Floortime and Weight Watchers….Who Would Have Imagined??

I don’t think you would believe my week if I told you. Well, many of you have a life like mine, so you know what I am talking about. What I find interesting about living with my twins is how I, as a mom, have totally thrown myself on the back burner. Yes, I can sense many heads nodding in agreement, but we have all heard that remembering to take care of yourself is essential. What do they tell us on an airplane? (How I long for those days when I would watch the attendant and gaze out the window! Now I am putting out sensory fires at every turn and making pleas with the kids that the TV will be on in a few moments…ah, good times!) But they tell us to place the mask on ourselves before our child because…we need to survive to make sure our child survives too. Good bit of advice.

So my eating has been out of control, my happiness level was in the dumps, and feeling good about me was getting harder to do. The only thing I liked to shop for was shoes, as that size never changes. I could always go into a store and pick a size 8 and – voilà! But clothes shopping would make me want to cry.

I tried to keep up with my kids, or so I thought, but as they started to not be regulated in school, I started to stress eat. Those Halloween chocolate bars are the best! There was not a sign that Halloween took place in our home because all of the chocolate evidence was gone!! Our family life needed relief and my emotional eating was not helping. I realized I needed to find help; my weight was spiraling out of control, so I decided to attend a Weight Watchers meeting.

I went last week for the first time in a LONG time. I sat there and felt instantly comfortable, relieved and also emotional at the journey I was about to take. I was scared I was going to fail again as I have done before. As I sat amongst a hundred people, I felt I belonged and it seemed as though I was at an AA meeting. I was ready to stand up and say, “Hi, my name is Jackie and I am an eater!” Those thoughts made me giggle as we heard from the BEST leader I have ever heard.

Her talk was about being in control. Oh yes, self-regulation was repeating in my mind, I know what that is. Here was the first Floortime milestone being taught to adults at a Weight Watchers meeting. My moment of wakening! She talked about breaking our patterns of behavior, which is what I just heard from our child development counselor too! To change behavior, we have to substitute a different behaviour. Wow, was this lady in my house!! So weight loss and Floortime can go hand in hand…hear me out.

At the meeting, the leader told us to change our behavior. If we usually sit inside because of a little snow, change it and get out there. So yesterday during our snow storm I did just that and took the kids outside in the backyard – something I would have not done because I never did that, I just stayed inside and that was that. But I needed to change my behaviour pattern, so off we went!

At first I wanted to shovel and do my chores but something wonderful happened. My daughter wanted to have a snow fight. So we did and got my son involved too. Instant connection!  They wanted more and kept coming back. We marched around the cars then wiped off snow from the cars. After that I was searching for something else to keep the play going, then I noticed some hard packed snow and in a flash I was filled with a happy feeling from my childhood of writing on walls with snow. I couldn’t remember the exact memory of me doing this but it felt like pure happiness.  I grabbed the snow and asked my daughter, “Do you want a snow crayon?” We drew on the fence and my daughter wrote the word “Bee”. All of a sudden, she was making “Lemon Soda” from a juice jug over a pole I wanted marked so no one would hit it. While she was stirring snow, my son and I went to a pretend ‘tree” and picked lemons. We made the soda and when we drank it my daughter said we would turn into gorillas and of course we did. I was lost in imagination, I was lost in a world of pretend with my kids and it felt good, it felt connected and it made me feel alive.

Caught up in the moment, after seeing my daughter make a snow angel I dropped onto my back and made one too. As I was laying there I thought, “Wow, my sweats are going to get wet, but who cares!” My kids didn’t as they tumbled on me with laughter. The moments were beautiful!

Now as I become more in control of myself, my children will follow suit because I am changing my behaviours and our relationship. I am going to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors because of what it gives me but also because of what it gives my children and our connection. Floortime can take place anywhere and anytime, but we parents have to want to do it. We have to make sure the opportunities do not fly past us but we grab hold of them. We bring our children back to us each time we connect and get lost in the world of imagination and play. So, thank you to Weight Watchers for teaching me to be in control and to change my behavior patterns, and for to Floortime for the tools to get lost in play. Weight Watchers and Floortime, who could have imagined that connection!!

“Hi… My name is Jackie and I am a Floortimer.”