Move More, Eat Well, Dress Like a Bee

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life45 Comments
Yes, the bee dance is coming on Halloween. But you wanna know what I love about this costume more than anything? It always fits. Every single time I put it on.

At age 22, it fit. At age 32, it fit. At age 42—you get the picture. It is the only piece of clothing I own than can make that claim. It has been with me for the long haul.

When I put it on, I don’t think about my stomach. I don’t think about whether or not my ass’s horizontal ratio is over the limit.

The suit hits right above the knee allowing my 2nd favorite feature—my lower legs—to shine. We all need to embrace what feels good on our bodies, especially if we’re dealing with an irrational fixation on the parts that don’t feel so good.

But of course, there is nothing irrational about doing what is needed to be healthy and strong. That part, I get intellectually. Just not always experientially.


I fell off the Whole Life Challenge wagon. (You can read about my good intentions here.) Saying “I fell off” is a cute little colloquialism for what I really should say which is this: I made a very conscious choice to eat Halloween candy, and then some. There was no actual falling involved.

I struggle with this stuff because I am not a moderator. I want to be. MAN, how I want to be like those people who can have a cookie or two and think, “Yummy. That was great. Now for more kale!” Okay, maybe kale isn’t part of that equation, but the ‘one or two cookie part’ absolutely is.

I go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.


I want a few things. One of them is to give my body what it actually needs. Some days, it may think it needs three glasses of delicious cheap red wine. And that would be okay if it didn’t also think it needed crackers, cheese, popcorn and maybe a few Oreos to go along with it.

The other thing I want is to make peace with my body. I am so grateful that I get to be here. I mean, seriously? I’m here and I try every day to connect to the fact that my life span has a beginning and an end and time that I spend obsessing about the fact that my body isn’t perfect is actually wasted time. To be clear, it’s not focusing on my health that’s the waste of time; it’s the obsessing part. Obsessing, to me, means very neurotic behavior. It means not putting my money where my mouth is.

Whining about it is also wasted time. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good bitch session every now and then, but mostly, what I hope to get out of it is simply a “that suuuuuuuuuucks.” Because at the end of the day, it’s on me to take better care of me.

There. Bitch session over.

Thank you.


Cathy ZielskeMove More, Eat Well, Dress Like a Bee

45 Comments on “Move More, Eat Well, Dress Like a Bee”

  1. #2

    You Rock! I visited your website after completing your class on BPC about Me: The Abridged Version. I seriously think we are personality twins separated at birth. The whole quiet thing, red wine thing, not an eXtrovert thing, the need to get out more but get a little antsy thing, the lovin’/watching over/wondering about the future of my kids like crazy thing, yep, over and over I was like, this is very affirming that I’m not the only one craving complete quiet when I sleep but not getting it. Anywhooo, Just wanted to tell you your pages are so clean and quick and without all that silly fluff and it makes me more & more inspired to get my photos out of the boxes and into an enjoyable place. Your honesty is poured out on your pages and the realness is what is so cool about you. That’s pretty darn neat.
    Thank you! Leilani

  2. #3

    My mother can open a regular size bag of M&Ms and eat on them for three days. Just sitting there on the table. Grab three or four every so often. Seriously, why did I not get that gene?? Those babies are down the hatch and gone shortly after leaving the grocery store parking lot. And brownies, they are less fattening when eaten in one in squares grabbed every time you walk by the pan, right? Right?

    1. #3.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Sometimes, I imagine that if I wash Halloween candy down with a big glass of water they cancel each other out. 😉

      1. #3.1.1

        Wait a minute – are you implying that the big glass of water *doesn’t* cancel out candy? Does it still work for cookies? Because, in my imagination, water cancels out a multitude of sins. 🙂

  3. #4

    Was wondering how you were doing with the Challenge but knew you would report on it one way or another. I was really rooting for you but not too surprised that you ‘fell’ off the wagon (and I don’t mean that in a mean girl way). I took a look at it and, although I don’t know all the day to day specifics, it seemed very restrictive for a significant period of time. I GET that you need to do something for a few months for that ‘good’ habit to kick in. But perhaps that’s the point of the challenge. Anyway try not to beat yourself up too much. Something will stick at some point. Perhaps smaller steps…

    1. #4.1
      Cathy Zielske

      It’s just me not taking care of myself, and looking for an excuse. An out. Smaller steps for an abstainer are tricky.

  4. #5
    Lindsey A.

    I hear you loud and clear and I too know that that SUUUUUUCKS, Halloween candy calls to me too, and I also know that you rock! Like seriously, my husband knows you as my best friend in MN that doesn’t know me :).

  5. #6
    Lisa Russo

    I came *thisclose* to buying my beloved candy corn yesterday. That candy corn that I love so much I’ve actually made scrapbook pages about it (I’m sure you remember). But I didn’t. Because I knew if I brought it into my house I’d eat the whole damn bag. Ergh. I miss candy corn!

    1. #6.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yes, but you chose wisely. Lisa, are you like me? Are you NOT a moderator? For some reason, I think that would fit the you that I know.

  6. #7
    Leslie F.

    I’m happy to say that I haven’t had a single piece of candy from the 700 lb bag of delectable little chocolate bars that have been lying in wait for me for the last month. HOWEVER, that’s only because of the far more sinful jar of salted dark chocolate caramels that live above my refrigerator, where I hide them from my children. (They don’t even like them. They should hide them from me.) *Sigh.* Why is there such a breakdown in KNOWING what’s going to make me feel better and DOING exactly the opposite? Anyways, you’re in good company, my friend. At least we’re mindful, right? We’ll get there eventually . . . and if we don’t, at least we’ll find comfort that we enjoyed some really awesome wine and chocolate along the way! 🙂

  7. #8
    Mary J

    You’re so awesome, Cathy!! Never forget that. And that Whole Life thing…I wouldn’t have lasted five minutes. I don’t do so well with something so restrictive. Keep on keeping on, girl! We love you no matter what!!

  8. #9

    I swear that there is a gene in some of us that the minute sugar is ingested it gets triggered and says “open the flood gates!” I put something sweet in my mouth and it becomes open season on MORE please. I have been craving double stuffed oreos for months, but I know me…one or two is a license to eat them all and the next thing is, where did they go? Did I just eat the whole package? Seriously?? Then I hide the scale and stuff my tight jeans into the back of closet knowing that my wardrobe will consist of my yoga pants and long shirts until my over bloated tummy says the coast is clear. But oh Lord, the temptation! Thank you for voicing what is real. I love you man.

  9. #11

    You took the words right out of my mouth. I am so grateful to be here. And all this time I’m spending obsessed with what’s not right, and what I don’t like, and what a shit job I’m doing taking care of myself is such wasted time. Thank you for putting it in writing and sending out out there.

    And maybe best photo yet of the Halloween season. Just a serious little bee working on herself.

  10. #12

    You took the words right out of my mouth. I am so grateful to be here. And all this time I’m spending obsessed with what’s not right, and what I don’t like, and what a shit job I’m doing taking care of myself is such wasted time. Thank you for putting it in writing and sending it out there.

    And maybe best photo yet of the Halloween season. Just a serious little bee working on herself.

  11. #13

    Who cares? As long as you own it. These months are h.o.r.r.i.b.l.e wrt the whole eating living thing. As long as you balance it, throw it a few days of some healthy stuff make scrumptious smoothies and feel super healthy. BTW I saw absolutely yummy looking white bean chili in your Instagram, what’s not to like about that? Healthy home made food! I’m awe and really envious.
    Whenever have done something that’s not contributing to my health and get my knickers in a twist about it, I think of the photo/meme of a tombstone with the inscription that says ‘ here lies so and so, he worked all his life 14 hours a day’. I imagine it would say for me; ‘here lies Tink, she whined and worried all her life about eating every now and than a bag of Halloween M&M’s’. That puts things in perspectieven for me and I move on.
    Yes my health is declining and slowly moving to The point of no return, but I’m not going to deprive myself of anything.
    Red wine needs crackers and cheese. Believe i know, i lived in France for years and took daily 2 hours lunchbreaks, had French woman friends and they don’t worry about eating cheese with wine. Frankly it would be against all etiquette and French law not to do so. They don’t worry and they own it. And after apero they cook a healthy meal and all is well.

  12. #14
    Kathleen S

    Good thing you didn’t start wearing the bee at 12! Talk about long range planning. You’ll be the hit of the retirement home party at 98!

  13. #15

    Love the Bee! I need a costume like that! I love your attitude and spunk (just watched last year’s Bee dance video).

    I, too, am not a moderator. I do best on strict plans… until…well when I don’t (as long as I follow them and don’t have something that trips me up – or I let trip me up, like wanting to enjoy life and have those Oreos). My mom’s passing this past April was a big trip-me-up and I haven’t gotten back on board since, even though I know I need to! Like you, intellectually I know I need to make changes to be healthier, it’s the doing it and sticking with it that is the part I struggle with. Sorry, guess I needed to vent too!

    It would be fun to run into you someday and meet you in person….I’m in the south metro. =)
    Keep on buzzing and letting your spirit shine through!

  14. #16

    I recently passed the milestone of 50…and am finally giving up my obsession with food/weight/eating. I used to be a morbidly obese person and had SURGERY to correct that. But now, years later, I find that if I fight for it and live a very restrictive life, I can weight 25 pounds less than I do now. If I take care to eat a healthy diet (right now I’m enjoying my pumpkin smoothie, made with greek yogurt, protein powder, spinach and almond milk) but allow myself the beer, baked goods and mac n cheese on a regular basis, I weigh 25 pounds more. I’m no longer morbidly obese, but I AM overweight….and I am DONE fighting those 25 pounds. Life is too short and too full of GOODNESS to waste one more second on fighting with myself. It’s taken 40 years to get here (I started dieting around age 10), and some days I still struggle with my life long diet mentality, but I am committed to no longer obsessing over my size. {{{HUGS}}} and best wishes to you.

  15. #19

    I discovered I was definitely NOT a moderator when I read the Happiness Project blog. She talks about the difference between moderators and abstainers and all of a sudden my life sort of made sense! I realized that I was hard wired differently than someone who could just have one small piece of candy and stop. I decided to do Whole 30. I do it one month at a time rather than Whole Life because it tricks me into thinking it is manageable that way 😉 If the month has 31 days I allow myself a cheat on that day 🙂 This is my 3rd month, I am down 16 lbs and feel good, have fewer cravings. Anyway, this is the blog that really struck home the difference between moderators and abstainers for me:
    It made me realize I cant beat myself up for not being able to “just have one.”

  16. #20
    Maegan B.

    I just don’t buy candy/chips, etc. I have absolutely *zero* will power when junk food is in my house. This year, instead of handing out candy we are handing out glow in the dark bracelets, which means I have eaten zero Halloween candy. Of course, all bets are off tomorrow night when my children come home with literally BUCKETS of the stuff. Keep up the good fight! (Also, we keep kale chips in a bowl on the counter for snacking. They are an acquired taste, but I really like them now!)

  17. #22

    I totally get wanting to be a moderation person… give me a choice between as much salad as I can eat and one cookie, and I’ll take ten cookies. Thanks for the reminder to be greatful!

  18. #23

    BRILLIANT: I try every day to connect to the fact that my life span has a beginning and an end and time that I spend obsessing about the fact that my body isn’t perfect is actually wasted time (Kudos to you, CZ, Kudos to you…)

  19. #24

    Its nice to be with someone who gets it and is my age and gets it. Thank you Cathy Zielske for being real.

  20. #25
    Valerie White

    I love the costume and can’t wait for the dance! Earlier this year I had a health scare and went to a naturopath and started a whole new journey about no more right/wrong eating no more weighing, no more measure this, don’t eat that. Just simply exercising and eating better. Since then so many people have asked how much I have lost, do I want to try this pill, shake, new plan, paleo , Mateo , gluten free, whole food, 30 food , whatever. The answer is NOOOOOOO!!! I just want to eat better and move more.
    I wish we could just smoke, eat French fries and watch Downton Abbey!!

  21. #27
    Melanie A.

    I too am so not a moderator and the scale, mirror, clothes, and pictures remind me of that every day. I think if it were just 10 or 20 pounds I battled, I would say to hell with it and just enjoy life…however. The addiction to sugar doesn’t help. I put one in and my whole system just goes insane wanting and needing more. Thank you for keeping it real for the rest of us. Can’t wait to see the bee tomorrow!

  22. #28

    I wanna see the Bee!

    I wanna see the Bee!

    Oh gosh, I wanna see the Bee! …not rushing you or anything

    (And I so hear you about the constant battle to eat well.

  23. #29

    Maybe you are not looking at the whole body thing the right way. And believe me I am not the example to follow. My parents who are 82 and 78 have the right idea I think. They eat what they want…dessert every night at dinner as an example. But…they work all the time. They have 4 acres of land and my dad still mows and has a huge garden. He is the strongest man his age I know. But he eats what he wants…the good along with the bad. I truly think because he is so strong physically and eats the food from the garden, it offsets the bad stuff.

  24. #30
    Kirsten J

    Ugh. The battle. I know….

    So I saw Tracy Pollan on The Chew, making cookies, and Mario asked her how many of those she would eat in an afternoon. Her reply? “Maybe a half of one.” Bitch.

  25. #31

    I tried everything to lose weight — low-fat, low-carb, low-sodium — and nothing worked till I cut out sugar. Of course, I still have my treats here and there but nothing like before. Its amazing how it worked and I feel better.

  26. #33

    Cathy I just love how honest you are! And I can sooo relate…I am so not moderate…it’s all or nothing…but the thing that really hit me the most was being grateful to be here and not obsessing…yup, I’m so not perfect but I’m here and I need to not waste another minute obsessing…thanks for a great wake up call! You rock my dear!

  27. #34

    I am absolute abstainer, nothing moderate about me! Realising that has made a huge difference. I don’t obsess about WHY I can’t eat treats like other members of my family – I accept I can’t. I don’t mean I like it but I do save considerable energy trying to fight that particular battle!!! I have also, at the risk of sounding totally bonkers, been writing letter from my future self to my present self when I have stayed on track and talking about what I can do/wear/how I feel as a consequence. I seemed to spend all my time saying no to myself. Writing these letters helps me see each day as a step towards the future I want rather than another day of deprivation. It’s just a variation on journalling but does seem to be helping me right now ….

Leave a Reply

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