Tales from the Scale: Guess what? I'm pretty alright

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life36 Comments


On January 1st, it was time to do one thing I'd been avoiding, pretty much all through the month of December. You know, it was time to pay the piper, face the music, pay the bill—I'm at a loss for any more metaphors, so I'll just come out and say it: it was time to step on the scale.

I'd like to first point out that what a person weighs has absolutely zero correlation to their inherent worth. I truly believe this. It's taken me a good long while to connect to it, but today I believe this wholeheartedly.

That said, if you can't bend over to tie your shoes without your stomach causing interference, I call that a mobility issue. Mobility is something that makes living every day just a little bit easier.

So when I saw the number was 177.6, my first thought was, "Oh s#@t!"

My next thought was, "Wow. That's almost where I started."

And my third thought was, "So, what are you gonna do about it, sister? Ain't no use crying over mountains of beautifully iced holiday cookies!"

And so it begins. For me, it's a gentle return to making healthier choices.

I have no intention of being some skinny minny. I have no desire to try and make my stomach hard and flat. Honestly. I am not built that way. Not physically or genetically.

People don't love me more if I'm a size 8. In fact, I'd bet money they like me less because I'm a lot more black and white when I do make it to that size category. When I'm black and white, I'm a lot less fun to be around.

My goal isn't to be less fun, you know?

So I simply shoot to move more and eat well.

Someone shared this awesome post by filmmaker Michael Moore with me the other day, and it really resonated with me. He writes: "Quit trying to be something you're not, be happy with the life you've been given, and just go for a pleasant walk outside." 

Just the idea that you can simply try to move around more, enjoy the life you've been given and get a little healthier as you go.

I embrace the idea that we aren't all supposed to be tiny little things. 

Yes, we can all do things to make our lives healthier. I know that when I'm eating good, whole, healthy foods and moving my body, my mind works better. My moods are more even. Things hurt less.

That sounds pretty good to me, you know? I want that as my focus.

It's also going to be my focus for my online workshop, Move More, Eat Well.

Each month in class, we journal about our story and as I was writing, I realized that there really has been a shift in my attitude about all of this. Feeling sorry for myself is just about the worst motivation I can think of. Instead, framing this process in a more positive, nurturing light is how I'm going to connect to feeling better overall.

I'll definitely check in monthly here as well to let you know how it's all shaking out.

For now, it's all systems go.

To learn more about Move More, Eat Well 2.0, click on the image below. You can join at any time in 2013. Tomorrow at Noon Eastern, I'm hosting a kick off video chat for my students. I'm hoping to take this message and really inspire people to continue striving to make small and lasting changes and doing it in a very life affirming, nurturing way.





Cathy ZielskeTales from the Scale: Guess what? I'm pretty alright

36 Comments on “Tales from the Scale: Guess what? I'm pretty alright”

  1. #1
    Lynne Gillis

    Cathy, I am SO SO SO proud of you! I love the attitude that you’re approaching things with, and it is such a joy to read your stories. We’re all right here with you. Every step of the way… all working to enjoy just who we are – in whatever shape that may be – a little bit more. Here’s to a Happy, healthy and memorable 2013! xoxoxo!

  2. #2

    I honestly think the best thing about this journey is how we develop as human beings . . . internally! My size, willpower, exercise habits — those things all fluctuate . . . but who I am as a person is evolving, and always better than before. 🙂 That’s what truly matters!

  3. #3

    Want you to know that…after losing 30 lbs on WW 5 years ago, I TOO am back where I started. I feel you girl. Time to move for me.

  4. #5

    You know what? I would give anything to weigh 177! Seriously. I’m 5’7″ and two weeks away from my 45th birthday. It’s all about perspective. I actually started back in the gym during the week of Thanksgiving. I didn’t lose any weight during December, but I didn’t gain any either, thanks to daily trips to the gym. Now that I’ve finally gotten my arms around the food (I absolutely adore My Fitness Pal), the scale is starting to move again and I am overjoyed. I am excited about 194 (today’s trip to the scale)!! Why? Because there’s not a number “2” in front of my weight. My goal is 170. (My fantasy goal is 155). So I would give anything to be 7 pounds away from my goal weight. I am never going to be 155. I am never going to be a size 2, 4, 6 or 8. Or probably a 10. I would be happy if I could be a 12 for the rest of my life. I am beautiful and I am healthy and I am determined to be comfortable in my own skin, exercise daily and not starve myself for the rest of my life.

  5. #7

    Hi Cathy,

    I am so glad you posted MM’s status on facebook. It really hit a nerve with me and has me motivated to just take a pleasant walk outside and see where it leads me.

    Happy 2013!!

  6. #8

    Last night after much grief, dead batteries, un-synced Wii fit board, etc. I managed to get on that thing (it’s our only form of a scale), and I discovered I’m 177.7 lbs. And even though that’s more than I weighed when I was 10 months pregnant, I was like “Eh, whatever. I’m here, I’m present, I’m doing something about it.”

  7. #9
    amy t schubert

    So proud that you’re still moving forward in spite of any setbacks. Good luck! I’ll be looking forward to your posts!

    I gave up a good chunk of the sugar in my life at the beginning of last year and I LOVE it. I feel SO much better (have actually not gotten a head cold at all in that whole time)

    I haven’t given up sugar COMPLETELY. Not entirely. But enough that any cookie/cake/etc I have is a real treat instead of just a snack.


  8. #10

    I, too, would give my right leg to weigh 177, and that’s probably what it would take (amputating my right leg!). But, I am 30 pounds less than I was 4 1/2 months ago and that’s progress! I joined MMEW 2.0 this year and I’ve got to say, Cathy, you are amazing! And the group of people participating in MMEW2.0 is amazing. Seriously, daily motivation and encouragement and support. Yesterday after our WW meeting my girlfriend (who is adorable BTW) asked why I wasn’t shocked by her weight gain this week. Honestly, I don’t even see her weight, I only see the beautiful person that she is…a devoted wife, mom, daughter, friend. The body that is carrying her could turn green and I might not notice. But, why are we so hard on ourselves? Why don’t we see what others see in us? Well, that’s where Cathy’s new attitude comes in! A number is just a number (this coming from a math teacher) but our health is what it is all about! So if you’ve thought about signing up for MMEW, do it! Do it for you!

  9. #11

    Feeling the pain with you in North Carolina. ALMOST said “I give up. I’m just always going to be a little fat.” After 24 hours, I slapped my whiney=a#$ self and said, “grow up.” I’m NEVER, EVER, EVER (I’m channeling Taylor Swift now) going to be teeny tiny. That being said, if I don’t keep it in check, it could get real ugly, real quick. So I am back on the QUALITY (not quantity) choices bandwagon. What is that Swahilli warrior quote–triump or defeat is in the hands of the the gods, so let us celebrate the struggle! Thanks for making me feel like I am not the only one in the world struggling with weigh issues. Let’s celebrate the struggle!

  10. #16
    Jacquelin G

    YES! Gentle is good, moderation is good, peace with self is good. Last year I was a part of MMEW and lost 40 pounds. I still have 80 to go, but I am much more at peace about it this year. Self acceptance has been my biggest hurdle, and the best gift I can give myself. I am not there everyday, but most days I am pretty d*man happy with who I am. That is making the next stage of this journey so much easier! Here’s to a fabulous 2013!

  11. #17
    Aliza Deutsch

    I loved that post from Michael Moore. thank you for sharing.
    This year I discovered Ellen Barret, who makes workout DVD’s. I love her approach-it’s not about having a perfect body, but a functioning body. I know we each have different kinds of approaches to exercise that work for each of us. I have totally jumped on her bandwagon, and just love her approach to movement.And, I just felt the need to share.

  12. #20

    Oh Michael Moore. Love that quote. Cathy, I am right there with you as well. I could have written this post. That photo was totally me this morning as I cursed my alarm clock and my treadmill at 5am. I still did it. Because I’m tired of being tired. And out of shape. And not having the energy to chase my kids. So…up and at ’em (Atom Ant).

  13. #21

    I was never able to join you on this journey before – you were too gung-ho, too fanatical, and yes, a bit too black-and-white. I knew I would just crash and burn like that. I want to be healthier. I don’t want to get wrapped up in a number on a scale. I want to be happy and love me no matter what. I like this new attitude I read here – I might be able to stick with you this time. I like this more mellow and accepting version of you. Really I want more more mobility, to keep up with the kids, and mental clarity. Moving more and eating better can help me reach that. But if you start talking like a Biggest Loser personal Trainer again, I am outta here! ;o)

  14. #22

    HURRAH! I think you have finally got it… the right way of looking at being happy and healthy that is;) Weight loss is such a personal journey for the body and the mind.
    Anddddd… it sounds like you’ve reached that zen moment where mind and body are in agreement. Being happy and healthy is about moving more, eating less and keeping it real.

  15. #23

    Cathy every person can relate to your story myself included. Once you get to a happy weight for yourself you feel amazing, on cloud 9 and enjoy wearing clothes. You cope with life better because your weight is not pulling you down and other hard things aren’t as difficult because of your own self esteem. One thing is and I speak from experience is you stay at a good weight enjoying all that comes with it and then all of a sudden 2 kgs go on and you can’t knuckle down for 3 weeks and get it off. Next minute another one or two go on then there are4-5 kgs (9-13lbs) now to lose and it feels so overwhelming. Still in the why have I out on this weight we don’t feel we can knuckle down and then there are a few more and eventually we are back to where we started from having to start from scratch again. We all know how hard it is to lose 10kgs (22lbs) so why do we get back there. If you told me I had the choice of losing 2kgs (4.4lbs) or 10kgs (22lbs) I would take the 2 kgs every time and so would you yet that offer was on the table some time ago and we weren’t up to it. 3 weeks of being very strict or 6months to a year) seems totally silly and not comprehend able to me yet this is what happens. Sometimes for me I can knuckle doown and be serious about losing a lot of weight because it gets to a pint of nothing fits but why can’t I knuckle down when I have only out on 2kgspast what I want to be. That is the million dollar question because logically that is so silly but it’s what I chose to do and where you find yourself now also. Losing a lot of weight takes commitment and focus and there is an end goal however maintaining weight is harder and it’s a sort goal that doesn’t seem to have focus. Well that’s what I have struggled with each time I go from 70kgs to 78 kgs too. Baby steps. If you want an interesting read “changing habits changing lives” plus she has a cookbook as well Cyndi O’Meara. She speaks all around the world about real

  16. #24

    Cyndi O’Meara is the author and she talks about real foods without chemicals. It’s better to have a small amount of full cream yoghurt than twice as much of the slim one that contains chemicals to make it low fat. It’s the fact that we have so much processed foods these days and empty calories. I’m a weight watcher as in weight watchers from way back so I understand you can eat more of the low fat stuff but if you combine the ww methods and make more of your food real foods your body will be better off for it. Read her 21 day programme to kick start – one habit a day to focus on. Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

  17. #28

    I love how honest you are Cathy! I had the pleasure of joining MMEW1.0 for 5 months last year (started in July) and signed up for 2.0! You’ve really helped me to dig deeper and have motivated and inspired me to stick with it! You really are an inspiration and thank you!

  18. #29
    Kathy in Quebec

    Cathy, I love your posts, always. I admire your honesty and love your writing style.
    Without wanting in any way to diminish the struggle to lose weight, is it too much of a stretch to think that we can substitute ‘weight’ for whatever issue we wrestle with, and the post is just a meaningful? In my case, learning to take care of myself as I turn 40 is tough. I know I have to let go of my mental image of who I think I should be, how my house should look, what my life is supposed to be. I have to learn to stop connecting these things to what I perceive to be as my worth, and starting taking better care of my body and start being more fun.
    I know that no one wants to hear from a smaller person, but MMEW applies to me, too. You’re writing touches me. I don’t have weight to lose, but I can still identify with your words. Thank you for putting this out there.

  19. #31

    I’m having a hard time too. I’m losing weight by itself, it just comes off. I desperately want to move more, but I can’t. My 2013 goal is to be able to walk down our drive way. I can not exercise, if I do I get PEM, post extrenal malaise, which means a set back in health condition for 2 weeks at least. And exercise for me is walking to the bathroom to brush my teeth. I have a neuro-immune disease and am mostly bedridden.

    I’m not here to whine about myself but just to let you know I admire you all so much for taking charge of your health. I so so envy you that you’re able to do that! It’s so exciting to see your health improve by your actions. Listen to what your body tells you. That’s the most important thing of all, learning to listen to your body and live within your own personal energy envelope.
    Maybe if I took charge of my health back in the 80’s before I got ill I wouldn’t be where I am today, who knows. 🙂 So you go girls, I wish I could join you in this class.

  20. #33
    Elizabeth A

    A couple of years ago, I came to the realization that what we focus on gets larger in our life. Take on greater significance. The scale is a number. An important number yes, but still a number. Since I am motivated by numbers, decided to target walking 50 miles a month for 2011 – rocked it. Then added running for 2012. And yes I graph my mileage – you can see them here: http://kisiwa.blogspot.com/2013/01/2012-mileage-graph.html. Now ain’t that a much nicer number to track than what the scale says? I think so.

  21. #35

    Thank you Cathy! I just have to share, I’m so excited! My new heart rate monitor is on it’s way to me. It’s for athletes, all kinds of sports people but also for people who need to learn how to pace themselves. You set a target aerobic heart rate and when it goes over that you get a warning. It’s important for me because I want to do more and more and get frustrated because I crash and burn.
    For instance if I set the monitor to 160 beats a minute, than I can easily reach that by just getting up and shuffling to the bathroom. So it will teach me to sit before I walk and let my heart come to rest again.

    Monitors have been on the market for ages of course but this is one of my Kickstarter projects and it is a continuos wireless monitor which means you can wear if 24/7 without a strap around you chest. It ‘talks’ to my iPhone or iPad or other smart phone with all kinds of statistics, like bloodpressure etc. I so happy! What a great way to start 2013! I can now actively work on my progress because I have the input I need. I’m such a gadget addict! 😉

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