Tales from the Scale, The Split Screen Edition

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life76 Comments

Month 6

Welcome to the start of my 6th month of tracking my return to the general goodness of moving more and eating less.

This month, I decided to go with a split screen on the layout. Why? Having only lost 4 pounds in the past month, I needed a quick visual reminder of just how far I've come.

As much as I like to say, "It's not just about weight loss," I do get an extra boost from the number when it leans on the generous side. The past month, however, was all about adjusting both expectations and workouts. I had some foot pain and so I chose other things to do in order to get in the exercise I needed. (You can read more about what I do and what I eat here.)

A few weeks ago, the author of Women, Food and God was on Oprah. She and Oprah were talking about when Oprah did the infamous cover showing her thin self, and her heavier self (one that I so aptly parodied here), and O was saying (yes, I just call her "O" now) that what she didn't realize was that she was publicly shaming herself by doing this. She was putting her self-loathing on display for the entire world to see.

I thought about what she said, and asked myself: "Oh my God…is that what I am doing? Putting my self-loathing on display for my blog readers to see?"

Now Oprah initially thought she was just connecting; showing people her humanity; her real-ness. I believe that's how I took that cover. Look, Oprah is just like me!

I never set out to humiliate myself in this process. I set out to hold myself accountable. Period. Any issues I have with self-esteem come from far more deeply ingrained issues than simply a bit of extra junk in my trunk.

At least that's what my therapist tells me.


JOIN IN: If you'd like to document your path to better health, you don't have to do it with a photo of yourself. Take a picture of your workout clothes, or the trail you walk on, or the bike you ride. The words and feelings you record in this process, however, can be very illuminating on your journey to better health. I'm using this template to record my journey (you can also choose this one.)

I've also formed a Flickr group to share your pages and your progress. It is small, but mighty.

Here's to your health.

Cathy ZielskeTales from the Scale, The Split Screen Edition

76 Comments on “Tales from the Scale, The Split Screen Edition”

  1. #1

    Wow! Fantastic progress. Congratulations on your awesome willpower! I think you should publish “Z Magazine” i would pay good money to read it. Very funny.

  2. #2

    Cath, we Type-A folks…or OCD folks…or, well, you know…we take something and just go to town with vigor. What you’re doing is turning your obsessive focus to being fit and healthy – and it rocks. It’s the one thing we can obsess about that’s GOOD for us. The only problem is if you miss a workout and feel like a complete loser for the day – but then you take two classes and can’t walk for 3 days and feel all better about it.

    And – 4 pounds? – that’s 4 boxes of Land o’Lakes sister. Good stuff to not be carrying around!

  3. #3

    I agree with you….not self loathing, just showing how far you’ve come. I have to say I am so over O and her guests psycho-analyzing every thing! I love how honest and real you are. To O + her guests, I say, perhaps we just want a visual reminder of how far we have come. Don’t overthink it. Just look at the before and after and give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve it!

  4. #4
    Ronnie Crowley

    Don’t create a problem where there isn’t a problem. You are using your blogging and face booking about this journey as a motivator its not about self-loathing but being held accountable. I mean if you give up now we may all come and find you! In addition thing of all the people you have started on the journey with you.

  5. #5

    I think the split picture is a great motivator to continue what you’re doing. The fact you are sharing it with the rest of the world just shows how comfortable you are with your body. I see no self-loathing. However, I do see that your junk in the trunk is almost gone. No excess baggage there. You look great!!!!

  6. #6
    Jana D

    Isn’t self loathing a natural part of every human. At least to some degree. Anyhow, I am inspired by your progress. I’ve been watching, and am inclined to begin a journey of my own. Have also contemplated the same style of pictures to document my journey. But I need a way bigger camera. LOL.

  7. #7

    You are inspiring me…not humiliating yourself. I took pictures of myself before I started actually going to the gym regularly and I hope to be able to do a page just like yours above soon. Two weeks in and a lifetime to go…

  8. #10

    Hm. And here I was admiring your candor and courage. Didn’t know I was enabling you. Ah well. Not sure how Oprah thinks we would not be out there – of all the bad habits, being overweight sorta, kinda IS out there in full view. All.the.time. Unlike the desire to be an island despot which can be hidden until the moment of the coup.

    Forge ahead, I say. You’re looking great.

  9. #11

    I admire and respect you for being willing to share the journey with us. I applaud you. Having taken this route about 2 1/2 years ago and shed 90 lbs, I wish I had had your template to document my journey. You have inspired me to go back and recreate using photos that I have. However your bathroom photos are BRILLIANT.

  10. #12

    Please do not stop. You have no idea how many of us you have touched. I turned O off a couple of years ago in my quest to shed other types of pounds. You I tune into a couple of times a day. I call that inspiration. Thanks. Jill B

  11. #13

    Love it CZ:) Six months on this amzing journey of yours. Look at the transformation!!!!! Go you for all your hard work and the mag is too funny:) I missed that one:) the first time around!!!!!!

  12. #14
    Jennifer McGuire

    look at you, you hot momma. 🙂

    here is the thing i love most about you. you take whatever your best talents are and grow them and then share them with the world to help others. that, my dear, is a gift.

    from you, i have learned everything from digi stuff to excepting myself, to loyalty to exercising. you rock.

  13. #15

    It is not about self loathing, it’s about accountability and mutual support systems. Self loathing might be what gets us there, but accountability and support is what moves us to get past it and be successful.

    I hear you on the “it’s not about the weight loss.” I keep telling myself the same thing – “the scale is just a tool.”

    I’ve been “stuck” at the same number for 2 weeks. So I do all the self pep talks – I’m stronger, I’m seeing new muscle definition, it’s a new low, I’m *not* gaining, in the same 2 weeks I’m down almost an inch, etc, etc.

    But, boy, do I need that “extra boost” and want to see that number drop. lol

    Great job, Cathy!

  14. #16

    Sometimes …. just sometimes …. Oprah isn’t “right”!

    Putting your journey “on display” (as you said) has been helpful — certainly to me! I am on the similar journey but I’ve been learning that making choices about what I eat isn’t a “punishment” to me — but something that *everyone* (well, those who have healthy strong bodies) does on a daily basic. One day at lunch, a skinny friend (one who it never occurred to me moderated what she ate and consciously made good and/or limiting choices) said “Oh good! It’s Friday. I can have french fries!” That stuck such a note to me — making good food choices isn’t a punishment — it is just a way of living.

  15. #17
    Jan C.

    I agree with Suzette: don’t overthink it. For instance, did you “loathe” yourself before? That seems a little extreme. I’m guessing you had some extra weight that made you feel uncomfortable, were confident that you had the fortitude to change that, and went for it. Dr. What’s-Her-Name is trying to shock people so she can sell more books.

  16. #19

    WOW, looks like all of that hard work is paying off… gotta LOVE visible results like that! Keep up the good work Cathy!

  17. #20

    Fabulous job, Cathy!! I started running two weeks ago and am completely and utterly dismayed that the scale has barely moved. I went from not working out at all to working out 5 or 6 days per week and eating more healthily… I would have expected more of a drop right away, similar to what you experienced back in January. I’m hoping that my body is just holding out, waiting for me to start slacking off… but that soon it will realize we are in this for the long haul and it will start giving up the pounds.

    At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

  18. #22

    I can’t say it any more succinctly or eloquently than the ladies before me, so I’ll just say it: You go, girl!

    I really admire your willpower and stick-to-it-iveness, and the fact that you are sharing your ups and downs with everyone in order to encourage others (that is NOT self-loathing, btw!!) Oh-and try lugging a 5 lb. bag of sugar around all day and then try and tell me that a 4 lb. weight loss is NOT significant! Ha! Keep on keepin’ on!

  19. #26
    Sharon F. CA

    That could have been what O was thinking, but I too, took it as I am human and just like everyone else. I appreciate seeing real women not airbrushed women. O has some help in a nutritionalist, personal trainer, etc, but she still has to do the work and so do each of us. You get out what you put in. I am happy for your success and so proud of you. Thank you for documenting your journey and sharing with everyone. I feel I am a better person for having known you via the blogosphere…well I have met you in person too, twice.

  20. #29

    Thanks, Beth. You know, it’s that whole ex-smoker, now I like food thing. I just packed on the weight.

    But you know, i never exercised. I just smoked myself silly back in the day.

    It’s time. Time to take care of my body. And damn, I just ran 4.5 miles and feel pretty good.

  21. #30

    You are doing awesome! And you inspired me to get off my butt and join WW. And now I am just a few lbs away from reaching my WW goal weight 🙂 I seriously never thought I would be able to say that (a few lbs away from goal) It is an awesome feeling. So, THANK YOU CZ for the little push I needed.

    keep up the awesomeness CZ!

  22. #31

    Well, how Oprah felt and how she marketed it to us may be two different things. But remember, she presented it to us after-the-fact. Post, self-realization. That’s completely different than what you’re doing. It’s one thing to work out and eat better in secret and have a few people notice every few months. It’s something completely different to write about it publicly as it happens and to post a monthly photo documenting the progress.

    Even taking that photo is a risky exercise. It takes tremendous courage to admit you don’t have a magic wand. That you’re working out every single day and monitoring the points in every meal, and *all* of that work still means a one-pound-per-week weight loss. In a quick-fix culture filed with non-stop stories of instant celebrity weight-loss success stories, telling a different truth takes a lot of courage.

    I admire you for it. And I am rooting for you all the way.

  23. #32
    Stephanne Smith

    Umm… okay, so I totally had no idea about the yogurt having HFCS. I never looked THAT closely (being that it’s called LIGHT and all)… so now I’m really bummed. (It tastes so much better than Dannon IMHO and is worth the 40 extra calories!)The know-it-all in me googled it… and found interesting perspectives from both sides (including a statement from Best Life’s Bob Greene and team) and found that you can totally bury yourself in the he-said, she-said to the point where you make youself sick! Bottom line though? “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”…at least…not right away. :)You’re an inspiration, Cathy! Thanks for sharing your progress!

  24. #33

    You’re doing spectacular!!! You look great! You feel great! Who cares what O thinks!!! You are an inspiration.
    I joined the local YMCA about 3 weeks ago and take a water aerobics class 3-4 days a week then swim laps for about 15 min. I used to love to swim so this is sooo good for me. Thanks for being the inspiration.

  25. #34

    Wow…..I think there is just too much psychological analysis going on in the world these days. I have never looked at what you are doing as “Self Loathing”. I appreciated you sharing your struggles and accomplishments with your blog readers. It has kept me motivated to continue my slow but positive progress in losing weight.

    I get really tired of people scrutinizing every little thing I do or other people chose to do in order to find the deeper hidden meaning.

    People…..sometimes there just isn’t a deep meaning…..it is what it is !!! Stop trying to make everyone a potential study project !!!

    OK……I’m off the soap box.

    Thank you Cathy for all you bring to the blog….good, bad, frustrating, and the triumphs.

  26. #36
    Barb M.

    Congratulations your journey to health! I love that you do the photos. Folks do things for all sorts of reasons and if someone did it out of self-loathing, that doesn’t mean that the next person is self-loathing. Your photos give me hope! I lost 62 pounds over the past two years and have hit a major plateau. I have more weight to lose, and thank God that I have maintained my loss. However, I have farther to go to get healthy. I look forward to your posts. Keep up the good work. I am proud of you!

  27. #39

    Thanks, Yolanda. There is no magic wand. I had some crazy cravings over the weekend, and found myself with a medium fries from McDonald’s in my hand. My God, they were DIVINE.

    Still, i know i can’t eat like that every day. Look where it got me before.
    : )

  28. #42

    Enough O psychobabble. Who doesn’t love a great “before” and “now”? Great job Cathy!!!

  29. #44
    Christine H

    Hang in there! I joined the gym three months ago and one week after joining my 7 months of lose something every week stopped. I was so bummed. It was almost six weeks before the scale moved for something other than the monthly 3 up/3 down. But my clothes got bigger….and then it happened….the scale moved again and I feel so strong. So, DON’T STOP!!!!!!!

  30. #45

    Self-loathing or self-whipping? Nope, not hearing any. Just an honest appraisal, which takes courage, and consistent determination to get the job done. Glad you can enjoy a few fries on the way!

  31. #46

    Sheesh…talk about over thinking things. I think you are brave, cuz I sure am not putting a picture of me on my blog! I’m a “loose 9# – gain back 8 or 10#s – loose another 1#” kind of gal right now, so I applaud your steady progress!

  32. #47
    Michelle P

    YOU ROCK…you hot mama you!! You are an inspiration….no self loathing going on here. You inspired me to rejuvenate my health journey. Like you I am an ex-smoker….now foodie.

    I put on 50 pounds. Started WW in April after watching you & Teresa Collins be successful. I have lost 12 pounds so far & have had a few epiphanies.

    The major one being that I like to exercise. I like how it makes me feel. And just because I have a cookie/beer or two doesn’t mean that I have derailed everything.

    And you have inspired that. Thank you.

  33. #48

    Hi Cathy,

    Well done! Just wondering how tall you are?

    You have inspired me so much with your running tales.

  34. #50

    Cathy forget about “O” I use to be hung up on everything she said or did too. I think you are way better of a person then her and cooler and so honest. I’ve recently changed one of my wishes because of you and some other great scrapbookers out there and that is to meet all of you and just hang and get to know you ladies and to crop and feel all the inspiration that would fill up the room. You are the best in everything you share with us right here it’s up to us with what we do with it. You have inspired me to get healthy the first time and after giving up I’m doing it again and not going to quit. I love these updates about your healthy side and I think You are kicking ass girlfriend so keep it up your doing great and you look amazing. big hugs

  35. #51
    Kathy in MN

    Your parodied Oprah blog was the very first Zielske blog I ever read. Still makes me laugh. And snort. Then I listened to your Tom Cruise parody and almost fell off my chair I was laughing so hard! You.Look.Amazing. And your blog is a true inspiration.

  36. #52

    i think it’s great you are sharing your story. seeing progrees helps on the days when motivation is having a holiday. i am inspired to start my own weight loss journey. breaking it down into the baby steps you describe in your previous post got me thinking. thanks for sharing. this is one blogger that wants to join the band wagon.

  37. #53

    i LOVE seeing the major contrast in you in those pics!!! i’m super excited that you’ve decided to share your progress with us; it’s extremely inspriring!!!! now to jump onto your ban wagon! i move lots, but still working on eating less! 🙂
    thanks again for sharing with us !!

  38. #55

    I LOVE to follow your journey and see posts like this. You are inspiring and motivating. And you look great! I think it’s a funny symbolic that in your first photo you’re taking the picture horizontally (landscape) and in the latest one vertically. 🙂

  39. #56

    Way to go. You look great. I have a picture of you from Birminham, Alabama in 2006 and I am thinking you look pretty close to that picture again.(Which is awesome) Now me…I have a ways to go to get that picture look I had then. But I have lost 20 lbs since April 18 and since I joined the Nike+ challenge on May 15 I have walked 53 miles in my 210 miles in 2010 challenge. Small victories I say.

  40. #62

    Cathy, you are my inspiration. Thanks for sharing your story with us. Because of you, today I ran 5k on my treadmill for the very first time.
    Go you, go me.

  41. #63

    You look fantastic!

    And 4 pounds is still 4 WHOLE pounds! Losing 1-2 pounds per week is supposedly the healthiest way to do it. And if you try picturing it by picturing 4 pounds of butter, that might make you feel better. You lost 4 BOXES OF BUTTER! 🙂

    Congrats on your continuing progress.


  42. #64

    Just wanted to say you are an inspiration, not only in scrapping but in being healthy. Thank you and congratulations on your success!

  43. #65

    Cathy, I will have to think about what you’re saying O said. Not sure I agree there. Need to consider. I will tell you that this post of yours…
    https://www.cathyzielske.com/2010/04/tales-from-the-scale-the-april-edition-just-do-it.html … is what made me decide to get up off my tookus and start excercising. When I saw the physical difference you are experiencing — especially knowing you were as unexcited to exercise (at least in the beginning) as I am I decided to DO something about it. I am just beginning but I am happy about my start – I’ve lost three pounds so far. I am starting to breathe more deeply and I feel happy about it. Because of your willingness to share those photos. The visual made me realize I could do that. Thank you.

  44. #66

    Shae, you know, I feel like for me, it was the thing to do. It DID motivate me. It made me just look at myself and decide: what do i want to do, and then go for it.

    And you CAN do this. I am at a place right now where i exercise and sweat and when i’m done, i feel so good about it. That has never really been part of my life.

    Good luck!

  45. #69

    You are such inspiration, I wish I had the courage to show those before pictures because I’m finally getting to the point of liking what I see again… still got more to go… say 10 lbs of butter or so! But I feel awesome after a work out and nobody ever said “sure am glad I DIDN’T work out today!

  46. #71
    Toni Brockliss

    Cathy you look fantastic!!
    When the two photos are side by side you can see the lift and shift.
    I can feel your excitement and you have inspired me. I have lost nearly 7 kilos and have started to put photos on my blog of my body. This is a huge stretch for me. I like to hide and I feel mortified that random clickers will not know my back story and will just think “check that chubby chick out”……
    All I want is one lovely photo of myself with my family. At the moment Ben looks like a single Dad. When he marries the babysitter, she won’t have to chop me out of any photos. I’ve done all the work for her already.

  47. #74

    Cathy, I’m amazed! I don’t see your before/during pictures as “self-loathing.” Oprah needs to get over herself. I think it’s a testament to how much you’ve accomplished. You may have been a very happy, content person in that before picture, but now you look and feel all that much better, which you may have not even realized was possible when you took the before pic. I say, “You go, girl!” 🙂

  48. #76

    Thank you, Cathy! This is really inspiring and I think I may try something like it. I am trying out the scrapbookpictures.com for my hipstamatic (iphone app) prints…can’t wait to see them!

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