Black Velvet Flashback

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life35 Comments

And no, I ain’t talkin’ ’bout what comes in the bottle, ladies.

First things first: I am taking today AND tomorrow off from work, and let me tell you, as I sit here, in my PJs, typing, with a brisk July morning temp of 49 (yes, you heard me) degrees, with a local time of 7:53 a.m., I am SO looking forward to this day. And the day ‘morrow. And the ‘morrows following, until Monday. (Saying ‘morrow makes me feel like a turn of the century poet, or Ben Franklin.)

And one of the things I have planned for today is photo uploading and archiving. Uploads for May and June photos, and archiving for the the past 4 months. I love fresh photos, and I love knowing that my shots are relatively safe were my beloved Mac to up and meet its maker on me.

Last night, however, I was searching through iPhoto, which dates back to March 2004, when I got my first digital camera, and I was specifically looking for pictures of Dan, and came across this lovely, black velvet self portrait series. (I had a remote shutter tripper in my hand. Nice.)


There are more, but these few are definitely my favorite, especially the middle one where Dan creates a manly bicep using no trickery of any kind. I’m fairly certain I’ve posted the boob-grabbing one. Boob-grabbing is sort of a generalized, recurring theme in my life.

But the lighting was damned good! And these were taken with my old Nikon N80, and holy crap, I was thinner then. Granted, it was 2005. I was smoking like a fiend (oh, THAT old story), and yet, I can’t help but think to myself the following thought:

Lose weight.

And see Dan? Today, he looks EXACTLY the same, possibly even better and with less love handle. His t-shirts fit him year after year after year. I know this because I fold them and put them away. He doesn’t have a rotating closet of sizes like I do. He also didn’t eat 24 popsicles yesterday. Or have those two Hershey bars that somehow found their way into my mouth.

What a difference 30 pounds doth make.

And so, all it takes, apparently, is a little black velvet flashback to refocus your efforts.

And so I say to this coming Saturday: I shall meet you with better health.

(Can’t do it on the ‘morrow. Too much drinking and meat ingestion is planned.)

Have a safe and happy Holiday weekend.

Cathy ZielskeBlack Velvet Flashback

35 Comments on “Black Velvet Flashback”

  1. #1


    You and Dan always look as if you are having the best time. I don’t know you two from Adam, but you always make me believe people REALLY can like one another.

    Have fun on the break — wear the pj’s with pride.

  2. #2

    >>>He also didn’t eat 24 popsicles yesterday.

    Ohhhhh. Popsicles are evil, aren’t they? ‘Specially the cheapo versions in the plastic sleeves. I’d easily eat 10+ in a day…..

  3. #3

    not that i think you need to lose weight at all, but i feel your frustration. i lost about 20 pounds a few years ago using a website called it’s fairly easy to use and, most importantly, taught me to make good choices about what i eat. it’s a way to change your diet in a way that lasts even after you have lost the weight. good luck!

  4. #5

    I remember you showing these photos at my first CKU class and you were the funniest, most inspiring person I met there. I am not much a scrapbooker these days but damn, your blog makes me smile.

  5. #6
    Melissa LaFavers

    I think you look awesome, myself, but I know how it is with the internal critic running its mouth. It’s at least once a good day that I’ve gotta tell her to pipe the hell down.

    Anyhoo, one thing that I’ve been doing is taking a short stroll after meals. Not every meal. I don’t have that much discipline, but after most, and it’s helped. Without even noticing, I’ve lost a good 10 pounds or so. Neat, huh? Just eating well and strolling, not even really working out, although I’m hoping to kick that into high gear soon.

    Just…be kind to yourself at every weight.


  6. #7
    Damon Crawley

    I understand the whole “I need to be thinner thought”. I was in that shortly after you rejoined WW.

    I have said for the last couple of years thatI need to do something and was not going to be like this at 40. And I half-heartedly tried. I meant it and started off well.

    But this last December I turned 35. And I started to say I have 5 more years and then over the next weeks or so I had a real conversation with myself realized that 5 years would essentially mean never going to happen.

    So I changed my statement to not be 36 and like this. I started Jan 10. But this time was different and I knew it. My whole attitude about it was different and the reasons why were too. I was doing it for me. Not for my wife or for attention from other people, but for me. I was putting myself on the list of priorities. And it felt good. It still feels good; everyday.

    So 6 months later, down 50 pounds and 6 pant sizes.

  7. #8

    Oh, sing it sister. I get it. I was always thin (not a smoker… just diligent) and due to health problems and more stretches with steroids than a person should ever have to deal with I have become the ever-fluctuating pant size. And face size. And arm size. I have 20 pounds to lose and just came off the steroids again. I’m just going to do the best I can, because with the whole health-thing exercise is impossible… but I’ll try to be diligent wiht you if it helps! ENJOY THE WEEKEND…


  8. #9

    I’m with you sister! Although, I’m just going to give myself the whole weekend because it’s also my birthday on the 5th! I promise to start fresh back on my quest for thin arms, flat abs and so on, on Monday!!!

    Have fun eating and be merry!

  9. #11

    It’s a terrible thing to look at old photos and think, I was so much better then and I didn’t even know it (the older we get, the better we were).

    The truth is, you are a much better person now for your life experiences, your ability to not use black velvet backdrops, and your lungs are prettier/less black too.

  10. #12
    Beth D

    I am at work today and counting the minutes until the 3-day weekend starts for me! Hope you and yours have an awesome 4th!!

  11. #13

    i know the feeling… looking thru old photos sucks, especially when you compare them with the NEW photos (yikes). i’m still in the half-assing phase, though…baby steps. working out a bit, and eating less mcdonald’s. that’s got to count for something, right?

  12. #14

    Thou cracketh me up. Now I sound like a poet too (or Amish)…actually Amish don’t really talk like that, even though Weird Al Yankovic says they do. (I know this for a fact, since I grew up in the largest Amish community in the world…so yeah, I’m an expert.) I love your writing style. You should write a book of humor. Have you ever considered this? You can be the Dave Barry of the scrapbooking world. Oh wait…you already are!

  13. #15

    just chiming in on the “need to lose weight” thing. told myself this when my summer break started on june 1 . . . have done nothing . . . oops! lol!! you have inspired me . . . so starting monday . . . back at it!! also want to say that i totally love reading your blog. it makes me laugh every time!! thank you so much!

  14. #16

    I tell my self everyday that I will be strong tomorrow and not eat that junk but tomorrow has not come yet for me in the last two years since I quit smoking. I even get paid not to smoke but I think I gave up one bad habit for another. I think about starting to smoke again every day too. Which is worse, being fat and unhealty or smoking and being unhealthy. HOPEFULLY for both of us it is the smoking that is worse for us and not the weight thing. I wish you all of the luck in the world on your adventure come Saturday. Maybe I will try to start eating healthy on Monday.

  15. #18

    Blaaahaa, I mean who’s hubby dosen’t do the ol’ boob grabbing. I just don’t have a photo of it!!! But really they are great, goofy and very REAL… I can totally picture myself at 80 laughing at a picture of my honey grabbin a handful..can’t you??? Thanks for sharing, it brought a smile to my face…hehehe!

  16. #19

    when i was a teen, i knew i was hot. now, i know i’m a chubster. i even wear mom jeans. sigh.

    but what i really want to talk about is boob grabbing. my husband does it. and hiney grabbing every time i bend over. it’s like a prison around here . . . “don’t pick up the soap.”

  17. #21
    maple jenny

    Enjoy your weekend–and switch to the sugar free popsicles if you’re worried. They’re pretty good and only 15 calories each.

  18. #22
    ~ alli ~

    Cathy – and everyone else who might be looking for help losing weight – I found a web site where you can keep track of your food and exercise:
    It’s free and easy to use, and I still can’t get over how many items are in their food database. You can search for just about ANYTHING and calories, fat, carbs, sugar, protein has been entered for it.

    I’ve only been using it for about a week and a half, but I’ve been eating less since I know I am going to have to “write it down” if I do.

    P.S. I’m not affiliated with The Daily Plate.

  19. #23
    Back-to-the-corner ;)

    I’m LOL’ing at what commenter Meredith wrote. LOLOL I hear ya, sistah! Those stealth “prison” grabs are met with don’t-know-what-hit-ya slaps by me and a look that says “Don’t try it again, dude. EVER”. LOLOLOLOLOL And your post, Cathy…LOL’ing at that too. You are so profound and self-affacing. I just love you–in a friend/scrapbooking mentor-sort of way. πŸ˜‰ Ya, you and Dan make it look easy. I wish I had what you two have. Enjoy your 4th. Consume that beer and meat…I will be too. Enjoy your pj’s. I’m enjoying mine today as well. (Oh, if only 30 lbs would solve what I got goin’ on). I wish thee a joyful independence day!

  20. #24
    JJ Sobey

    My goodness – your son looks sooooo much like your husband!

    Wish I had nice pics like that of me and my husband.

    Well, maybe not the boob grabbing one…. πŸ™‚

  21. #25

    Happy 4th July from across the pond and thank-you yet again for making me smile! Enjoy the liquor (is that the right American phrase?) and the carnivorous titbits, along with the PJs and the heat. Plus any boob-squeezing that comes your way… Monday is a whole other day. πŸ™‚

  22. #28

    I get such a kick out of your boob grabbing pics! Just hilarious! I don’t know why hubby and I never thought to take pictures of that! LOL! I’d like to lose 30 pounds too but don’t most of us? If only it was as easy as thinking about it. Happy 4th!

  23. #29

    Hope you enjoyed your days at liberty!

    To be philosophic… life is about choices and if 24 different popsicles chose to speak to you and the result was your choosing to eat all of them then I am guessing they were SOOOO enjoyed that they will all be closer to enlightenment with their next rebirth. You did a good thing πŸ˜‰

  24. #31

    Cahty, I just found your tag book post from 2/23/08. Can I ask, pretty please, if you could post a pdf those tags without a month on them? For those of us who are starting late. Hope this is the right place to post this. Also, have you ever made a similar tag with horizontal lines (landscape format)?

    Also, your blog is a HOOT!! You two are hotties.


  25. #33

    OMG – the boob grabbing. PERFECT. I’ve got one of those in my house also.

    Not boobs. I actually have TWO of them. But I have a hubby that thinks it’s his God given right to touch them 24/7.

    LOVE that you photoed it and love that you posted it.

    Once again, I am so glad I have you bookmarked!

  26. #34

    My favorite part of this post is about boob grabbing and how that is a recurring theme in your life – glad I am not alone in being a boob grabbed victim.


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