"You're Fat": Vet Hits Me With Hard TruthPublished March 10, 2010
It's a phrase no woman wants to hear: "You look fat." It's a heartbreaking observation when coming from anyone, but I think it hurts most coming from the vet. The vet told me I'm fat during my last appointment with my ever-so gorgeous chocolate lab, Sadie. She took one look at us, put a hand on Sadie's bulky hip and said, "She's a bit overweight and could stand to lose 10 pounds." Gasp! I almost fainted right then and there. Because-lady-when you call her fat, you're calling me, and my family for that matter, hefty, too. A Dutch study linked overweight dogs with overweight owners. This link was not found, however, in cats. So, does this mean in a few years, I would be overweight, too? Or do these jeans just really make me look pudgy? I couldn't help but take it personally. Sadie is my responsibility. Everything from her figure to her shiny coat to her pearly whites are up to me as an owner to primp and polish. I'm obviously not doing a very good job. I am defeated. I can't help but feel like our pets are representations of ourselves. We are so similar in many ways. Sadie is always searching for snacks and begging for treats, I'm always scouring the kitchen for free food at work. Sadie is always munching on something--whether it be a bone or toy, I'm chomping on gum or nearby pen cap. We somehow end up with reciprocal habits. So, when the vet mentioned what I had long tried to ignore, I felt my thighs grow at least 3 inches. My current 5'2'' 120lb frame felt like it morphed into blobby Grimace from McDonald's. I started panicking. I thought curves were in! "Maybe I can stuff her into a doggie corset. That'll suck her in! No, no, they only fit up to 32lbs." "Maybe a pair of Spanx will fit her. If they make Snuggies for dogs, they'll surely make Spanx. No?" "A cinched belt at her waistline?" There is no avoiding it. It's time for a serious change. It's time for a diet. No more trips to Dunkin' Donuts with grandpa (Yes, my dad takes her to DD and they share bagels. So bad.). Despite the bonding and affection she shows when sharing scraps from the dinner table, her health is much more important. Obesity is extremely common, affecting 20 to 40 percent of dogs in the U.S. While Sadie is not obese, I would never want her to suffer from arthritis or respiratory problems, common among overweight dogs. So, we're taking the right steps and I will document Sadie's weightloss journey for you, here on the Petside blog. We all need a support group, right? The two main changes made to Sadie's lifestyle thus far: -No More Table Food. "Sharing food with Sadie isn't going to make her love you any more than she already does." That's what I keep telling myself and my family. So now, she only gets some carrots as treats. This has been a bit challenging, but she's making great progress. -Increase in Exercise A fence is being installed next week. Not only will she get her daily walks, but she'll also get to run her brains out chasing squirrels, rabbits, and well, getting into a ton of mischief. I will keep you posted on her weight loss. But, if you have a pet weight loss story you would like to share, or you would like to start your dog on a diet, send in a photo of your pooch and share your story at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to post your dieting "tails" to this blog. :) Happy dieting!
- Filed Under: News & Blogs