Tales from the Scale: Six Months Later

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life137 Comments

Month 7ab
(click on the layout to see it larger in a new window)

JOURNALING READS: Six months since D-Day, and I feel fine. D-Day, of course being January 7th, the day of that first photo; the day I put on what rag tag workout wear I could find and climbed onto the treadmill for a fast walk at 3.2 miles per hour. Six months, 33.9 pounds, 7 inches in my waist, 2 in the hips, 6 in the bust, 2.5 in the thighs and almost two in the arms. Those are the numbers. The hard, physical evidence. The proof in the pudding, if you will.

I started this process for two key reasons. 1) To look better, and 2) To feel better. I never imagined that No. 2 would overtake No. 1 in the rankings. But once I got moving, I mean really moving, there was an undeniable shift from wanting to lose weight to wanting to kick some ass. The running, biking, strength train dvd-ing and now even the swimming are all combining to become the weirdest, most unexpected side effect of this process: a lifestyle shift.

Make no mistake. Every day I could down a bag of Pirate’s Booty without blinking. I have to make conscious choices each and every day. But every day that I choose to feed my body well and move it in ways that cause it to break a sweat are days that reward me with better health, and a better overall mental state. To be certain, I love my before and after pics on a scrapbook page, I love how I feel six months later even more.

Six months down. And I feel fine.


Apparently even my hair and my left shoulder have lost weight. Way to go, hair and shoulder.


Want to join in? Or document your journey? Or whine along? Or celebrate successes? Both the template above and this one are available at Designer Digitals for those who want to track their progress along with me. There's a Flickr Group as well, to share your pages with others making similar changes.

SUPPLIES: Layered Template No. 38 (Cathy Zielske) • Krafty No. 7 Cardstock Pack (Katie Pertiet) • Aki Solids Paper Pack (Michelle Martin) • Avenir and Archer fonts

Cathy ZielskeTales from the Scale: Six Months Later

137 Comments on “Tales from the Scale: Six Months Later”

  1. #1

    WAY TO GO CATHY!!! I love how you write about your new get healthy lifestyle. You look AMAZING AND HAPPY!! You have come so far and have done so well thank you for sharing this with us. You are so inspiring to others my sharing this journey with us. I had a question about all the healthy/biking/riding/food etc. posts would it be possible for you to put it all together on a link for us to make it easy to find. I want to read that post you did about what you eat and what exercise you do and having a hard time finding it. Have a great day!!

  2. #2

    Cathy, you are one amazing woman! You inspire me and give me hope that I can again get back to taking better care of my health! But for now, let me wallow in soreness from the class I took at the gym today.

  3. #3
    jo sowerby

    cathy you are one inspiring woman in more ways than one!!!!!! i love ur journey, i love ur talent and i love u…………in a non-stalkerish way 😉
    Jo xxxx

  4. #4

    You are an inspiration. Thankyou for being so honest. It made my heart happy, across the other side of the world, to see your smile as you ran that race and know what you had achieved to get there. Keep at it!

  5. #5

    Way to go shoulder all right. It looks fantastic! Loving your journey. Perhaps one day when I grow up i’ll be a bit more like you & love the exercise too!

  6. #7

    Cathy – you totally and completely R O C K!!!! A friend of my turned me on to your site when I told her my goal was to lose 30 pounds in 6 months before I turn 40… so you are just my total and complete obsession right now. I am SURE it can happen, because you made it happen and because you made it happen, I can make it happen too – (How’s that for a run on sentence?)

    Thank you for helping me believe in me!

  7. #9

    Even the boobies look perkier … you’re inspiring me and you look stunning. I so badly need to get in shape … and round no longer counts a ‘sexy’ shape 🙂 Thanks for inspiring me.

  8. #17
    Kristen Stewart (no, not that one!)

    Congratulations! You should be incredibly proud of yourself; for having achieved so much in your journey and for inspiring others to join in. I look forward to your enty every month. Question for you…are you going to keep the monthly update even after you have reached your goal? I hope so. I think documenting you ability to maintain is as important or more important in many ways than the losing.

  9. #22

    You’re welcome. And it CAN happen. It does take work, but hey, I really never liked to sweat. Ever. Now, I realize, if I want to feel and look a certain way, sweat has to factor in.

  10. #23

    Yes, I think I have to. Because otherwise, I am afraid without the accountability, I might start saying, “Oh… i’m not going to workout as hard this week,” or, “Yes, i WILL eat 7 brownies.”

    I have a very addictive nature and I need to keep it in check.

    p.s. is Edward REALLY that good of a kisser?

  11. #24

    Thank you Cathy it’s always fun to go back and read where you started and how far you’ve come. You are amazing!!

  12. #25

    You are an inspiration in every way. Thank you for sharing your Journey. My D-Day was yesterday. and today, when I go home, I am going to take my dreaded before picture and start documenting the process. Thanks Cathy.

  13. #26

    This is so great! Congratulations! Thanks for the near daily dose of inspiration, both to be creative, and to be healthy; this blog is invaluable to me. Thanks so much for your honesty and fearlessness!

  14. #29

    You have a gift for keeping your blog interesting and informative at the same time. I look forward to all your posts, but this one is cause for congratulatons! You’re fun and fabulous!

  15. #31
    Kristen Stewart (no, not that one!)

    Believe me…I wish I was that Kristen Stewart and I knew the answer to your question. But alas, I’m just an older, very much less wealthy Kristen Stewart. On the bright side, should anyone google me to find out my deep dark secrets…you’d have to dig pretty far to find me!

  16. #32

    Cathy you look amazing and are so inspiring (I’m doing the running thing too at Nike) but that must be a typo with your measurement of your thighs! 🙂

  17. #33
    Elizabeth Carls

    Cathy – I have to say how truly inspirational it has been to watch your progress on this journey. Truly!

    Also, I need to know who cuts your hair, my hair could stand to shed a few pounds.

  18. #34

    Wow! You look great! (though you always did!) but what a transformation in just 6 months! Very inspirational! I’m going to do it!

  19. #37

    Truely Amazing and inspiring! I’ve logged back in to my Weight Watcher online…today…I will begin again…My goal…is to lose 55 lbs. before I turn 50 in 20 months…I know…totaly doable…I’d really love to be able to run a 5k too….thanks for inspiring me daily!

  20. #39

    Love me some skinny shoulders! Isn’t it funny how the weight comes off even from places you weren’t expecting? Like my wrists are so skinny now. I never hoped for skinny wrists, just a skinny butt. But I got a skinny wrist bonus! Way to go on your progress! Your pics are fantastic!

  21. #41

    Getting a little teary-eyed for you, I have to admit it. I remember the first picture, and the pics here and there in between. Great job!

  22. #42

    Congratulations Cathy, really, wow!! You’re awesome, and I love how honest (and witty and funny) you are about the whole experience so far. Keep it up girl!

  23. #43
    Madeline St Onge

    Cathy you rock girl. You look marvelous and are so inspiring me to get moving more again.
    So happy you put the toilet seat down this month LOL

  24. #44
    Katie Pegher

    Cathy – you look incredible. And I totally know that feeling. Like getting up and working out is as naturally part of your day as brushing your teeth and putting on your undies. Just couldn’t imagine a day without doing it! What I wanna know is – have you had “runners high” yet? It feels like when you are running in a dream and you floating a foot off the ground – you are incredibly fast and hardly feel like you are working at all. It’s amazing. Can’t wait for THAT revelation!

  25. #46
    Kay Gregory-Clark

    Way to go Cathy! You look great, & at the race you looked like you were having so much fun. I’m way past the point of adding running, but maybe walking? Desperate to lose (I have lost 2-3 pounds), but those quarter-pounders & caramel frappes just call to me when I’m out shopping. I’d like to lose at least 15 pounds. It may sound easy to you, but at almost 66, it’s not happening—I used to be SKINNY, weighing in at just over 100 pounds. Now? Don’t ask!!

  26. #47

    Congratulations Cathy! You look so wonderful. You’re such an inspiration in both the crafty and health worlds. I’m curious about what strength training DVD’s you’ve been using. I myself have a LOT of weight to lose and am just trying to get motivated. Thanks so much for the humor and inspiration on your blog. I love it.

    BTW: You introduced me to the scrapbooking/paper crafting world with Clean & Simple Scrapbooking – Part 2. I’ve never looked back. My life has been changed. Thanks so much for that.

  27. #48

    Congrats Cathy – you look amazing! And thank you so much for sharing your journey with us – it’s so inspiring (as I stuff another cookie in my mouth…sigh!). Documenting is such a good tool for keeping oneself on course. And this is proof that it works! 🙂

  28. #49

    What a metamorphesis!!! Congratulations on making a daily committment to healthy choices and reaping the rewards.

  29. #50

    Wow! Great journal entry. You can even see it in your face. I agree. I never thought that eating healthy and having more energy would overtake the looking good reason for getting fit. You inspired me to get on the bandwagon. I am not as far along as you, but I only really started in May. I have lost just a little over 10 lbs. Thanks for the inspiration!

  30. #51

    You are rockin it, Cathy! Looking at your list of sweat inducing activities… could there be a triathlon in your future?
    Congrats on the 5K, too!

  31. #52

    i’ve just signed up for your new workshop at bps, and as a former “design your life” student, the video for “me: the abridged version” just blew me away. i think you look 50 pounds lighter, the scale doesn’t show because of the muscles you are building up with exercise. thank you so much for the inspiration, cathy!!! (now i’m off to clean up my old treadmill)

  32. #53

    I haven’t read all the other comments, but I BET they say a) YOU ROCK and/or b) YOU’RE INSPIRING…
    I am on session 5 of couch-to-5k programme. It’s back-breakingly, breath-takingly hard, but I am working on the fact that for all my life I’ve believed this faulty thinking: “I am not a runner”, and “I will NEVER lose weight”. Soon I’ll be running 5k. Soon. Like October.
    So, thank you, Cathy. You are an angel in SERIOUSLY sexy running shorts (& a damn FINE haircut).

  33. #54
    c@rol w

    I love the hair and left shoulder shots! That’s too funny! Congrats on your success – you look maaaavelous girl!

  34. #55

    Nothing to add to all of the above except DITTO! I am attempting to get at the point where I am READY. For now I just use CZ as inspiration and hope it kicks in. Sooner or later ‘I’m still not back at my highest’ isn’t going to be an excuse that works. And have I told you I LOVE your sense of humor–that was really great of your shoulder and hair to pay attention too. . .or else you inspired them also!

  35. #56

    Thank you! Been looking forward to this one, and even though I’ve been following along the whole way, still find it hard to believe. I’m always suspicious of “before” photos, thinking “they’re just sticking their stomach out” etc. Your transformation, inside and out, has been amazing.

  36. #57

    wow. Way to go, I am so in awe and so very inspired. I am a month into my lifestyle change (thanks to you) and although its hard sometimes, I love it. Thank you for sharing your journey!

  37. #58

    I’m so glad someone asked this!! I am constantly going through all the posts to look for the “exercise” ones!! LOL (not that I don’t scrap!!) It would be great if they were linked!! 🙂

  38. #59

    You look amazing and I love hearing abouot how amazing you feel. You are so motivating for me! Like you, in January I decided to peel back some layers – mental and physical layers. I’ve lost 24 pounds so far, and am consistently walking 3-4 miles a day. It has been so awesome to read along with your journey and it provides tons of inspiration. It really does feel great to move, doesn’t it?

  39. #61

    WAY TO GO, Cathy!! yup, I’m shouting!! seriously, it’s been amazing that you have brought us along on your journey from “former-smoker chubster” to the exercise-loving fit person you are now. I have given myself all the excuses I’m going to get… I started WW again (for the LAST time!)last night, and I want to feel better, have more energy, and see my collarbones again sometime soon. I don’t like to sweat, either, but if it helps my collarbones along, well then, I guess I’ll have to suck it up. 😀
    (I would also absolutely love a link to all your fitness and weight-loss related posts, too– I think there was a recipe or link to a wonderous broccoli slaw in there somewhere that I’d like to try.)

  40. #62

    I won’t say I told you so, but I KNEW that once you got started on exercise, that the feeling of being able to kick some serious a** would take over. Good for you for keeping it up and I can seriously relate to a desire to chow down on a bag of Cheetos Crunchies, every single day. Even though I work out every day, that craving doesn’t go away. You are so right, every day we make a conscious choice, to do or not do something. Just like Yoda says !! Yeah , Cathy

  41. #64

    Good for you! You look fabulous and I am happy to hear that you FEEL fabulous – that rocks, just like you!

  42. #65

    Leora, you buy this kit that plugs into your Nano, and then put the sensor from the kit into a shoe pocket (you can buy them at sports stores or online) and it tracks your run, your pace, your distance, your time.

    That’s it. And every time you press the center button while you’re out, a voice comes on to give you all those numbers.

    Great feedback while you’re exercising!

  43. #72
    Pam M.

    It feels like that dream where you walk into the classroom at the END of the most important exam of your life. At the beginning of the year when I read your blog I thought: “I should do this too and try to keep up. What a great idea!” Alas I didn’t. Now you’ve completed a 5K? I slept through the whole thing, I missed the boat. I’m just trying to convince myself that it’s not too late to follow your example, even if I can’t do it with you. You are an inspiration. You look terrific. You didn’t lose just pounds and inches. You lost years as well.

  44. #73
    Cindy E.

    “I love how I feel six months later even more.”

    That truly is what it’s all about … congratulations on your successful transformation!

  45. #75

    Wow! CONGRATS! So inspiring for me to get off my back end and JUST DO IT! Love the transformation! You ROCK!

  46. #81

    Hi Cathy I just noticed your link to all your fitness posts thanks so much. I found the one I wanted and a couple more that were fun to read again. Thanks again for making it easier.

  47. #83

    Today I thought of you and the race you ran recently and how you catch a glimpse in the church window as you run.

    Today I ran for the first time in a long time trying to help my son learn to ride a bike. And I didn’t feel like I was dying. I felt like a runner. If I had a water bottle, proper support and my inhaler I could have run a lot longer.

    I’m working on my own transformation, I’ve lost 30 lbs in the last few months and I do feel better. I didn’t do much exercise to get there but I will now. It does feel good to move. You are an inspiration. TFS

  48. #87

    I always look forward to your Tales from the Scale. I click on your blog and hold my breath, hoping today will be the day I get to see the before and after pictures. You are kicking butt! The real you is being revealed.

    I figured, if you can do it, so can I. I decided to stop making excuses and I started writing down everything I eat, and keep exercising, and I’ve lost 11 pounds in 9 weeks – half of what I want to lose. Thanks for being an inspiration to me.

  49. #88

    Congrats. You look great….and feeling better too. I probably resemble more of your before shot than after so you’ve given me a reason to get back out there walking again. Keep up the good work. I’m dragging out those sneakers tonight.


  50. #91

    THAT is inspirational!!!! great stuff there! thanks so much for sharing with us!!
    i am a runner. and i’m getting pretty good at it too. two 1/2 marathons down. but i’m 15 lbs over where i’d like to be! how can that be you ask? one eats to maintain those lovely jiggly rolls, i say.
    i can’t seem to get a grip on it, and seeing the visual of your layout with the drastic contrast is super inspriational!
    thanks again for sharing with us!

  51. #92
    Tammy B

    You look amazing! Congratulations on keeping motivated to feel better and looking better is an added bonus! I have been quite the opposite lately, with what seems like never-ending injuries and boredom at the gym. I would love to start running like you did, but I’m not allowed due to a back problem. Congrats also on your 5K run! I’m positive you fit in with all those all ‘runners’ quite nicely!

  52. #93
    Kathi Lamb

    Way to go. It is a huge accomplishment. I love that you are doing it with real food and real exercise. Eat less, Move more.


  53. #94

    You look so happy and fabulous as well! Congratulations to you!!! Thanks for sharing your success with us.

  54. #96
    Beth Rang

    Congratulations! You’re rocking this for yourself, and you’re pretty damned inspiring too!

  55. #98
    Kristy S

    Way to go Cathy! It has been such an inspiration to watch your transformation and know that you are “real” just like the rest of us and therefore, we can do this too. I just stop and think if I had gotten on the move more, eat less train of thought when you did, I perhaps could be sporting a similar success today but I am in the mind set now and like one of the earlier posters, doing the couch to 5K program and looking forward to my first 5K in September. Thanks for the inspiration.

  56. #99

    Your physical transformation in just 6 months is amazing! Congratulations. I am inspired and ready to don my exercise shoes and get back to consistently working out. Thanks for being so real and transparent!

  57. #103

    Hi Cathy from Melbourne Australia. I just wanted to tell you that I have been a long time lurker of your blog and you inspired me to join my gyms 12 week challenge & 6 weeks down – I am now 7kgs lighter (which I think is about a stone0. I have been amazed, motivated and inspired by you. Keep up the great work.

  58. #105

    COOL! Amazingly, I already have this gizmo. I have to get a new sensor, but I didn’t know about the trainer part. I’d better get cracking!

  59. #106

    You’ve inspired more than a few of us to get our butts in gear and start moving! I wish I had started in January with you but at least I’m moving. Can’t wait for my left shoulder to look smaller! Congrats on all you’ve accomplished!

  60. #108
    Kathy Aylward

    Fantastic effort Cathy….we all know that ww is the way to go because it’s a lifestyle and sometimes we go off track and come back and sometimes we are able to maintain it. You have done wonders and you look fantastic and as you say, feel fantastic

  61. #109

    Cathy, thank you for sharing your own journey so honestly with us. You have inspired me both with your progress and with your attitude. I have been struggling with my weight and health for years, knowing that I needed to do something but always making it more complicated than it needed to be. I appreciate the simplicity of your “eat less, move more” mantra. I have been exercising via my stationary bike faithfully five days/a week for almost a month now and yesterday I took the plunge and joined Weight Watchers online. Thank you for encouraging all of us with your story!

  62. #110

    Tnx Cathy… Did 5th session yesterday, and it was HARD, but I so feel like I’m progressing. Awesome stuff. And awesomeness was 3.2km & 272calories. Gotto love that. Best 33min I have spent in weeks!

  63. #113

    I am real, in that, I know that it’s easy to fall off this wagon. It has happened to me before just like that.

    Good luck doing the couch to 5K! My own daughter is doing that so she will be ready to run a 5K with me in the fall.

  64. #114

    Isn’t it amazing you are inspiring so many people?!?!? I finally broke down and made a page of my own (embarassing as it may be) and posted it on your flickr group. And I printed like 4 other copies and pasted them around my house – cupboard, mirror, inside fridge – maybe that will help!?!?! Thanks for all your posts on here!!!

  65. #116

    You’re looking fantastic! So inspiring! Reading your blog updates and watching Jenn Bertsch’s weight loss journey made me want to start getting in shape. I’m 3 weeks into it, exercising every day. Thank you for being real on your blog and willing to share the good and the bad with us! My glutes and gut are mad at you right now but they will thank you in a few months, too.

  66. #117

    I have really enjoyed seeing your transformation and feeding off your inspiration. Moving and feeling better is a drug in itself. A much better drug than food and being sedentary. I know you’re inspiring many through your candid forum. Keep it up!

  67. #119

    Congrats on running the 5K this past weekend and on your weight loss. I, too, started WW and exercise back on Jan 15th and am very close to your weight loss achievements so i TOTALLY hear everything you are saying. Yes, this has become more than just losing weight for me. Yes, I am moving more, something I didn’t think was possible either. And most importantly, I am feeling better than I’ve felt before. Quite honestly the things you have written have been things that have gone thru my own head and some of the things you have written have inspired me along the way. So, even though you don’t know me from Adam, I kind of (secretly) consider you my WW buddy. In fact at a meeting recently they asked if we had a WW buddy and i almost said you but thought that might be weird…ok, so it is kind of weird…but I do love hearing about your triumphs and even your struggles because it makes it that much more real for me. Anyway, thank you for sharing your journey and again, congratulations on kicking butt.

  68. #120
    Beth R.

    To say you look amazing seems redundant at this point.
    But DANG GURL you look freakin amazing! I remeber the very day you posted your Dday photo, I had just started my own lifestyle change Jan 5th to be exact. I connected because our weight was within 2lbs of each other and our measurements were within 1/2 -2 inches differences. Our arms and butt were the exact same !
    I was right there with ya girl, eating 1200 cal or LESS a day and hit or miss with the exercise, until I went on vacation in April. At that point I had only lost 10 pounds but felt great. It is now July and I am up 2.5 lbs from my April weight and I am struggling every day. Cant get my mojo back for the exercise. I dont overeat, in fact I really dont eat enough. Then I dont exercise. The perfect storm. I really want to learn to run,I want a tiny butt and trim thighs like yours, but dont know where to start.

    Where do I go to find out how to begin? I walked 3 miles per day until the blisters from my new shoes got the size of grapes ! Now I just need to get started again !
    Sorry for the novel, I live alone. The dogs dont answer when I ask them……Thanks for your honesty .
    Your a brave little bear for posting your pics.
    Thank you.
    P.S. I am taking your class in sept, as an alumni. Cant wait !

  69. #122

    I am a writing book fool of late and have been away from the google reader. Oh my goodness Cathy!!!!!!!!!! What accomplishment and inspiration!!!!!!!! ex-smoker doing a 5k? Your my hero big time!!!!!!!!!!!!

  70. #126

    Congratulations! What an accomplishment. I’m still trying to find the exercise that will keep me interested. I tried the treadmill at the fitness room at work (I work at a university that has a fitness room) but was bored out of my mind. I went 5 times and spent every minute looking at the clock waiting for the time to be over. I think I need a different kind of exercise. Darn. I so hoped that a treadmill would keep my interest.

  71. #127

    Congratulations, Cathy! You are truly an inspiration. Between your weight loss and running the 5K – wow! I like what you said in the comments here about it being a daily choice – that is so right on. Here’s to continuing to make that choice… 🙂

  72. #128

    Just have to say- WOW! What a change! You look great and so awesome that you feel great. I must say, your legs look pretty fantastic (in the blog about your 5k run)!!! Your hubby must be loving it!
    I’ve also started running (again) and I can’t believe how much I’m enjoying it. It’s nice to finally have that part of my brain click and to WANT to do it!

  73. #130

    way to go hair and shoulder! bahahaahaha!!!!!
    I called my husband over to read that one. I said, “this is that wonderful scrapbook teacher that I take classes from. the one that is hilarious!” all said whilst snort laughing.

    way to go on being healthy and thanks for the chuckles on a regular basis.

  74. #134

    i am crying reading this because I want it so bad but am scared to death of who I will be afterwards. fat is my sheild….

  75. #137

    You look awesome Cathy Wtg! I’m ready to start my own journey, just had a baby myself. I totally LOL when I read that your left shoulder and hair lost weight too 🙂

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