One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

ASK RONI Q&A

Before I leave… A Quick Motivational Conversation

31 Comments 1692 views

I’m heading out for one crazy, hectic weekend. In summary… Tonight is the husband’s Holiday party, a state away. Tomorrow I’m traveling from there to my Moms for my nieces 5th birthday party on Sunday. Monday, ya ready for this… I’m taking the train into New York City (only my favorite place on the planet!) for an audition! Yikes! Every time I say it, I get freaked out just a little bit more.

The opportunity came out of no where when Lori sent the casting call notice for a new show coming to the states called Cook Yourself Thin. I read it and thought, Oh My Gosh! That’s perfect. I literally did Cook Myself Thin! LOL

So I threw an application together and sent it in. Surprising I heard from them right away asking if I’d come in from an audition. Of course I said yes! But then nothing. No return email, no call. Nothing. Weeks went by, I even sent a follow up and received no response.

I all but gave up on it.

Then I figured, what the heck, You only live once, right?!? So I shot them my latest GreenLiteBites Video. Low and behold! They emailed back and set up an audition time for me!

Perseverance people, p-e-r-s-e-v-e-r-a-n-c-e! :~P

So cross your fingers. I’m super excited to get the opportunity to try out. Right now I’m living for the experience of it.

So before I embark on my few days of hectic fun I want to leave you with an email correspondence I had today. I’m keeping names anonymous here as it wasn’t an official "Ask Roni" just an email asking for help. The writer really struck a cord with me as I truly feel her pain. I’ve been there. I had those same feelings. Please, if you have any advice for her as well, share it in the comments.

Roni, I have 60 lbs. to lose. Where do I even start?? I am realizing my joints hurt from the extra weight. I don’t like what I see in the mirror. I really need some sort of inspiration, some focus, starting point. Can you offer me any words of wisdom? I am at rock bottom without a clue.

 

I know how you feel and I know my advice will seem cheesy and unhelpful but it’s SO true.

You have to take baby steps. You have to stop focusing on the long term goal and focus on daily ones. When you do that, day by day you’ll get closer to that big goal and time will go by. Then you realize that all those daily goals are starting to build up and you are getting closer to closer to your goal!

I tell people ALL the time.. Give yourself ONE day. Don’t worry about tomorrow, or the fact you have plans on the weekends, that a holiday is creeping up on you. Do what you can today. Stay on plan right NOW. Live in THIS moment. Make the best choice you can.

Once you start doing that you’ll realize you make more good decisions then bad. That the days you veer off plan, are OK. They don’t affect your next decision, they don’t snowball into days, weeks or months like they used to for me.

That really is the key. Once you get that down you have to find what works for you in the eating/exercise front. For me it was Flex and doing something active every day (walk, dancing, etc.). I did my best to stay on plan and I set a goal of something active every day. You can do that! You can TOTALLY do that. Right?!? :~)

 

I can try. I feel like I’ve been on WW so many times, that one more won’t make the difference, you know? I start off well, but then something in me just gives up and I go bananas one day and eat a whole bag of Hershey Kisses and I figure what the hell, I quit. I work three 11-hour days and on those days I can go to the gym at work (it’s free) but I find it hard to get motivated in the mdidle of the workday. By the time I get home I am done for the day, so exhausted. My days off I could work it in. But my thinking is – what’s two days?? It’s not going to make a difference. I think I am so down on myself right now that I can’t give myself any credit.

I am going to try TODAY to make good choices. I"m not going to worry about the fact that I will be baking Christmas cookies later today, or that my husband and I will be going out to dinner this weekend. I’m just going to try to get through breakfast. Then lunch. I guess I"ll see how it goes. I could try to get on the treadmill today, I know I would feel better if I did – it really is a mental boost when I DO exercise, I don’t know why I don’t do it more often. Both my children (7 and 11) are in school and I have off work today. I have so much to do today (wrapping presents, baking cookies, etc.) that it’s hard to work that exercise in – and by the time I decide to do it, I am exhausted. Jeez, now I just remembered I left my tennis shoes at work!! Joy.

Thank you Roni for taking the time to respond to me. I just feel like I’m starting at the bottom, and there is a large rock tied to my ankle.

 

You aren’t alone in your feelings. You NEED to know that. I went through and go throw these cycles STILL. Though they are getting less frequent after 3 years, it’s been a journey.

You have to realize (and you aren’t going to want to hear this) it took you a long time to get where you are now. Your eating habits, the lack of motivation to work out. Your decisions not to do what you know will make you really happy. You formed those habits over years. You aren’t going to change overnight. You aren’t going to wake up 60lbs lighter.

You have to accept that.

It’s hard. It will take a lot of mental exercises to do. You’ll have to leave your comfort zone. You’ll have to do things you aren’t motivated to do. You may have to force yourself at first. You can’t expect to do everything overnight. It will take as long as it took you to get where you are to get you where you want to go.

That’s why you start small. You take babysteps. You can’t do it all at once. Pick something. Make it a habit. Make it a non-negotiable thing you do for yourself.

Start to accept that you are never off plan. There is no "quitting". If you eat a bag of Hershey kisses. Accept it and move on. Once you accept it you CAN move in. If you use it as an excuse to quit you’ll never succeed because it’s GOING to happen. I almost ate a whole batch of cookies the other day. The only reason I didn’t was because other people helped! The more you accept it the less you will do it because you’ll start to realize there is no off plan. I ate the cookies. That didn’t give me permission to not go to the gym and to order a pizza for dinner. That decision to eat those cookies was isolated only to the cookies. You can’t let it snowball.

I can’t lie, it hard. It’s much easier to keep doing what you’re doing. Change is difficult. HOWEVER, when you make the effort. You’ll start to notice the hard choices don’t only get easier but they become habits. They become ingrained in the way to live your life.

I hope I didn’t insult you. That wasn’t my intention.
I know you can do this you just need that "a haaa" moment. The more you try, the closer you’ll get to it!

-Roni




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Discussion

There are 31 comments so far.

    Brandi

    December 5, 2008

    One Day At A Time! It is so hard to just get the ball rolling in all major journey’s in life. I even bought a ring that says One day at a Time on it just to remind myself everyday to do the little things and worry about today and only today. You can’t fix ANYthing in life overnight. Its a process. And your brain will get the best of you if you let it get caught up in how far the journey ahead is going to be. You just have to know that everyday you are doing everything you can THAT DAY to accomplish the goals you have. And the best you can do is the best you can do. Find peace in knowing you are doing that, and the rest will take care of itself. Good luck!!

    Jill

    December 5, 2008

    Today I really needed to read this. Thank you both!

    Becca

    December 5, 2008

    Perserverance really is one of the key factors to success. Good luck with the audition and thanks for the motivational talk!

    melissa (nyc)

    December 5, 2008

    Great Post!

    Patty

    December 5, 2008

    Good Luck Roni! Not to get too philosophical on you but my mom always say things happen for a reason, maybe this is why you didn’t advance on the Food TV thing because another opportunity was coming your way…

    Your motivational post today reminded me of something my 9yr old don said today about something totally unweight- loss related but I think it applies “Why worry about the middle or the end when this is just the begining?” Just his way of saying take things one step at a time. Wise words from a child.

    Maggie

    December 5, 2008

    Good luck! You should definitely win :) I like your motivation.

    MizFit

    December 5, 2008

    GOOOOOOOOOOOOD LUCK!!!

    Poonie

    December 5, 2008

    Good luck Roni! We have this show in the UK and it is so right for you, the whole idea behind it is what, I think, you stand for. I really hope you get through, I’m crossing my fingers for you. I would be so excited to see you in the US version!

    Laura N

    December 5, 2008

    Good luck! You’ll rock the audition. Would LOVE to see you on TV!

    Chris Maydak

    December 5, 2008

    Just wanted to leave a few tips of advice for that writer, from a scientific perspective that I read in one of my favorite books a few months ago called, “Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind” by Gary Marcus.

    What Roni said is true, that you must break your long term goals down into smaller achievable actions. The reason most of us struggle with goals, such as weight loss, scientifically has to do with the way our brains are developed (or undeveloped as the case is). One way to think about it is that we have two brains; our instinctive brain, and our thinking brain.

    Our instinctive brain controls reflexes, and acts in the NOW. It is this much older brain that we’ve inherited from our primate ancestry, and it does a very good job at survival skills (pulls the hand away from a hot stove, finds food to eat, etc…)

    However, through evolution, humans have also developed a “thinking” brain, which sets us apart from other animals. This brain controls things such as thought, reason, and planning. Relatively speaking, this part of the brain is less developed and it is very clumsy. It does not communicate very well with the instinctive brain, and we often get mixed signals. This is because it has developed over time, on top of the brain we already had. If we were to design a human brain from scratch, we would have removed the old brain, redesigned it, and then put the new one back in. Much more efficient. This would be practical for an automobile engine, for example, but we can’t do this with evolution. Instead, what we are left with is a “kluge” as the author put it, or one brain bolted on top of the other which tries to control the old functions. Not very efficient, but nonetheless, it what we have to work with.

    This explains why we might plan to stop at the store on our way home from work, only to forget and drive straight home, and then realizing we forgot the instant we arrive. It is because our thinking brain made the plans to stop, but our instinctive brain “kicks in” whenever we are tired, distracted, or stressed. It “overrides the system” and we end up driving home in our usual route. The two brains do not communicate. Instead of planning to stop at the store, we need to be more specific and say, “when I come to the light at the corner of X and Y streets, I need to turn left.”

    The same holds true for eating and exercise. Our thinking brain knows what is healthy and what is not, and that exercise is good and smoking is bad, yet most of us can’t seem to follow these simple goals we set out. Our acting brain doesn’t listen to our planning brain very well. It’s not anyone’s particular fault, its just the way that we all are wired.

    Therefore, we must set VERY SPECIFIC goals, or short-term goals as Roni put it. Part of this is preparing ourselves ahead of time for instances we know will come up. This is called priming the mind. Instead of “I need to lose 60 lbs.”, we have to say to ourselves ahead of time, “if I see a bag of chips at the store, don’t pick it up”, or “if fries come with that, pick the side salad instead.” The same with regular exercise. “When my alarm goes off, I need to wake up and workout, instead of snoozing.”

    This type of practice is essential for proper conditioning of the instinctive brain. Otherwise, we fall prey to the regular habits our acting brain is used to performing when we are tired, stress, and distracted.

    It typically takes about 6 weeks of constant conditioning to change a habit. Then, the new habits become normal. If you can think of it this way, goal achievement is not as hard as it may seem. All you really have to do is make a commitment to proper mind conditioning for 6 weeks. From then on, you will be automatically on your way to whatever you want to achieve. You will begin to think of sweets and non exercise as “unwanted” rather than “unhealthy”, and you will no longer have cravings or believe that there was a time when you actually ate that stuff.

    Pubsgal

    December 5, 2008

    Good luck, Roni!!! I hope this goes well; it sounds like a great opportunity.

    Double the amount to lose, and your correspondent could have been ME about 9 months ago…and I’ve managed to come a long way since then. I think what really helped me get going was finding blogs of those who had successfully gotten healthy and read their stories. The more I found, the more I felt it was doable. And most bloggers have lots of great advice about how to get started and what worked best for them. For me, I am having good success with making some pretty drastic changes all at once (worrisome medical diagnosis will do that sometimes); others have better luck with making one gradual change at a time.

    Either way, I agree that it is harder at first–how many times did I feel like I was going to *scream* if I had to cram in one more self-care item into my day? But it really did get easier. And during the times when it goes slowly, I say to myself, “Well, at least it’s movement in the right direction…where will I be in 10 years if I don’t take care of myself now?”

    Elaine

    December 5, 2008

    The more I read your blog, the most I love you! I will definitely crossing my fingers for you….YOU DESERVE IT!

    tsw

    December 5, 2008

    I simply love your blog :)

    There was a great article on Sparkpeople that my help your unofficial Ask Roni writer. It’s a must read! I reposted it on my blog – here’s the link!

    Take care!
    tsw

    Ashley

    December 5, 2008

    I am sorta a self-help book junkie, but a really good one I’ve read lately is called The Four Day Win by Martha Beck. It discusses this very issue, making small changes you can focus on today. The basic idea is that every day you set a goal of something you can do TODAY, you do this four days in a row, and over time you can really change your ilfe. Anyway, I thought it was pretty good.

    sheryl

    December 5, 2008

    great advice – big believer of the turlte wins the race – slow and steady – small changes but be determined in the change. days turn to weeks and weeks to months and before you know it you are down the pounds –

    good luck to you Roni – and thanks for all your inspiration.

    Carol

    December 5, 2008

    In response to the poster’s query about how to stay “on plan”, here’s the only thing that has ever helped me. I stopped looking at Weight Watchers as a way to get to my goal and more as a way that I would live my life. After many attempts to diet, I finally realized that I wasn’t the only person in the world struggling with my weight. There was no reason for me to be jealous that someone else was eating a cookie in front of me. Maybe she had eaten healthy all day to account for the treat. It really freed me from the bad thinking that I always had to have the cookies, chips, pizza and whatever else I saw because other people were eating it. Now, I have an easier time looking at food as fuel for my body and fitting in some treats when my points allow it. This time, I’ve been following Weight Watchers since Oct. 31, 2007 and I’ve lost 53 lbs. I still have 63 to go, but time is not an issue anymore since I really feel like I’ve made the mental adjustment to be careful about food for the rest of my life. When I took away the urgency of losing weight “right now”, it became so much easier to stay on plan.

    Good luck in New York!

    Aime

    December 5, 2008

    Good luck with your interview Roni. Sounds like a perfect opportunity for you. Also thanks everyone for all the motivational words of wisdom. I definitely needed a boost of inspiration. I forget sometimes to take it day by day. Carol’s words really struck a cord with me. Such a great outlook.

    Laura Brandon

    December 6, 2008

    roni, one of the things i love the most about you is how much you care about the people who come to your blogs looking for help and someone to relate to. you care so much about all of us, and you always try to take every opportunity to help us, because you never know when there might be someone out there who needs to hear exactly what you have to say, even if it was meant for someone else. that’s why i love it when you post your correspondence like this. the main thing in this post that really resonated with me was the batch of cookies. you almost ate a whole batch of cookies, but you made it into an isolated incident. you didn’t skip the gym and order pizza just because you almost ate a whole batch of cookies, you simply moved on and your next choice was the best choice you could make. this is what i need to learn to do. if i end up starving between classes and go to the snack machine, that’s one bad choice. but i don’t have to turn the whole day into more bad choices. this is the thing i need to figure out, especially lately. thanks for posting this, and putting into words the way i’ve been feeling and what i’ve been trying to figure out that i need to do. you are amazing.

    debby

    December 6, 2008

    Oooooh, Roni! I am so excited for you! Good luck!

    For the person struggling with your weight. I sure can relate. My joints hurt so bad at the end of my 12 hour shift that if I could have unscrewed my feet from my legs and carried them out to the car I would have. I agree with what Roni said. But I knew for a long time before I actually did it that if I was going to be successful at weight loss it would be when I decided that it was going to be a permanent change I made in my life. So when I went to weight watchers, I always thought of it as a tool for what I was trying to accomplish with the rest of my life.

    But I really was kind to myself. I made small changes, hoping that eventually something (my taste) would change and I would like eating healthier and healthier. And it worked. If I can do it, I KNOW you can. You just have to be willing to try.

    christy

    December 6, 2008

    Good luck. It will be a long weekend w/o you.

    Jackie

    December 6, 2008

    Roni, good luck with the audition!

    Sarah

    December 6, 2008

    I have nothing to add to the excellent advice already given except to say that two days of exercise WILL make a difference. Everyone’s experience is vastly different, but I started out walking on a treadmill two days a week, too, and now exercise almost daily. It all sort of snowballed. I’ve been there. It’s hard. Give those 2 days a try, though. It’s worth it.

    Good luck, Roni! How exciting!

    Rachel

    December 6, 2008

    All I can think to say is that this is the way I felt at the begining too and now – I do not set deadlines, I do not say, “I must lose —- pounds this week.”

    Instead I live a healthy life. I make the best choices I can – eventually my body will completely reflect that. Every week it falls more in line with the healthy girl I have become.

    Such wonderful advice you gave Roni!

    claire

    December 6, 2008

    Good luck, Roni!! We’re all cheering you on!

    Jess's food coma

    December 6, 2008

    Wow I had to double check and make sure that email wasn’t from me. You are not alone. I myself am heading back to ww next week for the 4th or 5th time. It’s hard but it is possible, look at Roni!!

    Siobhan

    December 6, 2008

    I can SO relate to this post! Thank you so much for sharing.

    About the audition . . . I, for one, hope you do NOT land the gig. I don’t want you to leave us behind and become a big star and forget all about us. I like that we get personal responses from you. It makes me feel “seen.” Pretty soon you won’t even be doing your own cooking/shopping, you’ll have an inch of makeup on you to make you look natural, you’ll have an assistant who answers your emails or, even WORSE, closes down the comment section on your blog, you’ll have an entourage with you at all times, and you’ll start carrying around some small dog (instead of the toddler) with seasonal bows (and Irish will absolutely HATE that!)

    Nope. . . don’t want you to get it!
    ;-P””

    Salty

    December 6, 2008

    Ok last April 15th 61 lbs ago I weighed 242. I started WW on line and got hooked. At the time I made my goal 210 thinking that would be amazing but I used the CORE plan and the tools on the web site and I went flying by 210 to 179. I am now on a new adventure and that is maintanence for 1 month now. Now people say to me “you arn’t going to loose any more are you” Thats funny because they used to say I ought to get rid of my big gut. I really need to work hard now because I have resized my self from 42″ to 36 and I don’t want to buy any more clothes that big. I hope this helps motivate this person.

    Shannon

    December 7, 2008

    Needed to read this today, thanks!

    pam

    December 7, 2008

    I think that we have all experienced the feeling you are having. Don’t beat yourself up…..It sounds like you could use some “Me” time !!! You work hard at it makes life chaotic. And chaos for me leads to stress…leads to overeating…feeling guilty..etc etc etc….. Give yourself permission to do something for yourself. You deserve it and your family and friends will be better off because of it! Love yourself enough to do it!

    Pam

    December 10, 2008

    Roni
    The first time I use your web site to lose weight I got down to 130 lbs. Well as the old saying goes I fell off the band wagon and I need to get back on.
    I want to lose 40 lbs. My husband who is so wonderful told me I need to set goals. I told him that I would like to lose 40 lbs and go to Hawaii. Well believe or not he said he would take me if I reach my goal. So after the holidays I am going to get back on the band wagon. Please keep your fingers cross.

    Dee

    December 11, 2008

    Hi, Roni…
    I wish you luck on your audition… I wonder if the Foot Network people will contact you as well?

    I also lost 40 lbs in the last year doing WW however I quit going to the meetings in Sep 08 because I wasn’t losing because I as focussed as I should be. My sister and I both want to lose 40 more lbs and our new goal date in May 09! I am taking baby steps because it took me years of bad eating habits to put the weight on. At least I’m maintaining my 40 lb loss and I feel good about that, especially with one holiday over (Thanksgiving) and one moe Christmas to conquor.