How I Exercise and What I Eat

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life80 Comments

I've had a lot of questions lately from blog readers about what exactly my exercise routine is, and what exactly am I eating. I am going to tell you what I am doing, and what is working for me, but know this: I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. I'm a graphic designer and a scrapbooker. You have been warned.

When I started to Live My Best Life (thank you, Oprah), I started out taking some big steps and some baby steps, but all were of the non-negotiable sort.

First, I joined Weight Watchers online. Now, I'd like to say this: having recently read Women, Food and God, I do get the author's premise that diets don't work. I mean, I get it in theory, but when I'm facing the prospect of getting a handle on horrible eating habits, I require guidelines. Plus, when I had a physical last December, my doctor basically said that Weight Watchers is really the only diet she endorses, because it really is a common-sense, physics based approach. Eat less, move more.

Weight Watchers helped me to get a handle on just how much food I was eating. It also helped me to realize that just because a food only has one point (think Weight Watchers Giant Fudge Bars) it doesn't mean that I should be putting it, and all of its bizarre, unpronounceable ingredients into my body.

It helped me to find some foods I really love (Green Giant Steamers frozen broccoli, string cheese and freeze dried strawberries from Trader Joe's) and to find ways to fill out my day with healthier, less processed choices.

It also helped me to start eliminating sugary stuff from my diet, which is never pleasant or easy, but once you get a week or two under your belt, you realize you CAN live without tons of sugar in your life.

But then there was the "move more" part. I knew I had to get moving and I knew it needed to be a concerted effort, not just a "Oh, I think I'll go for a walk this afternoon," or a, "I'll walk Cole to basketball practice instead of drive" kind of approach.

I knew I had to commit to exercise. Daily exercise. Sweat inducing exercise. The kind of exercise that for most of my life I have almost completely avoided.

I knew I wouldn't make it at a health club. Being self-employed, while a wonderful way to earn a living, also means about a two-hour round trip to the gym. And that translates to two hours you can't bill a client. I also didn't like the idea of working out around people. I needed something immediate and accessible. I had an ancient treadmill in my basement, so that's where I began. Walking for four minutes at 3.2 mph, then jogging for 1. Every. Single. Day.

Eventually, I bought a new treadmill and worked my way up to 20 minutes of jogging (still no faster than 3.5 miles per hour mind you) and slowly but surely, weight was beginning to come off. Along with that, however, came a bit of knee pain, and that's when I realized (with a little helpful input from my athletic, personal-trainer friend Lisa Cohen): you need to cross train.

Enter Jillian Michaels and The 30-Day Shred. I decided to do this workout 3 days each week. At first, I am not going to lie, I thought I was going to die. Literally. That Dan would come home and find me prone, on the floor, dead from doing knee push ups. But true to what Jillian promised, after a week or so of doing it, it got slightly more do-able.

Then, with my running steadily increasing to 30 minutes by April, I went completely out of character and joined a group fitness class. Zumba, to be exact. For the first three weeks, I was giddy with the fact that not only could I keep up with the class, but it was yet another fitness activity I was working in.

Then, the side of my foot said: you are doing just a little too much, Cathy. Sorry.

No more Zumba for you. No more jumping jacks with Jillian. It's time to dial it back a bit. Take it to the previous level, if you will.

So I decided to add in bike riding (which my foot and knees greatly appreciated), modify my running to 3 days a week, and take at least one day off.

And that brings me to where I am today.

As far as what I eat, here's a typical day:

Breakfast: fat free yogurt, bowl of mixed fresh fruit, black coffee or tea

Lunch: a big steaming bowl of broccoli (no butter or butter spray, with a little Penzey's Seasoned Salt sprinkled on it), light string cheese, and a toasted piece of Flat Out Bread. (I realize that Flat Out Bread has many ingredients that don't occur in nature, but it is the one diet-y food I allow myself. And I love it. Very filling and tasty when toasted.) If this seems like a light lunch, you're correct. It is. I like to save my points for spending at dinner time. It's just how I roll.

Snack: Oregon Chai Latte, and some fruit. (The Oregon Chai latte is the best treat of my day. That's where I embrace sugar to the fullest and feel no guilt. I also don't record the two points it's worth. I know, a little rogue of me, but it is what it is.)

Dinner: this varies, obviously, but I look for lean proteins, lots of veggies and some type of healthy grain. I try to keep it interesting, but there are weeks when I just grill some marinated chicken, make some steamed veggies and a side of jasmin or brown rice and say, "Done!" 

Snack: most nights after dinner I have another yogurt, and some fruit, and then some freeze dried strawberries for a treat. Lately, I've been saving points to have some graham crackers, or a bowl of Pirate's Booty. I usually end my day around 23 points right now. I'm supposed to be at 20, but a 30 minute run will get you 4 activity points, so I am eating more than recommended to give my body the fuel it needs.

Some of you may think: and that's it? And my answer is this: that's it. And that is the reality if you are trying to shed weight, something's gotta give.

Are there better choices I could be making? Sure. Yoplait Fat Free yogurt may be low in calories, but it's high in high fructose corn syrup. I am making changes as I am ready to make them.

In short, I am consciously eating less and moving more and I have lost almost 30 pounds to date. Tomorrow is my weigh in day and maybe I will hit that 30-pound mark, maybe I won't. But one thing I do know: this is a lifestyle. If I choose not to do this, my body will respond accordingly.

I will also tell you this: I am learning to like exercise. I like that it makes me feel strong. I like that it reminds me that being in my 40s doesn't have to be a limitation. That if something hurts, I can try something else to keep that heart pumping. I don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I am actually beginning to feel like an athlete of sorts. And that is pretty cool.

Remember, I'm not an expert. This is my story and this is what's working for me.

Now if you'll excuse me, it's Friday, and I have a date with my treadmill.

Cathy ZielskeHow I Exercise and What I Eat

80 Comments on “How I Exercise and What I Eat”

  1. #1
    Nicole Czarnecki

    Oh, thank you for sharing this Cathy. I’ve started and stopped so many times with both exercise and Jenny Craig. (I hate frozen food. I hate frozen food.) It’s time to start again, but I appreciate the good attitude adjustment about not throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I have a workout partner and we’re going to be “Jillian” for each other. I bought the Shred and I’ll let you know how it’s going. I know I can do the food part – it’s the exercise that’s going to be hard.

  2. #2
    Tobey Saniuk

    Its all about wanting to do it and wanting to make those changes. You were obviously ready for it and are making the changes that you want to make! Way to go, Cathy! You are an inspiration.

    Its true too that its a lifestyle. I started on my Wii doing My Fitness Coach and EA Sports Active and doing more walking and I lost 20 lbs in the course of that. I was also watching what I ate and limiting my sugar (read Coke intake)and cutting down the night time snacking. I’ve been slipping lately and I know it, I just need to want to get back on that wagon again! But just the knowing that I can do it, is a step in the right direction!

  3. #3

    keepin it real…with results! That’s what I’ve always admired about you Cathy.
    I’m still trying to fit in the time for the exercise part with a 10 hr work day, hour commute each way. But I can do points!

  4. #4
    Lori Massicot

    Thank you for the inspiration. I’m on WW too and have just started doing P90X (a major workout) and in my early 40’s. The pounds are coming off and I’m feeling stronger than ever. You gave me the motivation to get back on track. Truly you did and I thank you:) I needed it.


  5. #5

    Thanks for posting all this info cathy. It really helps to see what you’ve been doing and it does seem so simple. I know you have to set your mind to it and keep at it, it’s hard work but worth it. I need to get back into it again. I’m fine on the eating part it’s the exercise thing that stops me. I hate going to gyms too, just like doing my own thing here at home. You have done a great job and should be proud. Thanks for inspiring us to believe in changing our ways. Have a great weekend.

  6. #6

    Woohoo Cathy!! I’m (virtually) jumping for joy for you. You’ve got it! You’re there. It doesn’t matter what the scale is saying (well sometimes it does, I ain’t gonna lie) but your body and mind will thank you. We’re on the same plan, it’s the only thing that has ever worked for me. After spending most of my adult life overweight, it is a feeling that I can’t even put into words to finally feel like I’m doing it right. It’s easy, but it’s not.

    Have you tried Greek yogurt? Trader Joe’s has nonfat Greek yogurt that’s honey flavored. It’s two points a container, but it’s loaded with protein, and is sooo good with fruit. It will keep you full for hours. I love it so much, sometimes the others are having leftovers for dinner I’ll have my fruit and yogurt.

    The running has finally kick started my weight loss again. I’ve been stuck for two months and finally see the scale moving again. Not that it matters, I feel great. (okay, it matters a little ;))

    Yay, you!

  7. #9
    April Storie

    Cathy, your journey is very similar to mine. I have now been a lifetime member of WW since 2005 and still attend a meeting once a month and get weighed in. Jillian is an inspired instructor who teaches me in my own living room! I did start doing her cardio work – jumping jacks, etc on our mini trampoline to help my knees and ankles survive. Just this month, I started attending a 90 minute Hot Yoga workout (120 degree room). I am surprised at how much I LOVE this and how great my body feels. I find the more I move, the more I want to make healthy food choices. I am 51 years young and at my annual physical this year – the doctor told me I was healthier than many of her younger clients. Do it for YOU, do it for you FAMILY. Keep on creating!

  8. #10

    Thanks for sharing this with us Cathy. One more question-what are you drinking thru the day? Just water? Do you have any juice, milk, pop, etc? I see you have coffee and tea and am just curious what else.

  9. #11

    I too have committed to losing weight and getting some exercise in my forties. I couldn’t agree more about kicking sugar (a real addiction in my case) and alternating the types of exercise. It’s jogging and swimming in my case. I’ve heard great reviews of Jillian Michaels but that woman scares me!

  10. #12
    Laurie Weaver

    I am so impressed with your journey. As someone who hates, absolutely hates, exercising, you definitely have given me hope to think that maybe I can learn to hate it less. I do like idea of being a runner. I always that it would be cool to say, “I run. I’m a runner.” I guess, though, that to say that I have to actually do it. That’s the stumbling block for me. πŸ™‚

  11. #13

    It is awesome to “watch” your journey, Cathy. Thanks again for sharing!

    I am a Zumba fanatic, thanks to my bestie who loved it so much she became an instructor, and she looks FABULOUS. She is so much fun, and I have so much fun in her classes. But, it is a lot of lateral moves, and I am glad that you mentioned it could be tough on the feet, especially without the right shoes (which it took me 4 pairs of shoes to figure out). I think you have to do what you know you will KEEP doing. If you hate the exercise, then, on those days you would really rather not, you won’t.

    I was just talking to another friend about accountability. We are going to be accountable to each other this summer (and hopefully beyond). She was mentioning that she has Jillian’s workout, but can’t find motivation on her own. So, we’re going to set up times to do it together throughout the week. I think knowing someone is counting on you keeps you going. My instructor friend said she is grateful to be an instructor, as it makes her go to the gym daily… she’s not sure she would have had the stamina otherwise, and she may have fallen back to old, bad habits.

    Now on to the part about what I put in my mouth… {sigh}.

    Keep on runnin’ and please keep sharing!

  12. #14
    Madeline St Onge

    Thanks for posting this Cathy. WW also claims to “not be a diet. It is a healthy way of life” They teach you how to eat healthy and get in that exercise.
    Keep up the good work girl

  13. #15

    No juice, no pop, no milk. (I don’t drink milk, so i try to make up in other areas for calcium, plus a supplement vitamin.)

    I drink water all day long.

    The think i learned a long time ago about juice is that most of it is just a lot of sugar and unnecessary calories. That’s why i just go straight for the fruit!

    And pop is evil. So is diet soda, from what i understand. Me? I was always fond of the full sugar Sprite!

  14. #16

    Some people feel her workouts are a bit too jarring. I really think that Zumba and jumping jacks were causing my foot pain. I removed them for two weeks, and voila, i feel better.

    However, now i need to work in some alternate weight training, because i LOVED that part of the shred.

  15. #17

    Laurie, i just got off the treadmill, with my nice even and slow pace of 11:30 per mile. I’m covered in sweat, and i feel amazing.

    it can be done!

  16. #18

    Soooo…to put it in a nutshell: Eat less, move more. Repeat daily. Right?

    No way!


    Doncha just love when our common-sense grandmothers get to say “I told you so!”

    You look awesome. and Happy. (another side benefit!)

  17. #19

    Getting a fitness buddy is SUCH a good idea. Ali Edwards has been mine and we encourage each other, and trash talk a little too. I know some day we’ll run a race for fun together. It’s great motivation.

    And i did buy some shoes for Zumba, but haven’t had a chance to test them out yet, because as soon as i bought them, i made the connection between the lateral moves and my foot pain. ay yi yi.

  18. #22

    Thanks for sharing Cathy! WW’s rocks! Do you not use your 35 weekly allowance points? I find it’s easy to not dip into them if you don’t go out. Going out, into the world, to eat is evil! I too work from home, live in a small small town with no fast food, just a few greasy spoon places. This makes it so much easier to stick to my points.
    Your picture yesterday in your new muffin top hiding top looked GREAT!

  19. #23
    Cheryl T

    Cathy, you are doing an awesome job! Your most recent weigh in shot makes you look so thin. You definitely need a pat on the back. Congrats on your healthy weight loss.

  20. #24

    I just want to tell you that you and your blog are one of the main reasons I joined the WeightWatchers Online 5 weeks ago and for the first time in my life I am making an effort to loose weight. And it’s working. It’s such an amazing feeling. I joined thinking “OMG, am I really doing this? Well, let’s try it and see how long it lasts.” and I still have a hard time beliving that this is really happening. I still need to get started on the exercising. That is a problem. But I am so happy that I have come this far. And about the WW, it is so true that it has helped me realize just how wrong I was eating. Of course I knew. But it becomes so much more obvious after doing some counting of points. (By the way – we have a new system in Sweden, propoints instead of points. It’s a bit funny they haven’t changed it in the same way everwhere, isn’t it?)

    Anyway. You are such an awesome inspiration! Thank you!

  21. #25

    yup – what everyone said plus a little! I re-strapped on my running shoes because of your upbeat and obvious progress!!

    thanks for the inspiration, in the GetYerA**Moving and in the DigiScrapbooking arenas!!

    You are my VBFF… πŸ™‚ (virtual …. hee)

  22. #27

    I love you Cathy! You have inspired me to get to my WW routine again – I lost 35 lbs in 2008-2009 and have put back on around 9. You go girl. You are awesome.

  23. #28

    Fun stuff. I didn’t start with you … but as I approached by 39th birthday in May – I knew I had to do SOMETHING to discard 20lbs of baby weight (from 5 years ago) and another 10-20 I acquired just from getting “old”.

    Joined WW (online & meetings), started getting up at 5:30am for a video workout (Jillian or other), and I’m walking 3 brisk miles at least 3x per week. Since April 1, I’ve lost 20 lbs.

    I’m a MUCH happier person.

  24. #29

    Way to go, Cathy! I feel like saying, “I’m so proud of you!” πŸ˜‰ I’ve signed up for a spin class with a friend (really did it for the friend more than myself). It begins in two weeks, and I’m starting to get nervous. I’ve never taking any kind of fitness class – ever. I used to swim in high school, but that’s just different. I am so out of shape and at my heaviest weight ever, so I know it will be good for me. But… I’m scared! πŸ™‚ Anyway, it is great to see you keeping at it and being successful. You’re an inspiration!

  25. #30

    Hi Cathy,
    In my journey to eat healthier, I made the switch from regular yogurt (Yoplait Light) to greek yogurt. I wont lie. It was not an easy transition for me. The texture of greek yogurt is much thicker and creamier (think sour cream). But knowing how much healthier greek yogurt is (twice the protein, no fat, all natural), I was determined to make the change. After trying many brands, I finally found one I love – Chobani! Check out their website. You can plug in your zip code and find out if there’s a store in your area that sells it (unfortunately, Trader Joes does not). I highly recommend this brand and hope you have the opportunity to try it. Congratulations on your commitment to living healthy! You rock!!!!

  26. #32
    Kristin T

    “…nor do I play one on TV”:
    It’s little things like that, that have me loving reading your blog. That I love scrapbooking and design and photography and fitness, too, is icing. thanks for sharing yourself

  27. #34

    Thanks, Cathy! You helped to kick start my weight loss journey two months ago. I joined WW and bought a treadmill. I now run/walk 3-4 days a week, Jillian or the Firm two days a week and yoga/pilates one day! I feel GREAT and I’m down 10 lbs…Yay, me! I feel stronger and healthier than ever! Thanks for being my inspiration…You Rock!!

  28. #35

    GO Cathy!! This is my first comment ever on your awesome blog, and it is to say this:

    You inspire me. With scrapbooking ideas, with sharing your real-life family (your husband sounds like a nut…kind of like mine – love that), and your struggles and VICTORY with weight issues.

    Thank you for all of it!

  29. #36

    You are doing amazing!

    Can you stand another question? Are you doing separate meals for yourself and family – or are they on board with a new family dinner plan? (I was working on the “I need to change myself and my habits before I try to change my family’s” plan for a while, but have totally burned out on dual meal prep. It’s time for strategies toward making household changes… and I find that daunting.)

  30. #45

    Heather, that’s a very interesting question… technically, i have done some custom cooking for the kids off and on because they are picky eaters. So it depends on the meal. Dan eats what I eat. Aidan will if it doesn’t have meat. Cole… he will sometimes have to settle for a pb&J or hot dog.

    I try to figure out something we can all eat at least once or twice a week. Example: pasta dishes. Very simple ones though.

    Aidan has been a vegetarian for over a year now, and that adds a ripple into the whole idea of one meal everyone will eat!

  31. #46

    Thank you for your post. You continue to motivate in every way. Yoplait is a staple in my diet too. I, like Aiden, am vegetarian. (Since 1980) I make my meals and add on for everyone else. My 15 year old is my picky eater, well for everything but pizza and chiken fingers and milk. We take it one day at a time but have significantly cut out soda from our houshold. Here is another question for you…. What is your power song on your IPOD? Mine is lame, well maybe not I alternate between between two.


    Such a throwback I am.

  32. #47

    Oh cathy, you almost make me want to exercise? I’ve lost 25lbs before, before baby #2.

    But that was cough 6years ago cough. I need to lose 25lbs again.

    My husband weighs more than me. lol

    my downfall. Soda. I need to cut it out because diet soda doesn’t like me or I should say my stomach.

    keep posting about your dieting and exercise maybe even I will start to do something!

  33. #48

    This is going to sound really weird but I have this for breakfast and it is super filling plus low calorie – high protein.
    Mix a container of plain greek yogurt (around 90 calories) with a container of flavored yogurt (I use Dannon Light n Fit 80 calorie pack). I like to mix because I don’t love just plain yogurt. It turns out to be approximately 170 Calories with around 16 grams of protein! It is a great Snack too!!

  34. #49

    I’m going to back up the Greek Yogury bandwagon! I use the brand Fage (Fa-yeh) and actually just found the jumbo tub at our Costco…woot woot. It does take some getting used to…(I ditto the thick, tangy sour cream comparison)…but with a dash of honey (all natural sweetener) and a heaping helping of fresh fruit, you are good to go. I eat it as a snack, as dessert, any time. It’s also a GREAT addition to smoothies, as it is super creamy. Most of the non-fat ‘diet’ advertised yogurts are actually higher in sugar than full fat yogurts…when they take out the fat they have to add in something to replace the flavor…it’s usually some form of sugar. Ick.

  35. #50

    i am behind in checking up on your blog so i am commenting on your increasingly GORGEOUS daughter! she’s amazing. i love her individuality. as a mom i find that whatever age they are at RIGHT NOW is my favorite age!! ( i have 2 boys, 19 & 12.)

  36. #52
    Kendra B

    You’re AWESOME!! OK, you’ve convinced me to get started!! I know you’ve been talking about this for a while, but today something just clicked πŸ™‚ Thanks for the inspiration!! Here we go!!

  37. #53

    big ups to you and your determination! i just wanted to recommend a different type of footwear to alleviate your foot/knee pain– have you heard of barefoot running? basically, it’s the discovery that all of the ‘advances’ that we have made in running shoes over the years, actually change a runner’s gait and footfall so that the runner experiences very high levels of jarring shock to the foot/ankle/knee/hip, which leads to pain and injury. BUT you do no have to run actually barefoot! i like the vibram five fingers running shoe– it has totally transformed my running, which i thought i was going to have to give up. since i KNOW you will want to research this thoroughly :), check out a piece that was done by HBO on bryant gumbel’s 360 on barefoot running, and this site: lots of other good info around the web.

  38. #55

    Peggy, i can tell you what i know about soda: it is the devil.

    Truly and completely. While i gave up soda as an every day drink years ago, i would still drink a sprite or two or three every time i went out, or to a friends house, or anything that didn’t involve eating at home.

    I haven’t had a sprite in 6 months. Fruit is giving me my new sugar fix. (And my Oregon Chai latte!)

  39. #56

    I am going to try a few greek yogurts.

    what kills me about them though, is the points. They are always going to be higher points than a yoplait fat free.

    Because i’m still in weight loss mode, i’m still very points conscious.

    However, i do think with the running, i’m going to be able to make the switch eventually, to a much healthier yogurt!

  40. #57

    Kendra, you can do it. When it clicks, go with it. One day at a time. Seriously.

    I mean, today is my weigh in day, and for the first time in a LONG time, i’m up 1.6 pounds. (I’m blaming it on mother nature this time!)

    one day. that’s it. You can do it!

  41. #58

    You are the third or 4th person to tell me about these shoes, and last weekend, i was on a run and this guy passed me wearing the those. I thought: cool!

    I will go watch the link!

  42. #59

    HI Cathy! Just wanted to say THANKS for sharing this information about your fitness journey, how and why things have changed and what you are eating.

    I’ve had a rough couple of years and they’ve come with some literal baggage (think 70 pounds) and for the last 6 months I’ve been trying to get to that place where I would do something about it. Well, your bluntness, openess and raw “this is how it is” are part of what finally kicked my butt into gear. I am doing the Couch to 5K training program and will finish week 5 tomorrow. That means a 20 minute run! 6 weeks ago… I never could have imagined it! Now? I want to start overhauling my “diet,” as not only are the pounds not really coming off, but I can tell it’s affecting my running. So it’s time for change & your post is great timing! So, thanks again!

  43. #60

    Thanks Cathy…I need to print, save and reread this post daily for a while. I keep trying, off and on, but havent been able to suceed–YET. I know it’s simple math, but life just gets in the way. Need to make my health a priority–not just in my head, but with action. Good for you…congratulations!


  44. #62

    Life does get in the way. I know that. So does one’s head.

    Like today… i gained 1.8 pounds from last week (I am blaming Mother Nature, thank you very much) but still… i decided to celebrate by going for a run and reminding myself: this isn’t just about losing weight anymore!

  45. #63

    I saw your comment about the Yoplait yogurt, which I eat almost every day with granola and some carrots (not all mixed together) at work. I’ve read that Greek yogurt is a lot better for you, just in that it has less sugar, but I tried it and love it! I think it actually tastes better (the texture scared me at first, honestly) it is definitely more filling than regular yogurt, the main reason I actually stuck with it. I really enjoyed reading a sane woman’s perspective on weight loss! Way to go losing 30 pounds! πŸ™‚

  46. #64

    Love this post. So sensible and REAL! Makes me wanna go running – and THAT, my frieds, says something (coming from the one who never EVER runs. Ever.)

    WTG – keep up the fantastic work. You’re a true inspiration!!

  47. #65

    First let me say congrats! you are doing such a great job. I have been struggling with weight and the whole exercise thing for it seems a life time. I am currently on ww and reading Women, Food, and God. It is a eye opening book, but like you I feel if I do not follow my pts I will go nuts with food.
    A friend of mine was just sharing what she eats as yourself and it really is about more fruit and veggies. I thank you for your post it really helps motivate me.

  48. #67

    I found this post interesting and informative, I am a 40 something, anti exercise, sugar loving, will power lacking, scrap booking graphic designer.

    I know I need to make “those” changes to my diet and start to exercise, at the moment I am still in the “thinking” part of this decision and I am avoiding the doing part.

    I like you do not like to exercise in public so I am currently trying to figure out how I am going to remedy that, Wii Fit, Buy a bike, which I will have to ride at stupid o’clock in the morning so no one sees me ! or follow a fitness dvd.

    But I am going to do it… My genetics demand it, “mirror, mirror on the wall, I am my Mother after all” sorry Mum but its not going to happen.

  49. #68
    Sara Mangan

    Ok, I’m sure you are sick about hearing about yogurt. πŸ™‚ Once you are ready to try other things, Brown Cow (it’s organic) has a great vanilla yogurt. It is NOT low fat but the fat actually fills me up more and it tastes wonderful with strawberries.
    I get the calorie/point/trying to loose weight stuff. Just wanted to offer you another suggestion for “some day.”
    I actually used to only eat non fat refried beans because I swore I could taste the fat. Years later I realized that regular refried beans only had 1 gram of fat in them. Oh, the tricks our mind plays on us.

  50. #69

    Hi Cathy!

    I just wanted to say that you are so inspiring! I used to be a top level handball player, but after I had my two kids, exercising got so hard. Some time after you started on this journey, I joined you. Although I didn’t have much extra weight to lose (about 10 pounds), it did bother me that I lived a rather unhealthy life with lots of sugar, snacks and no exercise. And my body didn’t feel like “me” anymore.

    Inspired by you I’ve taken up on exercise – handball and running – and I just feel so much better. A (until now) 6 pound weight loss is the icing on the (lacking) cake in my life, feeling better is what this is about. I’ve done the lifestyle change thing. No dieting or counting of calories, just not eating chocolate or unhealthy stuff every day, like I used to. I switched out my daily caffe mochas, which I was so addicted to, with green tea, and that did make a difference. I do have my chai latte once during the day, though (it’s amazing, that Adagio Masala Chai), and it really is a treat.

    So thank you Cathy, for inspiring so many people (me included) with your life, challenges and art.

  51. #70

    Louise, the treadmill in the basement is my secret weapon. Seriously. I am getting more confident running outside, but it was the treadmill where I have been building up my strength!

  52. #71

    I really DO like hearing about yogurt, and i know i have to get off the Yoplait. I will, i totally will.

    I feel like as soon as i hit my goal weight (140 is my goal, and i am not sure if that is realistic for a while) i will be making other choices based on health, and not points!

  53. #73

    Hi Lori,

    P90x is hardcore! I know many people that have lots of success doing these workouts (my husband being one; and I did something similar to it called STS) so my hat goes off to you for starting out on the journey!

    Good luck and have fun with it!


  54. #74

    Hi Terri,

    A 12-hour day (with commute) can be incredible tiring. My suggestion is that if you watch any television in the evenings to use that time to do your cardio or strength training. Some core work can always be fit in since it often takes 5 minutes to do. There’s also a great band workout that you can do anywhere (on a work break, in a hotel room while traveling since the bands can be thrown right into a suitcase or laptop case). This is the link to the pdf: It’s one that I use myself and recommend to my Wellness class at BPS. (And I’ve been using some of them over the last 4+ weeks while recovering from foot surgery when I couldn’t just go over and lift regular dumbbells).

    If you are committed to getting moving then you will find (or rather, MAKE the time). The combination of eating well and getting moving really does work!!

    If you need any help or have any questions, let me know! I’d be more than happy to help.


  55. #75

    Thoughts on soda… agreed!

    Figs, broccoli, spinach, kale, cabbage, bok choy, fortified orange juice, sardines, apricots, and tahini are other good non-milk sources of calcium.


  56. #76

    I was a bit behind in my blog-reading but I’m so happy that you are out there, being real, and telling it like it is. And what I’m most happy about is that you are making this a lifestyle!! If I could be jumping right now I’d be jumping up and down because I get so psyched when this connection is made. Yeah it might start out wanting to lose weight, but the only way it sticks and stays off is when it becomes your normal. The way that you just are.

    Thank you for sharing your story so that others can be inspired by it.

    I hope the foot is healing well so that you can be back to your Zumba soon.

    Oh and Penzey’s rules, spice sista!!! So with you on that one. And chai too… I do decaf chai, though, as I don’t do caffeine too well.

    I’m raising a crisp, refreshing glass of water to toast to happy sweating and good food (for life)!! And being an athlete! Cheers, my friend!

    xoxo, L

    P.S. Thanks for the shout out!

  57. #77

    Hi Louise,

    You don’t need to leave your house to get a great workout! I’ve been doing most of my exercising in my basement for the last 10+ years (and all of my winter working out which is about 5-6 months out of the year). It’s just incredibly convenient for me because I don’t have to drive to the gym or drive home from the gym (which uses up precious time that could be better spent either actually working out or on something else) and I can wear comfortable, and sometimes ratty, clothes. I can roll out of bed with my hair looking like a big curly birds nest and I can just put it up in a ponytail and be on my way because I’m the only one who will see it.

    A good set of weights or exercise bands can be great to get started!! There’s never a better time to make the changes like the present.

    You. Can. Do. It. (!!!!)

    I’ll be cheering for you along with Cathy,

    PS If you have a bike you can hook it up to an indoor trainer so that it can function like a stationary bicycle. This is what I use since cycling is my main source of cardiovascular exercise and mostly it’s cold around here Oct – April. If you have any questions feel free to drop me an email.

  58. #78

    forgive me if this has been asked before but i thought i read that in the beginning you walked 4 minutes jogged 1? How and at what pace did you increase the jogging?


  59. #79
    Karin Stephens

    I’m in the same place as you and have recently lost 35 pounds in 14 weeks. I’ve learned from my experience to add protein first thing in the morning. Your body really wants it and it will help keep you fuller in the morning. Also, make sure you get protein to help build your muscles within 15 min. of your workout. Then your muscles won’t rob themselves for energy. Just my 2 cents. Great job!!


  60. #80
    Victoria Hassink

    I have a yogurt suggestion…Stoneyfield Organic French Vanilla is low fat and wonderful, I am not sure of the points but my family loves it and it is low-fat.

    As for Jillian Michaels…she is a “product” and from what I have heard from my trainer who met her on The Biggest Loser, really not in it for her clients, more the fame and money…she isn’t even certified as a personal trainer! Just want to caution people to prevent injury! Cross training is the way to go, may I suggest you try aiming for a triathlon? I have done 2 women only, sprint triathlons (Ramblin’ Rose) and loved them, I am still overweight and not in my best shape but they are still doable.

    Cathy I think you have done an amazing job, and I love the Whole approach you have taken on this journey, keep up the great work.

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