The Story Behind Fit

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life, Products & Classes21 Comments

I stopped doing year-long motivational classes two years ago for one reason and one reason only: I was tired of being accountable.

Not only to my students, but mostly to myself. In fact, it was really all about me.

Hell, it’s ALWAYS really all about me.

I was tired of caring about how I looked and what I ate and if I moved and if I didn’t. I was also tired of trying to market and profit from my issues.

So I more or less stopped caring and did whatever felt good to me in the moment.

Think lots of wine and Goldfish crackers and lounging around. For months.


Since 2010, I’ve been working on becoming a more responsible human being. A better parent. A better wife. A better friend. It’s not that I’m some fundamentally flawed person. I’m not. I’m just a normal one. A normal person with a lot of ideas about things that aren’t really based in fact but rather, they are based on feelings.

I know, you might be thinking, “But what’s wrong with feelings? My feelings are important!” And I get that. I do. I mean, I should because I’ve lived my entire life based on two things: how do I feel and what am I getting.

When feeling good is a priority, you’ll do just about anything to protect it. It might mean feeling superior to others so you can feel good about yourself. It might mean getting angry about things so that whatever the real pain is doesn’t touch you. Or it might be eating two bags of Reeses Pumpkins because every single bite is like a little hug.

I’m not speaking rhetorically here. I’m speaking from my experience. This is my truth.


So last October, when it really was getting tricky to bend over and tie my shoes, I looked at the choices I was making and decided to make different ones.

The new choices wouldn’t be about extremes, or fad diets, or crazy workouts. They would be about discovering what my body needed from a nutritional and exercise standpoint taking into account many factors: my age, my ambition and my abilities. I decided that eating shit wasn’t good for me and not just because I wanted to look a little nicer in my jeans. Eating shit was actually harmful to this body that I’m truly grateful to have.

I realized I wasn’t behaving like the responsible adult I’m working to become. I realized I didn’t want the health problems that could result from increasingly gaining weight. I realized that I could do better.

Yep, not perfect. Just better.


So that’s what I did. I started to make better choices. I ate out less. I cooked tasty meals at home. I started walking again. I remembered that eating well had so many benefits other than seeing a number dip on the scale.

And then during the first week of December I thought, “I think I’m going to do a year-long class to stay accountable,” and I ain’t gonna lie: I talked myself out of it three or four times until, oh right around the middle of the month when I said, “You need to fish or cut bait, lady.”

So I decided to fish. And I fished like a mother effin’ mad woman to pull this thing off in time for January 1. And if I’m being honest, I think the results are pretty good.


I am not an expert on this stuff, but I am looking forward to helping you find motivation with whatever being healthier is for you. I am not seeking to have a crazy before and after photo. Been there, done that. I am looking for a lifestyle shift.

That is what Fit is all about. Yes, you get a crap ton of printables to help you tell your story but at the core it’s just you being accountable and realistic. I come in every month and give you a pep talk and no, I am not going to play it safe. My message needs to reflect what I think is real and needed. That’s my responsibility to my students and to myself.

I just wanted to tell you where it was coming from. I’ll be promoting this class all year long, too. Each month I’ll check in, just like the old days, here on my blog about how this process is going for me. You can join me in Fit anytime you like. Registration will remain open through August*.

So, that’s my story for the day. Thanks for listening.


To learn more, click on the image below:


*Join Fit for the promotional price of just $26 through January 15th. After that, the price increases to $31.


Cathy ZielskeThe Story Behind Fit

21 Comments on “The Story Behind Fit”

  1. #1

    I’m with you, Cathy! I need to take better care of me and it needs to start today. That’s why I joined you for Fit 2016. I’m taking “me” back and getting back to feeling better. Thank you.

  2. #2

    I almost didn’t join Fit because year long accountability doesn’t work for me. Because I start with good intentions and I’m accountable only to myself for what I do with my body. But I can do better for myself. There is no reason I can’t add 20 minutes of exercise to my day. What am I giving up? 20 minutes of sitting on the sofa reading Facebook (yes, recovering from a stressful day at work, but perhaps exercise can help me recover too). I decided to join Fit not because I want to make an album — because I definitely do not — but because I wanted to go on this journey with someone who willingly admit she has failed. (Plus, I’ve been a big fan since you started posting layouts at 2 Peas.) If you can put yourself out there and admit when you fail but keeping going, I can do the same.

    And… I’ve become obsessed with One Direction over the break and it gives me an excuse to listen to them for 20 solid minutes.

    Signed, a 45 year old teacher who has obviously lost her mind

  3. #3
    Cathy Zielske

    “Baby you light up my world like nobody else….”

    Kim, I didn’t do year long classes because of accountability, but you have hit the nail on the head: it’s your thing and no one can do it for you.

    But I also think in the past, I have been too into the extremes and now I’m just working on doing what is needed. Granted, that is not easy, because I do not NEED Reeses Peanut Butter cups. But they make me feel good, right? And then what they also do is make me crave more sugar and sugar essentially wreaks havoc in the body. That’s not just an idea. That’s a fact.

    So, I have failed and I’m working to do better. And I am. And you can do better too.

    Scrapbooks are secondary to the process, for sure.

  4. #4

    “Do not wait until conditions are perfect to begin…” I saw this quote on your twitter feed (I think) last night and it stopped me in my scroll. I had effectively talked myself out of FIT because of my previous failed attempts with Move More Eat Less. I can Move More with the best of them, it’s the Eat Less part that trips me up every damn time. And apparently group accountability doesn’t spur me on because when things go south I just slither away and lurk for a while and then don’t even bother showing up. I know a huge part of my problem lies with perfectionism. I can’t do it without the ‘perfect’ nutrition plan or the ‘perfect’ workout routine or the ‘perfect’ tracking mechanism. Once I have those things in place I will be on my way to success. Well, you know how that story ends. However, I cannot get that quote out of my mind. I have to let go of trying to have everything perfectly in place. Sometimes you just have to start and make corrections as you go. So, the short point to this long story is that you just might see me signing in soon. Never underestimate the value of a well-placed quote 🙂

    1. #4.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Connie, if I’m being honest, group accountability isn’t really my biggest motivator. For example, I will not join workout clubs, or walking groups or anything like that because this is my responsibility.

      And back in the day of me pushing Eat Less… that has changed so much. It’s about Eating Well. If you try to cut calories and eat diet foods you are asking for a crash because we need real food to feel full. That includes healthy fat because without it, we just feel hungry.

      I’m not expert, God knows, but I have been learning a lot over the past six years of trying to take better care of myself. Part of it has just been wanting to feel good over doing what is needed. That’s my goal now. I actually started doing better on October 1. It’s amazing what an attitude shift can do, as well. Instead of feeling sorry for myself (why can’t I eat like shit and be healthy? why can’t I drink wine every night? boo freaking hoo…), I am just taking responsibility and making different choices.

      Not easy, but surprisingly clear with the right attitude. 🙂

      1. #4.1.1

        “Not easy, but surprisingly clear with the right attitude.” This. So much this. Due to a health diagnosis, I’ve had to change my eating habits recently, and while it’s not been the simplest thing for me, I have the mindset that it is the right thing for me. So my attitude keeps the path clear of self-pity. Not gonna lie though; I really do miss the pasta and white wine sometimes.

        1. #
          Cathy Zielske

          I miss red wine and goldfish, but less now than I did at first.

          It’s just a choice. Some days you make different ones. The thing is, I just need to be responsible for all of my choices. That’s number one on my to do list for 2016. 🙂

    2. #4.2

      Connie~I think you’ve hit the nail on the proverbial head with part of my issues…perfectionism. I’m looking for that all-perfect diet plan, exercise plan, etc. to get started. I think you just talked me in to joining FIT. You and, of course, Cathy and my love for her! 🙂

      who is off to join!

  5. #5
    Judy in Huntsville AL

    Love this so much….
    There’s been many times when I’ve just stopped trying…and the truth is… with my body I’m going to have to always keep track and make an effort to be better.
    If I’m honest I’ll say that I put off starting til today (we had our last Christmas on Saturday)… I DREADED weighing and measuring… and I’m a little ashamed…but small relieved to be accountable again…
    Thank you.

    1. #5.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Judy it’s hard to separate that shame element from this. I know that. I have felt that shame, too. “Oh, look at Cathy… she’s gained so much weight again.”

      But honestly? That is MY issue of projecting what I think people think. The truth of it, no one cares what I look like. I mean, maybe Dan cares, but it only matters what I think and if I’m doing what is needed and behaving like a responsible adult with food and exercise, I can have a real sense of purpose and pride in that.

      Not a pride in, “Yay! I’m starving myself!” because that’s stupid. It is. I am not interested in the whole fad diet this, or quick fix that.

      Just want to do better, be healthier, and see what shakes out. 🙂

      1. #5.1.1

        “That is MY issue of projecting what I think people think”
        that there, is so grown up, and hits the nail on the head of exactly where I was at yesterday. projecting what I thought people thought about me. huge revelation. thanks Cathy for choosing the right words. now to change how I think about me 🙂

  6. #6

    The year-round commitment and opportunity to benefit from the experience of others are what spurred me to register for FIT. MMEW was a great beginning. I did make lasting lifestyle changes as a result. However, as time rolled by a number of short-term reasons (shoulder injury, sciatica flare-up, vacation, sale on Tastykake cupcakes) became longer-term excuses. FIT came along just when I was looking for that extra something that will help me stay the course. I’m so glad to benefit from your decision to go ahead with this, Cathy!

  7. #7
    Karen H.

    Just want to say I love your attitude (because that sounds less odd than saying I love you, which I do ,even if we’ve never met!) ! Anyway, I am in, as I have been on your previous MMEL classes. It just feels good to know I am not alone, that there are lots of us out there trying. And that nobody cares as much as me what I weigh but that I need to keep healthy because no-one is going to do that for me! Looking forward to sharing the journey with you this year!

  8. #8

    “When feeling good is a priority, you’ll do just about anything to protect it.”
    Yes, this is my story, too, and probably many, many others. I deal with a lot of stress in my life (particularly from having an 87 year old mother living with us who is in the early stages of dementia) but I have so much GOOD in my life, too. SO much. My focus needs to be on that goodness, and work very hard to achieve goals of weight loss, exercise and general health so that I will be around a long time to enjoy all of this goodness. My husband and I both feel as if time is ticking away and the time to do it is NOW. FIT came at a perfect point to help with our motivation.
    Hope you don’t mind, but I used your photo/quote at the beginning of this post as my screensaver. 🙂

  9. #9

    Sweet Cathy – you just make me smile. You are so strong. You are so true. I have lost and now I have gained. Feeling like all that I lost has been undone… word for the year is BEGIN. Seems appropriate. I cannot fit it all in. When I did, my home and family did not see me. Of course work did. So now I begin again. And that is all there is to it. So your quote rocks my world tonight.
    BTW – when we were there this summer I took photos of the kids and I and the I Like You store. It is right around the corner from where my two nieces live. You really must do a photo shoot there. 501 1st Ave NE, Minneapolis and if you go in you will laugh really hard if you read some of the cards. promise.

  10. #11

    Will your PL still be a “monthly”? I think I’m going to strive to do a monthly and add the Fit stuff right in there as well. Yes, I had to have the printables! And we should all be eating healthy and moving every now and then. Plus I just love me some Cathy Zielske stuff. My husband even knows who you are! I’m pretty sure that puts me in the “stalker” category. 😉

  11. #12

    Yes, fitness is important and affects other parts of our lives. Since going through menopause, weight is always a challenge to lose…but its doable. I find doing a little something healthy everyday (whether a short walk, a skipped cookie, etc) is better than trying to reinvent the wheel every once in a while. Best of luck. You can do it.

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