Move More Eat Less August 2011

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life74 Comments


Self-portrait, taken on a back-friendly slow walk last weekend.

When life throws you lemons, you better hope and pray you don't have numerous, fresh paper cuts on your fingers.

So begins this month's edition of Move More, Eat Less, a time period which will go down on the record as one of the less than stellar efforts of the past 20 months.

Less than stellar for one glaring reason: the emergence of back pain just over a week ago that threw me for a bit of a loop on the old health and fitness wagon.

I am going to say this now: anyone out there reading who deals with any sort of chronic or recurring pain, you have my sympathy. Completely and fully. I've been so lucky in my life to have gotten by with so few aches and pains issues. Oh sure, a few sprained ankles in my high school sport days. A little plantar fasciitis in my adult onset-athlete years. But honestly, I've not dealt with the kind of pain that truly limits you from doing the things you normally do.

Until a week ago when a tweaked back had me literally flat on said back.

Rest, ice and a few visits to the chiropractor have put me back on the path to feeling much better. And even though I really did try to approach this issue with a very grown-up, life will do what it will do attitude, it sure didn't help the carb pity fest I threw for myself during most of last week.

You know, a box of Cheddar Bunnies here, 4 or 5 glasses of cranberry juice cocktail there. Some mini saltines, some dark chocolate (oh, but it's good for me!). A few nights of dining out. Lots of Sprite. As I said, a veritable crap carb fest.

The thing is, it's so easy to love that food again. It's amazing how on Sunday when I decided to get back to a healthy eating plan of balanced meals, the headache that raged throughout the day was begging me for just one more shot of Sprite.

Last October, I hit my lowest weight during this process, 141 pounds. It's funny how then, I was thinking, "Okay, this is GREAT! Next stop, the 130s!" And here I am up 18 pounds from October, with many bouts of getting back on this horse and riding under my belt.

I've had many steps backwards, and many steps back on.

The best part of all of this is that I keep on trying to Move More and Eat Better. I haven't once thrown the baby completely out with the bathwater. At least not for more than 24 hours at a time.

Of course, I'm still working on the psychological aspects of body image, weight, wellness, and such. This is something that, like getting into shape and staying there, doesn't have an actual end point. It too is a process that continues to take me one step forward, and a few steps back.

As I sit here in my office, with a huge ice pack on my back, I'm still hopeful that this lifestyle is the right one for me. That it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

Sure, a few wrenches will get thrown into the works. But I seem to have the know-how to ride them out, and get back to the business of taking care of me.

Here's my page for this month:


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

JOURNALING READS: It’s time to have a little come-to-Jesus talk. Up from 154.5 last month, something has got to give. This month has been, for all intents and purposes, one big pile of dog doo for me. It didn’t help that my back went out and I proceeded to drown my sorrows in Cheddar Bunnies and graham crackers. Nope. That didn’t help at all. It’s funny, because I really did accept this back thing with an adult attitude, accepting that life is going to throw things at you and it’s up to you to choose your response. I just wish I hadn’t chosen so many mini saltine crackers. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s this: self-loathing doesn’t make changes happen. Instead, it just makes me feel worse about myself. I realize that I’m still very committed to staying in shape. I’m very committed to Moving More and Eating Better. I have got to work on not equating thinness with success and goodness. This is so ingrained in my psyche though. Dan and I were on a walk over the weekend, and he was asking me if I’ve always felt I wasn’t thin enough, like even back in high school. And I said, “Oh, I was always trying to drop a few here and there. It’s been with me all of my life.” I think this is a little bit sad, really. All of the time wasted on worrying about a muffin top. And  yet, it’s with me every single day.

My goal this month is simply to get my back in form, return to runs, eat well for my body and stay away from the processed shit food. And if runs are going to be out of the picture for awhile, I’m proud to know I have other options for Moving More. It’s all part of the continuing journey. Amen.

How was your July? Progress? Pain? Even steven? Let's start the discussion, because Lord knows, it's always one we find we can relate to.



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.



Cathy ZielskeMove More Eat Less August 2011

74 Comments on “Move More Eat Less August 2011”

  1. #1

    Cathy, I’m so sorry to hear about your back pain and have felt it before too. It’s the worse when you injure a part of you and it makes the rest of your body suffer also. Sending feel good and get better wishes and big gentle hugs to you.

    It sounds like a tough month for you and me. Wish we both had good to say about July. For me it’s the kids being home and throwing my schedule off and putting myself last again. I have only been to the track maybe 4/5 times this month, which ticks me off. I am getting too lazy and didn’t take advantage of this summer weather we are having.
    I told myself last night to get up today and go and keep going everyday, no excuses. So I will go and keep going because it’s what my body needs and I have to start thinking of me again.
    The eating has been worse too, due to the kids being home and they don’t want what I cook and we are so busy I keep snacking on the run. So today this stops too, no more junk for this mom. The kids go back to school in 22 days so I just have to hang in there and things should be good again.
    Hoping you a have a happier and more productive move more eat less August and no more injuries come your way. Just remember you still ROCK and are on the right track, just a little bump is all.
    hugs, dawn

  2. #2

    I just want to remind you to look at those two photos of yourself. Really look at them… that one on the right… regardless of her weight – that random number on the scale – is fit and healthy, even if she is full of cheddar bunnies. You still look amazing, toned and sleek. Be proud of it… keep going, but be SO proud of how good you look RIGHT NOW! I hope your back feels better soon Cathy.

  3. #3
    Kendra B

    I agree with Jill . . . go back and look at those two photos and appreciate how good you look even with some set backs.

    July was not a good month in the eat less or eat better area!! I started a new job and its hugely stressful on a lot of levels. And unlike some of my friends who DON’T eat when they are stressed I DID eat . . . a lot. I wish carrot sticks offered the same kind of “comfort” as say a king size snickers or that drinking something from starbucks was the same as a big glass of water LOL I’d like to think August will be different . . . maybe owning up to it here will help????

  4. #4

    first of all look at the photos not the number on the scale – you look fabulous! 🙂

    i’m hanging in there by a thread – my lowest weight was 141 – today I weighed 144. i should have brought my things to run today, but i am just not feeling like it. maybe tomorrow. a little discouraged that it’s not getting easier.

    a co-worker is trying a new system and it’s interesting. It’s called Naturally Slim. It’s about changing the way you eat – anyhow just another something to think about. basically you eat slower and take a break at the ten minute mark for five minutes so your brain can register that you have food in your stomach. there’s more to it, but i am thinking about just trying that part.

  5. #5
    katie squires

    I am really proud of you for resting your back and not pushing through the pain doing more damage, and yet you still found a way to be active safely walking! you get a WOOT WOOT for that. The food stumbles…anyone of us would have done the same. Its hard so damn hard.
    Your right there is still so much psychological, emotional, stuff to find our way through even after all this success and time…finding our way the best way we can.
    Here’s to August 🙂

  6. #6

    Oh where do we start? Two summers ago I lost 32 pounds. Ate nothing but broccoli and chicken and truly only cheated on the weekends. I packed snacks and food with me everywhere I went. I was in nursing school, so stressful, and still kept my act together. My mantra was “nothing tastes better than skinny feels”. By losing weight I beat my 1/2 marathon time of 2:23 to 2:04. I was a rockstar. Even a year later give or take 4/5’ish pounds I was doing great. Then… I started a new med. One that inhibits all of my estrogen in my 37 year old body. I was terrified of what it would do to my body. It seemed that every negative fear I had came true. I gained all 30 pounds back, zero libido, aged skin, and was quite frankly so fatigued that all I could do was think about my next nap. I did not care what I ate, started the old wine fest back up and cried because nothing in my closet fit me. I had already given all of my “fat” clothes away because I was never going back to that weight again. Funny huh? It stinks. But after all of my complaining, and woe is me dialogue, and several attempts to become a chicken broccoli eating fool again, I finally have a little self acceptance. I also have fat under my chin, but you know what? I am healthy. The drugs are doing their intended job. I am off of them now and am still a hormonal wreck, but I am going to get better. I have a husband who thinks the added endowment to my breasts via the extra fat is wonderful. I have no desire to keep the chub, but I am not going to beat myself up either. You look amazing. You are not losing a battle. You are the fittest you have probably ever been in your life with an amazing family. Thank you for sharing because you really do encourage a lot of women to not throw out that baby with the bath water. I hope your back gets better soon. Thanks Cathy Z.

  7. #7
    Cheri Andrews

    I’ve been sidelined more times than I can count because of back/knee/ankle issues, but each time I eventually find my way back to a fitness routine. The fact that you are now committed to being fit is SOOOOO much more important than the occasional cheddar bunny binge! Hang in there… we’ll keep on living this lifestyle, one day at a time.

  8. #8

    I think the summer schedule can totally throw you off. I know for us, its harder to eat well for sure, with kids coming and going.

  9. #10

    Never heard of that one, although I did read Women, Food and God and she talks about really slowing down and enjoying your food, about not reading something, or watching tv while you eat. Just eating and enjoying your food. : )

  10. #11

    Amanda, thanks for sharing this story. A really great does of perspective. Glad you are feeling good and I had to laugh about your hubbys comment. Sounds like hes a keeper. : )

  11. #13

    Hugs! Hey Cathy, for the past two years I have been plagued with chronic lower back pain and sciatica. I have had xrays, MRIs, seen the chiropractor, the orthopaedic surgeon, done massage therapy, and physical therapy. Nothing helped. My doctors could not figure it out. Then in May, I decided to fix some lingering gyno problems that had been annoying the crap out of me for several years. Miracle of miracles, when I fixed the fibroids, the polyps, and the endometriosis, my back pain immediately went away. Just something to think about. Nothing was working to help me, but now it’s gone. Normally I wouldn’t mention it, but we’re in that lovely time in our lives where our girlie parts can start making our lives miserable. I just didn’t realize what a real bitch Mother Nature was being to me until I fixed her wagon. Anyhow, if your back pain continues or re-occurs, it’s something to think about. Love ya.

  12. #14
    Leslie @ {Tiny Wings}

    This post resonates within me in a big way. This year has brought me so many health hurdles — and I feel like I’m constantly trying to maneuver through them and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I, too, am an emotional eater, and have seen my weight go up more than I’d like. At this point, where my exercise is spotty due to the physical issues — I’m focusing on the nutrition aspect a bit more. And despite not running as much as I’d like, I’m finally seeing the number on the scale go down a bit. Hoping to pair that with some increased activity, but also trying to be gentle on myself as I figure out why I’m not feeling as good as I’d like to!

    Cathy, I hope your back mends soon! You *DO* look amazing . . . you *DO* lead a primarily healthy lifestyle . . . and you *SHOULD* try to be gentle with yourself!!

  13. #15

    Cathy – first things first: you look amazing and have accomplished so much. Hold on that even though you are struggling.

    As for back pain, been there. And contrary to all conventional advice, it bothered me until a friend talked me into trying serious weight training. Heavy lifting seems to have corrected my back pain. I haven’t had a spasm or even a twinge since I started a program of squats and deadlifts. Obviously a good instructor and serious attention to form are required, and everyone’s different, but I just thought I’d throw it out there. Plus, lifting big iron makes you feel badass. 🙂

    And yoga is the bomb.

  14. #16
    steph h

    Cathy, back pain is a special kind of he’ll and chiropractors are a special kind of angel in my book. So sorry you are going through that. My July seemed to be one reason to eat after another from birthday parties to the “oh good lord how do I keep this house clean enough to be on the market with a toddler” stress. I’ve been getting back on program for the last week buy I can’t believe how quickly all of those crappy cravings come back once you indulge them a time or two.

  15. #17

    Cathy, Have you read or do you know of any books that are specifically about dealing with the mental side of staying strong through changing your life style? My mind is always my undoing. Thanks for any info!


  16. #18

    Cathy ~ First I want to echo Jill’s comment(s). She is right on … And I want to thank Jill for making me giving me an “ah ha” moment … I have been on this journey with you since April 2010. Like you despite ups and lots of downs I was down 28 pounds and a much happier, healthier, exercising momma. And then ? A too busy life got in the way and I have crept, crawled, eaten my way to an unhappy, unhealthy, not exercising blob. BUT I never really threw in the towel ! I have a very strong belief that God has given has mornings to begin anew and every morning I do attempt to make amends and take baby steps towards that person I want to be with that body I really want back ! The point of this blabbering is for all of us to look at who and where we are now … from 20 months ago … from April 2010 …. and continue to move towards where we want to be … As of this moment I am no longer UP 11.5 pounds, I am STILL DOWN 16.5 pounds and I want to continue my journey DOWN the path :`D Thank you for sharing your journey and inspiring so many of us to stay true not despite a few ( boxes of ) cheddar bunnies but because in real life, cheddar bunnies happen !

  17. #19
    Anna L.

    Hey lady, out of curiosity, I went back over your old MMEL posts and your measurements have hardly budged since February. Maybe a lot of that extra stuff is muscle. Maybe it’s retained water. The point is that regardless of the number on the scale, you look great. Yes, you ate too many Cheddar Bunnies. I ate too many Popcorners the other night. We beat ourselves up over it and we’d love to lose a few pounds (and I’d love a little lipo on my thighs. If I wasn’t a chicken about surgical procedures. And pain) but, really, overall we look good. I hope your back pain dissipates. Remember to do whatever exercises you are told to do so that your back pain doesn’t linger on for a year like mine.

    p.s. are you as disinterested in Neil’s Pyjama Club as I am?

  18. #20

    I think you can count it as a lifestyle change now. Two years ago I hit my biggest, almost three hundred lbs, and had hit the point in my life where my weight was out of control. On a whim I joined a gym, started an eating plan, and for 2 years I have kicked, screamed and fought to lose 45 lbs. There were months I gained, months I loss, and everyday I wondered if that was going to be the day I feel off the wagon and hid in the corner with a bag of oreos.

    But I don’t think that day is coming any more. I have realized that there will be good weeks/months, and that there will bad, but it doesn’t change my long term commitment to being a healthy weight in a healthy body. I look back and see that I went from never exercising to working out 5 days a week, I quit smoking and have lost weight. Even if I plateau for the next 3 months, I am in a much better place than I was 2 years ago. And so are you!

    Hope your back is feeling better! And I am enjoying the Design Your Life class immensely. Your Aging Hipster LO had me laughing so hard I had to stop the slide show. I can soooo relate.

  19. #22

    I definitely need to get back to the BodyPump classes, and yoga, which Ive never really done, would also be a very good thing for me.

  20. #23

    Not really. I mean, Women, Food and God was definitely an interesting read. But Ive really been learning a lot from listening to Dishing Up Nutrition, a podcast you can get for free through iTunes. Especially as it relates to cravings etc. You should check out a few of their episodes. It has turned a lot of my dieting approach on its head.

  21. #26

    Cathy, first I have to second what Anna L. said. Your measurements can’t have changed much, you still look really great. I can put on 5 pounds in a day if I eat too many saltines. It’s the “salt” part, not so much the “ines.” Sometimes I think if I look at the salt shaker I gain two pounds. It seemed to start the second I turned 40. That, and the fact that I need longer arms to read anything now, ’cause I haven’t bought my readers yet. Anyway, I think that the most important thing to remember is that no matter how cr@ppy your diet has been on a given day, you’re still conscious of it. You know what you’re doing, you know what needs to be done to get back on track. And you’re totally committed to the activity, so its not like you have given up. Sometimes I think that keeping up with the exercise is harder than watching the food. Unfortunately I have to do both. I’ve been battling a plateau since last September. 75 pounds and stuck. Have I been up above my lowest weight since then? Yep. And every time I get scared, is this it? Is this the end? Am I doomed to gain it all back? But it comes back down, with a few tweaks here and there. Not down past my lowest, but still around the 75 pound mark. What I keep reminding myself, though, is that I have kept the weight off since September. I have not lost myself so completely that I’m going to go all the way back up. Even as I have the birthday cake or the extra (few) handfuls of those dang Goldfish crackers, I know what’s what. It’s not so unconscious anymore. It’s never gonna be perfect, it’s never gonna be easy. But as long as you’re conscious of what’s going on, you’ve won a huge part of the battle.

    And you look awesome. Hope the back continues to heal up nicely. It’s funny, when I hurt my foot last year with the PF I was so cranky about not being able to run. I NEVER thought I’d be that person. Not in a million years. Before I would have just used it as an excuse to sit on my tush and not even try something else. That’s progress.

  22. #27

    Hey Sue, good for you. This is very inspiring to me. Just the idea that good days and weeks and months will come and then not come, but it IS a lifestyle change. Yes, I have to consciously work to keep it one, but it is a lifestyle for sure. Like, just this morning, theres a huge storm coming, I need to get a walk in (while I cant run just yet) and I was really bummed to have to do it on the treadmill, but if thats what i have to do, so be it.

    SO glad youre liking the class. I need to promote that a bit more. it really does have solid information to help scrapbookers get a good grip on design. Enjoy!

  23. #28

    Thanks, Deb. And yes, being cranky because you cant run? Who IS that person? I love that Im that person too. Seriously. Never wouldve thunk it.

  24. #29

    Jill is 100% right. Even with some extra weight on, I’m betting you are fitting into clothes that you were in even at a lower weight, without them being tight. That’s one of the perks of being fitter & healthier.

    I can very much so relate to the ups & downs you are going thru, along with the carb pity fest (although mine seem to be in the cookie family). It’s a rough road we learn the difference between being stick thin & a fit & healthy person. I have a hard time reconciling my big thighs with all the skating I do. I could stop skating, but that would be like taking a part of me away (my cranky time)… Just not the same. I hit the pity fest every time I feel like I’ve done a “good” week & the scale hasn’t moved. Then I have to remind myself of what my clothes feel like. That for me has become the more important gauge.

  25. #30

    First let me say that you look AMAZING, really amazing. I know you “have fallen off the wagon” here and there, but all the positive things you have done in this past! I am truly impressed. 4 years ago I lost 85 lbs on WW; and have gained most of it back. One thing I didn’t do, and you have, is continue exercising. Some of your weight gain is most definitely new muscle!!
    What I have done in the last month is rejoin WW (again!); and went back to the gym on a consistent basis. If you haven’t checked out the new program on WW, please do. The most user friendly, least “depriving” plan yet. And best of all FREE FRUIT. lol.
    And I haven’t suffered from back pain, but terrible terrible plantar fasciitis in the past year. Physical therapy, cortisone, stretching until the cows come home is making it tolerable. Ugh.

  26. #31
    Jenny Meyerson

    Summertime is such a hard time to maintain and lose weight and throw in injuries and it’s next to impossible. Hang in there. Thanks as always for your transparency- it’s refreshing. Don’t worry- your fans will all be celebrating with you shortly.

  27. #32
    Melanie Hughes

    Back problems suck! I’ve suffered from them since I was 8yrs old. I totally recommend osteopathy and pilates. They are the best things I’ve found in addition to trying (but not really succeeding) to keep my weight down.

    Good luck with the back.

  28. #33

    I love these posts because they always get me thinking about the food/emotion/mind connections. Why is it that we can run businesses, raise fairly normal children and work successfully at being married, but we keep making the same mistakes with food?

    When my health suffers or life throws some other kind of curve ball, it seems my logical, responsible self takes a back seat to the Eater (who’s not even hungry.) It’s maddening, because I think I should know better.

    Hope you recover quickly! And thanks for bending my brain on these seemingly simple issues.

    Oh, and the Cheddar Bunnies must be purged. I’m convinced that that fine powder that clings to each one is filled with an addictive substance.

  29. #34

    I could have written that post word for word! Well, I couldn’t literally have because I cannot put my exact thoughts in words like you can but OMG–I relate to it ALL! Only you have been more diligent than me even with the back injury. I’ve pretty much taken the summer off-but not completely because I’m only up a few pounds from my lowest weight in the spring. But….I still have about 20 lbs more to go. And I still won’t be satisfied but I have to realize that I am 44, I’ve had 3 kids and short of plastic surgery my body just isn’t going to look like I really want it to. The part about where your husband asked you if you have always felt like you were never thin enough……totally me! I remember back in 6th grade trying to lose some weight for the first time and its been part of my life ever since- just like eating and sleeping. I would love to know the feeling of actually being OKAY with my body and how it looks. I long to get off this vicious cycle of gaining and losing wieght like a hamster on a wheel. I just love your move more eat less posts–I love how you keep it real. And I have to add–your pics–you still look so great! You can’t even tell you’ve gained an ounce! And pictures don’t lie.

  30. #36

    I love that you are recording, the good, bad, and the bunnies. Really, life is up and down all the time. You are healthier now, and you are aware and working on the mental aspect (that one is so hard!) My hubby and I have started the road to better health together, and in the last 2 months, we have each lost 20~25 pounds. I check into your posts as you are inspiration for me, for the great days and the rough days. We all have them. Thank you for sharing yours – it makes fighting through mine feel less lonely.

  31. #37
    Amy Cannon

    I am 34 and I feel like we are twins when it comes to our bodies etc. I “GET” what it takes and have been at my heaviest at 208 lbs standing at 5 foot 2! I am currently at 135-140 but I have this huge ass stomach that I hate, but doesn’t motivate me! I walk at work almost everyday at lunch through heat and snow, but I just don’t control my food intake! I know what I need to be eating etc…but I still can’t get those lbs off to see all my muscle! I never struggled with weight until after high school! I love your honestly and truth because there are so many women who struggle with this! Some weeks I get it and I do great and then some I just throw in the towel and think this is too hard! But at least we never give up!!! I ran 3 5k’s last year and I felt great…this year I just can’t get my butt in gear to get up in the morning…3 toddlers might have something to do with that :)…but thank you and sorry if this is ramblie 🙂

  32. #38

    Thanks Cathy! I will give it a listen. I did pick up the book you mention after you blogged about it, good read – doesn’t quite hit what I ‘think’ I need. LisaMK

  33. #39

    Cathy, I’m sorry you are dealing with back pain – I’ve been dealing with hip/leg pain for about 3 months, but am learning to live with it. The one thing in your journaling that really struck me was what Dan asked – if you had ever felt “thin enough”. I lost 35 lbs several years ago (in an unhealthy way), then put a lot of it back on, then decided to be healthy, not thin (although that has always weighed on my mind) I lost the weight again, but this time by healthy eating and LOTS of movement – 2 a day workouts – I feel so much better, yet when visiting my family this summer, I looked at my sister and my first thought was “I’ll never be as skinny as her no matter how hard I work” and I immediately felt terrible about myself. So, even after 51 years these things never leave you – I’m lucky to have lots of friends who support me and are more than willing to point out that I am a healthy strong 51 year old woman who is in great shape – and that is what I tell myself every morning when I have been able to get myself out of bed, stand upright and CHOOSE to get moving!

  34. #40
    Judy Bishop

    I just have to ask….what are Cheddar Bunnies and how have I lived this long without what appears to be a main food staple in the pile of junk food????

  35. #41
    Stacey Liaw

    Cath, I always thought you were one of “the skinny girls” back in high school! Never even knew you had a weight problem until I saw this blog. You are very inspiring! I finally hit a “rock bottom” in April and said, “This is it!” I’ve now lost 38 pounds since the end of April, and that is mostly by changing what I eat. I haven’t worked out that much, but when I really get started on that, I expect to really start feeling good. Don’t get me wrong, dropping from a size 18 to a 10 in 3 months feels good, but now I’m starting to think about the jiggle left behind that needs firming up and the overall health aspects. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we’ve lost a few of our high school classmates from the classes of ’82 and ’83 over the last few months. One was a heart attack, and that is just too young for a heart attack! I have also had off and on back issues ever since throwing it out a few years back. Once you throw it out, it never really goes away. It takes NOTHING to tweak it out again so be careful! Try an inversion table (Sporting goods stores for about $100) or a traction table of some sort. My chiropractor has one at her office. It helps to separate the discs and get the pressure off of them. Keep up the good work, and I’ll do the same. You are a constant inspiration (especially in the state of Minnesota where you have VERY seasonal weather.) Hey, I’m in California so I should have no excuses, right?!!! Hope to see you in the next few years at our 30 (OMG!) year reunion where you and I will look better than we did on the day we graduated! Stacey Math

  36. #42
    Rachel B.

    Oh, Cathy! I am so sorry that you have been enduring back pain! It is quite the scary thing. I once did something weird to my back and was in such pain that I actually called the paramedics and they had to carry me down the stairs so that I could go to the hospital. I was thinking on the way there what life was going to be like in a wheelchair. The pain was so horrible that I couldn’t imagine that it could be easily dealt with by a shot of steroids (oh, thank you, Wonder Drug!). So I know what you are going through and I am praying for you! You are awesome strong, even when you think that you are weak! And you have amazing back-up support in your family and friends. You are blessed!

  37. #43

    Cyn, its partly because of what is put into stuff like Cheddar Bunnies (okay, I realize they are made with supposedly healthier ingredients) and its how our brains, some of our brains anyway, handle those ingredients. I have found this to be true: the more processed carb stuff I eat, the more I want. It never satiates in any way. I try to remind myself of this. Often.

  38. #44

    Thanks, Jo, for the comment. You know, Id like to know how to get off the cycle of not being okay as well. Working on that all the time.

  39. #46

    Cheddar Bunnies are organic cheese snack crackers, like Goldfish, but theyre made with healthier ingredients. I think theyre from Annies Natural foods. But make no mistake, your body still reads em as carbs and turns them into sugar.

  40. #47

    Stace, who died? I guess Im out of the loop, but my God, we are only in our mid 40s, you know?

    You know, I think back to high school, and I remember me and Molly always trying new things like having a Diet Sprite and an avocado for lunch to try and drop a few. Its crazy. What I wouldnt give for that body today!

    And way to go for you, going from an 18 to a 10? Dang, girl. Thats amazing. A. Maz. Ing. Now if you add in some type of exercise you like, you will be surprised at the mental bonus you get from it, as you just end up feeling great in your head as well.

    30 year? Crazy. Now I feel old!

  41. #48

    Amy, check out Dishing Up Nutrition, a podcast that I have been soaking up lately. Its available for free through iTunes. Very good info on eating balanced, and healthy. Somewhat surprising though, at times, because they dont condone low fat diets at all. You might find some interesting stuff! I know I am!

  42. #49
    Kathy T

    Sorry about the back pain. Age sucks. But don’t give up on yourself. you’re inspiring a lot of people out here. if Cathy Z can do it, so help me God, so can I!

  43. #50

    Hope you’re back on top form again real soon! Your pictures above have inspired me – I currently look like you did in the pic on the left hand side – I really need to get down to serious business!

  44. #51

    I love the journal template tools that go along with Eat Less, Move More….I am attending my first Weight Watcher’s meeting tonight and I think I’ll have to buy the template for an added inspiration. I bought a Smashbook to carry around with Weight Watchers information as well. Maybe this will be my time 🙂

  45. #52

    Oh that stinks about your back pain!! Great to hear you are getting a little bit of relief for it. I can sorta relate. I am a runner and tore ligaments/tendons in my ankle in January. Bring on the food pity party!!! I was in a walking cast for 6 weeks, PT for 8 weeks, gained weight, missed many running races I already signed up for, lost self esteem, ate tons of stuff I shouldn’t have. It was rough rough rough. I am finally back to being active on a regular basis, but STILL no running. I have loved following your journey because it’s something we can all relate to. The ups and downs, the wondering if we are ‘good enough’, the temptations…all of it. Why is it so hard to just accept ourselves? I’ve done alot of soul searching and i’m trying to be happy with ME.

    With that being said, I celebrated my 40th birthday this weekend in Las Vegas. And wore a bikini at the pool. With no coverup. For the first time in 10 years. I basically said screw this, this is who I am and who cares if i’m carrying around extra weight? Nobody did and I felt amazing even if I wasn’t the skinniest one at the pool. I’ll leave that to the 25 year olds, ha ha!!

    Thanks for all your inspiration!!

  46. #53

    For the record, can I just say that you look amazing. My summer has totally been about getting back into shape. I still have four relatively young kids (oldest just turned 8) so that makes it tricky but I’m tired of being uncomfortable in my own skin. The other day I was talking to a friend who’s on a similar mission (she’s recently lost 19 lbs and 14 in) and she was beating herself up for not having lost any weight that week. Umm…hello! How easily we lose perspective, right?! So it’s a roller coaster ride but you’re headed in a good direction. And I just want you to know that *I* think you look fantastic! Keep up the good work!

  47. #55

    Cathy, the distance you’ve come is clear to see in those two photos! And glad you are getting chiropractic help. I don’t know if Pilates is popular in the States, but it is over here, and I found it the very best way of building what they call ‘core stability’ and ‘a girdle of strength’ around one’s lower back and pelvis. There are books and videos too. Good luck for August and I’ll be following along. 🙂

  48. #56
    Bec Kilgore

    I appreciate that you are willing to share with us. I am much older than you but lost a huge amount of weight a few years ago. I have gained but am still down from the original. But, the boy do I feel better, has gone away. sniff sniff. Very hard to get back on the wagon. I have degeneration in all of my appendicular joints. I love that word which really just comes from appendages. Chronic pain is a way of life although I have found ways to make it less aggravating.

    Hang in there. Figure out what you need to do to protect your back and stay proud of what you have accomplished in all areas of your life and what things are still to come that you will cheer about!

    I know I don’t really *know* you but you are definitely one of my favorite virtual friends to keep up with :).

  49. #57

    I think Dan’s question puts it into perspective. Men don’t think this way…for the most part. Loving our bodies is just so darn hard for the female side of the population. We’re foolish aren’t we!

    Amen sisters to look at those two pictures. ’nuff said. Hugs!

  50. #58
    Christine H

    Can I just say you have a great butt?! Compliments from one 45+ pancake butted woman who can’t find any lift no matter how many of those damn reps she does at the gym (instructions for the very skinny, very perky butted 20 something at the gym). My always pancaked butt, always skinny mother says I can’t fight genes. You hang in there….you are doing great!

  51. #59

    sorry to hear about your back pain, cathy… hope you get better soon!
    i’ve been on a plateau phase for almost two months, but still trying to move more and eat better.
    thank you for sharing these tales from the scale with us!

  52. #60
    tara pollard pakosta

    if anyone can know what you are going through, it’s totally me! I have had hip pain/neck pain that has thrown me OUT for awhile. I have gained and lost the same 20lbs so many times it’s not even funny! but here I am, I am not giving up! I am at 150 right now and was 147 about 6 weeks ago, quit moving and trying for july (so hot out) and now am back on but working out indoors and PROMISED myself that by my birthday (october 6th) that I would lose 15lbs. I want to be 135 by then, is it possible?! I THINK SO! keep going!!!!

  53. #61

    You know whats so weird? I have loathed this bubble butt of mine since high school, when it was apparent that boys were into thin girls. Then I got older, and ill never forget working with a guy at a clothing store in Seattle when I was in college, who was shocked to hear I didnt like my butt. And he wasnt a perv or anything, but he was all, Cathy, men like butts.

    Sometimes, I put Sir Mix a Lot on my running mix. And i just smile.

  54. #62

    Dear Cathy, to be honest I would like to know how to keep the deviations and chub bunnie fests to 24 hours! I think I am nearly at 3 months. Although I am starting to think that celery and salads are looking good. I think my body is trying to tell me something but I am very good at ignoring it. Usually it has a major spit and puts me in bed for 6 weeks with disintegrating discs! Perhaps if I learn my warning signs better, and pay attention to them (most important), then I would be better. It is a continual battle and the thing I notice is that it is continual no matter how much or little you have to lose. Lifestyle and life change are the way to go, I am just not at the move more stage…. wish me luck. and hopefully celery will looks as good as chocolate tomorrow (or chubbie bunnies :))

  55. #63
    Tor Hershman

    .[____].—{“When life throws you lemons, you better hope and pray you don’t have numerous, fresh paper cuts on your fingers.” Most amusing.}

  56. #64
    Leanne in CA

    Hang in there! I have back pain too and you just learn to deal with it. You look FABULOUS by the way!! You always make us smile. Have a great week.

  57. #65

    Cathy I look at the before and after photos and what I see in the after photo is a strong healthy woman, shoulders back standing proudly (I am woman hear me roar!). Amazing legs and OMG look at that bum (butt)! You look good, and apart from the back pain you are healthy and strong – I think the question you need to ask yourself is why isn’t that enough?

    My month hasn’t been too bad. Pain is my constant frenemy – I tore my meniscus around 2 years ago so pain is always there in varying amounts – still I feel that I’m walking better, I’m considering buying a stationary cycle so that I can improve my fitness level without the weight bearing and I think you’ve almost convinced me to get out the tripod and take a side-on shot each month to spur me along.

    Oh, and I just bought an iPad so I feel like I’ve finally entered the 21st century!

    Keep smiling.


  58. #66

    Johnny Metz had a heart attack on Friday July 22nd and Kathy Dudek (a senior on our cheer squad when we were juniors) passed away on the 26th which was also my 20th wedding anniversary. :(. Steve Sutton (who was in Del Sonics) passed away in April. Anyway, hopefully that is it for a long long time.

  59. #70

    I know we can all relate to your struggles and success but putting pain in the mix really sucks! The bottom line is that you are in a much better place, physically and mentally, than you were 20 months ago. And that, my friend, is what would be best to focus on. Look how far you’ve come! The whole process is such a journey. I love how Dan asked you about feeling like you were ever thin enough. As women, I think most of us tend to think that way. How sad is that, that we focus so much time and energy on our weight and on being enough.

    My son is 12 and has a little “muffin top” of his own. The pediatrician says it’s totally common just before puberty but my husband has been a little hard on him about it and asked him if he’d been “good” the other day. I jumped all over him for that one and told him it should be about making better choices, not whether he’s been good or bad. But I’m even guilty of that one and tend to judge myself on whether I’ve had a bad/good day because of what I’ve eaten. Really want to try to break the cycle of that one!

    We all just have to keep on, keepin’ on!

  60. #72

    First of all, I should start by saying how inspirational your story and honesty is! I think most women can relate to that negative whisper inside and the struggle to hush it, but girl you look amazing in this photo! Truly, no muffin top in sight!

    How very smart of your readers to point out your measurements are stable. And what if you had measurements on your inner health since starting this project? BP, cholesterol, I’m sure all of those numbers are improved & healthy and that you are stronger and younger on the inside now too! And just think of all the women who got moving and eating better because of you! Seriously, I’m addicted to that smoothie!! I can forego chocolate because of that smoothie! And finally, what would you say to Aidan if she ever expressed these whispers of self-loathing? What if you try saying those same loving, encouraging, accepting things to yourself? I think I’m going to try it too 🙂

  61. #73

    Thanks, Kristie. My numbers are all pretty good. My cholesterol is down 20 points from the physical i had right before i started working out, so yes, I need to keep those things in mind! And I love that smoothie as well. So does Aidan. Shes become addicted to it to. And I do hear you on what would I say to Aidan. Thanks for your comment!

  62. #74
    Sherri Stone

    I so relate to your back pain! I’ve pulled a back muscle twice in the last 4 years and it was excruciating! I had a great July but June was my problem. I’ve posted before that you were a great motivator for me this year and I’ve documented my journey with pictures – something I never thought to do before.

    Keep looking at your before and current pics to see how far you’ve come!!! You are an inspiration to me and many:D

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