Body, mind, spirit. They are all connected and nourishing them means a stronger you.
Self care is as essential as oxygen to daily life as a parent of a child with FASD.
Last fall and the first few weeks of the new year drained my batteries and emptied my reserves.
I did not have the time nor energy to apply my go-to recharge strategies, such as exercise.
Every adversity in life passes then provides stillness for reflection and recalibration.
I’ve always been mindful of my diet and exercise, and this year, the hubby’s come onboard the health train too.
The good news, as we’re finding, is it takes just a few tweaks to start seeing and feeling gains.
A Healthy Start to the Day
I got the hubby to switch to oatmeal with me – cutting out sugary cereal.
I bought ground flax seed and hemp seed from the bulk store and add a spoonful of joylessness to each breakfast.
We match this high-fiber meal with yogurt and banana – and twice a week, an added treat of smoked salmon.
Cut Back But Not Cut Out Carbs
We love rice and pasta so it’s not realistic to cut them out completely but we do carb less meals every other day.
We’ve been using the Air Fryer, a Christmas gift from my cousin, which helps increase protein-rich meals and reduce time for cleanup.
Make Better Decisions About Food
I do the groceries, so I decide what comes home.
With the hubby’s buy-in, I cut out our one weekly treat (candy or pop for him; chips for me). We also cut out juice and increased milk (I drink sugar free soy milk).
Maximizing Sleep and Outdoor Time
I’m a stickler for 8-9 hours of sleep – and 9-10 for T – and the hubby is making more effort to sleep more than his usual 6-7 hours.
Getting fresh air is important. We enjoyed a nice Spring walk with my family at Port Credit on Easter Sunday (above).
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
I struggled a lot in the fall, because I could not find time or energy to go to the gym, as my late sister, through no fault of her own, kept me up at night as she struggled with declining health.
I try to alternate between cardio and weights every other day – with one rest day a week – as a healthy heart and body are important, especially now that I’m in my 40s.
Exercising regularly is one area I’m still trying to get the hubby to commit to, but he’ll get there!
Easter is about egg hunts and bunny fun – it is also about renewal and resilience.
T woke up on Sunday to find a surprise from the Easter Bunny. I love that he still believes in this.
We then had lunch at my Uncle’s home – and my Aunt made grilled lambchops; always a treat!
We then went for a walk at Port Credit lakeshore – and the fresh air and sunshine were soul soothing.
Since we made the few changes to our diet, fitness and sleep routines, the hubby’s reached 35% of his weight loss goal and I feel mostly energized again.
The daily life of a special needs parents can batter you down, so it is especially important for me to take care of my health, as I want to be as available and present for T as possible.
We’ve also used the recent changes as an opportunity to remind T of the importance of making healthy decisions and teamwork.
Life with T often provides humorous reminders about staying grounded and not to take things too seriously.
When I recently praised the hubby after a recent weigh in, I asked T if he was proud of Daddy.
T said, “Not yet, he’s still fat!”
But his warm smile told us otherwise.
After a long winter, the flowers are ready to emerge and bloom under the sun once again.