My Struggles with Food

I consider myself to be pretty damn good at dieting. When I trying - when I really try - I am extremely successful.  But I still struggle like crazy.  I know that this is a common problem, so I thought that I'd share my struggles and also my daily plan, in case it helps even just one person develop a similar plan that works for them.

Here's my dieting plan on a normal day - consume approximately 1500 calories over the course of three moderate meals (usually around 400 calories each) and two small snacks that are about 150 calories each.  This is ONLY if I plan on doing at least 45 minutes of jogging/walking/biking that will allow me to burn at least 300 calories from exercise.  Each day my goal is to net 1200 calories after exercise. 

On most days I plan out all of my food in the morning, and pack it up.  I measure everything and put it into ziploc baggies. 

On an average work day my meals usually look something like this:

Breakfast (btwn 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.) - Frosted mini-wheats (180 calories), coffee with way too much creamer (100 calories)
Lunch (noon)- 7 slices of oven roasted turkey breast (110 calories) with a whole wheat pita (100 calories), 3 tablespoons of light mayo (110 calories), and pickles (0-5 calories), and then a 70 calories snack to round it out (usually either Fat Free Pringles or 2 rice cakes)
Afternoon snack (3:30)- either more mini-wheats or a 100 calorie popcorn bag
Dinner (6:15)- Varies widely by day, but this is usually my biggest meal, consisting of usually around 500 calories.  I almost always have a spinach salad with 30 calories worth of spray dressing to start.  Meals include: 2 whole wheat tacos with 95% lean ground beef and guacamole, corn meal chicken with broccoli, 3 ounces of pasta with a slice of homemade garlic bread, etc. 
Evening snack (9 p.m. ONLY if I worked out) - sometimes 2-3 rice cakes (105 calories) or 1 ounce of cashews (160 calories)

When you really think about it, what I've listed above is really more than enough food for me each day.  And even at the end of most days, I totally feel satisfied by just eating the things above.

But mentally, I'm not quite strong enough to convince myself of that on a regular basis.  When I am being "good" at my diet, it is one of the mentally exhausting things that I've ever done.  I constantly have battles with myself in my brain when I see things that I want.  There are some definite weaknesses, things that I almost never can say "no" too.  Examples - Snyder's of Berlin cheese puffs (they're soft instead of crunchy-mmmmm), guacamole, buffalo chicken, seasoned french fries, a cold draft beer.  The list could go on and on.... I know by now that I shouldn't deny myself things that I crave because it just leads to gluttonous overeating, but the second problem is that even when I allow myself those things, it still leads to gluttonous overeating.  It's a lose-lose.

And the lists of cons just goes on and on.   Dieting definitely brings out my obsessive compulsive tendencies (which are really always simmering just under the surface anyway).  I am obsessive about weighing each and everything that I put in my mouth.  I have a $100 food scale that measure grams, kilograms, ounces and pounds, so I can almost always calculate the exact calorie content of everything I eat based on it's weight and nutrition information.  I even separate my breakfast mini-wheats from my afternoon mini-wheats so that I'm not tempted to eat them all breakfast, and on most days, it works really well.   But it really takes away from my spontaneity, and/or my ability to go along with any spontaneity whatsoever.  "Hey, let's go to Mad Mex tonight to celebrate!"  "NO! We can't go there! I'LL GO OVER MY CALORIES!!!!"  I'm crazy.

No fun.

Dieting also means no alcohol, which was one of the hardest things in the world for me early on. It's getting better, and easier, but I just love a good beer or mixed drink with my dinner at night, probably (definitely) a bad habit. 

So, I just need to keep persevering.  I need to keep telling myself over and over that I'm doing a good job, and I need to make sure that the reasonable side of my brain always beats out the impulsive side when I'm considering giving myself "a treat."  There are a million other ways to treat myself that don't involve food, but I always forget that.  Today I was down to 153.0.  That 1.4 pounds in just 6 days - hard, solid evidence that when I try, I AM successful. 

And when I'm feeling weak, I just need to remember myself when I looked like this.

137 pounds, and I felt AMAZING.   I'm only a few months away from feeling like that again.

The diet "dirt" - Week 1

So, I've been debating all day as to whether or not I should post my weight and goal stats on this site. Going back and forth, back and forth.  Do I really want to post my weight? No, not really.  Not at all, actually.  It's SCARY admitting how much I weigh; it's so taboo in today's society.

But how else can I really explain the progress that I've made?  How else can I share with you AND hold myself accountable while attempting to write in vague terms that don't include numbers???
I think the simple answer is - I can't.

Plus, I have a lot of confidence that I'm going to be really successful! I mean, I KNOW that I can do this.  I've done it before - just last year in fact!  I only have me to blame for my recent gains (bad gains, not good ones) and thus I feel like hiding my weight because I'm embarrassed will only allow me to make more excuses.

So, I'm going to spill what I will refer to from here on out as my diet "dirt."
Here are my stats for week 1:

Starting weight: 154.4 (as of Monday, 8/24)
Current Weight: 153.8 (8/28)
Goal weight: 140
Weight lost: 0.6
Weight left to lose: 13.8

# of day on diet so far: 5
# of days that I exercised: 5
# of days that I stayed with my calories: 4 (yesterday was hard)

But overall, so far, so good!!!!

Ugh. That was hard. No criticism, please?
I know who some of you must be thinking. "Really? You only weight 153 and you're trying lose weight!? Don't be silly! You look great!"  But then there are the rest of you that are thinking, "WHAT!??! You weigh 153 pounds! Oh my god, I can't believe you weight that much, I never would have guessed."  Because those are the thoughts that are always going through my head.  In one sense, I know that 153 isn't severely overweight. I still fit into all of my size 10 clothes (although my 8's have been on the hanger for a few months) and I don't look terribly fat.  I know there are a lot of other people out there who have way more weight to lose than I do.  But, at the same time, I CAN'T BELIEVE that I weigh 153 pounds AGAIN.  I swore to myself when I last lost weight that I would NEVER allow myself to gain that weight back.  And then I just went and gained it back anyway.  I do NOT look my best 153 pounds.  MyFoodDiary says that the top end of my healthy, recommended weight is 137 (the range is 125-137.)  That's my ultimate goal, but when I weighed 140, I felt amazing and was perfectly happy with that.  So, I'm shooting for that for and we'll battle my recommended weight another day.

 Two nights ago I also took some "before" pictures last night, but I am not ready to share those just yet.  Suffice it to say that they're not exactly confidence boosters, BUT in a few weeks when I start seeing some positive improvements and change, I think I'll be ok with posting them!  So, you have that to look forward to (ummm... or not.)

So, thank you for reading this, for not being disgusted or shocked, and for supporting me over the next couple of months as I try to shake off this extra weight!  If anyone else is reading this and is also trying to lose weight, please feel free to post your stats and goals as a comment so that we can do this together, or let me know your blog link and we'll start our own little blogging community!

Is good luck coming my way?

I certainly hope so!
Native American's believe that if a butterfly lands on you, you'll have good luck.

That's why I was so excited when I found this little beauty.

Back in my high school days, I drew a series (well, it ended up being only two) pictures of butterflies using PrismaColor pencils.  The drawings turned out really great.  One is hanging in the bathroom at my parent's house and the other is hanging on the wall in our office where I'm writing this right now.

Both of those drawing were from calendar pictures, but I am feeling inspired to whip out my PrismaColors and draw this one as well. Isn't it just beautiful?

The diet begins again!

As of today (actually, as of Monday), Dave and I have officially gone back on diets.  And by diets, we don't necessarily mean the get-slim-quick diets, but more like the "make-healthy-decisions" diet.

We're reinstating our effort to make sure that at least 50% of our food are on the anti-cancer diet list. We're making a commitment to exercise - together - for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.  We're committing to only consuming alcohol in moderation, and only on weekends, with one exception per month for a happy hour dinner and exceptions as needed for extremely special occasions. 

I will once again be utilizing...

... since I had so much success with it last year.  I plan out all of my food for the entire day beforehand, and enter it all into the system.  I make sure that I'm within my daily caloric intake range, and then package everything up.  I know that I can ONLY eat the stuff that I've planned for.  
I will be taking and recording body measurements, and maybe I will even post my stats here, to track my progress.  That's scary, putting myself out there like that, but it's also good for accountability. 
I'm starting this mission again because I've let myself go.  I've gain 15 pounds since May 2008, and I plan to lose all 15 of those again, over the next couple of months.  My clothes still fit, but some are tight, others tight as hell, and I REFUSE to invest in new clothing just because I've outgrown my current wardrobe. 
Tonight I will be taking a "before" pictures, as well as my stats, and then the journey officially begins. 
Wish me luck!

Hot and "Suite"

Last night my aunt L and uncle K were staying at a hotel just outside of Pittsburgh.  A hotel that just happened to be the same hotel that we stayed at during our wedding weekend.  I was excited to go and visit them there because I have warm, nostalgic feelings for that hotel and because what I remember of it is mostly a blur (a good blur, but a blur nonetheless.)

The Holiday Day, RIDC Park.  Perhaps the longest hotel in the world.

We went to dinner at the nearby Max and Erma's and then went back to the Holiday Inn for a drink or two.  While D played "monkey in the middle" with our niece...

... and her bear, I went to the hotel bar with my sister so that she could get a drink.

Our "after party" following the reception was held at the bar in the Holiday Inn.  D's mom bought "chips" from the bartender and passed them out to all of the wedding guests that game to celebrate afterwards.  When D and I walked, everyone cheered, and it was super fun and exciting to have so many people still want to celebrate with us, even after our 5 hour reception. 

So I was excited to go to the bar to check it out, since once again, it was mostly a blur and yet I still felt those same warm, fuzzy feelings of nostalgia.

Well, I can say for sure that the bar on a Sunday night in August 2009 was NOT the same as the bar on that Saturday night back in May 2008.

A group shot of D's family from the after-party celebration on our wedding night!

There was NO ONE there.  No one.  The bartender was sitting on a stool, with the contents of her purse dumped out, texting on her phone.  She offered to make my sister a drink that included pineapple juice, only to then state that she was out of pineapple and thus substituted orange juice instead.  Needless to say, it was not the fun and exciting place that I remembered it to be.

So after two Straub Light's in a can - yep, IN A CAN! - we headed home.  It was already 9:30 and with D being a teacher, we try to aim for a 10 p.m. bedtime, which clearly wasn't going to happen since we had a 35 minute drive a head of us.

But, we weren't so rushed that we didn't have time to take two last pictures.  Pictures that describe us perfectly.

Me? I'm hot.

And D? Well, he's the sweet one. 

Wouldn't you agree?

I'm annoyed with Mother Nature

Anyone who knows me knows that I love the sun. I love the beach, and talk constantly about how much I want to go on a vacation somewhere warm and sunny (just ask D - I drive him crazy by constantly going on and on about wanting to go to the beach.) I have a wonderful lounge chair, and there is nothing that I have wanted more this summer than a few sunny days so I could lay out. I tan easily and love the warm feeling of freshly tanned skin.

In general, I've been ok with this oddly cool and mild summer. On most days, I'm grateful for the cool breezes and relatively low humidity.

But now it's August, and I'm as pale as I have ever been in August. I can feel Fall in the air, just a moment's notice away, and I still haven't gotten a good summer tan.

So, I just looked at the 10 day forecast for my area. I've pasted the results below, but for simplicity's sake, allow me to summarize:

Monday through Friday of this week - sun sun and more sun; highs in the 80s
Saturday and Sunday - Rain. Rain, rain, rain.
Monday through Wednesday of next week - Sunny sun sun sun. Warm temperatures and low, comfortable humidity.

Here is what I saw:

Today Aug 24

Mostly Sunny
Mostly Sunny 75°

Tue Aug 25


WedAug 26

Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy82°

Thu Aug 27

Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy75°

Fri Aug 28

Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy76°

Sat Aug 29

Scattered T-Storms
Scattered T-Storms 76°

Sun Aug 30

Showers 72°

Mon Aug 31

Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy 72°

Tue Sep 1

Sunny 73°

Wed Sep 2

Sunny 74°

Ugh. Depressing. I think I'm feeling a vacation day coming up... on a weekday.

At Work

I write this post from the front desk of my place of employment. Yep, it's Saturday, and yes, I am at work.

It sucks, but it's not all bad. On a happy note, this is the last day that I'll have to work on a weekend for at least a few months. I get tomorrow off and that's exciting because it's the first day that I'll have in over two weeks!

Soooo frustrating!!!

Three years ago, when D and I bought our first house, we spent thousands and thousands of dollars furnishing our new home. Since we were college students previously living with hand-me-down dressers, sagging mattresses, and futons, we were more than willing to get rid of all that stuff and replace it with new, quality stuff that would complement and fit nicely in our new home.

My sister and niece enjoying the loveseat in our first house in Edgewood

D is a huge fan of buying nice things that will last a long time. That said, we were also interested in making sure that our stuff was covered in case of damage. And that - my friends - is how we were suckered into paying $400 for a warranty that is completely worthless. I feel like SUCH a sucker...

So, whatever you do, DO NOT buy any warranty from UltraShield. We bought our furniture from Roomful Express but apparently UltraShield sells through a lot of furniture companies that are slightly less than reputable. (That is not to say that we aren't happy with our furniture that we bought from there, but their saleperson are less than ethical and they'll tell you ANYTHING to make a sale.)

Sun Volt

Last Sunday night was another concert at Hartwood Acres, and I was super excited about it. I didn't post about it previously because I've been so busy at work.... Anyway!

It was a beautiful night (following the hottest day of the summer so far!), I was wearing a super cute maxi sun dress that I hadn't found an excuse to break out yet for the entire summer (because it had been so rainy and cold), we had some friends joining us, and it was a band that Dave knew of and he really likes their music.

It was the recipe for a fantastic night. However, for me it was not meant to be.

I have been suffering from increasingly intense migraines the past 8 months or so. I recently saw a doctor about them, and I now have a prescription pill that I can when I first start feeling the symptoms of the migraine.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the pills with me when I first start experiencing the symptoms of the migraine that hit me shortly after we arrived at the concert, so I wasn't able to take anything to stop it from becoming a full-fledged migraine. It sucked. I don't remember most of the concert (I tend to "black out" in terms of memory when I have a migraine and typically lose large chunks of my time/life), and I'm pretty sure I wasn't great company. We ended up leaving slightly early to beat the traffic, at which point Dave spilled his entire beer on my foot/leg, leaving my flip flop slimy sticky and my dress reeking of beer. I was cranky, and was unnecessarily upset by the beer spill, but I know it wasn't intentional.

I don't remember anything about the band at all - what their sounded like, their style of music, etc. So, here is a picture. It's all the memory I really have.

D tells me that as far as performances go,
this band was about as low energy as they get.

And this picture of myself before the migraine hit.

See how happy I look??? Migraines suck for sudden-onset and intense pain.

So, I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think that as far as performances go, Sun Volt ranks UNDER Patti Smyth, simply because they were apparently lame with little to no personality. Has anyone else ever seen this group? Are they better at different venues?

Hell week

Twice a year at my place of employment, there are exceptionally busy times that I like to call "hell week." Last Friday marked the start of hell week for the month of August, and unfortunately it means that I'll be working 14 or so days in a row without a day off, including one day that is 13+ hours long.

Really it's not so bad, but I tend to have a lot of dread leading up to these long days. Since this is my 4th "opening," I've realized that each and every year gets a little easier. And even though I tend to dread working all day, once I'm there and doing something, the time tends to go by quickly. I think the worst part for me are the late nights when I get home after 9 p.m. My body still thinks that I have an entire evening's worth of time ahead of me, and I usually have a hard time falling asleep.

Today is "opening" day - when all of the incoming new students check-in and move into their rooms. My job during this day is "problem solver" - talking to angry parents and/or students who are unhappy with their room. In general, if I don't have to talk to anyone, then it's a good day for me. It means that everything was done right ahead of time. But sometimes there's just nothing that I can do to make people happy and it's frustrating.

I think the reason that I tend to dread this day is because all of the interactions that I have with people are negative. I don't usually get people coming up to me thanking me for their assignment, or for all of my hard. Nope - I only get people when they're angry.

So, I'm crossing my fingers that no one has to come to my office today! I would be more than happy to be in the office all day without a single visitor. And I hope that the rest of "hell week" goes off without a hitch.

Our new basement

As some of you already know, we recently renovated our basement. It was a HUGE endeavor - much more than we had ever anticipated. It took weeks of evenings dedicated to tearing down walls and throwing up spackle. It involved multiple pounds of acorn and animal poo from critters that had lived in the ceiling (I know - gross!), lots of dirt, dust, and mold. I was barely even involved in the whole ordeal and it STILL sucked for me.

Previously this was a dark, dreary, sort of damp room, that was split up by two doors right in the middle of the room, making it impossible to set up furniture to make it feel like a real room. We ended up cramming everything to one side of the room to make it feel like a family room, but then we were totally under utilizing the other side, which felt like such a waste of space.

Well, the basement is done - has been for a few weeks now - but I thought I'd share this image that D created "to showcase just how easy it is renovate a basement!!!" (Note: dripping with sarcasm.)

It's an amazing room, now set up with our brand new 40" TV, Playstation3, Gamecube, DVD player and laptop hookup with speakers (so that we can watch movies instantly on Netflix on the big screen TV), as well as our exercise equipment and beer fridge!! It's definitely become our "game" room, and is much better utilized now that it has a purpose.

Doesn't Dave do good work? He's such a handy husband to have around.

The Fruits of my Labor

Last night I harvested the fourth crop from our garden yesterday. Crop 1 was strawberries, crop 2 was basil, crop 3 was beans, and - yesterday - crop 4 was a cucumber, beans, basil and tomatoes!!!! Check it out!

I continue to marvel at my interest in gardening when I have nearly no interest in eating vegetables (this statement is somewhat exaggerated, but not much.) So, I've been looking for recipes that include multiple ingredients from my garden. Yesterday, I made Tomato-Basil Chicken on the grill. It was AWESOME!

I'll post the recipe below, although I'll warn you in advance that I am not one for following recipes. I tend to not measure anything - I just throw in what looks like a good amount. So, I'll guess at amounts, but know that no matter what you do with this recipe, it can't really turn out bad!

Tomato-Basil Chicken

6-8 cherry tomatoes
15-20 basil leaves (approximately 1/4 cup), finely chopped
garlic powder (or a garlic clove)
Basalmic vinegar
Olive oil (I use a pre-mixed "dipping bread" bottle of oil and basalmic vinegar, but does them separately is fine as well)
chicken (this recipe should cover 2-4 chicken breasts, depending on the size)

Thaw your chicken, pound it out with a knife to make it tender, poke some holes in it with a fork or knife. Place the chicken in a shallow bowl and cover with a the oil and vinegar (about half and half). Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate while you work on the paste (allow it to marinate for about 20-30 minutes minimum, more if possible.)

In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatoes, chopped basil, garlic and add some oil and vinegar. Start with a little oil and vinegar and then add more as needed. You're looking for a thin paste like consistency. Something that will stick to a fork but that is still easy enough to pour from a measuring cup. I don't have a picture of what it should look like, but it think "orange-ish colored salad dressing with specks of green that has a hint of basalmic vinegar when you smell it."

Once your chicken has adequately marinated, put your chicken on a grill that has been heated to about 350 or 400 degrees. Close the lid and let cook for about 5 minutes. Flip, and cook for another 5 minutes. I spooned some of the extra balasmic vinegar and oil mixture from the marinade on after I flipped the chicken. Let cook for another 3-4 minutes (until it's nearly done.)

Then, about 2 minutes before you're ready to take the chicken off of the grill, pour or spoon the tomato-basil paste onto the chicken. It should be thick enough that it spreads easily and doesn't run off of the chicken. Let that heat for about a minute or two (until it's warm), and then enjoy!

We ate this with corn on the cob and spinach salads and really enjoyed it!

I am going to start looking for more recipes that use things like basil, oregano, chives, tomatoes, cucumbers and beans, since everything is reaching maturity at the same time!

I AM the warrior

The Warrior herself, Patty Smyth

Sunday night we went to Hartwood Acres for their Sunday night concert series, featuring.... wait for it.... Patty Smyth! Ha! Who is Patty Smyth, you ask? (Because I know I certainly asked.) Well, she's the 80's rocker who sings, "The Warrior," "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough," and "Good-bye to You." Those were the only three songs that I knew, but it was ok. The ambiance of Hartwood Acres and the awesome experience of being outside on a beautiful night in August, listening to a free concert, sitting in beach chairs, and drinking beer from a cooler meant that I would have enjoyed nearly any musical act.

S and I toasting just behind the "alcohol prohibited" sign on that big pole.

It's weekends like this one that make me really appreciate the few weekends we get to spend at home. Care to join us next weekend? I think the band is called Son Volt, and we definitely be there!!!

Mini-vacation Part 3 - Water dog

I know, I know - my previous mini-vacation "parts" didn't have titles, but this one definitely deserves it.

Here's why:

Just too cute, don't you think!?!??!

As I mentioned previously, we left the cabin on Saturday night and went to Wilmington to meet with D's mom and to pick up Murphy. We took her out to dinner to celebrate the end of her radiation treatment and had a great meal at the Iron Hill Brewery in downtown Wilmington, right on the water. It was a beautiful night and not humid at all, although I did get a few bug bites.

We left relatively early the next morning to head back to the cabin. After Murphy's first swimming success last year, we were just too excited about getting him back in the water again.

Just like last year, he was not afraid of the water at all, although he stayed close to the shore early on. Then we started throwing sticks, and he was like, "Oh yeah, I remember how this swimming thing goes." Early on he was swallowing excessive amounts of water when scooping up the stick with his mouth, which resulted in a lot of choking and gagging, but he learned quickly as well (it's so cool to see learning and progress in action!)

So, we threw sticks, and then we threw some more, and then some more. His energy was non-stop!!! We quit throwing sticks, at which point Murphy proceeded to swim out to retrieve all of the sticks and branches that were floating further out. He single-handedly cleaned the water near the shore line of all sticks, grasses, leaves, etc. When all of those things were cleared, he went back out grabbed the rope that connects the dock to a concrete block and started pulling. SOOO funny!! He was SO determined to pull that "stick" in that he wouldn't let go, even when I was calling him and in the end, I was so worried that he would wear himself out and drown that I went in after him and made him let go of the rope. It was so fricking cute that my heart nearly exploded.

So, that's the end of the mini-vacation posts. Who knew that it would take me so long to recap them?

I leave you with this one final picture, one that D captured while playing tug of war. He loves this picture because he says it gives him some "street cred," since he says he always feels less manly when he's walking a foofy little white dog.

We call this one "Killer"

The dog park

The past few weeks we've been on a mission to make Murphy more social. One way we thought we could do this was by introducing him to other dogs in a safe and comfortable setting. We've although thought that he suffered from "leash aggression" and so we wanted to take him to an off-leash area where that wouldn't be a factor.

Unfortunately, our efforts have not been so successful. The results are not BAD per se , but not great either. The weird thing is that each and every time we go to the dog park, it's a totally new and different experience. It's impossible to see any change in the way of progress because each visit is so totally unique.
Murphy's first visit to the dog park - it started off so well!

For example, the first time Murphy went into the park raging mad, barking like crazy at every dog he saw (even if they didn't come near him!) But then two days later he went in relatively quietly and only barked when dogs came near him. Another time he sort of just wandered around on his own, sniffing the geological features (trees, rocks, ponds, etc.) but stayed away from the other dogs altogether. Once he stood up at the top of the hill by himself and just "BARK BARK BARK"ed like crazy, as if he was telling the park that he was king of the hill. Last night, he went into the park relatively quietly and instead of waiting for other dogs to come to him, he RAN after and chased other dogs and barked like the mean little asshole that he is when he's there. We were SOOO embarrassed. The other dogs were great and didn't try to fight back, but that almost made it worse for us, because then we were suddenly the parents of the asshole dog.

"Hi there, what's your name?"

This one woman kept yelling at her dog everytime he tried to come over to see Murphy, saying things like, "Get away from him Coda, that dog doesn't like you." After she yelled this 3 or 4 times (and clearly her dog was not afraid of Murphy), I said to the dog (loud enough for the woman to hear me), "It's ok buddy, our Murphy doesn't like anyone. That's why were here." I was trying to give her the hint that she was being ridiculous and that we WANTED dogs to interact with Murphy. But she was crazy, so whatever. Her poor dog. I hope she doesn't have children.

Anyway, we're not giving up on our little Murphy's ability to have friends in the future, but it shouldn't isn't looking good right now. He's been there over a dozen times with little to no improvement and doesn't seem to enjoy the experience at all. How do you make your dog become social? How can we get him to enjoy the dog-park experience???