I’m on day two of my GSD-90X weight loss/fitness/mental health challenge. Yesterday I was already down more than three pounds. So far, I’ve discovered muscles in my arms and abs that I never knew existed. My back, glutes, and calves feel more flexible. I should take measurements of body parts and my ability to stretch in these early days to see how much things change by September. I’ve heard that the first few days are always rough so I’m hoping my roller coast like mood swings will even out soon. I’m also expecting more energy but I slept through the alarm and two snoozes today so I don’t think it’s here YET.
My goal is to lose 75 pounds in 90 days and already, the extra cardio and resistance exercises have been amazing. Immediately following each, my mood is elevated and I feel accomplished. One negative outcome has been yellow spots developing in my green grass.
My plan is to record progress here so in September I can refer others here when they ask, “How did you do it?”
Sweet, hyper, smart (but with inconsistent receptive language skills) Bailey came to live with us two days ago. She had been living with my handsome granddog Dice for the last year as her mom and Dice’s dad shared a home. Dice was my first granddog so he holds a special place in my heart. My son is a good man so when Bailey’s mom was unable to find an affordable place that allowed a German Shepherd, he offered to take Bailey until a home was found. My son is selling his house and will relocate to a less expensive part of Oregon once it’s sold so I’m cherishing our time together. Over the past month, I’ve grown to love Dice even more. He loves my son as much as I do. He is well-behaved and quiet. He likes long walks at sunset and when he’s on his leash, he is always just to the left of me and I can barely tell he’s there. He is amazing but he sheds–A LOT!
Bailey, is also adorable but her personality is wildly different than Dice. The real estate agent nearly peed her pants when greeted the first time by the rambunctious Bailey. In order to not scare off potential buyers, hire a full time housekeeper or ruin the hardwood floors, the dogs will stay with us until the house is sold and my son relocates to another part of the state. Bailey’s mom expects to find a GSD friendly home by September so I expect to lose my 75 pound ball of energy sometime within the next 90 days.
When we vacationed with the dogs and their humans last summer, I took Bailey on walks along the amazing Oregon coast. I enjoyed my time with her tremendously. Upon her recent arrival, I realized that she might be the perfect partner to kickstart my wellness routine. I have a fenced yard but my white picket fence is not an obstacle for Bailey. Where Dice is absolutely obedient and even pees on command, Bailey’s movement patterns are unpredictable and I can only get her to sit if I’m holding her ball. With my whispered “out” Dice gives me the ball but Bailey takes pride in wrestling me for it. When I say “out” she wags her tail, smiles with the ball between her teeth and seems to say, “you try to get it out.” I can’t afford to add new fence to my whole yard so Bailey and I will likely do a lot of walking during the next 88 days.
In addition to the walking, there are other exercises I’m doing on my German Shepherd Dog 90X (the x should be up a little like an exponent because every thing with Bailey can seem exponentially harder) Challenge. Here are some of the other exercises I’ve been doing.
Squats-Fur balls are flying all around my house and yard. Yesterday, I did roughly 200 squats picking them up.
Toe Touches-When I’m in the recliner, Bailey wants to sit on my lap. When she starts for the chair, I must sit up and put my hand near my toe while firmly redirecting her (I try to make my voice sound like my son’s as he’s clearly the alpha male in this pack) in order to prevent her from landing on me. I’ve been successful with lap prevention nearly 32% of the time. This behavior has nearly been extinguished so this might be an exercise I only do early in the GSD 90X Challenge.
Cardio combined with upper body resistance work-Frequent walks throughout the day in the nature park near my home are surprisingly fast considering my companion smells everything. She pulls and I pull back so my arms and back are getting a workout while I enjoy the great outdoors.
Lunges-Some of the fur comes off one at a time so the thin layer of dog hair across my carpet calls for frequent vacuuming. Lunging with a Hoover is the best form of self-less multitasking.
Knee Lifts/Kickboxing-Bailey tries to jump into my arms spontaneously throughout the day. I find that if I plant one leg while I quickly raise the opposite knee while issuing a firm command (trying to imitate my son’s voice) she doesn’t knock me over. Once the Bailey body slam has been avoided she happily looks at me as if she knows I’ll change my mind someday and catch her when she jumps. In the future, for every real jump, I need to also practice this exercise with my non-dominate leg.
High Knee Obstacle Course with Weight--Trashcan needs to be emptied more frequently due to all the extra hair we are collecting. I’m walking with high blocking knees and the full weight of the whole rubbermaid trash can several times a day all while trying to avoid stepping on Bailey. She really seems to think she’s helping with this chore and seems proud that she can lend a hand (or paw).
Side-Lunges-I’ve designated a certain area for liquid waste elimination. I lunge from side to side to keep her there until she relieves herself. Because her urine has already created three yellow dead patches in my lawn, I’m trying to teach her to go potty in a special area with sand and bark. She likes the spot but getting her to pee there has provided extra opportunity for movement. She has been successful 100% of the time in the past 24 hours and loves our game.
FreeStyle Wrestling-Bailey has three kids and a mom who loves to snuggle. She doesn’t realize yet that if I’m on the floor ( putting my shoes or, sweeping something into a dustpan, or simply watching television) that I’m NOT inviting her to wrestle or rest on top of me. The more I try to wiggle away, the more she engages in the fun. Her smile is contagious and I can’t help but laugh while trying to avoid her sloppy kisses. This type of wrestling uses many muscles I never knew I had.
Bailey misses her other humans but I think she likes me too. I wonder what types of exercise we’ll do tomorrow?