That Winter Weight Gain

Marco in tree

Maya Weighs In

We had our spring cleaning yesterday. The groomer drove up in her big van and carried me and Seamus, one at a time, out to be washed, shaved, clipped and brushed. Whenever she arrives Seamus starts barking in his little Shih Tzu voice trying to scare her away, but no deal. She is there to remove our winter coats and get us ready for a new season.

Mom says she can better see the ticks on us, the ones newly hatching in the bush and under the leaves. There’s no getting away from the deadly critters and without poison to stop them we are a feast for their Lyme’s carrying probes.

Tessa doesn’t get the same grooming treatment because she’s a cat and just licks her fur coat off her body. I noticed that she has put on some weight over the winter months, probably cause she does nothing but sleep all day and night, waking long enough to torment mom at 4:00 in the morning.

I taunt her by singing, “Fatty, fatty, bumbalatty”, cause I heard some children chant those words at another little boy. They made him cry, then all the kids laughed and ran away. I hope to elicit the same reaction in Tessa, but she is immune to my abuse.

So what? A little outdoor exercise, lay off the treats and Tessa will be back to fighting weight by the end of April. Have to say though, she’s still pretty darn fast, even with her big belly.

Which reminds me – while walking about the yard a few days ago, who should we stumble upon hiding out and hoping we wouldn’t see him? You got it, fat cat himself, Mr. Marco, crouched down under a big boulder hoping we wouldn’t smell his distinctive odeur, (that’s French for odor, by the way); or see his big belly spread out on the earth. Winter sits on our bodies like the thick down coat mom wears to protect against the cold.

Marco’s hiss of surprise got all our adrenaline going and the chase was on. We treed that crazy cat in three seconds, huffing and puffing at the base of the tree. Oh, yeah and mom was running, yelling, huffing a bit herself, but mostly curious that Marco was out in our territory at that time of the morning. When spring announces her arrival we cannot help ourselves but to go outside and beg to run.

Anyway, that’s what Seamus was thinking when later that morning, after a real chicken flavored treat, we discussed the chase.

Seamus
Maya, I think Marco was hoping we would see him and give chase. We all need some exercise after being inside for so long. I could stand to lose a few pounds of this weight.

Maya
You’re a Shih Tzu, little brother, and mostly fur right now. You always look like a puffball this time of year.

Seamus
I was a little slow keeping up with Marco, though. I eat the same, so how come the weight?

Maya
Well, it’s a survival thing, ya see. Our great, great, great ancestors, the wild wolf, put on weight in the summers when game was plentiful and easy to hunt. Then in the winter, when food was scarce, they fed off their own fat and laid low in the communal den, except to venture out to hunt. This way they got through the long winter months; but boy did they have an appetite come springtime.

Seamus
Yeah, but now we gain weight in the winter time!

Maya
Right, because we are well fed, but sedentary. Our body is still genetically coded for winter starvation, so when there is food we eat as much as we can in anticipation of the lean times that don’t arrive.

Seamus
No lean times here. I wonder what moms making tonight. Last time she mixed sardines into the stew and OMG it was delicious.

Maya
The other thing to consider is your body type and ancestry to understand how you will gain or lose weight. My cairn body needs lots of exercise and protein to stay lean, but yours needs moderate exercise and less food to stay fit.

Seamus
Mom always says calories in – calories out.

Maya
Exactly! Burn what you eat or wear it on your hips and thighs, like Tessa right now.

Seamus
And the Pillsbury dough people. Hahahahahaha

Maya
Hahahahaha. We’ll have to get mom to extrapolate on that topic.

Seamus
Yeah, after we eat first though, otherwise she’ll measure out our portions.

Maya
I guess we’re officially on our spring cleanse then, but which one?

Seamus
The Body Rejuvenation Cleanse will get us in shape in five weeks and then we’ll be ready for our next go round with Marco.

Maya
Awesome, let’s do it!

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