Fit Field Report: forecasting a Fit February

Cathy ZielskeProducts & Classes23 Comments

There are a few things you should know about me.

  1. I don’t really have big giant walls to take awesome self-portraits without some shit getting in the way.
  2. I’m a sucker for alliteration.
  3. Every time I take a shower my ears turn bright red for roughly 20 minutes.
  4. I have the tendency to share details about myself that aren’t really essential.

All that said, you may or may not know that I’m teaching a year-long class called Fit, and this year, each month, I’m going to blog about my personal story with the whole trying to take better care of me thing.

First, a little backstory: last October I decided to give this self-care thing another go. At the time, the thought of teaching a year-long class wasn’t on the radar, mostly because I didn’t want to be accountable if another round of failure was in the cards. In other words, I was basically giving myself permission to make a half-assed effort and if it didn’t feel good, no harm, no foul.

That’s not really the kind of person I aspire to be. Like, at all.

So I had a little come to nutritional Jesus meeting with myself and I asked, “Do you know what you actually need and are you willing to do those very things?”

The answer was a firm and committed, “Yes.”

I just didn’t share it with anyone until I was sure I could follow through.

In short, four months ago I started to be responsible and take care of myself in a way that was actually needed. It meant less wine and crackers and more walks and protein. It meant less Reeses Peanut Butter cups and more water. (Okay, it actually meant NO RPBs, because they are literally my kryptonite, and the key to all manner of unhealthy binges.)

Am I still sure I can follow through? Today, I will say yes, but honestly, I know that if my attitude changes then anything is possible, even if those possibilities don’t look as good as I would like them to look.

I’m human and I’m working this process. To date, I’ve dropped 20 pounds. The first five was simply from not eating Goldfish crackers and drinking wine every night. #winning

The rest has come from eating real food (no diet stuff!), exercising in a reasonable manner (think lots of treadmill walks with Jane the Virgin), and here’s the real kicker: I’ve been mostly abstaining from junk food. I know, shocker how that will translate into results.

I feel so much less achy from ingesting less sugar and in general I’m moving better and thinking more clearly about this process.


In our Fit classroom welcome message, I talk about the idea of being an abstainer or a moderator. I’m proud to say I’m an abstainer. I take better care of myself when I don’t dabble in the stuff that triggers all of my cravings for junk food. Some people can dabble and they’re fine. One little piece of chocolate and they’re on their way. No problem.

That isn’t me. It never has been. I wouldn’t have smoked for 25 years as a moderator.

So this time, I’m stacking some odds in my favor.

  1. I’m eating balanced meals and snacks every day. Lots of protein, healthy fats (yes, there are healthy fats), and real carbs in the form of veggies and fruits.
  2. I’m getting exercise every day. Mostly, I’m just making 10,000 steps my b#tch on a daily basis.
  3. I’m taking responsibility for this shit because this is just about choices. That’s it. If I make different choices, I have different results. That’s not good or bad. It’s just reality.

I’m trying to stay in reality as often as I can. It seems like a pretty decent place to hang.

I feel like 20 pounds is fabulous and I think I look great. It doesn’t matter to me that the BMI charts and weight charts still say I should drop more. I’d like to actually maintain this and see how it feels.

I’m working to be less about numbers every day.


Register today for Fit 2016. Think of February as the start of another new year! I have almost 800 students committed to working on better choices and staying connected to what is needed in their respective realities. There is no one plan that’s perfect for everyone. This class isn’t about giving you a plan; rather, it’s about giving you support and motivation to find and implement what works for you. Part of the process is documentation and yes, you’ll build your own tracking journal throughout the year. We also have a really supportive Facebook community for students only. People are sharing their stories, supporting each other and yes, maybe venting here and there because honestly? This stuff is not easy.

That said, it is manageable and if you decide that February is your month, I’d love to support you with your personal health and fitness goals.

It’s not about perfection. It’s about better.


Fit registration will remain open until July 31, 2016. 

Cathy ZielskeFit Field Report: forecasting a Fit February

23 Comments on “Fit Field Report: forecasting a Fit February”

  1. #1
    Amanda Rose Zampelli

    Awesome, Cathy. Very motivating. I wish I had said ‘hi’ to you at CHA earlier this month. I’ve the loudmouth behind the Happy Planner™ Bar in the me & my BIG ideas booth, but this post & your voice & what you do for a living are extremely inspiring to me. Thanks for sharing! <3 Have a great day!

  2. #3

    I’m learning a lot in the FIT class and thinking I may need a coach. Would love to hear more about how you found a coach and what you have learned with your coach’s help plus any books, articles, blogs, etc that have helped with the mind games.

  3. #4

    Also how the in-person meeting went with your coach if you are able to share. I understand that it’s quite personal if you don’t want to share but it would be so helpful to me and I’m sure others in the group also.

  4. #6

    Awesome! Congrats on your success! You are totally doing this the correct way, it’s so not about busting it out for hours in a gym (unless that is what you love to do…for me, not!), but about eating whole foods, drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of rest and moving the body. Results will come!

  5. #7

    Well done Cathy! I am an exact, and I mean, exact mirror image of your description above, from being an abstainer to the weight loss of 20 lbs. The only exception is that I also enjoyed cheese with those wine and crackers! In the past, I have never been okay with 20 lbs. off knowing that I had 10 or 15 more to go. I would always be like “I still have xx to go”. This time, I am letting myself celebrate 20, in the moment, and still following the eating plan to get the rest off. Thanks for your continued inspiration and for sharing your story Cathy!

  6. #8
    Shelley Johnson

    Hi CAthy – In addition to being an Abstainer you are likely also an Obliger. Better Than Before is a great book and if you haven’t read it, you might want to. It is also good to know what works best for you ( Scheduling for me ) to establish your good habits. Now that I realize that most people are not Upholders like me, it is much easier to help others keep their workout schedules by asking if they want to work out with me.
    I’d also like to lose 20 lbs and now I know what works for me as an Upholder – I am more able to do it. I love your digital courses and wish you the best in your wellness journey .

  7. #9

    I’m a hands-on kind of person, but my daughter would like to try doing this digital version of this class. For a first-time digital scrapper, would this be possible?
    Thanks Cathy, and congrats to you and your success – and to Dan! Such exciting times for you both!

    1. #9.1
      Cathy Zielske

      She absolutely could, if she knows her digi stuff! 🙂 I provide all digital files for students!

  8. #10

    Congratulations Cathy…………losing 20 pounds is AWESOME!!
    20 # to me right now sounds great; sadly I can’t lose an ounce, but I’m not giving up. I’m still eating healthier than I have for some time, but I still find myself skipping meals (I get stressed at work with all these deadlines I have) and forget that I haven’t eaten. I know this and I’m really REALLY working on that, but it’s really hard when you’re a workaholic! I’m my own worst enemy….and I don’t mean that in a bad way. Like you, I took a reality assessment of ME and I see what I need to change, it’s just hard, but I’m working on it each day and I’m good with that.
    BTW……..I am LOVING this class and all the camaraderie with all my new “fb friends”. 😀

  9. #11

    Good job Cathy! It’s not a diet, it’s the path to finding a better you. Good job, keep moving forward!

  10. #12
    Jen Hart

    Hi Cathy, I wanted to say congratulations to you on feeling better. This is a hard road even when it’s easy. I love the shifts I see in the world towards wellness not ‘thinness’. Since I have been thinking about how I feel, rather than how I look I have started making better decisions about my habits (and yes to Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before book to really help with that) and they have improved no end so the ground work is happening and I am getting better in every sense of the word.

    Next is taking your class, I signed up a couple of weeks ago but a holiday and internet issues and time have stopped me getting started until today, but I have been making great decisions and running and all the things that I love to do (and really love to do more than eating junk food but that has been my default position for years!) I am ready to start scrapping the journey.
    My personal mantra has been better not perfection for a long while so you completely drew me in.

    Good luck on your journey this year.

    1. #12.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Glad to have you Jen, and yes… I need to read that book! I’ve read articles on her blog and what she says really resonates with me. I think a trip to Barnes & Noble is in order. Hey, I’ll get more steps that way!

  11. #13

    Thanks Cathy, this is really inspirational. I really admire you for just getting on with it, fighting your demons and coming out the other side 20 pounds lighter. I know how REALLY hard that was and still is.

  12. #14

    -sigh- I hate to say this but do you want to know what I did with the month of January in my album? Nothing. Nada, d’rien, nichts, niks!
    Why not you ask? Well because in all honesty I had a different expectation of the yearlong course. I didn’t expect it to be so focussed numbers, on food and diet an losing weight. Not to mention exercise. In my eagerness to join and participate I thought it was going to be to take better care of yourself and for me that meant different things like accepting your body how it is, more mental work like meditation, mindfulness, visualization, and of course also eating more nutritious food.

    I guess I just didn’t expect it to be focussed on weight loss alone. It sometimes pains me to no end to read how people are beating themselves up because they don’t get in the steps that a wristband dictates them to get.
    I know that is of course my problem and all this has nothing to do with you Cathy but with my inability to do certain things. I can not walk, I can not cook, I can not shop, can not exercise.

    So I’m staring at my blank pages wondering how I can make this meaningful for me. Because taking care of yourself is so much more than just watching what you eat, for me it goes much much deeper than that.

    If you or anyone else has suggestions I would love to hear it and if I come up with a solution I will let you know.

    1. #14.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hey Tink,

      I think that part of what it is going to be in any class like this is there will be numbers focus for some people. It’s inevitable. I’m still struggling with numbers focus myself, and you know this is something that I want to change.

      But the other part of the class is how do you make it personal? How do you make it fit (no pun intended) to what you need? That idea of there is not one size fits all in this is true.

      I work a lot on internal stuff. Not just the packaging of my being. And honestly? That’s harder than this stuff by a mile. So in that regard, you could focus on what is the truth in your life? What do you need to be responsible for? (My therapist would remind me that we are responsible for everything: every pain, every joy, every choice… everything.) And that falls far more into the world of the internal.

      This might be a good question to post in our group, you know?

      Also, you have limitations that other people don’t have. So how can you focus on what you can do? I am reading The Miracle Morning right now… (well, just starting) and he has an interesting take on looking for the positive.

      But in reality, we are all limited. I no longer buy into the idea that we are all unlimited in our potential. We all have limits. We all have constraints within we operate. Some people can do more than others, but… I don’t know. Now I’m rambling.

      You know I support you, lady! Share this with the group. I’m curious to see what people would say.

  13. #15
    Alana in Canada

    Tink: I am with you! I am in FIT, too and all I’ve been focused on so far is exercise. (I am blessed I can walk.) But next month, I think I will focus on breathing/slowing down, being mindful, maybe even a tiny meditation practice. There are many paths to wellness. Post at the f/b group. There may be more of us we can shake loose?

    1. #15.2

      Alana, that was one of my ideas as well. I was thinking of making each month a theme month and focussing on improving that. I meditate a lot to control pain, but I know I can take it to a much higher level. I can move in bed although I have a very painful hip joint at the moment, even sitting is almost impossible but it is still important to get that blood flowing so I try to do stretches and sit up for minutes adding more minutes when I can.
      I still have angry and resentful moments that I could work on etc.

      I will post it in the group and Cathy, thank you for that book title I will have a look!

  14. #16

    I’m reading this in the parking lot if the gym. I want to go home and finish a book or grade papers or watch child genius with my daughter….. I’m putting on my big girl pants and going in. Thanks for the reality check.

    Kristi from Cropper Hopper

Leave a Reply

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