Thursday, November 3, 2011


Not always my strong point, I must admit.  I certainly have more of it since the kids came along, and especially since their autism diagnoses.  And I'm still learning.
Last week I found out that my class of 20 adorable-but-feral bunnies (I kid) was supposed to have an intern, but she/he had to leave at the last moment.  And, as I've said before, that would have made ALL the difference!  However, I went in this past Tuesday with a slightly different attitude and, guess what?  It went SO much more smoothly!!!!  We actually got a partial run-through in, and it was great!  They're starting to realize that this is THEIR play, not mine, or their teachers' or parents', or anyone else's.  This is the moment I always look forward to (but worry will never come), because they stop trying to do it "right," stop resisting it, and realize that it's their moment.  They start being a little goofy with their roles, which is perfect as it's a comedy and they're playing chickens, ducks, and monkeys! They start being a bit braver, taking more chances, and realizing what they're capable of.  And this often bleeds out into other areas of their lives.
Which is the whole point: not to have a perfect play, but to hopefully give them the confidence to raise their hands a bit more often in class, or go out for the sport or activity they've always wanted to try but were too nervous.
Which is the whole point of doing what we do.  At least for me.

But I'm also learning patience with myself.  Finally.  Sometimes when I learn something not-so-ideal about me I either berate myself or stuff it under the overly-filled carpet of my subconscious.  Then I overeat or buy stuff, usually books or (ironically) groceries, in order to keep ignoring it.
Last week in therapy I cried a bit.  It's the first time I've cried with this therapist, despite the fact that I've been seeing her for over 3 years.  Because, while I have no problem crying on stage in front of hundreds of people, I hate crying on front of the people who know me. It's that vulnerability thing; it's REALLY scary.  And it doesn't help that, in the past, crying was often met with hostility.
So, yes, I cried.  And she had me stay with it, feel it in my body, breathe through it, talk about it, and guess what?  The world didn't end! No one died because I cried.  My head didn't explode.  In fact, I felt calmer and MUCH more relaxed.
So that whole "feel your emotions and let them go" thing?  Yeah, turns out it works.

As far as food and weight, this program I'm on now is actually helping me A LOT with figuring out why I eat, as well as what my body wants/can handle.  In the past I'd eat something that made me feel bloated and sick, then berate myself for eating "too much."  Well, turns out that it wasn't always that I'd eaten too much, I'd just eaten something my body couldn't handle.
I started the program and immediately lost 3 pounds, which had the unfortunate side-effect of getting me fixated, once again, on the scale.  Then I got PMS and the scale stuck.  While I obsessed about that, my counselor noticed that I'd written down feeling bloated quite a bit, so she put me on a very clean, 4-day program.  From here we'll start adding foods back in and see how they make me feel.  That way I can see what agrees with me and what doesn't, what my body likes and what it doesn't. It's shifted the focus from "gottaloseweightgottaloseweightgottaloseweight!" to slowing down, being mindful, and taking care of myself. To the realization that, just as I don't have to live with crippling anxiety, I also don't have to live with nearly-constant stomach pain.

Finally, exercise:  I started a new 30-minute walking program this week.  I have 2 walks: one is a steady pace and the other is intervals.  It's quick and challenging, but not so much that it's killing me slowly, lol!  Plus, along with Charlotte, I'm trying out a program called T-Tapp.  (I'm using the YouTube versions, adding reps when needed.)  Turns out there are moves I can use in a few of my Pilates classes, the ones in which hand weights aren't available. So, bonus!  Plus, it's quite a bit more challenging than it looks. And it only takes a few minutes, so another bonus.
I'm REALLY enjoying it.  I love walking outside and have missed it. I feel more clear-headed and much less stressed after a good walk.  In fact, I'm about to head out for one now. I was going to do a more strenuous, hour-long workout, but I realized that if I did that, then drove 30 minutes south to teach a drama class, then back north (60 minutes this time, thanks to rush hour traffic) to teach a Pilates class, then off to the store to get gluten-free cupcakes for WG's birthday party at school tomorrow (her actual birthday is Sunday), it might be a BIT too much.
So, a walk it is, before the rain starts.

Au revoir for now!

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