Sunday, May 17, 2009

More About Dog Training & How It Applies to Dieting

One time in a management training class I was in, the trainer had us sit in a meeting (it seems like he may have been witnessing a true meeting versus staging a mock one as those trainers tend to do) and then had each of us go around and focus on what was physically happening inside of us during a certain point. Some people had feelings of tension or pain or pressure in their head or necks etc. And he asked if they were prone to headaches and such and many of them were. I can be prone to headaches too, but my response, to my surprise--but duh which probably shouldn't have been a surprise--was in my gut.

I felt this ever so minor, never before recognized, sensation, kind of like a baby baby flip, in my gut during a minor tense point of the meeting.
To my shame and dismay, I've realized in the past that I often incorrectly assign every gut feeling to hunger. I've eaten when it became clear later that what I interpreted as a need to eat was actually apparently a sign that I was going to be sick. This has happened more than once.

Every now and then, when I am having a conscious moment, and I want to eat at an untimely point during the day, it dawns on me that I suddenly feel tense. And I actually take a moment to ask myself: What just happened? And I may realize some incredibly small seeming, unconscious, never-fully-registered thing that just happened--I talked with someone who I am not sure I can trust, for example.

Does this make me a weak human being? Over analytical? Under analytical? Completely normal? More like everyone else than I ever realized? More neurotic than I ever realized? I am not sure.

A post I read recently was about "Checking In" where Lyn of Escape from Obesity was talking about obvious things that cause us to check, or zone, out, like watching TV or playing video games.

But obviously I check out in much less obvious ways. In fact, I may be functioning more like a complete ZOMBIE through my life than I ever recognized.

On Saturday, we had our dog trainer Wendy of PupsinProgress here to help us out with Puppy Yeats. And once again, I find that puppy training may apply to my life.

Hubby gets a much better response to Yeats than I do. She (Yeats is a she) knows commands like sit, down, off; she just doesn't do them for me, or at least not with one command or for more than maybe 30 seconds.

Yesterday when Wendy, who is part dog trainer and part human psychologist I'm coming to believe, started pointing out to me that I am clearly unconscious/in a zone when Yeats does certain things. Like if I'm talking (which admittedly is most of the time when I'm awake) or watching TV or cooking or something, I may not notice or say anything to Yeats when she jumps on me. So she'll do it again, and probably again. Then she moves to my toes and starts biting them or she snags my blouse, and then because I suddenly feel pain (physical or financial), I yell "OFF!" But even then it's a kind of yell that energizes her, not a tone that lets her clearly know I mean it.

It turns out the poor dog may be leaping on me just to get me to FOCUS.

Hubby said this zoning out is probably why I have no sense of direction--why I don't mentally map; that is notice landmarks and stuff that would help orient me--because I am in a zone.

I had my hearing checked once (at Hubby's insistence) and it was perfectly normal. I kind of realized I just wasn't paying attention well. Sometimes if I thought for a moment I knew what was said, I just automatically said, "huh?" before it registered.

It makes a girl wonder; how often am I checked out? And why exactly am I checking out?

Several reasons have crossed my mind--
  • I'm bored.
  • I'm caught up in something else.
  • It came from childhood and my mom calling for me (translation: I'm self-centered and lazy).
  • It came from childhood and angst when my parents divorced and when my mom lived with a man I hated--I didn't want to have to listen or partake (translation: I'm pathetically caught in a time warp).

But I think the closest reason that I may be checked out is because I'm too busy being in my head saying shitty stuff to myself and worrying about something other than the moment I'm in.

I think it's time to find a new inner companion. I need more of an inner, kind, protective, guiding spirit instead of a nasty little voice perpetually telling me I'm needy and lazy and all around never succeeding.

Maybe a puppy jumping on me turns out to be a gift to shake me out of myself and look out at the world. . . and deserve to be listened to.


  1. wow.
    powerful post on so many levels and a parallel that, even though Ive done many a dog training and canine good citizen class, I had never thought about.

    I love love the image of the puppy jumping on you (us. the royal we) to snap you back into focus.

  2. I think we all have our zombie times. Nobody can stay completely awake all the time.

    BTW, I heard Bruce Springsteen's "No Surrender" on the radio (found the all Springsteen station on XM...mighty fine) and my first thought was that it would make an excellent addition to your playlist. Your blog must be having an effect on me. :)

  3. What a thought-provoking post! Off to ponder a bit now, so probably won't hear if anybody is talking to me, lol...

  4. It doesn't matter where the inspiration comes from as long as it just comes. I know what you mean about zoing out tho - I seem to do it constantly, always distracting myself away from being as productive as I can be - which is a very bad habit. I've finally started turning off the TV, radio and other "white noise" and found myself starting to really flourish under those circumstances. Who knew?! Maybe we're both tapping into our inner alpha dogs.


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