This is the story of a .8 pound weight loss over a period of four weeks, collectively known as the month of February.
This is the story of said month in which I refocused my efforts, stayed the course, moved my body and fed it in keeping with the dietary requirements of both Weight Watchers and generalized good health.
This is the story making some connections about a few very important details in my journey thus far, and that top detail being: losing weight can really be a beyotch.
In 2010, save for a few weeks, I lost weight nearly every week as I headed from the mid 170s to the mid 140s. Nearly every week.
Then, as you who follow this saga know, I packed a bit back on over the holidays (normal, I think, to see what you can get away with when weight loss and fitness are still so new and fresh in your daily life), and I decided to get back to basics for 2011.
So far, so meh.
I feel as though I am standing still right now. Some might call this a hiccup in the journey. Some might call it a plateau. Some might call it a less than stellar attitude.
All I know is that I'm way too focused on fitness and food to not be seeing a different result.
Now in the past, whenever I hit this stage—the one where I'm starting to deflate at the idea of having to track every morsel and every ounce for the rest of eternity—it's usually the point where things go South in a hurry. It's usually when that baby flows right out with the bathwater.
I won't lie to you: I am in a critical place right now.
On the one hand, here I am, trying to spark a little fitness inspiration and I feel like if I'm not continually producing results, then people might be scratching their heads, thinking, "Um, yeah… and how's that working for you, Cath?"
On the other hand, I have that feeling again—the one that feels like I'm hanging on to this weight and this healthier lifestyle by the thinnest of threads.
And on the third hand (if I had one), I'm trying to figure out why numbers matter, and why muffin tops aren't okay, and why in God's name I have this image in my mind that very likely I will never physically be able to attain in the remainder of my days.
Know what I'm saying?
Let's take a look at this month's layout, with only one minor swear word tossed in:
JOURNALING READS: I want to start this month’s page out with hope and confidence. I want to stand up and say, “I am more than numbers on a scrapbook page.” I want to live a life that isn’t so damned concerned with every little freaking morsel that goes into my mouth. But today might not be the day I can say any of this with any degree of competency. One month later, .8 pounds less. Is it time that I begin to let go of the whole 140 pound goal weight? For a solid year, save for three weeks, I lost weight each week. And I won’t lie: when you see a loss week after week, it’s a huge motivator to keep on fighting the good fight. Since I’ve been re-focused on the new Weight Watchers plan, things just aren’t moving. And I’m feeling like it’s time I accept where I’m at, and stop striving for some weight number that very likely isn’t possible for me and my body at this stage of the game.
I don’t know why having a muffin top makes me feel somehow less than. I don’t know why this obsession with my physical being plays such a dominant part in my life. I know there are people who might look at me and shake their heads, thinking, “Jesus, what’s she got to complain about?” I don’t want to waste any more time with the woe is me aspect of all of this. I am tired of waiting for numbers to determine whether I’m confident or awesome, or something less than that. I’m really tired of wanting to display some form of my personal success via being thin. If anything it’s clear to me that I’ve got some serious shit to work out on this issue. I’m not throwing in the towel. I’m just seeking some clarity on the whole gig.
LAYOUT SUPPLIES: Move More Eat Less 8.5 x 11 template (Cathy Zielske) • Just Linens No. 1 Paper Pack (Michelle Martin) • a scan of kraft cardstock • Avenir font
Not to belabor my points here, but a few of my measurements have gone up this month as well. Finding that out was icing on the crap cake.
Still, I am not planning a mutiny here. I'm not planning to say, "Ah, to hell with it…" But part of me is wondering how this all plays out. When will the numbers stop mattering so much? When will I be the awesome example of a woman who is strong and fit and doesn't give a dang what the scale says in return? When will I stop this nutty obsession with every last morsel that goes into my gullet?
I share as I go. Good, bad and everything in between.
Not every report arrives via gold paved Internet roads.
Want to learn more about Move More Eat Less 2011? Click here to learn more about the concept.
I've also started a flickr group for Move More Eat Less. Feel free to start sharing your pages. You will find the group by clicking here.
Jeanne Pellerin says
You look freaking fabulous. Maybe if you let go of the magic number and just keep up with your current plan, it will appear on its own at some point? Easy for me to say, I know!
Deanne S says
I could have written your post word for word. In 2010 I lost 31lbs. I was also losing weight consistently every week. I was eating less, but not being overly strict. I was moving a lot. Walking, running, taking bootcamp classes. I was seeing good results. Fast forward to 2011. I am still moving a lot and eating less. However, I am no longer losing, I am gaining. I weighed in at WW 3 weeks ago at my lowest weight thus far. 2 days later I had a gain of 5lbs. Now, I know you cant gain 5 lbs in 2 days unless i was on some kind of serious binge. But, here it is 3 weeks later and I havent lost 1 single lb of that gain. In fact I have gone up another pound. Im discouraged, frustrated and annoyed. I still have another 30lbs to lose and with spring and nicer weather knocking at the door I want to get ‘er done! Im hoping that this is a plateau and that one morning I will wake up and that 5lb gain will be magically gone, same as it showed up!
Kathy Jo Camacho says
You look fabaulous! Look at that first picture and look at the new one. Fabulous. You’re right…does a number on a scale make you who you are when you are in such great shape. Myabe it’s time for a different goal. Maybe a half marathon?
Hang in there girl! You’re looking FABULOUS! My goodness!
And I’m there too. I’ve been at a standstill since Oct/Nov. But I’m thinking this past month there may be a little more firming up of the tummy? I don’t know for sure though. But I’m grabbing onto it with all I have! (Gotta have a LITTLE hope.) I don’t have a scale, so I have no idea how much I’ve lost. And I didn’t take any measurements when I started this journey. I just did it. I think the key is just to keep on keeping on. (((HUGS)))
Cathy – first off you look GREAT. If you want to see more results, perhaps hire a personal trainer for a couple of sessions? Maybe they can jolt you passed this plateau? Just a thought.
Keep on truckin’
Lori N says
As someone not living your weight loss, the numbers that are most impressive to me are the ones I see coming across my twitter feed most mornings: CZ ran 3, 4, 5 miles at such & such time. Don’t get discouraged about all numbers – remember that those numbers define you now as well!
I thought I’d pipe in today. I totally understand where you are at. And I just have one small suggestion. Switch it up. Your body becomes used to the activity you keep doing, it becomes “efficient”; which is a good thing, but the exercise that used to give you GREAT results is less than stellar. I am NOT saying, quit running or quit swimming, I am saying add in some strength training sessions at the gym; OR add some running intervals to your runs. Short busts of speed can do wonders.
I am sure you already know about this website; but I will point to it anyway. Runnersworld.com There is a LOT of great info there.
Maybe the next step for you is taking a leap of faith and training for a half marathon. Set a goal that you had never imagined yourself doing; and chase after it. It is amazing what a little motivation nugget like that can do; and once you accomplish it you will feel like you can conquer the world.
Hi Cathy. Just wanted to write and remind you that you have inspired so many people with your ‘eat less, move more’ programme. You have done wonderfully and I am sure you feel much better and you look beautiful. Don’t give up now. Even if you are not achieving the results you want now, you have done so well in the last year – imagine if you hadn’t bothered? Further, you are an inspiration to all of us in the scrapbooking/memory keeping world. We love your style, designs, guidance, sense of humour and stories. Be encouraged. You look amazing but what you do in terms of capturing life and teaching us how to do it is of immeasurable value. love & grace
When will I be the awesome example of a woman who is strong and fit and doesn’t give a dang what the scale says in return? — Here is the thing Cathy – you already are to the thousands of women who read your blog and cheer you on…. but we can’t make you believe that… only you can! LOOK at those photos… REALLY LOOK AT THEM. The change in you is A M A Z I N G. It really is. And perhaps, 140 is not the right weight for you. Perhaps the right weight for you is 145. And that would be okay too! Because you are more physically fit than ever before and you do look, as I said before, amazing. Be proud in what you have accomplished and be proud of how many people you have inspired. Turn it on it’s ear. Look at it differently. You are making changes… to yourself and to so many other people. Be PROUD!
Nancy McM says
No words of wisdom here… if I had them I’d be rich having discovered the secret to weight loss, haha! I think what Danni wrote above makes alot of sense… the body does plateau/get used to what you are doing. A trainer as mentioned by Amy could help. But you know, when all is said and done, you DO look fabulous, you HAVE made significant changes in your lifestyle, that has got to help your body be its healthiest. Sad to say that we cannot change our genes, you may never get below 140 or get rid of that muffin top short of plastic surgery… but you are doing the best you can for yourself and inspiring many of us to do the same.
Cathy, I think you need to change it up a bit…your body is now used to the demands of your “new” fitness routine and needs to shift into a new gear. I recommend adding some weight training and some “speedwork” into your running….no it doesn’t have to be crazy fast or hurt but shifting to a faster gear at least one workout per week can do wonders for the metabolism, or simply try to run faster for a new minutes of each run and start from there…….P.S. did #17 last weekend…it was 5F and winds of 30mph, ..3 more by the end of the year and I will have reached my goal of 20 half’s by age 50!
I am a fan of switching it up as well. And as other ladies have said, a personal trainer if it is in the budget. For reals, they can push you further than you think you are capable. It might be the push you need to get past this plateau. Wondering if the number thing with your weight might have to do with the amount of muscle you now have vs. the amount of fat/water weight you were losing in the beginning as well. Just a thought…
Keep on! We love ya!
Helena Virpi says
now LOOK AT YOU!! And stop whining!
1) you have come A LONG way. And I mean LONG. Do not give up now. You have been such an inspiration to so many of us (will share a page or a post in a little while of what YOU have done to ME!)
2) the open toilet lid in your very first picture of this journey always cracks me up:)))
3) maybe you should really be a little less hard on yourself AND not strive to achieve a goal which seems a little utopistic. Not impossible but maybe not even necessary. Why don’t you put your goal at 149 lbs ? That way it doesn’t seem TOO UNOBTAINABLE! And then, if you still feel like it, have the force and endurance and the will power, then set another goal.
4) be happy of what you have obtained so far AND STAY THERE (unless you want to lose those extra 3lbs). And learn to live with the fact that you HAVE to be careful of what you eat (indulging sometimes is only healthy!) and keep moving for the rest of your life. There’s no going around that. No magic that will ever enable you to “rest on your laurels” so to speak.
My practical advice to beat this slump is to try yoga. It is strength training that helps quiet your mind at the same time. If you haven’t tried it before, it will be awkward at first, but the benefits are crazy good. And it pairs well with running.
My impractical advice is to try something new for tracking your food. Have you thought about using the BodyBugg? Or something similar? If you find the Nike+ motivating, this may be a solution to push you past the slump.
My radical advice is to let go of tracking it all and trust yourself that you know what you’re doing. It may be too soon for that, but at least, lighten up on yourself and know you really are doing great, no matter what numbers you see.
I’ve been where you are – done what you’re doing.
Half-marathons are great, but not for me. I didn’t want to spend MORE time training, focusing on my body, becoming tunnel-visioned as I deer-in-the-headlights moved toward a larger running goal. I wanted a healthy, attractive body that didn’t take up MORE time away from the things I really like doing.
I’ve gained weight this past year. I haven’t lost any. I have been a runner for almost 15 years now. I shake up my routine. The fact of the matter is this: I’m 45 (almost 46) and the metabolism is changing.
That doesn’t mean I give up and let my body go to crap, What it means for me is that I need to soften my Attila the Hun approach to exercise and overall weight expectations.
Long ago, while getting some counseling for an eating disorder, I was advised to get rid of my scale. “Don’t step on it. Just walk it to the trash. Don’t gauge your self-worth by the lower or (GOD FORBID) the higher number.” It’s been three years since I stepped on one and it’s changed my life. While I admit there are days I’d like to know the number, I know those are the days when something else in my life is making me feel inadequate or insufficient. I now gauge my weight by how my clothes feel and by how I feel physically.
I am active, I eat healthy a lot but not ALWAYS, and I am gaining more of my life back each day that I give up my obsession to be rail thin. I’m focusing on spending time with people I like/admire, doing things that bring me joy/satisfaction/happiness, and remaining a good employee/wife/Mom.
It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do and learn, but I know my life is better when I relinquish the intensity of my focus on the outside of me and work on the inside.
This is just my story – but it has echoes of things that sound like your story, too.
I just wrote a similar post on my blog titled “Stuck.” Because I have been stuck at basically the same weight for many months (with the exception of a 6-7 lb gain that I quickly lost). I am frustrated because I would still like to lose 10-15 lbs and I feel like I am working my ass off but the scale is not moving. However, I continue to plug along because I have realized that I would much rather be at the weight I am now than the weight I was 2 years ago. Not saying I don’t have a bad day or two here & there but for the most part, I am staying the course. Hopefully one of these days, it will start to pay off on the scale again.
Nicole C. says
I get it. I do. Been there – done that. Hate the watching and counting every thing I put in my mouth. That’s why I’m back up to 180 instead of 155 when I was on WW years ago or Jenny Craig not too long ago.
That said, you look great. Stop striving for a magic number on the scale. Maybe you are where you are and that’s it.
The best question? Can you maintain and will this make you happy?
You’ve got my unending support and admiration for what you’ve done. I hope to be back where you are very soon. Ran around the block yesterday and have started working out two days a week with a girlfriend to get “back in the swing of things” and I’m eating more sensibly too. See how influential you are?
Love ya Cathy!
madeline St onge says
Cathy I so feel your pain, really I am in the same place as you, everytime I get within a pound or two of my goal I start gaining it back, been doing this for a year so I may just have to settle for where I am, Maybe??
You look wonderful and you are now a runner and I am so proud of how far you have come. Hopefully the numbers won’t matter so much real soon
Deb Rymer says
Above all else, thank you for your honesty. You continue to be an inspiration to me in your heartfelt writing and your willingness to look deep into yourself and bare your soul for the world. With a heart like that, you are already a winner in my book.
P.S. you look fabulous, too.
Okay, that is the most awesome thing ever to read. I love this. I need to remember that from time to time. Thank you.
Good words of wisdom. I know that Im at some kind of exercise plateau and I need to shake it up. Im thinking of joining a BodyPump class at the Y. Heard good things. Plus, biking season is just around the corner here. : )
thank you. : )
this is what i need to connect to: that I am not going to have some rock hard body… not if i want to live a life of any pleasure. I dont want to starve and workout hours a day. You know? I appreciate the comment.
Amen. I think there is a part of me that wished i could get there, and rest on the laurels. And I always forget about that damned toilet seat. Ha! Too funny! Im going to re-evaluate that goal of mine.
I have looked into the BodyBugg. i know its a bit pricey though. But a very cool thing. : )
Wow. This is so interesting to read, Mary. Much for me to think about here. Seriously. Thank you for sharing this.
I appreciate this. I am really going to try to see it for what it is.
Cathy, I’ve read the comments so far and agree with them all. First thought is look at those pictures you have worked your butt off and came so far and motivated thousands of us, you have tried new things and pushed yourself to do more and do better. I agree about letting go of the numbers, just keep doing what your doing to stay healthy and not worry about the weight thing, you look amazing and I’m sure you feel amazing so go with those feelings. Some comments said to switch it up a little and that sounds like a good idea too, change things around and try some new things but don’t let go of what you are doing now. When your feeling down come back here and read your posts and all the encouraging words from your supporters we love you and think your pretty awesome. Thanks again for sharing this journey with us and being so honest about it.
Go Beth. I will definitely add some speedwork. I did some the other day, pushed really hard in the last two minutes of my run and realized, Oh, see…youre not going to pass out here!
Dorothy F says
Thank you so much, Cathy. I am in the same place you are right now and boy did I ever need your lecture. I am finally realizing it is so much harder to lose weight as we age and it is so much better to be happy with who you are and how you are. These plateaus suck. I have been stuck for 3 months, up two down three, up four down three. I also agree with you, I did much better on the old weight watchers. Plus just doesn’t work for me. I went from losing 2-3 pounds a week to nada. Doing everything the same too. Thank you for being so upfront and honest. Your blogs are so real.
Put that stick down you are beating yourself with – it’s been a long, luh-ong winter here in MN and everyone (I know I am for sure) is feeling a little blue… I keep telling myself “no winter lasts forever, no spring skips it’s turn”… over and over again….
Ditch the scale, ditch the WW points tracking and ditch the Nike iPod thingie… (gasp) You have worked SOOOO hard to change your mind and body over this year, it’s time to toss those crutches and do it on your own! Trust yourself to eat right, exercise and you might find that feeling “good” can be something that isn’t married to those other numbers! try it for a few months might work! YOU just might be better at this than you think!
Mad Morti says
The number you’re aiming for was a goal, and it’s frustrating not to have reached it. Did you ever stop to think though, what you would do when you got there? The same as you are now – working out where your level is at, putting a couple of pounds back on, working out what you need to do to be on maintenance. Maybe the 140 was unachievable, maybe not. Maybe you need to focus on what HAS been a success and how fab you look. Getting into that great pair of jeans. Being able to take part in a 5 mile run. Not being out of breath climbing the stairs. And then realising that continuing to able to do those things makes it worthwhile keeping a weather-eye on every morsel that goes in the mouth.
You rock, don’t forget that.
Heather B says
Cathy – first THANK YOU – you have been motivating me since October… I have had a few false starts & stops…. but your tweets and these posts keep me motivated to start again.
Second – as a start/stop/start/stop/starter…. I am trying alot of different stuff still to see what sticks. Have you seen/read Tosca Reno’s books? I had a few people comment about them around me before I thought… let’s see what she’s all about. I started her “eating clean” lifestyle on Saturday – haven’t tracked calories or points or anything & haven’t been hungry. For the first time in my life I have started losing weight at teh start of a change! I feel better already – and it’s only 3 days done! I know you are trying to do a veggie month & she has a vegan mealplan in her book as well as lots of yummo recipes etc.
One point she made at the beginning that my in-shape work-out-a-holic husband stopped & said “I have been starting to wonder that” to was that how you look is 80% what you eat; 10% what you do & 10% genetics… in other words – what (not how much) you eat is the biggest factor! He eats ok… but not clean (low fat/fat free, low calorie, low “sugar” – meaning fake sugar though) and even though he exercises for an hour to 90minutes a day he can’t quite get the look he wants….. so he’s trying it too – dumping alot of his ‘pseudo food’ with me. She says you still need to exercise but at some point if you aren’t eating the right stuff you can’t go any farther.
I keep thinking when I can regularly be outside, running… you know, you feel better all around. But part of my problem? I dont trust myself. Everytime I do, old addictive tendencies seem to take over my life. Its frustrating to say the least, but… this time could be different.
Tasia M says
I know you’re frustrated, but I think it’s time for a new attitude. If you’re unhappy NOW, just because you’ve hit a plateau, just think about how unhappy you are going to be if you give up. Giving up might be the EASY thing to do, but it will (and you know it) make you miserable in the long run. You owe it to yourself to keep on going.
You think you’re not making any “progress”?? WHAT?? Are you telling me that having maintained a healthy lifestyle for well over a year is not progress?? Are you not completely transformed from where you were 18 months ago? You may not be shedding pounds right now but WHO GIVES A CR@P? YOU LOOK INCREDIBLE! Do you not see those 2 pictures side by side? Do you not feel more energetic and healthier and have an all around better body image than you did 18 months ago? Do you not feel incredibly proud of the accomplishment that you’ve made? Not to mention all the women you have inspired by letting us all witness your journey. Not only is that impressive, but it is also incredibly brave. You have beat the odds through will, determination, and a lot of d@mn hard work and you should be worshiping yourself not beating yourself up. There are plenty of people in this world who will try to break you down…don’t be one of those people! You’re better than that. Yes, you may have hit a plateau weight-wise, but maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a positive mental outlook should be the goal, not some magic number.
I think part of the problem is probably winter blues. It’s that time of year when Mother Nature tries to beat us down so that when spring finally arrives it is just that much more vibrant and invigorating. It won’t be long and I bet you anything that the “plateau blues” that you are feeling right now will melt away any you will feel a new sense of inspiration when that beautiful spring green starts popping out. Happy March 1!! It won’t be long now!
I’ll say it again…you owe it to yourself to keep on going. Don’t give up on yourself. We haven’t!
Cathy you are looking great! I wouldn’t worry about a number. As long as you feel good and know you are moving and eating right. No need to stress about it. Stress can’t be a good thing.
Wow. Thanks, Tasia. I fully plan to re-evaluate where my head is on all of this. I really do. Thank you.
I was just going to pop in and add my $.02…and suggest something like the Go Wear Fit or Body Bugg. they are a bit pricey – however – after wearing one for a week, and seeing how things shake out – it really is inspiring on a total different level. Seeing the calories burned is a huge thing….(it accounts for just being alive and exercise) and it gives a much more accurate picture. The food content included is very large, and I have not struggled to input the food. It’s great to see the calorie defecit for each day.
The past two months have been such a struggle and here you go talking about the exact same thing with yourself. My weight crept up over the holidays and I cannot for the life of me get it off. I’ve cut out candy. I’m counting calories. I’m moving more (running and walking) and the weight just sticks. This month I’m trying weights and sprints mixed in with my running. I love that you share your feelings on this process. It is so comforting to know other people (and judging by the comments a lot of other people) are going through this too. Is it just a number? Or the fact my jeans are tighter too? Will I be happy if I go down 8 pounds…or if I ever get that off, will I want to lose another 5? Arrrggghhh!!! I used to be there…two years ago the weight just came off, this year? not so much.
Stick with it, change it up, and we’ll both check in April 1st. (no foolin’)
Sign me trying to work my butt off (and my thighs and my muffin top)…
Tasia, that was an incredible read. Can you come say this to me every morning?
Thanks from another struggling Kathy.
I quickly wanted to share an Anne Lamott quote that gets me every time, particularly when I’m ‘assault-eating’, as she calls it.- “Do you want the hit, or the serenity?” I think most of us want the serenity. I see you working so hard, and I wonder if you should consult a nutritionist or trainer to help shake things up? I love this blog and am so impressed by your journey- you are amazing. And damn funny too.
Dianne K. Nelson says
But you didn’t quit. This is a huge victory! Try shaking up your exercise routine with something completely different—you used to rollerskate (as you’ve shared)–Roller skating burns A LOT of calories. Maybe try a fun family skate at a rink?
Good luck. You can do this!
Cathy…you look fab, and I have to tell you, you have been an inspiration for me. After seeing your motivation and your progress I jumped on the workout wagon. I hope to be to the point you are where running becomes a passion and a heck of a lot easier than it is when you start out. As an ex smoker I always thought I would never be able to run. Now I see things much differently and I know I can do this…thanks to you 🙂
It’s so easy to get ‘stuck’ with the numbers isn’t it? But one of the most positive things I’ve noticed reading you blogging about this over the last year has been how you’ve felt much more connected, more in-tune with your body and what it needs to be healthy – maybe at the moment you don’t feel you can trust your judgement so much on this, but having followed your progress I know you can, you’ve already proved that. Keep going Cathy, you’re doing so well – and you look amazing!
Oh, and have you tried Zumba classes? I started going to these recently, so much fun!
I don’t have time to review all you fans 🙂 comments so I’ll apologize in advance for duplication. 1) maybe you aren’t meant to be 140 2) OR (more likely) maybe you are working out so much that you need another healthy point or 2 or 3 OR 3) if the old plan was successful (pardon me WW Int’l) OR 4) join a meeting? If you are paying for monthly online, you can go to mtg. for free. Ask around–you should have a wealth of fabulous leaders in your area. Sometime those leaders have other ideas about what might help nudge you down a pound or two 5) you do know that it often gets harder the closer you get to your goal–right? Love, Ms. DoasIsaynotasIdo
Hey Cathy! Have you heard of P90X? You can look it up online. It’s a pretty intense workout, but the before and after results are amazing! I should be getting my DVDs in the mail this weekend! I plan on starting on Monday. I think these workouts would definitely help get you out of your “rut”! Good luck! I’m rootin for you!
Have you taken a look at the book “the 4 hour body”? I’m not sure what I think about most of it, but if the author is right about any of it, it certainly gives you something to think about. In a super oversimplified form, the premise of the book is that the ” calories in must equal calories out” equation is flawed. If nothing else, it is an interesting read.
Laura A. says
You look awesome, Cathy! Even before I saw your comparative pics, I could see the difference! There is space between your thighs girl! You are right though, in that we may never match up to or reach that younger vision of ourselves that we carry in our memory banks. Keep it up!
Kathleen S. says
As I’ve watched your impressive determination to change your ways and weight, the one question I’ve had is when are you satisfied? In some ways, you are mentally where you were when you started, but for different reasons. Before it was because of the sloth factor leading to the muffin top (oh, ugh and woe). Now it is because enough is not enough (oh, ugh woe). The changes you’ve made don’t seem to satify your spirit. Yes, you’re pleased with the weight loss and the life style changes, but the Muffin Top Tape continues to run. You ought to be jumping up and down thrilled with the discipline and responsibility of those before and after photos. Perhaps your body craves a little maintenance work: keeping the exercise and calorie watch independent of the scale, learning to appreciate the muffinless state, saying “great job, Cath’ when the scale doesn’t budge. Maybe your spirit needs a break from the demands of not enough and not satisfied. I think you look great, clearly feel great physically, but don’t cut yourself much emotional slack for a tremendous change in your life.
Cathy – I love the fact that you put it all out there. The good, the bad and the ugly. Life, including changing habits, is difficult. However, with the right attitude it is far easier. I by no means am a shining example of what to do and what not to do, but I am not concerned with the measurements of any kind. When I moved to Panama almost seven years ago I didn’t bring a scale. I don’t do traditional exercise – running, classes, etc. I eat relatively clean. But for me what it all comes down to is – how do I feel? I have spent the last year working on really getting rid of my migraines and feeling good. This ironically has changed my perspective on many things. It has made me lose some weight. It has caused me to actually want to exercise. So maybe as many of the people have suggested you should change the focus a bit. Still MMEL, but do it so that you FEEL good. I think that might be the change up you need in order to make all the other stuff follow. Good luck.
I so feel ya.
I started January with some awesomeness. I worked out everyday – sometimes arobic, sometimes yoga, etc but I moved everyday.
Then February hit & I felt like all that moving didn’t really do anything for the numbers & I skipped a day. Then another. Then tried to regroup only to lide again. I feel like I am totally failing because this last month has been one major suck fest. And I really hate when I seem to be telling myself everyday that I suck. I fail. I can’t do it.
Well, here it is March 1st & I’m trying to make the the new day of the new me & that day I stop telling myself all those negative things. I’m so inspired by your honesty about not giving up but also not feeling super fantastic in the midst of it all!
Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your journey!
let’s raise a protein shake to the snow melting away and taking guilt, self loathing and heck some poundage with it! Bring on the sunshine! I am ready for it!
It aint easy. That is for sure.
Im trying to figure out what I need. Shaking things up is part of it. I know it.
You look great, you are funny, you are real.
It is a struggle but worth it. You gotta keep on keeping on….
i have to remember that ex-smoker part too! The fact that i can breathe when i exercise? amazing.
Good point, Emma. I HAVE had connections to other things than the numbers. Im just dabbling in a little self pity while also trying to understand where it comes from and why? I have done Zumba and loved it!
I can go to meetings for free? i didnt know this. I wonder sometimes if I would benefit from it. Hmmm. Might have to check it out. : )
I have. And they scare me. LOL! Well, the truth is, because im paying for a Y membership right now, I cant justify buying something else. Although I just skipped my Y workout and did a run instead. I need to make sure my whole family is using our membership to justify the cost.
Others have said what I totally agree with – time to mix it up a bit and throw some weight training in there too. You can only get so far but doing just cardio (this coming from a former Olympic style weight lifting gal).
Kettlebells are GREAT to add into your routine. You can get maximum impact in a very short period of time (my kettlebell workouts are sometimes as short as 15 minutes). I recommend working out with a certified kettlebell trainer (RKC certified) though until you get the form down.
Stick with it! You’re doing great!
Thanks for keeping it real! Always the best motivator.
you know, that might be part of it… that younger me. And that younger me smoked a pack of cigs a day, and ate like a bird. Nice. Id rather be here now, but the memory of that little skinny smoker? still lingers. bad as that sounds.
oh. My GOSH! Get OUT! I was just on rollerskates.com looking for new skates. Why? Because my old figure skates dont fit anymore. (Had babies, feet grew!) And both my kids just got second hand roller blades. Well i have ZERO interest in blades, but i really, really want to skate again. Just for fun. Ill have to keep you posted.
Patty Schmidt says
Forget your numbers…. Just post your “then” and “now” pictures on your bathroom mirror. It will give you your daily dose of motivation… EVERYDAY!!
This is actually making me tear up …. there are other things going on in my life, such as working with a therapist right now. She has a lot to say about how things will never be enough in my life. I dont really go there on this blog, but there is definitely a lot more underlying the dissatisfaction. For sure. Im working to learn more about it, and make the changes that will let me live a fuller life. I appreciate the comment.
Hey CZ, I see you’ve already received lots of solid advice here already. I’ll add my two cents’ worth here.
*Yoga: definitely part of my self-improvment plan.
* Body Pump: yes, yes, yes… that will reshape your body and kick start your metabolism.
* Hiring a personal trainer: if it’s the right person, it could make a huge impact, but you need to do some homework here. Not all PTs are cut from the same cloth.
* Longer daylight hours: gradually coming to the northern hemisphere and should reset our internal clocks to give us more energy and/or help our brains produce the happy chemicals that have been running low since the fall.
* Running and cycling outside: again with the happy brain chemicals.
As for your fear of falling down and not being able to get back up again, fear not. You are too well-informed, well-supported and… well, frankly, too addicted to give up on your healthy way of life.
Cynthia Friese-Hassanein says
Cathy!!! Don’t ever forget what you have accomplished!!!! You look fabulous!!! Don’t let the plateau/winter blues get to you! Do you remember how you felt before you made these changes?
I think how much you have motivated me!!! Using your little move more/eat less journal and my course in weight loss meditations. I wake every more staring at that scale that looks back at me with over 100lbs to still lose. But, I remember the journey, not where I will hopefully be someday:) I am just so happy to feel better:) Inside and out!!!!
Again thanks for the inspiration!!! I look at you now and see this amazing person who decided to make a change one day… who keeps it honest! And will prevail!!!!
Lisa Dickinson says
These words of yours just really hit home:
“I am tired of waiting for numbers to determine whether I’m confident or awesome, or something less than that.”
We all struggle with the number battle…and this is a excellent reminder that they just don’t define us. Thanks for that, CZ.
Lisa L. says
Maybe you are where you are supposed to be. I think you look great and if you feel great, just focus on maintaining. Lisa L.
Cathy, just wanted to chime in and say hang in there. I know you inspire lots of people and it’s good for us to hear that other people have problems too. I finally found a food plan that worked for me– I feel tons better when I don’t eat sugar or grains– but I still fall off the wagon and binge. Learning to accept that it’s over and done and all I can do is pick myself back up is the hardest thing. But I also hear that it’s hard when you’ve stayed the course and nothing changes. Remember your true goals– feeling good, having energy, living life. Good luck!
I still think you are kicking serious booty. You look really great from what I can see. And honestly it’s all about the looks isn’t it. More than the numbers. At least for me it is. I think I’ve almost completely stopped weighing myself. Good luck. As with all long journeys in life – it’s a process.
You inspire me.
Amanda DiPaolo says
Oh I hear ya! I too am struggling with the very same thing. Can’t seem to make the scale move in the “right” direction….and I too ask myself…”Why aren’t muffin tops acceptable” I guess the goal for this month would be to keep with it, and not go in the opposite direction of not caring what goes in your pie hole?
Given the fact that I had an emotional episode last night over numbers, and enough not being enough, I’m standing right beside you Cathy. I haven’t made the progress you have, but I’ve done what I can. I said I was starting over Jan 1, which became Feb 1, which didn’t really happen either. I’ve managed to get 2 runs in a week the last 2 weeks, but that’s still not “enough”. I’m not happy with the muffintop. I’m eating better, but not amazing. I’m so very tired of calorie counting. I lament the days of being able to eat anything I wanted, and a husband who can and does eat anything he wants with little to no change in his appearance is discouraging.
I have a lot of things going on in my life right now that are taking up time and energy and pulling me in different directions. I can only do so much, right? So why am I not satisfied with what I can do, and do, do? Why isn’t it enough? I know I’m not superwoman, yet I’m still trying to BE superwoman. I know I need to cut myself some lack, but that is so much easier said than done, right? My husband commented last night that I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. I’m in better shape than I was at this time last year, which was better than I was the year before that. I too am striving for 140, and I’m struggling to accept that that number/goal may never be reached. I even understand that if I did get there, I probably couldn’t maintain it. So why is it SO HARD to let go of that goal?
Lots of great advise and wonderful stories and words here in the comments. This crazy period will be over for me in 5 weeks, and then I will have more time back and can put more effort into running (training for a half perhaps?), and yoga, and strength training, and working towards being a HAPPIER me. I don’t want to be 140 and unhappy, and I know you don’t either. Sounds like we’ve both got some soul searching to do.
I know this. I know. I actually think there is as aspect of losing from a starting weight that is more fun than trying to maintain. : ) For me right now, anyway.
this is one of my ultimate goals, Lisa. Truly. Even when Im feeling sorry for myself and seem to NOT embrace it at all.
Oh yes, Im staying the course. Definitely.
the comments are really good today, arent they? Lots of good info, a little tough love, all that good motivating stuff. I like you dont want to be thin and miserable because i sacrifice life for it.
First, I want to ask you, how can you look at those pictures and not be proud of yourself? You look fantastic!
I read through all of the comments up until now and I have to say I agree with ALL OF THEM.
But I also wanted to tell you that I just had this same conversation with my Weight Watchers leader. I have been bouncing up and down 3-5 pounds for the past month. Part of me feels like I’ve just been a bit sloppy. I’ve been doing the same type of exercise for so long that maybe my body is bored (like my brain) and has decided to stop losing. The weather isn’t helping me one little bit. I feel like so many people have been saying they’re frustrated and stuck and sick of it, just these past few weeks. February is a bitch, I think. And it’s kicking my Weight Watchin’ butt.
So I’ve decided to try and change things up. I got a step aerobic video and step, I’m ditching the treadmill for a month, and I’m working in two days of strength training (video) a week. I’m gonna stop goofing with my points and do the program, using all of my extra points. I’m giving it a month and I’m gonna see if it makes a difference. I’ve been at the 75 pound mark for too long. I can complain and moan, but I really can’t give up. If I’m upset now, I’ll be in some serious trouble if I go back to where I started. I’ve been at this for 2 years and 11 months. I lost 50 pounds in the first 7 months. You do the math. But the one thing I know for sure is that backwards is not an option.
I hear from some women in my meetings that when they were stuck they started the strength training and it really pushed them through. I know one woman who lost 100 pounds and then hit a plateau that lasted YEARS. She started strength training 2-3 times a week (she is a runner by the way) and in a few weeks the scale started moving again. She went on to lose 40 more pounds.
Don’t lose hope. You’ve done fabulous things for your body. It will repay you by sticking around alot longer.
Hi Cathy! I never leave comments but I thought I would share something and then ask a question, or maybe it’s a favor?!
One year ago I started an exercise regime and a healthy diet at the same time. I needed to do this more for heart disease than weight loss, but the goals are similar, if not the same at times. I bought a piece of equipment called The Total Gym. I know, sounds so infommercial”ish”, but let me tell you!!! RESULTS! RESULTS! RESULTS! Easy to use, easy to store, and easy to purchase (got mine from QVC – at the time is was about $320 including the shipping). I chose this equipment based on the recommendation from a nutritionalist who used it and also a personal trainer (not mine, of course!)I have had extremely good results from it, and have changed a lot of “loose” fat to muscle, easily and quickly. I use mine as my strength training part of my exercise regime anywhere from 3-5 days a week. I also do intervals on my treadmill, and use 4 or 5 pound free weights for warm ups, Pilates, and stretches. I highly recommend using this product. Just a suggestion. I have never regretted purchasing it.
Now, for the favor 😉
I am NOT digitally gifted when it comes to scrapping, and I have just started this in the last month despite the fact that I have been scrapping for over 10 years. I have purchased several (oh, about 30…) of your templates on DD this month, and absolutely love the ease of the products for such a novice like myself, and especially the simple/graphic approach to scrapping. I am also trying a “meatless” month, what a co-winky dink, and would LOVE to see a “Meatless March” template to journal and track my progress and funny quirks associated with this new goal of mine.
Just an idea! Thanks for your templates! They have been great! Keep up the good work!
Cynthia Friese-Hassanein says
I agree:) It’s crazy at my weight now how it comes off easier. The Weight loss honeymoon period:) But, I know when I get into the 100’s, it will be a whole different story:( Thank you again for sharing. Such a gift of honesty:)
I am feeling much the same. For the past six weeks I have watched my SIL lose over 40 pounds as cancer takes over her body; my response has been to eat everything in sight! Which isn’t helping her or me. This has made me see clearly how my eating is tied to trying to comfort myself. My SIL has a short time left, and I don’t know how much time I have left on earth … but I know I don’t want to waste any more time feeling uncomfortable in my body — so I have re-committed myself.
Don’t give up Cathy! You have been a great inspiration to me … both in scrapbooking and fitness. Keep running, keep eating healthy: you will attain your goal. And so will I! I am certain … even though at the moment it is hard to believe.
Cathy, thank you for being so very honest about your journey. I love reading about your triumphs (there are many, many more than you give yourself credit for!) and your struggles. I want you to know that you inspired me to start running last year, and I love the peace and serenity it has brought to my workout routine.
I had an “ah-ha!” moment early this year, when I realized that running was actually adding muscle (and an inch or so) to my rear, making my pants snug and causing the scale to creep up a couple pounds. I was SO PISSED that working out was making me physically bigger, until I realized just how much I was gaining mentally from my runs. I feel amazingly strong. I can feel the stress of being a single mom, working a fairly demanding job, commuting almost two hours daily, drop away from me when I run. I can ride that runner’s high through the struggles I encounter in my life. And that is why I continue to do it. For the other reasons that have nothing to do with the weightloss/maintenance.
I hope you can find your “ah-ha!” moment too, when the exercise becomes its own benefit, and the weight loss becomes the secondary benefit. You look AMAZING and have accomplished so much to benefit your health–quitting smoking, changing your eating habits, adopting exercise as a lifestyle. Give yourself a pat on the back–and a big hug. 🙂
I’m planning to read back through the comments when I have more time, because likely there will be some good motivation and a bit of tough love in there, too. I think you must have crawled into my brain and fished around for this post – I could have written it myself (though less eloquently). This morning I actually got off the scale, sat on the edge of my bed, had a little “moment”. Allowed myself 2 minutes to wallow in self pity, curled up on my bed in the fetal position for those two minutes and cried like a sucky baby… Why does my metabolism hate me? Why do I not lose weight when I’m working so hard? Why even try if I’m just going to plateau?
And then I got up and moved on. Honestly, I would like to throw my scale out the window. Every day now, I FEEL so much better about everything… how I feel physically, emotionally; how I feel about myself. I feel like I handle stress better, I don’t have the anxiety that I used to have (and this is only after a MONTH of lifestyle change). I’m trying to put myself in your shoes, at your point in your journey, just over a year in, and I honestly hope to God that I get to that point. One day at a time! 🙂
hang in there – you really are doing great
Great comments here today! Never forget how inspiring you are to all of us, and I know that it’s THIS kind of post that is the most inspiring of all, because it’s real.
As a WW Lifetime member from back when and former hard-body, I can tell you this. You have two choices…keep on doing what you’re doing, and reminding yourself of where you’ve come, OR let your frustration get the best of you. I chose that in the past, and now I’m 47 and working like a dog (okay, my dog doesn’t work nearly this hard!) to lose 70 pounds and get back to my former fitness levels. Giving up is easy, but the end result just totally sucks and if you think you’re frustrated now, add 50 pounds to your frame and remember what it was like when you couldn’t run a half mile. You DON’T want to go there. You know you don’t.
It might take me a year or two, but when I get there, I will NEVER trade it for fat and unhealthy ever again.
I think you’re really too hard on yourself. As I see it (and I’m not the one losing weight like you are), its about being healthy. From the sounds of it, not only are you healthy but you’ve lost a ton of weight to boot! I think you need to concentrate on that more than the numbers down there by your feet. You’ll enjoy life and your family for a lot longer knowing that you’re a healthier person. Congrats to you!
Thanks for the encouragement!
You know, Holly, email me and I can send you the meatless march PNG file if you like!
I want you to know Im genuinely sorry to hear about your sister in law. Take care of you, too. : )
Cathy, do read http://baby-steps-v.blogspot.com/
She’s really good about the mental part of weight loss. Check her out.
Talk about a class that will kick your butt! Turbo Kick is another good one.
Ronnie Crowley says
In my weight watchers class yesterday the discussion was getting stuck in rut and not only in eating but exercise. She said if you do the same amount of exercise everyday for a while its no longer exercise as your body becomes to expect it so it won’t turn the furnace on your metabolism and get things moving like it used to. She was recommending changing it over and not letting your body getting used to anything. I guess I can see this when you consider there are some very heavy people working manual jobs – there bodies are used to the work they do and so it doesn’t have the same effect it would have on my body. Anyway just passing on her thoughts.
Celeste Smith says
you have to let go of the numbers. really – you look phenomenal – you are exercising and doing what is right for your body. you inspired me. i’ve lost 14 pounds since January 3rd on WW – I’m walking a couple miles four times a week. what you’ve done is amazing. i can only hope that i get to somewhere even remotely where you are right now!
Sue FitzGerald says
Honestly Cathy, take a good hard look at the woman in the top photo, she is beautiful and does not need to loose any more numbers, she is fit and strong and healthy. Mantain your fitness, size and health and live your life and scales be damned.
Look at those before and after pictures. And pat yourself on the back. If your current lifestyle is keeping you in the same place, then that’s pretty good. You look great. Not everyone is supposed to be a size 2, some of us are supposed to be a 10 or a 12. If that’s where you body is happy, then embrace it.
Icing on the crap cake….now that is a saying I need to use sometime!
Jude Dettmann says
I know a lot of people have said this above – but it ain’t about the numbers – it’s all about how you feel. It ain’t about the muffin top or the measurements.
That said here’s a suggestion for you: try something different. You do a lot of walking/running/swimming and those are all great. But maybe try dancing (go take a swing dance class with your hubby! Fun and fitness in one), or get a DVD and try belly dancing at home (believe me – it’s not something I personally do in front of others…. I got the belly part covered, the dance not so much :D) – now that’s something that moves a whole lot of different muscles!
How about adding weights? You could do a circuit alternating strength and cardio, or you could use a kettlebell – I just started with one and I love it.
Generally a plateau is about stagnation, so you need to change things up to surprise your body into fat burning mode again.
I guess the thing about weight is not to LOSE it per se, but to allow it to go. Something in you is holding on, not allowing the weight to leave you. Think of it this way: when you lose something the implication is that it’s something that you wish to find again, right? But in the case of weight you want it gone for good, so you need to let it go – allow it to leave your life and give it a loving send off. Try writing your current weight on a piece of paper, then take that outside and burn it, symbolically sending if off into the sky, never to be seen again….
Holy crap – didn’t this get all philosophical? LOL!
I admire you Cathy – you’ll get ‘er done!! Just remember, spring is coming and change is always easier in the spring!
Thanks, Celeste. : )
I want that attitude, or more of it. : )
I really love the idea of putting it on a piece of paper and burning it up. : )
I agree with the other posters: you look GREAT! And the fact that you have increased your fitness level is HUGE – you should be super duper proud of yourself!
As someone who has struggled with my weight my whole life, I so get the struggle and the frustrations. SO GET IT. Just for a different perspective, I just read a book called “Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It” by Gary Taubes. It advocates for a lower carb approach and has a lot of really interesting science to back it up. Low carb is certainly not for everybody, but if you are interested in reading about a different perspective (you were open to the Vegan idea!), I highly recommend the book. It sure has me thinking and making some changes to my diet. It also made me realize how little people know about what a low carb diet really is. It is not all cheese and bacon! I digress…
Again, it’s not for everybody but if you are open to trying different things and tweaking your diet, I would highly recommend checking it out.
In the meantime: you have made tremendous changes and your progress with running really inspires me!
Hang on, hang on, hang on!
I can’t find it online, but I’ve read that prisoners tend to gain weight because their loose jumpsuits don’t give them that external cue of feeling tight as they get larger.
I’ve tried to minimize my “scale watching” and pay more attention to how my (non-stretchy) clothes fit. I prefer to feel good in my clothes rather than being tied to a number. Don’t get me wrong, I would much rather be at 140 than 150 today, but 150 is way better than 160.
You are inspiring, and your continued self-reflection and honesty is refreshing.
Cathy, I think age and what happens with our hormones plays a big part in what you’re experiencing. I’m 46 and just trying to maintain my weight with running on the ‘mill and using the elliptical. It’s TOUGH. I can go up
2 lbs in a week, and then down a lb or so the next. Add how much I sweat some nights, and I shouldn’t be having any trouble. 🙂 Hang in there; you ARE awesome…you inspired me to start running last year, and I ran 9 miles on the treadmill last week!
I’ve said it to you before and I will say it again. Go look at a pound of butter. That is no longer in your system. Rejoice in that. You have filled me with such inspiration. I have started going to spinning and am down two pants sizes from this time last year. There’s always going to be work to do but focus on how good you feel and not the number you see. You are amazing to me 🙂
Tammy B says
I would just like to say that you’ve done good and you look fabulous. We are women and women usually obsess over something. Most of the time it’s how we look. I have decided that I will allow the thoughts of ‘where the heck did that bagel around my belly button come from?’ to enter my mind every now and then, but I will not obsess over it. I have also decided that because I excercise and eat pretty well and have put on a little weight this last year, it’s ok. I’m not sprouting a third eye or suffering from an incurable disease. Keep up the good work, Cathy! You are amazing!
Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or can’t you’re right!” These are wise words that address where you are today…I think you CAN do it! You’ve inspired a lot of people to move more and eat less. I ran my first(and last) marathon in January, and one of the reasons I started running was because you made it look easy and fun. After completing a marathon, I feel like I can do anything…but you know what, ANYBODY can do whatever they put their mind to do. Turn on your headphones and “JUST DO IT!”
Nancy May says
Cathy, you look so great. All in one year no less. Hang in there!
Hi Cathy –
It’s a darn shame that this topic doesn’t resonate with your readers!
I may have mentioned this before, but do check out Miriam Nelson, PhD’s “Strong Women” books. The weight lifting (using inexpensive free weights) is straightforward and very beneficial to how you look, feel and the strength of your bones. (She has a website as well: http://www.strongwomen.com/ )
I look at the photographs and I am so very proud of you. You look wonderful – healthy, strong, slim and beautiful. I hope you see what we see…
You have done such a great job! I’m sorry you are so frustrated. The comments about changing your exercise routine are worth a try. Exercises to target that muffin top area are worth a try. Or you could embrace the muffin top, give yourself a bit of a break and maintain without expecting to lose for awhile. You are already healthier! Celebrate it! Very best wishes.
Pilbara Pink says
OMG – that is amazing, thank you for sharing that. I can’t believe I haven’t seen that before but talk about a lightbulb moment 🙂
I don’t know if we as women ever stop watching numbers on a scale or the number of the tag of our clothes. It happens to be about the society we live in. I too hope to stop obsessing over numbers. Springs is around the corner. A tip? Maybe find some events to enter in spring/summer to get you back motivated and feel inspired. Book in with a personal trainer for a little pep talk. New exercises can help the slump.
Pilbara Pink says
I have a note taped to my scales, from the Beck Diet for Life book, which says something like `the number on the scale is not a measure of my worth but important information for me’. Personally I can’t toss the scale or stop counting – that ends in weight gain. Right or wrong that is how I am and if I have learned one thing on my weight loss journey it is what pushes my buttons! I feel for you, it is similar to how I found maintenance and why I am now `relosing’ 30-odd pounds. When you are losing there is constant encouragement from lots of quarters – your clothes, measurements, compliments from other people etc. Once you reach your target those things stop. Your clothes all fit, I didn’t need to keep buying new ones as I was no longer shrinking out of the ones I had and people become accustomed to how you look. I now know people who have no idea I once weighed 155 pounds more. I wish I had the solution, I suspect that lack of ongoing, outside encouragement if why so few ( I have heard 3%) of people maintain a weigh loss long term. Personally, I like being out of the ordinary – so now rather than being `unordinary’ by being obese I plan to stand out for being a life time weight maintainer 😉 Hang in there, if you are not looking forward you will slide back and none of us wants to go there. I don’t believe there is any judgement out there, only a deep appreciation of your honest sharing which resonates in all our lives. It makes me realise I am not odd, that things do not run in straight lines and that is ok too!
Dude! LISTEN TO your body!! You look amazing! You’ve achieved so much in a short time – ease up on yourself!! Keep it positive or you are going to burn out.
Keep on keeping on!
Find exercise you enjoy or you are going to quit. Be proud you are doing something – anything to keep your body healthy!!
Think of the stress reliever exercise is rather than weight loss.
What would you say to your daughter if she said to you what you posted today??
those numbers don’t define who you are. YOU ARE AMAZING!!! and you look amazing, cathy! i think that your “meatless march” diet will shake things up a bit.
good points. I am loving my exercise, thats for sure. Not giving up the running.
Im just trying to understand and respond to what I really need to be doing and thinking. : )
maybe it’s already been suggested…I’m in the same stinking boat but I think Dr. Oz’s book “You on a Diet” may be helpful. I read the book the first time just skimming for “the plan”. Rereading again currently as I have lost all my mojo and just eeking by every month weight wise. Well, everything wise…but that is another story. But I am actually processing every single page this time around to see what I missed, figuring out lots of stuff…science stuff, soul searching stuff. Way too many goofy metaphors but all good info and another route for a WW stalled out/burned out lifetimer like me.
Barbara Rokke says
I can relate all too much with you. In 2003, I lost 35+ lbs. In January of 2004, I started a job that became my worst enemy. I loved the work but it took 40-80 hours per week of my time. I struggled with continuing my weight loss and healthy exercise and eating. Today, I’ve gained it all back. Last year in April, I hurt my knee and never went back to the gym. I tried other forms of exercise hoping to have fun instead of being a robot in the gym. None of this works. I’ve started back on the healthy eating track and will soon get to the gym.
Please do not get discouraged. Trust me, you are healthy and the number on the scale is not as important as that! I wished I had not put so much emphasis on that number and just continued to exercise for health! I love reading your post and I will get back on track!
Keep up the good work – you’ve come a long way! You look Great!!
Cathy! You are so great. I have said it to you before and I will say it to you again. Go get 0.8 pounds of butter. You are no longer carrying that around. Everyone’s body adjust different and at different speeds.
I happen to think you are amazingly awesome. You have inspired me. I have dropped two pants sizes this year. I’ve decided to start spinning. And I’ve got to say it is all because of you.
Any amount of loss is good. And if you don’t lose any just think about the other benefits you are bringing to your life.
Kim Woods says
I think you look fabulous and with all this attention to eating right and working out you are healthy for sure! I feel like at some point as we get older it is more about doing these daily things, adding in a few splurges here and there and being able to maintain a certain range. BUT you have come a long way and going from a soft 170 to a FIT 140 is huge! Some of that 140 is heavier because of muscle mass. I’ve been slacking in the workout dept so I can’t blame anyone but myself but think about exercising often. I can’t expect to get into the skinny jeans without that…not to mention the cardio adn muscle tone I need. So stick with it but go easier on yourself. Don’t forget to measure because the lbs might not be dropping at the same rate as the inches. Hang in there sister!
Christine H says
I started losing weight in Jun2009. So far, 110 pounds gone. But there are still 30 to go. I have pretty much stayed the same weight now since Thanksgiving. At first, I was getting really disgusted….stopped going to the gym for four weeks! That was helpful. Then I remembered why I started…to be healthy, that was it. Back to the gym, trying Zumba (this white girl CAN’T dance!)and celebrating that I am capable of maintaining a not so awful weight during times of holidays, stress and curve balls. Losing will start again but the big joy is that I am healthy and love it. Hang in there. You are doing great!
Cathy – I haven’t read most of the comments so forgive me if I repeat what one or 10 or 20 others have said but while I don’t have any advice 😉 *wink* my best thought would be to get rid of your scale. Not in a “I’m throwing this %*&# thing out the window” type of way (although it might help!) but in a real serious way. It sounds like body image is pretty major for you right now. I never weighed myself “regularly” until I was pregnant with each of our 2 children and for a short time period after the first arrived. Not because I wanted to be like an ostrich with my head in the sand but the opposite. I knew I was living a healthy lifestyle and no number on the scale was going to “prove this” to me. No way. No how. We actually never had a scale in our home until after our first arrived. It sounds like a tape of negative thoughts is running in your head. I’m a realist for sure but I’m hopeful and optimistically certain that who I am has nothing to do with a number of any sort. Weight, age, height, nothing. 🙂 All clear! I’m certainly sarcastic enough to give the bird to the scale too 😉 ha. Replace that negative stuff wreaking havoc on your being one day at a time? Might be time. I bet some of the comments here would work lovely in the event you need some starters 🙂 Reminds me of a few Nike ads….
the latest Nike women ads (came out last year) if you google images of them. AND (and I’m not endorsing this site or anything whatsoever, I just googled and found it and have used it for some scrap LOs I have done recently)
the first part of http://www.trizera.com/jsp/n/ads/wom/nike2.jpg
probably my fave ad ever of all time is on this page
http://www.trizera.com/jsp/greatlines/nikewgl.html about the 5th one down that starts, “You were born a daughter…”
You’ve been around and probably seen these, Cathy. But a little reminder that you are simply so much more. Oh…here’s your soapbox back 😉 Happy Tuesday!
I have been on a 2-week hiatus with ‘The Numbers.’–I simply couldn’t bear to write down one more thing I had eaten. It’s not the way I want to have to live for the rest of my life, so I figured I have to start somehow. That said…SO FAR my jeans still button. I am still a trifle over-worried about what I eat, but I have decided to focus on exercise as a process and not a results-oriented goal, and it seems to be working. I’m just telling you all this so that you know that I get it. I’m tired of being a slave to the numbers…but I like what your poster said at the beginning…to paraphrase: let the numbers of miles define you, not the number of pounds…Keep on keepin’ on sister. 🙂
Alison Richardson says
Greetings from Africa. I am so amazed by your honesty Cathy, you inspire me every day as I battle my own mountain. Keep going – you look awesome!
Half-marathons are great, but not for me. I didn’t want to spend MORE time training, focusing on my body, becoming tunnel-visioned as I deer-in-the-headlights moved toward a larger running goal.
Wow, that rude…….I would never comment in such a way about someone else’s goals or ambitions. Be it Cathy z’s to lose weight or someone to do an IronMan. Maybe the poster is not aware that many runners such a myself make “larger running goals” to motivate others as Cathy does on her blog. As well as to raise money for charities through their efforts. My 20th half-marathon has sponsors and is raising money toward a local children’s charity. However none of us should have to feel the need to explain their personal goals and none of us should be making comments that lessen the goals of others……..
An in fact someone who is already well trained, can and does easily train for a half-marathon on less than 6 hours of running per week. Quite less than the amount of hours many people spend driving to/from and in the gym.
thanks, Heidi. : )
I hear you Megan.
I only fear if i dont know the numbers, they tend to get out of control.
I will look at butter this morning! thanks for the reminder.
Jane B says
“When will I be the awesome example of a woman who is strong and fit”
Um, you already are. Take a close look at your before and after photos. That’s a pretty amazing transformation.
I’m on the Move More Eat Less journey too, and I’ve had times where I’ve lost a lot of weight…and times where I haven’t been able to shift a pound for weeks, no matter how I try. Yes, it sucks. Yes, I just want to throw it in and munch through a batch of brownies sometimes. But then I think of all I’ve been able to achieve – trying new classes, taking on harder exercises, getting faster on my bike, going for big hikes up to four times a week. I feel good and healthy, even if the scale isn’t moving.
You look fit, strong and healthy. Focus on this, rather than the numbers on the scale. Oh, and I reckon anyone who has birthed two children in their life is entitled to a little stomach padding!
Kathleen S. says
I’m pleased it struck a cord. I’ve been thinking about this aspect for a while, and almost didn’t post. Glad I did. Keep your confidence up in your areas of change and growth; remember all you’ve accomplished, and will continue to accomplish.
I totally hear you. This is a common thing that you are going through. I think you should make a bargain with yourself. Commit to another 90 days of being a MMEL superstar. Up the ante with a new type of exercise (personal trainer, strength training…something new). By the time you get to 90 days, a) it won’t be winter anymore, and you won’t be fighting the seasonal urge to hibernate and stuff one’s face and b) I will nearly guarantee your body will have let you win agin. Your body can’t maintain the weight forever if you keep pushing it (there is a lot of info on the nets about weight plateaus…they suck, is the short version). Also, your motiviation should come from .8lbs is still in the right direction! You’ve turned the boat around. Even if you are paddling because the engine is down for repairs, you are still DOING IT! And it’s INSPIRING! And you are already 10 times healthier than you were! Don’t write off your goal yet, you’ve already shown us all that anything is possible (in multiple areas of your life, not just this). I’m on team Cathy Z!
Thanks, Liz. : )
michele in la says
I find you so inspiring. It is so good to hear that somebody else’s diet / workout plan doesn’t go “perfectly” either. You are about a year ahead of me – I got totally derailed last year, but will begin next week – it’s Mardi Gras weekend and that would be asking the impossible to really begin – I will try not to overindulge, but not “diet”.
I do believe it is a constant battle. But if you are eating healthy and excercising – if your doctor thinks your body is in shape and healthy – don’t worry about the numbers. You did such a fantastic job to get where you are! You look great!
I have an ultimate # in mind, but if I get close, am feeling great and healthy and just can’t get there…I think I may just have to say, it’s OK – I’m not twenty any more :(…
Whatever your decision, I wish you the best.
Sherri Stone says
I’ve been yo-yo dieting for over 20 years . Until I saw your ELMM pages I felt disconnected from my body. You provided the inspiration that I needed. I’ve taken my before pics and my scary measurements and now I have faced the dreaded scale. I’ve just gotten serious this week. My husband snapped some pics of me walking on the treadmill last night:D I decided on the way home that my title for that page will be: AINT NOTHING GONNA BREAK MY STRIDE (that song:D). I’m sorry you are going through a slow time. Just keep the faith – feed on the knowledge that you are as motivating as those tv celebs. You have had an amazing success losing weight – your scale will show you some love soon:D
Your journey has been a great inspiration to me and so many others. I have finally gone back to WW and plan to feel better. I have also let go of numbers. I know that I don’t feel quite like I want to. That is my goal. To FEEL like i want to FEEL!
I love your blog. It is so real and so raw and sometimes it seems like you are writing what is in my head! I have worked so hard for so long to get down…. and I am so close to my “magic” number…. and then, I go up. And get sad. And fight the urge to eat ice cream because my head tells me “If I am going to go up, I might as well shelf the flax seed and go for something that tastes good!” 🙂 Then my heart tells me I am on the right track, I can hang in there, and I just have one of those bodies where I do have to track everything I eat pretty much for the rest of my life to keep the chub down. You just make me feel like I am not alone and somehow, that means a lot to me. Thank you for sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am so proud of you for what you have done and how much sheer guts you have to share it all with us who need it. Thanks, Cathy. (and I do love my BodyBugg – it is not perfect and sometimes it says I should have lost 3 and I go up .8 and it breaks my heart – but it keeps me honest and it also beeps when I hit my daily goals and that makes me oddly happy)
(Used to work at Cropper Hopper and teach at the CKU events with you back in the day)
Erin K says
Cathy I would just like to say that your awesome journey has inspired me to start WW. I am down 3 pounds in 2 weeks. I am sorry that you have hit a flat spot, but just look how far you’ve come and what a great example you are to all of your “followers” and your children! You are a rockstar! Forget the numbers and just look at the picture of your before and now! You look incredible. THanks for sharing…the good, bad and all the rest.
Laurie T says
Cathy – you look amazing. You need to do a few things – throw away your scale (I heard you gasp) and post the before and after pics where you can see them every day. You need to start being more thankful for being healthy and being able to exercise everyday. You also need to stop focusing on the all of the numbers…calories eaten, weight loss/gained…and you really need to start living. If you took all of the time and energy you’re focusing on losing more weight (when you already look great) and put that into say…working at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter – it might really put things into perspective for you. When we volunteer and give of our time, it takes the focus off from ourselves and puts it on others. There are so many hurting people in the world with real problems and you seem to be obsessed with seeing a certain number on the scale – and then you’ll be happy. Instead, choose happiness today. How much you weigh does not determine who you are. We are here on earth for such a short time…start living and enjoying the new healthy life that you’ve started!
Lorraine Reynolds says
So much good advice here Cathy I hope it all helps. But I want to ask you a couple of questions.
1) If you don’t lost more would you be happy to maintain where you are at? You look Fab. and from many of your blog entries you are happy with your size, so why the need to downsize further – other than it was your original goal.
2) If you continue to obsess about the numbers and freak out – are you likely to end up back at the January picture?
You have said yourself, many times, you are feeling great, that you look great and are happy with sizing, maybe you just need to accept this is it and plan to live there for a while – rather than panic and slide.
You have come so far, and inspired so many – would it be wrong to accept that as a wonderful result?!!?
Go Sherri! And thanks for your comment!
I really hope to get to the place where the numbers arent as important. Im working on this every day!
Hey Kristi, so… you DO use the BodyBugg. Ive heard so much about those. Hmmm.
But I am like you. If I dont watch watch goes in, I just continue to grow. And then I dont feel as good. Sigh. Working on it every day!
Good words. I am aware of the shortness of life. That is something I try to keep in focus every day.
This is a really good question. And it is something I should really consider with thought. I cant give you a straight up answer, but I can promise you I will look at this, and reflect.
Just wanted to share something that my leader said in my WW meeting that was so funny and apt for where you seem to be right now…came to mind with your baby and bath water statement…she said to remember that if you tripped on the first step of a staircase, you wouldn’t just say, oh well, and throw yourself down the rest of the flight. loved this, and think of it often when I have “slipped” and am going to just keep on going since I’ve “ruined” the day, week, etc. The mental image makes me laugh every time, and I reign it back in…you are doing a marvelous job!
good point. : )
Amen…I am soooo in a similar place. I must say I have had success though with hypnosis for weight loss. Check out Jennifer Mergen a certified hypnotist and owner Vibe Hypnosis…I know she has an office in Minneapolis now. Basically if you can relax and follow directions you will benefit greatly from hypnosis. I am amazed at the results.
Sorry to be so late to this discussion, but I just read some excellent posts on this topic at MyFitnessPal (which is where I track my food & exercise). I am not trying to hand out ass-vice. I just want to offer perspective. Because it pains me that you can’t see a .8 pound loss as a success. There are so many successes on this journey. Running willingly and further than you’ve run before is a success. Not going up sizes is a success. Making good food choices is a success. Having fun while doing any of this is a success.
For starters, it’s important to pick an accurate goal weight RANGE. Weight fluctuates every day, by as much as 4 pounds. So getting stuck on one number will make you feel like you’re failing when really, you’re a success. According to the post I read, that recommended range is 12 pounds for women (10 for men). So, rather than being stuck at weighing 140 pounds, it would be more accurate to say your goal weight is 140’s or 145 to 155. And the lower end of that range should be realistic for your age (each decade over age 18 means an extra 5 pounds). So, if your lowest weight was 140 and that was 10 years ago, your ideal lowest weight now is realistically 145 (range 145 to 155).
And, finally, weight is harder to lose the closer you are to your goal. The last ten pounds can take 3 to 6 months to come off, as I understand it—even if other pounds shed steadily and smoothly up until then. There are reasons for this, but I think knowing this helps with expectations.
And I definitely recommend BodyPump as a great toning workout. But if your Y offers a yoga class, I think you need it. No time on my therapist’s couch has made me as kind to myself as yoga has. The way that yoga allows you to see victory in very small movement and to forgive yourself for all that you cannot do, has been a miracle for me. I have not gotten that out of a DVD, but I definitely experience in class 3-4 times a week.
[that was long, sorry]
You look fantastic! Have you been making measurements other than your weight? Because judging from how you look, I’d guess that you may still be shrinking in size, but your weight may be more compactly distributed (muscles).
Just my 2 cents here – I think you look great and you are an INSPIRATION for many of us! I am not living your weight loss (I have my own to deal with! LOL) but I did hire a personal trainer and it is helping. I still have 20lbs to lose but the PT helps me get more out of my workout time. In one hour with her I burn more calories than on my own. Goodness knows I don’t want to put in more hours at the gym than I need to! If it’s in your budget I’d recommend trying it. Good luck!!
Cathy, rest assured you are NOT ALONE>>>>>>>>>>> a lot of this is “easier said than done”. You firstly have to admire your persistance and life style changes you made in 2010 and you look AMAZING. Sure, you put some weight back on over the holidays but you have pulled yourself up, recognized you can’t get away with it for too much longer and got back to a “controlled” form of eating and excerise. I am a long time member of weight watchers myself and I am at the 10kgs too many mark but 3 years ago was at the other end of having lost 10kgs. I remember when I went on a week’s holiday and enjoyed what I wanted I put on 1.5 kgs and it felt like the whole 10kgs and it was hard not to see myself as fat. If you put it into perspective then it’s 2 weeks or 3 weeks of tightening the belt (so to speak – writing down what you are eating so you can’t cheat) and you will be back at goal. Don’t be so hard on yourself as your body is adjusting to the “new normal you” and if you are pretty good Monday through Friday lunch time then on the weekends you can have a few extra things and be very strict on Monday through Friday. I am at the start again of those same 10kgs I have to lose but I know it’s not going to go away by feeling sorry for myself, wishing it away or hoping I will wake up 10kgs lighter tomorrow. SO, be proud of what you have achieved and chill out being the new normal you for 6 mths. If after your body stays the same and you want to lose another 4-6 lbs then do it then. Great effort and if I looked like you know…boy oh boy………… that would be fantastic. Give yourself a little break (mentally that is from beating yourself up)….for me back to ww meeting on Monday….. Regards Kathy, Brisbane, Australia
Liz martin says
wow! congrats on your weight loss. keep on moving! 🙂
thanks, Kathy! : )
Cathy, Speaking from experience stop thinking so much about where you have to go. Instead focus on where you have come from. That is what helps me stay focused on my weight loss journey.
I appreciate that. And yes, Im really needing to change the focus here, and just live, move and take good care of myself. The rest should follow, whatever that rest should be.
I can tell you that I am in this place too. It’s hard for me because last time when I was this focused on eating, tracking, exercising and all the rest, I lost 10+ pounds in the first two months.
I am in since January 1st and I’ve lost 6.4 pounds, three of which came off the first week. So in the remaining eight weeks, I’ve lost 3.4 pounds.
P.R.E.T.T.Y U.N.M.O.T.I.V.A.T.I.N.G… RIGHT?
Well, I am stronger and I can wear my jeans I couldn’t button two months ago and that’s great but… I didn’t think I’d weight 167 point something at this point. Thought it would be close to like 163..or lower.
So I keep going. Looking forward. Less tracking. More right eating and of course, continued exercise.
Regardless of weight, I don’t think I can go wrong with that plan.
You’ve motivated me to do the pics and I have them on my blog under the tag Move More Eat Less.
As everyone said you are great!!! Stop worrying about the numbers. If you insist only get on the scale once a month. Instead of a goal weight set your goals on something else. You already rocked the 5K times but set a new goal for that or try a different distance or sprint tri. If you can live with WW then stick with it but if it is pushing you over the edge then just go with other goals and be happy with the weight you are.
I know none of us want to be remembered for being skinny when we die, so why do we all worry about it way too much!
OK I just lost my post… as everyone says you rock and look great! Stop worrying about the scale number… if you must only get on once a month. Have Dan hide it. You need to set number goals that have nothing to do with a scale. You rocked the 5K, could you set an improvement time? Could you set a goal for a new distance or a sprint tri? I know none of us girls want to be remembered for being skinny when we die, so why do we obsess so much about it.
Results!! Results!!! Cathy look how slim and fit you are!! AND FIT!!! Look how far you can run! Look how you ran a RACE!!!
(I know, it sucks that you can’t eat whatever you want and it’s not going down. I’m sorry)
Results!!!! I started running bc of you! I have more than a muffin top, I have a whole freakin bakers dozen packed on me and have not lost a pound. Not that I “don’t care” but damn I have had so many positive benefits since I bought those running shoes.
I hear you. Hang in there.
For me, today? I decided Im going to skip weighing myself (I do it once a week, on Saturdays). Im just going to have a week where i focus on moving more and feeding myself good food!
I hear you. I do. Im retooling my thinking, because as I approach 45, hopefully the middle of my life, I really dont want to spend the next 45 years trying to be thin. I want to live, be healthy, and do the best I can. You know?
Results. Results. Must remind myself of that!
Just happened to this site today. Man I’m inspired. I keep forgetting to forgive myself for my slips and keep on keeping on. I forget good choices are every day not just when I feel like it. I forget I don’t fail until I give up. I have not given up!
I was going to go back to the gym next week but now I’m going to go tomorrow. I have serious feet issues but I’m not going to let that be my excuse anymore.
So cool how you share the ups and downs of this journey.
Hey Cindy, glad you stumbled upon my blog! Hope to have you back visiting regularly! : )
I read some of the comments, but not all of them, so I apologize if anyone has already said this–
I understand your quest of the number on the scale; it’s how a lot of us WW’ers get our first “rush” of success, by and seeing the number on the scale get lower. But– sooner or later, whether you get to your “magic number” or not, you’ll be into “maintenance” which, by definition, is staying the SAME weight over time. So, you’re getting advance practice for that! 😀
Seriously, though, I really think the “goal” of anyone following WW can’t be PRIMARILY the number on the scale, because once we get there, we’re like, “okay, now what? what the heck, I just maintain? there’s no prize out here any more?? that stinks!” That’s how I lost 42 lbs, made lifetime, then gained 60 lbs– by being so focused on the “losing” part of the process and not the other parts of the weight loss journey that went WITH the scale.
This time (this is the LAST time!), I am not in it for “weight loss” but for my HEALTH. I think this outlook has finally got my head screwed on straight about it; I want to be healthier through eating better and exercising, and as I get healthier, I will also lose weight. Once I get to my goal (whatever that weight is; I haven’t chosen yet) I’ll hopefully be in a much better place (mentally) to maintain because it will be about my blood pressure, my LDL and HDL levels, and my health, not just the scale.
So, how’s your health?? You’re a RUNNER now!! Wow; that’s a huge accomplishment!! Your stamina, strength, and endurance is better, right?? I’m assuming that your better eating habits are also affecting your energy level, moods, and probably your blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. as well. Focus on, and celebrate, those accomplishments, not just the number on the scale!
And perhaps you could talk to your doctor about what he/she thinks is a healthy weight for you, as well– then go from there, if you still want to pursue a certain # on the scale. But don’t forget that Weight Watchers is truly a LIFEstyle change; you’ve definitely succeeded at that!
–you could also check out the WW message boards for ideas for tweaking the points+ plan, or even go back to using Momentum to lose the last few lbs; some members have found (thru tracking calorie intake) that for them, points+ can be more calories than they can eat and still lose weight, especially if they were eating pretty “clean” diets already.
thanks for the thoughtful comment! : ) Ive been spending time on the WW boards, reading other peoples stories etc. Still working on my food issues, of course, but… i am in my better health than ever before.