My whole life

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life127 Comments
My whole life I’ve wanted to lose weight.

This was the thought rattling around my head last week as I decided to step on the scale to see if it was just my imagination that I had somehow packed on yet another five, or possibly ten. Or whatever.

As far back as I can remember—and honestly, anything before 12 or 13 is a bit fuzzy—I have wanted to lose weight.

In middle school, I remember starting to drink Diet Sprite thinking that it was a much better choice to have with an afterschool snack of potato chips and Snickers bars. It was saving a few extra calories which in turn would make my butt look just a little more acceptable in my San Francisco Riding Gear jeans.

In high school, I remember bringing a Diet Sprite and an avocado for lunch, because that was yet another sure fire way to drop a few libbies and have more boys like me.

It must have been rough back then, being a five-foot-six-inch female weighing 125 pounds.


Last year I wrote an apology to my body. As I re-read what I wrote, I still feel that yearning for tenderness. I want to connect to acceptance and move away from body shame. But it’s a slippery slope. Being disappointed in my corporeal being is as familiar to me as the roof of my mouth is to my tongue. It’s nearly all I’ve ever known. My whole life.

I work with a therapist. I’ve mentioned this before. She really focuses more on personal development. I’ve learned a lot about myself during the past four years and much of it does not, how do you say, make me feel very good about myself. Most of the time, I avoid this particular topic with her because she’ll be the first to call me out that I keep it a problem, because if I don’t have a problem in my life, I cease to exist in the neurotic way that I know and cherish.

That would be true. Because as you can guess, this is about a lot more than just eating your feelings in Oreos. It’s about how you view yourself as a whole. There are parts of my whole that I view with great pride and confidence. And then there is this part, which has always been lacking in the equation.

As I am staring down the barrel of 50 (okay, so I still have 11 months to go), I am feeling very middle aged in my body. Shit hurts. Nothing fits. I’m skipping the shower more days than not because work calls, and who cares if I’m in my pajamas all day? Actually, that’s pretty standard for me. When my schedule is taxed, something’s gotta give, right?

But as I approach the half-century mark, the reality is, I don’t know how much time I have left. None of us do. But I do know that my whole life I have never been thin enough. I have never looked good enough. Except for a very few times when I was in a very unmanageable state of calorie intake and reduced weight.

My whole f#%*ing life.


Maybe I do need to talk to my therapist about this again. Because it’s not just about weight. It never is.

I hesitated to post this because I don’t want to whine. I don’t feel whiny. I just feel like, “Whoa… it’s always been like this.” Sure, there’ve been stretches where it wasn’t a problem, but during those times, I had other problems. I smoked a pack a day. I yelled at my kids at the smallest provocation. I was the least affectionate wife on the planet. But hot damn, I could wear Size 10 jeans no problem!

When I don’t write about what is really going on in my life, I feel blocked as a writer. Sometimes I don’t feel like I can get another Make a Page Monday out until I deal with what’s real. Or what’s neurotic. Either way.

That’s where I’m at today.


Cathy ZielskeMy whole life

127 Comments on “My whole life”

  1. #1

    I’m right there with you! I turned 49 last October and it’s been rough. That mortality thing. Cause I know that more than half my life is over. And I struggle with that weight issue myself. I’ve always been thin, could eat whatever and be able to lose the LB’s if I skipped a meal. But today ehhh, not so much. And I’d do just about anything to skip a workout. So yeah, sometimes it’s the #$%’s! I guess I’m going to be a little more plump in my old age!

    1. #1.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yeah, I’m cool with being more plump in my old age, but right now, my weight puts me into the Obese category. I need to make a shift to a safer range.

      1. #1.1.1
        Barbie Schwartz

        I wish I was just plump. Or soft. But I’m fully in the obese category as well. And it f-ing pisses me off. Who is this nearly 48 year old fat person? I used to be a tiny 5’5″, 110 lbs. And not just as a kid–I was that size well into my adulthood. It wasn’t until my late 30’s that my weight became an issue. And it’s a HUGE issue now.

  2. #2

    Oh, Cathy. I don’t have answers for you and I know some of the feelings you write about. I so wish there was a way to send you, right into your brain and heart the love for yourself that I’ve found useful. I do know that the more I love and take care of my body as it is right now, the less I need to use food for reasons other than hunger.

  3. #3

    Amen. Not alone. I turned 50 this past fall & it hit me hard. Not the part about being older but the dissatisfaction with myself, where I am, why I never imagined myself still looking like this by that magic age ( I would have my sh*t together by 50, I was positive) , and then my mortality. To all the things you said, I nodded . I may even have had my eyes leak a wee bit … just a bit. (Damn leaky eyes, what is that ?!!) I actually like myself and think I’m pretty great most of the time. I’m my favourite company, lol. But I push all the things I like to the front and try to ignore or deny the things I don’t like. And the part about the shower … what is that ? I just thought that this past week myself. There would never have been a day I wouldn’t have had a shower … until lately. It’s kind of that “oh well, who cares” thing that creeps in … and it is a bit confusing when the “good me” thinks about it. I hear you, I applaud you for sharing, and I wish I could make you a cup of tea and make you laugh. And that’s quite something for a 50 year old introvert like me to want to do. I would even shower … 😉 Take care.

  4. #4

    Cathy I love how real you are. I know beauty is often what is the media says it is our outer appearance. But your beauty goes so beyond appearances. It is in the stories you have shared with us. Your gift with words and your openness. Your an inspiration. Is that not enough?

  5. #5
    Lindsey A.

    I get it. I hear you loud and clear. And because of you writing it, it helps your neurotic readers go “WHOA…is she in my head?” Thank you for your real posts, seriously…thank you!

  6. #6

    On your review, I’ve recently bought a Fitbit. I love it. I’m in my mid-40’s. Weight does not come off as easily as it did in my 30’s. My clothes don’t fit, I need more choices than those old navy tshirts. But more than anything, I feel better as a whole when I’m eating better and moving more.

  7. #7
    Valerie White

    Cathy, thank you for sharing what so many women think! After turning 50 and my entire body failing me to the point of not being able to get out of bed I went to a naturopath. I did a cleanse of only fruits and veggies for 3 weeks without any cheating and I did not lose one pound not one. I was baffled, the dr was baffled but she asked me one pivotal question… How did I feel. I felt fabulous. So my focus became how I felt after eating various foods and I found I felt so much better after eating healthier. Then I started walking. Just a mile at first and I felt good, then 2. I now walk between 10.000-15,000 steps a day…EVERY day. I eat healthy with sees candy and a few French fries thrown in. I have no diet plan, I actually didn’t even know how much I weight
    Ed until my physical and I had lost 20 pounds, my blood pressure went down 20 points and my heart rated dropped 20 points. But none of that was my original focus, it was all just a desire for daily healthy living. Every day I go to the gym, even if for 1/2 hour. Every day I focus on what will fuel my body the best. The days I choose fries, a burger and milkshake I see how I feel. For the most part I feel terrible but I enjoyed it going down and I remember the next time. There is no magic pill (dang) but at 52 I look and feel better than ever and I know it can be the same for you because mid life doesn’t have to be a crisis!!!

    1. #7.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I want to feel better, physically, and the choices I’ve made, especially this year are diametrically opposed to that goal. I need to just work and do better.

    2. #7.2

      Valerie I am right there where you are….well almost. I am 52, watching what I eat and walking more often. For me it started last year when doc told me I was now in the mildly obese category w/ HBP and weight loss is a must. I tried on my own with not much success. So he put me on weight loss drug, I refused after experiencing tingling in hands/feet and constant week long migraines on another. I lost, then gained, then lost and a few weeks ago was back where I was weight-wise last year when I first saw him.
      I’ve stopped all meds, and have decided to just do me…the healthier me. I hate gyms so walking is a must (fitbit helps seeing all those beautiful steps). Eating 3 + 2 helps but I don’t always get to the 2 snacks…the 3 meals, protein and veggie packed, are what I can stick to for now. Sometimes I slip but I don’t condemn or berate myself. I know I will see good results but also know I can’t do it because doc demands it. I want it. And that’s enough for me.

    3. #7.3
      Beth H.

      Valerie this is inspiring and where I am headed. I just turned 51. I am technically obese according to my BMI — but I don’t look obsese — I look overweight. This is because I am tall and large boned and have large hips and breasts and honestly I think BMI is a completely flawed system especially for those of us who are large boned. Last time I weighed an amount to be at the top of the normal BMI range my husband said he could see my rib bones and didn’t like it!!! But I digress. Over the last year I’ve decided that I’m just not going to worry about what I weigh any more, BUT I DO want to feel good and be healthier so I like your approach. I’m working on getting exercise now and building up steps. That’s all I’m working on right now. I’ll add other things in as I go.

      1. #7.3.1

        I completely agree about the BMI system. A few years ago, the doctor told my teenage daughter that she was obese and we both just goggled at him. She was wearing a size 10 and is 5′ 3″. How is that obese? But based on her weight, she was at the obese mark. The women in my family always weigh more than they look. All of her other numbers were good, cholesterol, etc. She doesn’t go to that doctor anymore. It seemed to be his focus. Not helpful to anyone, but especially to a teenage girl!!

        I will be turning 50 tomorrow. I feel like my body has let me down. I have had 4 surgeries in less than 3 years. I am way more tired than I think I should be. I joined WW and lost 45 lbs but have gained back 5 since my last surgery a few months ago. I work on my attitude every day. There’s a lot of self talk going on in my head and none of it is nice. I wish I could be as kind to myself as I am to my family and friends.

        1. #
          Beth H.

          Oh Helen. I am so sorry and I totally hear you and understand the negative talk. We all have to stop it (easier said than done) we are so so much more than what we weigh. Yes, being healthy is a good goal — but that includes mental health and beating ourselves up is not healthy.

  8. #8

    thank you for writing about this. I feel the same way. I am 59 and it seems like the weight just won’t come off. I struggle with that reality all the time. I hate shopping for clothes because I hate size I am I hate looking in the mirror because truly I look fat. I hired a personal trainer last year to work with and I lost a mere 18 pounds. I felt better about myself until I stepped on the damn scale. All that work three times a week and for 12 months and I only lost 18 pounds. I quit working with him because he had another job that got in the way. It didn’t take as long for the pounds to come back as it took for them to come off. I wish I could accept and be happy with me and my body. I am sure we are not the only ones out there that feel this way. It is nice to see I am not alone.

  9. #9
    kim boho

    Wow! This has been my life too! And at 45 this year, am really feeling like this could go on forever and I hate it! In the last couple years my body has really felt like crap…I’ve always had stomach problems and what I chose to put in my body totally affects that. I just said out loud yesterday…I’m sick of feeling sick! So now its not just a “I hate how my body looks” thing, its a “I hate how my body feels”. I think about it every day, many times a day, and beat myself up for not achieving the thin I think I should be. Your article was great and very timely for me, so thank you for sharing! I think you are beautiful and have always loved your scrapping style. I own a couple of your books and am not ashamed to say I am a self professed, scraplifter! Thanks for sharing your gifts with those of us who aren’t as gifted in this area, but love the hobby!

  10. #10

    You are not alone. I can’t remember a day in my life when i wasn’t on a diet, or trying to be on one, or feeling miserable because i needed to lose 10,15,20 or 30 lbs. last week i read something that resonated: i refuse to let a number make me feel bad about myself. I refuse. Now i am trying to change the way i see things. I want to be fit. It weight comes off, that’s great. If it doesn’t, well, i’m working on feeling ok about that too. Shift the goal. My goal now is 5 perfect pushups. (I can’t do 1). Starting a fitness program next week, strength here i come.

  11. #11

    There are days when I’m motivated to move my body and eat healthy food. Then there are days when the television and the box of Cheez-Its are calling my name. I wish it was as simple as finding a healthier balance between the two, but this whole peri-menopause thing (and I’m 53 already) really sucks. I despair at the thought that it can actually get worse when I’m officially in menopause. All that to say, your post really resonates. I’ve wanted to be thinner since high school (at 5’4″ and 121) and always thought of myself as “fat” even when I wasn’t. Thank you media and fashion industry. I don’t think there are any easy answers. And if I had a therapist that was going to make me feel even worse about this whole mess, I wouldn’t bring it up either!

    1. #11.1
      Gypsy Chaos

      FWTW – things don’t get worse once you’ve gone an entire year without your period, landing you in the menopause category. That’s what I’ve read, and also my experience. The biggest things for me: Roller coaster emotions – no longer the wildest ride in the world, more like the baby coaster. Night sweats – no more multiple night shirts per night on a regular basis.

  12. #12
    Jan F

    Ya know, Cath…I believe that sometimes the stars just have to align and that something you’ve been fighting all your life suddenly looks a bit more manageable. For me, turning 50 was incredibly freeing. From somewhere, I developed the attitude that “okay, I’ve spent the first half of my life trying to make other people happy…now it’s my turn.” I met the love of my life and figured that those people in my life who truly care about me would love her too. And they do. Last year, I finally made the choice to make my physical being my focus. Like you, I have been fighting that battle since my teens. I got incredibly lucky and found a mom and pop gym about a mile from my house, and made myself go until I didn’t have to make myself do it anymore. Now I go because I absolutely love it. It’s small enough that everyone gets to know each other. The trainer waited to introduce food recommendations until the workout routine was established. And I have lost 30 pounds since July. More importantly, I am stronger, have more energy and like the way I look, even though I have at least 40 more pounds to lose. I am 21 months away from turning 60, and I thought this was a lost cause. So, I’m here to encourage you to keep on trying. Having teenage kids, a career that demands a huge piece of “you” and a constant presence of negative self talk is exhausting. Ask me how I know…But I am here to tell you that I’m a believer. I hope you will be, too.

      1. #12.1.1

        Cathy if it were as simple as just committing and making some changes don’t you think you would have done it by now? Stop blaming yourself – playing the blame game never helped anyone. As a therapist and an obese one at that I know that there are underlying issues that are supporting and in fact creating an environment that is keeping you this size! If you want to learn to love yourself and find freedom from this burden, you are going to have to do the hard work with your therapist – it will be well worth it!!! (P.S. I am speaking to myself as much as I am speaking with you!)

  13. #13

    Oh Cathy. How I love you so. I could have written this, as I’m sure millions of women relate as well. I want you to love yourself. Because I look at you and see a woman full of so much beauty inside and out. We can do this. We can do this.

  14. #14

    You spoke from your heart.
    No words for me to say.
    No judgement for me to have.
    Just me sending compassion and hugs from one human being to another…

  15. #15

    Cathy, if you get this figured out I hope you’ll share. I’m on the same train. I don’t like my body and I never have, not even in high school when I was a whole size 4. I look back at those pictures and cringe at how I felt even back then.

    I want to like myself. I really do.

    1. #15.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yeah, I thought about the cultural implications of being overweight, you know… society bombards us with SO much of the not enough message. But it’s so many things layered on top of the other.

  16. #16
    Lynne Gillis

    I want to hug you.

    I want the part of you that is feeling like you are not enough to know that you are so, so very enough. At whatever size. At no size. At any size.

    It doesn’t matter.

    You are one of the most real and honest and inspiring people I have ever had the pleasure of getting to ‘know’ (albeit virtually), and I just want you to know that I understand. I have been there. Sometimes I go back… but not often. There is a way out.

    There is a way. Through.

    In your own way.

    In your own time.

    Know that you are loved.

    Know that you are supported.

    And know that you are brave. Truly, truly brave.


    1. #16.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Thanks, Lynne.

      I just need to be honest and deal with this head on and stop the neurotic behavior. A work in progress for sure. 🙂

  17. #17

    As I was reading this I kept thinking…how the hell did she get in my head this week??? It has been a very long winter and have been dealing with SAD more than usual…and then I did step on the scale and realized I had gained back all the weight I had lost as well. Now I just need to figure out what I am going to do about it.

    1. #17.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Carrie, this is a good point. Now it’s up to me to do something about it. I am not shooting for thin. I am shooting for as close to a normal BMI as possible. I want to be alive and feel as good as I can for many years to come.

  18. #18
    Juli P

    Last Friday, I went visit my doctor… because I had the crap scared out of me at my company’s biometric physical. My blood pressure was alarmingly high.
    I too, am approaching 50, well in another 2.25 years, but it there… sort of like Sally turning 40.
    But when my BP was so high and she used the words “at risk for stroke” that shit scared me! I have little kids at home. I need to be around for them. I can’t be in the obese catagory. That’s not me. It’s never been me…. until I got tired and lazy from those young kids.
    That appointment on Friday made me feel really old! two things happened… I started taking a daily medication for blood pressure and she used the word POST and menopausal in the same sentence…. How can I be POST menopausal at 47.75 years old? I still have to sleep with the windows open when it’s -25 degrees outside at night???

    1. #18.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yeah, I didn’t bring up the post menopausal aspect. But it’s been a year and 3/4. Aunt Flo is gone, baby, gone. And that brings up weight issues that are different.

  19. #19

    Hugs. I think a lot of us have this feelings…so just know that you are not alone. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

    That said, I finally figured out that I need help. I can’t just get on a treadmill and walk or run or whatever whenever the mood strikes. Because frankly, I can ALWAYS find a reason to skip. But I have been feeling so unhealthy. And I am tired of feeling sick or achy or hurt. So, I did some research and found a program that would work for me. And that means that I need to be accountable and have someone hold my hand. Yes, I need help. So, I bought a package of personal training a local fitness center. It is not a chain center. This is a center that specializes in personal custom fitness programs to work with people like me. People at rock bottom. They made me list my goals, and yes, the first thing was “lose weight” but right after that came, “better health”, “gain strength”, and “improve endurance”.

    So that is what we are doing. I love my trainer. He is awesome. Not judgey at all…he doesn’t yell at me. Instead, he encourages me when I am feeling lesser or not able. And in the first two weeks, I have dropped 6 lbs. But more than that, I can see that my attitude is lifted. I don’t have to figure this thing out alone. I can get help. I make him do all the thinking. He tells me what to do and I do it. Yes, some days it is a struggle, but I feel so awesome when I finish a session.

    Thinking about getting some help. Inertia is a powerful force and it is nearly impossible to do it alone. At least it was for me. And it just set up a cycle of self loathing because I just couldn’t get going or maintain momentum. I needed someone to literally hold my hand.

    Best wishes.

  20. #20

    Let me just start by applauding your honesty and bravity to just put it out there because that’s where it is! I am 9 months pre-five -oh and am wondering what the hell happened- a huge hormonal shift called “‘menopause’ has not helped in this pre fifty funk either. It’s hard to feel good when your undies are too tight and the thought of upsizing is unbearable. I am hopeful that I will waken motivated to take action one day soon. As a yoga instructor once repeated over and over ” every action begins with a thought” Namaste.

  21. #21

    cathy, thank you for sharing this-for sharing the “real, vulnerable you!” You confirmed for me that we are all the same inside. We all want more and want to be what others perceive us to be. We are all the same, but different. Thank you for these words.

  22. #23

    and another ….. Yes, me too! I turned 60 last year. How can I be 60 and still not like myself? My weight was fine until I had children and after that it was a case of ‘don’t bother eating that just sellotape it to your stomach’! My problem is that I think everyone only sees my weight. Perhaps they do. But does that make me unworthy in their eyes? Probably not. Then why do these extra pounds make me feel so worthless? I’ve recently realised that I’ll probably never be slim but at least I can be better than I am now, so that’s what I’m aiming for. I’m making an effort with my appearance- no more pyjama days. I may not look super stylish but at least I’m dressed. I’m going to work on not disliking myself and just enjoy life as best I can.
    So Cathy do you want to join me on my quest? Everyone else is welcome too!

    1. #23.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Steph, yes… I am working on making changes, and this includes my attitude. I need to back it up, or it is just going to be whining from me. 🙂

  23. #24

    Being overweight sucks. Totally sucks. I too, have been dealing with it my whole life. Diets, exercise, then giving up because some days IT’S TOO HARD. And then starting all over again. Somedays I feel physically sick when I hear people talking about their exercise routines, their gluten-free diets, their new pants because their old ones are WAY too big. If I had one wish, it would not be that I was skinny, or physically fit, it would be that the part of my brain that constantly thinks about food and my body would SHUT UP. If I could just stop thinking about all of it, then maybe I could just get on with the living, with the enjoying, with the eating without the guilt. I guarantee that each and every jellybean I have consumed over the past couple days has a side of guilt that has gone with it. What I am trying to say….you are not alone. This battle sucks. Big time.

  24. #25

    cathy, I could have written this blog post with you (except for the facts I’ve never smoked, and I’m only 7 months from the big 5-0). I look back at my college pictures, FEELING today how I felt when they were taken – that I needed to lose weight. And believe me, it’s much truer now than it ever was then. And for the majority of my life I’ve rationalized fad diets, and jumped on (and inevitably fallen hard off of) countless fitness band wagons. It’s exhausting. But, knock on wood, I’ve finally stumbled onto something that is truly working. At least FOR ME. And that’s the great cosmic joke/secret in all this – there’s no one size fits all in this game. The more I read about Paleo, the more ah-ha moments I had. And the more convinced I was that I could do this. And I was okay with the fact that even if I lost zero weight, I needed to FEEL better. It’s been 2 months. And so far it’s been very do-able and something I think I can do forever. I started with a Whole30, and lost 17 pounds. I’ve basically kept up the principals of the whole30 since then, with an occasional cheat ingredient. This last month I’m at a total of 28 pounds lost. But the big difference is my relationship with food. I eat three meals a day. Big meals. But I’m not craving sweets any more. Nor am I hungry 20 minutes after I eat. I sleep better than I have in 30 years. I could go on and on, but I’m sure I’ve already over-written my welcome ;-). Anyway, I’m not trying to be preachy, etc. It’s just that I’m SO grateful for friends who walked this road before me who took the time to write about their experiences. It’s what ultimately lead me to find my own path! If you’d have asked me 6 months ago if I could survive without a cookie or a piece of bread, I would have asked what kind of crazy pill you’d taken that morning. But, I’m not only surviving, but thriving. I’m just not into calorie counting or carb counting, or counting out little goldfish crackers into a snack baggie. But, I CAN now say “no thanks” to a snickers bar and mac & cheese, but give me a huge serving of zoodles and a grass fed beef spaghetti sauce! Best of luck to you! Keep searching for YOUR answer! Because it is out there!

    1. #25.1

      I totally relate to Cathy’s post and yours! My history is very similar to Cathy’s & my view of my weight is as well. I am 50, and it is so hard just to lose a pound – seriously. I found out about the Whole30 and bought the book “It Starts with Food”. I’m on Day 24 of my first round of Whole30. I have only broken 1 rule – I have weighed myself once every week. I’ve lost 9 lbs with barely any exercise (which I intend to rectify). I’m going on a Caribbean vacation soon, and I’m apprehensive about it.

  25. #26

    I don’t have a lot of advice to give you but just know this newly 32 year old mother of two identifies with you. Ever since I hit puberty and achieved my “athletic” build (that did not include the large tits I always wanted), I have struggled with how my body looked. I have strong legs and arms. I had terrible skin with cystic acne that I still deal with daily even after medication. I am currently dealing with the fact that I like a ton of food that is really bad for me and I am acting like a 2 year old that won’t give it up. But something has to give or I will be headed down a very unhealthy road. So just know that we all have these thoughts about ourselves and you are not alone. We can be so cruel to ourselves.

  26. #27

    I’m only 30 but I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. I was the fat kid in elementary. I was the awkward overweight girl in junior high gym class. I’ve always been heavier than I should be. I lost a lot of weight my freshman year of college while I allowed a controlling roommate to make me her “personal mission” but, even then, I have never been thin. My WHOLE life, I watched my beloved mom struggle with her body too. She went from one diet to another – constantly. She would drop weight yet it inevitably came back (more than before). She was never, EVER happy with herself. She let the scale determine her self-worth. She always put herself down.

    But I just saw… my mom. I didn’t understand her battle then. And I started to think I must be unsuitable because I was overweight too.

    In the last 5 years, I’ve decided I will always be “heavy” for my height. I accepted it. I CAN be healthy while still being overweight. I realize this is not the answer my doctor wants to hear, but my lab work is always perfect. I don’t have any weight-related issues. And, once I stopped striving to be skinny, I am more comfortable with myself. I buy clothes that fit instead of clothes I hope to grow into. I enjoy a drink with my man without quietly calculating the calories. I accept/believe people’s compliments. I ENJOY LIFE now.

    I’m not saying, “Being fat is okay.” I am saying: My life got better once I stopped fighting my weight. Nothing changed, expect my attitude. I still need to be more careful than those who have an incredible metabolism but I will never look like them. I am me.

    Thanks for being real, Cathy. I’m sure a lot of people can relate.

  27. #28

    I totally hear you! I just turned 44 and have been struggling with my weight since graduating college. But I have finally found success in a product called “Shape Reclaimed”. It is a homeopathic blend of drops that you take 3 times per day that mimics the hormone hcg in your body. I started in Feb and have lost 20 pounds and 12.5 inches at the 30 day measurement. There are 3 phases. You stay on phase 1 until you are at your goal weight. Phase 2 “locks in” your new weight set point & metabolism, and phase 3 is the rest of your life :). I am not going to kid you – phase 1 is VERY restrictive but you eat all real food. The first week was painful as your body detoxes from all the sugar and crap. But it gets easier and you can really see the results! It is NOT a pyramid scheme and you need to get it from a Shape approved practitioner which you can search on their website. You also have to be monitored weekly by the practitioner and have a urinalysis done weekly so they can adjust the diet to your body. I am a nurse and I did a LOT of research on it before starting. A few weeks ago I went to one of their events and met the doctor who developed it. There is a lot of educational information on their website Watch the powerpoint presentation under the Patient Education tab titled “New 2015”. It explains the program in detail. There is also another part of the program called Self-Reclaimed that helps you work through the underlying emotional reasons to your over eating. I also recommend the book Weight Loss Apocalypse by Robin Phipps Woodall. Good luck Cathy!!

  28. #29

    I understand very well what you write. I felt like this for most of my life until I thought I would die in February 2013 at age 38… OK, I was afraid for a minute or so. That pulmonary embolism hurt so bad, I thought I would never make it back home to my kids and the love of my life. And slowly, my vision changed… I still have a lot of weight to lose. But I see life with new eyes. Every day, I do my best in every field, even nutrition and exercise… But I don’t strive to be perfect anymore. I just do my best and forgive myself when I fall… I try to love myself the way I want people to love me. Nurture myself the way I deserve. I eat better and exercise more, because it makes me feel better. When I don’t feel like it, I remember how strong and positive I feel when I do get that exercise in. It’s easy to be very hard on ourselves. But what is really important? People won’t remember the jeans size we wore…. Don’t be so hard on yourself! You’re a beautiful person!

  29. #30
    Lisa Spiegel

    You know you’re not alone, right? I too am staring down the barrel of 50 (10 months away) and wish more than anything that I was as fat as I thought I was 30 years ago. This past year I found Plexus and it has really helped- healing from the inside out… Losing weight without as much effort…email me if you’d like more info…I got your back!

  30. #31

    i am always amazed that i am not alone. I am always amazed at how many women feel this way. Oh the power we have to change the world if we would just do it together. Change the perception of beauty. Change the fact that its hard and expensive to buy nice clothes. Change the fact that if you do not weigh 130 you are plus size. I too am almost 50 (two years) and you know its gotta be about feeling healthy and good in my skin at this point. I can’t diet or even exercise the way I used to (stuff hurts) but i can choose to be happy and do my part. Hugs to you Cathy, you are imperfectly awesome.

  31. #32
    Jocelyn Thompson

    I so feel you on this. I also am nearing 50 – like really, literally in 49 days. Yes, days. That just makes a girl reflect. ……on. everything. Weight, happiness, a broken marriage, a new marriage, my kids, my health, my future, my past……….oh my! Arthritis and weight fluctuations are not helping my over-all feeling of just being comfortable in my own skin. I guess at this point – that is my main goal, to just be comfortable in my own skin (and clothes). No binding or pinch points please! Sigh! Still a work in progress at nearly 50! Hang in there! You truly do make it easier when you share your struggles here with us! Love ya Cathy!

  32. #33
    Tracie Claiborne

    My weight is the one thing in my life that I’ve failed at for 20 years. I consider myself a success in most areas of my life but I’m a failure at being healthy and it plagues me. I’m having some scary weight related issues this week and I woke up today determined to make some changes. Not tomorrow….today. I know you are down on yourself but I think of you as one of the most beautiful people on the planet so I wish you could see yourself the way others do and not be so hard on yourself.

  33. #34

    Cathy, I really only want to say Thank You for telling me I am not alone. It’s a relief to know I’m possibly “normal.”
    EVERYTHING you wrote could have been written by me.
    I’m approaching 46 this year. I struggled with so many issues, found the causes and remedied them. Lost 100 lbs, FINALLY & for the only time in my adult life got into a size 10 jeans! I maintained well for a couple years and then suddenly my life was upside down again And my strength gave out. I’m depressed, not loving my body, eating my emotions and have not been able to get those jeans past my knees for almost a year now.
    At my age, secure in my family. Loved as I am. WHY does my weight issues control the central element of my brain?!? More so, WHY do I continue to self sabotage?!?

  34. #35
    Gail A

    What a wonderful statement you made, and so many, many people can relate! THANK YOU! I’m 64 and for the last two years have been going through the most horrible trauma in my entire life – I lost my youngest sister to alcoholism. The pain, guilt, remorse and grief almost killed me. I wanted to die, but instead ate myself to my highest weight ever. For months, I lived on Oreo cookies, Reeses peanut butter cups and fast food. I’m finally starting to recover, but now need to deal with this weight. I’ve grown out of the majority of my clothes and nothing looks good in my eyes. It’s tough. I’m there with you….!

    1. #35.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Gail, I just wanted to say I’m sorry for your loss. Alcoholism hurts a family so deeply. I speak from experience.

  35. #36

    Oh Cathy why are we so hard on ourselves? I turned 50 last year and my mortality doesn’t particularly concern me. In the main I’m happy with my life but I just wish I could be satisfied with my lot and stop searching for what? Like you said, I feel like I always have to have a problem. I need to lose a few pounds, well probably 10 at least, so why don’t I? I know if I eat less and exercise more I will lose weight. So why don’t I? I appear to have lots of confidence and yet I have low self-esteem (despite counselling, still an almost unmentionable word In the UK). I once opened up to someone I trusted more than anyone about the way I felt about my body and he ran for the hills. So I will never do that again.
    And I just LOVE you doing your bee dance – see I could never, ever do that because I would feel beyond stupid but you look totally cool and at ease with yourself. Why can’t we just love ourselves the way we love our family and friends? Just the way they are.
    Thank you for being honest enough to post exactly the way it is.

  36. #37

    Thank you. I am at a point where I am at the same similar point with how i am feeling at my own reflection in mirror. I appreciate your honesty.

    1. #38.3
      Deborah P

      Thanks for that link, Julie! I love the imagery of her words. That said, I’ve been abusing my paintbrush. I’m unhappy with my weight because it’s causing health problems for me and because a lot of it was added because I thought I didn’t have time to do anything than pick up fast food. EVERY DAY. Often twice a day.

      I need to have a more sane work-life balance and then put in the effort to take care of me. And I can have that balance if I will. Last year was more problematic – huge year-long project – but this year is just the normal too much to do.

      I think being aware of the problem is a big step for me. Thank you, Cathy, for sharing your thoughts. The comments I’ve had a chance to read show that I’m not the only one that needed to hear your words. I agree with the comments that we need to focus on being healthy rather than on numbers. And perhaps listen more to Meghan Trainor.

  37. #39
    Marilyn T

    I promised myself on my 50th birthday that I would never again restrict my dietary intake for the sheer purpose of losing weight or conforming my body to other people’s standards. I probably weigh 30 pounds more than I should (what does that even mean?!?) , but the peace of mind I have had these last 9 months has been incredible. Surprisingly, my weight has been stable (before, I went up and down and up and down the same damn 20 pounds), I eat healthier than ever and feel really well. I will never diet again. When I feel the “draw” of dieting (and let’s face it, dieting can be very rewarding), I repeat this in my mind over and over until the desire passes. Then I go make myself a healthy sandwich and enjoy it, REALLY enjoy it. I never enjoyed my lunch when I was subsisting on Lean Cuisines, counting points or otherwise restricting myself. But I sure do enjoy my turkey and brie on multi-grain bread with arugula, tomatoes and mozzarella! Life is too short to eat Lean Cuisine, day in and day out!

    1. #39.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Marilyn, I love reading this. I definitely want some of this in my life, but my problem is that I always go overboard. Always. I have some real triggers that I need to understand. Example, I bought a bag of Pirate’s Booty from Costco. Do you know how big those suckers are? I realized that I pretty much demolished it over two days. TWO days. And yeah, I was feeling a little stressed out at the time, but I just need to find balance and that’s going to take some work on my part. It always does. 🙂

      1. #39.1.1
        Beth H

        I am right with you on this. I just turned 51 and I am not dieting again. Whenever I diet or restrict myself I don’t enjoy life or food and end up bingeing. The problem is that I have a problem with sweets and tend to over eat them so I’m looking for a solution there. I want to focus on treating my body right and feeling good and that means moving my body and eating healthy food most of the time. I’m just not going to start a restrictive diet or any kind of crazy an hour or more a day — exercise plan.

  38. #40

    I love that you are real and talk about the good and the not so good. It makes me feel less alone in my struggles. I went clothes shopping last night because I desperately need to find something to wear besides boy t-shirts from Target and my stretchy pants. I am a 54 year old woman, sometimes I want to feel like a woman (but not necessarily the 54 part ;-0). Like you, I have some pounds to lose; and, like you, I have always had a few pounds to lose. My whole life! It’s frustrating and sad to me that I spend so much time, so much precious time, worrying about something that would seem to be so inconsequential, but honestly, it’s not inconsequential – at least to me. It affects how I feel about myself and that is not good. While I don’t ever think I will be stick thin, or even thin for that matter, I would like to lose about 30 pounds. Then I wouldn’t be in the obese category anymore and I would be able to wear 3/4 of the clothes in my closet. For now, I will keep working at it and try to take better care of myself. That is really all I can do. And until I lose that 30 pounds I will remember that I am a good person with a great life, and for that I am grateful.
    I have seriously digressed. Thanks for letting me.

  39. #41
    Sue Treiber

    Cathy, I think you are willing to say what so many of us are thinking but afraid to voice. I’m turning 47 this week, and have hated my body my whole life. That’s really sad. Some days I hate it less than others, but that’s a whole lot of hate to heap on one bag of bones.
    I’m pre-menopausal, so I still get to deal with all the fun of being a woman. And I’ve recently been diagnosed as diabetic. Trying to get a handle on my health when all I want to do is eat donuts and cookies.
    But I’m hopeful for tomorrow. I’ve been exercising and cutting back on the goodies. I refuse to give them all up, but I can be better.
    Love and hugs. Real, deep hugs from someone who gets you.

    1. #41.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yeah Sue, the thing is, I don’t want to hate my body. I don’t. But it is a very tricky thing to change… years and years of it, of always thinking it could be this or that. And any change is going to take time and it needs to get uncomfortable. How that translates to me is partially just eating healthy food and not medicating my emotions with junk food just because I FEEL like it.

      I feel very inspired by the comments today. And I know I can take care of myself and do it well.

  40. #42

    I feel you. I certainly don’t feel you whining! maybe because I can I relate so well. but its really frustrating. I am post menopausal and all the things I did previously to drop a few pounds DON’T WORK! its like I want to pull out my hair! but then, it probably wouldn’t grow back! LOL!!!! Menopause is the devil in this equation! but I feel you on the need to like ourselves they way they are, its just easier said than done. When you find a way that works for you, please share! I have started seeing a trainer and actually *gasp* lifting weights. haven’t LOST any weight, but I do feel little tiny baby muscles growing under the chub. baby steps, I suppose. I just can’t run like I used to!

  41. #43

    I am so right there with you … and if you looked back to times when you’ve written something similar I know I’ve commented the same thing … That I’m right there with you. Maybe this will be the year that we get it figured out? I’d sure like it to be! I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

  42. #44

    I’ll bring the cheese to go with your whine… 🙂 I get it. I worked hard for a year and lost 80 pounds – looked great, felt great. Spent the next 8 months gaining 30 pounds of it back. Have spent the last three months trying to lose that 30 pounds again. They are rebellious pounds and really want to stay. I fail a lot. I get discouraged and eat ice cream because — WHY NOT?!! Then self-loathe when I get on the scale to see I gained back 3 of the five pounds lost. Ugh. Totally, totally get it. 🙂

  43. #45

    Cathy I could have totally written this about myself today. I struggle with the specturm of acceptance and being disappointed in how I look in my family Easter pics. I remember my 110 lb high school self starving myself to be 105 lb to look better in my pom pon uniform. Now I have a 13 year old who is growing a woman’s body and struggling with “chub.” I talk to her about healthy eating but honestly, I want her to just do what feels right and not worry about it. Thank GOD for the big booty movement and acceptance of curves! This week a mom of three (in my circle) lost her life in a fluke accident. I’m so sad for her family. While I want to get into Summer clothing/swimsuit shape and see more muscles than cellulite I remind myself that I’m here, on this earth now, so make the best of it even if I’m chubby in pics. Be kind to your self, you are ENOUGH right now and if you have time to take a walk to make you feel better then go do it. Otherwise enjoy your time in your jammies! hugs!

  44. #46

    Well, golly, you have certainly struck a cord with this one!! Good to know we are not alone. I struggle with the fact this is NOT rocket science — it’s really easy — eat less, move more, blah, blah, blah!! But WHY can’t we do this? Yes, I know there are deeper issues, but still it comes down to basic science. At 58, the post-menopause thing definitely makes it slower, but it is still possible to lose weight.
    I really think if we can figure this out, we could be multi-billionaires!!
    I don’t know what the magic solution is — but I guess the good news is I still think it is possible. And I know I will never give up on this.
    thanks for sharing.

  45. #47

    Cathy, your post hit home for me. Mainly because I too, have been wanting to lose weight all my life. I’m in my early 40s and I was a fat kid. Fat through elementary and high school, college and some of post-college. Then, about 18 years ago, I lost 100 lbs. and kept it all off. Until I had my 2 kids. I found myself about 25 lbs. overweight again and right back into my old ways.

    I have been trying to lose the FIRST 5 lbs. for about 4 years now. I’m a pro at trying to cobble together a fitness plan from websites and magazine articles. But I realized that I’m more at home with a definitive plan. Something to tell me what to eat and what kind of exercises to do on what day. And I finally found a plan that works – Beachbody DVDs. I’m doing the 21 Day Fix program, clean-eating and supplementing with their all-natural Shakeology protein powder and I LOVE it. It works for me and my personality. I work out at home, huffing and puffing and looking silly only to my reflection in the mirror.

    Best yet, I’ve finally lost those first 5 lbs. after 4 long years and I’m starting in on the next five. One pound at a time. Damn it if those 5 lbs. took their time to come off (5 weeks) but they’re gone! I have more energy, I’m stronger, I no longer crave sugar (and Starbucks won’t get any more of my money, thank you very much), my clothes fit better and it’s only been a couple of months but it’s already a lifestyle change for me. In fact, I love it so much, I became one if their “evangelists,” or coaches as they call them, so I can spread the word about how great their products are. I kind of want to shout it from the rooftops that this program works.

    No one deserves to feel the way that I did and I finally feel like my life and my health is back under my control. But the first step is to go all-in with the commitment. Enough was enough. I woke up on a Monday, started this program and never looked back. I was that determined. The best part is that even though I am working out and eating “alone,” I have a great support group online that keeps me accountable and cheers me on when I need it. I’m not one of those in-person, group-loving types – I’m pretty private. But it’s the best of both worlds since it’s a bunch of like-minded women gathering online. Just my speed.

    Whatever you decide to do for yourself, just commit until you see results. It might take a while, but it WILL be worth it. As you said somewhere above – you are a work in progress. Me too! I’m FAR from where I ultimately want to be, but my mantra has become, “If you’re tired of starting over, then stop quitting.” It’s a mindset, and repeating that every day has made all the difference for me. Let me know if you want more info on Beachbody. I’d love to tell you even more about how it is working for me. And most of all, thanks for being honest. I think that’s the first step to exacting real change in our lives – honesty with ourselves. Best to you.

  46. #48

    As you can see, your post could have been written by SO MANY of us. I am 1 1/2 years away from 60, and have been “dieting” since 8th grade. So, so many reasons why we all get to where we all are today—actually overweight, obese, morbidly obese. I can blame my neurotically weight obsessed mother, my alcoholic father, my small frame, low metabolism, weak self control…all of it is a contributor–some way more than others, but the bigger question is what am I doing about ME getting healthy today? I became a grandmother one year ago, and seeing him running around and wanting his ‘Mimi’ to play on the floor with him has been an eye opener. I want to be a grandmother that does more than sit on the couch and read books to her grandbaby! I want to chase him, crawl on the floor, go camping and hiking and this weight is not going to allow that. He is my motivator, and forget one day at a time. It’s one hour at a time for me. What am I going to do in this next hour that will make me healthier? (This hour has been reading your post and the supportive responses 🙂
    Good luck. I don’t have answers, just empathy, baby. We all struggle. One more quick story: I just went for my annual gyn with my midwife and we talked for about 20 minutes one on one before the exam, just about all the stressors in my life. I talked about my weight, and how much I hate going to the doctor for anything (mostly because of my weight). She said she always felt that way when she was a nurse (before midwifery school) but now she realized as a midwife that so many people are heavy that it made her feel better…she wasn’t the only one who struggled. It’s feeling so alone in your struggle that is so damn hard.

  47. #49

    Not sure why, but I never leave comments. Probably some neurotic reason, like embarrassment, even though you can’t see me and don’t know me and could probably care less about my lack of grammatical prowess. But this time I had to comment, even though my response is a little random. I promise, I did read the post and like many times I felt a connection to your words. This time I thought, “I’ve got to say something”, because right after reading, I looked down at this picture of my girl that I was about to scrapbook. It made me smile…a lot. I tried to include the photo here so that I could maybe make someone else smile a little, but I’m not sure how to make that happen. She’s in just her diaper and has fashioned herself a shirt out of two pairs of my underwear. She said to me when I snapped the photo, “Mommy, I sooooo pretty.” Maybe it is relevant to the situation. We should always feel the way we felt about ourselves when we were 20 months old, even when only wearing a red thong. If you’d like to see the it, trust me it’s funny, let me know how to post a pic to the comments.

  48. #50

    On one of my lowest ever days you connect with me. For that alone you are wonderful. I never think you are whining. It means a lot that you can say out loud these things that I cannot.

  49. #51
    Lisa Russo

    We’ve always known we were so similar, but the bit about always having to have a problem? Goodness yes, yes and yes. So much truth there. Because if there’s a problem we have a goal. And goals can be achieved. But then…we just find new problems/goals.

    I’m rambling…that was just a lightbulb moment for me. 🙂

  50. #52
    Terrie Shortsleeve


    I’m right there with you! I’ll be 50 in 15 months and it’s scary. I went in today for my pre-op for what, God willing, will be the last surgery related to my breast cancer. The tech put me on the scale, looked at the readout, looked at my chart, looked at the readout again and said, “Hey, you’ve lost 35 pounds since your mastectomy last August! How did you do it?”. I hemmed an hawed for a minute and finally said, “Move more,…” and she interrupted with “Eat less, right?” I said, “No, eat WELL”. I learned that from you, Cathy!

    My nutritionist has been working with me on this. She’s very anti-calorie counting and very anti-diet. She said we have to make choices that help us to regain our health and we can’t have weight loss be our primary goal because science is finding that dieting doesn’t get us there (or at least not as a permanent solution). And she said I have to stop fat-shaming myself if I give in and have a donut once in a while. It’s better to eat the stupid thing than to deprive myself of it and eat everything else in the house trying to stave off that craving. And, let’s be honest here: I’d end up eating everything else AND the donut.

    Another thing I came across recently that has really resonated with me is the Live More, Weigh Less program. I didn’t pay for the whole enchilada, but I really like her approach of “Don’t wait to start living until after you lose “x” number of pounds…Don’t wait on the weight.” She advocates to start living NOW how you want to live and the happiness you garner from that will help you to stop trying to fill that void with Nutty Bars.

    “Don’t wait on the weight”. Something I wish someone had told me 20 years ago…maybe then I wouldn’t be missing from the majority of my daughter’s scrapbooks.

  51. #53
    Beth H.

    I’m 51 and have struggled with my weight for most of my life — more so after having kids 15 years ago and am an emotional binge eater. I’m 5’7” and at 210 am technically obese — but I’d argue that because I’m large boned I am not really obese — overweight yes! My counselor recommend the work of Isabel Foxen Duke on helping women stop feeling crazy around food (her words). Here’s her latest blog bost on how BMI affects emotional eating.
    She has a persepective you don’t hear much and she maintains that all of this obsession with food and weight actually causes many women to overeat and binge eat and feel bad about themselves leading to a cycle of binge and overeating and the first step is to accept ourselves!

  52. #54
    Theresa Grdina

    You are not alone. I am 57 and I have recently had the same thoughts about my weight – that I have battled since I was 10. my mom used to say it was painful for her to see me laying on the floor crying and begging for more food because I was hungry. (She was just trying to help.) I came to the realization that I may not have too many years left on this earth and I want to make them count. It continues to be a struggle and some days I win and some days (today) I lose. Remember to love yourself and be good to yourself. In the end, that is all that matters!!

  53. #55

    I loved reading this, I love that you put it out there for me to read and maybe think I’m hanging on to the edge of what is quite possibly normal

  54. #56
    Jenny B.

    I love that you are so honest and open, Cathy. I want to tell you an encouraging word, but I don’t know what to say. I’ve never struggled with my body image like so many women do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m out of shape and overweight, and could definitely benefit from moving more and eating well. I don’t worry about it, though. I am who I am, and I look how I look. I know that things will change, and I’ll eat more or less, and weigh more or less as the years come and go, but it just is what it is. Does that make sense? It’s hard for me to understand my friends who struggle so much with it. I think it must be about something other than just body weight and appearance. There must be a deeper issue. That’s not to say that I don’t have issues. Oh, no. I’ve got my share. They’re just different. So, I guess I want to tell you that even though I don’t understand, I do feel for you. I hope you’re able to be at peace with yourself, and maybe have a realization or an epiphany that will help you see yourself as the beautiful, talented, kind, and generous woman I think you are.

  55. #57

    Cathy, I may only be 41, but I learned something (well a couple of things) in the last couple of years. If you aren’t *enough* for yourself, you will always feel not *enough* for someone else. In my case, I realised that I AM attractive enough, slim enough, tidy (housework) enough, funny enough. I AM enough. I also realised a few years ago (and this is where I feel – still – like a real tool) that *normal* mothers don’t ask for or expect reimbursement or payment for being a mother/grandmother, for helping out because they can. For taking someone (who doesn’t drive) to the hospital for pre- or post-surgical appointments, or for going to the supermarket after having a baby, or going to the hardware store for a less than $5 piece of railing for a piece or furniture… I thought that requiring reimbursements was *normal*. But that is not. We can only change our *normal* (that isn’t) if we acknowledge it and understand what is underneath that. To misquote Donna Downey: “you are perfect just the way you are”

  56. #58

    Cathy – we get it. Look at the length of the comments! I am 50, going on 51 (sing it with me) and have the same awareness. I am morbidly obese (morbidly!) am trying hard to lose 35 KILOS by June. I eat (no, I ATE) my problems. Not any more – my knees say ‘no’. The fear of dying prematurely has me moving. I have much to give – and I’m pretty bloody awesome! As are you. Thanks for being you and the oh, so real stuff you share. My eyes leaked, too – for you. And for me. And for all the PEOPLE (men included) who feel ‘less than’ …

  57. #59
    Judi Church

    Cathy, isn’t it amazing the outpouring of love and understanding from your “followers”? It makes me wonder how much of our lives we women spend tearing ourselves down. I was skinny in my early life and hated that. Then gained weight in My forties, more when I hit fifty, then became chronically ill with CFS and fibromyalgia in my mid fifties. Chronic pain and fatigue made it impossible to exercise, I had to quit a job I loved, I became sedentary, frustrated, depressed. It becomes a mindset, and we are our thoughts. So, I joined your MMEW class in January this year, determined to move out of the rut. It started off well, then came the coldest winter in history which sent me into a tailspin of pain and nausea. Since I began, I’ve gained a couple of pounds, but weight isn’t the issue. The fact is that I feel that I have let myself down. I am going to be 69 this year and even though I am a plus-sized woman, the only thing I would love to change is my belly!! I am rambling now…sorry….just wanted to add my two cents worth and wish us all the ability to love ourselves, bellies and all. I love that you can post such honest, no-bullshit posts that hit home. I don’t know why, but it always makes me feel better to know that I am not alone.

    1. #59.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Judi, I’m always a little afraid to post stuff like this for fear of that one person who calls me out as a bs-er. I don’t have the answers. I am trying to figure this stuff out. You know? 🙂

    2. #59.2
      Gypsy Chaos

      I’ve followed your path, with a few years deviation. WHY did we hate our skinny selves?? I learned to love my skinny self once I was married and had children. The 18 months from 39 to ~40.5 were HELL. My cortisol level had to have been toxic. That’s when the weight started creeping on. Once things became 99% toxic at work, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and depression. And the pounds piled on for the ride.

      It is nice knowing I’m not alone.

  58. #60

    I used to be the skinny kid, flat chest, tall up through hs. Then I gained a bit more weight for my 5’7 frame and at 21 got married weighing 106. As I’ve often said, I looked great in a photograph! I’m now 70 and yes, like so many of us considered obese at 175. I really can’t imagine how I’d look if I lost the suggested 30-40 lb. I do know that when I go to the gym and do 30 min of walking, elliptical, bicycle and rowing I come home feeling better. Do I do it every day? of course not. I still self sabotage and wonder why I don’t treat myself any better. I tend to think I don’t have self esteem issues but what woman really doesn’t?? And yeah, some parts of me hurt so I use that excuse but really it’s just laziness and disregard for my own well being.

    I know very well what emotion each foot type deals with…crunch – tension and worry; sugar – anger (a friend reminded me we go for sugar when our life isn’t ‘sweet’ enough. Sigh…) creamy/cheesy – security, self nurturing. I know all this and sometimes I just say the hell with it, and go get that 1 lb Trader Jo’s milk chocolate bar. Other times I can drink a glass of lemon water and be ok. I can think the emotion through and know that hurting myself really isn’t the answer but sometimes the inner brat still comes out to play havoc.

    I do know, for me, that if it’s in the house, I’ll eat it. So it goes without saying, I shouldn’t buy it, but you know I do. Not all the time, but enough of the time. Cathy, every time we say these things out publicly, it’s a reminder that we know. But like so many things, I’m not ready til I’m ready. Me and you kiddo and a whole lot of others. In time…

  59. #61

    Hi Cathy,

    You know I don’t comment regularly. I turned 50 in December. Last year I pledged to lose 50 before turning 50. Guess what! It didn’t happen. My doctor that I’m blessed took me as a new patient for hormone treatment told me I had to get my hormones balanced before I could really lose any weight. That was a relief to hear and took some pressure off of me.

    I work with a woman who has the body I used to have in my high school years. I didn’t love that body enough back then and it’s hard to hear her say she needs to lose weight. She looks pretty healthy and fit to me. I wish I had that old body back.

    I just changed my wardrobe out to the spring/summer clothes. I pulled out a lot of clothes that I wore in 2011/12 that no longer fit me. That’s when I lost 25-30 pounds and you motivated me then. Right now I’m trying to be healthy and happy just the way I am. Acceptance.

  60. #62

    I never had an issue with my weight until I quit smoking before my 50th birthday, 12 years ago. And I believe that I think differently than many of you. I am 155 pounds right now and 5′ 6′, not gross, not obese, but I want to lose 15 pounds because I am uncomfortable, and I just don’t like the way I look. I don’t believe that I judge my worth based on the numbers that read on the scale. I want to lose those pounds for me, not for anyone else. I really don’t care what anyone else thinks of my current weight. What I do know is that I feel so much better when I weigh less…better about myself, better in terms of my health and what I can do. I don’t want an unsightly chub hanging around my waist.

    I have a ton of excuses why I haven’t lost that weight yet. My life currently is ‘hell’ (wonderful excuse). I love Miss Vickies, I love red wine and cheese and crackers. I am not sure how I will conquer that 15 pounds, but for my sake, I hope I will find the answer. I have recently joined a ‘wellness’ group, where the focus is on ‘the now’ and taking the chaos out of your life with meditation and awareness. Not a usual course of action for me, but maybe this will put me on the right track. If not, well, I do live very close to the wine store.

    Oh and for the record Cathy, I would marry you…chub and all.

    1. #62.1
      Cathy Zielske

      The quitting smoking thing… yeah, I feel you. I mean, sure, it’s been 9 years since I quit, but that’s when the actual weight issues really began. Before, much of it was neurotic.

      And I believe it’s legal in Minnesota to marry me. 😉

  61. #63

    Why does 50 do this to us?

    And at what point do we say — ok this is my body and I like wine, cookies and mashed potatoes?? I am tired of watching what I eat.. I am tired of chasing the scale and I too feel like this is a never ending battle.

  62. #64
    Nicky H

    I’m right there with ya. Except I’m 40. But it’s been my whole life too. Including today.

  63. #65

    Me too.

    I really just wanted to come here and say that, then I read all these comments. It feels good to not be alone. I could write a book on feeling like shit in your own skin, and that sucks. 🙁

  64. #66

    oh Cathy I totally get it. I recently lost 53 pounds which seems like a miracle to me. This puts me close to my college weight. When I thought I was so fat. But am now thrilled and wearing a two piece swimsuit. I can’t deny how much better I feel but am scared shitless that I will gain it back. I will turn 49 in June. I lost the weight Bc my husband of 22 years left me and I felt pretty crappy about myself. I tell you this Bc I think you are so terrific and lucky just the way you are!!! Please try to embrace it. I love u.

  65. #67
    Judith walker

    OMG! I just sat and cried to my husband tonight about my “fat”. I was always thin (and oh how I wished I would have worshipped that body back then) but for the last two years (I’ll be 52 in August) the weight has come on! I’m only 5’3 and I look like I’m 9 months pregnant! Clothes shopping is depressing! On one hand I’d like to be thinner but on the other I just don’t want to obsess over it anymore. I’m 51 my kids are grown and I don’t want to have to worry about every Cadbury egg I put in my mouth! So why do I? You nailed it, Cathy and it’s obvious you’re not alone!

  66. #68

    I think a lot of people feel the same way and we know that in the scheme of life our weight doesn’t rate a mention when it comes to family and friends and life but on the other hand of course our weight is linked to our self esteem about how we feel about ourselves. We all know it’s not about the food it’s about other things. We all know how to loose weight and often it’s about keeping it off I find hard. I don’t want to be thin I just want to be a healthy weight for my height. When I have been my correct weight and feel great I say to myself I won’t get back and out the weight on but life (divorce and raising kids on my own led me to put it all back on and more). You are only human and so am I and I know how disappointed you can feel when it’s always on your mind. I am right now trying to talk myself into doing something about it again after the school holidays. Hang in there I know it’s harder each time we lose the weight and have to start again doing it over.

  67. #69
    Katie Jones

    Funnily enough, I was thinking the other day that I look pregnant. And I’m NOT. Though a lot of our friends have just had their second babies, and I am JEALOUS! (We have the twins, and don’t plan on any more.) So I wonder if that’s part of my struggle to lose the belly (I hate that word, even!)! And I definitely resonate with “having to have a problem” – I struggle with acceptance of my shape, and doing what I can to improve it, and also improving the situation in my house, which is full of STUFF and cluttered. If I got these things sorted properly, I could spend more time scrapping and crafting and enjoying myself, but somehow I seem to like making the situation worse and therefore sabotaging myself. Why do we do these things to ourselves?
    Sending you huge {{hugs}} and hoping that today is a better day for you, Cathy. xxx

    1. #69.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I shouldn’t even type this out… but, over Christmas, my father in law asked me if I was expecting. Needless to say, I didn’t think it was very funny.

  68. #70

    Why is it so important to be thin? Is it not the most glorious thing to have a body that it healthy and that supports you through thick and thin? ( no pun intended)

    What do you find so repulsive at being a bit rounder and softer in some places?

    I have been thinking about this a lot myself lately, but do you see yourself as one, body + spirit( or soul? Or do you see your body and Cathy, your spirit, the way you are with all your quircky and loving ways as two separate entities? This is a huge differences.

    I particularly see myself, my spirit or soul apart from my body. My body is here to support me through life. To be strong when it needed to, to be soft and tender with babies, it plays so many different rolls.
    You know I am ill, after a long struggle I found that if I did not see me, myself and I apart from my body my illness would define me. It doesn’t. My body may become weak and not able to function anymore but inside I am still the same person. I still love, laugh and cry about the same things. I still find joy in the smallest things, a sun ray on my skin, a good cuppa or a good espresso, a 15 minute painfree sitting in my yard soaking up spring.

    I still take care of my body, or others do, but I still talk to it and tell it how thankful I am how it supported me all these years

    I wish I had found this wisdom sooner, oh the hours, days I could have enjoyed life so much more instead of worrying and fighting with myself about the little things in life.

    Because in the end all this doesn’t matter. All that matters is how you feel inside about your life, did you do the things you wanted to do? Did you love the way you wanted to love and be loved? Did you gave and left a legacy? Didn’t you raise 2 beautiful human beings as part of that legacy?

    Your body is just a vehicle nothing more and nothing less. It takes us from birth to death and all the places in between. If we take good care of that vehicle it will support us a long way. If you fight it you spend precious moments being unhappy where you could have enjoyed the beauty that having a healthy body has to give you.

    1. #70.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Christine, I hear you. I do. And you give me a perspective to consider.

      I’m working on stuff on the inside. When I started working with this woman four years ago, oh, I was just filled with ideas about life and how to live it. And I was very, very wrong.

      Yes, there are many things I’ve added to the world, but I was a lot of other things, too. A mess of contradictions that I’ve been working to heal. And it’s been hard. I don’t like to talk about the nitty gritty details here. I do it in small pieces, but I have not been the woman I now want to be. And that part has nothing to do with the exterior.

      But it’s hand in hand now. I have to work to be the woman I want to be on the inside, which is much more important than what I look like on the outside. That said, this is still part of the equation.

      But I need to be so much more grateful for the current health of my body. Thank you for that reminder. 🙂

  69. #71
    Leslie Price

    Cathy, wow, this post expresses my feelings to a “T”. I have wasted so much time and money searching for that new diet that was going to “click” (i.e., magic bullet). Each day I say to myself, this is the day, and some how detour from the diet. I love Spring, but know that my lighter clothes will be super tight.

    Thank you for you honesty….you are not alone my friend!


  70. #72

    this is so me! I will be 49 tomorrow. I feel like crap and it’s all my fault. I’m thinking therapy might be what I need to kick me in the butt. Thanks for posting…hate that you are in the same boat, but it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  71. #73

    Dear Cathy, how about shaking things up a bit and giving kickboxing a go? Swap thin for strong. It’s such a great workout, a fantastic way to release stress (I have a 10 year old non-verbal son with quite severe autism) and you will grow strong and brave and really change your mindset about yourself. I’m talking about kickboxing at a martial arts school, not the local gym. Constantly working towards your next belt rank is incredibly motivating. If you are interested, ring your local dojo and ask about doing a trial lesson. From the outside looking in, it looks like a bunch of crazy people but ignore that and get yourself in there and on the mat and it is such fun – crazy fun! You learn fantastic self-defence too. Grab Aidan and take her with you if you want company. It might help her in this phase of her life too. One of the best things that I’ve learned from my Sensei is that I have to be stronger than my strongest excuse. I’m 47 and will be grading for my black belt in June next year. I’m stronger and fitter, both mentally and physically, than I’ve ever been in my life. It’s just a suggestion. With love. xo

  72. #74

    It’s been a long winter. Go lace up your shoes. Have you ever walked through Elmhurst or Lakewood or Ft Snelling? Unique perspective there… a lot to think about and gives me fresh appreciation that I’m (at least!) ALIVE!

  73. #75
    Kari Ann

    As I left the house this morning you and this blog post popped into my head. Why? Well, like you I work out of my house. While I love the flexibility it offers me and my family, it is not without its downsides. Why bother showering- I’ll throw on a baseball cap? Jeans again- why not? Makeup- what is this makeup you speak of?

    Starting this year I made a goal of getting out of the house for one morning a week. I rotate between my 3 favorite locally owned coffee shops. For 4-5 hours a week I change up my scenery. I pick up and move. I shower, put on realish-work clothes and mascara. I tend to use this time to do “housekeeping” with my email inbox and other work chores that tend to get pushed aside. I cannot tell you what a change its done for my mental health. Sometimes a perfectly brewed cup of Chai, a rockin’ Spotify mix and a new view does wonders! I look forward to my remote-remote working morning every week! In fact- I’m doing it now 🙂

    1. #75.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Okay, this inspires me, Kari Ann. I have been wanting to do this. To get the HECK out of dodge one morning a week to do blog post writing.

      I have been toying with the idea of buying myself a small laptop (which hubby doesn’t think I need nor can I afford, ha!) so that I can do work remotely.

      I need to do this. I’ve been thinking about doing this for months.

  74. #76


    Usually, I read through all your comments after a post like this, and then rattle off my own reply.

    Today, I’m just going to reply.

    Because today I am turning 50.

    I feel sh*#ty about it. I’m down about it. I’m feeling like I’m old (ok- middle aged, same diff), like I’m not as ‘relative’ as I used to be, that my kids are kinda messed up (which means I fell short AGAIN of the perfect line of motherhood, child-rearing, fill-in-the-blank of what I didn’t quite succeed at).

    Like you, I don’t move like I used to, feel like I used to, think Iike I used to, blah, blah, blah. I know you know what I’m talking about because your post today could have been written by me.

    Just wanted you to know that your posts often help others (me) feel like we’re not alone.

  75. #78

    I’m tired of caring about weight…really really tired of it 🙁 I am trying to let it go. You posted a link yesterday about not focusing on the body as the masterpiece and hit me hard. Thank-you for continuing to share with us.

  76. #79

    CZ, first, thank you for being vulnerable and open and for just putting it out there. We all need at least one person to say “I see you. I understand you. Your pain is my pain. Your insecurities are my insecurities. You are not alone. Let’s hold hands and try to navigate this together.” I have so many similarities in my life as you’ve described of yours in this post. You’ve been given the opportunity to have this open forum where so many people read, listen, commiserate and empathize. You’re so right…we don’t know how much time we have. Let’s hold hands and navigate approaching 50 together. Now go put on some high-waisted polyester pants and watch a few Sally O’Malley videos. We’ve got your back.

  77. #80

    Yup. My whole life. For the entirety of my existence.

    Still trying though. Apparently I enjoy banging my head against the wall.

  78. #81


    You’re not alone. We all have days (and weeks) when we feel less than, in every way. I thought I was the only one.

    For whatever its worth, of all the weight-loss gurus out there, the only one whose plan worked was Jorge Cruise. He’s all about low-sugar (I was a sugar-holic) and weight training. He helped me lose 10 pounds no one else could so I’m grateful to him.

    Good luck and don’t beat yourself up too much!

  79. #82

    I’m right there with you. I’ve just been diagnosed with RA and at my age (just over the half-century mark) and my weight it’s killin’ me, not literally, but let’s just say the weight doesn’t make it any easier. I was healed of anemia (after a lengthy fight) and walked into RA. I commiserate with, but I also love hearing about your successes – they are an encouragement. I remember when you did Move More, Eat Well year long (which you started after a big weight loss period), so instead would you bring it back now when you and I are struggling. Maybe add in monthly podcasts with experts – just a thought. And reap the benefit of receiving encouragement from everyone else in the same boat.

  80. #83

    I want to thank you for being so real and honest with this post. The knowledge that it is up to you to do something and the frustration that for some reason you haven’t been able to do it is a feeling I am much too familiar with.

    I turned 30 this year … I probably sound like a youngin to you. After struggling my entire life and losing and gaining the weight more times than I can count I was doing so well. I lost 50 lbs in 6 months. I exercised. I felt fantastic. And then all of a sudden I didn’t feel so great, and 6 months later I am up 75 lbs. It really feels like it happened in the blink of an eye. The feeling like I am not in control anymore, and the very public struggle when I can see the surprise in friends’ faces that I already gained it all back and more. This week the phrase “this is me” keeps circling in my head. This is me – I stress eat. This is me – I I use food to numb my emotions. This is me – I binge sometimes on food that doesn’t even taste that good and is totally not worth it. And I don’t have to be this person in the future, but I have to do something if I want to be different. What’s that phrase … “It is in the doing that we become?” — I am trying to make that a reality for me.

    Thanks again for sharing

  81. #84

    I am feeling ya’. I’m 40, but went into per-menopause in my late 20’s. Add in a miraculous baby in my 30’s, a hysterectomy . . . you get the picture. I’m rocking the “butt in the front” which hangs so elegantly over the top of my jeans if I am not so very careful. Oh how I long for the day when I felt fat in my size 10 jeans . . . that being said . . .

    We are going to the funeral of a dear friend today. He leaves behind a beautiful wife and three adoring children. He battled colon cancer valiantly over the last six years. We were at another service just a month ago of another younger man who took his own life. And another a for a middle-aged woman few months before that.

    In each of those remembrances, no one has ever uttered a word about whether or not the departed was overweight. Never. Nope. They talked about how well that person loved their families, how they were kind, what they were impassioned about, how they gave . . .

    Cathy (and me and all the others who struggle with our bodies), yes, let’s be healthier. But let’s also remember that our bodies don’t define us. The very last thing you would want someone to say at your funeral is, “Amy had a great body. She fit into all of her size 10 clothes.” Let’s strap on our FitBit, get our steps in, drink a ton of water, make some good food choices to balance out the really enjoyable food-gasmic moments and take a healthy dose of grace along with our Vitamin D and calcium supplement.

    Blessings, ladies <3

  82. #85

    I’m trying really hard to make my journey about being strong and healthy rather than being slimmer. Being strong and healthy brings so much more to the table than being more attractive; it means less pain and less worry and more availability to play. I try to keep it focused there b/c I’m prone to being a “one-trick-pony” I can do one thing really well (and nothing else). I guess I should say that I’m searching for balance=in the same boat as everyone else and bailing.

  83. #86

    Oh Cathy. I want to give you a hug. I’ve never been skinny. I’ve seldom tried. I’ve not dieted much. I don’t wear bikinis and don’t like shorts. I am a size 12ish I think. I’m not sure how much I weigh really. I remember hearing my dad’s comments about my weight (as a hs athlete with a medium build) in comparison to my tiny thin boned mom (with the metabolism of a humming bird). I am me. I’m 43 with 2 girls. And I made a promise to myself that I will never ever (and haven’t yet) fat shame them, jump on a scale in front of them, talk about being fat, etc. We talk about making healthy choices and food as fuel… So I feel obligated to try and stop our cultural female neurosis self hate cycle with my girls. ‘Cause that’s something I can control. I love my wine. I love my starbucks and I am at the point of accepting me as I am. I will never be a model. I will never marry Dave Grohl. I don’t get catcalls on the street. But I am smart and funny and that is what I prefer to focus on… But that’s just me and My choice right now.

  84. #87
    Gypsy Chaos

    I suffer from “tomorrow” syndrome — tomorrow I will move more, eat better. Tomorrow the Easter candy will be gone – mine, anyway. Tomorrow the weather won’t be raw and windy. Tomorrow…. never comes.

    I know I felt a zillion times better when I worked with a personal trainer twice a week. Being out of work for five years and counting meant giving that up about three years ago. I am the kid who HATED LOATHED DETESTED exercise; I didn’t worry because until I was in my 40s, I walked miles during the week while working. I hesitated about the trainer, but am SO glad I did it. I crave doing it again. But exercising on my own? Is the moon made of cheese?

    The weight thing is a struggle. I am almost 6′ 1″; until my late 30s my weight was in the 150 – 160 lbs range. As the walking decreased, it rose to ~180 lbs {high end of normal BMI}. Then a period of hell trapped me; I shot up to 260 lbs. That is obese, no matter how you slice BMI, 260 lbs on a tiny boned 6′ 1″ frame is OBESE. But everybody thinks I’m at the most 30 – 40 lbs overweight.
    It’s so hard to accept that I must control my eating! It’s even hard for me to accept that my weight is a risk factor, that it can shorten my life – so many women I know carry even more excess weight than I do and very few care at all. (Yes, I’m surrounded by women who couldn’t care less what they look like or how much they weigh. Yes, odd.)

    ugh. Give me back those college years, when I struggled to pass my classes, when I really hated many of those required for my major, when I thought life was so bad. Ha! I graduated and loved my work for decades.

    1. #87.1
      Cathy Zielske

      See, I want to be healthier. I WANT to live a longer life. I know that this extra weight isn’t just about vanity. It’s about health.

      Right now, I can’t technically afford a trainer, not without some serious adjustments to our budget, which is very focused on two people in college. 🙂

      But I have SO many ways to get moving otherwise.

  85. #88
    Rosa Rivero

    Something that has helped me tremendously to exercise is understanding my own personality when it comes to habit formation, I highly recommend Gretchen Rubin’s new boo k on habits “Better than Before”. It’s not about exercise or healthy eating but she does talk about those. Her insights about my personality and what makes certain habits stick blew my mind. Give it a try 🙂

    1. #88.1
      Cathy Zielske

      You are the second person to mention this book. I’ll be adding this to my iPad reading list!

  86. #89

    Thanks for being so real Cathy! Makes me feel less alone in my struggle with my body. I can not remember ever being happy with my body. My mother started me on a diet when I was in grade school and packed plain tuna and diet 7up in my lunch. I had gastric sleeve surgery a year ago and have lost a lot of weight but it’s still a struggle.

Leave a Reply

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