Introducing Your 2012 Life Coach – Your Dog

Ah, the dreaded new year’s resolutions.  We have all made them, and I would venture to say a majority of us never stick to them.  Over the past decade, I’ve pretty much given up making resolutions.  It’s not that I don’t want to better myself….it’s just that I really don’t have the time.  Ok. Ok.  I realize that is a horrible thing to say, but I think you understand what I mean.

While mulling over January ideas for the blog (and the inevitable “resolution” post I knew I was sure to make) I realized that it really wasn’t that I didn’t care or didn’t want to invest the time in creating a “New & Improved Jessica”.  It was that I cannot do things alone.  I am just not self motivated when it comes me.  I have no problem accomplishing tasks for work or doing things to help family and friends – but if it is something “Jessica related,” I’m in trouble!  My (somewhat) impressive weight loss last year can be 100% attributed to the fact that my (now) husband works out often and would drag me along.  (I would never go to the gym by myself!)  Any strides I have made in improving my health (I unfortunately struggle with Type 1 diabetes) are simply the result of a mom who guilts and nags me to the doctor and away from cookies.   Simply put – I need a buddy to help me out.

Don’t we all need a buddy to help us reach our goals?  (The last time I checked, the definition of “buddy” did not discriminate against four-legged friends!)

Let’s turn to our dogs for motivation!  We help them….now let’s let them help us!

Diet

What an ugly word,  But let us now use the word “diet” to describe what we eat….not the starvation plan we are attempting to master.  I know most of my readers do not make their own dog food, but that doesn’t mean that your dog has to eat straight from a bag all the time.  Mixing veggies into your dog’s meals is a great way to keep them healthy.  I don’t think I need to explain why (it’s for the same reason YOU need to eat veggies!)  Of course, not all vegetables are dog friendly (check out information on what/how to feed your dog here or here.)  The next time you think it’s a waste to buy or prepare all those green beans, think about your poor pooch.  He can only eat what you feed him!  (Yes, guilt is a powerful tool when it comes to new year’s resolutions.)

Exercise

Many people think the word “exercise” means hours at the gym or a personal trainer or running an insane distance.  Walking, though, is something that can be done by everyone.  Whether you are old, young, fat, thin, canine….everyone benefits from walking.  It is free.  It is painless.  It will not help you magically shed that extra 50 pounds you are looking to lose for bikini season, but it will make a real difference in your health.  Best of all, though, your dog will LOVE you for it.  People really underestimate how much dogs love to go for walks.  Most dogs will walk anywhere with you – and are extremely excited to do so.  As a species, they spent all their time outside roaming for hundreds of years…and we expect them to sit inside and wait for us all day and then sit inside and watch us watch TV at night.  As you start to sink into that chair after a hard day’s work – think of how happy and content your dog is when the two of you are outside.  (Motivation!)

Chill Out

I haven’t read over your resolutions, but I would  guess one  of them has to do with your mental state. (Not that I’m saying you are crazy!)  Maybe you have a hard time leaving things at work.  Maybe day-to-day issues tend to get under your skin.  (I stress about literally EVERYTHING…so one of my resolutions is simply to “chill out.” )  This is where your dog really will be your buddy.  Why did you get a dog?  Seriously….can you answer that question?  Has your pup become one more thing on your to do list?  (Gosh!  I have to feed the dog AGAIN today!?!)  I try to get goofy with my dog daily.  I wait until I’m alone, I make sure all the windows and curtains are shut, and I get nutty.  I run around, I jump over things, I sing, I dance, I kiss her, I make funny faces.  She LOVES it!  She gets just as silly…and we both end up laughing and panting.  Have you ever tried to be stressed out while playing with a dog?  IMPOSSIBLE!  Have you ever cried about your boss yelling at you while watching a puppy chase a ball?  You simply can NOT do it.  Let your pup help you deal with your life.  (They say smiles are contagious amongst us humans….well, I think happiness is contagious and can jump from species to species.)

Good luck achieving those 2012 resolutions.  To summarize this post…and life as I know it:  everything is easier, better, and more fun with a dog.

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