Archive of ‘Family’ category

Welcome to my family category. Visit me here when you want to find ways to get your family moving, eating and living better.

Enough is enough!


You heard me! Enough food, enough alcohol, enough missing workouts, enough overindulging! As much as I love the holidays, I’ve had just about enough of all the “side effects” of the holidays and I am ready to move on. Enough is enough!

Don’t get me wrong, I love, love, love the holidays. Time with family, decorations, special outings, children home from school, sitting by the fire, baking to my hearts content, enjoying another glass of wine, another special meal. The problem as you can clearly see is that it just goes on and on! I just want to scream, make it stop!

Luckily for people like me, when I’ve had enough, I’m done. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes longer for me to be done the I would like, especially when our holidays turn into family vacation like now. And, it usually happens smack dab in the middle of the vacation. Being done that is.

In fact, it hit me hard while in Disneyland noshing on a pretzel shaped like Mickeys head. I thought, man I feel like crap! I had developed a “potbelly” which I somehow felt proud and ashamed of at the same time. I mean, I had really done it up good right! For the girl who has a hard earned flat stomach to be sporting a “pot belly” things have gotten way out of hand. My clothes are tight, I’m bloated like a pufferfish and I haven’t had a bowel movement in what seems to be a month (TMI I know!)

I know what your thinking, I just described you or wow, what a cow! Fortunately for me, I don’t get caught up in a lot of self loathing. I believe that beating ourselves up for our past “sins” is not only a waste of time, but is also self defeating. I guess that’s why I find the fact that I’ve developed a “pot belly” almost humorous. Rather than be disgusted by myself, I’d prefer to revel in all the fun I had while I make my plan of attack to combat this newly formed body part.

The important part of course is making a plan quick and getting on it even quicker. Tomorrow is a new day and it’s great day to start fresh right! As I write this I’ve already developed a clean eating plan, put my workouts in my day planner and set up a goal to get me back to my personal best. I know this seems like a lot, but I do this all the time for myself and others so I’m good at it. If it seems overwhelming, here are some guidelines to help you get started.

• Design goal – something that is manageable and measurable.
• Practice the “3 P’s” – plan, prep and portion control your food. Make out a menu, come home and prep and portion it out. This will make for a successful week of eating. When coming off super poor eating like mine, focus on clean protein and veggies with lots of water to clean your system out and restart your metabolism.
• Journal your food and exercise. Journaling will keep you on track and honest.
• Write your workouts in your calendar and stick to it!
• Reward yourself! Not with food of course, your not a dog! Buy a new workout top, get a massage etc.

Hope that helps a bit. I know that I personally have to have a plan to gets things moving and keep myself accountable. If this doesn’t work for you, do yourself a favor and invest in a trainer or find a workout buddy that will help keep you accountable. You owe it to yourself to look and feel your best in the new year. Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up for your past offenses. Complaining about the past won’t change the past and will only fill you with self loathing and regret. Tomorrow is a new day and another chance to go for it!

Think Past Dinner!


Being a “type A” personality, people always ask me how “I do it all?” Full time career, kids, stay fit, blog, cook, play sports, keep a house etc. I’m constantly teased with funny nicknames like “Martha” for my outward appearance of having it all together. Trust me, looks can be deceiving!

I’ll admit, I’m pretty on it. I’m a freak about time management and organization and that alone puts me ahead of the game. I believe that where most people fail these days is in the kitchen. Cooking for yourself and/or a family is hard work. If you don’t have a plan, you are in trouble. That is why I always “think past dinner.”

What do I mean by “think past dinner?” Well, simply put, I’m always thinking about how far the meal I’m cooking can go. Can I get two meals out of it, lunch tomorrow, leftovers for another dinner? If I’m grilling chicken, can I just add a few extra breast to the grill to throw on a salad the next day. In other words, I make my meals work for me!

When I cook protein, I almost always cook more than I need for one meal. For example, if I’m cooking a steak for my hubby and salmon for myself, I cook extra of both and then split it up into small lunches for myself throughout the week. That’s called “killing two birds with one stone!” Being busy means always thinking about what is ahead of you and how you can prepare for it. If I know my week is going to be crazy (like most weeks,) I plan for it. With two teenage boys who are rarely home (but still expect to eat,) my husbands late work nights, my evening team tennis etc. we are gone more than we are home. Therefore, if I can make a meal that will do “double duty,” you better believe I’m doing it.

For example, this week I grilled up extra chicken breast marinated in cilantro and lime. I used some of the chicken for dinner in a yummy Thai pasta. I then chopped some up for a healthy salad for me the following day. I knew I would be out the next night, so told my boys that they could make chicken quesadillas with some of the chicken for dinner (an easy and quick meal for boys) and then later in the week I actually had enough chicken leftover to add to my Mediterranean kale salad (on my site) for an entree salad. Now that’s making your food work for you!

Last week, I wrote a similar article about cooking meals ahead of time. Because I know this is where families fail, this blog is simply an expansion of last weeks. Do yourself and your family a favor and next time you are cooking your families Sunday dinner, throw on some extra chicken, toss some extra salad (I make a big salad and split it up into small containers,) chop up some extra fruit and veggies and pack them away for another day!

If you are like me and worry about what your family is eating while your away or you yourself find yourself grabbing the quickest, not so healthy thing you can find when you are rushed, plan ahead and the next time you are in the kitchen spend a few extra minutes and think past dinner!

When life gets crazy, just cook!

me and boys

While I’m not really a traditional person in the sense of roles within the home, I do prefer to do the cooking and like to provide for my family in this arena. That’s not to say that I have a problem with them fending for themselves as I believe that the best lesson I can teach my kids and husband for that matter is to do for themselves. However, after last week I have to admit that I’m suffering from a bit of “meal guilt.”

You see, last week was crazy in every sense of the word. We had just returned from a long and glorious vacation, we all returned to work . I had two tennis games, one tennis drills practice, doctor appointments for both boys, driving lesson for one boy, driving test the next day, a surprise birthday pastry, and tons of other errands. I was only home two evenings all week and was exhausted. Therefore, it was all for one and one for all in the meal department. I personally ate a lot of egg whites. However, that doesn’t exactly appeal to the rest of my family.

Because this week looks equally crazy and I don’t want my family to starve, I’ve decided to do what I’m famous for when life gets crazy and cook! Following my morning coffee, I set out to prepare meals and snacks that can be eaten all week long and everyone will like. From snacks to dinner, I came, I cooked and now we will all eat!

First, to satisfy my boys that hunger for a quick breakfast, I prepared my yummy and healthy banana bread. For the chocoholics in the house, I made double chocolate brownies. For snacks, I pre-measured non-fat cottage cheese with fresh fruit, cut up Celery to be eaten with high protein Greek cream cheese or peanut butter. I also stocked the fridge with my favorite “light and fit” Greek yogurt in a variety of flavors.

For dinner, I’m catering to my boys as once again I will be out several nights playing tennis and I want them to have something yummy to eat. I’ve pre-made a huge casserole of my healthy chicken enchiladas which are on my blog. They will be delicious and only get better as leftovers. Because the way to my husbands heart is meatloaf, I’ve made a lean meatloaf which he will get at least a couple of meals out of. I will top the week off with a light and yummy chicken Parmesan which again makes great leftovers.

For me, I am grilling up some fresh salmon (yes you can re-heat salmon!) which I will eat alongside veggies or throw on a nice green salad. I eat my fish the first part of the week to ensure its quality. I am also grilling a bunch of chicken breast that I will treat the same as my fish and eat with veggies for a nice lean meal. I am roasting Brussels spouts, portabella mushrooms and zucchini as my veggies this week. The key to quick and healthy meals is ensuring that you prep healthy ingredients ahead of time so you never have an excuse to not eat your best.

In addition to my large pre-cooked meals, I have made sure that I have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, portable protein shakes and snacks ready to go. I also bought a lean turkey roast from Costco which is great as a snack of meal. In case I run short on meals, I always make sure that my freezer is packed with healthy proteins such as grilled chicken, fish and beef.

With a little good planning, you can keep up with your busy life while not blowing your diet or starving those you love. So when life gets crazy, just cook!

Separate, but equal!


I’m a true believer in equality in a marriage. I believe that no marriage can work without it. That’s not to say that things are exactly divided equally in terms of chores and responsibilities. However, there should be a sense of equality felt by both people and a mutual respect and agreement on division of responsibilities or people keep score and feel taken advantage of and disrespected. Most importantly, I believe that we teach people how we want to be treated by how we allow them to treat us.

In our house, I am the “main cook and bottle washer.” Not because my husband won’t cook, but because I love to cook and clean (yes clean!) It is my hobby (cooking) and I find it relaxing and rewarding. In fact, I’m a little obsessive about my home, cooking, organizing and other domestic duties. And, my husband has rarely seen the inside of a grocery store, couldn’t tell you where to find many items in the kitchen and watching him prepare a meal can be torturous at times.

However, in all honesty my husbands lack of domestic qualities is more my fault than his. I like my kitchen, love anything domestic and don’t really want him in the way. This arrangement works for us and is mutually agreed upon. If it wasn’t, then it would not work.

I don’t know how many times I come in contact with women that are expected to do everything, aren’t respected by their husbands and hence feel devalued. Let’s face it ladies, it’s your own fault! You can’t feel devalued unless you let others make you feel that way. And honestly, if you’ve been in a relationship where you allowed it for a long time, it can be hard to “teach a dog new tricks!” However, if you are unhappy it’s time to make some changes.

In our house, we both are wiling to do anything. There are no jobs or chores that are solely one persons responsibility. However, because we both have likes and dislikes, we compromise and have come up with a good division of jobs and responsibilities. While I do most of the cooking, my husband and kids handle dishes and clean up. I clean bathrooms, but hubby handles the scrubbing of shower. I do laundry, he carries it downstairs and strips beds. I dust, organize, shop and prepare, he vacuums, pays bills and does home maintenance and repair. We work as a team and get it done!

Now does that mean that at some point that one of us might not feel valued? Of course not.  Feeling valued isn’t about how your jobs are divided but more about how your partner supports and respects you. They see you as their equal, their team mate, their partner in life.


Time Out Your Technology!


I don’t have a lot of pet peeves, but if I were to name one of them, I’d have to say it’s people who are addicted to technology. You know who I’m talking about, heck you might be one of them. That person who has to check their phone every few minutes, talks and text while they drive, post their every move on Facebook and is endlessly taking selfies or posting to Instagram, (I still don’t know what Instagram is!) and talks on their cell phone ridiculously loud in any and all public settings. It drives me crazy!

Don’t get me wrong, I like my iPad as much as the next person and am thankful for e-mail for work and business. However, even with my more modest use, I sometimes wonder if it’s too much. I check myself often to ensure I’m keeping my use in check. I also, never talk on my phone in public places as I feel that others shouldn’t have to listen to my personal conversation, I never talk/text and drive, believe that nobody wants to know my every move on Facebook and think that selfies are just a little weird.

I’m sure I’ll offend some by this posting, but honestly is that text, phone call or status update so important that you are willing to sacrifice your kids, husband, family, friends, free time and general ability to socialize? I don’t know how many times I see moms talking on their cell phones while they ignore their little ones. Just today, while dropping my kid at the skatepark a small child almost walked out in front of my car because his mother was wrapped up in a cell phone conversation. Even as she grabbed his hand, she never put down her phone! And then there are the moms that walk ahead of their children talking away while their kids are doing who knows what behind them – pay attention!

I know I’m older than some so maybe cell phones weren’t so big when my kids were little. But I’d like to think that paying attention to my kids is and was more important than chatting away on my cell phone. Studies have shown that children that are talked to from the time they are babies (or even in the womb) grow up to be smarter and have way better communication skills. Maybe that’s why my boys won’t shut up!

As parents, we are supposed to be role models. We tell our kids not to text and drive, however, we (not me) do it constantly in front of them. When I pick up my kids from school, it’s the parents that are on their phones while driving, not the kids! What kind of message are we sending? And is it my imagination or do way too many kids these days lack communication  skills? Way too many are down right rude and disrespectful. I personally think that technology has a lot to do with it.

What is most disturbing to me is people who bring their cell phones to the gym. As a fitness director, I spend my days telling people to get off their cell phones. We have a “no cell phone” rule at our club out of courtesy for others actually trying to work out and relax. But honestly, the fact that we have to talk to so many people about this and that many have a problem when we politely ask them to refrain is downright disturbing.

It’s no surprise to me of course that those people that are on their phones at the gym are often the ones that don’t really work out (hard at least.) Working out is like sleep. If it’s disturbed, it is no good. Work outs, like sleep should be steady and have a rhythm so that you keep that metabolism humming along, kind of like sleep. Excessive rest periods and workouts don’t mix.

Most importantly, as much as the gym can and should be fun, people go their to get their “sweat on” and escape. Therefore, the last thing they want to hear is  someone yapping on their cell phone! So do yourself and others a favor and get off your phone. I promise that your workout will be 100% more effective and rewarding. Your mind and body will thank you and so will others. Your phone should never even be of a fitness floor.

While technology can be fun and useful, it can also be addictive, disruptive and unhealthy. If it is taking the place of regular communication with your kids and family, disturbing others, disrupting your regular activities and taking your precious time, then you may want to make some changes. I  personally put a limit on computer and video game use for my kids, made a “no cell phones upstairs” rule and limited my on iPad use in my family and have noticed how much more we interact.

And when it comes to workouts, if you really want to get fit, leave your technology behind. Your body and health deserves a break from frivolous conversations. And if that phone call is really that important, than at least be courtesy to take your personal phone call off the gym floor and make it quick! Put your workouts, family and friends first because at the end of the day they are really all that matters.

Date Night


After a long week, the last thing I want to do is get dressed up for an evening out with my husband. I mean this would entail me actually getting out of my regular uniform of workout clothes! I’m tired, burnt out and not feeling very attractive. Come Friday night, all I want to do is crawl from one stretchy outfit to another, pour myself a glass of wine and pray that I have some decent leftovers to feed the family. They’re easy and have learned not to expect much out of their usually overachieving mom. I’m thankful for this!

However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t think date nights aren’t important or even essential. In fact, I recently discovered that we have gotten quite lazy in the date night department ending in way too many nights at home slumped into the corner of the couch. While we are still spending time together, conversations have grown stale (consistently of kid themed topics etc.), we’ve become lazy and most importantly, we aren’t making our relationship a priority.

Just like in any organization, in the home things start at the top and work there way down. As parents, we “wear many hats.” We are the managers, leaders, counselors, role models and organizers. We put so many things ahead of ourselves that we often lose ourselves in the chaos of it all. The problem with this of course is that if you give everything away, you have very little for each other and the “organization” as a whole suffers.

I have spent years telling my friends how important it is to take care of themselves, have their own identity and have regular date nights. I’ve observed so many over the years break their backs  day after day caring for their kids and husband, leaving little time for themselves or even demanding any time for themselves. Given our endless responsibilities that reach far greater than those of our husbands (sorry guys!) we deserve to be wined and dined for god sake! And that doesn’t mean take out and a movie on the couch.

While all that is fine and dandy, I myself don’t always practice what I preach. In fact, just this past weekend I had a hard time dragging my sweat swearing butt out of the corner of the couch when my husband said “what would you like to do, dinner and movie?” I mean, one minute I’m complaining about not ever doing anything and the next I’m saying “do we have to go out?” Women right?

Well since I’m a “take action” kind of girl, I’ve decided that I’m going to put out some serious effort in the date night department. First, I told my husband that we needed to make more of an effort to get out and spend time together. He agreed. I told him that we should create a jar full of date ideas and choose from it when we get stuck. We can even include conversational topics. After 20 years of marriage, things can get stale.

Well it’s Friday night, and as comfy as this couch is, I’m going to drag my butt up and out and make and effort to be “bright eyed and bushy tailed” when my hubby comes home from work. Since the weather warrants a cozy night in, I’ve decided that I’ll make a  nice dinner, grab a few movies and we will go to work on finishing our “date night jar.” We’ve been jotting down ideas all week long, so it will be fun to share our ideas and place them into a jar for use at a later time when we need a little inspiration. We will also take some time to plan an evening out tomorrow night so that we stay true to our goal of getting out of the house together. I’m thinking comedy club!

If you and yours is getting into a slump, not making your relationship a priority or simply not having any fun, I challenge you to get up and get busy. Relationships take time and energy. Make a goal that you will talk about things other than the kids when you’re out. You’ll share your hobbies, dreams and anything else that takes you away from the day to day stuff that fills your life. Be spontaneous and do something different or go back to doing some of the things you did when you first met. Most importantly, just get up and get out; you won’t regret it!

Girls Rule, Boys Drool!

tough mudder

So I was out on my evening run/walk with Bella (my chocolate lab) when I had to take a detour through our local middle school due to a baseball practice on the track. I came across a couple of young girls that had stepped out of their activity in the gymnasium. They were dressed in spandex onesies. I asked the petite girl, all of 13 if she was playing a basketball game hearing the cheers from inside the building. She said “no, we are wresting.” Surprised by her answer I said “oh, that’s great, I didn’t know they have girls wresting!” Furthermore, “they didn’t have girls wresting when I was young.” She quickly responded, “well why not, anyone knows that girls can pound anyone like a pancake just as good as a boy!”

While I have boys, if I had had a girl, this would be her! Sassy, assertive and strong!  In fact, if you were to ask me if I live by any mantras in life I’d say many, and one of them is “Girls Rock!” And when I see girls like this little “spitfire,” I feel that all is good in the world. As we become more educated and enlightened as a society, our girls are reaping the benefits. Moms and Dads are realizing that they are only doing their daughters a favor my raising them to be strong, independent and assertive.

Girls were not meant to just do soft, quiet, pretty activities. Life isn’t soft, quiet and/or pretty. If you want anything in life, you need to go out and get it, especially as a girl. Girls that participate in sports, working out and other competitive activities are more confident, outspoken and strong. And luckily, their parents and society in general is realizing and supporting this.

As a trainer, I’ve had the privilege of training some amazing young girls over the years. Several for specific sports such as competitive cheer-leading, soccer and lacrosse and many for just overall fitness. Young girls not only want to look good, they want to feel good and be strong. As parents, we have a responsibility to help our kids develop into strong, healthy and fit people that will grow up and have a good base of behaviors that will help them live long productive lives.

So how can you help your girls develop qualities that will help them live life to fullest?  Well first off, think outside the box. When you think of activities, don’t just think ones ones that girls would typically engage. Think sports, competition, challenges and things that boys typically do. You never know, it might just be there “cup of tea.” And when people choose their own activities and really enjoy them, they are more likely to continue them, excel in them and flat out love them!

Some ideas for girls activities:

  • Youth Boot Camp
  • Running race
  • Circuit training
  • Mud run
  • Cycling club
  • Trail running club
  • Team sports
  • Hiking
  • Water sports
  • Triathlon club

So if you want your girls to to be strong and confident, get them up and moving and support them in anything and everything even if it is a little “out of the box.” Because girls rule the world!

Family Meals


With our hurried schedules, it can be difficult it sit down as a family for a meal. I mean a typical weeknight at our house includes, multiple activities, late nights at the office, appointments and homework at a minimum.  That is the norm, but it doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Sometimes I’m amazed that we eat at all.

As a mom I have many priorities, some more important than others. But out of all of them, one stands above the rest, to sit down and enjoy a meal as a family as many times a week as possible. Sure, nutrition is important. But to me what is most important is having time as a family to connect with the absence of electronics, interruptions and other people.

I’m not saying that sitting down for a family meal has to happen every night or that this is even possible. But every family should make it a priority and teach their kids the importance of connecting on this level so that they can pass on this important tradition to their own family.

Growing up poor, there wasn’t a lot of food on the table, but we were at the table. I remember sharing many “tuna casseroles” as a family and knew that one day I would make sure my family sat down together. With schedules and priorities being challenged as they are theses days, many families have opted out of family meals altogether. I’ve met many of my boy’s friends who never sit down for a meal with their family and survive on take out or fast food drive-thru.  This just makes me sad!

While my boys challenge me often with regards to sitting down for meals, wanting to grab something quick, hang out with friends or get fast food, I insist that they sit down for a family meal at least half of the week, especially on Sunday evenings. Just last Sunday my son was whining about wanting to go out with friends and I had to say “no, we were having a family meal with his grandmother.” Him connecting with his family and his grandmother is far more important than “hanging with friends.” He will thank me later.

Aside from the obvious benefits of sitting down as a family (I.e., connecting, etc.) studies have shown that families who sit down together have a lot more going for them. Here are some things that you can look forward to if you make family meals a priority:

  • Improves Healthy Eating- Families who eat meals at least three times a week benefit nutritionally. Studies have shown a lower risk of obesity. Also, eating together gives you a chance to teach your kids about healthy food choices. Preparing meals together will ensure that your kids learn how to cook.
  •  Studies have also shown that kids that eat with their families engage is less risky behaviors like, drugs, smoking and alcohol. Mealtimes provide a platform for open communication and gives teens a chance to open up. I’m living proof of this! My teen has opened up to us about many teen issues over a family meal.
  •  Improves Academic Achievement – Family meals won’t guarantee A’s, but do give your child a better chance at performing well in school. Eating seven family meals together weekly increases the odds of seeing high grades by 40 percent, according to Columbia’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. While 7 seems high to me, if I can do 5 meals, I’m feeling pretty good like a total success!
  •  Improves social skills such as communication, taking turns and sharing.
  • Strengthens Family Relationships – Today, families spend many waking hours on the go, but meal time gives you a chance to slow down and be together.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day hustle and bustle, taking time to enjoy a meal as a family is something that you will never regret and most importantly is something you can’t get back.  This quality time creates lasting bonds for years to come, strengthens much needed skills and allows you to enjoy what is most precious to you, FAMILY!

Happy Wife, Happy Life!

me and boys

With valentines day just around the corner I’m reflecting on all of the love in my life, my beautiful children, loving and supportive husband and how I will show them how much I love them. With life as crazy busy as it is, the demands of parenthood and expectations on our children we can get caught up in the little day to day stuff and forget about the bigger picture.

I was just catching up with my mother in law the other day through email, updating her on all the happenings in our life; kids, job stuff etc. when she said “well, I hope you are taking time to recharge!” I thought to myself, what’s that? The only time I recharge is during the short 5-6 hours I sleep each night. Yes, I’m guilty of being a “type A” workaholic!  The worst part about  not taking time to recharge is that I truly believe that it is essential to being a good wife, mother and most importantly, the best me!

Let’s face it, as women we “hold all the cards” when it comes to raising a family. We are “house managers,” cook and “bottle washer,” caregivers, organizers, chauffeurs, counselors, lovers, mommy and peacemakers. We do it all and more, often with little recognition, appreciation or rest. So you better believe that we need to recharge! If we don’t take care of ourselves, how can we take care of everyone else?

I am constantly witness to women who give it all to others and leave nothing for themselves. Their whole identity is tied to their kids and husband. They don’t have their own hobbies, passions or dreams. If they do, they certainly aren’t living them. At some point, their tanks are going to run out if gas! And when their kids are grown and gone and they are worn down and tired, what will they do?

Listen to me when I say, you deserve to have a life. In fact, you deserve to have a great life. And the better your life, the better your families life. So take time to recharge and follow your passions. Find something you love and do it. Want to learn how to ballroom dance? Do it, always wanted to learn how to cycle? Join a local cycle club.

While it may seem to my mother in law family and friends that I don’t take time to recharge because I’m always going a hundred miles a minute, I do. My “recharging” just might look different than others. I am am writer, cook, decorator, scrapbooker, competitor and athlete. I love to exercise, craft, DIY and dance. While I may not spend time at the spa or shopping, I always make sure to do things that I enjoy, that feed my soul and I’m passionate about.

Want to be the best wife and mother you can be? Then find your passion and go for it! And remember, what recharges one person doesn’t alway recharge another so don’t feel pressure to follow the crowd. Find what speaks to you. My challenge to you over the next week is to find an activity that is all about you. One that you are doing for pure enjoyment, self growth and relaxation. One that speaks to you and helps you recharge. I’m going to put on my boxing gloves and get back to boxing, how about you?

Give yourself and your family the best gift of all this Valentines. Love yourself enough to take time for yourself and be the best you can be!

Furry Fitness

Bella - lake

So those that know me know that one of my favorite things in my life is my beautiful Chocolate lab, Bella. She is my best gal pal, exercise partner and wanna be lap dog. She has to be near me every minute I am at home, sleeps on the floor beside my bed, runs with me and brings nothing but pure joy to my life. She is 6 years old, 93 lbs. of pure muscle and provides me with unconditional love on a daily basis.

I take great pride in keeping her fit and trim and believe that as pet owners we have a responsibility to our pets to keep them healthy, they are our family after all. Unfortunately, more often than not, this is not happening. In fact, 53% of adult dogs and 55% of cats are considered obese. If this is your animal, you and you alone are responsible for shortening its life or even possibly killing it.

Dogs are just like people, they have to eat right and exercise. When you adopt or purchase a pet, it is just like having a child. You are responsible for its well being. You have to feed it right and give it daily exercise or it will get fat! Pets, just like people get diseases and these diseases kill animasl and shorten their lives just like they do to humans.

I can’t even count how many dog owners I know that own animals but don’t even walk them. It’s no surprise that not only is the pet overweight, but so are their humans. The kids are playing video games, the adults are watching TV and poor “Fido” is laying around sleeping all day. This is bad for everyone! But worst of all, it is downright cruel. Just like with humans, extra weight on  pets joints can cause all kinds of problems resulting in pain and lack of mobility. This pet did not ask to live in an unhealthy home. You brought them home with the unspoken promise that you would provide a healthy and humane environment for them.

I actually have a personal training client that admits that when she passes a fast food restaurant with her dogs in the car, they actually bark for her to pull through the drive through and buy them a burger – are you kidding me?! Of course, her dogs are overweight and one of them had to just be put down due to cancer. I’m sure all that unhealthy food and lack of exercise didn’t help matters.

If you care at all for your pet, which I’m sure you do, get up and get them (and you) moving! You owe it to them and your family. Unsure as to whether they are overweight? check with your vet. Most people have grown so accustomed to their pet that they might now even notice that they are overweight. Your vet can give you a goal weight that you can work toward. By cutting back their food and getting them outside for some daily exercise, you can get them fit and healthy in no time.

Here are some tips for getting your pet Fit and Healthy:

  • Schedule daily exercise. They will learn to expect it and not let you off the hook. Bella knows that we walk at 5:00 pm every day and somehow always knows and will bark at me until I move. Thanks Bella!
  • Take them to the pet park. Dog parks are everywhere and anywhere these days. This is a great opportunity for your dog to get exercise while also working on their social skills.
  • Exercise with your dog. Might as well “kill two birds with one stone,” and get your workout in while your exercise your pet. On the weekends, I hit the track while my dog chases me and wanders around the area. This way we both burn calories.
  • Take a hike. Dog are great hikers and are a great companion on a family hike.  Best of all, they can drag you up the hill on some of the steep stuff.
  • Hit the water! While not all dogs like water, if yours does, grab a stick and let it fly. My dog will swim for hours and tire herself out for the rest of the day making for a nice quiet even for me!
  • Make it a family affair. All family members should take part in caring for the family pet. If one of my kids is being particularly lazy, he is automatically assigned dog walking duties.

I hope this help you get your pet fit and healthy so that they are with you for years to come!

— Chris Maberto