounded by people who lack respect for others, treat them poorly and say nasty things without a second thought. I have had many people in my life that prided themselves on “Telling it Like It Is” and demeaning people to make them do whatever they desired. I also grew up with a fear of adults raising their voice, because that was always the precursor to something horrible happening to someone I loved. I became a master diffuser, and tried to bring harmony to every tense situation I encountered in life. The problem is that no matter how much peace and positivity I bring to others, I am cruel to myself. The voice in my head is extremely hard and unforgiving when it comes to my actions. In Al-Anon, I am working on overcoming this negativity and learning how to be kind to myself, but it is a slow journey.

I swore I would pass on the unconditional love, which several others in my life taught me, to my children. I vowed to give them a good example of how to have a beautiful inner voice. Although I have pro-actively eliminated the majority of the situations that helped me form my ugly inner voice, I have yet to eradicate those emotions from myself, and they come out much too often for my liking. Unfortunately, because they are like second-nature to me, sometimes I don’t even realize the unpleasant tone I am using until someone points it out to me. Sometimes that person is Henry, sometimes it is Marie, but most times it is my girls showing me the true affect of my words and tone. It is in these moments, that I hate myself and am filled with shame; however, those negative thoughts and emotions will help no one, so I must be vigilant to not wallow in them.

I must learn to love and respect myself. I must learn to talk nicely to myself. I must learn to be kind to myself. I must forgive myself when I make a mistake.  Once I can learn to do these things for myself, then I can treat others in a manner which I am proud of. This is where my program and Al-Anon family are essential to a new way of living life. They love me when I cannot love myself, and my sponsor continually reminds me that the groundwork of life is based in “Progress NOT Perfection.” I want to provide a solid foundation of Faith, Love and Respect for my girls. I want them to naturally follow the positive path and see all its beauty. The only way I can provide them the best chance at this dream, is to start living it for myself.

Keeping in mind a much read passage from Hope for Today:

“Practicing the Al-Anon program is akin to putting on an oxygen mask. I’m encouraged to do the things needed for my health, stability, and growth. These include eating well, getting enough rest, examining my behavior and correcting it when necessary, sharing my thoughts and feelings with others, asking for help, praying and meditating, and getting involved with my Al-Anon community. Only then, when I have care of these responsibilities to myself, am I strong enough to help others.”

I think I will print this image out and put it on the fridge, as a visual reminder to Talk Nice for myself, my relationships, and most importantly, my children:


Creative Commons License
Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

A New Way of Loving Food

It is no secret that Henry and I are obese; we are both at least 100+lbs overweight. Fortunately we are tall and we seem to carry it better. Most people do not believe me when I tell them what I weigh. It is also no secret that we, more often than not, make poor food choices and have absolutely no portion control. Our excuses have always been we LOVE food, and want to enjoy it. We often joke about being fat and happy, because all the skinny “calorie-counters” we know are miserable. You can be as glib and silly as you want, until your love for the wrong foods interferes with your life, then its time for things to change.


Henry was diagnosed with Type II diabetes last year. He is struggling in several areas, and his diagnosis explains a lot. Until recently he was taking the medicine, but had not given any thought to changing his diet. I refuse to be his food warden! If my life experience and Al-Anon have taught me anything, it is that you cannot help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. People must choose for themselves how they want to live and what quality of life they want. I do not want people making life choices for me, and I refuse to make them for him; I simply love and respect him too much to attempt to control him. Henry is tired of feeling like crap, and dealing with his other issues, and has decided it is time for a change. He is attempting to change his lifestyle, so he can be healthier and feel better. As his partner, not his boss, I will be by his side to support and assist him in anyway; however, the best way I can help is by making better choices myself.

I am currently 293lbs, the only time I have ever been heavier than this, is when I delivered both my children. The depressing part is that a year ago, I was making real progress and was almost to my pre-Beth weight of 242lbs. Honestly,  242lbs is still too much weight for me to be carrying; my goal is to get under 200lbs by this time next year. My biggest problem is that I am a stress eater. I always crave ALL the wrong foods when I am stressed or depressed. Even though I don’t eat a lot of food in one sitting, I tend to finish all the girls food, because I can’t stand to waste anything; and I use my nervous energy to snack a lot. As if that isn’t bad enough, I am always looking for the quick fix to boost my energy, because I am exhausted most of the time. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but I have become that mom who needs to live on ibuprofen and heating/ice packs to truly enjoy her children. I am in constant pain.  Whether it is my headaches, the arthritis in my knees, the pain in my back or the latest pulled muscle due to lack of strength and toning, it doesn’t really matter where it hurts anymore, it is the fact that something hurts EVERY day, and I am tired of it! I simply don’t want to be that mom who is too overweight and out-of-shape to play with her kids and enjoy their childhood with them. I also don’t want to be in chronic pain anymore. I want to do better, MUCH better. I want to break the vicious cycle of stress/food/depression; I have decided it is time for a change.

My Al-Anon family and program remind me to keep the focus on me, to take care of myself and to make myself a priority. In the past year, I have been doing well at working my program on the spiritual level; however, I am failing on the physical level. I found my Al-Anon family because I was tired of repeating the same destructive, depressing, and stressful patterns in my life. How I ever thought I could only concentrate on one area is beyond me. Apparently, I just needed time to realize that I need to work on the entire package that is ME. When I dream of the legacy I want to leave my girls it is one of love, acceptance, faith, joy and hope. In order to help them build a solid foundation on their path, I must show them how to live a healthy life, both physically and spiritually.

Henry and I are embarking on a new path. We have to learn a whole new way of loving food. This journey will definitely be one of “Progress Not Perfection.” I expect there will be quite the struggle between the old and the new ways of viewing everything we put into our bodies. We just have to remember that this is not a race, and we need to take our time, so that we make this life change a positive experience for our family. We must keep our eye on the prize, which is being healthy and living a quality life, not only for ourselves, but for our beautiful girls as well. So we begin our journey, Baby Stepping our way to loving food in a healthier manner, to be Healthy Parents to our Extraordinary Children.



Creative Commons License
Autism Proud – Journey With Us – by Jest Tu Positive by Dorothy Stronglove is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Tag Cloud