Move More Eat Well November 2011

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life46 Comments


The photo above was inspired which one of the following things:

a) the overwhelming sense that I looked like a high school wrestler.

b) the overwhelming desire I had to prove that that lid was down.

c) the realization that everyone's legs look awesome when they squat.

d) all of the above.

If you guessed D, you would be correct.

Welcome to Move More, Eat Well for November 2011. I am coming to you today from a place of recovery and that place is my own home and the recovery is from an veritable food orgy involving numerous brands of fun-sized candy bars.

Sigh. Halloween, you know not what you do to me.

Here's the deal: when Halloween comes, I heed the call. Not only do I adore this holiday (no gifts, no big meals to prepare, no stress, and a chance to wear the bee costume), I fully participate in the guilt-free eating of candy on Halloween. I may have once been very black and white in my approach to Moving More and Eating Well, just as I have been with most things in my life, but part of being in therapy has helped me to see that life can also happen in the grey areas. If I'm solely black and white, there's a lot of life—and candy—to be missed.


So I gave myself a total free day on Halloween. I started eating candy at 10 a.m. and essentially didn't stop until bedtime, more or less. Aidan hosted a party for her friends, so I knew that being hopped up on sugar wouldn't necessarily harm me in any way. Afterall, I needed my strength! The weird thing was, while completely high on miniature Reese's Peanut Butter cups, I made the cutest scrapbook page ever. I felt like I was running with an extra battery pack. It actually reminded me of the few times I've quit smoking only to resume, and the absolute manic energy that comes from reconnecting with your addiction.

Interestingly enough, the 5 days leading up to Halloween saw me each day ingesting zero added sugar. I decided to remove all added sugar (minus what is found in fruit, of course) from my diet for one week. I didn't quite make the full week, mind you, but it was interesting that I found myself with more energy after the first two days.

Most days, I'll have a yummy Trader Joe's granola bar as a sweet treat after dinner. Inevitably, I feel like I could fall asleep at 8 p.m. I started making the connection that although Trader Joe's stuff can be moderately more wholesome than some brands, it's still packed with sugar and that sugar can knock you out.

There's definitely a part of me that wishes I could become someone who completely eschews sugar and comes back here to report: PEOPLE, I HAVE FOUND THE TRUTH!

But there is still a part of me that is normal and human and likes to know I'm going to get to indulge in fun-sized candy every so often.

You know, it's that addictive part.

Let's take a look at my page for this month.


JOURNALING READS: What is it about this before and after that feels less dramatic to me? Maybe I’m just not in the right frame of mind as I sit here and type, but the overall but shape ain’t that different. Oh well. But I think the thing that is different? My overall attitude about taking care of myself is improving all the time. My goals are multi-fold. It’s not just about getting below 150 pounds anymore (although there is a tiny bit of that one lingering.) As always, I’m a work in progress.

This month has seen very steady running, walking and swimming. I backed off my runs to add a swim day and I’m feeling really good in the pool these days. I’ve even been spending a bit of time watching stroke improvement videos, to see if I can’t find a way to pick up the pace a bit. As always, I remains slow but steady with my workouts. I know there is something to be said about mixing in some speedwork, both for the running and the swimming, but for some reason, I’m still adverse to the idea of going faster. I think there is definitely a part of me that fears failure. It’s as if I’ve finally made fitness a part of my life, but if I mess with it too much, I might find myself right back on that couch again.

This month also saw me test out no added sugar for a week (not surprisingly, the energy I had improved) followed by two solid days of absolute Halloween candy coma. But I will tell you this: I’m not giving up some of that culinary guilty pleasure. I really don’t want to be a robot in this process. I am moving more and eating well a large majority of the time. Everything doesn’t have to be black and white.

This notion of black and white is really on my mind these days in all areas of my life. I won't lie: I have made it work to my advantage more often than not. But sometimes, life isn't always about gaining an advantage, now is it?

How has your month gone? With Halloween under the belt, it's just one food holiday after another for a while. Do you have a plan of attack in mind? Are you going with the flow and embracing the grey that comes with the change of seasons?

By all means, do tell.


A few months back, I offered a free download of the new logo for Move More Eat Well. Click here to find that post and download the new logo for your templates.


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.


Check back here tomorrow afternoon for a cool announcement about a new workshop I'm offering at Big Picture Classes. This one? It might be right up your alley. It's definitely up mine.


Cathy ZielskeMove More Eat Well November 2011

46 Comments on “Move More Eat Well November 2011”

  1. #1

    Oh Cathy – I love your posts. Always so real and so on pace with my candy frenzy!! I am grateful for the daily mile 50 mil3 challenge because I needed a push back onto the treadmill. And I love a challenge that allows me to make jail like tick marks on the wall! Thanks for just being real and helping me see that is OK to fall off track and get back on.
    Kristi (from Cropper Hopper)

  2. #2
    Paulette Sarsfield

    About the swimming faster, have you thought about a Masters club? It really helped me (you know, at the ripe old age of 49 I trained for the World Masters Games & swam some pretty good times, relative to my teenage years!) Coaching always helps ~ food for thought. I missed my Halloween pig out because of some darn cold flu bug that just doesn’t want to let go…finally out of bed today & the treats are all gone…I don’t think my husband “hid” them either! Thanks again for sharing Cathy:o)

  3. #3

    Thanks for the encouraging words. The trouble with Halloween and me is, the candy isn’t JUST eaten on the day or so. Ths bowls of sweets still linger, which makes it tough 🙁

  4. #4

    Paulette, sorry youve been sick. I saw that on Facebook. boo! Although think of the calories youve saved. ; ) I honestly dont think I could make it on a masters team. It always seems like they are the ones who WERE the good high school swimmers and Id be hopelessly lost in that slow lane.

  5. #5

    Yeah, tell me about it. Yesterday, I lasted until my son came home and busted out his bag, then it was a free for all. I felt sick to my stomach by bedtime. Oh well. Today is a new day, and most of the good candy is now gone. ; )

  6. #6
    Judy Sanza

    I think your before and after pictures for this month are fantastic. You’re too close and see what others do not. You look fabulous! I said that in a Billy Crystal accent!

    I’m really excited about the 50 miles in November (my busiest month) and was glad to see that many people run on a treadmill, ride a bike, walk or run.

    I just need to get away from this darn computer!

    Thanks again for giving me encouragement with a smile (and sometimes a loud laugh) as I read your blog and fb each day.

  7. #7
    Paulette Sarsfield

    We have an all inclusive Masters Club here… tow lanes for “I know how to swim but not very well”, 2 lanes for I can swim but not very fast, teach me how” & one lane for ” I’m staying here ’cause there’s too much competition in that last lane”!…it moves up & down depending on the types of swimmers who register for the year… I thought that was how all Masters operated… inclusively supporting fitness & fun!?! Our biggest worry is numbers, that may be why?

  8. #8

    Cathy, you are amazing. Truly. Look how far you have come.
    I’m looking forward to your BPC announcement tomorrow- with the sneak peek on the BPC blog and your post I have a feeling I know what is coming- and I couldn’t be more excited!
    Thank You!

  9. #9

    When I finally decided to get healthy- 7 months ago- I planned to lose weight before October and resume again in January. But it’s been going so well (-56 pounds so far) that I skated through Halloween without sampling any candy. Go me!
    I’m looking forward to your BPC announcement!

  10. #10

    Spot on about reading TJ’s labels, and it’s not only sugar – the fat, carbs and even sodium can be outrageous.

  11. #11

    You know, theres a masters workout at this pool where Cole takes lessons, and ive got to be honest: they all act like a chummy clique. Its weird. I find them very intimidating. Maybe its just American masters swimmers. ; ) I should look around and see if there are any clubs like what youre describing. I could totally do that!

  12. #13
    Ann Grounds

    Hey Cathy,
    Have you tried using the hand paddles and pull buoys that we used to use in swim practice? That might help with your speed and upper body strength…just sayin’

  13. #15
    Paulette Sarsfield

    yeah, there are a few of those in every city… I know in Calgary different pools have different venus,so worth checking it out. Lots of clubs have a triathlon component which generally means there is room for swimmers like us,look for that first. We aren’t preparing for the Olympics! NS is quite small so we tend to have more “FUN” Masters to fill the pool! Good luck & keep us posted!

  14. #16
    Deanna U

    Cathy – your legs looked stick thin under that bee suit! Well done!!! Keep up the great work. I am with you on the sugar thing – I feel SO much better when I avoid it, but it’s just too darn good to give up!

  15. #17

    “It’s as if I’ve finally made fitness a part of my life, but if I mess with it too much, I might find myself right back on that couch again.”

    This hits me right between the eyeballs too, Cathy, as I’ve been a very B&W person all my life. About a year ago I found out while having my baseline bone density test that I have bone loss in my lower spine. That news at 50 really jumpstarted a return to my treadmill to benefit from the low-impact weight-bearing exercise. While losing weight wouldn’t be a bad idea, I keep thinking about past experience and how if I throw myself into some kind of exercise plan, I am also likely to throw myself right back on the couch when that initial surge of motivation passes.

    I’ve been trying to live in that gray area of “showing up” each day rather than pushing myself to mess with the process–adjust elevation, speed, etc. It’s tempting to try to push myself, but I fear that in adapting the focus to include weight loss I will burn out and find myself on the couch once again. The result would not only be a blow for weight loss but a blow for bone health as well. So for now, I’m proud that after almost a year I’m still showing up and will continue to try to let slow and steady win the race.

    Thanks once again for sharing your journey and inspiration!

  16. #18

    What i notice about my sugar splurges is that I really do physically feel like crap afterward. Usually the memory of the crap-feeling makes me eat less sugar the next time I splurge. This, however, only holds true with candy, cake, cupcakes, and other super sugary treats. It does NOT work with bread. I need an effective bread-avoiding strategy. It’s kinda my kryptonite.

  17. #19

    Amen, Julie! I’ve commented here before about how “to-the-extreme” I’ve historically taken things, only to become overwhelmed, burnt out, and discontent.

    I, too, am stepping back from the intensity of everything…wading into the gray waters. And, while very scary at times, I am finding this new approach to be very satisfying at times. Much like it sounds for you and for Cathy, life is slowly teaching me that the extremes are lonely places to linger. Self-righteousness is a solitary pursuit, and while I don’t feel the need to throw out the baby with the bath water, moving away from the black and white periphery has revealed a greater sense of connectedness – to my own person, my fellow man, and my community…

    Okay, so now I”m waxing philosophical, but I just wanted you and Cathy to know how wonderful it is to be hearing of others who have found a richness in accepting the muted tones of life.

    As for the sugar thing, I kicked it about six weeks ago. I am still staying away (except for very few indulgences) simply because it is a trigger for me. In my pursuit for being real, though, I’ve moved away from NEVER having it, to a place where I enjoy it in more rare instances. That whole struggle, even today, is becoming less B&W and more gray.

    In the end, it’s all about caring for the bodies we’ve been given…and caring for ourselves includes accepting ourselves – bumps, lumps, wrinkles and all…

  18. #20

    Showing up IS the battle. I say good for you! I need to always remind myself of this. When I move more, at however slow a speed, I feel better. : )

  19. #23
    Sara Mangan

    Is it bad that, your picture of the Halloween candy makes me want to go dig through my daughter’s Halloween bag in search of a reese’s peanut butter cup?

  20. #25
    jenn shurkus

    thank you for this statement ” I really don’t want to be a robot in this process. I am moving more and eating well a large majority of the time. Everything doesn’t have to be black and white.” i need to remind myself this… need to get back into the swing of things, now that my turned upside down life is back upright again…

  21. #26

    Are you serious? Look twice at that photo! You are standing tall, your posture is fantastic you just look awesome! And after reading your posts for the last (omgosh can it be nearly two years?) I am *finally* getting off my backside and joining in the eat better move more! You are and inspiration and for that I thank you. You’re awesome and as we know, anyone can be great but awesome takes practice!!

  22. #27

    I’m going to add my two bits here because I think you are AWESOME. I read your journaling and one thing that jumped out at me is your statement that there is much difference between the two – WHAT? Of course there is! Look how much stronger you are? You are standing taller (look at the top of the picture behind you). You are firmer and trimmer! There is a difference dammit! Your posture has dramatically improved and your insides (which we can’t see) is loving you for it! If I may – you’ll see a bit more dramatic change when you add weights. Have you seen the Body for Life before and after photos? And as for the speed thing – you cut down workout time by going faster and your body becomes more efficient . Interval training can start at just going faster for 5 seconds! You might surprise yourself!! I always look forward to your monthly update. You are doing an amazing job of being fit for your family! Keep going!!

  23. #28

    As for swimming–slow and steady wins the race, right?
    As for food- I have found putting all processed food into one category (even healthier versions), helps me avoid packages foods. And, I find that trying to eat “real food,” makes the processed stuff less appealing to me. Which doesn’t mean I don’t eat it, and enjoy it for what it is (easy, filling, and tasty). And I totally still eat home made junk food, made with such lovelies as butter and sugar. But again, at least I know what everything is.

  24. #29

    Cathy I have followed your blog for so many years and have always appreciated your refreshing take on life. I have to say your journey with Move More, Eat Well really struck a chord with me, more so than Move More, Eat Less. The former purely positive! The latter (and I certainly practiced that for many years) always sent me into a spiral of yo-yo dieting.
    It wasn’t until I started training for (and completing!)my first Iron Girl Tri at 50 last year, that I really came to understand the importance of the Eat Well in the training component
    Now I am training for my second IG in May. Eating well keeps me focused on the good things it does for my body and has helped me kick my love/hate relationship with food to the curb.
    Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us.

  25. #30

    Thanks so much for your reply, Mary.

    My hope is that, as time goes by and I keep showing up, I’ll tweak things just a bit one day or another and *allow* that to happen without guilting myself into a full-on change of plan. If I can do it with the intent of adding a bit of variety rather than upping the ante for weight loss, it would be a win-win thing.

    Glad to hear that you’re finding success in those gray areas too!

  26. #31
    Lorraine Reynolds

    Congratulations Cathy you are a human – and definately not a robot! And an amazing woman to boot.
    I can relate to that ‘fear of being a Robot’ both in the eating area – I know in my head I have to give up sugar and limit other carbs; but then I say to myself what about Christmas, and birthdays….I don’t want to be scared of going out, or looking wierd in front of others, by not eating a piecer of cake and then having to explain.
    It also reaches into my relationship with my autistic son. I know I should set up a more routine orientated life for him – but it’s me who runs screaming at the idea of having to live my life so rigidly. I just don’t know how I’m going to conquer that one!

  27. #32
    katie squires

    YOUR PICS of late are killing me 🙂 (in a good way)…so much so that I want to take a pic of myself with the LOO behind me for my own scrapbooks 🙂 For real!

    Oh the Halloween Candy..Humbling moment…last night after a stressful night with the kids I came down and ate 4 mini choc bars…my heart was racing…wanting more…wanting to eat away the stress…I dug through and picked out my fav bars…made a big ass pile with every intention of eating them….then slowly came to my senses…talked myself down from the crazy place…put the entire bag of candy in the garbage and took it out to the CURB! I figured even I had enough strength not to go rummaging through the garbage on the driveway for candy. It was a reminder that no matter how far I think I have come, that old ‘binger’ is lurking ready to strike. Only I kicked her butt to the curb last night!

  28. #33

    Looking forward to the BPC announcement. I’ve been saving the voucher I was given as a gift for a whole year now just in case you brought out a class so hopefully I can use it before it expires. Yay for you! 🙂

  29. #34
    Wendy Z.

    I always begin every week saying I’m not going to eat any sugar……..and I always fail. I wish I do it but dammit….I’ve got a sweet tooth!!! No denying it! LOL!

  30. #35

    i love reading your updates. after 2 kiddos im trying to move more and eat better and im trying to attend zumba/toning 3 times a week. i had to agree with your sentence about the effects of the sugar on you. i have cut out caffefine and my so my one vice is drinking caf free diet coke and at a wedding last week i drank ‘real’ diet coke and i was WIRED for hours and didnt sleep til 3am! amazing what these things can do to our body! my aim this summer is just try and be sensible :> full power to you :>

  31. #36

    Hi Cathy – thanks to your inspiration last year I’ve walked about 3 million extra steps this year and lost18 pounds and feel terrific so thank you. But telling you that is why I’m writing. Just wanted to thank you for yesterday’s Halloween inspiration and template. Have just finished mine and love it. Suspect your grid will become an old friend that will be used over and over again. You really are terrific. Thank you. cheers Delia

  32. #37

    Great timing with this post 🙂 I attended my weekly WW meeting today (and discovered I made my 5% goal – yay me!) but the message was a really good one…. aiming to do well most of the time is motivating while aiming for perfection is demoralising. But the best thought I took away…? “Perfection is impossible – that why pencils have erasers”. Totally dug that message 🙂

    so the sweets I had on Monday, well, that’s OK. Tuesday is a new day. As is Wednesday. I figure if I blow out one day, I can put a line under it and start again the next day.

    I’m still a beginner on this journey and am really still trying to add more exercise into the plan. Thanks so much for your tell it like it is posts – they really are an inspiration.

  33. #38

    Yeah, its taken a while for me to actually connect to diets not working, and eating well as being the key. Doesnt mean I succeed all the time (this will be Day 1 of resisting Halloween candy) but at least Im focused on a more sustainable way of living.

  34. #39

    See, yesterday, at 1 p.m., I raided Coles bag of all the Snickers bars (he hates them). Probably around 10 of em. Then I had about 6 mini Hersheys. I think thats called a binge. Sigh. I felt like crap too. Todays a new day.

  35. #41

    Hey great post and you look wonderful even with a little candy OD going on.

    Excited about a new class too. Yay for today.


  36. #43

    total sidenote…who hates Snickers???? I love those little delicious bites! My daughter got a regular size Snickers in her treat bag this year and I swear I hear it calling my name from her treat bag.

    I love reading your posts about this and all the comments, as well. Everybody always says…Everything In Moderation…but honestly i’m not that good with moderation. With food, with exericse, with anything. It’s something i’m working on!

    Thanks for always having great discussions!

  37. #46

    The before and after pic, in the layout? Well the seat up/seat down thing is totally doing my swede in. I mean, I love you and all….I really do.
    Im not even associating that “weight up is seat is up” and weight down is seat is down” has ANYTHING to do with it.
    You have to decide – are you a seater upper family or a seater downer family?
    Conversely, we are a seater downer family.

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