Fit 2019: My February Update

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life, Products & Classes23 Comments

I have committed myself to posting each month about my self-care process with all of its upsides and downsides for 2019.

If you’d like a recap from 2018, it goes this this: about half-way through, I sort of gave up. End of story.

I gave up so hard last year that I was not going to offer my Fit e-course again in 2019 because I felt like a fraud. How could I encourage people to do better when I was not truly walking the walk?

Good question.

The answer came in a surprise form: high blood pressure.

Last November at a routine exam my doctor said, “Your blood pressure is a little high for you. Why don’t you follow up in a few weeks and see what it’s at, okay?”

Me: “Can do!”

I was not expecting to follow up and find it still in the Hypertension 1 range. And right there in the middle of the Cub Foods Pharmacy I decided to actually give a crap about my health, wherein the previous six months I had truly been phoning it in.

It’s not that the info I was sharing with my 2018 students wasn’t authentic. It was. I do not purport to have all of the answers on how to best care for you. If you’ve ever taken any versions of Fit, you know this about me. But personally, I was letting far too many bags of Cape Cod 40% Reduced Fat Kettle-style Potato chips into this 52-year-old belly of mine. And cheap red wine to wash it down.

Oh, but the buzz was nice.


But the overriding desire was this: I need to see if I can fix this. The blood pressure thing freaked me out and I have been working at doing better ever since. I would like to avoid medications for as long as this fabulous body will permit, but I was most definitely not doing my part to support that goal.

I am now.


For some of us, self-care is easy and automatic. I have never actually MET any of those people, but I’m sure they’re awesome and have stress-free lives and gentle puffs of unicorn dust float gently out of their butts on the daily.

It has never been automatic for me. I have a completely addictive personality so when I go all in on something that’s not so great for me (smoking, potato chips, etc), I really do go all in.

I need to go all in on caring for myself.

So right now, that’s what I’m doing. I am happy to report that I went in for a blood pressure check and six weeks after the last one, the reading is back in the normal range. I will be continuing to monitor this, of course, but I know I’m on the right track.


Nothing is going to be handed to me in my middle age. I see that more clearly than ever today and getting that high blood pressure reading was the wake up call I needed. My Fit story is not about having my ass look better in jeans. It is about living with vitality and responsibility. This is my accountability to myself.

I am not crash dieting. I am not doing extreme levels of exercise. I’m just doing what is needed for my body at this time. This means eating real food and having an 80s dance party in my living room every single day to get my heart rate up. (Who says exercise can’t be fun? You can really shake it to Wake Me Up, Before You Go-Go!)

Will I fall off the deep-end again in 2019? Not if I’m showing up and doing what is needed. So I say, let’s keep this train ‘a-chuggin’.


CREATE YOUR OWN SYSTEM OF ACCOUNTABILITY FOR SELF-CARE IN 2019! Join me for Fit 2019 and become part of a community of women who are putting their self-care at the top of their To Do lists, and working to create sustainable changes. Use any number of the Fit tracking materials to document the changes you’re looking to make, or simply incorporate the monthly journal prompts into your current planner or memory keeping systems. The materials are designed to support you in whatever way works!

Listen: this is not easy. It’s not automatic. But if you give it your time and energy, you can emerge with a better understanding of what is needed for you! Fit is a commitment to yourself to do what is needed and you’ll be part of a warm and supportive community to cheer you on. Click on the image above and register today!


Cathy ZielskeFit 2019: My February Update

23 Comments on “Fit 2019: My February Update”

  1. #1
    Kim M

    I’m with ya sista! This fifty-ish empty nest thing is tough! But I’ll keep at it! Just signed up for fitness classes at the local university, coerced a friend to do it with me and bought some cheap athleisure-wear. We can do this!

  2. #2

    Had a normal blood pressure, good cholesterol and a normal ekg. But a strange pain/sensation in the middle of my chest. Followed up with my Dr and a long story short had two arteries 95% blocked. Successful intervention and I’m in my way to a full recovery with the addition of 4 stents in my heart.
    The older we get the more vigilant we must become! 2019 is definitely a year of self care ❤️ Watch the blood pressure and if you’ve never had a stress test ask for one.

    1. #2.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Wow, Susan, thank you for the words of advice. I am following up with my doctor regarding the BP, so i will ask for a stress test!

  3. #3
    Leora henkin

    Hey Cathy! Thanks for sharing this realness with us! Go Girl Go! And you are right, nothing is handed to us in this middle age. Thanks for the encouragement to keep on truckin’ in whatever form that takes.

    Love you.

  4. #4

    Oh crap Cathy! I wasn’t going to join this time around…you know, “because I can do this on my own”. Well, HELLO FEBRUARY!! and what have I done? Nada, zip, zilch. Today is my first day of retirement and I figure if you’re going to make yourself be accountable then that’s the least I can do. I even contacted the closest To Your Health Spa for a free guest pass and will likely sign up for a year’s membership. Believe me, once I’ve forked over real money, I will make myself go and I’m sure once I get in the habit of going I’ll start to enjoy it…or that’s my mindset now. I have got to get healthy and now I have no excuses since I no longer have a job that requires a LOT of sitting and piles of STRESS!! Here’s to everyone giving FIT 2019 a shot!! We got this!! 😀 <3

    1. #4.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Cindy! I saw your purchase come through! And here’s another thing I think about Fit: when you pay the money, it’s not just because you want to take an online class… it’s kind of a statement that you’re going to invest something, financially, to make a more visible commitment. That was me and buying my Apple Watch in December. It wasn’t in the budget, but I knew that a) I could write it off because it tied into my class efforts and b) I would feel guilty as hell if I didn’t use it for the reason I purchased it.

      Glad to have you. I’m hosting a live chat in the FB group tomorrow at 3 p.m. central time if you want to join!

  5. #5

    Cathy, I love how authentic you are. I phoned it in for the month of January with excuses for why I didn’t have “time” to prepare healthy meals or exercise. Blah, blah, blah. Here’s to a new month, with realistic goals and a focus on self-care! At 53, this body needs my love and I need it!

    1. #5.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I can completely understand the phone in. 🙂 I’ll be 53 in just over a month. My body needs some love.

  6. #6

    Go, CZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I need to join you in making better choices. I will never not like Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. #noregrets

  7. #7

    Way to go Cathy. It ain’t easy. As Tony Horton says, Do your best and forget the rest. He also says…my personal favorite…
    Aging is for Idiots! haha

    1. #7.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Yep. I mean, it might be easy for some and that is great! I envy that, totally. I want to make it easier and more sustainable for me!

  8. #9
    Kathy Aylward

    Middle age is hard and chips are so yummy. I have been following 28 By Sam Wood in Australia which is an online program of 28 minutes of workouts in your living room and wholefoods menu including snacks and treats. Have a look at it…just letting you know because I have struggled with my weight for many years and have always done Weight Watchers which is a great program however 28 By Sam Wood is a lifestyle and the recipes are great. There are lots of other women online fitness people however there is no way I could jump up on a box for 20 times being middle age and unfit. The whole family can eat this way not just the person wanting to lose weight. You can try it for a 28 day block to see if you like it. You can join any day with the next program starting each Monday. I don’t get anything for saying this I’m just a Mum around your age who has always had weight issues. There are 5 levels of exercise from low impact and you do 7 exercises and repeat it 4 times. The exercise is one minute so you can do 20 second exercise with 40 second rest, 30 second exercise with 30 second rest or 40 second exercise with 20 second rest…as the levels go up. Doing it on your own is hard and there is a community FB group with lots of inspiration and support as well.

  9. #10
    Kirsten Drew

    You need to add Queen’s “Don’t stop me now” to your playlist if it’s not there. That song has got me thru some tough treadmill runs this past 2 months! And “Conga” by Gloria Estefan…that gets some perk in my step too!

  10. #11
    carol ann

    I suffer from depression due to grieving the loss of my parents. Too many times, I just don’t a rat’s butt and I turn to comfort food. It’s a cycle I will always fight but right now, I just don’t care. It takes me down all the time. 🙁 Plus, I have no inner circle of girl friends to help me let it out, talk. Ugh.

    Hang in there, Cathy. Let’s fight the crap together.

  11. #12
    Cathie Perkins

    Hey Cathy,
    I’m like you it’s always a struggle, but I just wanted to give you some hope re blood pressure, my husband was 120kgs and on medication, finally decided to make a change. Cut out daily alcohol, starchy carbs, and started training 6 days a week. Drastic, but a new daily routine. Lost about 30kgs and was able to stop all medication. Has been following the same routine for years now. Sometimes its boring being his wife, but he does look good. No unicorn dust though 🙂 I’m still working on my motivation, my blood pressure always perfect so I’m just a cruising fatty. We’ve just gotta keep trying

  12. #13

    Hello CZ! I’m not taking your class but I’ve always been inspired by you. I am also being a little more proactive on my health again this year and doing monthly check-ins is something I’d like to start doing. I’ve posted my first one here:

    1. #13.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Oh good on you, Vera! Blogging it is such a good way to keep yourself in touch with how it’s going!

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