Posted by: hockeygrl1 | May 14, 2011

An Article on my Bella! – With link now!

I’m excited to say that Bella and I will have information in an article in the Minneapolis Star/Tribune tomorrow, Sunday May 15. I saw a tweet asking for stories about people who use their dogs as part of their fitness plan. I fit right into that category. (I should say we…) If I can I’ll add a link tomorrow to the story. I have to go out and buy a newspaper tomorrow to see it. Here is the email I sent to the writer.

I saw on twitter that you were looking for people who use their dog as part of their fitness plan.  I do that.

My dog, Bella, is what keeps me active. She is a wonderful walking companion and makes sure I get out almost everyday to get her her exercise. My exercise has become more important. I was diagnosed with lupus and fibromyalgia in October of 2007. Since then, the doctor has been trying to get my disease under control and find ways to get me to feel like I have enough energy to go back to work. My dog has been a big part of my recovery.

We have been walking 60 minutes a day. That is what is ordered by my doctor. Bella really loves our walks and knows that we are going when I put my sunscreen, long sleeve shirt and floppy hat on. Having someone so excited to go for a walk helps me to get excited for it as well. We walk along our country road. On one side is the Wild Life Refuge so there are plenty of animal smells to keep Bella busy. We love to listen to the wild life and hear the sounds of nature. Bella has swam after ducks and geese, heard trumpeter Swans, chased frogs and snakes, and dug for gophers. Everyday it’s something new and that keeps the walk exciting for me too.

Bella does get annoyed when I stop to pick up agates from the gravel, but she soon gets over it with a swim. I think nature and walking has a great healing ability and I’m glad I’m well enough to enjoy our daily outings. I know I don’t look fit right now, this is due to kidney problems and steroids, but I hope that it will pay off one of these days.

I hope this helps with your story.

Yep, I’m one excited dog owner. Bella has done wonders for me. She’s always there with a kiss when I’m having a bad day. She’ll curl up on the couch or in bed with me when I’m to weak to do anything. She just knows how I’m feeling. I don’t know how because I don’t say anything differently to her, she just knows.

I think that if I didn’t have her, there would be days when I just wouldn’t get out of bed. If that happened, I wouldn’t be taking my medication either. There are plenty of times that I’ve wondered if it was all worth it, and during those times, Bella has always brought me back. How could you look into her big brown eyes and not feel loved?

The whole exercise thing was brought back on by my doctor. I have gained a bunch of weight again because of the steroids and not feeling well and it’s made my blood pressure go back up. It’s not a good combination with my kidneys. My doctor challenged me to walk 2 times a day for 30 minutes. (I do that sometimes, but other times I walk 60 minutes.)

I was thinking, “what the hell? I’m sick and tired and in pain. How can I get out and walk twice a day?”

Then I tried it. I didn’t go far with Bella on our first walk. Not even to the end of our road and back. I did notice a difference. My joints felt better and I seemed to be in a better mood. I guess that those were things my doctor said would happen. There is a whole list of benefits: increase strength, weight control, heart health, prevent osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, decrease stress, decrease depression, improved self-esteem, and better sleep.

I have missed some days because I felt worse than my normal bad, but as soon as I feel better I get back on it. Every one has those days, even the most dedicated athlete. Those athletes have a coach to get them moving. I have a dog, looking at me with those big brown eyes, bagging me to take her outside for a romp around the neighborhood.

Yep, walking has been a good experience for me. I just wish it would make a difference in my weight quicker. I know it’s not my fault, but being this size bothers me. I hope that I’ll be off the steroids in a month or so and the weight will disappear quickly again and maybe I’ll even go swimming with Bella then!

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