Ringo the Dog has weighed exactly 84.9 pounds for the last three years. Luckily, he’s a border collie/lab and not a Chihuahua, or he’d be an incredibly huge mutant.
I could learn a lot from Ringo about creating a healthy lifestyle–if I cared to do that sort of thing. When he and I were discussing the subject, here’s what I learned about incorporating heart-smart habits into my lazy life:
- Eat treats one at a time. Ringo gets a couple of tasty biscuits, flavored with things dog love most–like peed-on tree stumps and dog crotch. But he’ll take one snack to his special treat-eating space on the carpet, and enjoy every single bite. I, on the other hand, eat treats by the bowlful without the use of my hands.
(I will die face-down in a pie tin. And I’m okay with that.)
- Get regular exercise. Ringo takes two walks every day. That means I take two walks every day. Occasionally, I’ll change things up and we’ll try “jogging” for a few blocks. The problem is, I jog so slow there’s time for him to sniff a few plants, pee on a couple of shrubs and chase several gophers, all without falling behind me. But he keeps me moving.
- Only eat when you’re hungry. If Ringo’s not hungry, he won’t eat. Sometimes his breakfast becomes his dinner since he’s had no desire to eat. I eat until I start leaking French fries. And then I keep eating. (And I wasn’t even eating French fries.) But there are also those times he sits with his nose in my lap while I’m eating chocolate, pizza, (anything, really) as he waits for crumbs to drop onto his lolling tongue. So I guess it’s okay to splurge once in a while.
- Get lots of sleep. Napping is Ringo’s second-favorite thing. (His favorite thing is attacking/molesting my daughters when they come to visit.) When he’s tired, he’ll plop down and sleep. On any surface, in any location, in any position. He doesn’t feel guilty, make excuses or try to pretend he wasn’t sleeping. He embraces his naptime.
(Sound asleep. And snoring.)
- Let off some steam. Sometimes you just need to bark at the neighbors. Or frantically dig holes in the backyard. Or run through the doggie door at high speeds. Or dance around the kitchen while waiting for your walk. Those are much healthier choices than eating a gallon-sized bucket of cheesecake bites or bitch-slapping the stranger in front of you at Walmart.
If I can incorporate even ONE of these healthy-living tips, I will be on my way to a happier, stress-free life. Time for a nap.