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Can Pets Gain Sympathy Weight?

You know how people talk about gaining weight with their spouse once they got married?  What about your pets once you've started living your life unhealthy?  My mom hadn't seen my chocolate lab Peek for a while, and the first thing she had said was "He looks like he's gained weight!"  My response was, "Well, so has his owner".  It made me realize that I had been neglecting him in the exercise department, too.

When we lived in Hawaii, I took our dog for a walk all the time.  Now that we live in Alaska, I don't feel as motivated to go out in the freezing cold to exercise the two of us.  As a result, the both of us have gained weight.  Peek is 7 years old.  He's not a pup by any means.  And if I'm taking the initiative to get healthy and lose weight, I should definitely make it a priority to include him and extend his life, too.

We decided to put Peek on weight management dog food.  I've been taking him for walks, too.  So far Peek has lost around 9 pounds, and since I've started using MFP I've lost 6.  In a strange way, it feels good knowing that as I am trying to get healthy to be able to spend a long, fit life with my family, so is Peek.  I know that my girls will be appreciative to have him in their lives for as long as possible.  It doesn't hurt having those big brown eyes give me the guilt trip if I try to skimp on the walks, either...


Well, here I am again...  Trying to get back into shape after realizing how quickly things can get out of control.  I told myself that I wasn't too bad...  That tomorrow I'd start to take care of myself...  That next week I'd start exercising again...  That I'd definitely watch what I was going to eat starting first thing in the morning.  Somehow things just kept getting put off until I looked in the mirror and saw someone that I just didn't recognize anymore.  

One thing that I've loved about this website is the accountability that you are held to.  Eat an extra chip or two or three?  Maybe the crust off of my daughter's pb&j that I made for her lunch?  You just don't realize how quickly those extra calories add up, and worse than that is the so-called "calorie amnesia" you suffer at the end of the day when you can't recollect just how many bites of "little things" you actually ate.  

I find myself starting this program with a ray of hope.  I see just how many calories I eat, and no one to blame but myself if I don't reach my goals.  And better yet, the starting of an obsession when it comes to keeping track of every little bite I put into my mouth.  At the end of the day, when my kids are in bed and I'm checking just how much I've consumed and where I am at on my calorie count, I find myself thinking about whether or not I want to treat myself to a snack, and how much time it would take me to "earn" those calories by exercising.  The dieting portion of this program is just the beginning.  Add in the will to walk for 20 minutes just so I can have those 25 Cheez-Its?  Do enough cardio so I can splurge and have half a bagel with some low fat-cream cheese?

The dieting and the exercising just so I can eat more is crazy.  It's nuts to calculate how much I have to move in order to stay out of the red.  But for once, things are working out just the way I'd hoped they would.  So I guess that if dieting and exercising leads to insanity, then this is just the right kind of craziness for me.  

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