Here's the other interesting thing we've learned this summer. After all our winter woes with severe constipation, I came to the conclusion that she just wasn't getting enough food. We've kept her calories low her whole life and maybe by this age/size, she just needed more but how do you do that without weight gain? Of course, you increase your activity level. Well, I worked with a dietician and we came up with a plan that increased her calories from 800 to 1200 a day, a 50% increase. We also came up with an activity level during camp that we hoped would balance this out. Well, the first week of camp, with a 50% increase in food, she lost a pound. The second week, she broke even and since then she's maintained that. So now we know that she can handle this much food as long as she gets enough exercise.
To do that, she was walking (with occasional jogs) a mile or more in the morning and then doing resistance training, mostly with bands. For safety, since they were working in groups, they didn't use weights, but we can use weights at home. In the afternoon, they have an hour of yoga and dance, then an hour in the pool. Inbetween, they walk some pretty steep hills to and from classes so that is added in. And bless her heart, she never complains. Some of the older ones were dropping like flies, but her counselors said that no matter what they asked of her, she kept trying. I told them in the beginning that they wouldn't have to push or motivate her. They'd be more likely to have to keep her from working too hard. She wants to meet or beat every standard and doesn't want the bar lowered for her even an inch!
Her biggest struggle with sports comes with competitive group activities like basketball or soccer. She loves the games, but isn't aggressive or in any particular hurry. She will be the first to tell you that she's not "good" at these sports, but she still likes to play.
Now, because of the heat, we're only doing the afternoon activities and we'll see what that does to the number of calories she can handle. I hate not to do those, but there's no shade at the track and it just gets too hot. I brought lots of fine motor things for us to work on so we do that in the down time.
Now the challenge is to duplicate this program at home. We're going to be doing a combination program this year with her school that mixes some class time and some homeschool. I'll do all the core classes (literacy, math, science and social studies) at home and she'll go to school for the specialty classes (music, art, computer, library) as well as the extracurricular, field trips, class parties, school drama/music programs. I think it will be a good balance and am looking forward to this. It gives us a more flexible schedule so we can keep up this level of exercise and still maintain her therapy schedule, plus it keeps her involved with her school for, as she says, the "best" parts. 🙂
We'll have the YMCA for bad weather and swimming, plus our treadmill and resistance equipment at home. We'll get her in a children's yoga class and see what else presents itself. We're in an intense program of craniosacral therapy and myofacial release at home and look forward to getting back to that. All in all, we should be able to do this and look forward at getting a chance to try. Having a diet that gives her a little more leeway and an exercise program that will match it is a great result for the summer.