Mirror in the bathroom

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking58 Comments


No, it's not deja vu. And no, Mondays aren't the new official day to post pics of me in my somewhat dirty bathroom mirror. But there ain't no law that says I cain't post about mybestlife.com more than once a month, right?

Last week I upped the ante on my Fitness Diversification Portfolio by adding a Zumba class to my weekly exercise regime.

I hadn't been to a group exercise class since 1990. That was the year I joined my local YWCA and in my first week was accused of stealing someone's swimsuit. The accuser was certain I was the culprit. Afterall, her suit was unusual: it was a black, one-piece Speedo… just like mine!

Don't worry. I was vindicated in the end, but it soured me on the whole club experience, especially the part wherein I demanded a refund for my humiliation and they refused, continuing to dock my bank account for the next 11 months, despite the fact that I never set foot in that club again. That was the last time I ever participated in any organized group fitness activities.

But my friend Lesley—who is both persuasive and Canadian—convinced me that she and I should go to Zumba. And go we did. And you know what? It was totally awesome.

Sure, I had NO idea what I was doing routine-wise, but I made it through the entire 50-minute class, sweat soaked to be certain, but realizing this: I am getting in pretty damned good shape.

All of my treadmill workouts and my first month on The Shred have really started to make me believe that not only am I seeing results on the scale, but I'm seeing results in my overall fitness level. And part of me, a very small and growing part, thinks that's even cooler than the missing poundage.

I'm starting to believe in my inner athlete. You feel me on this?


Supplies: Frankie Alphabet Brushes & Stamps, Dotted & Dashed Brushes & Stamps (Cathy Zielske) • Art Class Frames (Katie Pertiet) • Just Linens No. 1 (Michelle Martin)

JOURNALING: At the risk of jumping the gun, I need to write about a shift in the Great Fitness Experiment of 2010. The shift of which I speak being the realization that all of these individual efforts are going to amount to more than a just number on a scale. I stop to consider this when I notice that I pop up and down the stairs while cleaning the house with much less effort than I can ever recall. I stop to consider this when I realize I can run for 30 minutes and though I’m clearly aware how hard my body is working, there’s no legitimate reason why I can’t push it another five minutes. I stop to consider this when I get home from the grocery store and am craving the freeze-dried strawberries more than the sourdough baguette sitting my shopping bag. I stop to consider this when I attend my first group fitness class in 20 years and find it more fun than anything else. Long story short: I’m connecting to the act of getting in shape and not just the much-hoped for weight loss result. Who knew?

I've been loving reading through the comments, hearing your fitness/weight loss stories of both hope and despair. I'm certainly no fitness guru, and God knows I'm prone to not just falling off of the wagon, but diving headlong into hay bales full of donuts, but right now, I'm feeling this fitness thing.

And it feels real good.


IN OTHER NEWS: This week, I'm excited to be documenting a Week in the Life. I've never done this project before, despite knowing Ali and loving her and her ideas for years. I'm doing a mostly digital album, using her 8.5 x 11 templates, which I'm going to tweak here and there to meet my needs. I plan to share at least one of my finished days this week here on my blog. I'm printing all of my pages and pieces at home on my HP Photosmart. For more ideas on Week in the Life products you can use to document your own week, check out this link. Here's to documenting the everyday in 2010.

Cathy ZielskeMirror in the bathroom

58 Comments on “Mirror in the bathroom”

  1. #1
    Jacqueline M. Schimmel

    That is AWESOME! You go girl! I just jumped on the much needed bandwagon myself a few weeks ago and started my TaeBo classes again. I’m starting to feel much fitter and energized again. I do have to change my eating habits though!

  2. #2

    I’m doing a Week in the Life for the first time too. I picked up Ali’s journalling cards from DD, and I printed and cut apart the pdf. I think I’ll do mine with collector card pages mixed with 8.5×11 page protectors. Not sure yet. For now, I’m just taking pictures and writing emails to myself. 🙂

    I love that Lesley talked you into Zumba and am thrilled that you enjoyed it so much. Gotta love those persuasive Canadian gals, eh?!

  3. #5
    Rosslyn Weigelt

    Lovin’ this post today. Looking forward to week-in-the-life and THIS week is a crazy one! Why not document crazy too?!

  4. #6
    Laura Pineau

    It is inspiring to follow your health achievements. I’ve been working on getting healthier since about November. I’ve lost 25 pounds, but more importantly, I can wear pants that have been in my closet for years, waiting for me to reclaim them. I also finding moving around much easier and now walk to work insted of driving. I love the change in my body, but more so, I love the change in my attitude.

    I’m also noticing cravings have almost disappeared, but this weekend we went on a brie and pepper jelly spree. It was so good, but so bad.

    Another great benefit? My husband has been a lot happier, too! *wink wink*

  5. #7

    You make me laugh every time I read your blog – I’m laughing as I type. Your title on the layout “Athlete – let’s not get carried away now” is perfect!!!

    GO CATHY!!!

  6. #8

    I am also doing Ali’s Week In the Life for the first time with her 8.5×11 templates…I can’t wait to see your take on it. Here’s hoping you will show us more than just the one page!!

    Congratulations on your progress! You really are inspiring in so many ways…

  7. #9

    Cathy — Congratulations on finding your inner athlete! I’ve gotta say, you’ve been such an inspiration. Today is day one on WW and I’ve got a lot more to lose than you (not owning up to just how much in a public forum yet). I’ve gotten your Fitness digi template and I’m going to document this journey to a better life. And I’m doing Ali’s Week in the Life. It’s a big week for me. I’m EXCITED. Thanks for being so open and honest about your journey.

  8. #10
    Cynthia Friese-Hassanein

    Ok I know what your saying about the weight loss is a great benefit. But, the fitness thing is the best. I think that is what I crave most. I remember being so active and loving every minute of it. Getting on my bike and riding for miles. What a gift you giving to your life:)

    I am doing the week in the life for the first time too. I started yesterday… The pictures are pretty sparce. I think I might do a picture a day and tons of journaling. I will finish it!

  9. #11

    “You know what I think?”

    “I think you should go home to Greenbow AlaBAMA!”

    I’m sorry. Whenever I hear “You know what I think” i have to quote Forrest Gump.

    I love you.

  10. #12

    Laura, i do think it’s interesting how some of the cravings drop away when you are feeding yourself really good food.

    But even on Easter, i went overboard on brownies, as if I was never going to be able to eat one ever again.

    I didn’t crave them the next day, and i didn’t gain any weight. So i really am trying to examine all of this stuff!

    Go you!

  11. #13

    Myra, just take it one day at a time. Seriously. One day. Breathe, and don’t freak out. It will get easier, and you can focus on good food that makes YOU feel good. Not just diet rabbit food!

    Good luck!

  12. #15

    I will check the link out! i have heard good things about BodyPump. But, then i would have to join a gym and after buying a new treadmill, our budget isn’t really making room for that one. ; )

    The zumba class though, is through a dance studio. Much cheaper than a gym membership too. It’s all good!

  13. #16

    Way to go Cathy! I never had an inner athlete so I don’t know if I’ll find her but she might be there. (I’ll stay happy to be meeting my inner artist these days.)

    I’m back at the gym after a two week European vacation and feel good that I kept my weight level. That allowed me to have daily gelato which I didn’t want to give up. It’s true the cravings are lowered and I can say …Do you really want that? and most times realize I don’t.

  14. #17
    Jennifer Larson

    Thanks for the update. You’re inspired me to purposefully fit time in to swim before my kids come home, even though it’s not easy and my hair looks like hell when I leave the club.

  15. #18

    Great Post today Cathy! I too am going to tackle Ali’s Week in the Life for the first time.

    You are really something else lady! How on earth did you get up off your butt and start exercising!? (now notice I didn’t say “fat” butt). I have all the intentions and reasons to change my lifestyle and eating habits but just can’t seem to do it. Maybe the more I read about your successes, the more motivated I will become to get up off my fat butt and get with the program.

    I re-joined (actually never stopped the deductions from my bank) my weight watchers meeting and am on my 2nd week back. I have an appointment with my doctor today to get chewed out about my blood pressure, so maybe that will get me going.

    Keep up the good work!

    PS….For those of us doing Ali’s WIL using the trading card page protectors, do you have a tutorial on making a template for printing 2×3 pictures on one 8.5 x 11 paper for our regular format printers? or do you have a template already made that you are willing to share?


  16. #20

    I think you are awesome. And your progress has been inspirational. And I am so thankful that you posted and introduced me to the Badass Fitness blog, which has been my motivational companion and all-around-source-of-great-info. I think I’ve finally turned that corner where you’ve made enough progress and you notice and people notice and you just know in your head that you NEVER want to go back to where you were before. I think you’re there, too. Way to go. 🙂

  17. #21

    Hooray for the athlete! I have felt that way before and it is amazing:)

    Still doing WW and still on a losing streak. My husband and I are rocking this thing!!!

    You continue to inspire.

    Thank you!!!

  18. #22

    Is that a little bit of positive self-esteem I am reading!!! Yay for you! Zumba is so much fun. I always laugh at myself the entire hour. But I don’t care, so long as I leave sweat soaked!

    Take care, and enjoy!


  19. #24
    Mary Mitchell

    Sadly I have not found YMCA’s to be very friendly….staff or a lot of the patrons. So good for you to give group exercising another try….hopefully in a different environment. Check out your local Adult Ed programs……they often a variety of short term exercise programs that will keep things from getting boring.
    I want to try zumba. I’m just not sure I can find it somewhere that doesn’t require me to take out a membership.

  20. #25

    Cathy, you have been an inspiration to me through this fitness trail. I admire your candid honesty in your blog posts and that has help encourage me to continue with my fitness goals.

    I went shopping last week and for the first time in 20 years didn’t have to buy anything with a W, X, or anything else behind it. I also have been able to wear my original wedding ring for the first time in 15 years. Your humor helps make this who process seem fun and like you, I actually starting to feel more fit and not worring so much about those numbers on the scale.

    Heck, for the past two weeks, I even played volleyball with the neighborhood teens, and I am proud to say that I kept up just fine. Thanks for the support!

  21. #26
    Christine H

    Overweight, sedentary friends of mine look at me like I have a second head when I told them this very thing. The Oreos don’t call my name from the top of the fridge anymore and veggies taste better than sugar stuff. Although, I’m still waiting for bread to stop chanting to me. I so want all my family and friends to feel this…..it is so addicting, so much fun and so much more than I thought would be gained by eating healthy and excercising. You go girl…..keep up the great work and take as many bathroom mirror pics as you like. Love that body that works so hard for you.

  22. #27

    Wow. You look great. You know what I realized? That when I’m hungry and searching through the cabinets for a snack, I think of you (creepy, right?) and freeze dried blueberries. While I’ve never had any freeze dried fruit, it’s enough to make me look for a more healthy snack.

    And, methinks I’m going to try that week in the life. I have some photos already. It’s the scrapping that I have to commit to. I, so far, have never been good at being able to stick to a template for each page of an album.

  23. #28
    Erika B

    Zumba Rocks!!!! This is the first class I’ve ever taken and stuck with. It’s so fun and you definitely feel the workout. Glad you’ve gotten the zumba bug. I love it! And by the way, you’re looking pretty excellent these days. Your hard work and determination in paying off. Thanks for the inspiration (creatively and physically)!

  24. #29

    LOVE Zumba! I look foward to class twice a week. It’s the only form of exercise you’ll see me smiling through. Our instructor was doing Zumba at 8 months pregnant!

  25. #30
    Stefani Meyer

    I love that song!

    I’m laughing that you pointed out that your friend was not only persuasive, but Canadian. So funny. I’m just going to point out that my husband is Canadian, he never hears the end of it from all of us “real” Americans.

    Thanks for your inspiration and updates. It really does motivate me.

  26. #33

    Ann, you can use Ali’s 8.5 x 11 template pages to do just that. That’s what i am using to drop in my photos and print onto photo paper. I’m doing the trading card pages too!

  27. #34

    And the way i decided to get up and do it, was I had to ask myself: is this what I want for my life? sitting around, whining about being chubby? or do i want to give my body some love?

    Love won out. For now. ; )

  28. #37

    Mary, i’m doing Zumba at a dance studio, not a club! You should look for one in your area. I don’t have to be a member. I bought 10 weeks for 90 bucks. That’s cheaper than a basic club pass, you know?

  29. #38

    You know, another thing that kicked me into gear was my wedding ring was too tight. I’m still not quite there for wearing it, but that was one of the things that said, “Um, Hello, Cathy? maybe try moving a bit?”


  30. #42

    You know I live for my group fitness. Throw a spin class in there – you’ll love it!

    Isn’t Zumba fun? I keep telling my gym they need to offer it on Friday nights at 7:30 with an open bar in the back of the room. I’m all about the party, you know. 😉

  31. #43
    kerri Macdonald

    Loved Zumba and love how inspiring your fitness journey is for the rest of us! Thanks and you go girl!

  32. #45
    Sarah B.

    Good for you! I started working out for the first time in years a couple of weeks ago, and I’m amazed at how much better I’m feeling in just a couple of weeks. I’m doing WW too, but no matter what the scale says, it’s the working out that’s making me feel better. I’m not quite up to to Zumba yet, but you’re making me want to check it out.

  33. #46

    I was coming on here to cheer you on in your athletic endeavors, and to let you know that someone at Nike said “If you can breathe, you can be an athlete” and then I read “you know what I think? I think you should go home to Greenbow alaBAMA” and I laughed so hard I cried, and then I realized you just helped me more today than I was helping you, so thank you. I like you more every time I read your blog.

  34. #47
    Linda Ford

    I LOVE zumba classes! So much fun you forget you are exercising! Keep up the good work Cathy!

  35. #49

    Okay Ms. Inspiration – because of a few things this week I busted out the wallet and did the following. Bought new tennis shoes on line for my 10 year old daughter and I. Went to Target and bought workout clothes for the two of us that look a lot better on her than me. (But I do have the bright pink sports bra that I never thought I would own in THIS size.) I opened the pedometer that my sister in law gave me for Christmas two years ago. It has been resting in a drawer in the kitchen. This has been brought on by your success over the past months, the fact that my company is having a “Shape Up the Nation” Team Challenge and that my daughter has a fundraiser going for her walk in June. Do you remember when 3 miles sounded like a long way? Okay you get the picture. So when my new hot shoes arrive I am sure I will walk farther. I think I already look thinner just because the bra and smashed the girls so much. Oh and my new work program has an online calorie counter, location to enter steps per day and minutes of exercise. It also emails you workout reminders – sweet. So wish me luck and wish my daughter luck so that she will also be able to complete her walk in June. Thank you……

  36. #50
    Lori Hudson

    I hate to say I told you so (that’s not true. I love to say “I told you so” especially to my husband) but, remember a couple of years ago at Inspired when we were talking about Donna’s weight loss and I said, uh hmm… “the secret [to losing weight and keeping it off] is to find a sport or activity that you really like. Then your goals become all about getting better at your activity and the weight loss just follows along. Donna found running. I found tennis.”
    You’ve done it girlfriend! You’ve found fitness! You look fantastic and I know you feel great. So happy for you.
    Ready…. I told you so.

  37. #51

    isn’t zumba fun?! it took me a couple months to try it at my gym…but now i’m hooked! even after doing it for a year there are still moves i feel dorky + uncoordinated with, but it usually makes me smile + laugh. such a good workout. i’m glad you liked it 🙂

  38. #53

    Have been “off the (WW and exercise) wagon” (although not quite rolling in the donuts…) for a few months and consequently put back on 4 of the 10kg I had lost….wedding ring still doesn’t fit – need to lose 20 before it will…

    Beginning to think I don’t like this weight gain so much…need to get moving…went for a walk today…might get my Zumba DVD out tomorrow and put my points and my weight on the website instead of just adding them up in my head…baby steps!

    Thanks for the inspo – you are looking great!

  39. #54

    the Ah Ha ! moment came for you, I guess. This journey is about Wellness, not Weight loss. I love zumba and dance classes in general, the energy keeps me motivated. I could never do the at home treadmill thing. Anyway, when you some day you feel el like you don’t want to exercise or eat well, just remember that this is for YOU and your health. Good for you – an inspiration to us all.

  40. #56

    I started my weight loss experiment of 2010 on January 5. I have lost 30.6 pounds as of Monday, April 19. I have not yet found my inner athlete, but am intrigued by the whole Zumba thing – I might just have to give that a try!

  41. #57

    A bit behind on the blog reading. I LOVE LOVE Zumba. I’ve only being going for the last few months, but it makes me so happy:) Glad you’re joining in too. Congratulations!

  42. #58
    Acai Berry Pure

    your blog is highly motivative…. educational and informative, daily i read bunch of blogs… all you need is to be constant with your educative posts and I’ll be one of your favorite followers

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