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August 16, 2010

Tales from the Scale: Slow, Steady, Sporty and Skirty


At the end of 7 months of Eating Less and Moving More, we find ourselves here:


JOURNALING READS: Seven months in and all is copacetic. This month finds me down 3 pounds from last, and it would make sense that things are slowing down just a bit. I’m moving 6 days a week (4 runs of varying length and two days of either biking or swimming) and I’m finding myself hungrier than I’ve been in a while. I’ve been blowing through those extra weekly points every week. I really feel my body needs them right now. I’m trying to be a better listener.

Speaking of better listening, I know I have to be careful with not over-doing the running. I’ve got some heel pain I’m trying to address right now. I can’t deny my fear of injury resulting in the inability to run at all. Yes, I DO have other options in swimming and biking, but there’s something about the run that is just a bit more lucrative from an overall fitness bang-for-your-buck standpoint.

I decided to join a running group, which feels pretty big to me, considering my tendency to do things on my own. I’ve gone to 4 of their weekend runs and each time I’ve almost talked myself out of it. But each time I go, I am rewarded with a run I would have never taken on my own. My overall mind set right now, while still wanting to eat well and continue to move toward my goal weight of 135, really has shifted into thinking like an athlete. If you would have told me that back in January, that I’m dreaming of running a half marathon some day, I would have belly laughed at you. And Lord knows, I had the belly size to REALLY laugh.


Not a huge difference from last month, if you recall. Still, three more pounds? I'll take it. As one kind blog reader pointed out, "Go grab a pound of butter and look at it. Now you feel better about a pound, don't you?" Indeed, I do.

Since January, I've lost 36.9 pounds. That's a whole toddler. Or two chubby babies. Or one smallish-sized Golden Doodle. Or 36.9 pounds of shredded cheese.

Any way you look at it, it's an accomplishment.

I need to remind myself of this on those months where the numbers don't reflect much in the way of change. I need to remind myself of the complete transformation I've had and continue to have in my journey from Dieting Person to Wanna Be Athlete.


Do I have a weight goal in mind? Yes. 135 to be precise. I think that's a nice number for a 5'6 woman in her mid-40s. If I reach that number, will there be a part of me that wonders how it might look and feel to re-visit the land of the 120s? Of course there will. I may be making strides in my fitness life, but I still have some body image issues lodged pretty far down in the old limbic system.

But for now, I'm not focusing on that. Instead, I'm focusing on what I am learning to be the only thing that really has to happen to maintain a healthy lifestyle at a weight I feel good at: Eat Less and Move More.

I think people want a secret pill, or a magical combination of nutrients, or a machine that does the work for you. I say that, because I am those kind of people. Or at least I was. I was the kind of person that didn't want to do the work. I just wanted the results. I was the kind of person who came up with a whole bevy of can'ts whenever I tried to figure out my issues with food and chub.


I can't run. I can't eat healthy. I can't lose weight and keep it off. Can't. Can't. Can't.

The one thing running has taught me this year is to stop being such a whiner. Stop selling myself short on what is possible for my life. Stop dismissing things before you at least give 'em a fair shot. 

I don't think I have all the answers here and I'm not saying that indulging the occasional pity party isn't part of this process. But what I have discovered is that you don't have to hit rock bottom and wade around in a mucky pool of self-loathing to really start making changes in your life.

I simply believe this: Eat Less. Move More.

Make and renew the choice every single day. 

Some days will be goo gobs better than others.

And then pray to God that injuries don't send you into a downward spiral of Kelloggs Frosted Corn Flakes and salt 'n vinegar potato chips.



Want to join in? Or document your journey? Or whine along?Or celebrate successes? Both the template above and this one are available at Designer Digitals for those who want to track their progress along with me. 

SUPPLIES: Layered Template No. 38 (Cathy Zielske) • Krafty No. 7 Cardstock Pack (Katie Pertiet) • Aki Solids Paper Pack (Michelle Martin) • Avenir and Archer fonts

To read more on my journey of Eating Less and Moving More, all posts on fitness related issues can be found here.


You look amazing Cathy, the difference is so noticeable and I know you feel much better and heathier! I am rejoining WW this Wed at my local meeting and am joining the gym to swim (it's about the only exercise I enjoy). I want to lose weight but more importantly I want to be in better shape and health. I'm going to get those templates so I can document my journey like you have as it's great to see all the visual changes and read the journaling!

wow u look amazing cathy, i am inspired to get moving, not running but moving
Jo xxx

Thank you so much Cathy for sharing your journey. I especially appreciate your honesty when you share your fears re injury and backsliding. I have worked hard this summer myself at establishing a regular exercise routine and I also began Weight Watchers 4 weeks ago. I've lost 8 pounds so far; although I have a long way to go, I am already seeing signs of increased health. It truly does make a difference for me to hear your story.

Love this monthly update, and you have a wise philosophy. I read one of John Bingham's books (The Courage to Start, which was the only one of his in the bookstore that day). Very enjoyable and I'm running regularly now! Having some joint issues which are tempering my distance, but trying to be patient.

You look fabulous!

What do you clean your bathroom mirror with? It always looks so great in your photos! [Mine is spotty!] Congrats on the journey [YOU look great too!]- I've finally made the move [lol] to join WW and hope to begin my on road to health this week! [But I've gotta get THAT mirror clean so I can take my before photo! LOL THANKS for the inspiration!!!

WOW!! Fabulous!! Totally Awesome!!

I have been on the WW journey since January because of your inspiration/motivation. I made goal recently (27 gone baby!) but I need to get back to the gym. Need to tone and lose another 10 or so. Can't wait until school starts back next month. I know I need to move more.

Anyhoo, I look forward to the monthly updates. I enjoy following you on your journey and get a little push for myself to keep it going ... instead of reaching for the nearest cupcake.


talk about inspiration... you do that to me. :-)

Wow, Cathy, you are buff!!
Amazing. Good for you.

You totally rock and you inspire my spirit.

You look so great! Keep up the good work. I did WW a few years back to get me started on my healthy journey. I'm now a fan of Clean Eating and Oxygen magazine. Now that I'm at my goal, I want to add muscle and definition to my body. It's nice to see the average person doing great, you are an inspiration!

And the crowd goes wild with excitement....the cheering....the yelling...I can hardly type. Another month of staying on track deserves a huge round of applause. Your picture is great. Last week on Oprah they had all of these people come out with these HUGE weight loss success stories. It is great. I am still staying committed. My big life change last month (that I wrote about in the discovery post below) has changed everything for me. But I am looking for the silver lining. The weight loss is s l o w but I am still walking and my daughter and I have actually gone to zumba classes. That fear of injury is very real. My back injury and surgery is was slowed my exercize momentum 16 years ago and I do not want that to happen again. 135 is a magical number. Always good when you can weigh less than your age. - One question, have you changed out your Nike sensor yet? I am still waiting for something to happen with mine and it has been in my shoe for more than 1000 hours.

I absolutely LOVE these posts. You inspired me to get OUT and run --- rather than stay in, in my nice cool basement on my treadmill that could incline if I wanted it to or stay flat if I wanted it to. I am currently training for my first half marathon... and after my 8 mile long run (my longest distance ever) this weekend I am actually feeling like I CAN do this. Thank you so much for your inspiration. I think you are awesome! =)

You look fantastic, Cathy! I admire your strength and the big change you have made in your life.

Congratulations Cathy! Your pictures tell the story, and are so inspiring! (Salt and vinegar potato chips, mmmmmm!)

Wow - what a difference 7 months makes! You look great but what's even better is that you feel great! Way to go!

GO Marja! Just take it slow and steady!

Jenny, i really do look at the after shot, and think, I hope im not just holding on to that by the skin of my teeth because thats happened before for me. But never with the level of activity im doing now. Again, its one day at a time. Renewing the commitment every day. Good luck!

Amy, have you also heard of Chi Running? It has helped me focus on my form. I didnt really know how to run, and the book is a little zen heavy, but... it has very concrete info on running form!

Wow Susan, congrats to you. Thats a lot of weight. If you add stuff at the gym, well... bonus for you! : )

buff? ha. well… thats on my list of things to do and get as well.... strength training is coming!

I want to get into adding muscle and definition too. Im getting this cardio thing down. Thats definitely next for me!

Robyn, my sensor is still going strong, but ive only had it since April, so that might explain it.

Good for you on staying committed! Its not easy. It really isnt, but it gets easier, and even becomes rewarding, i think, in other ways than just a scale number!

8 milers. Wow. The farthest Ive gone is 6.3. Im actually following a very loose 1/2 training plan to see if i can make the mileage on a plan of that kind. I have an 8 miler slated for Sept. 25. ha! Ill have to see what shakes out!

Oh Judy, you are priceless, mlady. (Windex Rules!)


you look amazing, cathy! i'm trying to follow you, eating less and moving more. the eating part is so much harder for me... i guess i'll put your before&after shots near my fridge to help me remember that the sacrifice is worth it.
=^ . ^=

Wow Cathy! You look so good! you inspire me to move on with losing weight! I know how it works but it's hard to do....Your posts keep me positive! Thank you so much!

Proud of You! So glad you got your groove on!

"Make and renew the choice every single day"

That really speaks to me. After a weekend of travel and less than stellar eating, I appreciate the reminder that I get to decide EVERY day how the day is going to go.

You are all sorts of inspiring!

I LOVE YOU!!! You are such an inspiration. I so want to be you when I grow up!!!!!

You look amazing! You are such an inspiration to me. I just started yesterday with my running program. Finished 1.5 miles and tomorrow I'll do another and then two....and so on and so on.

I'm going to be 43 in November and my goal is just to be as healthy as I possibly can be. So I'm right there with you.

Thank you so much for your inspiration. You have no idea what an impact it has on me.


Congrats Cathy...and thanks for shining your light for others to see the starting line!

You look fabulous!!

it really IS day to day. I mean, last Friday, I at 9 points worth of Kelloggs Frosted Flakes. I have no idea why. I just gorged on them. And then I sort of freaked out, like... WOW, i used to snack on these ALL the day. Saturday was a new day. Every day is a new day.

: )

I could have written this post. I feel the exact same way. I have been running since June. I am finally up to 4 miles. I feel great! It is something about running that does something to your soul. Days you feel like talking yourself out of it, but feel great when you finish. You are looking great. Keep up the good work. Keep on running!!!! look fantastic! I can only imagine how awesome you must feel! You really are so inspiring! I know that following your 'journey' has made a difference to so many! thanks Cathy!! :)

Congrats Cathy! Lookin' good girl! Keep up the good work! (When you post the side-by-side comparison, THAT has got to make you feel SO AWESOME to see that kind of results from all of your hard work and dedication.)

So very happy for you! You look incredible!

Way to go, Lori. Sounds like youre doing it! Lets hear it for getting fit in our early to mid 40s!

My word, Cathy! You look AMAZING! And 36.9 pounds? That's like me when I was SIX years old! LOL. Yeah, I was a tiny thing. :-p

Gosh, you're so inspiring! And if I weren't in my first trimester of my first pregnancy, and if it weren't 100 degrees outside, I'd go running right this second! Alas, I may just have to settle for the stair-stepper or treadmill at the gym. :-p I do love the heat, but I can't wait till it dissipates, so that I can get back to running *outside*!!! :-D Thanks so much for the motivation and inspiration. You are too cool for words!

Oh, and I SO want to know what Dan thinks of the new, fitter you! :-D

Try Pilates or Yoga-- especially hot yoga or asthanga. They really build strength and flexibility-- and give you nice "cut" arms. ;)

You kick some serious "A." :)

W.O.W. you look AMAZING! congrats!

You look fabulous! I'm so proud of you. You're an inspiration. Keep up the healthy living. What a great role model both you and Dan are for your kids.

You look great. Keep up the hard work. You've inspired me to eat less and move more also. I've lost 10 lbs so far, but have many more to go.

CZ, you're an inspiration! After looking at your photo and reading the blog, I printed out a WW points diary for the week:] Thanks for sharing your journey with us:]

You look & sound so awesome, Cathy! Keep it up!

LOVE to hear of your progress! So inspirational! My Runs Like a Mother book should be here by Wednesday. :) Keep up the awesome work girlie! Let's hear it for us 40 somethings ready to kick some tail!

PS. I read your journaling on your LO and you have a little typo..."If you would have told be that"...Thought I'd point that out before you print! :)

So inspiring, you are. And you are looking extra foxy. I'm reading "Run Like A Mother" and just doing it. The alarm went off this morning and I thought, "I don't want to," and then I reminded myself that I didn't have to want to do it, I just had to do it. Until, of course, I hit the ground running every single morning with a smile on my face, just like Cathy.

I definitely have Pilates on tap. Thinking of doing that in the fall.

10 is awesome! Keep it up. Slow and steady!

Go Jennie! : )

Erika, yeah, i saw that too! Doh!
: )

oh, and ENJOY the book. It is my favorite run book!

Go Kari! : )

yeah, the side by side really helps keep me on track!

Congratulations Cathy! And three pounds is three pounds! Don't forget that even though your pound loss in fat might be slowing down, some of that is turning into muscle and muscle weighs more than fat. Does that make any sense?! Anyway, keep at it - you look great!

Dan likes the new fitter me, except that im a little on the annoying side with it. Meaning, i talk about running a lot. He just smiles and nods.

Cathy you look amazing! But the best part is that you feel so awesome!! Are you still doing any Jillian dvds??

I am not, following having some pain in the top side of my foot. The lateral movement of her jumping jacks etc was hurting too much.

So… i need to get back to some kind of strength training. I might look into Body Pump, if my family joins the Y this fall. : )

Yay Cathy - so great to hear how your brain is working during this process. After an ankle sprain last Saturday, I was so bummed to stop my exercise routine. I took 2 days off, icing it, elevating it, ibuprofen on and off, then on the 3rd day started back in on my work out program, babying the ankle, but committing to moving still. I was amazed how much I was still able to do, and it seems to be recovering much quicker than I ever expected. It really is terrific to be bit by the exercise bug - something I avoided my whole life, except for the occasional bite that quickly disappeared!! I'm now wanting to move, craving healthy foods, really embracing this change - creating a habit I hope to continue forever! Thanks for your constant motivation!!

You look amazing Cathy! The most important thing that finally losing weight and getting healthy has taught me is that I am strong enough to do ANYTHING! Climb mount Everest? Sure. Run for office? You bet! Of course, I don't want to do these things but I sure could. How about face the illness of my child? Hell yeah. I taught myself to run and lost over 80 Lbs. Nothing can stop me. Or you!

Cathy, you are amazing. I am really hoping now that my move is complete and I know what's messing up my thyroid I can attempt to live a healthier life. No more whining. You are so right. I posted this on FB, but are you still counting points and doing WW online? How important was that to you in the grand scheme of things?


Cathy, every time you post one of these pages, I am struck by what a HUGE accomplishment this is. Wow!

I love your bit about every day being a new day. That is truly the key to success right there... to forgive yourself for getting off track and to make the commitment to get back on track again. Every single day, we get to make that choice.

Oh, one other thing. I giggled at your reply to one of the commenters. The part about Dan just smiling and nodding when you go on about running. My husband does that a lot too. Every time I find a new obsession, he listens to me go on and on and on about it. Scrapbooking. Tennis. He's such a patient man. :)

Courtney, yes, I am still counting points. It is HUGE to me. I need to keep track of portions and calories. Plain and simple. I track every single day. For weight loss, for me, both things have to happen. Count points, earn activity. (Eat less, move more!)
: )

I have always been afraid of using Activity Points. Even when I know I've earned them, I feel like I shouldn't use them. I spent all of last summer in an intense cardio/strength training class and lost zero pounds. I found out later this was bc of my thyroid. Getting my motivation back has been really, really hard. :( You inspire me.

Do you feel using the WW online tools are important or could you track on your own?

I feel like the tools keep me accountable, in that I pay $17.95 a month to use them, you know?

I have been using my extra points for the last month, every week, and then dipping into activity just a bit. Ive been earning up to 35 activity points as well. When you run for an hour, or swim that long, it adds up.

But i feel like i have also been a lot HUNGRIER this month. Not sure if its the exercise. The hormones, or what.

I mean, on friday, I gorged myself on Frosted Flakes. I couldnt resist. Sigh.

Cathy is cute! You really are more than cute, you look great. You are an amazing inspiration.

Really amazing Cathy. You look awesome. And 135 sounds like a reasonable great goal. Go get 'em!

And I am so impressed about the running. Because I can't ever imagine how anyone can get over the bordom of running that makes it actually interesting to do. I just can't imagine it. (I can't meditate either. Tried several differnt methods and I just get bored and start thinking 'bout stuff that interferes with the whole purpose.)

But I do think about how nice it is to run without feeling like I am going to fall over and stop breathing. Took about 6 weeks in a class where we run for warmups. But all during the running I am thinking, "How many laps... I count on my fingers. I need to know I exactly when I can stop running."

Bravo! I, too, have been inspired by you over the past months. I decided that turning 40 was not going to get me down and that it was time to kick up the exercise regime in order to maintain strong bones and muscles. By doing Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, I have lost 8lbs in a month and a half, but more importantly have gained muscle and core strength and flexibility. It is always encouraging to come to your blog and hear you talk so positively. Thank you!

Cathy, you are awesome and I am very proud of you! I ordered Hip Hop Abs the other day and I will soon be proud of myself. You are doing so well!

Listening to your journey has been wonderful. I'm so glad you found your inner athlete! I'm trying to coax mine back from the land of injury - hopefully with a few appointments to an orthopedist and then a physical therapist, I can get my hip back in working condition. Hearing your confidence and positive attitude is definitely a pick-me-up, so thanks :)

Wow! Hot mama! Will you look at those two photos?! You were cute before and all - and now you look amazing. And more importantly to me, as you know, is WHAT YOU'RE BODY IS ACCOMPLISHING!!

And I'm not even going to mention that we need to talk about strength training really soon since fall is upon us. Nope, don't even consider that a mention. We'll talk soon. ;-)

Thanks Cathy for another great post! That's a good mantra, one day at a time. Or as Dori says, just keep swimming {running}, just keep swimming {running} :)

you know, im never bored when im running. mostly because i always have good tunes on my iPod, and im always focusing on not running with bad form! : ) Thanks for the comment!

woo hooo! love reading this. seriously.

I have a friend who works out on an elliptical machine and works off around 30 minutes a time and burns something like 600 calories. I would guess that doesn't carry the impact of running in case you need another high calorie burning, low impact choice.

hip hop abs? sounds fun! : )

Lisa, we SO will be talking soon. Ive been dilly dallying on this TOO long. I have all of your emails, by the way. Dilly dally. Thats me.

Strength is coming.

and just keep trying not to eat all the Kelloggs Frosted Flakes! ; )

ok, I lurk occasionally & never comment but...damn, you look great!!! Congrats to you!!!

hey Pam, thanks for coming out of lurkdom! : ) and for reading along... : )

HI Cathy,

you look AMAZING and so GREAT!!! Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us and inspiring so many of us to get up MOVE MOVE!! YOu have come so far and should be so proud of yourself. I love how you flexed your arm and can see how well toned your arms are too. Way to go Cathy!!


Dont worry.You have other goals to work on and I dont want to take away from those.Ill be here when youre ready (and when its too cold to train outdoors and/or when youre ready for something different - I tend to focus more on strength training in the winter myself; and I likewise dont give it as much attention as I should in the summer when Id prefer to be out riding my bike on the trail).

I worry about your foot and plantar faciitis since that usually means lots of time off doing non-weight bearing activities. Is it getting better and have you gotten it looked at recently? Foot/arch strengthening exercises might be something good to add into your routine. We can talk about that too. Though thats probably a sooner rather than later thing as it directly relates to running.

Okay, thats all from me for now!


Cathy, I love seeing your updates on the weight loss & fitness theme. I joined WW 16 months ago, and reached goal 8 months ago. Now I am doing my best to stay at goal or even whittle it down a bit more... I started running again after nearly 30 years, and am loving almost every minute of it. Having perused many blogs and web sites for the middle-aged woman trying to get fit and lose weight, I found you through RLAM. I read Courage to Start while on a camping trip and couldn't wait to get home and go for a good run. You inspire me to keep at it - and I am also aiming to start up some strength and flexibility training as soon as my 8th grader gets back into school.
I really wish I could meet some of these wonderful women in person and run with them!

You look incredible and as always a true inspiration!

Hey Andrea, so glad you found this blog! : )

You know, ive lucked out in finding a good running group which i think is going to be very good for me, and realizing that my neighbor and i have a similar running pace.

I havent read Courage to Start, but ive read his other books and LOVE them. Just read Marathoning for Mortals. More great words to read!
: )

Can you direct me to the "WW points dairy for the week" PLease and thank you!

My nightstand thanks you...I need another book!

Cathy, you are definitely an inspiration to me. I started my weight loss journey in January and have lost 52 pounds. I don't plan on doing this again! I still have 48 pounds left to make my goal, but I really believe that I can do it! I wish I had done a journal like yours to remind me of all that I have accomplished so far. You Rock, Girl! look HOT! Way to go you.

CZ...I just have to say, you are beyond awesome.

What the heck? First it's jogging on the treadmill, then running outside, then biking, then swimming, a 5K, now a running group and possibly a half-marathon. Geez, the next thing I know, you're going to blog about how you went camping over the weekend! :) Seriously, my husband keeps asking me what in the world you write in your blogs that would inspire my 42-year-old butt to suddenly decide that it could start running for the first time in my life. Just 3 months in, and I'm up to 5.25 miles! Thanks so much for always keeping it real!

if you go to, you can learn more. You have to be a paid member to use the online tools! I pay $17.95 each month. : )

52? HOLY MOTHER OF PEARL! Now that is a lot. You need to step back and bask in that. Good for you. YOU rock.


I still dont have ANY desire to sleep in nature. But hell, Ill run around in it. ; )

If youre up to 5.25 miles in three months, you are rocking it. Just be careful out there... take it from me, who is nursing a bit of plantar fasciitis on one heel here... I overdid it a bit at first. Im being a bit cooler now. Still. Thats what the cross training is for! : )

Cathy-amazing transformation. Look at that first picture! Look at those amazing legs! Thanks as always, for sharing your story with the rest of us.

love the before and current photographs each month. makes me realize that it doesn't happen in two weeks! :) that seems to be my threshold. also- i forgot that i was going to have salt/vinegar chips for a snack tonight until i read this!! now it is too late to indulge (as i'm about to hop into bed!) and i got back from a run an hour ago.

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