autumn days

Monday, March 13, 2017


In the four months my partner fought cancer, I lost weight.  In the 16 weeks since he died, I have lost more.  Food is a tool.  In times of stress, we each use it differently.  I had been telling myself I was not hungry and was too busy to eat.  When my older children are home, we sit and eat meals together.  Once they are off at school, each moment is full of meeting the needs of my toddler, running errands, planning meals, figuring out financial details, arranging counseling, various scheduling, construction home details, and many other matters of business.  This means I am sitting down for 1.5 meals each day.

After having a business lunch date with my partner's best friend, a meal I barely touched, I had a meltdown.  My partner wasn't there to remind me to step up the self-care.  I realized I was the only one there to take care of myself.  My health is vital to my children's health.  I must take care of myself if I expect to be around for my children.  The way I treat myself is how my children will treat themselves.  My example is important.  Food is a priority.  On this wild day after the business lunch, I reached out to a friend to keep me accountable for eating enough.  I asked her to help me keep track of what I was eating.  Just admitting to myself and a friend that I needed help with food alleviated much of the stress.  After a few more hard days, I began to eat enough.

There are still occasional hard days, though I am generally meeting my goals.  Now when I sit in front of food prepared by others, I eat until I am full.  When I sit with meals I've created, I eat an average adult portion.  I have also indulged in simple meals and snacks for our family to get through this hard place.  In these small ways, I am committing to my children's long term well being.  They are my reason to take care of myself, to slow down, to sit while eating, to model healthy habits, and to commit to my being fully human.  I am so thankful for the privilege of getting to parent these young people.  While I focus on their short and long term health, I also get to take care of myself.  What a responsibility.  What a gift.

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