So far in the new year

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life29 Comments | move more eat well 2015 | move more eat well 2015
I’ve been taking conscious care of myself for 14 days in 2014 and so far, I feel fine. At least that’s the simple answer.

I don’t know what to write about where my health and fitness (read: chub and food issues) are concerned. That’s a lie. I do know, otherwise, this blog post would have ended in sentence 3. I’m knee deep in the hoopla of the Move More, Eat Well Jumpstart, and I’m doing really well. I’m working through the daily challenges. I’m eating good food. I’m exercising. I’m dealing with a whole new flare up of of plantar fasciitis. I’m taking it all in stride, so to speak.

And I guess I just feel fine.


I don’t feel like I’m going to conquer the world and end every issue I’ve ever had with weight and food and self-image just because I’m having a few good weeks. I’m not dropping Biggest Loser-style poundage just yet. I’m not over the hump of craving salt and vinegar potato chips and Sprite. My class isn’t a golden ticket to perfection. It just lets you do what I’m doing right now: take stock, look at what needs to happen and try to understand what it all means.

In that framework, I feel better than fine. I feel strong but I also feel patient. I am looking to string a larger percentage of days together wherein I treat my body like I really do love it. Those days aren’t about starving it, or overworking it, or fooling it. Those days are about knowing that I am, in fact, moving a little more and eating a little better. I feel like if I just up those daily percentages, I’ll be feeling a whole new level of fine over the next 12 months.

I wish this were easy and automatic but right now, in my life, it’s not. And that’s okay. That’s not an excuse to throw in the towel. It just takes a lot of my focus and  conscious effort.

Add to that life, work, relationships, stress, how we handle frustration and pain, and you have a complicated brew to navigate.


The challenges of taking care of oneself aren’t strictly the domain of the more ample bootied either. Skinny girls, middle of the scale girls—they face challenges, too. Some of them might have a faster metabolism than me, but I don’t own the market on challenges and self-care. Sometimes I forget that. Today, and most days, I remember it.

Back in 2010, I lost 40 pounds in 10 months. If you followed along you were one of three things: 1) Impressed and inspired, 2) Annoyed by it all or 3) You stopped reading my blog because that storyline didn’t speak to you. I’ll tell you what I was: black and white.

I watched that black and whiteness fall apart over the next three years. None of it was accidental. All of it was pretty conscious. I said to myself, “I don’t care. I’m eating this shit.” I said to myself, “Work trumps the treadmill.” I asked myself, “What the hell are you doing?” And the answer was always the same, “Acting like I don’t care.”

I’ve told you what my therapist has told me, right? That I choose to be a mess in this area. That I love to have problems because it makes me feel more like myself. I’m still not 100 percent in on that one. But it floats around my mind on a pretty regular basis.

Right now I’m choosing to be conscious and to do my best. To shoot for a better percentage. To string together a handful of days where I show my body some lovin’.

So far, so good.

This post is sponsored by my bodacious booty, of which, I’m working to slowly and carefully reduce its size. You have until the 31st to join me in the Move More, Eat Well live classroom experience. You don’t have to play catch up. You just start where you are and work through your 31 days. I can’t tell you where you’ll end up, but hopefully, you’ll emerge connected to what is needed for you. To register or learn more, click here.



Cathy ZielskeSo far in the new year

29 Comments on “So far in the new year”

  1. #1

    Thank you so much for your post today. I needed to read about showing up and taking care of myself on a daily basis and then stringing those days together. Perfect reminder to myself.

  2. #2
    Deborah P

    I’m trying to remember that a day of not making loving choices for myself is not an end. Just an interruption. I tend to be black and white on this too. Nice to know that is normal!

    1. #2.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yep. Me too. It’s just a blip, and they you can start a whole new jumpstart the next morning, so to speak.

  3. #4
    Mary Jo

    I see what your therapist is saying because honestly sometimes when it comes to this area I feel like I am sabotaging myself. I have been focused on getting healthy for the past two years now. For me it’s the eating. I try to exercise 4-6 times a week and usually I am pretty good. But it’s hard work. And the eating thing? Fighting the cravings for sugar and salt is even harder!
    And when I start to see progress. That I feel better physically inside and out. It almost scares me, and then I backtrack. It’s like I am telling myself, this is too hard to maintain so why bother.
    But deep down I know it doesn’t have to be. I just need to let go.
    I am trying to let go of unhealthy habits because at this point it is just mental.
    I am afraid of the change because really I can’t go back. Otherwise it’s the same old cycle.
    I am so close to making a breakthrough here, but I still feel that fear.
    This is the year though!

  4. #5

    Keep up the good work. It is a bite by bite plan. Just think all that exercise and body management will take years off your face.

  5. #6
    Maria H

    My story is almost the same as yours, except I lost my 40 pounds in 2008. I’ve gained that back plus a little more, most of it in the past 2 years. I’m chalking part of that up to my hysterectomy and menopause, but I know that the real root cause is that I just didn’t care. I saw and felt the weight coming on and didn’t do a darn thing about it. I decided to make a new start at it this year. I wasn’t happy with myself and no one was going to be able to change it but me. It’s not easy and I’m not perfect, but if I don’t start somewhere and keep trying I’m not going to get anywhere. So here’s to a good year for all of us, with whatever our own challenges may be!

    P.S. I have foot issues too. Have you tried Vionic shoes? They’re made for foot issues, particularly plantar fasciitis (I’m sure I didn’t spell that right!) I bought my first pair after reading about them on 2peas a few years ago and they are wonderful! I now have several pairs and will continue to buy them.

    1. #6.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Maria, I will check them out. Combined with my foot surgery (my toe basically no longer moves like a normal big toe) the PF is really pissing me off! Such is life, right? 😉

    2. #6.2

      Thanks for the tip. Those look like the kind of shoes I could wear. I’m kinda tired of wearing sneakers with all my dress slacks at work.

  6. #7

    I’ve read your blog for years but this is my first comment. I think the thing to remember about negative comments is that they are more a reflection of the person posting them then they are about you. I honestly don’t understand why people read someone’s blog and then rip them apart. If you are posting about something you are happy/proud/excited about then go for it. So many of us appreciate your fitness/dirt struggle because we are in the same boat. Don’t efit yourself too much because I bet the vast majority of your readers enjoy your blog just as it is.

    1. #7.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hey Donna, glad to have you leave a comment. 🙂 I appreciate long time readers so much.

  7. #8

    There is something inside me that wants to make more healthy decisions. Making bad choices are easier because they don’t cost as much and I can get my hands on them without difficulty (ie: the vanilla long john I had for “breakfast” this morning).

    I have to work on walking away from what’s easy and quick and into what is healthy and actually taste good. That’s going to take a ton of planning on my part and a support system that is not part of my every day living.

    I signed up for your class last year and go nowhere. My hope is to try to “push” myself (also my ON LITTLE WORD via Ali Edwards) to want this more than another Oreo or bag of chips.

    Thank you Cathy for what you do. . .it falls into the “push” category of my life.

  8. #9

    I was feeling a little down about my lack of progress so far this year and my mom happened to send me some pictures from right after the birth of my second baby (who is now 3 ½). Those made me feel a lot better about how far I’ve come in that time! 😀

  9. #10

    I recently discovered an early morning show that airs M/W/F on PBS called “Classical Stretch: The Esmonde Technique” Granted, I don’t routinely wake early enough (without children!) to do it at that 6am hour, BUT I have a handful of them taped on our digital cable box and can enjoy them in my own time… when my kids aren’t home, etc. The first time I did it, I told myself “I don’t feel like I am doing much of anything.” because it didn’t feel ‘that hard’ but the next morning, I was greeted with a sense of ‘hey, I used some muscles I forgot I had!’ I’ve only done it a few times, but feel stronger and taller on the days that I do MAKE THE TIME to add it into my day. I think this is what you can call BABY STEPS into the health and fitness trend…. Now, I just have to convince myself to keep trying it!

  10. #11

    Working to string together healthy choice days as well. I purchased Elise’s PDF goal sheet. Coloring in the circles with red. kind if not wanting to see a white circle. No judgement or ugly self talk. Just like that string of red. thanks for keeping it real. As always.

  11. #13

    I am inspired to say you inspired me then and I lost 25 lbs. I photographed my chubby start and took shots on the treadmill and felt fabulous. I also gained it back plus some. I’ve also been trying the I don’t care mantra the last few years.

    I started off good this year but one thing and then another made me cop out. But I will keep trying.

    Thanks for sharing parts of your life that let me know I’m not alone in this – life, weight, hormones, etc.

  12. #14
    Donelle Macey

    Hi Cathy We are all in the same boat. I have lost and gained more pounds than I care to think about. I recently retired after 33 years and have decided to work for ME now. Taking one step at a time and one pound at a time. BTW your 40 pounds over 10 months seems doable at 4 pounds a month just sayin. I would love to loose 40 over 10.
    I too have been having Big toe problems both a pun and the reality of it. Shoes have become a real problem exercise can be a real pain in the foot. The podiatrist has recommended the fusion. Has it eliminated your foot pain?
    I have been just taken your METAV class and have to say it Rocks. You are right it is no easy task but I am loving the journey.
    BTW I always thought you were a member of the Tribe welcome aboard!

  13. #15

    I think I may have posted this before but there is an online nutrition class put on by a place called Prescribed Nutrition. If you google them you will get their blog and then can find classes. They started a new program this year and it lasts 20 days. Lots of support on the message boards and tons, like 100 pages of recipes. The food is real food, and good food.
    I have taken a few of their classes and love them. They are run by two nutritionists but not the “food pyramid” type of nutritionists, they are wonderful at talking about how what we eat affects our moods. They deal with autoimmune issues and foods too. They have a trainer post quick workouts also. I have learned so much from them. I have no affiliation with them just wanted to share because it feels so good to feel good. I am nicer to my kids and hubby, I have more energy, I feel better about myself and the best part is my chubby tummy is getting a little smaller. 🙂

  14. #16

    It’s funny. I’m probably in the worst shape of my life (excepting one post-partum period). But I don’t have the same sense of “OMG I must get this fixed NOW!” I partly blame too much stress in other areas of my life. But I also sense I’ve finally come to the slow-and-steady, small changes, just keep going phase. And I’m really hoping that means I’ll make it stick this time. I’m going to re-do MMEW from last year. (I started on 1/5, but wasn’t prepped, so quickly fell behind so I’ll just start again on Sunday.) I’m focusing on eliminating one type of poor food (processed carbs) and then will tackle another (sugar. My precious.) and then another and another. I’m not allowing my lazy side to convince my fit side to sleep in instead of working out. I’m (trying desperately) not expecting massive changes in short amounts of time. A pound a week. That’s what I’m aiming for.

    I’m also intrigued by your therapist’s thoughts. I feel like I let my health go when I am overly stressed in another area of my life. That all my energy is focusing on something/someone else and I just can’t exert more energy to take care of myself. Even though I KNOW I need to do the exact opposite. I think I’ll have to give it some more thought…

  15. #17

    Love the concept of stringing a few days together etc. I totally get that and can work that too! Thanks for that concept….

    BTW, the best plantar fasciitis remedy…..

    Press your heel, AS Hard and as long as you can stand it, on a golf ball. Move it around and press on it again……
    When I was doing that at the running store, my eyes were watering BUT….the next day…the angels sang and it was gone.

    When you’re cursing me….I’ll understand.

    1. #17.2

      Just hopped back onto my treadmill after a two month hiatus. Two weeks into running and my PF is flaring as well. I keep a couple golf balls under my computer desk and press my heel and arch down on them while I’m working–hurts like heck, but it totally helps!

  16. #18

    I was right there with you for my whole life. I totally get the self-sabotage/liking the mess–my head was so freaked out if something started working because I was so sure at some point it would fall apart, that I took care of that myself. 🙂 Then I stopped trying for many years, burned-out. Then one day I saw an old friend, had a birthday, watched a movie that gave me a “why,” and went plant-based overnight. All the old worries, I mean *all,* dissolved. Gone. No scales, no counting anything, no stress, lower grocery bills 😉 Just one thought about a side exit might work for someone else. Take care!

  17. #19
    Amanda B

    Damn. I feel like I could have written this.

    In 2013 I lost 69 pounds in about 10 months (not trying to one up you here…it’s part of a story, I swear). I, too, was black and while. All or nothing. I was 100% on my plan. Cheat days and splurges were NOT allowed for me because I knew I hadn’t figured out my issues with food yet and I knew “just a taste” (as my SIL liked to call her splurges) would lead me to the whole fucking thing.

    Granted, for me, when I started the plan, I was closer to 300 pounds than any 5’2″ woman had any right being and I was in a lot of pain with my feet (Plantar Fasciitis, heel Spurs and tendonitis). I HAD to get that weight off.

    Last year, though, it slowly started falling apart. I had lost so much weight and while I still had quite a ways to go to get to what everyone deemed for my healthy BMI, I felt great! I could walk and stand without pain! I thought I looked good! Yes, still heavy (heavier than I still needed to be) but happy. So, I started making excuses and trying the whole “just a taste” thing and by November I was in a “fuck it! I’m gonna eat it!” Or, worse (and what got me to the point I was at in 2013), going all day without eating at all and then eating all my calories in one sitting.

    The cycle, I tell you, is a bitch. But, this year I’m trying again. Trying to find that grey area. I’m walking, I’m eating what I should be (for the most part – I’m trying not to feel guilty about that butter roll I ate last night), drinking my 64 oz of water. And, well. I feel OK. Better than I did last month, so that’s something. I’m not 100% 100% of the time but Im learning to be OK with 90% 80% of the time.

    Anyway, I get it. We’ll figure it out.

    1. #19.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yep. We will.

      And I get it. I want to be moving into more of the gray in my life. I too am having these foot issues partly due to the extra weight, so I really do have more than vanity going on here.

      Keep it up Amanda. I’ll be posting here periodically, of course, about this very subject.

  18. #21

    Wait, what?! There is someone else out there that craves/loves sprite and salt&vinegar potato chips?! Kindred.
    You’re awesome. Keep taking care of yourself. Just one day at a time.

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