How my dog and I walked it off

I found Tallulah eight years ago, when she was a little yellow puppy sitting abandoned on the side of a busy two-lane road. I did a U-turn, swooped her right up, and became a dog owner for the first time. Best U-turn I ever made. These have been the best eight years of my life.

How I got us fat

Popcorn!Today, my pit bull-beagle-Tibetan spaniel mutt and I are creeping toward middle age. That’s not the only thing we have in common. We’re two blondes who are turning a little white around the edges. Plus, we might like our nightly popcorn a little too much. But you should see her little crunchy face when she catches a kernel.

You should also see our ever-increasing curves. Hips don’t lie. I knew we needed to get back to our girlish figures and be healthy again.

I’d never really go to a gym, but hey, what about walking? I already walked every day with the dog. Or strolled, really. Our walk was more of a promenade with our parasols.

How I got us slim again

“Tallulah, we’re gonna speed up our walks. And no more snacks,” I told her, snapping her leash on. She seemed unimpressed.

I know myself well enough to realize one way I could stay motivated was if I were accountable (okay, if I could show off). First, I got a Fitbit Flex™, a cute slate blue one. Some friends already owned these devices, and I had Fitbit envy.

I got online and friend-requested those friends, or should I say, The Competition. I could see how many steps they took daily. We could even do Fitbit challenges such as Weekend Warrior, which tracked who took the most steps from Saturday morning till Sunday night.

And oh, it was on. When I won, I could brag about it on Facebook®. Tallulah could too, because she has a Facebook page, which meant we could both brag. It’s obnoxious, but it worked. No way were we gonna lose those Fitbit challenges.

Our walk was more of a promenade with our parasols

Tallulah's FacebookI also put the MapMyDogWalk app on my phone. It showed me routes other people in my neighborhood took, which was really great for the days we wanted to mix it up a bit. But what really got me was that it showed me how far our regular route really was: 1.45 miles, which burned a disturbingly sad 137 calories, mostly because we took 35 minutes to do it. In my mind, we were walking approximately 750 miles a day and burning entire bowls of popcorn with each step. Hello, reality.

So we started walking fast enough that we were out of breath, and we got ourselves up to two miles a day. My phone, an HTC One® M9, automatically shows our stats even when it’s in sleep mode, which I appreciate. I don’t want to slow down during a walk to swipe, tap and scroll just to see how we were doing.

Walking the dogI took screen shots of our walks and put them on Tallulah’s Facebook page, because did I mention showing off is a great motivator for me?

Have I also mentioned hips don’t lie? After one summer of using our new gear and sticking to our routine, Tallulah’s lost three pounds and the vet said she looks great. Plus, just the other day a man walked past me and called me gorgeous. I wanted to say, “Thanks. My dog and the Internet got me this way,” but I figured that’s not what gorgeous women do. Instead I smiled mysteriously and planned to brag about it on Facebook later.