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New Beginnings

Posted on 11/23/09 34 Comments

Hey, I heard from Ken Tatsch at the USDAA office. Thanks for all of your posts, he read them and is going to look further into the possibility of a ABBC class. Consideration is a great first step!


Now it is November, all my big agility events for this year have come and gone, it is down time for me. Time to set new goals. My next big event is the IFCS World Championships next May, 6 months from now. Since I competed in this event in 2006, I have managed to gain almost 20 lbs! 


Some of us have really valid reason as to the “why” of our weight blip. We may have been fighting an injury that has curbed our ability to workout, or we became a vegan and struggled with the transition or have been living in a tiny apartment for 18 months while building a new house causing an  amazing amounts of stress eating. Or all of the above! The truth is we gain weight because we like food too much (possibly the wrong type of food) and we don’t move around enough!


I have always been a person that makes excellent choices, food-wise. Even before becoming a vegan I ate tons of fresh veggies every day (never canned and rarely frozen). I haven’t had any form of caffeine for more than 20 years. I gave up soft drinks about 10 years ago, never eat at fast

A much trimmer 124 lb Susan & DeCaff
A much trimmer 124 lb Susan running DeCaff at the USDAA finals in 2007

 foods restaurants. Don’t like heavy cream sauces (even before I was vegan) and as much as I loved it, I haven’t eaten chocolate in 8 years. On top of all of that I L-O-V-E to exercise!


One may wonder how all that adds up to a continued battle with my weight? The truth is I am 5’ 2” tall and have the appetite of someone 6’2” tall. I also happen to really love cookies and beer. Not necessarily together but individually they would be responsible for growth of my butt.


Today I start fresh. I weighed in at 142 lbs, when this picture was taken I was 124 lbs. I wish it was just my dyslexia that caused the problem but sadly it is not! Although 124 lbs sounds like a lot of someone that is only 5’2″ tall and very small boned, I do carry a lot of muscle so that is pretty fit for me.


So any of you wanting to join me? I know it is a bad week for my American friends heading into Thanksgiving week, but maybe it is a good time to get focused, starting now by setting new goals will help you behave yourself at the dinner table this week!


My goal is to lose those 18 extra pounds over the next 12 weeks.  That will take me to mid Februrary, giving me the spring to work my teamwork with my new bode with my dogs before the IFCS Worlds starting May 14th.  


I have hooked up with a vegan-athlete nutritionist (yes there is such a thing) who has given me an awesome eating plan. Get this she told me to let her know if the weight came off “too fast.”  Can there be such a thing?  


Today I am grateful for the excitement I get when setting new goals.


  1. Deb Bogart says:
    Friday, December 4, 2009 at 10:21am

    I’m with you Susan. Down almost 90 lbs from 8 years ago and have been maintaining the same weight for the past 3 years, but still have 70 to go. My goal is to lose 30 lbs over the next 12 weeks. On a 6′-0″ large frame it’s much easier to gain weight and not even realize it. 20-30 lb swing either direction and I still fit in the same clothes. I weighed in at 267 today.


  2. Aimee L. says:
    Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 4:45pm

    From someone who is a bit taller than you, but absolutely LOVES to eat and drink beer during football season and is attending your Florida camp in January, I am very much in on this goal! Back to the hot yoga room!


  3. Caroline McKinney says:
    Sunday, November 29, 2009 at 8:37pm

    Isn’t weight management/healthy living why we got dogs? Sounds like they are motivation for a lot of us. The thing I found that finally worked for me was to change more than diet, i.e. it wasn’t just “not eating”, it was changing patterns of living. finding motivation to eat differently so that it was not just deprivation. Finding a way to add more steps. Taking up running or hiking. I used to think my dad was funny but he would always park several blocks from his office so that he got to/had to walk a little to get to work. I appreciate that philosophy more now than when I was a kid.

    Good luck to everyone at this season of temptation.


  4. Jackie says:
    Saturday, November 28, 2009 at 12:00am

    Wow! well reading all of these comments shows me I’m not alone!! Four years ago a dog ran into my knee at a flyball competition and broke it in two places. Apparently the break was one of the worst you can get …. lucky me!! I had surgery to put 2 pins in the broken bone, spent 4mths in a wheelchair, had a second surgery to break down scar tissue, a couple more months on a walker, then crutches, then a cane. Year and a half in physio. Full year before I could walk unassisted. Still can’t really “run”. In that time I gained 40 … yes you read that right … 40lbs!!! And I have to say I’m still finding it hard to really get back to the person I was before I broke my knee. Activity wise > motivation wise > and weight wise. When I look at what we eat here I’d day 90% of the time it’s not an over-eating thing … but an inactivity thing. Wrong food combinations combined with a sedentry lifestyle. While I do get around almost 100% normal (except for the running thing) I just don’t seem to get around enough!! And living on a farm with no outside motivation doesn’t help 🙂 But my dogs deserve a ‘fitter’ me so I’m embarking on a weight loss endeavour to make myself a better guardian to them. Susan I will be reading and watching your progress for inspiration!!!


  5. Lynne says:
    Friday, November 27, 2009 at 7:45am

    Ok Susan, great goal, good luck,! Just curious, does the word MODERATION have a place in your life? No chocolate for 8 years? Why? If you can do that, you can do ANYTHING!!!!


  6. Kathy says:
    Thursday, November 26, 2009 at 10:50am

    Happy Thanksgiving from me in the US. Lost 1lb since Monday, will probably gain it back, plus one today. 6000+ calorie dinner for sure. Tiny portions might keep it to 2K.. 3 hours then we eat.


  7. Theresa says:
    Thursday, November 26, 2009 at 5:46am

    Wahooooo !!
    I’m in !! I’ve always wondered how vegans could over their ideal weight. Now I know.
    Good for you and I’m behind you all the way. (OOH, it’s getting smaller….. )
    Here’s to good health and fitness to us all, and courage for the struggle >


  8. TJ says:
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 8:58pm

    Just remember “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” At least that’s on my freezer to keep ME out of the ice cream my husband loves so dearly.


  9. Trudie says:
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 2:16pm

    I hafta join in, or clearly by next March there are going to be 21 other people a whole lot skinnier than me!


  10. CINDY says:
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 1:05pm

    Wow! What a perfect way for me to put down the bag of chips I was just eating….I’m in too! Back to the gym, more walks for my pups!


  11. Andrea says:
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 10:41am

    Can you share your eating plan or do we have to hire to guru too to get it?

    I read this as I eat an everything bagel with cream cheese and sliced tomato…hmmm…


  12. Val says:
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 10:07am

    I can’t imagine going 8 days without chocolate. Eight years is just unfathomable. My vices are mostly chips and cookies. If I could cut those out, I’d probably lose 5 lbs easily. I did add some jogging to my exercise routine over the summer. It has really helped me on the agility courses. My motivation was that I acquired a 2nd dog of the same jump height as my first. They are often only 4-5 dogs apart in the running orders, so I had to get in shape to be able to run a course twice within a short period of time. Motivation is always the key to any exercise or weight loss program. If you have a goal that’s important to you, it makes it a whole lot easier.


  13. Melissa Myers says:
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 9:42am

    I’m in Susan!! Looks like you have a good support system started here!


  14. Kathy says:
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 9:10am

    I’m in too. 5’0″ 132 last February…got it down to 115 in August, back up to 120 now, feeling chubby again. Doing a cleanse day today. It’s Isgenix for me, and organic food, walking, stretching, warmup before running, eliptical machine. 10 lbs, and strengthening.


  15. Carol says:
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 8:39am

    Count me in! I’ve gained 20 lbs over the last year or so and am really feeling it . . . and I miss that feeling of running without extra baggage. So down with the fatty snax, up with the exercise!


  16. Nat Kirkwood says:
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 7:25am

    Hey Susan,
    I started today too – did a weights session. My goal is to be fitter by the IFCS WAC as well – see you there! I can hardly wait.


  17. Louise Lamer says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 10:23pm

    Hi Susan,
    Since my last camp at Say Yes in Sept 2009, I lost 33 lbs and working to loose more. My goal is being able to do a run with my border collie who is faster than my boxer. I can’t do aerobics because I have a chronic plantar fascitis, but I won’t quit. For my next camp, we will all be fit!!!!good for us.
    You inspired me in that challenge too!


  18. Ann says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 8:15pm

    I’m in. 15 lbs in 15 weeks (not counting Xmas week), that’s about 1 lb/wk by end-Mar: our next Say Yes camp, start of new trial season, new training goals, etc. Doable, especially if someone is kicking my butt, albeit virtually.


  19. Lori says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 7:36pm

    I suppose Breakfast Bars are out of the question on the new diet? Batch #3 going into production this week.


  20. Ann Hopp says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 7:27pm

    I teach, and our school is having a ‘biggest loser’ competition. The emphasis is on the healthy goals – more water, more exercise, etc. so it is a great competition. I too am about 5’3″ and felt I needed to lose a few and up the exercise portion. So, what about a ‘Biggest Loser’ on line. Make your goals public and go for it!


  21. Christine says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 6:59pm

    I think weight loss does come into people’s mind this time of year. A few years back I went on WW and lost approx 30 lbs to bring me to my ideal weight, how quickly one can gain it back!

    With a new pup on the way and to be fair to my other dogs I realized this summer enough is enough and I need to get back on track! We expect our dogs to be in top form yet forget about our part of the relationship at times.

    I suppose it’s time to dust off the tread mill and to push myself harder on the hikes with the dogs!


  22. Heidi says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 4:23pm

    Good luck!!! I have decided to add a daily 10 minute run to my workout to help myself speed around the agility course with my BC. 🙂


  23. Ken says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 4:00pm

    Good luck with the weight loss and getting back in shape. I found following a regular exercise routine at home with a virtual trainer along with smarter nutrition worked for me. The BeachBody coaches worked for me.


  24. Jodi Altman says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 2:58pm

    I’m in. I gained 5lbs from last year at this time and since you love competition, I challenge you to a “weight off”. I have to lose 1lb for every 4lbs you lose. You in?


  25. Tracy says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 2:11pm

    I’ve already started! New gym, regular fitness classes (this morning we all just about keeled over when she said, “and now we’ll do abs…”) and personal trainer to goal set & keep me going. Yeah!


  26. Bobbie Bhambree says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 1:48pm

    I’m down for getting healthy. You can be thin and still not be able to run a course without wheezing at the end, especially Snooker when the 7s are at the top of the ring!


  27. Ann Jussero says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 1:22pm

    Would really like to see you share some of your coming plans-I am having rotary cuff surgery tomorrow so I expect myself and my dogs to expand over the next few weeks. Will follow your progress and hope that your strength will help me gain willpower, not pounds (unfortunately I can still eat with my left hand)!


  28. Luiza says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 1:22pm

    Wow, 8 years without chocolote! I can’t even hit the one week mark, lol


  29. Michelle says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 1:10pm

    I applaud your openeness. Go out west to visit my sister Arlene, guaranteed you will loose weight. I hiked all week, walked and walked and ate and ate. The altitude and exercise just melted the weight off. However, back in Ottawa and a lot of judging and dinners have brought it back, darn. But I do walk my dogs twice a day, I do it for me and they get the added bonus that I love my walks and fresh air. Some people stand around in the dog parks and let their dogs play, not me, we need our exercise, and its a fast walk. This weekend they were out for some major walks, almost 3 hours each day. With your property you can do some major snow shoing of xcountry skiing this winter, pray for snow, plus nice long walks. That will really help.

    I know nuts are good for you, but I bought a big container of cashews at Costco on impulse. I never buy nuts. Well poof, instant weight gain. So nuts to nuts for me, way too fattening. Unless someone rations them to me, I dont have enough control in that dept.

    Exercise is key, weights really help, when I do weights, I instantly trim down. A friend went to one of those motivational seminars in Kansas orchestrated by Oprah. The fitness trainer said that weights are the ticket to trimming down and loosing weight, not the cardio. I do believe that. I have a friend who does triathalons and has a thick middle. Its her body rejecting and storing the fat from all the cardio. Worth a try, which I will get back into myself. Good reminder!! And Good Luck.


  30. Kim Collins says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 11:57am

    Susan you are the most disciplined person I know, I wish I was as good at that as you! I have no doubt that when I see you next you will be back to 124lbs and I will be so jealous!!!!

    It’s time I got off my butt and did something too. I wish I lived closer so that you could keep me on the straight and narrow! Ah well, it’s up to me I know….

    have a great time during your “down time” ……I am sure getting settled into the new house will be a nice break from agility….hey when do we get the virtual tour??????



  31. Michelle says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 11:35am

    My family started our second “Weight Loss Challenge” two weeks ago. We are going through Dec 31 and the person that looses the biggest percentage of weight before then wins (so its fair since we all have different amounts of weight to loose, etc). I’m winning so far with 2.9%! 🙂

    My husband won the first weight loss challenge last spring when he lost over 40 lbs by starting to run and changing what he eats. He won $100 and bragging rights from his sister and brother-in-law. He signed up to run his first marathon this coming January!

    When faced with the temptation of a cookie or something, it really helps when there’s additional reinforcement (money!) at the end other than just loosing the weight. Its also easier when those you hang out with the most are fighting the same battles you are, so you can be each others support group. Here’s to healthy eating and EXERCISE!


  32. Linda says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 11:07am

    I’m in…I’ve been stress eating this year and weigh more than I have in 13 years. I actually started running about 3 weeks ago, so you need to catch up. =D



  33. Meghan Rosenstengel says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 10:21am

    I just started a plan to lose 10% of my body weight by the spring trials. My dog deserves a better handler and the extra weight is a definite liability.

    I joined Weight Watchers and have been doing Wii Fit everyday. I also gave up soda, started walking most weekdays and going to bed a at a decent hour.


  34. Eeva says:
    Monday, November 23, 2009 at 9:57am

    Good luck for your new beginning! Or perhaps it’s not luck that is needed, but a strong mind 🙂 Talking about target setting, it would be really interesting to know how you are preparing for big events. Are you setting weekly or even daily training plans? Which kind of topics are included?


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