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September 13, 2010

Tales from the Scale: New Jeans Don't Suck


What started last January has boiled down to this one fact: I bought new jeans last week—jeans that, if I'm being honest, I haven't spent that kind of coin on since my brief, misguided Guess jean phase of 1984—and the tag on those jeans that left the Lucky Brand Store with me read as follows: Size 8.

I realize that getting into shape has numerous benefits. It lowers your cholesterol and blood pressure. It aids in general stress reduction and buoys your overall mental state. It contributes directly to the potential to extend your life on this big blue ball by many, many years. 

But buying new jeans in size 8? I'm sorry for seeming vain and shallow, people, but that's a side benefit that just doesn't suck.




It has been an interesting month. The scale didn't move until last week. I had a few over the top food fest days. I also realized with my increased levels of running and cross training, I simply wasn't eating enough calories. This is a good thing.

And while new jeans are definitely a cause for celebration, the little devil that sits squarely on my other, more weighted down shoulder is whispering in my ear like a pesky gnat: "Don't get too comfy there, missy. Don't screw the pooch on this one, like you did last time."

Gee, thanks inner critical voice. Your generous and thoughtful support is greatly appreciated!

Here's this month's layout documenting the journey:

Month 9

JOURNALING READS: I’m not gonna lie, seeing the before and after comparison is never going to get old, unless of course they begin to start matching up again. Here I am at the start of Month 9, and after a brief mental breakdown a few weeks back with a solid stretch of total crap eating and no visible weight loss, I had two major breakthroughs. The first? The scale finally moved after 3 weeks of remaining static. The second? I went shopping for new jeans. I realize the scale shouldn’t rate so highly. Really, I get that…ideologically. But seeing it move and realizing that I DO need to eat more calories to match my workout levels was a really critical piece of this pie, so to speak. I also realize that buying new jeans shouldn’t be the end all be all of getting into shape, but I’m sorry: I walked out of the Lucky Brand Jeans store with a pair of size freaking 8 jeans in my bag. WHAT? Get. Out.

I realize how few clothes I’ve bought in the past 3 years. Oh sure, I’d pick up a new blousy chubby girl shirt every now and then to mask my ever expanding muffin, but I’d sort of just given up. I wish that weight and confidence weren’t so inextricable for me. Maybe that will change over time. Maybe it won’t. I’m very proud of the work I’ve done. I’m very scared that I may not be able to hold onto these results. I continue to explore the process as I continue my efforts to move more and eat less. Like I’ve said, it really is one day at a time.

So here I am at a critical juncture. The time when I am closing in on my goal (135) and need to prepare to transition into maintaining the results. 

I'm evaluating a lot these days. How much to eat. How much and how far to run. How to read the signs of my body for tweaks and pains. How to live in balance with life and food.

I will tell you this in all honesty: it is never automatic.

For now, steady as she goes. Eat less, move more.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go admire my new Lucky Jean clad-ass. I figure, flaunt it while I've got it, right?


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 RoCK!!!!!!

You go girl! Love the new jeans;)

And may I say, you look mauvaaaloussss darling! ;)

You're rocking the new jeans CZ, keep up the good work! That's a picture I want to keep in my head when I don't feel like hitting the gym (only it's my smaller butt in them, I promise not to be thinking about your butt all day!)

Hey Cathy, there is nothing wrong with celebrating those milestones in whatever form they come. And just kick that little negative voice right off of your shoulder! You have accomplished something amazing here! Be proud of that fact, flaunt those new jeans and celebrate the AMAZING woman that you are!

I highly recommend reading the book "The Slight Edge." It's all about seeing life's successes as little steps, making the little right decisions every day that will help you reach your goals, no matter what they are. These are little things that are easy to do, but also easy not to do. Not doing them will not kill you, or cause, but it will in the long run. It' a great book that I think everyone should read. You can find it at

Go Cathy! You are inspiring! :)

LOL! Oh, I would never mind if anyone kept my butt in their mind.

You look amazing! You really are an inspiration....a regular gal working had to get healthy. Thanks for sharing your stuggles and successes with us!

Congratulations Cathy! You look fantastic. I have many, many pairs of jeans and I know when I am 120lb I can fit into my favourites. I'm 122lb now so they are just a little snug but I am wearing them! It is a very good feeling.

You. Look. Amazing.

Way to rock the jeans...and to embrace your whole new lifestyle!

If it were me ( which by the way it's not since I have never bought a single size jeans) I would leave that tag on there so everyone would know what size they are. "Oops! Silly me! I forgot to cut that off."

Hi Cathy - I'm right there with you. Lost 37 pounds on Weight Watchers (which we fondly call dub-dub around here) and now the mainentance phase is scaring the crap out of me. They don't write books or give advice on how to stay the same weight. Only on how to lose. (or occasionally gain.) So it's terrifying. I don't know how to do this part.

I relate so much to your experiences. I also threw myself into exercise, did a couple triathlons, and now coming up on the starting line of my first full marathon. And, sheesh, am I hungry. I have gained five pounds, but my body has become like a camel - storing food and water for those long 20 mile runs on Sundays.

I do so love Dimity & SBS, who have taught me everyting I know about running. Thank you for showing me the way to them!

Wow Cathy, you really look great, both in the jeans and the before and after. Inspiring! I'm no runner but I started biking a few months ago, and I've started eating better (no diet, just eating normal meals but cutting back on snacking) and lost about 10 pounds so far. I think that really could be the key, just trying to eat normally, not denying yourself too much but just enough to lose weight and then keeping up the healthier eating pattern.

Keep it up, and keep showing us, it helps you and us!

Wow congrats! After following you through your journey (and kicking off my own....thank you btw!!)I so understand your feelings! You look fantastic!!

You are such a total inspiration on my own weight loss journey!! You rock those jeans - you've earned it!!

Good for You! I'm really proud and happy for you!

Julie - I just started maintance this week ... and frankly, it scares the crap out of me too! You want me to add 4 pts AND eat all my weekly points?

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Fabulous! Running (or I should say run/walking) my first 5K on Sunday ... I think a nice pair of jeans sounds like a great reward, don't you?

Flaunt it girl! You earned it!! Congratulations! Absolutely celebrate the new size 8 jeans!!! I told my husband several times last week, hey, these are size 10!!! (I recently came out of a size 14!) I just need to get back on the band wagon. I have a little further to go...

You are such an inspiration! I need to get my butt in gear!

I am so happy for you.

You are one HOT MOMMA! I am so glad you are documenting this journey. I am a lot like you ... I lost 60 lbs around three years ago. Immediately got pregnant with my third boy (and LAST I might add). I ballooned right back up there. I am sitting here now at 70+ what I should be.
I want to lose ... but I haven't gotten to the 'must do it' stage. I know I can ... I did it before. I just need to figure out what is holding me back from doing it again. Man, hearing that you still have to count the points really does suck. I hated doing it (though it works). I guess I feel that I don't have time with three boys and a full time job. And then I know that is a cop out. I do know it. I do.
Congrats though .. honestly, KUDOS for you!

Congrats Cathy...You ROCK! You're such an inspiration! I recently went from pushing into a size 12 to an 8 myself and it's definitely a motivator! Though I'll admit up until a month ago I had given up working out (not exactly cause I wanted to...our basment where I would work out was (and still is) being remodeled) and I had nowhere to've inspired me to start running...though right now it's more of a walk/jog...I'll get there eventually. I'm hoping to do a 5K soon...thanks for inspiring me and congrats a bunch on your accomplishments!!

You look fabulous!!!

You have a right to be proud of what you've done. Weight loss isn't an easy thing. But the Lucky jeans? No way for me. I'll buy mine from Aero or Old Navy and save the money for scrap supplies. :)

You look amazing in those jeans. Yes flaunt them everywhere you go girl!! This has been an amazing journey for you this year and I'm so happy you share it with us and inspire so many of us with it. Slow and steady, day by day that's what always works.

You look AMAZING Cathy!! Enjoy your new jeans, you so deserve them, you hot momma!

LOOK AT YOU!!! You look AMAZING. And you totally deserve those jeans. And that little voice? Tell it to shut the hell up.

WOO HOO! Awesome! I agree, losing weight, getting fit, exercising, and eating right are all good. But getting into(skinny) jeans is the best payoff for me!

So awesome!! You have inspired me and I am started yesterday to change my eating habits. Its a lifestyle change so exercise is also on my list for today...thank you Cathy size 8!!

Ill check it out, Jan. Thanks for the recommendation. : )

ha! Lori, i think im going to go dig those out of the trash now.... ; )

Wow, your first marathon? Dang. I have read that you should be gaining anyway during your training! : ) GO GO GO! Thats very cool.

I love Dimity SBS too!

Yep. Im really trying to look at this as something i can maintain. Eat well, move often!

GO MELANIE! Love hearing that! And yes, it IS a good reward. Im seriously tempted to go back and get another pair.

So thats how much it is? Hmmm. You know, i manually went in and changed my daily from 19 to 20 last week. I cant stare at a 19 point alotment. Here i am on Monday morning though, and I only have 16.5 left of my weekly extras. Thats called I made cookies over the weekend. Que sera sera! I have to still live and enjoy, right!

why thank you. ; )

Melanie, it is VERY hard to find time to do all of the exercise and eating well when you are BUSY! you know?

Youll figure it out when youre ready. I had to be ready, and it wasnt even that i hit any kind of rock bottom, horrific self loathing. In fact, I had a really logical realization that if i really wanted to change something, I had to just start and keep at it.

Slow steps!

go tammy! : )

Happy new jeans day! That is an AWESOME feeling!!!! I still get a little bit tingly when I am shopping for clothes and remember I can look for a much smaller size that I used to. But, I confess: It's been almost two years since I lost my 35 pounds and I still worry about gaining it back. Maybe if you're a worrier you never get that demon off your shoulder???

you know, there is a store here called Hot Mama, and ive always been too intimidated to shop there. Hmmmm.

Smart lady! : )

Duly noted. LOL!

AWESOME blog post today. You rock those Lucky's. (Doncha just love the little cheer in the zipper??)

So inspiring...sharing on FB today:)


You look incredible in those jeans!

Cathy, you look FAB in your new jeans. ENJOY!!!!!!! You deserve it!

LOOK at YOU!!! Way to go! Now may I borrow a bit of your will power and attitude??! I'm thinking taking that Before photo and posting it on my mirror will help -- I keep feeling like a skinny person still and am amazed at that stranger in the mirror!! You should be VERY proud of yourself -- keep it up!!!

You look GREAT!!! Congrats on the size 8's--they look perfect on you.

This post really hit home and is so inspirational. I'm 27 my dd is 2.5, we bought a house in October and my DD is just recently potty trained. I'm now at that stage where its really time for us to start planning on baby #2. The thing is I'm terrified that since I haven't done anything exercise-wise and have relied on my dwindling metabolism to not let things get too out of control since #1, after #2 it will be a true balloon effect in weight.
As you said, my confidence has unfortunately been somewhat tied to personal appearance and weight for a long time. I just want to feel like exercise isn't such a hurdle so that after baby #2 I can rely on myself to get to a place with exercise and eating that makes them a part of my "me" time.

You look wonderful!! I guess we should all be saying, "Oh, Cathy, you are so much healthier now. Good for you!" But we all know that it is a lot more fun to hear, "Damn, girl, you are HOT!"

congrats, cathy! you look amazing!!!
i love you "tales from the scale" posts. thanks for the inspiration! i've bought one of your digital templates, and i am planning to join your flickr group. but i'm a bit afraid of "the numbers"...

Oh, Cathy, it has been high school since my behind fit into Lucky Jeans that were size 8, so I am sooo on board with your excitement! Woot! Just did my very first CZ fitness journal layout this weekend, and hoping the accountability for next month will help keep me on the horse. Congrats, congrats!!

Well done, Cathy! You're lookin' good in those jeans there!

Hey, if you got it, flaunt it! You've worked hard for those results and you look great :)

So good.

Cathy -- You continue to be an inspiration to me in this weight loss journey. I started in April and am 30 pounds down. So you will still show up as my Z entry in MeTAV v2. The first time it was for your clean approach to scrapbooking. This time, it's a thank you for sharing your "muffin top" struggles in such an honest, open way. Your before & after shots are amazing.

After a long weekend of too much sun and too little sleep, I soooo do not want to run this morning. But, your post is giving me the kick in the butt that I need! Love you. Love the jeans. Love you in the jeans. Treadmill, we are on...

bravo Cathy - way to rock the new jeans and thanks for sharing. I can distinctly remember the last time I wore a size 8 (1999) and would love to feel that way again, thanks for the inspiration.

Maybe the worrier thing is what keeps one honest? : )


I do. I really do.

Theres definitely some power in the before and after.

I know. I guess its just one of those times to celebrate the jeans! ha!

Numbers are JUST numbers. Mind you, you like when they move and change, but you need to know the number to start. And its just that. Then, numbers become part of the process. Exercise for more minutes. Lose more pounds. Etc. etc. Good for you!

Good for you, Aubrey! : ) good luck!

: ) Thanks, Annie!

Myra, that is awesome, woman! : )

yay! : )

Take your time and dont fret if you cant work it all in. Let me tell you: my kids are 11 and 14 so it is MUCH simpler to find me time, plus, Im self employed so i can much more easily work in the workouts. : )

Good luck!

Congrats Cathy! I lost quite a bit of weight and got down to a size 6 but gained it all back and back to size 10 and approaching a 12 now. Your posts have inspired me to lose the extra pounds and I bought a pedometer and joining weight watchers on-line! Thanks for the inspiration!

You Look HAWT!! Way to go. Revel in it. I think we all would.

You go girl. You are rockin' those jeans. Congratulations you look amazing. Soon I'm gonna be rockin' some 10 jeans (I'm 6 ft tall so 8 might be out of reach for me). Thanks for putting yourself out there for all of us to be inspired by.

Kuddos to look great!

Way to Go! You look great in those jeans! I would've loved to see the smile on your face when you bought the jeans! I hope you made the sales associate wonder why you were so happy!

Thank you for the daily inspiration to eat less, move more. I got the eating down, I just need to find the time to move more!

Hi Cathy! I just want to say two things...congrats! and wow, you are an inspiration! I have started my own journey 3 weeks ago and down 4.5 pounds. Woohoo! Your blog is an inspiration in many many ways. thanks:-)

Congratulations. Health and all is good but size 8 jeans are another thing all together!

Wow, you look amazing!! Seriously cool jeans and that blouse - looks darling!
I have to say: I'm a lurker. I read your blog all the time (I read many blogs, but "reading" most often refers to "looking at the pictures" and occasional commenting) and I enjoy your writing a lot. I've been a follower before you started training and such, so I have to say I am really amazed by your progress. Giving up smoking AND changing your life - you make such an effort and it's seriously inspiring to see what you achieved. Best wishes from Germany :)

Size 8 jeans!!! Go you. You look fantastic. Thank you for your continuing honesty about how you’re feeling and up and down moments inside, regardless of what the scale is doing. It really has been great following along on this journey with you. And if it works for you, I hope you keep it up, even after you reach your goal weight. There are many of us who understand that any day could be the first step toward unravelling all this work, and we’re happy to cheer you on, while you "maintain."

Congrats!! You are doing so fabulously on your eat less, move more. You look terrific in those jeans. Can you tell a girlfriend, what cut and style are they?

You look AMAZING, Cathy! You've worked so hard - you SO deserve those size 8 Luckys.

As I sit here, examining my muffin top that just won't go away, I realize that, at age 41, I need to tweak my eating habits if I want that to change. I'm not obsessed about it - nor does my doctor want me to be (I asked) - but my vanity (and your new jeans photo!) is making me think that it's time to tackle this issue once and for all.

Of course, it doesn't help that I live with two very active boys who want to and CAN eat treats and sweets and all sorts of tempting things, all on top of their fruits, veggies, dairy, meat and grains. I really need to have a fridge for them and a separate one for me. :P

Lucky's are the best. Even at 7 months pregnant, I ordered me up a pair of Lucky Maternity jeans on ebay and boy, even though my rumpkus is twice the size it was when I started - I feel that in the Lucky's it's a bit more flattering.

P.S. You may wanna stop by my blog today. I have a layout there that gives you some serious props. Well deserved, I might add.

Congrats! Your before and after photos are so dramatically different now! I always see your tweets about how many miles you ran, in the morning, and I does she do it and I wish I was more like her. I want to lose at least 25 pounds. I "wog" (my nickname for walking and jogging) with my Nike Plus. Just have to be consistent - like you have been. You deserve kudos for being consistent and determined.

hey, 4.5 pounds in three weeks sounds good to me!
good for you!

Hello over in Germany, Nina! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

I think i will keep it up, because if I think Ive got it licked, im certain it will come back to bite me in the, ahem, tushka. : )

They are the Sweet and Low!

: )

Keep in mind, Barb. I still have a muffin top. Thats next up on the plan. Tighten and tone, if its even possible. I honestly dont know if that part is changeable!

Gina, its just that I keep at it. It doesnt hurt that ive decided i really like to get out there and run. And trust me: I run in the 11 minute per mile range. Im no speed demon! But im steady, and I keep at it. : )

God I love reading your posts!! ;-) I am not in my goal size yet but can totally relate to the feeling of complete 'awesomeness' when getting new clothes. It feels great no?! ;-) Don't get to hung up on the numbers and the scale. Lots of great changes going on INSIDE of your body that you can't see. Besides, regardless of the one can put a price on that kick-ass feeling that comes from working hard and being rewarded with having clothes that FIT! GO CATHY GO!!
ps. No matter how long it takes to lose the last amount of weight I am (and you should be too) totally happy with all of your success!!!

LOL. Go there and do some shopping, girl!! And have fun! :)

Cathy, all I can say is "WOW!"

When I looked at your jeans (size 8), I thought "oh cool" but when I saw the two pics side by side on your layout....

Insert jawdrop here....."WHAT A TRANSFORMATION!" Oh, and YES, I am yelling it! Good for you for sticking to it and for dropping the weight and toning those muscles! Keep it up girly and I may be joining the ranks of running very soon if I can get results like that!

You are looking fabu-freakin-tastic!

WOW ! lookin' good :)

Way to go! Wow, size 8 jeans! I don't think I've ever been a size 8. But I sure would love to get back into a 10. One day it will happen, it's just going slow for me. But I'm not nearly as dedicated as you are, especially on the exercise front. Congratulations!

You look AMAZING, lady! I haven't run more than a mile since my 10k. You are inspiring me to lace up those shoes and get out there! Go YOU.

Loving new jeans is a monumental moment; we girls know that! And as I looked at the side-by-side journal photos, I thought, "How in the world did Cathy manage to get taller??"

Keep up the good I mean GREAT work. I'm needing your inspiration today in a big way.


Well, Angie, I hear baby joggers work AWESOMELY!

hot mama in your new jeans. feels good, huh?

Fantastic achievement! And I hear you say it's not a 'resting-on-my-laurels-now' kind of time. That sounds a useful antidote to the gremlin on your shoulder - keep whacking him with it! (mixed metaphors, but hey ...)

man oh man! congrats cathy, those jeans INSPIRE i tell you! as well as your before and after!
but by golly i can't see myself even capable of losing the 12lbs i need to. i've been saying i need to lose that much for 7ish years!
i know it isn't that much to lose, but in my world along with the master sweet tooth; i'm in the losing end. :)
there, you got a 'whiner' comment :)
way to go cathy!

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