Diabetes Blogs

Making Positive Changes in the New Year: A Canine Approach

With 2014 upon us, I thought it would be fun this week to take a comical look at a topic of conversation that rolls around every January---the idea of making positive changes.

Jonah is the willing participant. Who is Jonah? My beloved 3 1/2 year old rescued canine! He makes regular appearances on my personal blog, Diabetes Light: My holistic journey to health and has quite the fan club. But this is his debut of being the main feature on my OnTrack Diabetes blog! Just don't tell him... (it might go to his head). ;)

As some of you know, I live in the chilly and snowy state of Minnesota. It is one of the coldest areas of the country---right now as I type it is -15 with a windchill of -36. Brrrr. Thankfully it hasn't been this cold in many years. 

Come winter (which is 5-6 months of the year!!), it can be pretty slippery outside and downright slushy when we have a few warmer days. In order to combat all that treacherous ice and snow on the roads and sidewalks, a lot of chemicals and salt are laid down!

While this helps make driving and walking conditions much safer, it is a health hazard to our canine companions! Their paws are exposed to all of the salt and chemicals, sometimes which can become embedded between their toes. It's a toxic mess.

A few years ago I bought some winter boots for Jonah! On a warmer day we went to a local park to walk, Jonah alongside us in his little boots. He was adorable and I'll never forget how cute he looked walking, sounding like a little horse as he made his way down the walking path.

He finally decided he would walk no more and simply quit walking! That's a Terrier for you - cute and extremely stubborn all at the same time.. We laughed so hard but there was no fighting him. He had made up his mind.

We took the boots off and Jonah continued in his normal way the rest of our walk. Still nervous about the chemicals, I found a wax product at the pet store to be put on his paw pads prior to our walks to provide protection and keep them from drying out.

Recently I stumbled upon the soft-bottomed dog boots I bought him some time ago as a replacement for the hard-soled ones he detested so much. Now found, I was anxious to try his boots out. On the last warm day, this is just what we did!

And this is where the story begins...

Sometimes when we start to make positive changes with our health and in our life, our attitude might be the last thing to catch up... And that is okay. Our heart can be a little bit behind our brain and what is truly best for us. Go ahead and pout a little bit---just don't let it throw you off track of where you want to go!

The changes we are trying to make may feel very unnatural to us. We may question if this is really the direction we want to go. Wait it out!! This is very normal.

The warm fuzzies don't always show up right away, unfortunately... It can take some blood and sweat to get to that point. It does not mean you've made a poor decision. Many difficult feelings may arise and positive change can come slow. Stick with it!!

Sometimes as we look ahead, the destination we desire seems soooooo far off in the distance---unachievable and perhaps even unattainable at times. This can feel downright discouraging as we are starting out. This is the hardest part, I promise! It gets easier!!!

If you can, share your resolutions and ideas for change with some friends. Use their encouragment and presence to help you on your way.

It still may not be easy. But their positive attitude and understanding will help carry you along as you work toward your goal. Perhaps they will even join you on some of your endeavors! (Like being more active - going to the gym, or on a walk or bike ride!).

And remember! Your friends believe in you! Quit being so stubborn all the time. Sometimes you have to trust and believe---these changes will bring great benefit to your life!

Eventually things should start getting a little easier and you may even discover some fun! Keep your chin up!! That a boy! (or girl...) :)

You may have a few hiccups along the way (like losing two of your boots) that make it very tempting to turn back and throw away your ideas about making these positive changes. Don't! These times of doubt appear at times for all of us---especially as we are stepping ahead into new frontier.

Quit looking back at how things used to be. In some ways it was easier but that is just because it's what we are used to! These changes you are working toward are truly for the good (and deep down you know that!!). 

Eventually things will start making sense! And you'll get the hang of it. Slowly but surely...

Eventually you will be rockin' and rollin' with these new ways of being. You will even become an inspiration and role model to others. Go you!!! You are amazing!

(**See link to YouTube video of Jonah walking at end of post!)

Just don't forget to stop and smell the roses once in a while... (In dog language: a tree where other dogs have carried out their duties lately).

Eventually you will be blessed beyond measure with new ways of seeing the world and yourself. You have reached unchartered territory that feels so expansive---completely free and open. Ahhhhh. Enjoy every moment. You've worked hard to get here! Be proud!

***Sometimes you may slip up and revert to old ways of being. This is completely normal. Be gentle with yourself. Soon you will be on your merry way, taking wonderful care of yourself again.

It feels so good, doesn't it?

Your hard work and success at reaching your goals will carry over into other areas of your life. You will experience greater joy and peace, even while at play! And the next time you identify some personal areas of growth you want to work on, they will be achieved just a little bit easier because you made it over this mountain due to all your hard work and determination. Bravo! 

I hope Jonah has provided a little inspiration for you! If he can make these positive changes*, anyone can!!!

Blessings to you on your journey as you move positively into this beautiful New Year with courageous and wonderful ideas in your heart for how you might want to grow. Listen and be brave.

Each positive change we make in any area of our life helps us live with less stress (and less stress hormones!) making our diabetes easier to manage. In turn, we have more energy---allowing us to live with greater joy and peace while taking superior care of our health. This is so important to living a good life---one we can look back on and feel proud of.

Keep chipping away at it. You can do it!! I believe in you.


In Peace & Wellness,


*Halfway through the walk Jonah was walking confidently like he had no boots on. He adjusted to them wonderfully and did great! Go Jonah!!! 

**YouTube video of Jonah walking successfully! http://youtu.be/-Ex5d0mQXEM


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