The Very True Story About that One Time I Caused My Puppy an Eating Disorder
By: Lisa M. Hayes: Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
SOME WORDS ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN OTHERS.
I am the proud parent of the most spectacular silver pug named Tulip Penelope Persephone Claire. She is the best and she came into my life when I needed her most. I chose her before she was born and brought her home the very day her biological mother successfully weaned her.
My bouncing baby pug of joy was perfectly pudgy from the start. She was fatter than any pug puppy I’d ever seen. At eight weeks she was an absolutely round ball of pugness. Everyone from the vet to knowledgeable friends told me a fat puppy is a healthy puppy. So, we fed her like we normally would and she ate like a champ.
This isn’t my first pug rodeo. I have another pug at home. We’ve always had pugs. Pugs tend to be fat because they love to overeat and people love to overfeed them. Also, people often think pugs are cuter when they’re heavier. However, I’ve always prided myself in raising pugs that were slim and trim – because you know, pug health is serious business. Bottom line: I don’t raise fat pugs.
At sixteen weeks when we took Tulip Penelope Persephone Claire in to get fixed, we got the standard quote. It’ll be $120.00 unless she’s in heat or there is some other kind of complication – which of course I knew there wouldn’t be because my baby was perfect. So, imagine my surprise when I picked her up and the bill was $150.00. Tulip wasn’t in heat. They charged me extra because she had so much belly fat. We joked about it being the tubby tax or the chubby charge.
I was assured Tulip Penelope Persephone Claire would grow out of her chubby phase. I stalked her siblings on the pug family Facebook page and came to the conclusion they were all perfectly plump. It wasn’t just her. They were all just a little more squeezable.
Tulip Penelope Persephone Claire was about six months old when my son and daughter-in-law visited, bringing my grand-pug, Bull Dozer. Yes, I have a grand-pug. Don’t judge me.
Dozer is a very fit and thin pug on a super healthy raw food diet. My daughter-in-law has researched his diet like the mother of any first child would. Basically, he eats like a wolf in the wild. My dogs also eat raw freshly prepared meals daily. However, trust me, it’s not a wolf diet. There was some conversation about how different they looked. We joked a little or a lot about how plump Tulip Penelope Persephone Claire looked compared to Bull Dozer.
We kind of got on a roll. Even after they left we kept joking about it – giving her a hard time for being double-wide after her dinner. I am not proud to admit we started using the word “f” word. -Fat is a word I hate, but I did it.
And then it happened. A few nights later, Tulip Penelope Persephone Claire didn’t finish her dinner. As my husband picked up all the bowls, (we have five dogs), he asked me if she’d seemed sick that day. Tulip never left food in the bowl, but she did that night, and the next night, and the next. She seemed fine. She was playful and happy, but she wasn’t finishing her food.
Now I’m not saying my puppy put herself on a diet exactly because you know, a puppy wouldn’t do that, right?
Except she did. I swear to Goddess, Tulip Penelope Persephone Claire started calorie restricting. Maybe she didn’t like being called fat. Go figure.
Some of you reading this might think one of two things. You might be thinking, Good for Tulip. A fat dog isn’t a healthy dog. Why worry when nature is correcting itself? This is exactly what the vet said because of course, I called the vet. I’m that kind of pet parent. The vet is on speed dial and I’m not afraid to use it.
Some of you might be thinking, Lisa has lost her damn mind thinking her puppy went on a voluntary diet because of body image issues.
I’ll tell you what I was thinking. I was thinking I caused my baby to have an eating disorder and I felt horribly guilty. The good news is I know how to coach body love. I can do that in my sleep. I’ve walked that road with hundreds of clients.
So, I went to work with Tulip Penelope Persephone Claire. I had a long talk with her about how perfect she is and about her adorable healthy body. We snuggled her and gushed about how soft and cuddly she was. I took photos of her and showed her how damn cute they were – a lot of them. We did daily affirmations about a being a happy healthy puppy and how perfect we thought she was. This, of course, seemed absolutely rational in our home. Every puppy needs a coach, right?
I bet you know what happened next. A few days later Tulip Penelope Persephone Claire started eating all her food again. She’d finish dinner and march herself out of the bathroom where she eats like a runway model, proud, double-wide, and happy. She’s been that proud and plump puppy runway model every night after dinner since.
Words are powerful and some are more powerful than others. Fat is a terrible word that carries a special kind of ugly energy. The word fat is like a curse that a powerful black magic maker would wield at their enemies.
There’s no excuse for calling a puppy fat and there’s no excuse for saying it to anyone else either. We know that which is why it’s almost taboo to call another woman fat. However, do you want to know what’s not that rare?? Using that word when we think about our own bodies.
In a Glamour survey, 97% of women admitted having at least one abusive thought about their body daily – most of which had to do with being fat. Another study shows that on average women think 252 negative thoughts about their bodies a week – and while you might think those thoughts happen in the isolation of your own head so they are mostly harmless, I can assure you – your body is listening – just like Tulip was – and those thoughts have a massive and immediate impact every-single-time.
The most subversive act of feminine revolution you can do is learn to love your body the way she is right now. Multibillion-dollar industries are built so predators can profit off of our self-loathing. There are better things we could be spending our money and our energy on that body shame and self-loathing.
When you commit to never saying things to yourself about your own body you wouldn’t say to your best friend, you change your relationship with your body in a powerful way – that is of course unless you would call your bestie fat, in which case you aren’t a very good best friend. And I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You can’t hate your body enough to make her thin – that’s not the way the system works. In fact, body shame will quite likely yield the opposite result.
So, here is Tulip Penelope Persephone Claire’s favorite affirmation:
“My body is a perfect container for love and life”.
That one makes her little face light up and I can almost see her smiling when I say it to her over and over again. Sure, it might be because she thinks I’m crazy too. However, I think it’s a good place to start for all of us.
More by Lisa:
Lisa is an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is the author of the newly released hit book, Score Your Soulmate and How to Escape from Relationship Hell and The Passion Plan.
Confluence Daily is the one place where everything comes together. The one-stop for daily news for women.