One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

INSIGHTS

How Amazing… – A Response

42 Comments 2245 views

I know I shouldn’t do this but I’m compelled. Today I received the following comment on My Story.

How incredibly powerful would all of us be if we stopped wasting our energy and inner strength controlling the food we eat, writing it down, feeling guilty or virtuous about it, thinking that the size of our hips has anything to do with our value as people? How amazing would it be if we could instead focus on finding our own happiness, making a difference in the world, loving ourselves as we are today? I have as much trouble as the next person looking in the mirror and loving what I see but there’s got to be more to life than the number of points in a tortilla, yes? You don’t have to be someone else’s idea of thin to live an active, happy life.

My response, a bit harsh maybe?

How amazing it would be if we all lived and let live. How incredibly powerful it would be it people, instead putting someone down, lifted them up or asked for a helping hand? You may have “as much trouble as the next person” but it apparently does not bother you or call you to action. For me, it did.

Your comment implies I haven’t found happiness, I’m not making a difference and I don’t love myself. There is nothing further from the truth. I have never been happier, I’m trying to make a difference the only way I know how and I love myself more then I ever have. And you know what, its not because I lost weight. It’s because I found a way to live a balanced healthy life eating good healthy whole foods and now I’m trying to make a difference by teaching/showing people it’s not that hard.

It’s so easy to pick out one thing and focus on it, isn’t it? There has to be more to life then watching movies, yes? And I agree you don’t have to be thin to live an active, happy life but you need to be healthy and eating a balanced healthy diet is an important piece to that puzzle.

Thank you for you comment and I appreciate your perspective. However, unlike you, I’m happy that you’re happy because truly, that is all that matters.

-Roni

Update: Click here to read the follow up and response from Carrie




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Discussion

There are 42 comments so far.

    Teresa from Oregon

    July 7, 2008

    Roni,

    I don’t think your response was too harsh, and I agree with the things that you’ve said. For me, what I’ve learned at Weight Watchers is far more than journaling what I eat and counting points. The things I have learned (Tools for Living) are helping me in all areas of my life. They truly are tools for LIVING. I am proud to finally weigh a normal and healthy weight. Is this part of why I am happy? Heck yeah! It’s the things I’ve been doing along the way to get to this place that also bring me peace of mind and joy – healthy eating, exercise, positive thoughts, energy, etc., etc.

    I am grateful that you have chosen to spend your time helping people like me, a complete stranger to you, with encouragement, motivational ideas, and great recipes. You’re making a difference in my life, and I’m sure in the lives of countless others, and I hope knowing that brings increased joy to yours!

    Michelle

    July 7, 2008

    Well put Roni!

    junr1278

    July 7, 2008

    You go girl !!!! You are a powerful person :). You have encouraged me to take the steps to continue my weight loss journey by putting BTL out there. There are some wonderful people over there and we all appreciate what you created. You have used what you know to help all of us feel comfortable in our little BTL family full of support and motivation. We are all powerful people we have the ability to change ourselves and encourage people to change themselves in a healthier lifestyle. ((((hugs))))

    Jenny O.

    July 7, 2008

    I hate that this person, and so many like him/her, say that you ( and other dieters) are trying to be “someone else’s idea of thin.”

    That’s total B.S. You are just trying to be your own version of you- the “you” that makes you happy.

    Your response is well crafted and on target. Good for you.

    Mary

    July 7, 2008

    I would say that this person has obviously NOT found happiness and is not happy with herself and her weight. If she were, why would she be visiting your website in the first place? It does take commitment to count points, journal and etc., but truly can make us healthier and hopefully happier…although I agree weight by itself cannot make someone happy.

    Thank you for your continued efforts on this site and the information that you share. I think the majority of us appreciate all that you do!

    Susan

    July 7, 2008

    Thank you, Roni. Thank you for responding to this reader in a firm, but sensitive, manner. This reader is certainly entitled to his or her own opinions and lifestyle decisions. I, too, was very happy with myself for a very long while as an overweight person. Like most peopel who frequent this site, I simply needed to make a change for both health and emotional readers. However, I don’t expect others to follow the same path. It is a personal decision. Just like I balance my checkbook to make myself accountable to my budget and bank account, I balance my food log daily to make myself accountable to a course of self-improvement I have set for myself. It is a tool to teach me to live the healthier lifestyle that I desire. I learned to live a lifestyle that kept me overweight. Then I had to deal with the health and emotional consequences of being overweight. Now I learning to live a new lifestyle, and I fully expect to reap the benefits of that decision. In fact, I already am. Thanks for all you do and for the wonderful source of information and inspiration your site has been to me.

    Susan

    July 7, 2008

    Sorry for the typos! Sometimes when I feel very strongly about something my fingers can’t keep up with my thoughts! Smiles!!

    jeannie

    July 7, 2008

    Go Roni!!!! You were not too harsh at all. You were simply honest. Which is what you ALWAYS are and which is why it’s so refreshing to read your blog! And dare I say I wouldn’t have been as nice and would have used a few expletives!! heehee.

    Alison

    July 7, 2008

    Roni thank you for every journal you make! Some I like more than others, but I love checking in and hearing from you. Personally I LOVED your 1pt tortilla blog! Way to go!

    For me, eating better (eating in control) makes me feel better as a person and helps me be the person I want to be – and that makes me happy! I can tell you one thing – I’m sure glad I’m not judgemental or condescending like the OP was!!!

    Holly

    July 7, 2008

    I really don’t understand why people like this waste their time writing fairly lengthy comments on a blog that they have obviously not read and/or don’t have any interest in. They must lead very sad, and unhappy, lives.

    Cheers to you Roni!

    Sherre

    July 7, 2008

    Interesting that this person found your website. Clearly he/she had to be surfing weight loss sites. Which — BTW — is how I found your site. And I’m grateful every day that I did. I check in daily and it is helping me in my weight loss journey. PS to the poster — it’s not about being thin for me. Losing 90 pounds is about health issues.

    Suzy

    July 7, 2008

    I agree with your response, Roni. I think that you have been a *joyful* *self-loving* *human* encouragement to hundreds like me.

    This person sounds a lot like my sister. I encourage her to live a healthier lifestyle and her excuse for not doing so is “I don’t want to be obsessed about food.” So, instead of living an *attentive lifestyle* toward food and exercise, she chooses to do nothing and gains more every month.

    My heart is sad for those who feel compelled to belittle our health efforts. I do not choose to become more healthy because of societal pressures or self-loathing. I choose to do so because I want to live strong and live BIG and feel comfortable in my skin.

    Liz

    July 7, 2008

    I’m sure there are other things that you enjoy more than putting together a list of one point tortillas but by doing these things, you help many people every day. Not only losing weight and becoming healthy is a huge success for you, but the great impact you have on many peoples lives that you never meet is amazing! Counting points at times can seem tedious but it has lead to such good things for you and for many others. I lost 5 pounds today at my WI after my first week, and I greatly appreciate your recipes and writing which make doing WW much easier.

    If people are being healthy with their diets, than there is no need to comment. It sounds like it was someone who was voicing their inability to succeed and judging you on how hard you’ve worked to become healthier because they themselves could not do it.

    Nicole

    July 7, 2008

    Just wanted to let you know that you have made a huge difference in my life–because of you I finally built up enough courage to join WW. I am now down 20 pounds and in the process of rediscovering what I like about myself (instead of just beating myself up). Please don’t let anyone convince you that what you do is not important–it definitely is.

    watchinmyweight

    July 7, 2008

    Roni…I find that some people just don’t have tact. You know I learned a bit of advice from a counselor a long time ago and it is true…people who are mean spirited or cut people down or who talk about people are always trying to bring you down to be on their level so they can feel superior…it shows how little self confidence that person has!

    You have a wonderful site…with wonderful information…it is an extension of who you are!!

    Thank you for all the time and effort you put into what you do!! Just think how many lives you have an impact on!!! :~)

    P.S. love your new site!

    Amanda

    July 7, 2008

    I know this sounds terribly immature, but people like this make me happy. It’s competitive, but choosing fruit when other people choose cookies (as much as I like the latter) makes me a little bit happier inside. In many other counties, there’s a stigma against seconds at the dinner table, etc., so maybe I’m not the only one who finds the prospect of eating “better” than these Doubting Thomases (or others at gatherings) compelling.

    Also, Roni, your blog has helped so many people. Think of all the 1) pounds lost and 2) smiles gained (from Ryan in the videos, too :) ) from your blog! You’re an inspiration. :)

    Allison

    July 7, 2008

    I don’t know this person, and everyone interprets things differently. But, I really think this person’s comment was more rhetorical – and more a comment on American culture than Roni specifically. I can totally see myself making a comment like that, and my intention would not be a personal attack on Roni, or a judgment on how she choses to live her life. Of course, I could be wrong about another’s intentions.

    More than anything, this person’s comment makes me think. Would I constantly monitor my food intake, would I always feel guilty after eating ice cream if I were raised in another country that assigned greater value on a woman’s contributions and character over her bust-waist-hip ratio?

    I can relate to this person’s thoughts in that I will always struggle with my desire to eat right and exercise. Sometimes the motivation is I simply want to be healthy. Other times (more than I’d like to admit) it is because I want to be “someone else’s idea of thin,” which I strongly feel stems from our culture (not to downplay the psychology of the individual). Many images of women splashed everywhere attributes to only 5% of what the actual population looks like! I can SAY it doesn’t bother me and that I’m desensitized, but I would be lying. I think I will forever be piecing apart whether I’m doing this for health or appearance. Perhaps when I have children of my own (Ryan is SOOOO CUTE), I will be able to able to definitively answer “HEALTH!”

    I know Roni’s website has helped me tremendously in my weight loss journey, and I’m sure she’s helped countless others as well. Roni, you will always be a huge inspiration for me! And, sorry for the rant.

    roni

    July 7, 2008

    Thanks guys! I appreciate all the positive feedback!

    Allison – I can see your point. It is quite rhetorical and I get it. However the sarcastic tortilla comment is what made it personal. Yeah, so I spend an extra minute looking at he nutritional content of my tortilla shells and share my findings. No it’s not what life’s ALL about but I’d rather do that then ignorantly pick something up off the shelf without knowing what I’m putting in my body. It was the “tone” that got me, like I should be ashamed that I care about how many calories are in what I eat.

    Maggie

    July 7, 2008

    I read it pretty much as did Allison. I think the tortilla was part of the rhetorical. How nice it would be if we didn’t have to count?
    For me it was the ending part that I felt was or could have been an attack. Who knows. What I do know for sure is, you have helped me. And I think you sharing your success and food habits with us, is such a wonderful part of who you are as a person. When you put out a cookbook, I’m so buying it. I have already made so many of the greenbites you have made. Thanks again Roni!

    Allison

    July 8, 2008

    Roni – gotcha. I am a huge “tone” person. And tone is definitely one of those things up for interpretation. Also, I finally found some 1 point tortillas at the regular grocery store (not the fancy one on the other side of town)! I was SO excited! I live out in West Texas, so good selection is often a luxury.. sadly :(

    AND I LOVE that your comments are a different color!

    Estellia

    July 8, 2008

    Having been a big sweets food eater and my bf being a big fast food eater… I can definitely say that what you eat makes a huge difference in how you feel, not only mentally but physically. Since we changed our eating we feel so healthly and energetic! There have been studies that link depression and other illnesses to your diet, not to mention high cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, etc. I think it isn’t about dieting or looking good for other people. I think it is taking care of yourself so you can have the energy and drive to focus on the important things in life (like kids, etc.) and not be bogged down my not feeling good.

    Amanda Daybyday

    July 8, 2008

    The thing is that there’s more to weight loss that simply “looking in the mirror and loving what I see” or being “someone else’s idea of thin”. Health comes into it too. Being overweight or obese is unhealthy and can shorten one’s life span. Not to mention what a tired mommy I was when I was 100 lbs overweight.

    While I’ll admit I want to keep this weight off because I like the way I look now…there so much more to it.

    I know nothing about this person, but it drives me crazy when people refuse to understand that for some of us, attaining and maintaining a healthy weight is HARD WORK. And it has to be a focus or we end up back where we started.

    We may not “have to be someone else’s idea of thin to live an active, happy life” (an extremely condescending comment as it is) but I DO have to count and watch my food intake closely in order to live said active and happy life.

    Crystal

    July 8, 2008

    Bravo, Roni! Bravo!

    gottahavefaith

    July 8, 2008

    You were not too harsh. This is a much more reasoned, calm response than I would have been capable of. I think it’s very reasonable to question the amount of time and energy that Americans spend dieting, but this is NOT the forum for that. You aren’t sharing a research paper or philosophical treatise…you are sharing your personal story, for which we are all very grateful.

    I do want to offer one possible suggestion: This commenter may just be a jerk, but it’s possible that your site was “triggering” to them with respect to disordered attitudes toward food. I love this site, but I have to take a break sometimes because certain posts have sent me on obsessive, self-critical tailspins. I do NOT blame you or this site…you are offering information that is helpful to many people. But on some days, reading a post about 1-point tortillas is going to make me feel guilty about eating something with more calories. Hearing you criticize your beautiful, lean body has definitely, on some occasions, damaged my fledgling acceptance of my own maintenance size and shape. After reading that you planned to get plastic surgery a second time, I felt fat and depressed for a week…my BMI is well within the normal range, and I wear a size four, but my stomach is nowhere near as flat as yours!

    I really respect and appreciate your honesty about your own weight loss journey, and I’m pretty unhappy with anyone who wants to take cheap shots at you. But I appreciate that you stayed so calm in your response and didn’t get personal, because we really don’t know what personal issues your site brought up for this person.

    roni

    July 8, 2008

    gottahavefaith – “Hearing you criticize your beautiful, lean body has definitely, on some occasions, damaged my fledgling acceptance of my own maintenance size and shape. After reading that you planned to get plastic surgery a second time, I felt fat and depressed for a week…my BMI is well within the normal range, and I wear a size four, but my stomach is nowhere near as flat as yours! ”

    Oh my, SO not my intention. That was my fear with being public about the Plastic Surgery decision. Please don’t compare to me, it’s much more then how flat your tummy or mine is and that’s why I tried to project that it was such a personal decision to have the surgery. I don’t remember “criticize”ing my body. Yes I was a bit unhappy about a little skin there, a mole here, a stretch mark down there, we all are, aren’t we? And we all do different things to help us deal, change or not change those things. But whats right for me isn’t right for everyone. My body is far from perfect, it never will be and I’m ok with that. I love my stretch marks, my veiny hands and messed up little toes, but certain things, like xtra skin, I wanted to do something about. You need to do what’s right for YOU and me for ME. That’s why the commenter got under my skin so much. I just wished we lived in a world where people educated, shared and offered advice without preaching a point of view. It’s all about support in my book.

    Thank YOU for your honesty!!

    Allison

    July 8, 2008

    Roni, what is with these NEGATIVE people?! First someone doesn’t like the “toddler” in your videos and now this! To the person that wrote that: GO AWAY. You act as if you are happy with yourself but obviously you aren’t if you are willing to come on here and criticize someone for being so successful. Are you jealous? If this diet or the tortillas bother you, go to another site! Roni, by writing things down and being accountable, is a very happy person who is makng a huge difference in the world and loves what she sees in the mirror. It’s called hard work and dedication.
    I love Roni. Many people love Roni. If you can’t come here, be supportive and thankful for all the hard work Roni has done, we don’t need you around.

    patty

    July 8, 2008

    Hi Roni
    I don’t think she was criticizing you and the way you approach to eating/living as much as she was rationalizing the way she feels about her life and her state of being… I didn’t think this person was being negative just stating her feelings about the way people sometimes judge heavy people.
    I think sometimes people find your forum as a place to vent and not to intentionally hurt you or anyone else.
    I hate to be thought of as a negative person (toddler blunder has reared it’s ugly head once again above). I love you and your site and cannot wait to connect with you each morning when i log on.
    My best to you Roni and thanks for listening as always. You’re an awesome person.
    xo
    Patty

    AlliJag

    July 8, 2008

    Hey Roni!

    Nice response! You make a difference in peoples lives every day – whether it’s helping them realize they too, can lose the weight, or that they can keep the weight off like you have! And anyone who checks your sites regularly (like I do) – can see just from watching a single video that you (and your familiy) are very happy, healthy, fulfilled people.

    To hell with the nay-sayers :) You keep doing your thing! :)

    Leah Danyell

    July 8, 2008

    Roni, I am so proud of you for standing up for yourself. I think that you were totally in line. You were probably a lot kinder than I would have been lol. As a person who came in weighing in at 316, I had almost given up. I think that a lot of people do and just go into either depression and/or fat acceptance mode. They just don’t get it, they don’t think that they will have a heart attack at 40. They are at their wits end and block out the fact that it’s about health…not size!! They are lashing out because they see you as reaching the success that they never could. They don’t realize that you have struggled too!! This person is hurting inside and you were the first person they found to lash out at. I am so thankful that you are you and you started this site. You are helping so many people!! You are one of the coolest people on the planet!! You have an amazing attitude and we love you!!

    deanna

    July 8, 2008

    I have way too much to write about this and not enough space. So I will simply say: Well said, thanks for putting up with this BS to educate your audience, and someone wise told me that when people are bashing other people it because there is an underlining unhappiness somewhere in their life – whether it is related to the comment or not. And finally what happened to “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything” ????

    Jennifer

    July 8, 2008

    I think you said exactly the right thing. Yes, there is more to life than points, but its also all those little things adding up that helps you lose weight. After years of wondering why I couldn’t lose weight (although reading everything in site about it) I am finally DOING the things that you read about such as, writing your food intake down, moving more, waiting 15 minutes if you have a craving, bringing your own salad dressing to a restaurant, walk where you can, park at the far end of the parking lot etc… I am DOING those things now and feel so much better about myself! People come here Roni, because you did it too, and you keep on doing it, which is the hardest part of all. I made lifetime at Weight Watchers (lost 60 pounds) and gained it all back. Coming to your site helps people know that it is possible to lose weight and keep it off. It may not always be easy and old habits creep back up here and there, but in the long run, don’t worry about that person’s comments, you are doing great and I enjoy coming here to see how you are doing! www.slim-shoppin.com

    Michelle

    July 8, 2008

    ….another twist…maybe the poster was the owner/senior officer of a full fat tortilla company and felt guilty they didn’t offer a 1-point tortilla. Funny they would comment on that post alone.

    Laura

    July 8, 2008

    Good for you!! I would have told her to sod off ( nicer way of saying what I would have really wanted to say!), but you handled it much better! :)

    Sue

    July 8, 2008

    Hi Roni:

    While you often make concrete “food” & “point” discovery posts, you also have a lot of material on your blog about self confidence, about managing busy lives and somehow keeping up, about the health benefits (not just weight loss) of exercise. Maybe people can just take the parts of the site that speak to them.

    I appreciate the balance between more “behavioural” sides of the site (e.g. Stages of Journalling) with the more “philosophical” (e.g. learning to love and take care of ourselves).

    I like that you don’t pretend to have all of the answers and that you don’t profess to speak for anyone but yourself. It’s a journey that we’re all on , one that leads not to where society wants us to be, but where we’re confident in ourselves. We need to find our own way there, but we can be there for each other–or at least try not to hurt each other.

    Thanks for what you do and how you do it.

    CarrieP

    July 9, 2008

    Thanks to everybody for their comments on this. I will admit that my initial comment came off as pretty judgmental and I am sorry for that. We all have our own history with weight and body issues and my life is certainly no exception. I spent my life rolling around in the message that my body was not okay and that I had to do something to change it if anyone was ever going to love me (if anyone is interested, I wrote it down here). Powerful, negative stuff. I have a lot of anger towards that message and the people who gave it to me and, I’m afraid, I let some of it come out towards Roni and her readers in my comment.

    Everyone has to find happiness and peace in their own way and it sounds like many of you have, so kudos to you! For my part, I’m still trying to figure out what happiness looks like in my own life. The only part I’m sure of is that FOR ME, happiness includes not dieting and making peace with my body the way it is today. Good luck to all of you in your search for happiness in your own lives.

    Carrie

    PS: for those of you who were speculating, I came to Roni’s site because a friend of mine linked to it in her blog and I was curious :)

    D Bryan

    July 9, 2008

    Bravo Roni!

    Carrie B

    July 9, 2008

    Roni,

    How unfortunate that I have to share my name with the poster who for whatever reason felt the need to post that garbage. You have no idea what an inspiration you are to so many people. I have struggled with my weight for a few years now. I have 3 beautiful children, but after 3 pregnancies I gained quite a bit of weight. Unfortunately I haven’t been successful in losing it…that is until I found your site. You showed me that it IS possible, and that there are so many options to plan healthy meals for myself and my family. I was incredibly unhappy with myself because of this extra weight I have been carrying around. It’s not the image I want to portray for my kids, and they deserve so much more than to have a mother who sits around the house because she’s so unhappy with herself that she doesn’t want to go out and enjoy life. I’m 32 years old, and for the past few years I’ve been living a very sedentary life and wallowing in my misery from all of this unwanted weight. When I found your website something inside me clicked, and I knew that I didn’t have to live like this anymore. That was 5 weeks ago, and so far I’ve lost 16 pounds following WW. I already feel 110% better. I still need to lose about 50 pounds, but the changes I’ve seen in my body already have motivated me even more. I’ve been fortunate to be able to come to your site and find delicious healthy recipes that make this new healthy lifestyle so much easier. You have truly turned my life around, and all I can say is THANK YOU! Thank you for sharing your story, and thank you for continuing to inspire me every day. BTW, my husband thanks you too! He has been truly amazing through this process, and he tells me everyday how great I look and how much happier I have become.

    The poster above could not be more wrong. How incredibly powerful I feel now that I am using my energy and inner strength controlling the food I eat, writing it down, feeling GREAT AND VIRTUOUS about it, KNOWING that the size of MY hips has A LOT to do with how great I feel about myself and how I have so much more life and energy in me to be the very best that I can be for myself and my family!!! This is how I’m finding my happiness, and I’m so thankful to you for helping me along the way! Thanks, Roni!!! :)

    megan

    August 14, 2008

    It’s funny. If I ever told my fifth graders to think about every thing that they ate, write it down, and if they have one day when they ate at a fast food restaurant and didn’t go play outside that they were not having a good day, it seems to me like I would be encouraging an eating disorder. I of course remind them that carrots are healthier than french fries, milkshakes are an occasional treat, and burgers are something that should not be enjoyed every day, I would never teach them that having one of the aforementioned things would cause them to have an “ugh” day.

    Just a thought.

    roni

    August 14, 2008

    Megan – Agreed. But we aren’t teaching kids good habits, we are helping adults break bad ones. It’s a different beast.