Tales from the Scale, The May Report: Slow and Steady

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life112 Comments


My Adidas, in still life, with special Nike+iPod sensor pouch. May, 2010

So here we are in May, officially four months after Project Eat Less, Move More began. Shall we look at the progress thus far?

Month 5 

Ahhh. There we are. Interestingly enough, this photo doesn't look a whole lot different from last month's photo:


And it would make sense, because I've only dropped 3.6 pounds during the past month. However, the other numbers have continued to move, which tells me this: the plan is working.

Now I've reached the point where I can look at the before and after and be both proud of what I've accomplished and inspired to continue on:


Oh yeah, mama. Much less Weeble-like today, wouldn't you agree?

And what do I continue to learn? What is the secret? What is the magic bullet of success in weight loss and overall fitness?

There is none.

There is nothing magical about it. It is physics, pure and simple. Move more, eat less.

And yet, it's not really that simple, is it? Because for many of us, myself included, making the decision to move more is not simple. What is simple is to sit on a big recliner, eating potato chips and watching your favorite TV shows on Hulu.

It is not simple to make exercise the very first priority in your day, not when you have a million other things that are also calling for your urgent attention. You know, things like jobs, kids, significant others and life in general.

It is not simple to ensure that all the food you prepare and eat is healthy and nutritious.

It is not simple to break free from the love [read: addiction] of and to all those sugar-laden, processed food craps that make our brains feel blissful.

And finally, once you DO manage to get a moderate handle on all of this stuff, it is not simple to make this healthy lifestyle stick.

So what I am continuing to learn is this:

1. Trust that my body is capable of doing more than I give it credit for.

2. Understand that by putting really good stuff into it, it is going to feel better overall.

3. Realize that if my goal is only to lose weight, I'm not really getting the point of a so-called healthy lifestyle.

4. Revel in the act of putting on a pair of jeans I haven't worn since early 2008 because they now fitβ€”comfortably.

5. Accept that brownies are delicious and I can still eat them.

6. Know that wagon jumps are going to happen and they don't have to derail my entire effort.

7. Embrace slow and steady, and breathe.


Do you want to join in and document your journey to generalized better health and fitness? My fitness templates are available here and here. And if you'd like to share and connect with others who are documenting this journey via our beloved scrapbooking method, I've formed a Tales from the Scales Flickr Group here. Feel free to share your layouts with each other and support and encourage one another in your efforts.

Cathy ZielskeTales from the Scale, The May Report: Slow and Steady

112 Comments on “Tales from the Scale, The May Report: Slow and Steady”

  1. #1

    You amaze and inspire me with your spirit. Thank you for sharing your very personal journey with us. Since you started, I’ve met a few beginners in my classes, and I think of you as I think of what I should be telling them. Like I said… very inspiring indeed.

  2. #4

    WOW! YOU ARE AMAZING! And just LOOK at you! One hot mamma! You’re doing such a great job keeping on track with your goals and inspire me to continue on with my own fitness goals. (And that dratted 30 Day Shred . . . lol) I haven’t documented my own progress in photos, but I may do an anniversary page in June, when I first started this “getting back in shape” thing. Keep up the great work!

    You are inspiring so many people with your efforts!

  3. #9

    Looking great! I have the food part down, but I just can’t seem to move my body every day. I feel like a slug.

  4. #11
    Francesca Di Leo

    kathy i have just begun my journey to eat better, and move more. and your journaling of it is totally inspiring me to document my own ‘fitness’ journey. totally inspiring my friend. love it. and you look FABULOUS, keep it up.

  5. #12

    You look amazing Cathy!! Keep it up, you’ve got a good thing going here. I like slow and steady, always preaching that too my kids. Thanks so much for showing us this journey with you. I love it when you can fit into an old pair of jeans and they fit good and look good. Great Job!!

  6. #14

    I am a lifetime member of WW. Over the years, I’ve put on seven more pounds than my goal weight. Because of you, Cathy, I was inspired to return to WW on a weekly basis to get rid of those seven pounds. I know seven pounds is not as much as you wanted to lose, but for a 5 foot frame it is quite a bit. I am now 3.5 down and 3.5 to go. Thanks for the inspiration! I feel lighter already.

  7. #15

    Cathy, you are so right about this being a continuous journey. It’s not easy making lifestyle changes, yet it’s so easy to fall off the wagon. I’ve been on my own journey and I’m down 10 pounds, which I’m very happy with, and I’m exercising more, which makes me very happy also. However, I’m learning that it’s so easy to make the wrong choices because they’re easy, especially when you’re busy or sick and don’t feel like cooking properly. At first, it was easy – I had motivation and was riding high. Now, I’m trying to make the right choices but it really is one day at a time. It’s a conscious effort every single day and I think it’ll be that way for the rest of my life. I just need to keep reminding myself how much better I feel when I exercise and how much happier my body is when I make good food choices. I find your blog very motivating and I look forward to visiting and reading every day. Thank you.

  8. #18

    YOU inspired me to start WW. YOU inspired me to get off my duff and start moving. It was just what I need to jumpstart a new healthy lifestyle. I’m documenting monthly with your DD templates and have already lost 8.8 pounds!! I’ll definitely be joining your Flickr group. THANK YOU!

  9. #21
    Lori Massicot

    I’m right there with you and I relate with everything you are going through. You have given me so much motivation and inspiration. I’m so glad you “talk” about it. THANK YOU! You look awesome:)

  10. #22
    Madeline St Onge

    Cathy you are amazeing, you have inspired me so much to fight the good fight and get to my weight, only 3 more pounds to go, I am down from a size 16 to a 12 and I feel great.
    You look fantastic girl. Keep up the good work

  11. #23
    Kara @Simple Kids

    Cathy, thank you for sharing this journey! I’m not sure I’m quite there just yet, in terms of public sharing, but you’ve got me thinking for sure … maybe this is the push I need? thank you πŸ™‚

    Happy Monday!

  12. #24

    You know, Dana… i was under the weather yesterday, and what did i do? Went completely to junkie crap food (okay, i suppose No-Pudge brand brownies are better than regular) but… that and crackers and bread stuff. All day long. I haven’t done that in ages, and i felt physically like crap at the end of the day, on top of feeling sick.

    One day at a time, right?

  13. #27

    Kara, you can do it when you’re ready. My whole thing with doing it publicly, i guess I look at it and think, I need to face it and deal with it. Part of my problem in the past was just letting it slide and slide until it was a problem.

    Numbers aren’t who you are, remember that. And good luck!

  14. #30
    Christine F.

    Oh I can tell a difference between last month’s and this month’s – you’ve lost the weight in your bum and back.

    But any way you look at it, you look amazing and are doing such a great job!!!!!

  15. #32
    Angie Lucas

    Congrats Cathy! You look fantastic. I was just thinking to myself, “Do I really want to go to the 9:30 weights class today?” Now I’m motivated.

  16. #33

    Cath, you are so awesome! I’m so happy for you and although it makes me feel odd saying so, yes, I’m proud of you! I’ve come to the realization that although I *used* to be able to lose weight just by eating healthier, I’m now at an age where I not only have to eat very healthy just to maintain my weight, I HAVE to exercise if I want to lose. UGH. As soon as I get back from Inspired I’m joining a gym that offers classes, and I’m going to try them all… from Yoga* to Zumba! One of the many classes has to be a great fit for me, right?

    *Alphabetically I’d like to say from Aerobics to Zumba, but those are kind of the same workout, huh? #iamsuchadork #hashtagginginblogcommentsFTW

  17. #34
    Lisa Z

    WTG, CATHY! You’ve inspired me to once again get motivated to move and watch my portions. After reaching my goal weight with the help of WW 2 yrs ago, I’ve slowly packed on the pounds simply because I stopped the routine. Thanks for getting me back on track. I’ve joined the Flickr group to help me ‘be accountable’. I can do this!

  18. #38
    Tamra Hunt

    Your butt looks better this month! This is the first day of my 49th year, I’ve decided to follow in your foot steps. Thank you for the inspiration!!

  19. #39
    Michelle K

    You should be so proud of yourself. You are right, it is a hard decision to move more and eat less. It is easier to sit and munch.

  20. #40

    Putting your January photo beside your May photo… Look how far you’ve come in just a few months?! Wear those smaller jeans with pride – you definitely earned it!

  21. #41

    Cathy, you look amazing. Thanks so much for the inspiration. You know I’ve hooked myself up to that Nike+, and it is keeping me moving. But I have to say that since I’ve started working out more, I’ve started losing much more slowly. As in, zero pounds last month. I gained .8, and I lost .8 all in one month. This past week my weight loss was .2. But you’re right. It’s not about the weight loss, really. It’s about the heatlhy lifestyle thing. I also need to remember that I’ve already lost nearly 70 pounds, which is a heck of an accomplishment. Thanks for putting things in perspective. After my visit with the scale yesterday, I totally needed it.

  22. #42
    Jenny O

    Cathy you look great! You are such an inspiration!!! I turned 39 a couple weeks ago and following your path to smaller pants has definitely inspired me. I joined WW and have started to document my progress in pictures as well. Maybe seeing myself will be all the difference.

  23. #43

    I am sooooo weepy today, so I am sitting in a puddle here after reading this.
    I love your organized measurements and pages. (Wish I had it in me to do that. Jeff would.)
    This is good sister, this is good.

  24. #44
    Mary Mitchell

    I went to buy some clothes yesterday and had to go down in size for the top and the skirt !! That was enough to keep me motivated to conquer the next 15 lbs

  25. #45
    Ashleigh Bronner

    You’re doing such a great job! Keep it up–and like you said, just because the photo didn’t change much, didn’t mean that there wasn’t a lot of changing going on!

  26. #46

    Yahoo for you! Don’t focus on last month’s photo and this month’s, focus on January’s photo and this month’s. Amazing changes for you! Keep up the great healthy work!

  27. #47

    you look amazing.
    I started my journey towards a healthier life a couple of weeks ago and your example has been inspiring.
    keep going!!

  28. #48

    Yay, Cathy! *high five* I just looked at the inches you’ve lost — in the side by side comparison of this month and your starting month — and thought about how I’d love to see four inches off my chest — and four inches off my waist. Gotta do it!!

  29. #50

    I have loved following along with your journey Cathy. You are doing something so important and sharing and motivating people all around the world!!
    I started running (following the Couch to 5K 9-week program) back in March. I’m not ready to run that 5K yet, but I’m working towards it, slowly but surely. Last week I added in some yoga/pilates/30DS on my non running days. I’m “only” 27, but I know that if I don’t change my ways now, once we start having kids I’ll be so far behind the ball I won’t be able to see it. I want to make these changes NOW, so that a better lifestyle is already in places when it comes time to teach my kids.
    I ordered the Nike+ last week (was just using my iPhone and not worrying about the rest) and I’m just waiting on my sensor pouch and new armband to arrive (hopefully by Wednesday). Running is HARD. Eating right is HARD. Staying motivated is HARD. But no one ever said life would be easy right? They only said it would be worth it.

  30. #52

    Love your Tales from the Scale. I have worked with a trainer for 14 months and have lost and gained the same pesky inches and 10 pounds. Abs always start in the kitchen and mentally I know this.
    I have white knuckled it through 3 or 4 trainer made diet plans. Obviously they do not work for me. There is to much protein and not enough everyday food to satisfy me, obviously. (the exercise is btw easy for me)
    About 12 years ago I had success on WW and can do it again. You and others have encouraged me to try WW again. My biggest struggle is getting past the high enthusiasm stage or honeymoon phase. What has been one of your biggest motivators? I mean when you want to just hang it up because it is just to hard and long to get to your goal.

  31. #53
    Di Hickman

    Awesome job Cathy!!! You are so doing this the right way and with the right mindset! Are you looking at doing a 5K anytime soon? I did my first one a week ago and LOVED it. Now looking at doing more 5Ks and a 1/2 marathon in either Sept or Oct! One foot in front of the other! With small steps ANYTHING is possible!!!

  32. #54

    Hehe funny. You and I make a complementary pair. I’ve got the moving part and am ‘moving more’ but just can’t stop eating! Good luck!

  33. #55

    Great job and I know you are inspiring many.

    I thought of your young Cole when I saw this You tube video. I hope that this link works. Star Wars and Lego-a great combination

    PS I met you once many years ago at a craft show. I was working a booth across from you and you were signing copies of your new book. πŸ™‚

    Enjoy the video!

  34. #57

    Difference between last month’s picture and this month’s? Your tush is getting smaller/firmer/more sculpted. And I’m not embarrassed to say I noticed. πŸ™‚

    I had a new low weight today on the scale, so I’m pretty happy myself. Let’s keep it up!

  35. #64
    Michele H.

    Cathy —

    I have watched you for the last 4 months on this journey to healthy living and I can’t tell you how inspired I am. I’ve been struggling with this for a long time and your story is really inspiring me to do something about it.

    I’ve been in a “blah” feeling kind of mood and after the Week in the Life project and all of the photos that I was in, which were very little, really had me thinking how I need to change something (I’m getting teary just writing this).

    Thank you for your honesty. You look wonderful! πŸ™‚

  36. #66
    Tracey White

    I’ve heard it said that the keys to weight loss ARE simple, they’re just not easy! And I find that so, so true. Good for you in going after your goal!

  37. #67

    I wrote a comment last month that you are an inspiration and I will write it again this month. Thank you. I do not always wear the workout clothes…in fact at work it is in steel toed boots but I am out walking. And my 10 yo is walking with me. Little girls can be so cruel, I am hoping that this makes a difference with her as well. Looking forward to next month’s layout.

  38. #70

    I am very happy for you and the progress you’ve made on this journey. A few months ago I pretty much read your entire blog from beginning to end and Tales from the Scales shows you’ve had your fair share of false starts. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an incredibly difficult undertaking for some people (myself included). Kudos to you Cathy for sticking with it! You look good girl!!!


  39. #71

    So it’s been a month of working out twice a week with my training group. After the first week I literally thought I should just quit! I was so far from where I thought I should be and sooo sore all the time. But I kept going back, and added extra workouts on my own. By week three I thought maybe I can do this…maybe I’ll stick it out. Yesterday our group completed the exact same workout we were given the first day and I did it! It was still tough but my heart wasn’t exploding and I could keep up with everyone and I’m not excruciatingly sore today! AND 9 pounds off my body! It hasn’t been easy but it sure feels good!! You have inspired me CZ, more than you know!

  40. #72

    Oh and you look fabulous! Those little .25 losses are significant -that’s muscle baby, muscle!

  41. #76

    You look awesome!! Photographing yourself along the way is a great way to see the results. I just started a kettlebells class this week(tough class!), I should photograph my abs and see how they look from post-baby, to hopefully bikini ready abs in a few weeks. Wishful thinking anyway!! – Gina

  42. #77

    You rock. Always have. Always will.

    Thank you for sharing your journey. I took up running at age 40 after having three babies three years in a row. I am the un-athlete — “can’t do a cartwheel” is always in those 5 Random Things About Me Lists… but I have completed dozens of 5Ks, a handful of 10ks, and a Half Marathon. I never thought I would be THAT person either.

    Keep up the great work!

  43. #78

    Cathy, I have been one of those “I’ll start my diet on Monday” types for a long time. I’m scared to actually begin the lifestyle change of better food/ more exercise because once the Monday arrives to actually “start” that journey, I fear I’ll fall flat on my face. I have been, as have so many others, motivated, inspired, and enlighted by seeing the results of your commitment to the challenge, and the sweet rewards of your hard work. I quit smoking cold turkey over ten years ago, so I know somewhere in me there is the wherewithal to meet the healthy lifestyle change, I have just not had the courage to put that first foot (dare I say running shoe) in front of the other. Until now. Thanks to you and your success, I’m gonna give it a shot and see where it goes.

  44. #79

    Sister and i had the exact same discussion this morning during our run.

    It’s simple- yet not easy! But committing to trying and balance/moderation is really it.

    I just wish eating out was easier… πŸ˜‰

  45. #80

    Susan, if you come back and read this- my sister and i were discussing that issue too-You CAN do it. Just start small and forgive yourself for not being perfect.

    Take a look at the “Couch to 5k” program on the interwebz… it trains people to move from being a Couch Potato to a runner and doesn’t kill you in the process! πŸ˜‰

  46. #88

    Okay, that’s it Miss Cathy Z! You have totally inspired me! I’m on my way out the door right now to get to a Weight Watchers meeting! Oh, yes I am! I am a Lifetime Member and there are no more excuses! I have let it slide over the past 8 years – Not anymore! In fact, I’m even signing up for the WW Walk it Day 5k at Lake Como next month! THANK YOU – THANK YOU – THANK YOU!!!

  47. #89

    Good luck Susan.

    And let me just tell you: i am scared of failing at this… pretty much every week. I wonder, “What happens if i just go back to not moving and eating whatever I want?” What happens if i just gain it all back?

    Well, that is a risk i have to take right now! I’m really trying to make changes that will stick. I know i feel better when i take care of myself.

    Good luck!

  48. #92
    Donna C

    Cathy, you are so inspiring. I have been avoiding rejoining WW after gaining back all my lost weight over the past 3 years. You have inspired me to try it again, this time online – I just signed up a week ago. Thanks!

  49. #94

    Ha! I just clicked my link and saw that there is another napier teacher with a gospel music site! Wonder how long I’ve been leaving THAT trail!

  50. #95

    I know this is oh so cliched, but… “You Go Girl”. The pictures of you from the first month and the current month say it all. That it’s worth it to keep going and keep moving. I’ve been inspired to do the same and am on the same track though a lot slower pace. Losing less weight and inches than you but still losing it! And feeling better, stronger, faster! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for taking us on this journey with you.

  51. #96

    Cathy-you look great! And you are so inspiring! I was motivated to eat healthier because I work in a pharmacy and see people on 5+ medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. and I realized I want to put off dealing with something like that as long as possible-my original motivation to lose weight was really vein. Your updates inspire me to keep at it, because the healthy way to lose weight is NEVER the quick, easy way, and inspire me to document it. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  52. #97

    uh… this discussion happened AFTER the running part and only ONLY durning the cool down/walking part- i’ll be more clear next time- tee hee!

  53. #98

    Cathy – I hope this doesn’t sound crass – but compared to last month’s photo…your ass is definitely smaller. Smokin’!

  54. #99

    Hellllo Cathy, Oh My!!! You are doing such a fantastic job! You inspire me! Maybe I should just get off my butt and get started! You look great! You realy do!

    One question… do you go to those Weight Watchers Meetings or are you doing the Program on your own? I find it dificult to stick to it on my own… but I don,t really have the time for the meetings.

  55. #101
    Jane Toft

    Know what Cathy? When you first started this weight loss thing I was ready to hate you as the pounds dropped off and you transformed before our very eyes. I’m English, we don’t do ‘hey, go girl!’, we’re a grumpy nation that loves a loser πŸ™‚ But damn you, I have found myself empathising and have even bought a pair of trainers (you call them ‘running shoes’ right?) for the 1st time in 8 years. I have actually dragged my 49 yr old body around the lanes near my home. So um, thanks and all that and here’s to middle aged women taking over the streets – I won’t be burning my ‘shock absorber’ bra though πŸ™‚

  56. #104

    such an inspiration!!!!!!!!!!!

    can’t wait to hear about your first 5k!!!

    I ran my first 5K 2 years ago, and was so nervous but soooo proud and excited to have completed it! now i’ve ran my 10K and 1/2 marathon and let me tell you my first 5k experience beat them all! just because it was my start into the world of running. i now call myself a runner. πŸ™‚
    on that note i have to say moving isn’t the hard part for me… it’s the love (read addiction) of sugar/salty/greasy yum yums. sigh. i’ll get there yet.
    thanks for sharing with us cathy! you look amazing!!

  57. #106

    WOW!! the progress you’ve made is awesome cathy! (oh & i agree with helen, your bahooky – my new favorite word for butt – is definitely smaller!) i totally understand the effort & sacrifices involved – from one 40+ girl to another, the journey we’re on isn’t as easy as it was back when we were in our 20’s! it sure takes focus & determination (+ a dash of obsessive compulsive behavior!!).

    i’ve reached some milestones too (down 16lbs + jogging at an average of 5mph) & am hoping to push through another one soon. thanks for sharing your journey with us. i’m cheering you on from down under (australia). go cathy! go cathy! go catchy!!

  58. #108
    sharon f., ca

    you can see significant results between the January and now shots and what jumps out is how much slender your arm is…you are incredible, enjoy the minutes between the shots and know you are accomplishing your goal – that has got to be an awesome feeling for you! Congrats!

  59. #109
    Cynthia Friese-Hassanein

    Oh this is my last catch up post:) Seriously sweet Cathy. I am beyond proud of you and your honesty about the process. You look fabulous!! not that you didn’t before:) There just is such beauty in being the best you can be. And how much does it rock to get into those jeans again!!!!!!!!!!!! I know that is a huge motivator for me:)

  60. #110

    Holy CROP! I haven’t visited here in awhile. Blew the dust away and WHOA, look at Cathy!!! You look mahvelous. Kudos and keep the good thing going.

  61. #111

    “inspiring” seems too cheesy a word, but as I read the very tiny and somewhat blurry journal entry from your May MMEL page, I had a catch in my throat and a tear in my eye and was so impressed with you. Not quite impressed enough to change anything about my own life, but oh so very close!! Sigh.
    Thanks for posting. Just give me a month or two more to work up the courage… I’ve already started on the eat less / eat healthier side of things, so maybe that’s good progress πŸ™‚
    Thank you so much for sharing.

  62. #112

    Stephanie, it does take courage. It takes a lot of courage, and then some. Because even after you start to see changes, you realize you have to always be focused on keeping those changes. I struggle with this every day. I really do. Im trying to learn how NOT to struggle and to just take care of myself to the best of my ability. However, I will say the moving more part has helped me so much in my head. So, so much. When you are ready, you will make the changes you want to make. I wish you much luck.

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