Chub related confessions

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life52 Comments


As of this past Saturday, I decided to refocus on taking better care of myself.

What that translates to is this: the past two weeks have seen me sliding into a Crap Food Fest big time. I'm not sure what happens to trigger this. Well, I have my guesses.

Sometimes it seems when everything in my life is going pretty well, I like to toss in a few things to sabotage my wellness by celebrating it with, what else? Food. And specifically, food that isn't all that good for me. It lets me play this vicitm role which allows me to absolve myself of any responsibility from doing what is right and needed in my life. In short, it lets me eat shit without feeling guilty.

The interesting thing I've noticed this year is I'm not quite pulling the wool over my eyes completely, as in years past. I let myself hang out in the Crap Fest just long enough to realize: oh, I don't feel as even, or oh, I'm not sleeping as well, or oh, my stomach chub is really getting out of control.

I've noticed that I'm fully aware of the sabotage. Of the extra sugar and carbs that only create more cravings for sugar and carbs that will never, ever satifsy.

Oh God, but does it feel good in the moment? Absolutely. Just like those first few drags off a smoke back in the day. Nothing quite like it really.

It isn't easy to do what's right every single day in terms of eating well and moving your body. Some days you do the best you can do and all of your efforts are just one sabotage after another. And you give up and give in.

But then that day is over, and you get to make different choices on the next go round.

Sometimes, you just need a little dose of inspiration.

I found a few inspiring blogs over the weekend. The first is Trading Pounds, written by Stephanie Wetzel. I absolutely love her common sense approach to eating real food and moving your body. She has gone from 411 pounds to 265 by following a no-nonsense approach to healthy living. She's also written a free, downloadable PDF called How to Lose which I found to be thoughtful and so spot on. You can follow her on Twitter here.

The other is Finally Fit at 40, tipped off to me by blog reader Maegan, and written by Tami Shumate. Tami shares her journey of losing 186 pounds through good nutrition and proper exercise. You can follow her on Twitter here.

I'm very inspired by other womens' stories. To read how people simply made changes to their lifestyles. Sometimes, they remind me that while healthy choices aren't always the easiest to make, they are in fact do-able and worth it.

Just some food for thought, so to speak, for a Tuesday.



Cathy ZielskeChub related confessions

52 Comments on “Chub related confessions”

  1. #2

    Cathy, my story is certainly not as dramatic as those other very successful ladies but I have kept off the 40lbs I lost in spring of 2000 for over 11 years now.

    And I want to tell people that it can be done successfully for the long term. The key for me (other than healthy eating and regular excerice) was to really and truly connect my mind with how my body was feeling and recognize that eating bad foods made me feel bad physically and emotionally.

    On my b’day at age 38 when i found myself almost 40lbs overweight at 165, on a very tiny frame trying to sqeeze into my size 13/14, 5’4″, I think I had resigned myself to being overweight the rest of my life. I felt awful physically and felt awful about the way I looked and was very concerned about the diabetes, cancer and obesity that ran in my family. I really had forgotten what it felt like not to be tired, dragged out and totally without energy and I wanted to be a healthy happy Mom and wife in order to be truly present for my family.

    But for some reason something clicked and I made a decision the day I turned 38 to change my life.

    It took 6 months of hard work (as you well know it does), eating simply and clean and exercising and in the process I became a runner and that changed my life and subsequently that of my husband and entire family. The day he saw me finish my first half marathon in 2003 he decided he wanted to do one and lost 40lbs himself and one year later he, myself and our then 14 yr old son ran a half marathon together. One of the proudest days of my life was April 2010 when I watched my hubby run the Boston Marathon. He thanked me at the finish for inspiring him to become a runner.

    I am 100% sure that if i hadn’t taken control of my life that both my husband and myself would have continued down the road we were on to being very overweight and unhealthy.

    For me running truly was the factor that lead me to connect what I ate with how my body feels and performs. No not everyone wants to or can be a runner but everyone can find the “key” to their own success and I truly hope they do because the last 11 years of my life have been the most happy and satisfying and not just because of the loss of pounds but because of the emotional benefits all the things I can do now and have done since and how much better I feel about myself. I also get great joy from mentoring other female runners in my community and seeing their successes.

    In August I will be running my 18th half marathon. In June I did my first tri-athlon and in Oct I will do my 3rd full marathon and I will be 50 this year. I can truly say that I am much happer at almost 50 than I was at 38, never dreamed I would say that!!!

    My hubby just ran his 10th full marathon. We are not special or “super” athletes, but we do have a lot of determination to stay healthy and fit for a lifetime.

    Now I really equate losing the weight and staying healthy to being on a marathon training program. You follow that training schedule one day at a time for months and that is the only way to get to the end goal. Sometimes you miss a run, sometimes you eat badly but if you get back on track and follow the schedule 95% of the time you will achieve the goal you seek.

    During this entire process over the year I have discovered things about myself that I never knew I had in me…that I can do anything I set my mind to, that I don’t give up when things get hard and that I can be a mentor to others,,,,it was like once the weight came off there was another me under there that I never knew existed..

    I truly hope all of your readers reach the goals they are striving for.

  2. #3

    Wow. Um, Beth… I would say your story IS dramatic. And very, very inspiring. Holy cow! I mean, talk about a mind/body transformation. It is one thing to begin to exercise, but you have embraced a lifestyle as an athlete. I know you dont get through 18 halfs by just running 3 times weekly. I have wondered if I have what it takes to run a half. The longest run Ive clocked is just over 7 miles. Youre making me think that Ive been doubting myself a bit too much. One of my good friends just ran her first half, and is running the Nike Womens Marathon in October out in SF. Im so envious of her accomplishments. This is just very inspiring to read. I hope blog readers read this comment youve left. It could be a blog post unto itself!

  3. #4

    I am a teacher and since this summer started (this is my 6th full week) I have been going to the gym 2-3 hours at a time 5-6 days a week. Now I’m not saying I’m doing cardio 2-3 hours a the gym, it is a mixture of cardio, weights, and classes. I NEVER thought I would be able and/or willing to put that kind of effort out. Anyway, guess what? I have not lost a SINGLE pound! Guess why? I am sabotaging myself with my eating! I can’t seem to stop eating unhealthy foods and/or stop eating period. My good friend who has been supporting my efforts and going with me to the gym says “baby steps,” I have to align my body and my mind. Honestly, I am ready to give up already even though I am feeling some positive effects such as having more energy. /for me, it is so difficult to get the eating under control.

  4. #5
    Beth Hardage

    Theresa I’m right there with you! I have excercised faithfully for a number of years, and when I eat right I weigh less. But lately I too have been sabotaging myself with bad eating habits. I haven’t found the answer yet, but I do try to take it one day at a time. This is truly a problem of mind over matter for me. Just keep at it – it’s a neverending process!

  5. #6

    Thanks Cathy, I KNOW you can do anything you put your mind to. In running like weight loss, self-doubt is sometimes our biggest foe. If you have run 7 miles you have a big advantage already over a lot of people who start training for a 1/2….again it’s all about one day at a time and consistency

    Pick a date, find a training program and set your goal. I can tell you from experience that crossing that finish line is one of the greatest feeling of accomplishment you will ever have (besides family of course)……yes even after more than 60 races I still sometimes get nervous at the start line but that does away within a minute and all I feel is the joy of being there…….

    P.S. sorry for the superlong post above….I’m passionate about running and healthy living and tend to get carried away!LOL

  6. #7

    I’m with Theresa too, but in addition to the food sabotage, I’ve got hormonal sabotage. I’m not sure which one “feeds” the other either lol. Menopause stinks & feels like a vicious circle. In the meantime, I do the best that I can & know that some days are better than others.

  7. #8
    Jennifer Larson

    Since you just got your iphone, you should get the app “Lose it.” It is a portable calorie counter that budgets how many calories per day you have left if you have a weight loss goal. I’m finding it very helpful to pull it out before ordering food or snacking to see just how many calories the item has and to budget for meals I know will be high calorie. It also adds in exercise as part of the budget. I budgeted to lose a pound a week, and by keeping my calories around the budgeted goal, I did. I know you do weight watchers, but this is a cool but practical way to use your iphone virtuously.

  8. #9

    Theresa, dont give up on the gym! The thing Im learning about food, is that the stuff that is loaded with processed crap is highly, highly addictive. All those delicious snack foods keep us coming back for more because they mess with our brain chemistry. I swear, its like being a smoker or an alcoholic on some levels.

    It doesnt mean you have to live without any treats, but I think when youre in kick start mode, if you dont moderate very well, you have to just try and clear out the crap for a week and get a handle on it. The crap food is not good for us. Period. When I eat crap, I feel different. Less even. Doesnt mean I dont indulge, which is what ive been doing for the past few weeks. It just feels so good in the moment.

    Hang in there. The exercise is more important. But dont burn out on that one either. Its a hard balance to find. Good luck!

  9. #10

    Hi Cathy, I love your scrapbooking templates and started following you on Facebook and have been reading your posts about running with great interest. I always thought “I wish I could run” but I have always convinced myself I can’t – I mean who can run for 40 minutes straight??? I am within my goal weight, approaching 40 at a rapid rate and have become uninspired with my gym – all of which have made it acceptable to me to slack off until *gulp* it’s time to get into a bathing suit. My husband has recently shed 25lbs and is looking fabulous which has made me think “time to turn the flab to fit”. Yesterday I hopped on that treadmill and ran for 20 minutes straight!!! I don’t care that I ran one mile, I just can’t believe I did it (and today I’m still standing LOL.

    Thanks for inspiring ME!!!

    I am starting a running journal and plan to buy myself a good pair of runners after I’ve completed my 20th stint on the treadmill.

    If I can offer one piece of advice back about your Crap Fest.. I suppose I’d say not to beat yourself up too much and just enjoy a mini crap bowl instead. I love chips and if I sit down with a bag, they will be gone. When I’m really paying attention to my points, I take only a handful of chips and put them in a bowl and crush them up into small pieces. I savor each one and at the end of that bowl I am actually more satisfied than if I’d eaten the bag because I had a treat and I didn’t cause myself any emotional stress.

    Have a fantastic day!

  10. #11

    Peggy, do you exercise regularly? i only ask because Im dealing with the whole perimeno thing, and I have found that in the year and a half that ive been exercising, things feel more evened out that they did before. Like, notably. I feel far less a slave to my hormonal swings. : ) Of course, when full blown menopause kicks it, itll be anyones guess, but im hoping that regular sweating will aid that too!

  11. #12

    Ladies I have to “weigh in” LOL on the hormones!! I started peri-menopause at age 38, just when I started running and am finally beginning to start “real” menopause……..running has kept me sane and my mood swings in check and possibly even saved my marriage….my husband calls it “mental-pause”LOL, thank god for an understanding man!!…my body craves my runs to keep me in balance and if I miss a regularly schedule run I am not the same person….

  12. #13

    Hi Cathy, Thanks for the inspirational places to visit… I think awareness one of the most important things when dealing with stuff like this. I am feeling more motivated already ( -:

  13. #14

    Thanks for the links Cathy, I will be visiting them and reading with interest. Did you find the Beyond Chocolate book I sent any help?

  14. #16

    Yes! Those women are pretty inspiring as well. Im still not through the whole thing. I plan to try and incorporate a lot of different ideas into what im doing! Thanks again, so much for your thoughtfulness!

  15. #17

    Im TOTALLY using this app. In fact, I bought the book they wrote too. Havent read it yet, but plan to. Im actually going to ditch my WW online, i think. 17 bucks a month. I think i know what to do!

  16. #19

    “I swear, its like being a smoker or an alcoholic on some levels.”

    Food can be just another kind of drug.Seriously. Those manufacturers know exactly what they’re doing, especially with the sweet-salty combos. Processed food has that ‘hook’ to make you want, then need more.

    I don’t think there is one of us here who really doesn’t know in her head what to do. Eat less, move more. Geeze…isn’t there an easier way!!!! The addictive part of our cravings whispers…Just this one won’t make a difference. And if we are a person who can eat just one, it probably won’t. 66 years old, and I still listen to the ChubWhisperer sometimes.

  17. #20

    Cathy, as always, you are being real. I love that about you and I respect that about you. Thanks for that. As for the crapfest – we all fall prey to it every now and then. You realized it, took note and have started back. Good!!!!
    Have fun and please keep posting…it helps all of us too.
    Hugs, Cyn

  18. #21
    Claire Eksteen

    This is so true Cathy… I have tied to cut that out the past ten days and am having fruit instead. It’s not like stopping smoking, where you can just go cold turkey, you still have to eat. So I am making healthy choices now…

  19. #22

    I agree with you. I really do. When you have issues with food, you cant just cut out food. Doesnt work that way. I could never ever have another drag of a smoke. If i did, i would very likely have another, and another. : )

  20. #23

    That’s just it. It’s like having one or two drags, then stopping…then a few hours later, you get a few more drags. It feels like a tortuous process where you are constantly tempted and can’t just say “no” to everything – you have to pick and choose, over and over.

    I know it helps to just not have stuff in the house. But if you’re anything like me, then you start obsessing over when and how you CAN get your favorite treats en casa so you can “eat them in moderation.” Ha!! So easy to say; SO hard to do.

    I appreciate the links, Cathy, and am checking them out right now. So many of us are in this crazy boat with the food thing and it sucks. But there MUST be a way out that will “click” more permanently than the temporary surge of motivation, and like you, I’m bound and determined to find it.

  21. #25


    Thanks for continuing to keep it honest. You are one of the factors I credit as I try to move more. At 54 1/2, I’m planning to participate in my first 5K in August in St. Paul. I don’t know yet if I can run the entire way, but I’m going to try!

  22. #27
    Tirzah Shirley

    I love the idea of seeking inspiration at this point in the process. I’m always looking for new inspiration to help in my weight loss/maintenance issues(depending on the month). Of late, I’ve been clinging to a couple of quotes. “Thinking, eating, exercising…in that order. That’s what it’s all about.”…Bob Harper. I also clung onto this gem for the past couple of weeks from one of the WW handouts, “Before I start to eat, I need to think about how I’ll feel after the meal.” This has helped me refocus on what I really want. It’s always a mind game for me. I guess it always will be.

    Keep on keepin’ on!

  23. #30
    Pilbara Pink

    You do have to eat but I am guessing no one is overeating broccoli,tomotoes, cottage cheese … you get my drift? You CAN cut the processed out altogether: the sugar, the white flour, the fried takeout and eat only whole foods. It does then make changing how you eat the same as giving up smoking/drinking/any other addictive substance. Don’t ever underestimate the research done by food companies on what will keep you buying their product. Their balance of fat:salt:sugar is specifically designed to hook you the same way nicotine/alcohol etc does via seretonin in your brain. Not preaching here just tossing what I have learned into the mix. Having a `treat’ occasionally is for me like you trying to have the occasional cigarette. This is not the case for everyone. Not everyone who has ever drunk too alcohol in one sitting is an alcoholic, my sister-in-law can smoke two cigarettes a day but for me one slice of bread, pack of chips sends me on a spiral that can takes weeks to get out of. I have decided life is too short for the drama that goes with that – I have better ways to expend my emotional energy.

  24. #31

    Every time you write one of these posts, it happens to synchronize with something I’m going through. I’d been good about exercising and eating well, until last week, when I “relaxed”. I was so frustrated with my clothes last night and as I was lying in bed, I realized I wasn’t being honest with myself about the junk that had snuck in under “relaxing”- junk is junk, and really I think being honest with yourself- brutally honest with yourself is the key.

  25. #33
    Kirsten Juenke

    Cathy! Yay for finding Tami for me – I met her years ago and we went to the Bellevue CK convention together, then lost touch…I saw her on the Today Show last fall but didn’t know how to get in touch with her. Now I just caught up through her blog and will have to email. Wow. Just wow – she keeps it real, just like you do. SO inspiring 🙂

  26. #34
    Jenny Meyerson

    Keep going. I find counting points and calories very difficult. I like Body for Life for that reason. I have lost 13 of the 49 pounds I need to lose. With body for life I eat 5 times a day with a good carb and a protein essentially the size of my fist (each). Example- an apple and 3/4 chicken breast, 1 yogurt and 3 boiled eggs, etc. It is manageable and the best catch is there is a cheat day. Yep on that day I can go see a movie, drink a soda and eat popcorn. The good thing about it is, that I end up eating less on my cheat day than I did on all the other days before Body for Life. Body for Life also includes a very self explanatory cardio/weight training program.
    I have survived cancer and quite frankly my only risk for recurrence is high body fat. So the ass has to go. Not only for pretties if you will, but for my life. I’ll do it. And so will you. You have it in you- the spunk, the ability, and the support. Go for it.

  27. #36

    Hi Cathy, thanks for the links it’s good to get inspiration from real people. I’ve been seriously thinking of joining Weight Watchers or at least doing the points system from home. My reluctance has always been that it just teaches you to count points rather than deal with your issues with food. Now I’ve looked at those blogs I think I’ll re-think again.

    I weighed myself last week and realised that I’d lost 5 kilos (11 pounds) without trying. It surprised me and I weighed myself every morning for the next three days just to make sure. I realised that I’d been relaxed and only ate when I was hungry. Some of my food choices weren’t always great but on the whole they were okay.

    Now a pecular trait I have is to panic at the thought of losing weight and then start to sabotage by eating mega crap, which is what I’ve been doing this week in reaction to losing weight. Now that I’m aware of it, I’m going to try and just focus on eating real food and being a peace with my body and see if that works.

    I’ll keep you posted.


  28. #40

    Ive heard a lot about Body for Life. I like the idea of just eating balanced several times a day. And I dont know you, but I love hearing people surviving cancer. That is so awesome, Jenny. Keep up the hard work! : )

  29. #42

    Good luck, Karen.

    I too am actually leaving the Weight Watchers online plan this month. I need to be healthy, strong and not spend the rest of my life only counting points. I need to eat well and balanced. I promise to continue posting along the way.

  30. #44
    Katie Pegher

    Hey Cathy – You can absolutely run a half… like – this weekend if you wanted to. I had been running about 5 miles consistently for a few months but the longest was 8 miles. On a random Thursday night I was out with some friends and they mentioned they were running a half marathon just a short drive away on Saturday morning…. they all encouraged me that if I could do 8 – I could DEFINITELY do 13. So I said – what the hell. I didn’t have much time to think about the decision – or train for that matter – but I did it – and ya know – it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was more of a metal ceiling for me than a physical one. Then I knew my potential was so much better – I upped my long weekend runs to 10 miles and kept my weekday ones the same – and ran another few half’s before injuring my back.

    Now two kids and one back surgery later – I’m still lean – but WAAAAY out of shape.

    I fear running for the sake of my back – but I sure do miss it.

    YOU CAN DO IT! 🙂

  31. #45

    I’m a non-dabbler too, much to my great consternation! I keep trying to prove that I *can* dabble with a few cookies here and a slice of cake there. And I keep proving that I can’t. Wonder if it will ever finally STICK in my head that I CAN’T DABBLE.

  32. #48

    Thanks for those two suggestions. I am having so much trouble finding my willpower again…I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes a couple of years ago and got motivated to watch my carbs–did so well for about a year and now I’m back where I started. I’ve been trying to give myself a pep talk about desperately needing to get myself under control! I’m looking forward to sitting down this evening and reading what they have to say…

    Thanks for blogging your struggle. It has helped me become aware of what I need to do!

  33. #49

    I have to recommend a book by Judith S. Beck and it is called “How to think like a thin person” there are a lot of oh´s and ah´s in that one.
    I´ve been keeping my weight for over a year now and that book is still giving me some keys how to think. I lost my weight with WW and I haven´t really counted PP since June 2010. It´s been the easiest one of WW plans to follow.

  34. #52

    Hey Cathy!

    I too fell off the wagon these past 2 weeks. But I haven’t fully gone back to how I was eating before. I mostly ate more than one popsicle per day (I guess that’s understandable with the heat wave we had), a bit more than I aught to, and stopped moving. But I did some leasure walking a few days a week, and it was obviously better than nothing because I have lost 2 more pounds. That brings me to 7 pounds lost since mid-June.

    So thanks for the inspiration and honesty!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *