Self-Care Check In No. 02

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life16 Comments

January is winding down and I thought I’d post about how my 2020 self-care regimen is going thus far and the short answer? Even steven.

My first post of the year gave you a little background on my latest efforts (and by latest, I mean the past 15 months!) to get healthier. And by healthier I don’t simply mean Ye Of Smaller Buttocks. Although that’s a nice bonus, I won’t lie.

Fun side story: I was having some tightness in my chest a few weeks back, something I experienced a number of years ago that found me in the ER on a Mother’s Day (it turned out fine), and because I had JUST seen something on Facebook about female heart attack warning signs, I didn’t mess around and went in.

Turns out, numbers are fine. ECG fine. Blood work fine. Chest x-ray fine. BP actually was fantastic. It appears that it might be something gastro related, which is odd, because I really don’t eat anything to cause those types of issues. That said, while I’m far from being a hypochondriac, I’m all about getting yourself checked out if you feel something is off.

And before you think, “Well, you just have it all figured out now, missy, don’t you?” You should know that when I thought maybe I was having heart issues my anxiety was literally off the charts.


For whatever reason, something is different right now in my life in terms of the choices I’m making. Health scares are part of it. Getting older is most definitely part of it. But a big part of it, even with the tiny bit of anxiety I experience from time to time, is removing the drama from my choices.

For me, drama means victimhood, and victimhood is something I am all too familiar with, in the sense of feeling helpless to make changes with all this stuff, or looking somewhere to place the blame. In the past, when the victim part of my brain takes over, I give up and say, “Well, this is too hard and I’m going to be fine as is.”

Last year’s blood pressure told another story.

What is needed? That’s a phrase I’ve been learning about in therapy and boy, on most days, I barely scratch the surface of truly being able to answer that question in all areas of my life. It’s not a clever question about more caffeine (although I’m LOVING my new mug from MudLove and will be doing a fun giveaway/promotion with them in February!)

It’s really about looking at facts and separating the emotion from them. It’s not that I will ever extract myself from my emotional responses to life, but… if I can separate them I can see what is needed in any situation. So far, it’s easiest to do with how I feed and move my body. Second would be my parenting. And coming up the rear? How I interact with the hubby.

Like I said, this missy is a work in progress. Ergo, why I still work with a therapist.


My goal with Fit 2020 is to help women separate facts from feelings and get past the drama that can make it so hard to change things about your self-care. And make no mistake, it’s hard.

It’s hard to get off junk food. It literally messes with your brain. The cravings for crap are real. That’s a fact.

It’s also a fact that when you make changes, eventually, those cravings will lessen and eventually fade. At least physically

The emotional part? That is hard. And hard to separate.

I remember how hard the emotional aspect of quitting smoking was back in 2006. After about two weeks, the physical cravings passed. But it was fully three years before I could see someone smoking on the street and not feel completely pissed off that I couldn’t do that anymore. Of course, nicotine addiction is extreme, in my opinion, but I had to work through the emotions of how different my life was without my pack-a-day smoking habit.

Suffice to say, I learned a lot about my abilities from quitting smoking. I need to connect to that more often.

Because that was a truly badass move. So is self-care in general.


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Cathy ZielskeSelf-Care Check In No. 02

16 Comments on “Self-Care Check In No. 02”

  1. #1

    Hi Cathy,

    Just thought I’d pass this on to you, regarding your health. Both my son and I have acid reflux, and the only major symptom for us was mild chest pressure, not heartburn, which is the major symptom that most people have. We take Prevacid when needed, and all is good. Also, sometimes a lot a raw veggies can cause gastro problems…but darn it all, how come a healthy salad hurt my gut, but a hamburger and fries, never a problem….!

    1. #1.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Isn’t that crazy? Yes, my doctor prescribed some Pepcid. It’s weird because I rarely have issues like that but it all makes sense.

      And yep, fries never cause this! lol

      1. #1.1.1
        Georgina Bancroft

        Hi there I too suffer with this and found omeprazole to be excellent (just check before buying though as it can interact with other medications). Something my lovely acupuncturist (also chinese herbalist) once told me was that the body takes too much energy to break down raw food so always have steamed or cooked vegetables (no good for salad lovers though!). I don’t know the science behind this (I don’t have the time to research sadly) but at a time when I was chronically ill it helped me with stomach acid. Also not eating as much dairy has helped which is sad as I adore ice cream ☹️

  2. #2

    Love that question “What is needed?”. Such a simple question, but the perspective it brings. I will definitely be using it. Thank you for sharing!

    1. #2.1
      Cathy Zielske

      It is simple. And hard. Because (and I speak from experience here!) we cloud the facts with our feelings and judgments. I’m working every day to see reality accurately. I’m not very successful at it. Sometimes yes, and mostly in regards to how I’m choosing to take care of my body. But the personal stuff… that gets much tricker!

  3. #3

    My husband hasn’t smoked in over 25 years and even now, after a nice dinner out, he’ll sometimes say that he could really go for a smoke. Twenty-five years and he still feels the pull of nicotine. Scary!

    1. #3.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I can so relate to that, Heidi! I mean, I do not crave it anymore… and I don’t think about it often, but… there are days… when there is a smell in the air that reminds me of standing outside in the FREEZING cold (because I did not smoke in my home) and having that glorious smoke. And I miss that. And then it passes.

  4. #4
    Lisa B. Reber

    Sometimes one little sentence can really hit home and make you stop and take notice. I have always been a “Well, this is too hard and I’m going to be fine as is” kinda girl when physical exertion and overall self care got to be too much. This past year two out of three older siblings were diagnosed with different types of cancer which was my wake up call. It is hard but no longer optional. So today when my ass is dragging, I can’t stop yawning at my desk, every muscle aches I will want to throw in the towel on my evening workout, I will think of this sentence and thank you Cathy! I don’t want to be that girl ever again.

    1. #4.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I think of it daily. Not every day do I have an accurate answer. But that is my goal. 🙂

  5. #5
    Vabila za krst

    Junk food: yes, yummi, it is hard to say no. The easyest way to deal with a problem – I’m talking from my experiences – is not to have it in an apartement/house.
    Another thing which can improve your phisical and emotional health is gym. I started runnig. At first it is hard, annoying, sometimest boring. But if you insist enough time, at least more than 3 months, you will be probably hooked. But, yeah, I know, something is theory the other one is praxis. I wish you all the best!

    1. #5.1
      Cathy Zielske

      Oh I used to LOVE running. Then I got injured from overuse. Had a surgery on my foot and running is no longer an option. : ) But I did love it!

  6. #6

    My husband spent a night in ER with chest pressure. All the tests. Gastro. I make him go with any weird things. No chances!!

  7. #7
    Amy W

    Hi Cathy, I really loved this post. Especially the question “What is needed?” I’m going to adopt that, especially my struggle with food and body image issues. Okay, and pretty much all the issues in my life right now. It’s seriously applicable to all. the. things. Thank you for the insights.
    [And I, too, had weird gastro things but that were affecting my throat – I felt like I had a lump in my throat I couldn’t get rid of. The gastro doc said I could take meds for a “silent reflux,” or I could try to change my diet, which he thought was hard. I took out nightshades (and my beloved potato chips, as potatoes are nightshades), and the reflux went away! It comes back if I indulge.]

    1. #7.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I definitely know there are foods to avoid but the weird thing is I avoid them already! lol. I should look into what other nightshades I might be eating!

  8. #8
    Lynne Moore

    Interesting responses. I couple years ago I had chest tightness and fainting. No good answers after all the tests. Upside: I was assigned a great doc that I continue to see. But reading the responses, it was probably some food related issue. Along with low blood pressure.

    (Funny thing, I love being upside down and that doesn’t seem to affect it… At least I haven’t followed doc advice to be inverted less. 😀 Sticking with food issues as an idea.)

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