The Dog Diet: A Memoir: What My Dog Taught Me About Shedding Pounds, Licking Stress and Getting a New Leash on Life

Overview

Boy does Ms. Lawson know dogs! Fantastic book for dog lovers and anyone who wants to stay in shape and lighten up their lives to boot!

—Richard Simmons

We live in a diet-obsessed age, when we lose five pounds just to gain ten, delude ourselves that the next exercise contraption we buy from that midnight infomercial will finally take that extra inch off our thighs, and become convinced that the latest diet fad of beet soup and goat's milk will help us look good in a bikini. But ...

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The Dog Diet, A Memoir: What My Dog Taught Me About Shedding Pounds, Licking Stress and Getting a New Leash on Life

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Overview

Boy does Ms. Lawson know dogs! Fantastic book for dog lovers and anyone who wants to stay in shape and lighten up their lives to boot!

—Richard Simmons

We live in a diet-obsessed age, when we lose five pounds just to gain ten, delude ourselves that the next exercise contraption we buy from that midnight infomercial will finally take that extra inch off our thighs, and become convinced that the latest diet fad of beet soup and goat's milk will help us look good in a bikini. But now you can forget the Zone, Atkins and South Beach! It turns out that the ultimate weight-loss plan is owning a dog: Man (and woman's) best friend is the fail proof personal trainer-dietician-nutritionist you've been looking for you all your life.

That's just what Patti Lawson found in her dog, Sadie.

A diet-obsessed, single lawyer, Patti spent the winter indulging in multiple brands of chocolate while mourning the demise of her latest relationship. Spring found her pudgy and pitiful, when Fate - and a fortuitous trip to PetSmart - brought rascally puppy Sadie into Patti's petless, pristine, if a bit sterile, life. Since that day life hasn't been the same for Patti or Sadie.

A life that began together with 3:00 a.m. walks through the park, incessant barking and stolen moments of trying to eat just a crumb of breakfast without puppy-interference soon morphed into a partnership of exercise and healthy eating with the added bonus that Sadie taught Patti a thing or two about letting go and stopping to smell the roses.

A memoir-cum-diet, The Dog Diet takes a tongue-in-cheek look at our obsession with weight loss and will have you laughing out loud as you recognize your own dysfunctional relationship with food. In the process you'll learn a simple and natural method for shedding unwanted pounds without the usual stress and disappointments that go along with typical dieting regimens.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Attorney Lawson was depressed. She was overweight but sick of dieting, successful in her career but tired of being lonely. All that changed when she adopted Sadie, a homeless puppy, and redesigned her life to keep up with her new ever-hungry, ever-energetic friend. Without meaning to, she lost eight pounds. Analyzing her experience, Lawson realized she'd actually invented a successful "dog diet." Since Sadie grabbed any vaguely appetizing food, Lawson had switched from savory snacks and pizza to foods the dog didn't want, like cottage cheese and black bean tortilla wraps. She'd given up her chocolate addiction-bad for dogs-and alcohol, too, since walking the dog with a hangover was not appealing. Sadie also became Lawson's personal trainer, taking her on long daily walks and other forms of "Dogercise." Lawson's adopted dog accomplished what tens of thousands of dollars worth of diets, spas and exercise machines failed to do; Sadie helped Lawson lose weight and feel better about her life. Although this starts out as a cute diet book, it ends as a book for dog-obsessives, as Sadie and Lawson sit down for sparkling water toasts to their new life together. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780757303944
  • Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/11/2006
  • Pages: 271
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Award winning author Patti Lawson is a trial attorney and journalist. She is a frequent contributor to the Charleston Gazette and other publications. She writes a column titled 'DOGS…DIETS...DATING,' which appears in the Charleston Sunday Gazette/Mail. The author is also an accomplished public speaker and has presented numerous seminars to civic and women's groups on a variety of topics. She and her dog Sadie are very involved in fundraising events for shelter dogs.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Bridget Jones had nothing on me.

I got up and weighed myself in the middle of the night more times than I care to remember. I
kept meticulous records of my meals and intake of calories, fat, protein,
fiber and carbohydrates—except for the things I ate standing up, in the car or very late at night. Grapefruit diet, juice diet, egg diet, 4-Day Diet, no-carb diet, all-carb diet, no-meat diet, steak diet, cabbage soup diet, broth diet, tea diet, fasting . . . I tried them all. At any given time, along with a friend or two, I was trying out a new diet. I bought every diet supplement on the market as long as it had a "guaranteed or your money back" promise.

I'd spend hours in the grocery store filling my cart with endless combinations of foods that were going to do it for me "this time."
After I'd reach the checkout, the process would start all over again,
as I would grab and throw into my cart each and every magazine that even hinted of diet secrets that I was missing out on. Each time a new "miracle" was discovered, alas, the foods I had just stocked up on were not the right ones. "Okay," I'd say. "Eat these and just start this new strategy next week."

And on and on it went.

My obsession did not begin and end with food, however. I hired personal trainers, I ran, I walked, I stretched, I huffed and puffed,
and I exhausted not only myself, but also everyone around me. I
joined gyms and bought exercise equipment. I wore out a treadmill and kept an extra set of free weights in my car trunk for overnight stays. I joined contests and had before and after photos taken—or maybe I should say before and before photos. I once even tore a photo out of a family reunion scrapbook because I was too fat that year. I jumped on trampolines, ran up steps, stretched rubber bands, wrapped my thighs in plastic, suffered in steam rooms and walked across pools with ankle weights on. I had a collection of ab rollers, thigh masters and sauna suits.

I even associated major events in my life with whatever was or was not going into my mouth at the time. First wedding? Oh yes, I
was on the champagne-only diet. (The champagne diet also served as a good excuse for that first-wedding fiasco.) Graduation from law school? Sure I look happy in the photo—not only had I just gotten my law degree, I had spent the last two weeks on cabbage soup and had entered that blissful euphoria I imagine people must experience just before starving to death. First divorce? The 4-Day Diet—
almost longer than my marriage.
It's true that misery loves company. I pulled and dragged along anyone I could on these diet adventures. My friend Marty and I
would go to a juice-fasting spa in Key West. We never experienced the joy of a cheeseburger in paradise; however, we can tell you all about happy hours with potato water and sneaking into the spa's kitchen late at night for a morsel of solid food in the form of a grapefruit section. There was my mother, who sent me a refrigerator magnet that said "Square Meals Make Round People" and convinced me the key to dieting was in drinking apple cider vinegar first thing each morning. Bobi, my best friend, and I would live on coffee for days, often because we had no money for anything else, but that is another story. Julie and I gorged on fat-free foods; my sister and I lived for weeks on Alba 77 milkshakes.
Season and I experienced a nearly illegal high eating bacon, eggs,
"real" mayonnaise and cheeseburgers without buns.

And so it went until a little dog taught me some big lessons about life. I met her one sunny Saturday when, during a crazy period of my life, I cruised up to our local PetSmart in my pristine
Mercedes convertible. Now, understand, this is a car I have never even let one person drink a clear liquid in, yet in a matter of less than an hour I found myself tooling back down the highway with a dog kennel on the backseat. In that kennel was a little black and tan dog that I had promised to take care of for "one night."

I eventually named her Sadie, and she not only became my best friend, she ended my crazy quest for the ultimate diet secret. With
Sadie I lost the weight I had lost over and over again for many years
. . . and this time I lost it for good. With Sadie I let go of the obsession for perfection and started enjoying my life in the most unexpected ways. Sadie pulled me from a bleak depression, lightened up my mind and my body as well.

So, if you are like I was, you're probably wondering, "But what did you do? What should I eat?" While this book will have some food suggestions, it goes way beyond these. You will see how to rev up your metabolism and slow down your life. I will show you how
Sadie taught me to find joy in simple things, and in doing so, I

found out that I was not a number on a scale, a perfectly balanced meal or a five-mile run. I hope my experience of saving a small dog,
who in turn saved me, will inspire you, encourage you and most of all make you laugh—at yourself!

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 18, 2010

    This book was ridiculous

    Basically her theory on weight loss is that she placates her dogs bad habits by creating a bland, boring menu and scheduling her whole life around the dog.

    There are some interesting things. Her recipes and salad box are fun.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2006

    FANTASTIC FUN READ

    This book had me turning pages while hating to see it end. I fell in love with Patti and Sadie. The transformation one little dog made in this person't life was amazing. Great book...and the diet tips are workable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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