In Her Own Words: Loss and eating through it—or not!

ellymarinaWebBy Elly Brtva

Marina, our Great Dane of 13 years, died the day after Christmas. We tried unsuccessfully to rescue another Great Dane only to have him bite my husband, Roger, and then the “rescue” determined the dog was to be euthanized. A month later, my job of three years ended. When I received this news, I thought, wow, it does come in threes.

All that loss—and normally I would have found a way to eat my way through it.

Walking with Marina was such a vital part of our lives. A Great Dane can bring out even the most anti-social neighbor. Not to mention the achievement of at least 10,000 steps a day! The Great Dane we tried to rescue could not walk on a leash or socialize with anyone. He was on medication. I was getting exercise by throwing huge jolly balls in the yard; Roger continued full throttle with his exercise routine, while I had graduated to maintenance.

When the dog was no longer there, I began walking the neighbor dogs.  Anything that needed a leash got me out of the house and away from potentially bad food choices. It certainly helps to have a spouse focused on his routine. We also vowed not to get another dog for a couple of months.

In the situation I found myself, I now had ample time to go to Costco weekly for a jumbo cookie fix or those scrumptious cupcakes. Not to mention the availability of Cheetos on demand. Salt and sugar. Sugar and salt.

What made me turn away from this past behavior of eating my way through and regaining the weight? I realized that I had options. I had lost the weight and vowed not to let the situation dictate my behavior, my choices. I am stronger than food. And if I chose the cupcake, I had to work out. If I ate the Cheetos, then I walked the calories out.  Every day is a new chance to choose well, to follow through, and sometimes to start over.

elly & roger with their masterMy advice is to stop being so hard on yourself, and surround yourself with positive people and of course…puppies. As I write this, we now have a beautiful new Great Dane puppy.  And workouts are when she sleeps! Walks are very frequent, along with meeting new people and getting the steps in—I just have to remember: she is a puppy. In other news, a job offer came! So yes, it does come in threes! In fact, when you put yourself in charge of your health, with a good guide and a supportive partner to help you, and you embrace a positive attitude, you have “three” wonderful celebrations at your fingertips!

To celebrate, we are having cupcakes….after we work out of course!


In Her Own Words: Loss and eating through it—or not! — 1 Comment

  1. Elly, you have blown my current favorite excuses out of the water: I don’t really FEEL like eating healthy and I don’t really FEEL like working out. If we let our health rest on how we FEEL, we’d all be in trouble. If you can do it while going through grief, I can do it while going through a little whiny spell!

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