Follow This Mother!

Oh, yeah, that's right, she's a [email protected]$s Mother Runner (check out the shirt!): Christy Zuzelo after her recent 13.1-mile PR
Pardon the pun, but there are tons of great weight-loss blogs out there. We think the one written by mom of two Christy Zuzelo of Needham, Mass., is a standout because of the sass, honesty, and wit she brings to her posts. Check her blog out—and while you’re there, wish her a happy birthday. Christy turns 35 tomorrow!


Best recent run: Hands down, the Maine Coast Women’s Half Marathon.  My family and my best running bud, Sarah, and her family were there cheering me on not only to a PR, but to my goal of a sub-2 hour half. Coming to the finish, I saw the balloons, I saw husband, I saw Sarah's jaw on the floor, and then heard their shouts and I wanted my kids to see me SPRINT (!!) and finish strong, so I booked it with a quick wave to them as I went by. The adrenaline and the energy of all those amazing women racers, my family, the ocean, the cheering surfers in their wetsuits and the sheer joy just to be out there running took over and I crushed it! [Christy didn’t tell us her time, so we looked it up: 1:54:25. Oh, yeah!]

Champion yo-yo’er: I’ve always struggled with my weight. When the scale finally topped 210 the summer my husband proposed, I joined WeightWatchers and lost 60 pounds for my wedding. But I gained back 49 pounds with baby #1 (not including the baby), got close to goal just in time to gain 56 pounds with baby #2. I finally lost the remaining baby weight last year and have maintained a healthy weight for the longest time period in my life.

Boston, baby! Next April, I will be running my first marathon on the most amazing course ever--Boston! While I am not (yet) a BQ’er, I was invited to be on the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team roster as one of their approximately 500 charity runners to run the Boston Marathon and raise money to fund the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research. I chose to run with this charity because I wanted to make this race mean more than just a first marathon for me. Running is such a great gift; as my friend Dawn says, “We get to run up this hill.” Not everyone is that lucky. I never met my grandfather who died of cancer 35 years ago, yet through research and medical advances, my other grandfather, three of my relatives, and many, many dear friends have beaten or are now beating cancer. By raising money for a cause that has touched my family, my friends, and so many people, we all get to be a part of this historic race.

The real deal: I lost my weight three times over eating almost entirely pre-packaged, pre-sliced, pre-cooked, and pre-measured “diet” franken-food. The vegetable drawers in my fridge held cans of diet soda--no joke. I realized that just because I finally hit a healthy weight didn’t mean I was healthy. All the artificial stuff running through my system was not working for me, my body, my family, or the planet. In February, as a Lenten practice, I made a simple shift to educate myself, reading Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma (young readers edition, so good!), gave up diet soda and artificial sweeteners, I joined a CSA, I started to teach myself how to cook real food from our farm share, stuff I never even heard of before (celeriac anyone?), and I started blogging about it. Not only has it helped me keep the weight off in a healthy way, but I enjoy food now, because it is actual food from a real live farmer!

@CheapassMama: I am a cheap.ass.mama. I check freecycle and Craigslist before buying anything new (um…$30 Garmin, free double jogger, boo-yah!), I cost-justify everything, spend inordinate amount of time analyzing Quicken, and I hate spending money, even hoarding gift cards. There are six in my wallet at the moment--even one from my bridal shower! What makes me a cheapassmama as opposed to just frugal is I make a game of finding a deal, but only a deal that is right for our family and our values, one that keeps us right-sized, living within our means, and somehow still sane. There is so much free fun to be had!

Joy to the World (of running): I hated running. Check that, I loathed running. I wasn't good at it. Running made me feel inadequate and always out of breath. I’ve made many attempts at running throughout my life, from joining then quitting the cross-country team to trying to run to lose weight. My “all or nothing” approach to running favored nothing. Until this year. After starting the Couch-to-5K program, the running stuck with me because my motivations changed, because I changed. Sure, some days I run for the grass-fed, all-beef cheeseburger, some days it is for prayer time, some days it is to meet my 2,500 calorie/week challenge, some days it is to train for something I never thought I could do, some days it is for the quest of the ever-elusive perfect ass, and some days it is because it is just so darn beautiful out. Regardless, my motivation to run no longer stem from a coach or the scale or some external thing. Today, I run because of the absolute joy that it brings.

Follow this mother at:

The proud MBA grad in heavier times

12 responses to “Follow This Mother!

  1. The DFMC was my first marathon too…it will be amazing, just amazing…afterwards I promised myself I wouldn’t run Boston again until I qualified, but that I’d ALWAYS run for the DFMC.

    …I also rowed a marathon for the DFMC in my younger years…in a single….much faster in a boat, but the run was more fun. 🙂

    One other tidbit: someone told me at the first runner’s meeting never to be afraid to ask someone for a donation…the worse they could say was no, and more times than not, they’ll donate to you. So don’t be afraid to ask!

    ….oh, and try fennel in your ratatouille! Yum!!

  2. Found my way here after a string of flights this week. GREAT story! Love the before and after pics of you and S. I remember the first time I ate fennel a few years ago — what a treat to experience a brand-new veggie!

  3. Very inspiring! Way to go!! I have been overweight and normal weight in this lifetime and know what that is like — running was what turned everything around for me too several years back! Love running.

  4. Happy Birthday Christy! Great post and I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog 🙂

    I also started with the C25K plan and thank God I did…

  5. Christy, you’ve been a non-stop inspiration to this mama for the last 35 years! Congratulations on spreading the truth that caring for yourself is one of the best ways to care for your family, friends, and community! I absorbed that wisdom from my mom (aka Gigi), who, at 81, still walks/runs everyday! And today I celebrate the fantastic way you are living out and sharing that truth with us. Happy birthday, sweetheart! Love, Kathleen (aka Mom)

  6. Hey Christy! Of course, I already follow you. Truth be told, I’m addicted to your wit and, of course, chatting about running with you on twitter. Great to read your story and way to rock that half. Boston? I’m so jealous, girl. ~Laura

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