Monday, June 20, 2011

The Weight of Autism

I'm not talking about the emotional weight, the everyday concerns, worries and fears.  I'm talking about the physical weight. From stress, overeating, ordering take out because I'm too tired or too busy to cook, and the 1 or 2 glasses of wine a night (3 on the weekends), to help me sleep.

I remember weighing 75 pounds; I was one of those scrawny girls, I was boyish, flat all over.  Envying the other girls in gym class because they were wearing bras and I had absolutely nothing to train.  I was that adolescent girl, faithfully exercising while reciting "I must increase my bust" - thanks Judy Blume!  Then puberty hit (better late than never). And I developed an hourglass figure that I proudly embraced.   

During my pregnancy with The Boy - I gained a whopping 63 pounds.  Yeah, I got a little crazy.  I ate cheetos, crispy cremes, cinnabons, macaroni and cheese and fried chicken (almost every day for lunch); I drank a pepsi with every meal.  I went berserk.  I wasn't eating for two - I was eating for a football team.

And while I've lost half of the 63 pounds I gained, the last two years especially I've gone up and down dramatically on the scale.

Big Bottom Line: I'm overweight.  At least that's what my Wii Fit told me the other day when I stepped on the scale for a body test.  I watched painfully as my little Mii  plumped up.  Her pretty pink shirt stretched out as the bulge around the belly expanded.  She had never done that before. :(

And that's when I knew.  The stress of Turning 5 had taken it's toll in more ways than one.  No wonder men were getting up for me on the train lately!  (Today was the 4th time in a two week period.)  

I thought I had been hiding it well...I guess not.  I wear dresses a lot and I change outfits about 5 times before walking out the door.  I will ask The Husband "Does this make me look fat?"  And since he's so used to hearing the question by now, he'll automatically say "no" without even looking.

I know that I'll never return to my original pre-pregnancy size - I'm okay with that.  Even though, I still hold on to my favorite pair of designer jeans, hoping against hope.  But at this point, I just want to be able to look in the mirror and feel (physically) good about the woman I see...I want to feel healthy.

More importantly, I want to be and stay healthy.  I want to run around the park with The Boy and not get out of breath or feel winded.  I want to (crossing fingers) have another child and be healthy enough to keep up with two kids.  I want to (try to) live medication free without any health issues.    
I used to enjoy working out.  I used to go to a gym.  I used to eat healthy.  I used to love shopping.  What the heck happened? 

Now that The Boy has an appropriate school placement, I can use this summer to remember the woman I used to be. 

We'll see...      

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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.