Editor’s note: Ah, the season of indulgence! What begins with a candy binge on Halloween ends with a champagne toast on New Year’s. All the decadence and celebration can cost not only your waistline (or is that just me?), but also your pup’s (or are my guys the only ones who get a full Thanksgiving dinner?)!
In today’s guest post, author Peggy Frezon shares her five fabulous tips for a healthy and happy holiday season!
The seasons are changing and so is my weight…but not for the better! Diets are difficult to maintain in times of transitions. The weather changes and often, so do our routines. It’s more difficult to get out in the wind and cold, and maybe even snow and ice, to walk our faithful friend. It gets dark earlier. Snuggling up with a TV show or a good book after work seems more appealing than exercising. We may be more motivated to cook and try out some tempting fall recipes. And then there’s the holidays! What’s a gal and her dog to do?! Here are a few tips I learned while dieting with Kelly that helped us stay on track.
1. Find new ways to get physical together. Walking is always good, but if you can’t get motivated for a long walk or hike, rack up some extra play time. Playing with your dog in the leaves is totally fun! And when the weather is yucky, move playtime indoors and fetch, chase or tug!
2. Keep a before picture on the fridge or cupboard. When my diet motivation droops, I think of how far I’ve come. I’ve lost 41 pounds, and I don’t want to start back at square one. Looking at that “before” picture helps keep me from slipping up. If your dog has lost weight, too, why not add his “before” picture nest to the doggy treat jar?
3. Make holidays about the people (and the dogs) not the food. We probably can’t get away without thinking about turkey and cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, at least a little bit. But be sure to put your main focus on socializing with loved ones, counting your blessings and spending some quality time with your pooch.
4. Seek out support. If you’re having a real hard time keeping up your good habits, join a weight loss support group such as Weight Watchers, or join the gym with a friend. Surround yourself with supportive people who will help you stay on your program.
5. Remind yourself that its good for both of you! Being overweight can contribute to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, joint problems, and even some types of cancer…for both people and dogs. Losing weight helps us feel better.
Peggy Frezon is the author of Dieting with My Dog (October 2011, Hubble & Hattie). She is an award winning writer and regular contributor to Guideposts magazine and Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and staff writer at Be the Change for Animals. She blogs at “Peggy’sPet Place.” Kelly loves her pink bunny toy, and chasing squirrels.