Dieting with my Dog is Peggy Frezon’s honest and heart-warming story of her journey from being overweight and unhealthy, to losing 20lbs and feeling great. She went from struggling to climb the internal stairs in her home to enjoying a hike in the countryside with her husband and her dog.
Speaking of her dog, Kelly, she too was carrying a few extra pounds around her middle that was cause for concern. By the end of the book, she had lost 15% of her body weight and was looking trim taut and terrific.
Written with a liberal dose of good humour and including colour photos of Peggy’s gorgeous family and the oh so pretty Kelly, this is a pleasant read. You’ll get to know Peggy and Kelly very well through the pages of this book. Peggy was up front about sharing the stern comments from her doctor and Kelly’s veterinarian about their love of food and curling up on the couch. Both dog and owner were heading down the slippery slope towards heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.
When Peggy’s much loved cousin actually had a heart attack, she realised that she and her cousin were very alike, and she too was at risk of lifestyle related illness. Peggy also recognised that her choices were affecting her dog in the same way. It wasn’t going to be easy to change her lifestyle to a healthier one but “maybe I could do it for Kelly,” she said.
The first change Peggy made was to her shopping trolley. It wasn’t easy because after many years of making less than healthy choices, she had to learn what to buy. Out went the snacks and sweets, and instead their shopping list included fresh foods and lean chicken. Next, Peggy started to exercise. Kelly’s enthusiasm for a walk motivated her to keep going and make physical activity a regular part of her week.
My favourite part of the book is Peggy’s rivalry with her husband Mike on the elliptical trainer: “If he could do 15 minutes, so could I”. Another highlight was her realisation that many times when she reached for food it wasn’t because she was hungry; it was emotion that was making her crave a sweet snack. I know I can relate to that.
The real gem in Peggy’s story? She didn’t rely on any magic diet shakes or strict fitness regimes. Both she and Kelly lost their pounds the old fashioned way, by changing what they eat and how much they eat, and getting out and moving more.
Peggy is me – we’re the same age, we’re both writers and spend a lot of time tied to our keyboards. I too need to lose a few kilos and I was just looking at Guinness’s waistline recently and thinking it was a bit curvier than it was before. If Peggy and Kelly can do it, so can we. With the rate of obesity in both people and dogs creeping up, this is an essential read for any dog owner.