Cathy ZielskeCZ Life33 Comments


I recently picked up a few new workout tanks from my friends over at Another Mother Runner (the same rad ladies who wrote Run Like A Mother, which has inspired the inner athlete in me during the past year).

This one takes some cahones to wear outside on runs, which would explain why it has yet to make its debut around the lake by my house, but why it's perfectly suited to wear on my treadmill in my basement where cocky bravado reigns supreme.

I don't know if I've reached the point in my exercise journey where I can honestly say that my runs, or my swims, or my Zumba or BodyPump classes are the easiest part of my day.

I know that taking a shower is a pretty easy part of my day. I know that playing Plants vs. Zombies on my iPad isn't too taxing. I know that folding laundry, while the bane of my existence, isn't all that complicated when you break it down into one of the more manageable parts of my day.

I ran on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Three days in a row. I don't usually do this but my local YMCA pool was closed, and so my swim workout got bumped this week.

Wednesday's run felt the best of the three, which came as a relief, because I really debated whether or not I should do a third consecutive day of running.

I find that if you spend too much time debating, however, you are far more likely to come up with a reason why it's a good idea not to do something.

Exercise isn't necessarily the easiest part of my day, though certain days definitely outshine others. What it has become is the most non-negotiable part of my day.

Even when I stray from healthy eating [read: two small bowls of Goldfish on Tuesday night in a moment of "Screw it, I want these delicious damned extra cheddar blasted snack crackers NOW!"]. Even when I see little or no change on the scale from week to week. Even when I'm feeling less than inspired in every other area of my life, I know that 30 or more minutes to Move More and work up a sweat is something I can manage.

The other things I've found is that a workout can turn an El Crappo day into something just a little less Crappo.

I posted this to Facebook over the weekend:


So while it may not be the easiest part of my day, my goal is to keep it the most non-negotiable part and to realize the benefits aren't always just scale and chub-reduction related.


Cathy ZielskeCommitment

33 Comments on “Commitment”

  1. #2

    Just discussed this with a running buddy…how mental running is. I will give you this, most days it isn’t the easiest for me either, but I’m to the point where I NEED it. It clears my head, it gets rid of the racing daily thought clutter. And it just plain makes me feel better. Good for you for sticking with your journey Cathy. And thanks as always for sharing your story.

  2. #3

    Running/exercise is a way I take care of my physical AND mental health. Life just doesn’t seem so stressful after a run!

  3. #5
    celeste smith

    just want to say go you!

    as you might remember (since really i know you sit around all day and wonder what is celeste smith up to? lol) i started weight watchers on january 3rd. you inspired me. i didn’t take before photos. i just couldn’t it was awful. anyhow, i’ve lost 27 pounds. i was walking 5 times a week for 30 minutes. this week i started couch 2 5K. i’m determined to get my heart rate up a bit and maybe firm up some of this jiggle.

    anyhow, thank you for your posts and for keeping it real. i feel like i’ve made a lifestyle change and i wouldn’t have even started without your kick in the pants!

  4. #6

    I love reading your reflections as you continue along the road to better physical and emotional health. I started on a different portion of the road, but my journey has had its ups and downs too, and I’ve found your writing to be motivating, inspiring and oh so refreshing. Thank you for sharing and keep on running (etc). πŸ™‚

  5. #7

    I think that running might be the easiest part of my day…..IF I could make it happen!! Juggling three kiddos and their assorted activities along with a pilots (hubby) schedule gets a bit draining. I find that when I MAKE the run happen, I tend to feel more empowered to MAKE the rest fall into place as well. Good luck dear one and we know you’re one gutsy chick….wear the shirt OUTSIDE!!! (sort of like that “build it they will come” attitude! WEAR IT, it will become reality! ) Thanks for the inspiration and for keeping it real with the rest of us!! Love ya! πŸ˜‰

  6. #11

    Celeste, that is AWESOME! Love hearing this. And you know, once you get that C25K under your belt, all of a sudden youll be like: holy crap! I can run for 35 minutes straight, no problem! Keep it up! : )

  7. #13

    i think that you nailed it with one of the last sentences you wrote. which to me means it’s the easiest decision since it’s non-negotiable. keep it up! and also- wear what you want outside, i recently threw away a 20 year old shirt (and i got it when i was 10, sooooo apparently i wore clothing several sizes too large) and i never went to the ceremony that was associated with that shirt. but i loved it. until i got enough paint on it πŸ™‚

  8. #14

    Just the inspiration I needed today…thank you. Now, off to exercise. You have a wonderful day!

  9. #15


    I love your commitment and even more so the fact that you are willing to put it all out there for the world to see. Myself, I am currently struggling with some things in my life and find find your ability to make certain aspects of your day non-negotiable admirable. Thanks!

  10. #18

    “Non-negotiable”, baby; that says it all!

    I don’t run every day (or 3 days in a row) but I know people who do. I feel I’m too susceptible to injury. Seems like I’m always nursing some ache or pain and giving it every other day of rest seems to keep it under control. You know you ROCK when you can put it out there 3 days in a row. Way to go!

  11. #19

    Ridiculous me, I assumed the shirt meant getting dressed….I can’t run because of my back injury, but I found a machine similar to an elliptical that comes close. Keep up the good work!

  12. #20
    Joni Kix

    It’s been a while since I’ve shopped at Another Mother Runner. I LOVE the shirt! I follow their blog, but I must get back to see the new goodies they have in their store!

  13. #21
    kat :)

    Amen! So so so true. Love reading your posts about your ups & downs of weight loss and excercise. Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. #22

    Oh. My. God. I think I just had my ah-ha moment. I am dead serious. When I logged on and saw that t-shirt, the first thought in my head was, “DUH — exercise isn’t hard — just get off the couch and do it”. Oh wow. And you know what, it looks like rain outside right now. But I don’t care. While I can’t run yet (really big boobies) I CAN ride my bike for an hour. Excuse me while I leave this couch and go ride. THANK YOU CATHY! I could kiss you now!

  15. #23

    Great post–you do help motivate others, including me. You have a good running time too–I’m more of a plodder, like 13 minutes a mile, but it’s amazing how it can clear your head and get your day going in the right direction–and you are modelling healthy habits for your kids. Have a great weekend!
    It was fun to listen to you for Stacy Julian’s class!

  16. #24

    Non Negoitiable…thats the bit i struggle with at the moment…oh i have aches and pains but after going to the gym on tues (and not using them as an excuse) the pain was different on wed but a good pain….i keep telling myself it is good for my mental health not to mention my fitness but i lack the motivation to JUST DO IT! I had an illness that resulted me in losing my hearing in one ear so my balance is still affected and i still have nausea ( made worse by too much motion) but if someone with one leg can run so can i! Im just slowly building up to it!
    Thankyou for all the inspiration you share:)

  17. #25

    My coach gave me the best piece of advice on the first day – he said, even when you don’t feel like running, just put your gear on. You can say to yourself, “I’m not sure if I’ll go, but I’ll just get dressed”. And once the gear is on, you’re a lot more likely to actually go running!
    And you can totally wear that shirt outside!

  18. #26
    Pilbara Pink

    I always say I take my head for a walk and the rest of me just follows – my exercise has more to do with my mental health than physical a lot of the time. But it is amazing how much easier it is (most of the time!) to make the right choice regarding food when I can feel my muscles after a workout. I feel so strong and empowered nothing is going to get the better of me πŸ™‚

  19. #27

    I did some interval running this evening, and that obnoxious little voice kept telling me to just stop. I refused to listen, so that voice started talking to my legs, and darn it, they started to listen. It was a tough 50 minutes of mental banter. I guess I won, but I’m not feeling to “high” like I usually do. Sigh. Do you find that your running is noticeably more of a struggle if you’re a bit dehydrated? I think that was what the little voice was really saying. I didn’t have my bottle with me.

  20. #28

    Totally get where you’re coming from! I began running again in Feb because I didn’t feel well, my aches and pains seemed to be increasing, and it hurt when I bent over to tie my shoes, not to mention my wardrobe didn’t fit anymore! I’ve lost about 10 lbs. and I feel SO MUCH BETTER! I rarely get on the scale because I came to the same conclusion as you — running is good for me and I feel better both mentally and physically so the lbs. don’t matter…OK, who am I kidding? They do, but not as much as how good I feel! When I don’t feel like running, I tell myself how strong I feel after I run and that my clothes fit now!!! And I don’t give myself too much time to debate — you are so right on that! And I read your blog for motivation! Thank you for sharing your struggles and triumphs. Keep it up Cathy, you’re an inspiration to me.

  21. #30

    Cathy – You rock. I do not read blogs much anymore, but I decided to check a few today and I am so happy I read this. Like you, I have worked hard to lose, and if I blink my eyes, I can gain it back quickly. I have tried SOOOOO hard to make the exercise non-negotiable. And it means waking up EARLY to get it done before the little monsters wake up! It is not always going to pay off on the scale, but I needed a reminder that it is ALWAYS more than worth it.

    You are awesome and I love reading your posts!
    Kristi (from Cropper Hopper)

  22. #31

    Thanks for these words. It is so hard to keep motivated to exercise when I can’t see any results. I just have to keep believing that I’m doing myself good in the long run!

  23. #32

    Hey Kristi, always good to hear from you. So, Im reading another book that is very interesting, its called The Metabolic Effect Diet. Im not sure what Im going to think other than it is along the lines of learning to eat for your metabolism, etc. Im planning to work in some of their stuff. A friend of mine has been doing this and thinks its a very solid approach. Again, Im always up for exploring different ideas! : ) They have a facebook page too, so you can check them out if you like!

  24. #33

    It IS hard, but remember: the mental result can be just as powerful as losing a pound. It just isnt visible to the outside world, but… there is a huge value in taking care of yourself. Good luck!

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