Even Steven

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life61 Comments

Four months ago, on April 16, I rejoined Weight Watchers online, to try and get a handle on the “you can’t fool anyone by sucking it in anymore” muffin top. I stepped on the scale and there weren’t no runnin’ from the truth at 160. I’d put on a solid 20 pounds since quitting smoking on March 17, 2006. A solid 20. A toddler, essentially.

On July 14, 2007 (that would be this past Saturday) I decided to step on the scale again. (Which is not to say I hadn’t stepped on the scale for four months. Come on, now…people with obsessive-compulsive tendencies don’t get off that easy) but, I decided to get back to the program. You know…get back in line.

And there weren’t no runnin’ from the truth: 160.

That, my friends, is called even steven.

For those of you who are wondering how someone can’t lose ANY weight on a program for four months, I can clear it up very easily: I wasn’t following the program.

For the first three weeks, it was AWESOME! I ate within my points range, exercised every day, felt great and dropped 6 pounds. Then I got hungry.

The time I did Weight Watchers as a smoker was so easy. Hmmm….should I eat this 8-inch segment of baguette? or smoke? (Remember, smoking  has NO POINTS!)

But this time…not so simple.

I started back to walking about a week ago. I’d taken about a month off with several valid excuses: 1. My wrist was all messed up and Chip was still here and she pulled too hard and I couldn’t use my other hand to hold the leash because my shoulder was all messed up too because I’m old and falling apart, and 2. I hate exercise.

So on Saturday, after that wholly depressing weigh in, I hit the road for my hour long walk around Como Lake, and I was breaking a sweat just trying to keep pace with a couple in their mid-seventies, who became an increasingly smaller image of tan polyester shorts and wide-brimmed straw sun hats, as they pulled further and further away from me.

As I’m trying really hard not to look like an arm-pumping ass, while simultaneously picking up my sloth-like pace, Prince’s Black Sweat comes on my iPod, and I started laughing out loud as he’s singing in my ear, because I realized the truth that there weren’t be no runnin’ from: I am never going to be "workin’ up a black sweat" because I AM WALKING.

But my wrists are doing a lot better. And, they’re super thin. So I have that going for me…

Cathy ZielskeEven Steven

61 Comments on “Even Steven”

  1. #1

    It’s OK, Cathy. 🙂 Really. I totally hate exercise. I can empathize AND I’m starving – a dual problem in the weight loss world. I’ve so far lost 25 lbs on WW and am down to 217. It isn’t easy and I’ve hit a plateau that involves daily hunger, lack of energy and self deprecation to keep my sense of humor up. It’s a struggle.

    I have a long, long way (40 lbs more would make me happy, 50 would make me do cartwheels) to go and know eventually that my excuses and ailments have to be put aside to keep me moving towards my goal. So I have a choice. And no, it’s not smoking or baguette (the bread wins every time, as smoking caused the asthma I have now). It’s longer happier life versus chronic depression. I’ve decided that I want to be happier, so eventually I’ll have to overcome my obstacles and plunge forward. Hell, if this gal can do it, YOU can do it. 🙂 xo Good luck, girl!

  2. #2

    if only it were as easy as say…eating!

    my wrists are thin too…here’s to super thin wrists.

    maybe we should wear fish net arm bands to accentuate them…

  3. #3

    if only it were as easy as say…eating!

    my wrists are thin too…here’s to super thin wrists.

    maybe we should wear fish net arm bands to accentuate them…

  4. #4

    if only it were as easy as say…eating!

    my wrists are thin too…here’s to super thin wrists.

    maybe we should wear fish net arm bands to accentuate them…

  5. #5

    if only it were as easy as say…eating!

    my wrists are thin too…here’s to super thin wrists.

    maybe we should wear fish net arm bands to accentuate them…

  6. #6

    so there with you my friend. I have a pic of me post-stoppping-drinking-pre-stopping-smoking – at the time I thought I was ravishingly hot but now I think I just looked ravished. WAY too thin. Way. And now, apparently, I will never have to worry about looking like that again.
    I have thin….hair. And that’s about it. I’m not fat, just way too much muffin top, way too much of the flying squirrel upper arm thing going on…I keep trying to say to myself – this won’t taste as good as being thin will feel. But I don’t always agree with myself about that so…muffin top and flying squirrel arms.
    But the walking – you GO girl. Be my rock. Inspire me. You can do it.

  7. #7

    como lake?!?!

    i grew up there. i lived on north avon street and my parents used to burn wheels off strollers walking us around the lake. we hid quarters on the ledge of the pavilion for when the snow cone truck would be there.

    small, small world.

    keep walking, cathy. and keep blogging.

  8. #8
    heather (in Scotland)

    Maybe you can view Even Stephen in a positive way – if you kind of ate what you liked for four months and stayed the same weight maybe that’s your “normal” weight, that you maintain without all the heartache and hunger of dieting?

    (Easy for me to say – I’m 7 months pregnant with a big out-front belly so having a muffin top isn’t an issue!)

  9. #10
    Carol Anne

    I know exactly where you are coming from, Cathy. I also faced the truth yesterday (must have been “Face The Truth Day” in St. Paul…). It back on the wagon, back to exercise and walking. And if I want something sweet — alot of fruit is coming back into season. At least we won’t go broke eating healthy — at least not until the frost hits.

    Good luck with your program, and I’ll send good thoughts your way as I work mine.

  10. #11

    Hi Cathy—i’ve been “lurking” around on your blog for over a year (even when you took your break)…we walk (or couch potato) a similar path…

    i just posted my “new improved outlook” discoveries on my blog …if i can be so bold: check it out…

    Kat’s book is worth a visit-has changed my focus from losing weight to gaining health…here is her website:http://www.informedbeauty.com/

    and here is the book:

    thanks for all your honest reflections…i enjoy your blog…mary ruetten-henderson, nv

  11. #13

    I think we had the same epiphany this weekend. I stepped on the scale this morning too and I am at about 156. I just keep gaining and losing the same 5 pounds over and over again. And I think enough is enough. I am not getting any younger- and well I can’t blame it on having babies any more!

    Exercising sucks and well, being hungry sucks too!!!!

    I wish you much luck … I need it too!


  12. #14

    I am new to your blog and there is probably some rule about cross-talk, but I just wanted to say that it upsets me when you are hilariously and vulnerably you in a public forum (way to go!) and a woman who has a private blog posts a comment that can easily be interpreted as negative. You are a braver man than many of us, may I say?
    Thanks for keeping on,

  13. #16

    May I recommend two things to you? The first is an awesome, and free, website dedicated not only to weight loss, but to overall healthy living. http://sparkpeople.com They don’t promote fad dieting, and have been tremendous help to me on my weight loss journey.

    The other item is the book Strong Women Stay Slim http://tinyurl.com/ypxk48 . The author is a nutritional researcher at Tufts University. Again, it’s not a fad thing, but a simple weight training program (only 6 exercises) that help boost your metabolism and make you stronger and healthier. Your library probably has a copy.

    Don’t give up! You can do it and I’ll be pulling for ya!

  14. #17

    I’ve been doing WW for about 6 weeks now – no amazing loses but I am slowly shrinking. I am doing the no count. Do you have that in USA? Honestly it is easier cause you don’t have to count points just eat from a list of foods.
    Good Luck!

  15. #18

    hee hee.
    Will I get to see your amazingly thin wrists at CHA this week?
    p.s. I bought The Book, and still have yet to crack the spine. Wonder why I haven’t lost any weight???

  16. #19

    ok, so i quit smokin about 5 weeks ago and have gained 10 lbs. in a flash, plus to make matters worse (or better, i am unsure) i am going on a cruise at the end of july and then will be jumping on the ww bandwagon…it really works if you just stick to it…best of luck to you!

  17. #21

    i think it’s a vicious cyle..6 years ago I started my current job (+20 lbs) lost some lbs.. had a baby 3 years ago (+19) lost some weight.. quit smoking 7 1/2 months ago (+15).. debating on weight watchers or nutrisystem.. aaahh!

  18. #22

    Cathy, I feel your pain! I had been doing Weight Watchers faithfully and was working out several times a week. I was down 30 pounds and felt great. Then Hurricane Katrina came along! Once I got over the initial shock that I was homeless, I began eating and never stopped. I am so ready to get back with the program, but I am totally unmotivated. I can understand exactly how you feel. Good luck to you!

  19. #23

    Eat Less … Move More

    As Edwina from Ab Fab said, “If it were that simple darling everyone would be doing it. I must have a very heavy aura”

    It just bloody sucks. I looked at the roll between my jeans and my shirt last week and thought it’s not so much a muffin top as it is the filling squeezing out between 2 layers of sponge cake. At least you have faced the scales I am still at the looking at the WW “come back, we miss you” letters with good intentions.

  20. #24

    Hi Cathy-
    So I am 17 and extremely interested in graphic design, and basically.. exactly what you do for a living. I’ve read clean&simple and seen tons of stuff by you, and was wondering if i could ask you some questions about how you got to where you are now. This would be great! hopefully i’ll here back from you!


  21. #25
    Sandi D

    I started WW the first week of May 2007. I thought about doing it online but I knew unless I physically went to a meeting there would be no accountablility. As of today I have lost 14 pounds. The key….. actually having to weigh in at the meeting. It really helps you stay motivated. Sure, there have been some weeks were I ate in my usual fashion but then I just get back on the “bus” and try to start reducing my caloreis again.

  22. #26

    gosh, cathy – your perimenopause must be nicer than mine, b/c i worked up a black sweat (although bubby may disagree, since i, too am a white lady) just sitting here reading your blog! 🙂

    oh, hey- i know how to avoid muffin top: you wear what my daughter calls “mom jeans.” they go all the way up to the actual waist, like in the 80s. no muffin top. i do, however, now have two belly rolls the exact same distance “out” as my boobs. the bottom two are like tube-o-boob. muffin top or tri-boobedness? to each his own . . .

    all you guys encouraging cathy have just about influenced me to try ww. i have never been on a diet (hence the boob-sized rolls).

  23. #28
    Lisa Frenette

    LOL, I love reading your blog.
    I packed on 20 pounds after quitting smoking. I lived in denial for a while, I had quit smoking, I needed to eat. I did manage to finally lose the weight with WW and I’ve been keeping it off.
    If I did it, so can you !!!

  24. #29
    Hillary Chybinski

    soul sista, go sista. . .

    i hear you talking – never a smoker – never an exerciser. . .just don’t like it. were it not for my “skinny times” during which i am saddled with a nursing baby. . .i’m weighing in at about 20 lbs more than i “should” be.

    comfort baby – it’s what it’s aaaallllllll about.


  25. #30

    Weightloss is truly so difficult. Believe me I know. But I think it’s important (although maybe not what you want to hear) that you maintained a weight. Not many people can say that after a month of eating whatever.
    Keep up with it! Hard work does pay off!

  26. #31
    Laura Lee

    Cathy, I quit smoking 5 years ago and have been on a boing boing rollercoaster ride with my weight ever since.

    I’ll send my good thoughts with you and Meredith your comments crack me up, I have a shelf butt and my belly rolls are bigger than my boobs!!! Way to go for making me laugh out loud!!!! (yea I have way too much punctuation going on too)!

    Hugs and 3 cheers to self-determination to DO SOMETHING about it! 🙂
    Good Luck

  27. #32

    Another ex-smoker who gained 25 pounds after quitting checking in. Add perimenopause into the mix and losing weight is twice as hard. Started back to WW in May and I’ve lost 10 pounds. I shooting for 5 to 8 pounds a month. Keep your chin up. The weight will come off, it’s just going to be harding that it’s used to be.

  28. #34

    We were just talking about the whole weight issue today at a bbq I attended and we decided that we enjoy eating too much to constantly be dieting, yet we can’t help but feel like we are fat. What has the world done to us women? Remember in the days of Marilyn Monroe when a size 14 was average and considered normal? What happened to those days? We can’t blame men. Most men believe that we are healthy at that weight. It’s us girls. Us and our egos. Us and our having to keep up with whom? Models? We are smarter than that, aren’t we? Why do we beat ourselves up so?

    I came home and immediately put my scale away! I can’t live by it anymore. I work out, I eat reasonably well and I’m 42 and a size 10! I’m saying it and I’m saying it proudly!

    At least for now!

  29. #35

    Hah! When I went back to work in September, I gained about 30 lbs, now I’m fervently working at getting them off and they aren’t budging for the world. I totally feel your pain. Hang in there, you can do it! I’ve gone back to the gym, and slowly but surely, I WILL be in control again!

  30. #36
    Toni Brockliss

    Well Cathy, I climb 1000 steps a day on my stair-climber and I finally figured out how to use my little-gadget-counter-thingy yesterday, and it tells me that after nearly killing myself for 1000 steps I had burned off exactly 97 calories. 97!
    I feel like I climb to base camp 1 at Mt Everest and that’s all I burn off?
    The ironic thing is that you burn off calories eating. I could’ve sat on the couch and chewed gum and burnt off the 97 calories.
    So I suggest you keep typing and making us laugh and chew gum at the same time.

  31. #37

    Well it could have been much worse than staying the same weight for four months, you could have added pounds!

    Doing the WW online thing myself, and get really discouraged when some are able to skite about loosing kilos each week and I lose mere grams each week. Sucks really but I have found that my house has never looked so clean, since when I get hungry I go do some of the dreaded housework instead, heck and even lose a few more grams doing it!

    My husband is loving the clean and tidy house, me not so much liking the housework! I mean who does? Well apart from my mother in law …

  32. #38
    Heidi P.

    I know how you feel…being way above your personal comfort level—but please believe me when I say you look fantastic. Really! How tall are you? I wish I looked that good. You must have “mini-muffin top”–because I have “Costco-muffin top!”

  33. #40

    i have the same story…right up to the skinny wrists mine are not. same weight…ww…160…one month later…160.

  34. #41

    I feel your pain! I haven’t been following my WW program for a while, either, but when I DID follow it, the pounds were melting off! Try the Core Program. It works, you don’t feel hunry because you eat as much as you want to stay satisfied, and there’s no counting! Good luck!

  35. #42
    Susan Kopp

    I hear you loud and clear (at least now that the demons in my murderous rage head have quit screaming non stop…smoke…smoke) I quit smoking cold turkey 10 days ago and have put on 4 lbs. I am trying to work the program but when you are rocking yourself like a junkie all you can think of is oral satisfaction lol. I don’t know from muffin top (that sounds so cute) mine is more like doughy ooze from years of fat and no jeans just elastic waist pants. My meeting is Wed. and I have a great leader, very motivational, so hopefully I can get back on the losing track. Just 55 lbs to go. Hang in there.

  36. #43
    wendy (in North Dakota)

    DAMN! I would be soooooo super skinny at 170! I totally LOVE you CZ..regardless of your weight, hair, skinny wrists or what have you……you make me laugh and sometimes, we just have to stop and laugh with our friends and ourselves!
    On the positive side…
    hey your QUIT SMOKING! YEAH!
    and it could of been 120 pounds you gained and not only 20!
    Keep walking girl…hey, I you maybe have inspired me…after CHA..I am going to be a walking fool!

  37. #44
    Barbie Schwartz

    Cathy, you are hilarious!

    I am just a year behind you in age, and instead of the “stopped-smoking” weight gain, I have the “thyroid quit working” weight gain. I gained 50 pounds in 5 years before being diagnosed properly. So you would think that the weight would come off easily after the hormones are back in balance, right? WRONG! So I joined WW after my dad bragging about losing 40 lbs. in 5 months. Been on WW for 5 weeks now. I lost 2 pounds the first week. Gained 2 pounds the second week, and have been holding steady ever since.

    “They” say how wonderful WW is because you can eat whatever you want. Well, if that was the case, why would any of us need WW? Sure, you can eat that chocolate chip cookie, or that piece of pie. Or that bowl of pasta with the creamy alfredo sauce and all the seafood…But that’s all you can have for the next day and a half!

    My biggest downfalls are that I HATE vegetables, and I LOVE Coke. WW probably works really well if you love veggies and water. And exercise. Which I also hate.

    But, I really hate being fat, too. So what’s a girl to do? Starve and sweat seem to be the only answers. Sucks, doesn’t it?

    I wish you great success, Cathy. Make your OCD work for you!

  38. #45

    What can I say that hasn’t already been said? I too have done WW, lost 75 pounds and 3 years later gained back 30….when you follow the plan it works – when you don’t, well you get the “muffie top”! I feel SO, SO comforted to know that I am not alone!


  39. #46
    Laura Reaux

    Come on, girl… show us those sexy, thin wrists. Woooo!

    Aaaand from someone who wishes I could walk every day, but can’t (no where to walk by my house & can’t cart 3 littles ones with me)… you should check out Jorge Cruise’s 8 Minutes in the Morning to a Flat Belly. GREAT EIGHT minute workout 5 days a week, and super simple way of eating. Also… to start with, I allow myself whatever I want to eat on the weekend for eating right during the week. Just wanted to pass on a little advice. 😉

  40. #47

    Cathy- best of luck to you with WW. I am a huge WW fan. Well, not so huge any more. I lost 80 pounds on their program in just over a year, and have been keeping it off fairly easily for about a year and a half. The secret, I believe, is fiber, fiber and more fiber. Keeps you feeling full. Hang in there with it!

  41. #48
    kate hagelin

    Sorry for your struggles but you know you’re certainly not alone! I wish that all the things I really like (scones, bundt cake, cheese, beer) could be on a diet, but they aren’t. I’m totally over being covered with blubber and have been dieting for 10 days. I’ve started exercising 2X a day because once doesn’t cut it and I just can’t survive on 1000 calorie diets. I’m starting to see results.

    Don’t know if you have a bike, but I’ve started biking with my kids. I’ve got four of them, two on bikes and two I pull in a burley trailer. It gets us out into the great outdoors, the kids love it and it’s burning some fat, especially hauling the trailer up the hill. Maybe something you could do with your kids that’s a little more fun than plain old exercise?

  42. #49
    Sherri P

    My husband’s favorite thing to do is fondle my muffin top, pretending he thinks he’s further north. He knows just the RIGHT thing to do! Hasn’t motivated me to lose it though!

  43. #50

    Hi Cathy,

    As a fellow lover of Neil Finn and Crowded House, I thought you might like to see this interview which was on an Australian television show last night. Sadly the entire interview isn’t on the site, but thought you’d like to see what is there 🙂


    Megan xx

  44. #51

    I joined WW 2 years ago and actually met my goal. I’ve been on lifetime maintenance for a year now. What really worked for me was having to go to the meetings once a week and weighing in. That accountability in front of live human beings kept me in line. You just have to get your mind right and you’ll be able to do it. And btw, no matter what your weight is, you’re my idol!

  45. #52

    Yup. Still at the same place I was in January. Ugh. Hope we can all find the motivation we need to accomplish our goals!!!

  46. #54

    I love you! I love how you make me laugh – though I don’t like always having to clean the computer screen – you need to make your own screen saver to sell 🙂

  47. #55

    well maybe things are not as bad as you think…April – July is only THREE months, not four! Does that help at all??

    I know WW online DOES work, I lost 70 pounds using it. I never got to goal, I let OTHER people’s ideas and compliments go to my head and I veered off track. I put back on 50 pounds. WAHHHHHHHHH…. I am working to get it off, again. I hate the muffin top! It is more like rolls o’ fat for me though. 🙁

    Hang in there! YOU CAN DO THIS!

  48. #56

    Seriously-laugh at loud! I feel your pain. I had to do something drastic before going on vacation next week because of the ‘muffin top’ thing, the excuse that I just had a baby isn’t working anymore, since he is now 18 months old and I weigh almost as much as I did when I delivered him! I went on a 10 day Master Cleanse drinking nothing but lemonade-I’m finishing up day 8…The muffin top is slowly turning into a mini muffin, hopefully it stays that way while I am visiting family, then I can come back home and eat some brownies or something! My wrists too are looking mighty thin…maybe I should eat that brownie now, I don’t want the family to think I’m skin and bones! Ha ha

  49. #58

    Oh, Cathy! I just love reading your blog because you make me laugh! Thanks for that! I hear ya about not losing the weight. I hear ya.

  50. #59
    Lynne Gillis

    I’ll be more than happy to be your weight loss partner in crime, especially since I am at the same point you are right now — and finally ready to do something about it. Time for me to put away the Fritos and put on the Nike’s… If you ever need encouragement when you have to make the choice between a salad and fries… just give a shout out… I’m right here rooting for you!

  51. #60

    So funny–the exact same thing has happened to me! I joined WW online (1st time online, 2nd time total) just a few days before you. I’ve lost about 5 lbs and just stuck there. Of course, life got in the way and I haven’t been counting much for most of the last month, but I still feel like this is the time and I’ll eventually get there. Slow and steady wins the race. Even if I get off track for a while I know I can still do it. Persistence. Don’t give up and keep coming back (I tell myself). I know this is a lifestyle change and it will take a while to get my recipes and pantry reworked. We’re always a work in progress, right? Life would be boring if we didn’t have something to work on!

  52. #61

    WW online rocks! Check out the 40’s post a group called Scrapbooking Divas. Year of the Skinny. Wonderful group of gals fighting the good fight and running fast with scissors.

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