We are getting a dog!
Now before your hand starts moving towards the “x” to close this window, I assure you that if you want to read about effective weight loss advice, you’re still in the right place. Things will become clear soon.
As part of the intensive puppy research programme, I scoured the internet for potential dog trainers and puppy classes, determined to find the ‘best’ one and not settle for anything less.
One website after another, each trainer showed substantial merit coupled with their own personal approach towards the common goal: to raise a happy, healthy and well-adjusted pet. They all shared common values such as patience, gentleness, positive reinforcement etc. They all covered the basic tricks and behaviours as part of their curriculum.
What started as an exciting endeavour soon turned into a source of dread. There were simply too many choices! How would I identify the one with unfathomable dog whispering capabilities who could shape our puppy into a beloved Lassie?
On the other hand, what if I picked someone equally qualified but more accessible, in price or location, and it turned out to be a huge mistake? Did the most expensive service necessarily come from the best person(s) for the job? Instead of Lassie, what if my dog turns out to be Cujo…
Hours of deliberation passed before the simple but invaluable realisation dawned on me; it doesn’t matter which dog trainer we pick. This is not to say that we wouldn’t consider their backgrounds and experience, but when faced with a reasonably level playing field, it was really okay to choose any of them that suited our needs.
Because quite frankly, the success and failure of our puppy training did not rest solely in the hands of the trainer. The question wasn’t whether we should go for 5 group sessions spaced over 10 weeks or intensive 1-2-1s for an entire year, nor was it about whether we get our tips from youtube videos or go out and buy all the books.
The deciding factor is how much time, effort and commitment are we willing to give to something that is clearly very important to us. Are we willing to set aside the necessary time each day to help our pet succeed? Are we willing to make some sacrifices and adjustments to our usual way of life in order to reap the rewards later?
“Well, we’re paying them aren’t we?” you may be asking yourself. This is true. We are paying for their expertise gained over years of practice, education and/or practical experience. That’s what helps them get the desired results. However, without a willing and hard-working client, I’m sure even the best of trainers would struggle to create change.
The trainer provides us with all the tools and advice to support us in an admittedly challenging task. We then need to grab hold of everything offered and use it to win the gold.
How dog training is like a weight loss plan
This experience got me thinking about how I felt planning and designing our Simplyweight app and online plan. I realised that choosing a dog trainer felt very similar to choosing between weight loss plans. To an extent, it doesn’t even matter if you pick us or anyone else! Once you find the right approach that suits you, you’re sure to succeed as long as you stick with it.
When my small family business, and I really do mean small as it’s run by just myself and my parents, set out to yet again revamp our website, I wanted the end result to be very different from what we had ever done before.
It wasn’t going to be about fancy technology with bells and whistles, at least not yet. We wanted something that offered incredible value for money so that we could help as many people as possible in a scalable way. This means there is no “personal coach” available for £130/year but I’ll come back to that one.
We envisioned a feel-good design with lots of flexibility for people to learn at their own pace, in their own way and actually want to change. The goal is to slowly replace existing hunger and thought patterns with healthier, manageable ones. Some people absorb information easily by reading, whereas others fare better with video lessons. Almost all our clinic patients have required some degree of psychological and/or emotional support, so we introduced Simpeace guided meditations and other tools to help people cope with day-to-day stressors. Of course activity is very important, so we have workouts available to those who prefer to exercise comfortably at home rather than go to a gym. I could ramble on about all that we have to offer, but I’ve decided to save that for another blog and you can check out our subscription page if you feel so inclined.
The point is, we have a wide array of tools at your disposal, and they have worked for numerous patients who have come through our digital doors. What were the qualities that they all had which enabled them to succeed? Willingness and perseverance.
Without these two qualities of willingness and perseverance, they may as well have joined any other (more expensive) online weight loss plan instead of ours. They could have spent multiple times the amount on getting the most premium 1-2-1 support, which is almost never as intensive as expected (can’t blame them, specialist time is valuable!) or spend it on flashy apps with wearable technology integrations. Would either of these features alone help them succeed? We doubt it, because of the sheer number of people who have sought our help despite having all the state-of-the art gadgets.
The ones we’ve seen who lost weight and kept it off did so because in Simplyweight, they found a way of teaching that resonated with them and made them willingly want to learn and change. We simply provided the tools for them to succeed.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime
Like any decent dog trainer, what is it that we ultimately want for you? We’d like to see you achieve your goals and know that you earned it.
This dog training analogy didn’t need to be so complicated. You may have an option to leave your dog with a trainer for a period of time while you get back to other important tasks. Once you go back to pick them up, you’ll have the perfect companion ready waiting for you.
Fast forward a few weeks since you left the trainer, and your pet is showing signs of regressing. Behaviour is getting worse but since you weren’t actually there on the playing field, you have no idea what to do!
Similarly, life throws us curve balls from time to time, or in the case of 2020, a head-on wrecking ball. No one is ever expected to stay on top of things constantly, hit every target or meet every deadline. There will be times when you’re not just stagnant, but you feel like all your good work is being undone and you’re actually going backwards. That’s okay too.
This is why it’s so important to equip ourselves with the best tools, techniques and education that will help us get back on track when we need it the most. Wherever you get the feeling of being supported but still empowered to succeed on your own, that’s the place to be.
And when you succeed with Simplyweight, all credit goes to you.
Simplyweight’s Specialist Online Weight Loss Plan has been designed to bring decades of clinical experience to people at an affordable price. To learn more, start your 7-day free trial today: https://app.simplyweight.co.uk/subscribe/free-trial