Why I keep showing up

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life, Products & Classes30 Comments



My new e-course is live and humming along for 2018. The class is called Fit 2018 and I have a story to tell you about this class that goes something like this: I wasn’t going to do it this year. Here’s why.

There are two reasons, but the first being the feeling that I wasn’t really walking the walk and showing my students the power of a before and after.

How can I inspire people when I don’t really have any major accomplishments to share? No 5Ks run. No pants sizes dropped. No physical manifestations of self care. No one to say, “WHOA, DUDE! You look so… fit!”

The second reason was that I was tired of trying to do something that I clearly wasn’t doing. I was tired of always striving to do better. I was tired of caring about the stuff. In other words, my attitude was in the crapper on self care.

Then I broke my hand.

The day after it happened I had two choices: 1) Feel sorry for myself, eat like shit and hunker down while waiting for the healing to begin, or 2) Deal with it and make both bone and body healing nutrition a priority, as in, pronto. I chose the latter.

Knowing that exercise was kind of off the table (swelling and throbbing made even walking an issue), I chose nutrition. And I’m going to be really clear about what that means because that word is not code for dieting. It mean no junk food. No sugary crap. Nothing that would only add to the inflammation in my body which in turn would hamper the healing of my hand. (And ladies, you know that sugar is in wine, and bread, and all those foods we sometimes crave aside from donuts, right?)

I just knew that my body needed me to step up and be responsible. No pity party. No sweet indulgences to make me feel better. No wine buzz to take the edge off of my life.

I just needed to, well, for lack of a more clever term, do what was needed.


What is needed? This has been a recurring theme in my life for years but not one that I’ve always embraced with my whole heart. It comes from years of therapy and my difficulty in really seeing myself accurately in all areas of my life. Work is one of my strong areas. Personal and relationships? Those are not as strong and so I work to make them better. Self-care falls squarely into the personal category.

But the injury felt like a thud to my skull. As in, a what the hell are you doing, Cath? kind of thud. Do you want to be falling apart in your 50s? You’re only just a year in, so can we try to do a bit better? Please?

But one part of better, dare I say the most important part of better, is my attitude towards things for which I am responsible. Top of that list? My self care.

Better is not code for weighing less. Better is not code for life will automatically improve with 20 fewer pounds. Better is about me being a full-grown adult who does stuff that helps my life and health, not stuff that harms it.

I think breaking my hand, strangely, was one of the best things that could’ve happened to me last year. It shook me up in a good way and it showed me that this physical body of mine is the only one I get. I can be continually disappointed with it, judge it and wish somehow I was born with a first-rate metabolism, or I can be grateful that I have it in the first place and show it some love. Some real love.

Real love is all about truth and doing what is needed. Doing what is needed is not some cheap fix. It’s working to understand that I get this one life to live, so I need to figure out my shit and do right by it. So that’s my goal today and every day. And that is no small feat.


Will I succeed every day? Probably not. I’m not a robot. I’m not perfect. But I am willing to look at the areas where I need work, and people, it’s in my head, not in my waist size. And yeah, it’s taken me a while to make that connection. But it’s an important distinction. It’s a life changing one.

I also keep showing up with this class because I love to teach it, I love to try to motivate people, and I love the community it creates each year because I love seeing women who want to take care of themselves in a real way. I also like making money doing this kind of thing for a living. Because my students keep coming back and put their trust in my products, I am able to keep doing this. You have no idea how lucky that makes me in this world of small, crafty businesses.

Which reminds me of another reason I keep doing this: gratitude. It’s funny how when you focus on what you have versus what you want to get, you can have a seismic shift in your perspective on pretty much everything. I am grateful that I get a chance to be here and do this.

And you’re invited to join me this year.

Yes, you get a lot of ways to track your story, but the biggest takeaway, in my opinion, is putting yourself in a place where you are focused for at least part of the time on your self care, and then to work on leaving the harsh judgments behind.

We ain’t got time for that negative crap. One life. You know?

I say let’s work toward better in a real way and see what shakes out.


Join more than 500 women who’ve signed on for 2018! Click on the image below for more info on signing up!




















Cathy ZielskeWhy I keep showing up

30 Comments on “Why I keep showing up”

  1. #2

    It would take to much time and effort to comment on everything that I can relate to in this post so I will comment on this one thing; I had just decided to document in small journal I received for Christmas and not use any of the printables so as not to fall behind because I didn’t get around to printing the months’ pages, and then you go and post that adorable looking travelers notebook!!! Have you no heart Cathy????

    1. #2.1
      Barb W

      I’m with you, Connie… not using printables of any kind. Just keeping my usual journal and soaking up the AWESOMENESS of that community. FIT 2018 is the best one yet. Thank you, Cathy, for not abandoning us. 🙂

    2. #2.2
      Cathy Zielske

      Connie, you gotta do you! I provide all of the materials so you have choices, but honestly, documenting in your own personal way is key!!! You got this!

  2. #3
    Chris Cox

    I totally get this. As a woman who is approaching the second year in my 50’s….this is my dilemma as well. About 10 years ago, I joined WW and I loved it. I did great…losing 90 lbs in a little over a year. I felt great about myself physically and mentally. I was about 10 lbs away from goal….that number they tell you that you should be at. 10 lbs! I couldn’t do it. I tried and tried…but couldn’t get there. Mental me took over at that point….failure was eating away at my success and I was helpless to stop it. Fast forward 10 years and I am back to that starting weight…again. I just can’t seem to “get my head in the game” (as Troy Bolton would say). Hoping this program makes me think a little more about the “why”s. Thanks for the honesty Cathy…it’s refreshing!

    1. #3.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Troy Bolton. Lol. Getcha getcha head in the game!

      All I know is that I can’t just make this about weight loss and feeling badly about the body I have. The body I have lets me experience life. I owe it MUCH gratitude. Always.

  3. #4
    Mary Jo Rhoda

    I am signed up, and actually combining this class with Ali’s OLW class. The reason – I chose Self Care as my “word” back sometime in December. So I think the combo of the two will really help me stay focused on a goal I feel is really important this year.

    I have realized that if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t care for others. It’s that simple. So this is super important to me right now.

    Also, I took your Design Your Life class several years back and you had me at videos and podcasts. I always love your videos. 🙂
    So looking forward to being inspired by two of my fave scrapbookers in 2018 and getting myself together!!

    1. #4.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Oh, it all trickles down, you know? You have to take care of you so you can give to others. 🙂 I should really pick a word for the year. Haven’t even thought of that yet!

  4. #6

    So grateful for this type of honesty as opposed to the “miracle diets” that are everywhere right now. Bringing me to a place of self-evaluation will make this a success no matter what the “end” looks like. Thank you for taking the pressure off me to “lose 50 pounds by March”. At 62 it’s about a whole lot of parts that make up my whole and they each need a little cultivation. So thank you. thank you. thank you. For hanging in there and bringing us all together. I am really enjoying it already.

    1. #6.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I don’t believe in a miracle diets and in fact I don’t believe much and diets anymore. I know that every time I’ve lost weight I’ve gained it back because of always taking extreme measures. That said I would like to be healthier but that is an internal job as well as a next ternal one. I’m glad you’re enjoying it so far. I love the positive vibe of the group!

  5. #7
    Kathy Aylward

    Hi Cathy I have been on the losing weight and gaining weight journey many times and have watched you do the same. I was a member of Weight Watchers for many years however the $$ just got too much for me and also motivation. I was 15kgs overweight and gained another 10 kgs due to personal circumstances that happened in my life. I don’t like exercise but I’m a great cook. I joined the gym for 10 weeks and went 4 weeks. A year ago I started an online programme with Australia’s “The Batchelor” and I’ve lost 12kgs last year. It is “jerk” just eat real food” and a 28 minute workout at home in your lounge room. I have seen other online programs for 28 mins in your lounge room however jumping up on boxes would not be possible unless you were fit. I’m in my 50’s and have gone through menopause which makes things tougher. I think the thing that has made this successful for me is the FB group plus a video message from Sam Wood every day, the yummy food (heaps of recipes and meal plans). You have 3 meals a day and 2 snacks for weight loss. I started off on the bottom level (there are 5) and they have a low impact one now for people who have injured themselves. It’s 7 exercises in a row and then it’s repeated 3 more times. The exercise is 1 min so 20 second exercise and 40 sec rest is the bottom level then the next level is 30 sec exercise and 30 sec rest etc. All of the things you have struggled with weight over the years I could have written. Check it out and he’s on Instagram as well. I found that my mental health and strength improved heaps and while the weight loss is great (we all want that) my outlook on life improved as a result. Lots of girls have lost 30-50 kgs in one year but I was happy with keeping off 12kgs because I used all the recipes to fit in with my family commitments. eg football 3 nights a week I had to have a meal ready for when we walked in the door. You can get a free 7 day trial and I don’t promote things but I found this is an easy program and well supported.

  6. #9

    This is my third year with you with FIT. The first year I printed all the things, put them in an album, and promptly fell off the wagon a week or so later. The second year (2017) I started drinking water. Not much else, but over the course of a year, I actually drank more water. Surprisingly, that small accomplishment was enough to bring me back this year, only I am much more hopeful and excited about it. Even though I was in an out of the FB group last year, I feel like you and the group are so encouraging and motivating. Nobody is Wonder Woman. No one appears to be perfect and that’s okay.

    I love that you are a REAL woman who doesn’t have it all together (sorry – I know you’d like to, but people don’t relate to perfect people anyway). I love that you’re just living this life, one step at a time like the rest of us – good days, bad days, and all the in-between days.

    I can’t put it in words, but I’m in a different head space this year and I’m looking forward to being more involved in the group this year and seeing more progress in my own life. Thank you so much for all you do.

    1. #9.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I definitely don’t have it all together! but I too am in a different head space this year. Maybe that’s part of getting more adult? If so, I’ll take it.

  7. #10

    I just turned 50 yesterday and with personal and work obligations being crazy the last year and a half, self care has taken a back seat. I want to get remotivated.

  8. #11

    I just signed up for FIT- first time taking this. Can you recommend source for travelers notebook?

    1. #11.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hey Lori! I ordered mine from Amazon. there is a supplies link in the January classroom if that helps.

  9. #12
    Kathy Mc

    Couldn’t have said this better, Cathy! I have a couple decades on you and I know that we’re never finished. I’m a work in progress, and that’s easy to forget. That’s what I’m here. Thanks for the fun!!

    1. #13.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Hi Marjorie! If you go to the class description you can see inside the welcome lesson. Or I can email you some images if you email me directly.

      They are more printables cards in various sizes than templates, although there are 6 x 8 templates included that are simply designed to hold the various card sizes.

  10. #16

    I too, just turned 50 and have been feeling sorry for myself. I struggle with maintaining weight loss. I’ll lose, then go back to my old habits. But now that I’m getting older and my metabolism is slowing down, I’ve been feeling grumpy and less motivated. I loved reading your post and it is so true. I need to learn to take care of my one body I have but also enjoy life and learn how to balance the two. And no more judging. I just joined FIT 2018 and am looking forward to this as part of my focus for the year!

    1. #16.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Glad to have you! And yes, it’s time to make peace with the body and just work on giving it some real love!

  11. #17

    Hi, I have joined this group & look forward to the support & encouragement of others doing the same all over the globe, I am also doing Ali’s OLW, mindful/ness found me one morning when i woke up, it will tie in amazingly with what i am trying to change & progress in my life & self care is an associate word as well.
    Thanks Cathy for doing F.I.T again this year, I participated in MOVE MORE EAT WELL in 2014 but the motivation wasnt there so much. I am just starting my 60’s and want to be around for many more healthy & lively years.

  12. #18

    I just love those nuvo drops in that color combination. Would you mind sharing the colors? Too many to pick from that I am afraid I will pick the wrong colors.


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