In looking at old pictures, it seems to have begun disappearing around the time we were first learning that one our sons had a diagnosis of conduct disorder (as well as fasd and adhd). To be clear, I don't blame my son, but I do blame the conduct disorder. The amount of stress that living with someone who has that disorder is huge - and no one was talking about stress management for parents back then. We were all (including me) writing books about how to effectively parent kids who are chronically non-compliant, but no one (including me) was writing any books on how to survive and thrive as the parent of such a person.
I've since parented several children with that and other diagnoses and my waist became less and less visible with each. We just didn't know about the link between cortisol and obesity - or the link between lack of sleep and obesity. I am okay with the cortisol link now - I manage my stress very well and my book *Recovery from Hazardous Parenting* is all about that.
I still don't know what to do about the lack of sleep.
For those of you who haven't parented kids who are occasionally violent and are chronically non-compliant, then let me explain ----- those of us who are parenting kids with these issues don't have the luxury of going to bed when we're tired. We often have to stay up, or at least stay awake, as long as the acting out child or youth is threatening or raging or behaving in a way that indicates potential danger to others, or simply won't stop being noisy, or won't stop stomping in and out of the parents' bedroom with various complaints and demands. This can happen often, and so sleep becomes something we do when we can, not when we need to. I'm sure we all use every known de-escalating technique with our kids, and sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. Either way, sleep is not on the agenda. And then, there is the need to calm and re-assure the other kids after the rager calms. I can't simply roll over and start counting sheep - I need to make sure that my other kids have processed their cortisol in a healthy way so they don't become fat victims like me.
So, yes indeed, I blame the mental health issues for my lost waist - but I'm doing better at recovering it. Still swimming almost daily and eating really well on my Vegan Before 6 food plan (Mark Bitman). I don't weigh myself because that is self defeating for me, but I have noticed that a couple of pairs of my jeans are loser around the upper thigh - so something is changing. Yippee!
Well, off to buy school supplies today - 4 kids in high school and my last in elementary school. Might have one or two in college this year as well.
Hey, remember my friends, you are entitled to a better day. If you have the time or the inclination, please check out my videos on Youtube (search my name) or my adoption course at Udemy.com (search my name or Adoption, What You Need To Know).
Here's a tasty treat for those mornings when you feel like something special and you've got time to really cook.