My year started off well. By the end of January, I had made plans for a trip to Hawaii for end-of-summer travel, which I knew would motivate me to lose weight, and for spending a few weeks over the summer with my nieces traveling from another state. I had a lot to look forward to.
I entered the new year with an energetic puppy, now a teenager-puppy Doberman named Volt. I got him as a wedding anniversary gift last November. Volt requires a lot of exercise. I liked this because I love to walk and saw Volt as my walking companion for my journeys through my community or hiking trails. As a 5-month old puppy, I would sometimes take him on 5-mile walks. In addition to me loving to walk, I walked Volt a lot because Dobermans need long walks to help them combat obsessive compulsive disorder, OCD, and separation anxiety,according to information I had read in the Boston Globe.
By April of this year, my routine of walking Volt daily for 3 to 5 miles helped me lose 10 pounds without having to “diet.” However, once my children got out of school and my nieces came to visit me over the summer, my routine changed. I became busy with being a full time caretaker for a month. I gave up walking during this time. I drove, instead of walked, my dog to a dog park so that I could play fetch with him. I cooked three meals a day because the kids were out of school. I fed meals in-between daily activities to save us money. I didn’t prepare any low-calorie foods, just foods, such as mac-and-cheese, that kids like to eat. I didn’t restrict myself from eating anything. I ate it all. Because I had a household full of children, some as old as 18, I started eating late at night because of the summer schedule. We woke up late, ate late and went to bed late. By August, I had gained 6 pounds — not where I wanted to be before my vacation to Hawaii.
Since September, I have spent the last few months, figuring out a schedule that works for my dog and me. I had picked up walking again, but was not losing weight. My weight was stagnant until about a month ago when I began exercising at a local gym. I have been able to lose a couple of pounds, but some days it is hard to get to the gym to exercise and then come home and exercise my dog too. I am hoping this investment of time with exercising shortens the time period it will take for me to lose the other 12 pounds. At this rate, I just may be at my weight goal by next summer.
What I’ve learned moving forward is, no matter how good intentioned you are, never sacrifice your time making other people happy and dependent upon you. It is sabotage and you’ll pay for it later. You have to put yourself first above other obligations to help you meet your goals.