7 Reasons Why Weight Loss is Like Raising a Puppy
1. They Both Start with a Bang.
Cody has been a member of our family for the last 11 years. When we were expecting his arrival we did the most; read the books, purchased the puppy “had to haves” like a gate, piddle pads, toys, leash. It was like preparing for our next child. The whole family was extremely excited!
We counted the days until he arrived.
Do you remember the last time you started a diet? Were you all gung-ho and ready to dive into your weight loss journey? But then, it got old real quick? Well, non-stop puppy energy can be draining on a person, too. At times like these, it’s important to remember your why. Why did you want a puppy? Why do you want to lose weight? When you know your why, you can always get through the how.
2. Socialization Can be Trying.
Puppies need to be socialized early in order to grow up to be well-adjusted dogs. We enrolled Cody into puppy preschool. The kids and I would go train with him on Saturday mornings. I knew he would enjoy the playtime! But would he behave himself?
Many of my clients struggle with their diets when eating out. And some are tempted to lock themselves in their homes and never eat out until they have reached their goal.
This is a bad idea because life is about living, not about locking yourself away in a jail cell. When dining out, read the menu online in advance, and pre-select your meal. That way, you won’t be tempted to go off plan when you’re in the restaurant.
3. Consistency Pays Dividends.
One thing we learned at puppy preschool was that consistency was needed. We certainly couldn’t take him to school on Saturday and not reinforce his new practice at home during the week. Cody needed constant reminders of the lesson he learned in order to make it a habit,
We would train him daily instead of randomly training him throughout the week. Of course, some of this has to do with his intense concentration knowing treats are coming, especially when he’s hungry for his next meal.
Consistency is key in weight loss, too. Small wins add up to big victories over time. Each day, strive to improve your diet by 1%. At the end of 90 days, you will have made a huge change in your life and your health.
4. Silence is Not Golden.
Having a new puppy is so much like having a newborn baby in the house. During the first month, every night was disrupted with whines, cries, and whimpers. Even the pillow over my head couldn’t guarantee a good sleep.
During those sleepless nights, I prayed for silence. I have now learned that silence with a puppy typically means mischief is in full swing. I can not recall how many times I have caught Cody in one of the girls’ rooms in something he has no business. He knows if he goes into their room he will find something good.
In dieting, silence is not good either. This may sound weird in light of the fact that we teach our winners to quiet down their inner critics and silence all the negativity.
But here’s the thing, we want that negativity to be replaced with positive affirmations. If you’re not up on all the benefits of positive affirmations, then check out this blog: Use Affirmations to Guide You
If you really want to increase your health and happiness, recite positive affirmations to yourself throughout the day. At the very least, do so immediately upon waking up and the last thing before you go to sleep. Your subconscious will thank you.
5. There’s Only One Alpha and it’s Y-O-U!
In the beginning, Cody tried to take the alpha role in our home. He is small but he definitely wanted to establish his place in the family.
The only way Cody learned that he is not the alpha dog is for us to demand respect, create boundaries, and always discipline him for improper behavior. My husband has clearly established the pecking order with Cody, but I still struggle at times.
You have to be the captain of your own ship, too. Do not let your inner critic tell you that you aren’t worthy of love, will never succeed at weight loss, etc. You deserve it all and are totally enough right now.
Continue reprogramming your mind with healthy thoughts and let your inner cheerleader come through. As my winners have proven, you can guide yourself to increased health and happiness when you adopt the winning attitude and take charge of your life!
6. Small Bites Accumulate Quickly.
Puppies love to bite, bite, bite. While it may seem cute in the beginning, it can add up to an armful of cuts and way too many trips to buy bandaids.
In weight loss, small mindless bites can mean the difference between success and failure. Calories are too precious to waste on a handful of candy as you’re walking down the hallway. We spend quite a bit of time helping our winners become mindful eaters.
If you’re struggling with mindless eating, then be sure to pause before grabbing food and ask yourself if you are feeding emotional or physical hunger. If it’s emotional, then do something else like taking a walk, dance in your living room, journal your feelings, etc. until your emotions have been fed in a healthy way.
7. Rewards Go a Long Way.
When training a puppy, rewards are key. Cody is very food-oriented, so we have treats for him. He works hard to please us and to get the rewards.
You are not a dog, so food rewards aren’t really a good idea! Thankfully, there are so many other options to choose from such as a massage, mani-pedi, shopping trips, kitchen toys, exercise clothes, etc. How will you reward your healthy behaviors next week?
So there you have it, 7 reasons why weight loss is like raising a puppy. There’s one more similarity, you don’t quit when you’re done. We have not quit training Cody and he is over 10 years old and we don’t quit eating healthy when we reach our goal weight.
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