Friday, April 03, 2020

The Lighter Side of Weight Loss: Chapter Forty-two

The Lighter Side of Weight Loss
By Sandra Warholic Seeley                                         
Zeus, please sign!

Chapter Forty-two

During my enforced isolation period due to the COVID-19 quarantine, I decided to devote a huge portion of my time to home-schooling Zeus. Thanks to attending previous classes with a local K-9 officer, Zeus graduated Summa Cum Average in basic, intermediate and advanced obedience lessons. He even passed his Good Citizen test. However, Zeus’ CEO mindset has kept him from achieving Laude status. I do not blame Officer Mike for Zeus’ lack of discipline. I blame myself for not assuming the Alpha role in our pack of three. I was given all the necessary tools for success, but did not use them consistently.

So starting today, Zeus is now enrolled in remedial behavior classes. I’ve been developing a syllabus for a canine code of conduct that defines my expectations for Zeus and his responsibilities. My goal is to have a well-mannered 3 year old German Shepherd who does not bark like a crazed Cujo when the doorbell rings, allows invited guests to enter our home willingly and heels on a leash preventing future thumb injuries to the leash holder (Edward the Great or me)! Objective: The student will be able to walk beside me for 3 minutes (measurable objective), at my pace, and stop and sit at attention when I stop. He will not embarrass me by using his superior strength to pull me in a horizontal position as if I were the sled in an Iditarod race and he, the lead dog.

Zeus’ first assignment is to read the syllabus and acknowledge his understanding of the objectives by his paw print signature. I’ve discussed rewards and motivation with Zeus, and he agrees that pretzel rods, string cheese, mini marshmallows and Blue Buffalo biscuits would be excellent motivation. He also suggested lots of praise and belly rubs.

I’m also creating a WW syllabus for myself. I know my goals. Trust me, they are measurable in pounds. I, again, have all the tools necessary for success, but do not use them consistently. My mindset often goes astray, visiting places where chocolate bunnies live. I may enlist the aid of Officer Mike to be my personal food policeman. He’s definitely an Alpha type guy. I would have to think twice (or at least 3 times) about disobeying him, depending on the appeal of the food calling to me. As for rewards and motivation, praise also works for me, but belly rubs are optional.

Until next week, be the Alpha in your own life and be happier.

Sandra Warholic Seeley - All my life, and half of someone else's, I have lived in a humorous place called Earth. My muse is a tiny menehune from the island of Oahu in Hawaii where I lived for a year. Ernest Hemingway once sat under the exact same coconut tree where I did most of my writing. I'm also a sensitive to criticism Virgo who loves to get paid for writing and speaking funny stuff. Even though my mind is filled with volcanic ash residue and I'm still finding sand in my shorts, I will continue to write until my muse retires or I run out of pretty blue drinks, whichever comes first. Don't be bashful, email the author.
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Sandra Warholic Seeley is the creator and author of The Sandra Seeley Column. She is a lifelong educator who has taught in Hawaii, Bethel Park, PA and in the inner city schools of Pittsburgh Public where her passion for the underprivileged began. Her humorous writing is often 95% fiction and 5% fact, leaving the reader to do the math. She has often written as Kanela, which is her Pen Name and means Sandra in Hawaiian. Her serious writing is genuine and written from her heart. She lives in a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and Zeus, her 119 pound German Shepherd, who is her constant companion and writing assistant. They have ongoing discussions about which one is Alpha in their pack.

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