It’s my birthday

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life164 Comments

Which is SO not true.

I just woke up. on my BIRTHDAY. The 8th Day of the Third Month of the Year. 42 years ago today, back in the friggin' 60s, I was born. That is just so groovy I can't stand it.

Because we just broke the bank on Disney, we aren't doing "gifts" this year, at least not traditional ones that cost money. My gift last night (now come on… I'm not going there) was to kick Cole OUT of his bed, and have a quiet, single bed all to myself. No loud breathers anywhere to be found. Or heard.

And I woke up to a cascading set of Bazzill Basics cardstock, each with its own letter, spelling out "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" all the way down the stairs. They're making their second appearance this week. Aidan made them for Dan's birthday on Thursday, and set her alarm for 5:30 a.m. to get up and lay them out AND make him breakfast. How sweet is that? I had called her the night before just to tell her, "Don't forget to wish Daddy a happy day." She's such an overachiever.

I just demanded that Dan make me pancakes, and he has happily obliged. Love watching men cook. And besides, my points to weight ratio is SO not in any jeopardy. And do you want to know why?

Because as of today, I'm sitting at a whopping NET ZERO. Do you know what this means? It means that after all that healthy living, excercise and point counting, I've officially gained every bloody pound back.

My goal that I was going to tell you about that I've missed by a mile was that by my 42nd birthday, I was going to weigh 142 pounds.  A nice, manageable, healthy weight. Today? 160. For those of you who are math challenged, that is not the same number.

Now, I will save the rededication to all things healthy for tomorrow. Or maybe Monday. Today, I will eat my pancakes, chase it down with some Do-si-dos, and start looking at the Taste of India take out menu. Afterall, I've got the WHOLE next year for self-loathing!

Afterall, today IS my birthday!


Cathy ZielskeIt’s my birthday

164 Comments on “It’s my birthday”

  1. #1

    CZ: HAPPY BIRTHDAY 2 U, HAPPY BiRTHDAY 2 U, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR CZ, Happy birthday 2 you……and mannnnnnny more!

    Don’t worry about today. Eat, drinnk, be merry! Tomorrow is a new day.
    Have a great one! πŸ™‚

  2. #2

    Happy Birthday!!! you give so much to so many, hope your Birthday is FULL of special moments. Thanks for all you give to all of your readers. I too am a child of the 60s, yep it was a groovy time. Oh, and losing weight after 40? Not so easy. And not as important as it once was . . .

  3. #4
    ronni h

    Dude, the secret to staying younger is to lie about your age. I hope your birthday is as fabulous as you truly are. Thanx so much for inspiring me!

  4. #10
    Sharon F.

    Happy Birthday Cathy!

    I wish you the best in your quest to get fit. If i could, I was a WW devote at one time but kept feeling like a yoyo…
    I would like to recommend two books: 1) Bob Greene, The Best Life Diet and 2) YOU, The Owners Manual by Drs Roizen and Oz. Both focus on health rather than weight and the funny thing is the weight comes off when you focus on health.

    This way of thinking and eating and exercising has helped me tremendously. The two primary lifestyle changes I have made and have helped me keep weight off without starving my body (that is why it comes back) is: 1) not to eat 2 hours before bed…what a difference that made and I feel 110% better when I wake up now; and 2)increase your exercise level. Traditionally I was a slug. I work in an office and walk around the office and through the nonprofit science center fairly quickly but that was it. Now I work out at Curves first thing each morning for 30 min. 3-4 mornings. I find it has to be easy for me to do or I will not do it. This approach has made such a huge difference in how I feel. My clothes fit better and as I do this I am craving more healthy food and less junk. I dont want to feel as if I have to limit myself and this approach is great.

    Anyway, wanted to share. I will be 50 in two years, so I am giving myself that time to get fit.

    And a happy b-day shout out to Dan too. Met him at the CKU-Masters San Jose, CA many moons ago. He is a great speaker.

    sharon f.
    oakland, ca

  5. #11

    Happy Birthday to you!

    I hope you had a fantastic birthday, and if not, declare today the Do-Over Birthday and really lay on the guilt.


    Okay, a serious question, a very random question…

    what type of color printer do you use? I would like to print my own invitations to my son’s graduation party and I know I read somewhere on your blog that you had a printer that printed white. Or was I dreaming? I often daydream about things that would make it easier for me to exist from the warmth of my own house (Nebraska is VERY cold right now and has been for some time). Could this have been a figment of my imagination? If anyone knew of such a wondrous piece technology, surely it would be you?

  6. #12

    Happy Birthday Cathy! You’re the best! Thanks for providing me a continuous stream of chuckles in my otherwise ordinary days. Looking forward to more of the same.

  7. #15

    May you have the happiest of birthdays and the best ever year to come. And may your blogging go on forever, amen.

  8. #16
    sue Treiber

    Happy day C42.
    i will be S v.40 in one month. I also had lofty weight goals that are unmet. I will toast you with something highly fattening but delicious!

  9. #17

    Happy birthday!!!

    I hope you find it hard to self loathe when the whole world is completely in love with you.

    42 is beautiful on you!!

  10. #18
    Lyn Meeker

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! Enjoy being 42 … because 7 years later you won’t remember it! (Believe me .. I know! LOL!) … Hope they make you lunch and dinner as well!

  11. #19
    Jessica S

    Happy Birthday Cathy! Have a wonderful day.
    Love your blog, so real and always gets me thinking. Jess

  12. #20
    Jessica S

    Happy Birthday Cathy! Have a wonderful day.
    Love your blog, so real and always gets me thinking. Jess

  13. #21
    Jessica S

    Happy Birthday Cathy! Have a wonderful day.
    Love your blog, so real and always gets me thinking. Jess

  14. #22

    Wishing you the BEST of birthdays! Thank you for brightening my world every single day. πŸ™‚ I’m gonna go eat pancakes in your honor!

  15. #24
    Terence Lee

    Here’s a random poem to you CATHY!!! A GREAT HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    There’s this girl named cathy,
    and we hope that she’ll be happy,
    not that she no longer twenty,
    but that she’s full of life and scrappy!

  16. #25

    Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuuuuu
    Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu
    Happy Birthday dear Cathyyyyyyyy the First Lady to the Pres-i-dennnnnnt
    Happy Birthday to youuuuuuuuuuuuu

  17. #27

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, haPPy, HAppy, hApPy B-day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 U, 2 U, 2 U, 2 U, 2 U, 2 U, 2 U, 2 Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!

    Have a wonderful day Cathy!

    B. R.

  18. #29
    Judy in Carefree

    I’ve been married almost 42 years so it must be a good number. Enjoy every moment of your birthday and concentrate on the healthy things Monday through Friday. It has worked for me!

  19. #30

    Happy Birthday! πŸ™‚

    And NO self loathing is allowed. NONE! It’s not good, don’t go there, don’t do it. Talk positive talk πŸ™‚

    Karen (in Toronto)

  20. #33

    Hi Cathy:

    Happy Birthday. We’re snowed in here in Ohio today, and more is on the way. Happy Birthday (belated) to Dan, as well.

  21. #36
    Heather Sinkler

    Happy Birthday Cathy! I’d like to join you in rededicating myself to points counting and exercise. Thanks for the continued inspiration in so many ways!

  22. #38

    Happy Birthday, Cathy! It sounds like you are having a great one. πŸ™‚ I have been wanting you to know for a while how great an inspiration your books have been to me. Your style is beautiful, and I love having them as a resource. When I was searching for your books on line, I also found your blog…and it makes me laugh every day. Thanks so much for sharing your work and life with us. What a blessing!

  23. #39
    Donna Bettencourt

    Happy birthday Miss Cathy Z!!! Points counting is not allowed on birthdays (isn’t that what is says in the WW creed?)Enjoy your day surrounded by that loveable fam!


  24. #40

    Happy Birthday!

    I keep waiting for something big to happen this year as 42 IS the answer to everything. almost 2 months down and nada. Maybe you will be luckier than me. Have a great year!!

  25. #46
    Susan Gilman

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! AND NO SELF-LOATHING ALLOWED! We love you so much it is bordering on ‘single-white-female-stalking’ stuff (I know I overuse that…but you know…it’s the right mental picture). So. ENJOYR YOUR BIRTHDAY (hell…celebrate for another 10 days til MY BIRTHDAY and then we will continue it on for the remainder of the month. Cuz that is what you do once you pass 40. I called it. (and huge thanks for the TAG 4-up TEMPLATE…I am having a TAGAPALOOZA today between the wretched household chores. And yeah..the tags is winnin’ fierce.) LOVES!

  26. #47
    Wendy Z

    Wow! What a brave woman you are!!! I don’t think I’d have the guts to publish my weight for the whole world to see. Hell I don’t even want to know that number. My hats off to you.

    Oh, and BTW….Happy B-day to you!

  27. #50
    Kris with a K

    Happy Happy Birthday!

    Did you not know that any food consumed on your birthday is immediately converted into muscle that has no weight? And any exercise performed (and I mean, ANY) will triple in effect on your body?

    I’m surprised you hadn’t heard that. There was a study or something. Yeah. A study.

  28. #52

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Cathy! You rock no matter how much you weigh. You put a smile on my face and make me think with each blog entry. You even made me come precariously close to peeing in my pants with the crazy cruise vid you made. I wish I could bring you a cake! Here’s to lots of peaceful livin’ for you and your family for another year and many, many more to come. πŸ™‚ PS Happy birthday two days late to your personal prez, too! πŸ™‚

  29. #55
    Leigh Ann

    Happy Happy Birthday! As a fellow 40-something who lost weight and has now gained it back, I feel your pain–but let’s enjoy our weekend and then we can start all over on Monday with our healthy lifestyle.(It has to wait ’till Monday since I’ve already had a waffle with syrup and butter and I ate pizza last night, and I’m sure tonight holds something tasty in store for me! )
    I’m feeling very Scarlet O’Hara–Sunday I’ll just tell myself that “tomorrow is another day.”
    Enjoy your day!

  30. #56

    Happy Birthday! My birthday was yesterday and I did the same thing! Had great mexican food and marble slab ice cream for dessert. I am paying for it today but hey its once a year, so enjoy it! Have a great day!

  31. #57

    Happy Birthday Cathy! Karen (aka Karooch of has a saying that she did in word art. “Age is merely the number of years the world has been enjoying you.” So since everyone has been enjoying you all this time, it’s time for you to enjoy a couple of pancakes.

  32. #59
    Kellie T

    Happy Birthday Cathy!!! You are a great inspiration for so many reasons-you keep it so real! You deserve a great Birthday!! Enjoy!!

  33. #60

    happy birthday cathy! we share the same birthday, the same passion for scrapbooking and have similar musical interests!

    if you have a chance, check this out. it’s a short clip from the Fleetwood Mac ‘Tusk’ documentary.


  34. #61
    Robyn S

    Happy Birthday to you – March is such a good month for parties – both of my children, my sister in law, my father in law have bdays and a wedding anniversary is thrown in.
    In my travels to visit my family there I have been to Taste of India – good Choice. Also love the Good Earth.
    Enjoy your day.

  35. #63

    Lang zal ze leven,
    lang zal ze leven,
    lang zal ze leven in de gloria
    in de gloria, in de gloria-aaaa
    hieperdepiep hoera
    hieperdepiep hoera
    hieperdepiep hoera

    Cathy van harte gefeliciteerd

    (Dutch birthday song)

    I really didn’t now it was your birthday today πŸ˜‰ or did you mentioned it before???

    H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y
    (may all your wishes come true)

  36. #65

    Happy Birthday CZ! It’s the start of a whole new year, with all new beginnings! Hope it is your best year ever! Thanks for creating my favorite blog on the web!

  37. #67
    Carolyn Mcavoy

    Happy Birthday….Hope you have a wonderful day…you are 16 days older then me…lol and my weight has gone over 160 πŸ™ due to becoming disabled last year but still…It’s quite depressing…You have a great day…

  38. #68

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY CATHY!!! Eat all day, drink all night, enjoy the day – it comes but once a year. And remember this, the world became a better place on March 8, 1966 because you were born!

  39. #70

    Happy day! my husband and I also share birthdays just two days apart. I often say that he was the problem and i the solution. answer to his question, etc. Really enjoying your writing so much. i especially loved your line “I’m just a few stomach flus away from goal weight.” or something to that effect. You’ll get there, hopefully minus the flu. Be well … Molly

  40. #71

    Oh happy birthday! My moms was yesterday! I even stole the Happy Birthday Mr President song and inserted Mrs!LOL Shes 83! She said it was the best laugh shed had in a long time! Imloving my Lil month of stories! How fun!

  41. #73

    As a regular lurker here (before, during and after the hiatus), I will finally leave my shadows to say happy birthday. I love your take on life and how you make me laugh every single day.
    Well, OK, not laugh necessarily. Sometimes I just read something like ‘for those who are math challenged, that’s not the same number’ and snort my coffee over the screen in a very unladylike fashion. But I’m sure you get the idea. Have a good one CZ.

  42. #76

    To be honest, I don’t know why y’all are so worried about losing weight. I think you always look absolutely beautiful.

    (Did I use the y’all right? I’m an Aussie and I think it sounds SO cute.)


  43. #79

    Happy Birthday, talented & amazing woman. Be good, kind, patient and positive in the opening of your new 42nd year. Good things await.

  44. #80

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! and don’t worry about your appearance- you’ve always been incredibly lovely, and you always will be just wonderful.

  45. #84

    Happy Birthday Cathy!
    You have a great husband, beautiful kids, awesome job, fun hobbies, nice friends, buckets of raving fans, cute parents, and seem relatively healthy…so what’s a few pounds to show that you live a full life? Don’t sweat it, you are fabulous at forty-two.

    Enjoy your day!

  46. #86

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! We’re in similar boats! I just turned 42 a couple months ago and I have gained 25 of my 30 lbs lost 1.5 years ago!! It is so frustrating! But, I hope to get back the saddle again soon with an exercise routine and healthier eating. Maybe all of us blog readers can join in with you!
    HAVE an AWEsome day!!!

  47. #87

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You totally rock as you always have.
    Not to worry about the scale thing, it’s all that talent stuffed into one lean package that is messing with the numbers on your scale. So eat drink and be merry you only get one go around so enjoy it.

  48. #88

    Happy Birthday to you!
    Happy Birthday to you!
    Happy Birthday to Cathy!
    Happy Birthday to you!

    Let me just say that you are the most gorgeous 42 year old that I know, well, besides myself that is. Looking forward to meeting you in April. Have a fabulous, awesome day full of love and laughter and CAKE!

  49. #90

    Happy Birthday! Hope you have a sensational day full of things you love and that make you happy!!

  50. #92
    Jody Ferlaak

    Happy birthday to the fabulous 160 pound you. And just think. That is SO MUCH better than being 175 and wanting to be 142. So there. Happy birthday. Love you…just the way you are.

  51. #93

    Happy Birthday CZ! Because it’s your birthday, I’m not going to count calories today either! ;-)~

    Hope you have a great day!

  52. #94

    From our birthday house to yours, many happy returns of the day! My son turned 9 today amidst the raucous quibbling of 3 other 9 year old boy who spent the night last night. I’m longing for a quiet single bed somewhere myself.

  53. #96

    Happy birthday doll! A belated one to Dan the man, who looks no where near 43. Is he willing to share his pancake recipe? Mine can double as frisbees.


  54. #97
    Margaret C

    Bless. I have 6mo to reach my bday target of a two stone loss (no idea of pounds?!)I started today and had a good day, and I CHOSE to eat chips and dips tonight. Wouldn’t have made that choice had I known the dip was a wopping 1000cal. Eek. So I live learn and start again tomorrow. PS I think your fab, internally and externally. Happy bday xx

  55. #101
    Terri B in Oregon

    Have a super day and a wonderful year!! It just keeps getting better and better! And if Weight Watchers calls, tell them you took the weekend, week, month, year off!!

  56. #102

    Oh Happy Birthday,
    Oh Happy Birthday,
    Happy Birthday to you
    (sung to the tune of “La Cucaracha”)
    And birthday(week)food doesn’t make you gain weight, so don’t worry.

  57. #104

    Happy bday my dear!
    I turned 45 on Wednesday and I had myself the goal of weighing 145 for the occasion. Is there a problem with losing weight after 40? Well, enjoy your pancakes as I enjoyed my french toasts. Ciao!

  58. #105
    debbie cook

    aw! happy birthday cathy! and, by gosh, EAT those pancakes and enjoy your take out because you deserve it, my friend! you make me laugh, without fail and i love every pound of ya! which i might add…it NOT an unreasonable number of them πŸ™‚

  59. #108

    happy Birthday!!! yours and Dans birthdays are soooo interesting two days apart… me and DH are like that too! His birthday is March 4, and mine is march 5. cool!

  60. #111
    Wendy H.

    Happy Birthday to you – you look FABULOUS at 42! I hope you have FUN – you were FABULOUS at 41! Sorry it was Dr. SUess at the kids school last week! I hope you enjoy your day!!! You ROCK!

    P.S. I will be 38 next month. Thanks to being on Nutrisystem last year (75 lbs lost), I will be celebrating my birthday BELOW my goal weight!! Water is key!!

    As for TODAY – ENJOY it all!

  61. #112

    Happy Birthday to You! May you have one of the best birthday a person could have, and don’t count a darn calorie today, it is a free day of counting, and enjoy every calorie you may intake, because your suppose to on your birthday, whether your counting calories or not, it’s the unwritten law, and we must follow it on our birthdays.

    Sending lots of birthday wishes to you!

  62. #113
    Susan C

    Happy Birthday.

    Remember tomorrow is always another day.

    (someone else who shares your birth year 1966 was a *very* good year)

  63. #114

    Happy Birthday! And I say if you can’t eat whatever the hell you want on your birthday, what is the use in having one, anyway? Don’t sweat the weight – enjoy yourself on YOUR day! πŸ™‚


  64. #115

    Forget birthDAY, gotta go for the birthMONTH. Work it. Thanks for the fun, humor, inpiration, and crazy reality.

    As to weight goals (so not a birthday topic), I’m almost at my highest weight. February goal was to start exercising. March goal was to start eating less. So far I’m up 2 pounds. LOL.

  65. #116
    Abby P.

    Happy Birthday, CZ! I’m celebrating YOUR birthday by using and LOVING the 4-up template you bestowed upon us on the ‘tween day. Eat up and enjoy!

  66. #117
    ngaire Bartlam

    wishing you all the most amazing things you could ever wish for yourself… may your kundalini be centred and balanced, may the good vibes flow through your being like some clear river flows through a virgin rainforest.

    and may chocolate suddenly have NO points.

    peace and all that is good and joyous,

  67. #118

    Happy Birthday!

    So, in fact we are the same age. Almost exactly. You are a week older.

    This is the birthday that is the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.

    Happy 42!

  68. #123
    Sherri P eh

    Happy Birthday Cathy! Hope you had a fabulous, indulgent, count-free day! My theory is that women who don’t care what the number is, don’t care that others know what the number is, are the hottest and don’t look their age at all. You substantiate that theory! Enjoy!!!

  69. #125
    Nancy C.

    I’m glad your birthday started out so happily. I’m sure the rest of your day went well, too, since anything that starts with pancakes can’t be all bad! From one who will be 58 on her next birthday, I can tell you that life just gets better and better…it’s just the body that needs more maintenance! Happy birthday!

  70. #127
    Brooke - in Oregon

    Happy Birthday You Young Sweet Thang! lol Hope you have a fabulous day and today is not a day to worry about diet and exercise because after all think of the exercise you will get lifting the fork to your face eating your birthday cake! πŸ™‚ Have a super duper birthday

  71. #131
    Laura McG

    Happy Birthday! You inspire me and make me laugh daily. Thank you for being you and for sharing so much of yourself with so many.

  72. #135

    Hartelijk gefeliciteerd!! (Happy birthday in dutch) Enjoy your day and please, don’t let those few pounds get you down – every ounce of you is wonderful!

  73. #136

    Happy Day after your Birthday, Cathy! I hope you had a great rest of the day, too! I rejoined WW on Friday and my GOAL weight is 160—and unfortunately I am a long way from there—so it just goes to show that someone’s net zero is someone else’s goal weight-ha ha! Good luck to both of us, that we reach our goal weight in the next year–I turn 44 in August so my goal is by next year at this time!
    I’m excited to meet you at Donna Downey’s Inspired Event in April! See you there!

  74. #137

    Happy Birthday!!!! I just found out that yesterday was your birthday – it was mine too! How awesome to share a birthday with someone as cool as you. I have the same weight issues, so I am having Jenny Craig pancakes today. =) Loved reading about your day.

  75. #138
    Shannon Coyne

    Missed your day yesterday but it sounds like it started out fantastic… rock so enjoy yourself and don’t be worrying about any numbers on a stupid scale…

  76. #139


    I am on and off steroids often because of my disease, which makes my weight almost impossible to stay on top of… so I soooo get it πŸ™‚ Just love yourself on your birthday and know we all love you either way!

  77. #142
    Mary M.

    Happy Birthday Pisces Lady! Keep enjoying a healthy & creative life.
    From another Pisces Lady( march 12th).
    Mary M.

  78. #143

    Happy (belated) birthday! Donna mentioned it yesterday during our classes here in Spokane! Hope you had a fabulous celebration.

  79. #144
    maryjo materazo

    happy b-day funny girl!

    i turn 42 this year too, so it feels good to be in good company.

    enjoy your day.


  80. #145

    Happy Birthday to you! It’s mine tomorrow…much older than you are…lol Have a wonderful day and year to come…

  81. #146
    cheryl hinton

    Happy B-lated birthday. Sorry I missed it yesterday but I was celebrating my first wedding anniversary to my high school sweetheart. Before you go AHHHHHHHH, I must say that we were high school sweethearts in 1973. YEP. 1973. We were apart for 30 years and got back together in 2005 and finally married 3/8/07.

    My MIL birthday is 3/8 and we purposefully picked that day to finally wed. She was/is our biggest fan.

  82. #147

    You make me smile… thanks for that and for all the wonderful inspiration you provide, in your books and in the magazine. Happy (belated) birthday to a really nice, funny, smart and talented woman. πŸ™‚

  83. #149

    Happy Birth Day (and Year) to YOU, Cathy. If I could, I would sing the whole song to you in my chipmunk voice, which I can to very well even without a high speed turntable. It is the birthday treat my brothers get every year (and surely look forward to with anticipation for 52 weeks…) either on the phone or on their voicemail(we live on opposite sides of the country.) If you are so inclined, email me a phone number, and I’d be happy to leave the treat for you, too. Just for you. It’s special, yes indeed. It just may make me famous someday. Please note sarcasm. But anyway, Have an awesome time being 42, and don’t despair on the weight loss thing. You’ll come around.

  84. #150

    Happy Happy Birthday!! I love that you chose to sleep completely alone. Isn’t alone heaven every once in a while? Here’s to a happy 42 all year long.

  85. #151
    Jo E

    Happy Birthday. Being Birthday Queen means you get to eat and do exactly what you want on your special day and the points don’t count!

  86. #152

    Happy Belated Birthday. So happy you were born and I get to “know” you. Just love you… in a non-stalker, sister kind of way. :o)

  87. #157

    Happy (belated) Birthday Cathy!! Hope you had a GREAT day! Had my b-day last week too (5th) & I’m totally with you on the “Net Zero”. Birthdays are for celebrating–not dieting!! Again…. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

  88. #160

    Happy Birthday! So glad you got pancakes… we’ve done pancakes with a candle on top for birthday breakfasts πŸ™‚

    And so thankful someone turned your camera in…

  89. #162

    Happy Belated Birthday! My computer had been out since Friday and the computer guy came and got us up and running today. You are my first stop back on. Hope you had a fabulous day. On another note, loving the tag book. thank you.

  90. #163
    rubberbandgirl Cami S.

    Very happy birthday to you.
    Definitely wait until Monday.
    I’m partial to Samoas.
    I’m glad you didn’t REALLY break the bank by really losing your camera on the train.

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