My New Year’s resolution this year boils down to “become the handler Rush deserves.” Alternatively, you could think of it as “lose weight, get more fit, pay more attention to my handling and stop being so sloppy.” Or just “lose the fucking weight, damn it.”
When I got Elly (nine years ago!), I thought I was getting a couch-potato, non-shedding, companion dog who would enjoy walks with me. Slow walks, because I had a bad knee. Arthritis, the doctor said. Um, not so much. Elly was an energetic, oh-my-god-teach-me-something-else ball of poodle fire. Two walks a day, and I lost about twenty-five pounds just trying to keep up with her. (I’m not sure how much; I didn’t weigh myself for about five years in there. I just know my doctor was surprised.)
Oh yeah, and she made me teach her agility, too, which meant that I finally made the decision to see a sports medicine doctor, who did an x-ray and then an MRI, and then quickly referred me to an orthopedic oncologist to get my chondrosarcoma removed. Then two years of knee rehab (with another surgery to get my mending plate removed) and I was better than before.
And with a new resolve to lose weight. I lost nineteen more pounds, got stuck, got discouraged, saw a psychologist (“try to relax and be less stressed”–that didn’t work, as far as weight loss went, I promptly put most of the weight back on). Let it go for a while.
Then… Rush. The devil dog who yells at me when I’m too slow, who makes me work my hardest just to end up twenty feet behind.
So… another shot at losing weight. Saw a nutritionist this time. The nutritionist, besides giving me good advice about what to eat, told me “yes, sometimes you will be hungry and you just have to power through it.” After years of being told “if you eat the right things, you shouldn’t be hungry,” this was refreshing. And it’s helped. I am once again down … nineteen pounds, which makes me the lightest I’ve been since I got Elly.
And which means I only have forty or so more pounds to lose.
And I’ve been stuck here for about two months, inching down about a milligram at a time (note the cognitive dissonance of “inching down” and “milligram” in the same sentence–but no one says “millimetering down”). I’m using my Fitbit fanatically; I try to record everything I eat, but the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, our 29th anniversary) were hellish. Too many cookies, cakes, occasions. Not to mention the nut brittle recipe in Maude Dickinson’s cookbook. (Awesome, by the way. Just wait until we get it republished.)
Cue the devil dog. Rush is so fast! He’s so determined to do his best. How can I let him down by not losing the weight and giving it my best effort to be the handler he deserves? I’m training him to be the best agility dog out there; isn’t it only fair to try to be the best handler?
I hate admitting to the world that I have a problem with food. The funny thing is: it’s got to be obvious to everyone. I mean… people aren’t blind.