Tuesday, January 24

Lessons of Esteem from a Jack Russell Terrier

I have a dog named Max. The vet says she's too fat. I take that to heart, but the dog isn't concerned about her health or her looks. She is perfectly happy with herself. I switch her over to diet dog food and start rationing her food. She doesn't like that at all. She takes matters into her own paws and begins to sort through our bedroom garbage cans for pieces of chewed gum, tidbits of snacks that have been discarded or pretty much anything else that has a scent to it. In a pinch, she will even resort to pieces of kleenex or a broken crayon. Her favorite hangout is underneath our kitchen barstools because that is the seat of choice for my 8 and 9 year olds. It never fails that "accidentally" the dog finds droppings of people food, however small, and gobbles it so quickly that I'm sure she doesn't even get a chance to savor it. And then she is off for more. But the kicker is, not once does she say "this is going straight to my waistline". Her stomach is growling and it tastes good, and for her, that's all that matters.

Me, on the other hand...I exercise religiously. I watch what I eat. I do sometimes look like the dog scrounging through the garbage can, especially when I am down on my knees rummaging through the snack cabinet when I know good and well there is NO junk food within. Because of my impulse to munch, I specifically buy snacks the kids will like, but that don't have much allure for me. If I'm really desperate, the chocolate chip bag will get torn open and I'll inhale a few. But my frame of mind is totally different from the dog's. I'm never quite happy with the way I look, and as I am scrounging for satisfaction, I am telling myself "I really shouldn't be doing this" or "I'm gonna be mad at myself when I get on the scale tomorrow". So even though I eat it, I don't really savor it either.

I think the lesson here is that the dog looks fine--a little extra padding maybe but we're not talking a health danger. The key is, she's the sweetest, most loving, most delightful dog you'll meet. She treats strangers like they are her long lost friend and if you dare show any sign of acknowledgement toward her, she will be in your face and on your lap for life.

Although I may be a treat scrounger as well, I am a nice person with a lot of friends. I am a pretty good mom to my kids and I like to think that John feels like he hit the jackpot in the marriage department ;) I have a lot of good qualities that should outweigh the fact that I outweight what I'd like. So why does it matter? I'm going to start thinking more like the dog.

5 of Your THINKS:

Anonymous said...

Good morning to you Jen, I just loved your post this morning. Your lines of profound truth hit home. You do look "Wonderful" I might add! Thank you for sharing. – Debbie S

Rochelle said...

Oh my gosh, he is the cutest thing! I'm such a sucker for dogs!

Mary E H said...

You are right on girl! Someone asked me once why it didn't seem to bother me too much that I wasn't where I should be with my weight, how I could joke and make funny comments. I told her it was because I really liked who I was on the inside and that was SO much more important than what I looked like on the outside. I do care about my appearance but it's not the MOST important thing to me, and I hope it never is. By the way, you look great!

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly (this comes from someone who ate too many brownies last night) :) However, it is much more important to be pretty on the inside. Our society places way too much emphasis on looks and the truth of the matter is, when we compare ourselves to others we will never be happy! I've found when I stop obsessing over my weight I feel much better about myself. Besides, the important thing is to be healthy and healthy comes in all shapes and sizes. I know some drop dead gorgeous girls who have perfect bodies who are miserable. I would rather just be happy!!! Amy B

Katie Brown said...

Wow- that was really insightful, Jen!! Your dog is so cute too!! I miss you and hope to see you sooner rather than later! :) LOVE YOU! (Oh, and I'll always think you're beautiful, inside and out, no matter what the scale may say!!)