A few years ago I decided to try and help some of my long distance students by posting things on-line. It started with a YouTube site, then this blog, then the Newsletter, Facebook, then came the on-line classes . . . you get the picture. I makes me proud when I get the reports how my journey has effected yours:).
The positive feedback I get from so many of you fuels my fire, the passion I have to see dogs all over the world live the best lives possible . Of course all of that starts with their owners. But, and you knew there would a BUT, and from where I am sitting today my butt has been growing dramatically over these past few years. I am back at a place I swore I would never get to again, but 15-18 hours a day sitting at the computer has got me here. I am not in the kind of physical shape I want to be and I need to be, to be the best for my agility dogs and my self!
However, I have taken back control, gotten organized and am finding a way to do it all:). A way to get back into great shape and continue to help everyone I want to on-line. It started in June when I hired a consultant who is helping me to better organize my time. Next, I started working out “when I could” which grew into hiring a personal trainer to work with me four times a week. The next big step was hiring my first full time employee who started this week. Before long I think I will be back to my “fighting” weight while still being able to support everyone here on line.
My diet was never too terrible, I eat very healthy but I have a bad “over indulgence combo” that is crippling. My weakness for sweets which when combined with my extended obsessive time at the computer, is a bad combo, very, very bad combo. So here is the thing that I know very well. If you want to be healthy, it really doesn’t matter how many of the “good” things you do for yourself it is the “not so good things” that sabotage our dreams.
You can buy organic, eat 6 small meals a day, and cut out all white sugar and flour from your diet you want. But if you drink a six-pack of beer a night and smoke 2 packs of cigarrettes a day you are just not ever going to be a “healthy” person!
It isn’t all the good that we are doing that is the key to change, it is eliminating all of the not so good things that count the most. For me it is putting a limit to the time I spend on the computer (I bought a $10 timer and I put a limit of two hours at a time to sit here) and of course controlling my sweet intake. My goal is no more than 5 hours a day at the keyboard a day . . . it won’t happen this month, but I will get there! And it is keeping my sweet intake isolated to my one “cheat meal” per week.
If I can do that, along with my regular workouts that I have gotten back to (still lovin’ my cellercizer but it is back to the gym 5 days a week for me:)), I anticipate things will fall into place for me.
So what does all of this have to do with dog training? Every day I read comments here and on Puppy Peaks about all of the good things you are doing in your training. “Yes Susan, I do practice 10 recalls a day in my back yard but my dog still won’t recall off of other dogs” or “I am consistent with my handling at every trial I go to, but I still never get a clean run!” You have to consider what is your “over indulgence combo” or “trio” or “quartet” . . . you get my drift! What are you also doing that is sabotaging your dog training goals? It doesn’t matter how many recalls in your back yard you do if your dog plays keep away with his favorite toy twice a training session or hops the fence and has you chasing him around the neighbourhood on a regular basis.
As for your handling, how often are you breaking things down and rehearsing the skills that leads to the clean runs? Or maybe it is the opposite issue. Maybe your are ONLY practicing the shorter skills sets are are not running full courses often enough to develop the teamwork with your dog (if you need some ideas about either you MUST check out our CKC fundraiser E book I wrote about in my last blog post).
Why not take an inventory right now. Take stock of what you need to isolate and eliminate from your dog training or handling in order to accomplish your goals. And if you want to tackle your health issues at the same time, I welcome company on my journey back to being the fit person I once was and so desperately want to be again!
Today I am grateful for Melissa, our first full time Say Yes Dog Training employee, I am sure many of you will make her cyber acquaintance over the next little while.
Okay thats it, I am pushing away from the computer right now:). Those of you that have bought and looked at the new ebook combo I would LOVE to get your feedback. What did you like best, have you tried anything yet? How did it read, how do you like the format? Please share!
Dear Susan: thank you for this article. I too used to be in great shape. Walked 6 miles a day, road my bike one day a week for 6 miles. Was up and moving and eating very health. Like you I still eat pretty healthy but now I have been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. Man, fatigue doesn’t describe how horrible you feel. Adrenal fatigue affects other areas of your body like blood sugar, hormones, and blood pressure. With my cortisol levels so very low, I am dragging to do anything.
However, I am determined to do one thing, begin go move more, eat less, and eat good healthy food the Lord has created for me. Your article as inspired me to get a grip and although with adrenal fatigue you feel pretty horrible, I am going to get up and do the next thing. I too have been spending too much time on the computer, which I must do for my dog training clients, but I haven’t been managing my time well. So, thank you Susan, or I should say, today I am thankful for you Susan and your willingness to share your self with your clients. My poor pups have been so bored since I have been sick, but I am getting up and out in the yard for short spurts to enjoy them and they me again. thank you, Sharon california
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My personal plan to keep on my weight, stay fit and train my dog: every morning, first thing we do, I drink a glass of water, eat a fruit and of we (my dog and I) go for at least 3/4 of an hour of walk/play. Breathing in some good air. Same during lunchtime break, after my lunch,another walk/play with the dog.
My dog is the one who comes to tell me it’s time to gett my butt moving and stop sitting behind the computer screen. I’m so grateful to him. he really helps me to stay healthy.
thank you Susan, I too have been on a quest to be more active, eat less, move more. And what I eat to be very healthy. I do work out daily and then of course with active dogs will work out during the day with each of them.
I think as we get “at that age” we begin to realize our bodies are paying the price for our indulgences. It seems we do the same with out dogs too don’t we, we indulge them because we love them, just like we indulge ourselves and eat more treats, and sit in front of computer or tv.
I have found my dogs are happiest when they are on the move and learning and encountering new situations. I also do better when I am on the move and learning and growing (not in bulk) but in my life and in my training skills. That is that I want to do, move more, eat less, enjoy this life the Lord has given me. My dogs are a blessing, I want to bless them back by being the best handler/trainer/mom I can be. We just got back from camping and the dogs loved it! new scents, sounds, and people to get used to.
THanks Susan, I join you in getting in shape and being the best I can be.
I agree my daughter has had a training pal for some time. Do to the training she now runs in marathons but she doesn’t make Lucy run 26 miles. Lucy is her dog. I am very proud of both of them. I created this site thinking of them, they are in NYC now. http://DogTrainingNYC.com
I think more people would run if they had a partner. But they may not think of their best friend.
I’m with you on this journey, Susan. I have a national agility event just a mere seven weeks away and I realized that I am NOT prepared to do my very best while running three dogs on those courses. I’m ready to fall over from lack of breath just running the three of them in regular training.
So…. We are running. The dogs enjoy it greatly! Me… Well, having an mp3 player along helps. 🙂 I am bound and determined to improve my endurance and foot speed, although I realize seven weeks (or eight, as I started last week) isn’t a lot of time.
My downfall is that while my head is in the right place with the exercise part, I am failing miserably in the food department. How much does it help to run 5k and then come home and order pizza? lol Oh well, one thing at a time…
Susan, personally I find wearing a pedometer very motivating. I will work really, really hard to make sure I walk at least 10 000 or more steps a day. Given your competitive personality, I’m pretty sure you would find that the pedometer, plus the timer, will get you off your chair and out the door so you can add steps to your total.
And you can even keep records. Add up your daily, weekly, monthly and even YEARLY totals!!
First, I loved the e-books, Susan; ended up getting all three – worthwhile to get, IMO – and have them saved to read over and over again.
As for weight loss, I myself am trying. I actually joined Sparkpeople, which I found has helped me more than any other attempt at dieting or watching what I eat. And that’s all I needed to do; watch what I eat and realize what I was having was more than my body needed. Plus exercise, but we all can use exercise.
I think when it comes to dieting – or anything, even training – there’s multiple “tools” that can be used, it’s just a matter of finding which one works and what makes you comfortable to work with.
I’ve struggled with the weight thing all my life and I’ve always been shy/scared of how I appear to others, especially where now I want to do so much with my future dog. I don’t want to be the handicap to our team in whatever we do, be it agility, flyball or whatever. To that end I’ve agreed to take on walking a BC/Lab mix with too much energy, too much “smarts” and her owner’s not enough time to walk her. If anything we’ll both get something out of the deal in the form of exercise, or maybe a little training if it’s okay with her owner.
In the end, I think all this can be achieved with the “Do-Land” ideas. It can be done, you just have to “Do” it. 😀
Elaine, sparkpeople ROCKS! 🙂
I use the analogy of dog training compared to healthy lifestyle choices all the time in puppy classes. For such a simple concept, it can be quite an act to follow. Think of it……the harder you work at it, the more noticeable the results, and the easier it becomes. Dog training is a part of our daily routine, as healthy choices should be. Keep things consistent, and we reap huge benefits….mannerly dogs, healthy bodies. If there is anyone in the world who can master this, it WILL be you, Susan. You’re the best!!
Interestingly enough, I had a personal fitness trainer in one of my classes. I asked her in front of the class which clients of hers achieved the best results….as she explained, the lightbulb moment on her face was priceless. Needless to say, she finished the class with a better behaved doggie!
Set yourself a short term, and long term goal. It’s amazing how these short term goals turn into the long term one. I’m speaking from experience! My two friends and I started on a healthy mission late last winter, and my long term goal will be met by November (my first trial in three years).
Thanks for the motivation! I’m officially spurred on to continue to enjoy the journey!
I have struggled with weight for a while, and decided to lose 50 pounds by the time I turned 50, essentially 2 years, lord know it didn’t get on there over night. I have a hard time creating and maintaining an exercise program, this has always been my sabotage point. But with the agility training and all the time spent with the dogs the exercise is happening organically now and is a normal part of the routine. Although I will have to break out the Wii and try the balance games like you mentioned in your blog awhile back.
Thanks for the good advice – but more important – who made that chocolate pie and can we have the recipe? It looks delicious!
“What are you also doing that is sabotaging your dog training goals?”
I noticed this morning I am sabotaging my startline stay right at the door- OOPS!
Just the past weeks i noticed a bit more paw movement, even some steps at my startline- I was thinking it was increased value (been practising more). But still- we had many good repetitions, and lots of valule. However this morning I realised that value wasn’t the only reason! Dog blasted out of door, as if there where no doorplane to wait at…
@ Melissa- good luck in your new job 🙂
ps one more thing.. I’ve changed my diet pretty drastically also! No more red meat, and two “meat-less” days a week! No more sugar, and no more white flour!
I’ve had a weight problem all my life. Back in 2001 I had gastric-bypass, and it saved my life. I was 437lbs and now I am at 250. I have started back on the journey of weight loss once again. It’s nice to see so many people out there willing to share their struggles as well as their triumphs! Right now I am walking my chow/samoyed more often, and we are working on getting him ready for the dog park! I will also be volunteering at the local kennel club for shows and trials to get myself ready for my new BC puppy in the fall of 2012. (we just bought a new house and we are installing floors, painting, etc) Hopefully I will have lost 50lbs by the time my new bundle of joy arrives! I support you all! Good luck Susan!
You CAN do it!!!!!!!! I was tired of my weight back in January. I joined WW, and also started run/walking. I need goals to work towards, and entered 3 5k’s in March (meh…why enter one when 3 are offered?!). After those, I ran 10k’s in May and June. In that time, I lost 42lbs! 🙂 (Then hubby started home-brewing…….and I’ve maintained since May).
Now working towards a half marathon in October, and just did a Warrior Dash in NY (what a blast!). One thing that REALLY struck me that I heard while on this journey, and which fits in with your topic is “for every 100 calories you stuff in yer mouth, you’ll need to run a MILE to burn it off.” Say WHAT?! That was so powerful, b/c I was an over-weight struggling runner……..really made me focus on what I was doing that was unhealthy, vs. saying “I ran for 20min, I’ll have a beer.” 1 beer = 2miles. ugh!
In Sept, it’s back on the bandwagon, off the homebrew. 10-15lbs more to lose, and I’ll be a very happy 40yr old. 🙂
Go for it, you can do it!!!!!! The struggles and frustrations are worth it! 🙂
WooHoo!!! Good for you! Keep it up! I love what running does for my mind and my body…a couple of kilometers into a run the problems are no longer quite so huge. Good luck on your half marathon.
Good for you Susan to put your health and fitness as a priority! I too decided to shed a few pounds after watching videos from this past weekend’s trial as I didn’t particularly like what I saw “in the rear view”.
I have specific training and fitness goals I want to accomplish for me & the dog before we head to CA for camp in October.
Looking forward to having your help in this department too!
Margo & Morgan
Hi Susan, I bought the ebook combo pack last week and I am overjoyed with it. I don’t like to read on my computer, which is no problem as I was able to transfer the books to my Ipad and can now take them with me, huge benefit. I haven’t tried any of the drills yet (it is going to be 113-115 degrees most days this week, yes I live in hell a.k.a. Arizona), but I can already tell that they will be my favorite part of the books. Love the labels you use when transporting the dogs, what a fantastic idea. This is going to be such a wonderful resource, I am so glad I purchased it.
Once again you totally amaze me…you are so willing to show us the growth of Susan – the human side of Susan – in order to help us learn. It helps us SO much to see this side of you…how you tackle “the not so good things that sabotage your dreams” and turn things into a “DO land” approach for all of us to improve our learning and to help us realize our dreams.
Susan, just in case you haven’t considered it — you might want to look into creating a walking workstation for your computer work. There are expensive purpose-built treadmill desks available, but you can also build a DIY workstation around a treadmill. The pace you can walk and still work is fairly slow, but it still beats sitting (or standing).
Ooops, I thought I’d scanned the comments before posting, but I see Nancy also recommended a treadmill desk. Sorry for the double-up…
@Lori, never apologize for sharing a good idea!
Brilliant !!!!! Just this morning I was thinking exactly the same thing about me and my students …. I love “Say Yes training” but now I’m in the critical transition, I’m drastically changing my training method and my enthusiasm is, thank God…and Susan, contagious for my students … BUT … my dogs are thrilled with Crate Games, It’s your choice, Nose targhet (I have to admit that I’m just a little bit troubleshooting with tugging …)and all tricks and new stuff here … while my student’s dogs are not so enthusiastic … The first big difference is my trainer is Susan in person and they got only me with my weakness;second, I have an experience that they don’t have;third, “IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER HOW MANY OF THE GOOD THINGS YOU DO, IT IS THE NOT SO GOOD THINGS THAT SABOTAGE OUR DREAMS” …so, talking to them, I realized that all I’m doing there, they don’t workthrough at home, in every day life with their dogs … Damn, It’s my fault as a trainer: I need to change their knowlwdge, habits, minds about their dogs … Susan, this is a HUGE work … you started, I’ll continue here in Italy … I definetly will need your support …
I would love to have a personal trainer or life coach or something…but I could never afford it.
What I plan to do though, is spend 2 hours less per day on the computer, and 1 hour more with my dogs.
That should be a good start.
Concerning Agility, we train at our club once per week, doing one full course and breaking it down into two 10 obstacle sequences.
Once per month, I train alone on specific skills with shorter sequences.
And of course the everyday play/work – work/play, recalls, distractions, RZ, etc….
Thank you Susan !
I am choosing to look on the bright side. The less time Susan is online then the more time we have for actual training rather than also spending so much time on the computer keeping up with Susan!
In some ways my dog training habits are a bit unhealthy and I have recently been taking stock and putting in a plan of action to get back to be were I want to be.
I have also recently taken up interval running to increase my fitness so I can keep up with my 2 dogs and I feel so darn good about it. Now just have to get those eating habits in check.
PS LOVE the eBooks. So much useful and helpful information!
Tee Hee. My interval running consists of taking my kleinpudel with me occasionally. We don’t run far but she pushes me (actually she pulls me) to run faster. Then, woops, she has to stop and smell something. And since this is for both of us, I stop. Then we start faster than we were running before and the whole thing starts over again. She is my built in fartlek, altho I think that with fartlek one is not supposed to stop but just run more slowly. Whatever, it is fun
Darn… If you really start comparing dog training to losing weight me and my dog will never be up on that stage!
I have been fighting my weight since I was a little girl and I’m just fed up with it (pun intended). I decided my weight is what it is and the time spent on frustrating diets can be better spent. Like taking my dog out for a 2 hour walk, or a 30 min run.
But then again, my trainer always told me to be more consistent with my dog. Perhaps that is true on myself aswell *giggle*.
mmmm- not feeling so comfortable about that peanut butter sandwich for lunch in front of the computer.
We put a lot of effort into ensuring that our dogs have the best of nutrition and are in optimum physical condition. We’re not always so good at looking after ourselves.
Great e book- so many courses and training modules to use. The information on conditioning your dog will be invaluable.
I speak Selfishly when I say I personally don’t want Susan Garrett to go on an e-diet! To limit your computer time!!! Your time on the computer has been such a blessing to our lives!!! Improving our relationship betters our health and our lives greatly. So oh, please don’t push yourself away from the computer, we can’t get enough of your insight! Instead maybe try something like this: http://www.treadmill-desk.com/ (LOL) now wouldn’t that be a win/win?
Today and everyday, we are thankful for SG and team!
Ah… Another idea to fuel our Susan Garrett addiction while keeping you moving, hiking, walking, not sitting… I have always thought I would love a Susan Garrett Podcast… Little Peaks into the Land of Do…. You could Audioboo (a free app from iTunes) from the Land of Do…
Just sayin’ we love the wisdom you share with us!!! 🙂
Audioboo from the land of do!!! Hilarious Nancy! I’ll subscribe, come on Susan, it won’t take much time away from the gym…
@Nancy THAT is a CRACK UP!!! Don’t worry, though, my plan is not to have less stuff available for you guys, but more as I hire more people for my “team” to take care of things I don’t need to be doing (booking flights, answering email etc) so I can focus more on the things I should be doing (dog training both on-line and off:))
@Susan: Whew!!! So glad it doesn’t mean less SG in the Land of Do! This stuff is LIFE CHANGING!
ForThe love of Dogs….
OMG – Do not stop answering emails! That was one of the many things that have impressed me with you! Being now over 60 I keeping working on losing the weight and getting back in shape. My mind says “yes yes!” and my body is saying “are you kidding me?” as the arthritis sets in deeper. But I’m not giving up my dog sports and cannot thank you (and Chris Bach) enough for all the invaluable tools you have offered this old dog trainer (since 1973). Puppy Peaks has given me bundles of success with my Tanbark puppy Bunni. And I’ve been reworking in Do-Land with my MACH poodle towards her UD! Thanks again for all the great stuff.
I have so many things to tackle in my dog training that it is hard to count. I have isolated several things that I want to tackle first though.
I set a weight loss goal earlier this year as part of developing my handling skills and I’m very close to reaching it.
I love both of the e-books. I don’t have immediate plans to fly with my dogs but I do hope to in the future so I really appreciated the tips.
As far as the agility e-book – it will be invaluable. Being a novice I’ve been somewhat unsure of an appropriate warm up routine for my dogs. That article is something I’ll make use of right away. I haven’t had a chance to look through all of the drills and courses yet but I can see that they will come in very handy. One of the things I have to work on is my ability to memorize a course, and visualize on paper how I think I will handle it. Having so many different courses available will help me with my own homework.
As I’m sitting here, reading your blog and sucking on a Fire Hot candy…I so understand getting off the sugar. When I’ve cut everything white out of my daily foods, I feel soo much better, more energetic and much fuller. I am also at the point that I need to take back my health. I’ve always followed a low carb plan that implements lots of healthy dense carbs and it has worked for me these past almost 20 years.
I am 57 years young, have a beautiful 15 month old BC who loves to exercise, run, play, etc. I too want to shed some pounds so I can enjoy doing those things with her for the next 15 years. She deserves a companion who stays in shape! Yes, I’ve lot’s of ‘holes’ to work on (as you saw in my last video of Recalls) and my goals are to concentrate on two ‘holes’ a week. I need to start journaling again…one for Snap and one called Debra’s Health Journal!
It’s always nice to have someone to get in shape with; keeps us motivated, encourged and a little spice of competition! LOL :o} I’ll be your Cyber partner! Here’s to a new tomorrow in “Joy Training” and “Health Training”!
Cookies are the devil! 🙂 Good luck with your fitness quest. I’m sure you’ll find success like you always do.
You may or may not remember me from a seminar that you conducted in Arizona at Club Doggie. I know you’re vegetarian/ vegan and I was raised that way too. For 30 years of my life. Then, I started this wonderful exercise program (which I won’t get into today) but along with that came the need for a good diet.
I’m not sure what your reasons are for not eating meat, but I’ve found that meat is essential to my well being. I now follow the Paleo/ Primal diet and it has worked wonders for me. I don’t get sick anymore, my allergies have almost completely disappeared, and I have energy to do everything that I want. I have recommended this diet to a few friends of mine. Within 2 weeks of following this diet, they lost close to 12 lbs and they were eating as much as they wanted!
If you’re ever curious about this diet, let me know.
Thanks Ash, but I think I am good; I don’t get sick, I don’t have allergies and I would match my energy level up against most anyone half my age . . . plus there is the fact that I love animals:). If the vegan diet didn’t work for you, just like dog training, it may not have been veganism itself but rather what vegan meal plan you followed. Back at the gym what I notice most is my amazing muscle recovery compared to my meat eating friends. For more about a healthy way to eat and all the reasons someone may want to be a vegan a great place to start is with http://www.drmcdougall.com/ If a heavier fitness program is what you are after http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/ may have some ideas.
For me it was the “combo” that was my downfall . . . a massive change to my lifestyle and activity level combined with my love for cookies:).
Thanks for the blog. I started a running program to sPeed me up, bond with my training partner, for my health, and to help our agility ! I must say my little furry training partner is a most enthusiastic participant.