Cathy ZielskeCZ Life28 Comments
The time for feeling sorry for myself and whining is over. For now.

I know. Maybe I haven’t been publicly whining and feeling sorry for myself with wild abandon, but between you and me, it’s been going about a million miles an hour in the space between my ears for months now. But it needs to stop and guess who is responsible for that?


I’m doing some things to take better care of myself. Again. The fact that I have to add the word ‘again’ is not a sign of defeat or an indicator of some deep character flaw. I say ‘again’ because I’m a human who is trying to make some connections and trying to actually learn through experience. My experience tells me this: you can’t drink red wine and eat crackers every day and expect different results.

So a few weeks back, I started to make some deals with myself. The deals look like this:

1. You will get some exercise every day. Right now, I’m walking. But not just walking, no… I’m getting out there for long stints and trying to work up a sweat. Sometimes it’s outside. Sometimes it’s inside. But wherever it is the goal is simple: move my body with purpose. I also bought this book and am working in some strength training. This week, my entire body is feeling that sweet, familiar muscle soreness that comes from doing three push-ups or a 30-second plank after months of inertia. The book was recommended by a friend and if you’re like me and a personal trainer is not in your financial budget, this might be a great place to start. I mean, it’s a DK book! The author explains everything in great detail. I do not love strength training. Mostly it is because I have the upper body strength of a hatchling an it always reminds me of my overall weakness. But I’m ’bout to change all that.

Or at least work up to ten push-ups by month’s end.
2. You will eat in a balanced, nutritionally appropriate way. I have a friend who HATES it when I say this, but I’m gonna say it all the same: I’m going to focus on eating REAL FOOD. Notice, I didn’t say reduce the amount I eat to ridiculous, unsustainable levels. I just said real, nutritious food. People who’ve taken my Move More, Eat Well class (there have been many iterations of it) have heard me talk about Nutritional Weight and Wellness a lot. They are a nutrition services and counseling group based in Minnesota. They are not a diet company. They specialize in life-changing nutritional counseling and when I follow their advice, I feel better,  I appear moderately trimmer and I lose the cravings for junk food. They also have one of the best nutrition podcasts out there, Dishing Up Nutrition. Aside from their distinctly Midwestern accents, they present sound nutrition research and advice on many topics ranging from the science of cravings, to nutrition for menopause, to better foods for better moods. I load these up on my iPhone and listen when I walk. Every time I get back into the groove of taking care of myself, they remind me that there are some folks out there who are much more sensitive to the junk and sugar than others. I’m the president of that club and if I want to see changes in my health, I need to take this shit seriously.

3. You will review Numbers 1 and 2 on a daily basis and be clear on why you are doing these things. For me, it’s just a choice. If I want to drink red wine and eat crackers every night, that’s my choice and I will have consequences. If I choose to exercise and eat delicious, home-made meals that are good for me, that’s my choice and there will be consequences. Consequence doesn’t mean bad, it just means choices have outcomes. That’s it. If I feel shitty about my body, then I need to work on changing what’s inside as well as what’s outside. I’m looking to solve this problem so I can spend my time making other improvements in my life.

That’s where I’m at. I play little games with myself, too. For example, every morning, before I can sit down to check my email I need to log 1,000 steps on my FitBit. That, and I have to ingest at least 14 ounces of water before I have my first cup of black coffee. That, and I have this super annoying app that tells me to get up every 30 minutes when I’m working at the computer. That, and I am just showing up and doing my best.

Just wanted to share this today. I know, based on a few random e-mails I get from time to time, that some of you have got all this stuff figured out. Good for you. This post is for the rest of us who are trying our very best to take care of business.


Cathy ZielskeTCB

28 Comments on “TCB”

  1. #1

    Good for you Cathy! This stuff is hard-moving and eating well. I doubt any of us really have it figured out, but we keep trying to. The real key is for you to keep trying until you find the whatever works for you. And you do have the whatever to keep trying and find it. If this stuff doesn’t work, try something else! You know what isn’t working (not moving and not eating healthy things) right? You’ve got this.

    A while back, I read this comment on Reddit: Its about not having a zero day. So even if you don’t hit all of your goals-hit one, do one thing. The comment on reddit is worth the 3 minutes it takes to read it. Just don’t have a zero day Cathy. Give future you the present of no zero days. Because you are so worth it.

    Keep moving forward!

    1. #1.1

      Oh wow! That link to the reddit comment was fantastic! So worth the time to read and very inspiring. Thank you for sharing it.

    2. #1.2
      Cathy Zielske

      That was a good read. And you know what, when I look at the past me, I almost never have zero days. Ever. Even on days when I didn’t do what was needed, I nearly almost do something that was needed.

      Might have to share that post somewhere today.

  2. #2

    There is nothing wrong with reassessing and re-evaluating where you are at and making your choice. I do this all the time!
    Time to get rid of the cravings. I guess it’s a mind set. I reset my mind every month when I slip!

  3. #3

    I promised myself on my 50th birthday that I would never diet again. But just because I am never going to diet again DOES NOT MEAN that I can (or should) eat jolly ranchers and biscotti every day. So I’m with you on the needing to revisit, every day, the goal of eating balanced, nutritionally appropriate foods. I play little games too; before every cup of coffee (I drink it all day) I must first drink a cup of water, protein in some form must be present on every plate (including snacks…this one’s hard!), etc.

    I appreciate your candor and enjoy your writing style…keep ’em coming!

  4. #4
    Annette Davis

    I am right there with you, Cathy. Although I prefer white wine and cheddar popcorn. Love your wellness posts!

  5. #5

    Regular and ongoing butt kicking and self-story telling are a must. Daily. Often more than daily. Rewiring the stories you tell yourself. Takes time. There are stumbles. You get back on that horse. One day at a time. One step at a time. Sometimes you slip – you do it again. After awhile, it becomes less of a conscious effort. You’ve been there before. You’ll get there again. Those apps help with the walking and simply MOVING. (by the way – the whole 10,000 step idea – nearly impossible for many – study yourself for a few days and set a REALISTIC goal – and increase later) There are diet log apps too to help you stay honest and keep accountable. Get in with a buddy – build in the guilt factor of “oops, I slipped on that one – tomorrow will be better” – nothing more harsh than that. Or “Hey – it was a time to celebrate! Back on the wagon tomorrow.” Self-loathing – not cool. Having a buddy holds you accountable – “Do I REALLY want to admit I went face down in that bag of chips? Step AWAY from the bag!” You can do it. WE BELIEVE! Many of us are also in the same boat – every day – every step – making ourselves do it. ‘Cuz it’s the right thing to do – for so many reasons.

  6. #7
    Jill B

    It is funny you mention pushups. Our daughter is 14 and a field hockey and lacrosse player. She starts high school and has tryouts in a week. She is an excellent player with amazing stamina because she plays mid. However she has to do 25 pushups in a minute to make the team. Our family has laughed with her as she explained how she could do three and then she has noodle arms (all while she is flapping her arms like a t-rex). She is working so hard to add another pushup a day. They are not easy. I tried a couple and a couple were all I could do. Stay with it. You are inspiring with your tenacity to grow stronger. Way to go girl friend.

  7. #8

    Great strategy – thank you!
    If anyone wants to learn more about strength training for women of ALL ages (works for men too) check out Dr. Miriam Nelson’s “Strong Women” website:
    The information is free and includes virtual fitness trainer sections. Good starting point!
    – Lee

  8. #9
    Deborah P

    Thanks for the words of encouragement this morning. Again? That means you’re starting, not stagnating which is a good thing. And the reddit link? Also a good thing. I’m going to start thinking of non-zero days and endeavor to always have those days. As says – Baby steps!

  9. #10

    My 2 enemies: sugar and cheese.

    I mainly drink my sugar (Coke and iced teas) and I love any food that includes cheese and lots of it. Unfortunately, I can take a healthy salad and corrupt it with cheese. So first I’m adjusting to unsweetened iced tea. Haven’t tackled the coke yet. I’m happy when I’ve I finish my 20 oz bottle of water per day. And I always feel better after I do, so why can’t it just be easier? Thank you for showing up, starting over again, and taking us on the journey with you. i need that!

    1. #10.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I’ll tell you what: soda is a beyotch. Both regular and diet. Both very hard to give up. Luckily, soda isn’t my issue most of the time. But if I give in and have a Sprite (my pop of choice) I just want more and more and more. One won’t do.

      And diet soda, contrary to popular belief, isn’t doing anyone any favors. It just tricks your body into thinking it’s getting sugar, but it’s not, which often leads to more cravings. I tell you, listen to that podcast. So much info based on science. It will make you think. It always gets me back into a reality based nutrition framework.

  10. #11
    Kris Beauregard

    I totally feel you Cathy! And when you post about it, I feel better because I am riding shotgun on the struggle bus right there with you!

  11. #12

    1k steps before the computer in the AM?? oh that’s harsh! but you know, that’s a damn good incentive. Thanks Cathy. I guess. *smirk*

  12. #14


    Every time I read one of your posts about health and wellness I think ‘maybe we really were separated at birth’ because really, I feel like I could have written most of them. So thank you for continuing to put this out there. I am struggling. Really struggling with putting in effort and getting little to no results. But your posts make me want to keep on trying. I think ‘something over nothing’ and I get back at it. I truly wish you find what works for you. As for strength training, keep at it. One day it will feel so good, I promise!

  13. #15

    It’s such a struggle. The worse I feel about myself, the more I want to just eat crap all the time. You’d think (or at least hope) that feeling like garbage would translate into making choice that might help instead of hurt. But it doesn’t. It’s just hard. Thanks for hanging in there, Cathy. And for sharing your struggle so I can know I’m not the only one.

  14. #16
    Heather Ferguson

    I’m so happy to hear you’re strength training some! It’s so effective for burning fat and changing your body composition. If you’re the type who’d rather watch a video than read a book, you should take a look at It’s run by a husband-wife team and has hundreds of free videos that they film in their home studio. You can use the search feature to find a workout by intensity, time, body part, etc. I discovered it in late May and love it! I spent June eating real food and working out with their videos, and I feel so much better today.

  15. #18

    My excuse is, I keep thinking, hey, if I can’t do what I want in my late 40’s, when can I do those things? But I recently tried the 21 Day Fix program and I really liked the eating program – very clean and so many recipes/meal plans on Pinterest, it wasn’t hard to know what to eat. I’m also switching out a lot of chemicals in my house – I’m buy a lot of products through a fabulous online shopping club called Here’s an article someone posted on our 21 Day Fix FB group, talks a lot about how if we have very sedentary desk jobs, that strength training is key. Enjoy! 🙂’t_Losing_Fat_When_You_Think_You’re_Doing_Everything_Right.aspx

  16. #19

    Thanks for the recommendation on the strength training book. I started going to the gym in early June and am just doing cardio. I want to do more, but don’t know what to do. Hopefully the book will help.

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