4 days as a part-time dog walker and first two weeks with an Isolator 6 meal cooler bag.

The two items in the title are related only in that they both began in the same week.  The week that the powerlifting team that I'm a member of, Toronto Rex Powerlifting Club, was holding the Ontario Powerlifting Association's Toronto Supershow Powerlifting Open at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, my wife Vivian came to me with an emergency request.  One of her dog walkers had a family emergency and would be unavailable to service her client's dogs for the entire week.  Vivian asked me if I could take vacation days to cover the client's dogs that needed to be walked.  It wasn't an ideal situation to burn 4 vacation days but Vivian has been busting her butt growing her business (it has been an amazing success) and I wasn't about to not support her now.  I had already committed Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday to the powerlifting competition but now I was also a part-time dog walker Monday through Thursday.

Since Vivian's business doesn't do pack walks, I would be walking one household's dog (or dogs) at a time.  Fortunately the weather forecast was excellent and I was looking forward to the chance to spend some time outdoors.  I was assigned 3 appointments on Monday, and 4 each on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Each appointment was 30 minutes from arrival to departure and occupied a total of about 3 hours in the middle of the day.

With the exception of one day where a puppy client had a diarrhea issue and required extensive clean up of both the puppy and its crate, the rest of the walks were extremely enjoyable.  One dog was very small and would barely walk a kilometer in the 25 minutes or so we spent on leash.  Another dog was very undisciplined and would pull at the leash for almost the entire two kilometres.  On average I walked about 6 kilometres over the 4 walks spanning about 100 minutes of walking.  As my time as a dog walker passed, I thought about all the low intensity cardio I was getting along with the stress release from working with animals.  This was amplified due to the perfect summer weather I enjoyed while "working".  For all the full time dog walkers out there, I hope the great summer days make up for the walks in the rain or the bitter cold of winter.

I thought about my time spent as a personal trainer and had the idea that merging dog walking with personal training might be a good fit.  Often times as a personal trainer, one is busy in the mornings and the evenings but slower in the middle of the day.  While paying less on a per hour basis than personal training, having 3 or 4 or 5 dog walking clients in the middle of the day is a great way to get some low stress exercise while also increasing the revenue density of one's waking hours.

Once my four-day stint as a dog walker was over, it was time to shift gears and help the team set up and run the Toronto Supershow Powerlifting competition.  This competition is always very interesting because it is held as part of the Toronto Supershow Expo.  Sort of like a mini-Arnold Sports Festival.  While I don't buy much in the way of supplements or tight fitting workout attire, I still like to check out the other exhibitors just in case there's something interesting.

While at the show, I stopped by the SyndicateFit booth.  They were running a special on Isolator meal bags.  I had never seriously considered buying one of those fitness meal bags because they were usually pretty expensive and I already had an old cooler bag that I used as my lunch box.  However, the price included a bunch of meal containers and seemed like a great deal so I bought one and happily retired my torn and worn Costco special.

out with the old (left) in with the new (right)

I've been using my 6 meal bag for about two weeks now and I have to admit it has made my meal planning and current calorie restricted diet easier to manage.  Not so much because the bag is special but because those meal containers that came with it are much smaller than the containers I used to use.  I've always had a big appetite so I could never bring myself to buy small food storage containers. However, the included containers with the Iso Bag are smaller and although I could use other containers inside of it, I wanted to give it a fair trial.

It's all mental but I find that I have to fill a container with food.  Big or small, the container needs to be full.  When I eat it, I have to finish all of what's in the container.  Turns out, I'm just about satisfied the same finishing all the food in a smaller container as finishing all the food in a larger container.  With the Iso Bag, two of the smaller containers is still a smaller quantity of food than a single larger container that I used to use.   In hindsight, could I have just bought smaller food storage containers and used any old cooler bag?  Yup.  But I gotta admit, the Iso Bag is a pretty tidy package.

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