When I first became a mother, I learned that I could exist on less than 3 hours of sleep. Even if those three hours were not in a row. I learned that I could make dinner with one hand while soothing a collicky baby in the other. I learned that even with diligent scrubbing, there is no such thing as a Stain-Free carpet.
A few weeks ago I mentioned here that I needed some work out motivation. I own a very nice elliptical machine that sits quietly in my home office. In fact, I could reach out and touch it from my chair right now. But for months and months it has sat unused.
I know that exercise is important. I know that eating healthy is not enough. I know that I was not born with a fast metabolism and if I hope to have any level of health in the future, I need to create a healthy habit for myself.
All of that knowledge has not pushed me into regular exercise. I thought Harry Potter would help, but, alas, even the promise of re-reading of the series has not been enough.
Then something happened that pushed me off my lazy butt and into athletic wear. I huffed and I puffed and I did it. I am confident it will continue this time, too, because I am not doing it for me. I am doing it for my daughter.
We have all read about the psychological health benefits of exercise, that cardio will release endorphins which reduces stress and improves mood. Lizzi needs that. She has a tendency to perseverate on negative feelings and I am worried about where that will lead.
Kids with Asperger’s are prone to depression. While, yes, there are medications that can help they all come with side effects and some with warnings. We may need to go there, but maybe not. Since she was first diagnosied we have tried to go with a natural therapeutic approach. Between removing milk from her diet, OT, Speech, and a focused family effort to support her she has made tremendous strides. She has accomplished so much more than anyone thought she would be capable of.
But being a teenager is tough for everyone. For someone with AS it is significantly more difficult. We have have reached a point where diet and love are not enough.
We have added Karate since that tends to build self-confidence. Let’s face it, getting to punch a bag and yell is a great stress reliever. On non-karate days she needs to spend 30 minutes on the treadmill.
Needless to say, I gave her full license to nag me about getting on there too. She likes that part.
Scott and I have always tried to be good examples for the girls. Treat each other with kindness, have fun, hold hands and approach life with an open mind and a good attitude. But now she really needs us to see us with exercise in our lives.
So yeah, motivation has been found.