Last Sunday we loaded the kids up and took a drive West of the city. It was a pretty long drive, and the buzz of excitement in the truck was electric. We were on our way to look at puppies. 6 of them to be exact – 3 male/3 female Staffordshire Terrier/Mastiff crosses. I adore big dogs; their snorts, the way they bond with their family, their boxy faces; even their drool. I’m certain my excitement for this trip overshadowed that of the kids (and def of hubs) I grew up with dogs my whole life, they have always been a part of our family dynamic, and have taught me lessons in a gentle way that only a dog could.
When we arrived at our destination, we saw 6 BIG bundles of fur, big paws and smiles bounding our direction. I jumped out and squealed with delight immediately! How in the world was I going to pick just one dog out of all this cuteness? We spoke with the owner and she gave us a little background on each dog and how she came up with their names. We decided that the boy with the shorter tail (the vet figures that the other pups may have chewed off part of his tail – YEW) but it’s so sweet and his face was more than even my husband could resist. Surprisingly it took less than 30 minutes to choose the pup and then hit the road.
Now the reality of having a new puppy to care for starts to take action. Buying a kennel, bed, dishes, food, treats, shampoo, toys – yikes! And what about teaching him to go outside to do his business, sleep through the night, even something as simple as going up and down the stairs (we live in a 5 level split!) After only 1 day of consistent cues, he is doing fantastic and we are having very few issues with his behaviour.
Starting a new fitness and/or nutrition regime takes the same level of dedication it takes to care for a new pup. Let’s break it down:
- Ge the right tools for the job: a coach/personal trainer is the best place to start. A good coach can assess your current health status and dial in on a suitable path forward. Pick up some equipment for home (bands, adjustable dumbbells, a mat) or check out the local gym. Is there a school playground nearby that we can use? Let’s get creative! Build a shopping list and start fresh in the kitchen.
- Awareness: Just like we would watch our puppy for signs to have to go outside, we need to be aware of our own Hunger/Energy/Cravings (HEC) Are we always hungry? Is our energy up or are we feeling sluggish? Are you craving sugar, coffee, salt? Paying attention to the signals our bodies naturally provide us will help us acknowledge which foods suit us best and which to stay away from.
- Consistency: “Repetition is the Mother of skill” – Anthony Robbins Without repetition and consistency, even the most well thought out plan will fail. Fat loss, muscle gain, strength, flexibility: none of them are linear. There will be ups and downs, starts and stops. Foregoing a consistent routine will ultimately lead us to a lack of progress and disappointment.
Putting these 3 steps together will increase your opportunity for success infinitely. Looking at them, we can identify that we follow these methods in other areas of our lives: job, kids, sports. Let’s ask ourselves: “Why is our health less important and unworthy of the same dedication?”