One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


My Motivation-Turn-Workout Partner

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Those who have been reading for some time know how much having “the toddler” changed me. Giving birth was eye opening on so many levels. It affected how I look at my body and how I choose to live my life. It changed my career path and even made me, ME, a morning person. I’m not sure I’d be the same today with out my little guy. Actually, I am sure of it… I wouldn’t be.

I’m coming to the realization that my ultimate motivation is growing up and as Mom learns how to deal with losing her toddler, he is enthusiastically following her healthy lead. From telling the husband he drinks too much soda to asking me if his graham crackers are a healthy choice for snack, he’s aware, before the age of 4, that some foods are “treats” and others give you energy to be healthy and happy.

Don’t worry. He is far from being obsessed. With his love of candy and father’s influence I’m happy to say his diet is not perfect. It’s a lot like mine — overall good, healthy whole foods with a dash of processed sugar-laden treats. Everything in moderation, right?

What can I say when you have a child who eats like this…

the toddler eating broccoli

and this…

(both pics taken May 2007)

…you don’t mind saying yes to a Swedish fish now and then. Not to mention our occasional trip to the local candy store where we each get to pick out our one thing.

But his diet isn’t what I’m most proud of, nope, it’s his love of activity and interest in exercise I admire. Today, after my morning run, he asked for the iPod and then proceeded to run laps around the house for 20 minutes. I can’t help but think my involving him in my runs, bringing him to races and celebrating my accomplishments has had a *wee* bit of influence.

the toddler running

He also loves taking walks, enjoys his sports class and, when I brought home a new yoga mat the other day was SO excited I had to show him a few moves.

I have a tear writing this. I have 3 more weeks until the toddler turns 4. People told me it would go too fast, and I listened. I soaked up every possible moment of baby and toddler-ness I could and as my motivation turns into my workout partner I can’t help but look ahead with curious anticipation as we continue to grow, learn and live a healthy life together.

P.S. YES I know I can’t call him “the toddler” anymore. Don’t worry, I’ll be having a poll on his birthday as to what his new title should be. 

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There are 43 comments so far.


    May 22, 2009

    That is about the cutest blog I’ve ever read…Love the pix with the pepper..that innocent little face..I am so glad you’ve enjoyed every minute of these first years..I was lucky to do the same..and my 4 sons still call me really really does matter how much quality time you spend with your children..and as Roni says..they do pick up a lot of who you are and what you do..Enjoy each day!

    Rob Emenecker

    May 22, 2009



    May 22, 2009

    I think these pictures are your little ‘awards’ for being an outstanding mom! You have done a great job!


    May 22, 2009

    Aw. This made ME tear up a little! It sounds like he’s learning wonderful, healthy habits from his great Mom who has given us all inspiration and motivation! :)


    May 22, 2009

    And I thought I was the only one in the world who had a toddler that loves to eat raw broccoli! ;-) Through your blog, I have come to see you as a wonderful mother and a fantastic role model for a pretty darned cute kidlette (my personal vote for what his name should be post 4!) – and a role model for us mothers who have kids who are still in the toddler stage – you set the bar high! (My 2 year old is now the “egg-cracker” in our household!)


    May 22, 2009

    You are SUCH a good mom! Pretty soon he’ll be able to participate in some of those kids fun runs they sometimes have with 5k’s and other runs. Or even the full race (maybe in a few years) – I got my butt kicked by two 6-7 year olds in the last 5k I did!


    May 22, 2009

    I teared up, too. That picture of you two doing yoga is too cute!

    I’ve often wondered if, when I have a daughter of my own, I’ll be able to pass along good habits and a healthy weight or if she’ll have my same hangups and weight issues. Hopefully, I’ll be able to follow your lead … and lead her to a healthy lifestyle by example.


    May 22, 2009

    I am so bored sitting in my office right now.But seeing Ryan in the pictures put a smile on my face and your description of the post teared me up.

    The yoga picture is by far the cutest!!


    May 22, 2009

    Wow, Roni! This is the cutest blog entry! Nice job!

    Whether we realize it or not, our efforts, attitude, outlook on things (heath consciousness and all) affect our friends and family. Reading this entry it is clear you are a positive influence on “the toddler” (now turning into the “big boy”). :o)


    May 22, 2009

    you’re not the only one tearing up!!! :)

    cute post!!!!


    May 22, 2009

    Love him running with your iPod and helping with yoga!

    I’ve run 5k races where I see 5 and 6 year old kids running with their parent – it does rub off!

    My “baby” is just about to finish her junior year in high school – I remember when she was born I thought “I wonder what she’ll be like when she’s three?” and now she’s 17!

    Snuggle with Ryan while you still can! Enjoy your weekend!

    I love the yoga picture! What a great influence you are on the toddler!

    I cannot WAIT to have kids… you must be the most amazing mom :)


    May 22, 2009


    You continue to inspire me. Your choice to be a healthy, happy mom is a wonderful thing and the little guy (btw, my personal fav) will benefit from your choices all through life. We never, ever stop teaching our children, even when we are the dummest people on the planet!

    Enjoy and congrats on such a happy family:)



    May 22, 2009

    Good for both of you. You are both lucky to have each other.


    May 22, 2009

    What a great post, Roni! And what a terrific job you’re doing raising the little guy! Kudos for starting him young on fitness and healthy eating. :-)


    May 22, 2009

    Now I have tears too! Wonderful post and photos. You are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.


    May 22, 2009

    I love, love, LOVE that last picture!


    May 22, 2009

    He is so damn cute Roni, and a very very well behaved child! You are very blessed!


    May 22, 2009

    He is too stinking cute! This is my hope too that through the choices and changes I’ve made that I’m doing it more than just for me, but to teach my kids a healthy way right from the start. Dylan now wants to run a race and Zoe is always eating fruits and veggies. I love being a good example!! Thanks for being an example for all of us too.


    May 22, 2009

    Ahhh…so sweet. Don’t be sad though – each stage in his life will bring you new and exciting things to share. My son is getting married next week and as I look back on his life I realize that there isn’t an age I wouldn’t go through with him again (yup, even his teen years!)


    May 22, 2009

    Cute and I bet a Great kid.I am a Ryan fan.


    May 22, 2009

    Awesome post Roni!!! Love the pictures!!!


    May 22, 2009

    I know the poll hasnt started but I just had to share what came to mind after I read your post and say the pictures of how big your little guy has gotten. :) I think you should call him “little big man”! :) I have a 4 yr old as well and cant believe how he’s grown and changed. Thanks for sharing with us. :) I’ll watch for your poll so I can officially submit my idea! :) Here’s to you and the “little big man” ! :)


    May 23, 2009

    Great pictures, Roni, and you did such a great job!

    Watching obese children at that age is always a horror for me and I really want to ask the parents what is wrong with them. Messing up your own body is bad enough, but messing up a child’s body is unexcusable. That’s why I love your pictures so much, you set such a brilliant example and you should be immensely proud of it!



    May 23, 2009

    love this post. I cant believe mine is 3.5 next weekend (I KNOW. NERD ALERT Im having a half birthday party for her).
    It does go so fast huh? and some days—back in the terrible 2s—when people would tell me that I THOUGHT I wouldnt mind :)


    May 23, 2009

    Roni, can i just say since visitng your blog, you have become my motivation!…

    .. ive been feeling really down recently and put some of the weight i lost back on – but between this site and greenlitebites ive started to eat and feel better

    i even bought the nike+ gadget for my ipod so i can start running

    thank you!


    May 23, 2009

    This is so motivating to me! I am 9 weeks pregnant with my first baby and I am already starting to feel like it is time for a change. I have been “yo-yo dieting” for the last 6 years and I have never been able to stay in that healthy mindset once I reach my weight-loss goals. I don’t want my future child to go through the same struggles that I have, and I want us all to be healthy as a family. You seem to have found that perfect balance between making healthy decisions and having treats sometimes. You are an inspiration!!

    Natalie M.

    May 23, 2009

    This was a very heart tugging post… thank you so much for sharing. Your son has the greatest gift a kid could ever have… a parent who loves him and cares dearly about his health and well-being!

    I’ve been reading your blog for some time now but this post definitely made the lurker comment :)


    May 23, 2009

    Roni, This has to be one of my favorite blogs you’ve written! As a mom it totally made me tear up seeing how well you’ve done, teaching Ryan how to be a healthy boy. I have to commend you on soaking up every minute of him as a baby, toddler and now a little man! That is something I didn’t do. My daughter will be 10 this July and I cannot believe how fast it really went. My husband and I tried for 7 years to have another baby and finally gave up. About a month ago I went in for my annual exam and was totally shocked to find out I was 5 weeks pregnant…..I was ELATED that I could not only enjoy one more little person in my life but this time I could share that experience with my daughter. Knowing I had a life forming inside me made me more concious of eating healthy and being more active……then a couple weeks ago I miscarried. It was devastating to lose something you’ve waited 7 years to get. Even though I am no longer pregnant I am still trying to set an example for the child I do have and the other day realized….I didn’t do such a bad job! My daughter came home and said, “The other kids at school dont eat very healthy” when I asked her what she meant I was floored that parents send their kids to school with candy bars and soda! And my daughter asks for hummus and baby carrots and eats edamame like candy! Thanks for sharing such a great accomplishment you’ve made in 4 short years with him!


    May 23, 2009

    Roni – My son is the same way about exercise! I love that he is my “personal trainer” when I am out on runs with him and he chants “run, mommy, run!!!” And that he sleeps in my first race shirt! At 3 1/2, I know that giving him the gift and love of activity will make not only his childhood, but his life, healthy and happy! Enjoy your workout partner!! :)

    Lauren / merrymishaps

    May 23, 2009

    You’ve definitely got to get him running the children’s runs that they have at lots of races. He’ll love it!

    (We host them at most of our Annapolis Striders races, even for very little kids. They have several with different distances depending on age!)


    May 24, 2009

    I am beyond impressed. They are such little sponges and you have done such a wonderful job. These lessons you have instilled in him really are amazing gifts — gifts I think everyone who reads this site would have appreciated. This way of living and eating are it for him — he doesn’t know there is another way — and that is a GREAT accomplishment. Way to go!


    May 24, 2009

    Those pictures are too cute!! You are truly a wonderful mother. You must be so proud!!

    Mary @ A Merry Life

    May 24, 2009

    This is adorable. Roni you are such a wonderful mother for setting this healthy example for your son. Seriously, I am so impressed and glad there are moms like you out there.


    May 25, 2009

    There is nothing more satisfying than when your children grow up and you see your positive influence on them healthwise and otherwise. My sons are 10,8 and 6 and love to run with me and kickbox…they take taekwando and we even spar with each other playfully…its a lot of fun. 4 is a great age, enjoy it!

    chris brown

    May 26, 2009

    Yes, Toddler is such a cute little name and Preschooler doesn’t have the same ring to it. What a great job you’ve done raising him!


    May 26, 2009

    O my God he is to cute and I have to tell you that I had treas in my eyes reading this because I know that’s were I’m heading. As you may know I had a baby girl 12 weeks ago and I can’t believe how much she has changed in such a little bit of time. I hope that I can be as positive an influence on her as you are with your son.

    That picture of you and the toddler on the yoga mat is pretty much the cutest thing I have seen in a long time! I guess there’s not much toddling left to be had, but he’s obviously growing up to be a healthy little boy. :)

    Becky F

    May 27, 2009

    You’ve got a tear running down my cheek, too! :,) The nested ‘downward dog’ is very very cute. Be proud of how much you’ve rubbed off on him! My little guy just turned 17 months old… I can’t imagine what 4 YO is going to be like. Good job, Mom! Looking forward to the poll! =)

    jen boda

    May 28, 2009

    It is amazing how much children change you, more than you ever know and in such different ways than you can imagine. Thanks for such a sweet blog post–made my day.

    Boda weight loss Blog


    June 4, 2009

    Excellent!!! You made me cry! My little one is 2 and a half years :)

    sonali joshi

    April 26, 2014


    Great post thanks for info!

    workout partner