Living my

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life56 Comments

Y'all know how I feel about Oprah.

And if i had TiVo, I'm quite certain i would watch EVERY single show. Even the ones that piss me off (you know, where they find ugly/fat/old/or in whatever way unacceptable people and make them prettier?) but I digress… I still love me some Oprah.

She does a lot of good in the world. End of story.

But I have other reasons, and those reasons include her long time fitness guru, Bob Greene. You know, Mr. Live Your Best

Long story short: when I got pregnant with Aidan, I lopped on a cushy 100 pounds. I thought it was just the magic of creation, really. Didn't factor in that a pan of brownies a day wasn't the ideal diet regime for growing healthy babies. Didn't really get that eating for two didn't mean the second person was Orson Wells. She weighed 8.2 pounds at birth. And after six months…..i was still roughly 60 pounds heavier than where I'd started. I seriously imagined it would simply go away on it's own. Nice, huh?

Enter that one book called Make the Connection. Remember that? It was Bob Greene and Oprah and how she finally made the mind-body connection to getting her weight under control. And it was no magical pill diet, or trendy fad thing….it was just common sense. Eat well, excercise. Boom. Done.

I followed the plan religiously for a year and managed to get down to 150 pounds. 45 pounds lighter than where I'd started. It's actually not hard for people wth OCD to focus and achieve, when it becomes their new "thing." And Making the Connection was my new thing.

Now you would think, after a year of working out, five days a week, at home, at 5:00 a.m., with my Cher Step Aerobics tape, that a new habit of fitness was born, yes? Wrong. Because instead of capitolizing on my new found approach to fitness….I returned to my former fitness regime: the nicotine appetite supression plan a.k.a. heavy smoking!  Nice. (Mom, don't even get started here, it's all in the effort to live truthfully and "know thyself! And it wasn't easy, sneaking around the alley to meet the plan requirements…)

Then I got majorly thin. And super healthy! Ahem….

Is there a point to all of this? Yes. There is.

So years go by, and another baby. And another huge preganancy gain, and quitting smoking (of course!) and more weight. And then more desperate non-smoking depending options. Weight Watchers. etc. OCD working hard. Then smoking again. Then quitting again. Then no babies to blame. Then just me.

Which leads me to 2007, and I saw Bob Greene on the television on MLK Day, and thought, "Why cain't I quit you?" and i went online and ordered his book in a new effort to, as they say, live my best

So I'm going to see what it's all about. To see if i can feel good, stay in moderately good shape, and live longer.

Of course, there's always the smoking plan option, but Stacy Julian and my mother would kick my ass.

Cathy ZielskeLiving my

56 Comments on “Living my”

  1. #1

    Maybe this won’t matter to you, maybe the image works for me and not you, but I share it with the best intentions and dumbfounded respect for your honesty. I have this vision of my own health habits — I imagine them, spread out over the course of the year. They are there, those good habits (walking or riding the exercise bike for 30 minutes a day, eating a salad with a dinner that focuses mainly on vegetables with a bit of protein and starch thrown in, having — yeah — Kashi oatmeal for breakfast even though I’m the SuperWoman who can easily exist on two cups o’ joe alone, etc. etc.). And I have this vision of myself spreading out my hands and gathering these healthy habits together, condensing them, and then living on that track. So I know what to do, I know how to do it, I just need to NOT let all the bad habits seep in and push the space between my good habits so far apart that they don’t amount to anything. Well, maybe that doesn’t resonate for you, but here’s to the honor in your quest.

  2. #2

    Hi Cathy – I picked up this book after New Years Day and am loving it! Good sensible, one step at a time kind of stuff. A bit hard for me who likes instant gratification, but patience might yield a result that LASTS longer than the 25 pounds I have lost and found a few times….

  3. #3

    It’s so hard to become a fitness lover. Especially in MN in January! I would love to run outside today but not when it’s 4 degrees! So I run inside on a treadmill in front of a picture of my son or the TV. But everyday I choose to do it. And I have to tell myself everyday. I make a choice, and I do it. Kinda Nikeish! Good luck with the new book!

  4. #4

    Crossing fingers for you, you will make it!

    If you need some more volunteers for the the kickin’ job, just let me know, before you start smoking again ;-).

    Two years after my second pregnancy I still had to wear my pregnancy clothes. One day I decided to change my “style”. I started daily power walking outside (nature & oxygen helps a lot, physically and mentally), eating healthy (in normal portions), stopped sweets and my beloved red wine in the evening. This meant to loose something, which used to be a part of the “adult life” without kids. But in the end, it just turned out as a habit, like the other unhealthy stuff. Within four month, I lost about 25 lb. Not so bad, huh?
    Long story short, if I can make it, everybody can.

    By the way, I’m soooo uber happy that you’re back. Your bloggin’ makes my day!

  5. #5

    I picked up that book also. For me the plan is logical and makes total sense. I also love that he breaks things out into three plans and that you don’t have to stop eating the foods that you love. I just don’t need ice cream everyday and I don’t need to eat a pint in one sitting. 🙂

    Good luck with your goal!

  6. #6

    OMG! I had tivo’d this episode and just finished watching it not 15 minutes ago. I got online to order the book, and first I checked your blog and, wow! That was really weird. You know what they say about great minds…

  7. #7

    okay, so Cathy like I said, I’m on the plan with you. I have much more work to do than you, but keep us posted, okay?

  8. #8

    That is EXACTLY what I did. Smoked through law school (because how can you not?), stopped and had a baby and many browneis, smoked again to lose the weight, stopped for baby #2 and more brownies….and here I am. What cracks me up is that I ever thought nobody would know that I smoked (I snuck around too). Now when I’m around anyone who has had a single puff in the last 48 hours, I can tell with absolutely certainty what they’ve been doing. But…turns out, for me, the brownies are a lot harder to give up than the cigs.

  9. #9
    The Legacy Lady

    It is great to see you blogging again. I picked up your second book a month ago and was disappointed that you had taken your blog down. It is good you are back. Your honesty and candor are refreshing!

    Now as for the fit thing i think if anyone of us can get it down and keep it there – and share the secret so it works for others – well we just might have a ticket to financial freedom! Keep us posted on how it goes!

    PS – I am so glad Stacy and your mother discourage your plan “B” – you are too good for that and we want you around for a LONG time!

  10. #10

    I am also happy that you are back blogging.
    I saw the Bob Greene show on Oprah too. I had already purchased the book at Christmas and had not even looked at it yet. It may even still be packed in a travel bag. I am going to dig ot out right now!!!
    Good luck to us all who have this goal in 2007.

  11. #11
    Dana Miron (danahollis)

    I also got that book. I’m not alone I guess! LOL! 😉

    DO NOT SMOKE… very bad idea!! Very bad! Not to get all preachy on ya, but… please don’t start again.

    I have been really focusing on portion control and eliminating processed foods and Dr. Pepper from my diet. It’s been a little challenging, but it feels so good when you don’t give in to the temptation to over eat or eat junk.

    There are some really good recipes in the book, too.

    Best of luck!!! 🙂


  12. #13

    Being the deadline-oriented, anal person I am, I had to choose a goal. In July, I decided I would be 20 pounds lighter by my 40th birthday. (It gave me a catchy slogan too–20 by 40).
    I wanted to be healthier, exercise helps my bipolar and, well, I wanted to be hawt when I saw my ex-boyfriend at college homecoming (*insert vain vengefulness*)
    So, a set deadline worked for me. I religiously carve three to five lunch hours per week for ME! What a novel idea! Spending time on me!

  13. #14

    As your older sis, I’ll kick your ass too if you use the smoking plan!! My dad has emphysema…enuf said. Got me some Bob Greene too and Ellie Krieger (foodtv healthy cooking show). We can do this…!!

  14. #15
    Kelli Kemmerer

    I am SO HAPPY you are blogging again! I check your blog out daily. Donna and Ali are GREAT! I get a huge laugh out of yours!! Sure were hoping you would show up at CKC St. Louis this year!!!

  15. #16

    so glad you posted this. you’d mentioned the book before & i wondered what the title was. will pick it up-thx!

  16. #17
    Kimberly L.C.

    Gawd… the things we convince ourselves are the good things to do, right? Yeah, I have my own dirty secrets (I ate Egg McMuffins every morning of my junior year of college and then wondered why I was getting so fat).

    Good for you for doing what works ( and realizing what shouldn’t work (the smoking) and in the end, what it’s all about (being real, being you and being healthy).

    That’s my new approach: trying to like who I am now and figuring out the best way to get to being better.

    Thanks Cathy for being real and best wishes to being the best you!

  17. #19

    and i’d hold you down so Miss T could finish the job! :o) good luck on the whole rebuilding cathy project, i’m starting a rebulding valerie project this year, too (and dragging the Husband along for the hell, er – fun!) – so good luck to us all!

  18. #20
    Jessica Hood

    Good luck! You (and your family) deserve to be as healthy as you can be. I quit smoking 2 years & 2 months ago. It is the best thing I’ve ever done. I work out regularly now & weight less than I have in years. But I still enjoy eating & I still have to make myself go to the gym. Some people just do not love working out. And that’s ok. We just have to be able to say we’re striving to do our best. Right!?

  19. #21
    Kelli Johnson

    I don’t mean to laugh…but picturing SJ kicking your ass…just makes me LOL 🙂

    you know after loosing 40lbs in ’06…I know keeping it off, pretending like you are super exercise woman or being happy with the way you are made isn’t always easy…

    hence my meeting with my PT on Thrusday. LOL

  20. #22
    Lisa Cohen

    I just saw some of the Bob Greene show on Oprah while on the elliptical this morning… I’ll finish up the rest tomorrow.. but I agree with the whole “life plan” that it’s not about the quick fix but rather a lifestyle. And that you can have anything in moderation.

    And smoking??!! Yuck. Ick. Blech! Add me to the list of people that will kick your butt if you start!

  21. #23
    Anne Thompson

    Speaking of Oprah….my puppy is going to be on Oprah today! They are doing this episode on Google being one of the best places to work and my friend Robin works at Google and was interviewed and she bought one of my dogs puppies a few months ago! Her name si Sola nd she is a little fluff ball, so if you happened to watch, that is one of our little girls! Anne Thompson

  22. #24
    Lisa H.

    I have 40 to lose and that’s straight out of the mouth of my cardiologist. So, do it to LIVE. And, please don’t smoke. It killed my MOM and the world would be a lot less fun if you weren’t in it. So, regular exercise and South Beach is doing it for me. Not just a diet, but, ah, yes a lifestyle. Good luck. Hang in. It does suck sometimes, but it’s worth it, because you will LIVE.

  23. #25

    Okay, I’m gonna preach here: What ever you do, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT start smoking. I’ve seen death by lung cancer up close and personal (my mom), and you DON’T want to exit your life that way, nor do you want your kids/husband to see you passing that way. Passing by smoking-induced heart attack is also ugly – lost my dad to that last December.

    Okay, I’m done – glad you’re back!

  24. #26

    Good luck Cathy! I’m on a mission myself to lose some weight as I have gone up a dress size! It’s 18 days into 2007 and I still have not made much of an effort in the exercise department. So I will make a concerted effort to get out and start walking again. I’ll also see if I can get his book in our local library. I don’t know if you can get it here in Sydney but I’ll try.

  25. #27

    just when i thought the pressure was off to keep NY resolutions, along you come with this witty post that made me laugh and laugh.
    Wow. 100 pounds. That was some baby!
    I need to drop some too. The muffin top won’t look to swell in a bridesmaid dress in 5 months!

  26. #28

    I too read “Make the Connection” (twice as a matter of fact)years ago and think Bob Greene is great. I looked at his new book at Borders last week (ok, I picked it up and fondled it) but didn’t purchase it. Anxious to hear your comments after you read it so be sure to let us know. As a Lifetime Weight Watcher who is struggling to get back to goal, I know how hard it is. And let me tell you, it doesn’t get any easier after 40…why is that?

  27. #29
    stephanie thiel

    You go girl!
    the ass kickin’ line starts here<<<!!

    That was a great show the other day…I'm doin' the weight watchers confessional ('my name is Stephanie…and I…am fat') and have joined a private health club (an absolute slice of heaven that place is!and my trainer is a gem)…No, I'm not fat as in obese, but with my age and after several health scares, it's doctor's orders.
    I feel better already!! I am READY to kick someone ELSE's ass!!!

  28. #32
    Heather H.

    WoW! THanks for sharing. I am taking Heidi’s AY2R class and my goal is to lose 25lbs. by June 15. I’m going to the Y tonight. And trying to lay off the chocolate. And the brownies. Now you know that you are definitely NOT alone. And LOL at Tara’s comment.

  29. #33

    I saw that show, too. I have currently been enrolled in Weight Watchers since November. And it has been successful. BUT….that show got me thinking! I can’t wait to hear what you have to say about it. Good for you for going public! It’s tough enough when you do it on your own…but to post it on your very public blog is noteworthy!

  30. #34

    Whoa! I was in Wally world at 8am today and just happened to come across this very book. I too, saw this episode and wanted to see what the book was all about. (That WASA cracker with turkey and tomato looked delish! Bought those too.) I also went to check out the local Y today. Gotta get this body moovin! LOL. We can do this! Each and everyone of us!

  31. #35
    susan opel

    Thank goodness that you have your momma and Stacy Julian to be accountable to! 🙂

    Best of luck with the plan, man!

    PS – I totally get Fergie – do you hate me for it!?

  32. #36

    Orson Wells, hahaha.

    I’ve been known to forget my extra 25kgs – til I’m trying to cram em into some cute little “before children” sized thing (think inflating rubber raft) 🙂

  33. #37
    samantha Jo Campen

    We’re with ya Cathy! A lot of people I know have vowed to exercise and live healthier in this new year and are really sticking to it. Something about 2007 is making us all yern to be healthy and take stock of our lives.

    You can do it. You’ve done it before and we’re all here to support you.

    Now I might just go out and see what all the fuss is about with that book:-)

  34. #39

    CZ — I *love* your honesty. You rock! (from one overweight-struggling-to-be-healthy-former-smoker-wanna-be-cool-mom)

  35. #40

    Funny how you mention this show. I also saw it. And funny how I have considered smoking as well. But now that my mom has lung cancer I’ve decided. Nah! So I’m interested to hear how you do. Giving up soda and exercising is gonna be hard. But I need to do it.

  36. #41
    Judy in Carefree

    You can do it Cathy! Eight years ago I lost 53 pounds with the help of my doctor and sheer willpower! I am not skinny by any means, but have been within 5-6 pounds of the inital 53 pounds that I lost and I don’t exercise and am almost 65 years old. I wear a size 12 and am happy in my skin and I feel great! Don’t smoke! My husband had a heart attack on his 52nd birthday and it took him 13 years to quit, but despite some weight gain he is in better shape than he was almost 14 yearts ago.

  37. #42

    Please don’t go back to smoking…but…I would love to watch Stacy take you down. That would be fun to scrap!

  38. #44

    My mother, in all seriousness, suggested to me one time that perhaps I should START SMOKING as an effort to lose weight. “Instead of eating, smoke a cigarette.” My mother is not out of her mind in most other areas of life, but it still baffles me that she so wanted me to lose weight that she suggested this. Insane. :}

  39. #45

    Hi Cathy: I am a big fan of yours, big time blog reader, not to big of a poster person, just reader, today I have to write a comment here, I don’t want to be raw or abrupt or sound mean, but…. please do not smoke!
    My mother in law just past away on December 23th!, yes, just before christmas, from COPD, I can not describe how hard, sad, frustrating, depressing, dramatic, tragic and terrible her sickness and dead was for us, her family and of course for herself. She smoked for years, and I know in my heart that she didn’t know how bad smoking is, because if she knew, she would have never done this to her self and to us also, we lived with her and we saw her consume and die slowly, slowly, it was horrible Cathy, and then the process of the last stage of her life was just, something that no one of us, my poor husband, my 12 year old and my self will ever forget.

  40. #46

    i hear ya cathy about the bad habits and the baby weight gain. i am 44 and my youngest is 21 (years old that is) at the end of the month and i am almost back to my pre-pregnancy weight for the first time since her birth!! how bad is that!! i piled on huge amounts of weight with my first baby and lost it really quickly, and yes did start smoking again after she was born. Foolishly i thought the second pregnancy weight gain would just fall off too but it didn’t and i didn’t smoke again either. however, to finally shift the extra 100 pounds i have just eaten half whatever i usually did and done twice as much exercise. i will not make a change i do not believe i can live with forever. if i do that’s dieting and i won’t do that. good luck, i wish i had taken this in hand years ago but i just had to `make the connection’ for myself in my own time.

  41. #48

    ocd may make it easy to do something all-out for a little while, but the problem is the “all-out” keeps switching from thing to thing. might be fitness for a while, then scrapbooking and then Mexican food and then making jewelry and then . . . (big sigh)

    oh – and i’m talking about me. i hope YOU can stick with the whole fitness thing forever.

  42. #49

    hi there-
    This is a long one!
    I have struggled with my weight as well. I was anorexic as a ballet dancer when I was in my teens and early 20’s then I stopped dancing and PILED on weight. I moved to France, learned how to eat and went from 225 lbs. to 160-ish. I have since moved back to the States and had 2 children, my last being a 10.5 1b. whopper. I put on almost 100 lbs. with my son but it came right off within a year and a half. My secret? I try to speed walk about 2 miles around my neighborhood (I am so not into gyms) about 5 times a week (even in the freezing weather) and I eat well. The cook book “Fresh and Fast” by Marie Simmons has helped me so much. The recipies are straightforward, the ingredients are readily available and my whole family likes whatever comes out of there. Beleive me, I LOVE to eat and if I feel like I am depriving myself of good food, I am one cranky mama!
    Good luck with the weight plan, and sorry for the long post!
    Rochelle McGee

  43. #50

    I just gotta say that I am so happy that you are back bloggin again!I missed you tons! Please do not quit bloggin again!
    I wish you the best of luck in this new plan.

  44. #52
    Holly S.

    I lost 40 lbs last year (with 20 more still to go) on a strict program through our hospital. But one thing that helped me was having a goal…I signed up to walk in the Breast Cancer 3-Day (60 miles in 3 days) and it really kept me from being a couch potato all summer and had me up and walking!! And I raised lots of money for a good cause. I still have 20 more to go, so I am signed up to walk this year’s 3-Day also. Good luck, Cathy!

  45. #53

    I need to loose 75lbs to have a baby…i have a condition that makes me gain weight and makes it really hard to loose no mater how much I work out….I’ve often thought of the smoking plan….then i keep telling myself..that woudln’t make sense to start smoking while I’m trying to get helthy!
    well anyway…not that you neede dot know any of that….but i keep thinking about getting that book tell me how you like it.


  46. #54
    Amber Nichole

    i had no idea you were a smoker.
    i am a smoker.
    my issue….i really like it.
    yeah. it’s bad.
    i know i know i know.
    i’m just not ready yet.
    but you’ve already quit.
    don’t start back up.
    it would really suck to come here one day and see that your mama and stacy beat the shit outta ya. :o)

  47. #55

    So….I saw Bob Greene as well….and will be joining you….waiting for this bit of NJ snow to melt so I can head out to B&N and get it! HA! I’m so with you….ate so much junk when I was pregnant…and here I am with a 4 month old still talking about needing to lose weight….so I’m in it with ya!

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