Getting Back On Track — Tracy and Berlin at Race to the Rescues

Easy Ways To Lose Weight For You And Your Dog

Eat. Sleep. Work. Workout. Repeat. Days are full and sometimes it’s hard to fit everything in. I am guilty of this myself.

Over the years I have gained a significant a amount of weight, and lost it, several times.

Ultimately or me I needed to return to a regular workout schedule, not just for my physical but also my mental health. Of course, that’s not the only thing that helped me get back to my healthy weight and mindset.

So, before sharing some easy ways to lose weight for you and your dog, I’d like to share my journey and what I’ve learned along the way.
The simplest way to look at your body, at least in terms of fitness, is that it is a machine. That’s kind of daunting though right?

Input vs Output, Energy Expended vs Energy Consumed. It’s often difficult to keep everything in balance and easy to lose sight of self care. Naturally each of us falls off the beam in our own right, myself included.

OK, let’s be honest. I’ve fallen off the health and fitness wagon a few times.

Even more, I’m not disillusioned to think I’m immune to falling off again, but it’s that sobering thought that keeps me responsible for my choices day-to-day.

That’s the key — Every day choices that help you achieve long-term goals…oh, and forgiveness.

Forgiveness if you make mistakes, because you will, but it’s all in how you rise up from those challenges and falls that will determine your success.

  • Losing Weight With Dancing — Tracy at Bluesapalooza

     

     

     

     

     

    October 2007
    Working full-time as an artist and dancing 5+ nights a week. I was at my lowest weight .. but not doing any other cardio, flexibility or strength training.

  • Gaining Relationship Pounds — Tracy and Dad At Xmas 2008

     

     

     

     

     

    December 2008
    Working full-time as an artist but a new relationship. My excuse for putting on 30+ lbs.

  • Getting Back On Track — Tracy and Berlin at Race to the Rescues

     

     

     

     

     

    October 2010
    New dog-parent and getting my health back on track by participating in 5 & 10Ks with my boyfriend and dog, Berlin.

  • Challenging Way To Lose Weight — Tracy Post 2012 Marathon

     

     

     

     

     

    March 2012
    Recreating my post-marathon glory (because I forgot after 26.2 miles a few days prior), which was short lived as I began to struggle with my recovery.

  • Gaining Weight Again — Tracy and Matt Museum

     

     

     

     

     

    August 2012
    A decrease in activity due to an injury incurred during marathon training, on top of a sprained ankle, helped contribute to my 20+ lbs weight gain. At least that’s what I told myself.

  • Looking And Feeling Healthy — Berlin and Tracy Portrait In Yard

     

     

     

     

     

    March 2013
    Training for a half marathon with Berlin, who would join me for most runs under 6 miles, to kick-start getting back in shape.

  • Having Fun Staying Fit — Tracy Berlin and Matt 80s Fun Run

     

     

     

     

     

    July 2015
    Berlin, Matt and I rockin’ the Awesome 80s Run.

Be good to your body — It’s the only one you’re going to get

It’s taken me awhile to learn this lesson. I was never “athletic”. A natural artist and theatre bum, I joined the freshman track team in high school for something different, only to quit after a month because it conflicted with the musical’s rehearsal schedule. That was my last venture in being physically active until my last year of college. To reduce stress, I found myself in the swing dancing club, taking kickboxing classes, and walking several miles a day. I also began taking meditation and breath work classes.

After graduation I got a full-time art job and went out dancing almost every night. Quickly I dropped to my lowest weight. This was great, but unrealistic. Soon came along a boyfriend, longer work hours, less dancing, and 30+ pounds. There was a lot of denial and excuses.

“I can’t believe these pants shrunk! I must have washed them in hot water.”

Unwilling to buy an entirely new wardrobe, I took a hard look in the mirror and recalled some key pieces of advice I had heard at a college seminar about wellness that I want to share with you.

Easy Ways to Lose Weight — Person Walking

YOU

Move More

You may not have time to work out every day but you can make choices that will help you burn some extra calories: Park at the back of the grocery store’s parking lot, walk up the stairs to your office instead of taking the elevator, and take a walk during your lunch break.

Looking for a way to have fun while working out with your dog? Check out these training options:

Don’t Drink Your Calories

It’s time to get back to basics with your beverages.

Unless it’s water, it most likely has a fair amount of sugar or high fructose corn syrup (except for you straight up black coffee drinkers out there).

Here’s a tip — If you don’t love water on it’s own, try infusing it with some cucumber, lemon, lime, strawberry, orange, peach, kiwi, and even mint.

Don’t Store It

What does that mean? It’s simple. If “it” is in your home, you’re going to eat “it”. Isn’t that why you bought “it”? If “it” is there, you’re going to pick “it” over something like an apple.

What is “it”? “It” is anything that tempts you. Your weakness. Your guilty pleasure. Ice cream, potato chips, pop (I’m from the Midwest..so soda for everyone else), and even juice (high in sugar). Whatever “it” is for you, don’t store it.

That said, don’t deny yourself. Have “it” on occasion while you’re out and about, but if there’s anything left, toss “it” before coming home.

Easy Ways to Lose Weight — Dog Sitting

YOUR DOG

Move More

Your dog needs to move too! This can include a walk 1-2 times a day, games like tug and fetch, strength training, and more.

Looking for a way to have fun while working out with your dog? Check out these training options:

High Quality Food & Treats

There are lots of food and treat options out there that are packed with corn syrup and dyes.

Keep your pet healthy by feeding them the correct portion of high quality food and having them earn high quality treats.

Not only will they maintain an ideal weight but their coat, teeth, and internal organs will also be healthier.

Alternative Rewards

You don’t always have to give your dog (typical) treats for a job well done. Maybe you’ll luck out and they’ll like carrots or apples.

What about a good game of tug as a reward? How about a nice scratch on the belly?

Yes, your dog loves food, but they don’t have to get it all of the time.

Following these tips, in addition to cardio and strength training, always gets me back on track physically and mentally. Don’t get me wrong. It was and still is work but we all have to start putting ourselves first a bit more.

Of course our four legged companions can’t do this for themselves so it’s a good thing it’s a joy and honor to care for them, or at least it should be for most of us.

For me, when I adopted my dog, Berlin, in 2010 she naturally became my running buddy and I had a nice streak of keeping my body and health in check.

Feeling good, my boyfriend and I signed up for the 2012 LA Marathon. It was a great idea, but poorly executed. My strength training fell off the way-side and I developed a knee pain that effected my training. I completed the race but needed to recuperate from my injury. When my caloric burn suddenly dropped (running 30+ miles a week pre-race to maybe 12 post-race), and I randomly sprained my ankle, the number on the scale steadily rose. Unlike last time, I went with it.

There was even a day my boyfriend came home and I was eating cookie dough on the couch, with no intention of stopping.

I wasn’t even planning on cooking the dough to make real cookies. My boyfriend said sympathetically, “So that’s where we’re at?” My response was short. “Yep.” I was upset and I was wallowing. My body was hurting, I had put on weight again, and on top of it, my grandmother, who had helped raise me, had past away. It was a rough period, but it was time for a reality check.

I’m not perfect but I know what my best is and that was not it.

As I said before, its about every day choices that help you achieve long term goals..and forgiveness. Continuing to wallow was not making my mind or body feel any better. So, just like before, I picked a race to train for with Berlin, except this time, I knew to integrate manageable change. I incorporated more strength training and better eating patterns so that this pre-race training was a kick-start to maintaining long term healthy habits.

Life happens. You make mistakes. Hopefully you learn from them. Sometimes your mind wins (because no one needs cookie dough) and you fall.

Just remember to get back up, do your best, and put yourself first.

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