One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

JOURNAL

I choose to live in the now.

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This is me at my High School graduation. (Mom is going to KILL ME. lol)

Me and Mom at graduation

I practically starved myself my senior year because I thought I was fat. I was delusional. I was happy but uncomfortable. By this time I already would NOT be caught dead in a bathing suit without a t-shirt and nothing made me more uncomfortable then that sleeveless dress.

I really thought about getting skinny constantly. I was pre-occupied with it. Secretly depressed I didn’t look like a twig. I know, I know. Ridiculous. You don’t have to remind me I have imaginary discussions with my younger self ALL the time.

Now here I am graduating college (with Mom again. :)

me and mom graduate graduation.

A mere 5 years later (no wise cracks about taking 5 years. I did end up with a Masters Degree after all ;)

Still preoccupied with weight? Yes
Depressed about my body? YES
Wished I was back in that body I loathed in High School? MORE THEN ANYTHING IN THE WORLD.

What did my obsessive, preoccupation with my body get me? More and more weight. You can read my story for all the up and down details but I said it once and I’ll say it again. Dieting made me fat. If I just lived a normal, non-dieting, happy-with-myself life I probably would have never gained so much weight in the first place. It was the cycle of depravation and bingeing. It was the consoling myself with food. Even the lack of activity because I was ashamed of my body. All of those things made the scale go up. Nothing else (I’m not saying this is the case for everyone, just my personal experience)

Why am I taking this trip down memory lane? Well, I’ve been trying to find my workout groove again since moving and starting this new job. Last year at this time I was running tons, training for my first half marathon, lifting weights and taking classes when I could.

I felt great. I felt better then great. I felt fan-FRAKIN-tastic! Especially when I did that pull up. Talk about confidence and strength and fitness. I swear I was on top of my game and for the first time in my life I felt like an athlete. I really did, and that’s coming from a prior self proclaimed exercise hater.

The funny thing is I didn’t feel fan-FRAKIN-tastic because I was thin. I felt fan-FRAKIN-tastic (ok, so I just like to say fan-FRAKIN-tastic, sue me) because I kicked butt, scratch that, ASS. It sounds better. ;)

Today I don’t kick as much of it. Ass that is. I mean, don’t get me wrong I’m still in great shape. I can still run a few miles and I can do a few push ups but I have no were near the strength or cardio capacity I had last year.

While working out this week I couldn’t help but feel a little tinge of regret. It saddens me that I went backwards a bit. That I lost some of the strength. The girl who would never run because someone told her she couldn’t, ran  both a half and full marathon in just 1 short year, now hasn’t run in over a month.

I found myself really get depressed about this.

Then I started thinking about my younger self, that young woman in that picture up there, and how she literally punished herself for not being as thin as she thought she should be. I remember back then thinking my life would begin once I lost the weight. Once I wore a certain size. Once I could wear a bathing suit on the beach.

What bull shit.

Excuse my french. I normally don’t curse here but seriously what complete and utter BULL SHIT.

I had nothing to be ashamed regardless of my weight and ended up punishing myself for what? What did I gain besides weight and an even lower self esteem?

I’m now in a bit of the opposite situation, aren’t I? Instead of looking ahead thinking how great it would be when I lost the weight, when I got into that dress, when I saw that number on the scale, whatever. I’m now looking back and longing for when I was stronger, when I could do x number of push-ups, when I could run x number of miles, whatever.

It’s the same difference and I refuse to fall prey to this type of thinking anymore. Longing for what was or what could be, accomplishes nothing. Life is to short to live in the past or the future. I choose to live in the now.

With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson



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Discussion

There are 50 comments so far.

    Dee

    February 26, 2010

    Wow. What a powerful post. Thank you for this. I really needed it. I need to do some ass kicking myself. :)

    Reese

    February 26, 2010

    I think you are GREAT! You have it figured it out Roni…I have too and it feels SO awesome..yes it took us a few years and some lumps and knocks..but we have succeeded, we did it, its all about altering our thoughts and strengthening our mind…Thank you for being a friend and inspiration to all of us. Reese~

    Elaina

    February 26, 2010

    Great post! I have felt this same way so many times in my life. Just remember you are an inspiration and one of the reasons I will be running my first 1/2 marathon in June.

    Dani

    February 26, 2010

    It really is all about the NOW isn’t it? Love how you are always watching your thoughts…I’m the same way! There is simply a natural ebb and flow to life that applies to everything. I know when I chose to accept this fact, it helped me to let go of the micromanaging a bit. Some months I exercise more, some months less… sometimes I feel super strong other times not so much. It’s forever changing – never constant. The question really is, “Can we accept what is here right now?” And you my dear, seem to be doing an AWESOME job!!!

    heather

    February 26, 2010

    You brought me to tears……I think sometimes life puts us where we are for a reason……you are such a strong person now, going thru all you have and reaching your goals. Your journey makes us realize if we put our self to the goal, we can do it ANYTHING. THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY AND TIPS. YOU ARE SO APPRECIATED!

    Arlene

    February 26, 2010

    I found myself thinking something similar just the other day: That I’m in a lot worse shape than I was a year ago (about 5 pounds heavier and a lot less fit). It’s hard to accept myself where I am right now, but I know I need to do just that, and in the doing, it’ll be that much easier for me to make the right choices to get where I want to go.

    Thank you.

    Jen T

    February 26, 2010

    hey roni. i go through this too… i always tell myself: “this is a phase, and you will get through it. you will work out again, you will get back to structured eating. this phase does not define you. it is just that – a phase.” it seems to work for me. i also pulled an inspirational quote out of my runners world magazine and posted on my cube wall a few weeks ago, because i’m in a running rut too! here’s what it says: “you rarely regret the runs you do; you almost always regret the runs you skip.” SO TRUE! last, i wear my livestrong bracelet to remind myself to BE ACTIVE. it completely clashes with my work attire but i don’t care! :)

    it’s nice to see that others go through this too. we’ll get past it.

    Jennifer

    February 26, 2010

    Amen!

    Ami

    February 26, 2010

    I can totally relate to this. My thin days were a little earlier than yours, but I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t worry about my weight and trying to lose it. I’m gradually becoming less obsessed with dropping pounds and more focused on living a happy, healthy life, whatever that looks like on a given day.

    Thanks for being so open and honest!

    Lydia

    February 26, 2010

    I can’t tell you how much I needed to hear that this morning! Thank you so much for putting my similiar feelings into words. I really needed to read this. Thanks so much. Love your blog! :)

    I think I needed to hear a lot of this myself. Thank you Roni for always being so honest about what you are going through. This journey isn’t easy for any of us. It helps to hear others talk about their stories.

    love2eatinpa

    February 26, 2010

    great post, roni! i’m struggling with living in the now too, just being present. i don’t necessarily beat myself up over the past, but i’m constantly looking ahead at the ‘next thing’ in my life, food-related or otherwise, instead of just living in the now. i need to put a big sticky note on my forehead that says – BE PRESENT!!!

    Paige

    February 26, 2010

    Roni, as always your thoughts/post really struck a chord with me. About ten years ago, I lost a lot of weight…too much weight. I was bordering on anorexic, and had a full fledged eating disorder. I worked through it; but the hardest part was gaining weight back; even though it was weight that drastically needed to be gained! Once I started eating again, I wanted (and did) eat everything in sight. I gained all my weight back, plus another 25 pounds. What a roller coaster!

    Once I started running, I was able to eat normally and keep a good, healthy weight. Running helped me find peace with myself. Before, I always thought there was a magic trick that I just couldn’t figure out. Now I realize, it’s being active and making good choices everyday.

    terri

    February 26, 2010

    roni~what an amazing post! i think many of us can relate to everything you have said here…..including myself! i find myself constantly beating myself up over ‘cheating’ on the diet, not running as far as i used to, so on and so on…..i think we can all use your advice and live in the NOW! thanks for allowing us to see we are not alone in this crazy journey!!!

    Britt @ Runnerbelle

    February 26, 2010

    Great post! I do wish I could go back in time and smack my old self for being so hung up on weight & size. I often had the same thoughts…. when I lose the weight, when I wear that size… I will THEN be happy.

    Looking back I almost was too thin at certain points and when I was “heavy” I was actually healthy.

    Thanks for the reminder to live NOW! Not in the past or the future, NOW!

    LesleyG (justrun)

    February 26, 2010

    I’m so glad you can look at fitness this way. As recreational athletes (as all of us who aren’t winning medals and $500K purses are) our running/fitness “careers” naturally ebb and flow with the rest of life. It’s all about perspective. Good for you!
    And for the record, I’d like to go back and smack my high school self, too. And that girl didn’t even run marathons!

    Eve (Nutrition by Eve)

    February 26, 2010

    Wow – what an inspiring post. It’s so great that you share these feelings with everyone to read. As a dietitian, I help people stop dieting and start living. I try to help people realize that they have to accept themselves where they are now in order to help themselves. It’s great that you can recognize this to move on. This week I’ve been struggling too – I’m pregnant, and am trying to work out moderately without overdoing it, and that balance can be tricky. So this week I found myself opting out of workouts completely – not smart! It makes me feel so good! And while I’ve been feeling so great throughout this pregnancy I don’t want the last 11 weeks to take a downturn especially as I get larger, I know things will not get easier!

    Amanda

    February 26, 2010

    I really needed this, Roni. I’m in a similar place…trying to remind myself of how far I’ve come and how awesome I look/feel regardless of the fact that I’m not running as far or weighing as little as I did a year ago.

    Ange

    February 26, 2010

    I have been there and it was so good to see someone else has too.

    In 2008 I was in killer shape. I had done 2 rounds of p90x, 1 round of Body for Life. My ‘skinny’ clothes were loose on me. I could do 4 pull ups and bunches of push ups. I was woman here me ROAR!

    In 2009 (the year of my wedding) I could not get back to it. I tried running and more fitness programs and kept stalling out. I kept getting in my own way and I wanted so desperately to be a size 4 again. I made myself crazy and sad.

    I started off this year in a funk but with a mission and a plan but no pressure.
    I’ve forced myself to follow my workouts..or at least do something. And within a few (okay 6) weeks, I’m starting to see progress again. I did 15 push ups and 1 half pull up on Monday!!

    You will get there again. You are strong.
    Get back on the horse. Get back on the bus. Force yourself to do it and you will get back there.

    Life and fitness and health are a journey. We are real people in the real world.

    Alisha

    February 26, 2010

    YEAH RONI!!! Good for you for living in the now!

    PS: YOUR SHORT HAIR KICKS ASS, TOO!!!! Seriously you have such a great face for it!!!

    Stacey

    February 26, 2010

    LOVE this post. I do this to myself too and must remind myself that if I did it once, I can do it again. And – that it’s “ok” to go back and forth. I, for one, cannot maintain a super fit, ass-kicking fitness level indefinitely. But I know that I did it before, so I can do it again. Seriously I believe that half of getting to that level is just believing that you can, and if you want it badly enough you will. Now I just need to keep repeating this to myself as I am training for my first half marathon!!

    Deb

    February 26, 2010

    I think that post kicks ass. Thanks, Roni!

    Lola Fierce

    February 26, 2010

    I LOVE THIS. Thank you.

    Ericka

    February 26, 2010

    Hi Roni.. Dont be so hard on yourself. You have come a long way. :-)

    Lisa

    February 26, 2010

    Hey Roni,

    First off, I love your blog! I can totally relate to you on this post. I think us women always bash ourselves when we have the smallest of setbacks. But I think you summed it up well with the quote. And just keep thinking how far you’ve come and that it’s all about the present and making the necessary changes to get back to where you were! It’s possible!

    Continued success to you!
    Lisa

    pam

    February 26, 2010

    your mom cracks me up. She is off-task in both pictures. ha ha ha That is totally me. All the time screwing off. Actually you both are me, because that was me in high school and in college. I still beat myself up. Boy did I need to hear that. I have been in the same slulmp. I kinda think it is this looooong did I mention loooooong overly snowy winter. It is brutal for the spirit. I need sun, I need my feet plodding along my gravel road while I wear shorts. I need the breeze blowing my hair….I NEED SUMMER.

    Crystal

    February 26, 2010

    Such a good message for all ages. And I love the Emerson quote…being in the moment is a good life lesson, and something a lot of people (myself included) need reminding of. If only I had learned to do that when I was younger!

    LG

    February 26, 2010

    I just read a Psychology Today blog post about being in the “here and now” and how it relates to weight. Actually, I ended up reading most of the blog after finding it. Here’s the link to the post: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-religion-thinness/200911/exchanging-the-hope-salvation-later-the-peace-acceptance-now

    Anyway, thanks for your thoughtful blogging!

    Jodi

    February 26, 2010

    Hello Roni –

    Thank you for this post. How many pictures did I pose for wishing the person behind the camera weren’t making me get my picture taken when I was soooo fat. Only to look back at that same picture a few years later and wish that I could have that body back. I’ve lost 145 pounds and maintained the loss for 2 years now. In the past few months, I’ve been struggling with anywhere from 5 – 10 pounds that just don’t seem to want to stay off. 5 – 10. Not 145. A few years ago I’d have kicked my own ass for obsessing over 5 – 10 pounds. I work out EVERY day. I eat very well – ALMOST every day. That’s all I can do. Your post reminded me to be happy with this body I have now that is fit, and healthy and strong……rather than wishing I could have it back a few years from now.

    janine

    February 26, 2010

    WOW!
    that was fran-freakin-tastic!!!!!!!!!!!
    thank you for so putting so eloquently how so many of us feel, and validating the struggle we all have!!!
    thankyou
    thankyou
    thankyou

    janine

    Jen

    February 26, 2010

    Thank you for a great post. I myself have started to embrace the fitness side of me versus the “diet” side of me. I still have a lot to learn but I am slowly getting there.

    Speaking of pull-ups, Leigh Peele did a fantastic pull-up article you might find interesting. I love her no bs style of things. Though the new body fat picture post leave me wanting to lose a few more pounds with the pull ups ;)

    http://www.leighpeele.com/pull-up-workout-chin-up-program

    PS- Love the hair!

    Julie J.

    February 26, 2010

    Go Roni – you ROCK!!

    christina

    February 26, 2010

    Roni- Wonderfully written post. You should be proud that you are willing to put yourself out there like that.

    I have been there where I was doing great and then stopped – it was so hard to get back into the swing of things and it sucks how fast you lose what you had built up energy and health wise.

    I have also been there that in high school I thought I was a fat cow – now I look back and think wow I wish I looked like that now. Its a shame that I thought so little of myself then.

    Is there a happy medium? Last year the level you were at, while making you feel amazing, took ALOT of your time and energy away from other things. Versus right now where you are not really giving much of your time to health… is there a happy medium that you could feel better about yourself but not be all consuming?

    Hil

    February 26, 2010

    Oh, I can relate to this. Thank you so much. I sometimes feel pressure in the healthy living blogosphere to have a “happily ever after” kind of story line. Once you’ve achieved what you’ve wanted to achieve, any deviation from that can really feel like failure.

    But it isn’t. The thing is, I have developed the tools to move in the direction I want to move. I know how to get back on track without going overboard. I can do it. And I will. I am doing it now. My cardiovascular strength isn’t what it was, but I can see it improving every week.

    We talk about “reaching goal” as though you stop once you “get there.” But for me, this whole thing feels more like finding a good path to travel on for the long haul.

    Christie

    February 26, 2010

    I really think you’ve got some great ideas in this post — it’s about living in the now. Now I am *this* size and this is what I have to work with. Or now I can do *this* and that’s what I have to work with.

    Dee

    February 26, 2010

    Gotta tell you that I love how transparent you are…It makes us all feel better that you have up days and down days…your honesty is very liberating! It makes me want to be honest with myself…I’m up about 13 pounds from my WW goal” and just don’t want to beat myself up everyday…I’m ready to begin my walking regimen again, but currently, I’m working full-time, I’m in school full-time (working on my Master’s degree to teach), I have three kids, and I’m married to a football coach!
    I barely have time to sleep, let alone exercise…But I’ll get back to it! The difference in the me now versus the me years ago – is that I know I can and will get back to it…in fact, I’m longing for it! Me – longing to exercise??? Who woulda guessed it???

    roni

    February 26, 2010

    christina – I think there is a happy medium but to be honest I wish I had the time to devote to working out that I once did. I miss it. It became an outlet for me.

    I’m not all consumed by it but I am about being able to claim some time for myself to do something I enjoy. That would help me feel like I’m at that happy medium place. What I’m trying to do is be there without getting preoccupied with my body shape or physical level but just happy because I have the time to do something I truly enjoy regardless.

    roni

    February 26, 2010

    Dee – I hear you! I’m in the SAME place. I’m longing for more workout time. Crazy. huh? lol

    MaryB

    February 26, 2010

    This was one of your best posts ever. Thank you for this!

    s

    February 26, 2010

    awesome post. i work out less than i used to, and sometimes feel the same way.

    Tami @nutmegnotebook.com

    February 27, 2010

    I think we all have spring fever and being house bound, cold weather and the lack of sunshine makes some of us feel depressed and down on our selves. If I let it get to me I start to focus on the negative parts of my life.

    As soon as the weather improves, the sun shines, the flowers bloom all the bad stuff seems to dissapear. Spring is so full of hope, freshness, new beginnings and all of a sudden my mood improves. I eat lighter foods, walk more, spend more time outside, have an improved energy and life is good again!

    Mehgann

    February 27, 2010

    I think you kick ass NOW. Just sayin’…

    amanda

    February 27, 2010

    amazing!

    Nichole

    February 28, 2010

    I totally hear you Roni, I started training for my half-marathon, because I needed to get my booty back out there. I had surgery to repair my TT and although they say no exercise for 6 weeks it is at least double before you get back into the groove. I had my first 4 miler yesterday and it has been over a year since I went past 3,and the weather sucked, I mean blowing wind and rain, and I thougt I’m not going to do this. Then I thought hell yes I’m going to do this, I’ve lost 60 pounds, had two babies nearly natural, and undergone a tummy tuck with muscle repair while taking care of an 8 month and 2 year old. I can run in wind and rain. When it felt like I was getting no where I turned up my ipod and started dancing as I ran. Nothing is better therapy than running, NOTHING. Get out there and kick some ASS Roni!!!
    ~Nichole

    Nicole

    March 1, 2010

    Hi Roni ~
    Thank you for your inspiration! The universe seems to know exactly when I need to read your post — it really puts feelings into perspective for me!
    A wise friend of mine puts life in perspective for me on a daily basis and his words today can be a relection of any personal struggles we have!
    He says:
    “Today is a beautiful day for giving ourselves a break from chasing Joy and Happiness, for relaxing from trying to coax Abundance from the ‘Universe’, for taking a breather from the long hunt for Freedom. Today is a wonderful day for remembering that, in the deepest truth of who we are, we already are Joy, we are Abundance, we are Freedom. We already are that for which we seek. Blessings!” Patrick Sterenchuk
    Have a wondeful day!

    I think you wrote my life story…especially the first half, I am at the point you were last year, training for my first half, getting stronger daily, pumping iron. I appreciate your honesty, and the realization that once I do get anew job, I am not going to have this time to dedicate to a half marathon, I guess it’s the ebbs and flows of life. I do need to stop the verbal inner abuse so I can move forward, ’cause that’s not doing anything for me, or anyone!

    Kelly Munsey

    March 1, 2010

    Great post, Roni!!! You just kicked my ass in gear :)

    Niki F

    March 3, 2010

    Great post, Roni! Your words always make me think.

    I’m working on this maintaining thing, and it just is HARD sometimes, isn’t it. That and battling the demons of our mind, especially those patterns of thinking that have been going on for years!! Yup, hard work, but worth it!

    Great post Roni! I go through periods of thinking the same thoughts as those you expressed above. And do you know what I remind myself of? Something very similar to what you wrote here:

    “The girl who would never run because someone told her she couldn’t, ran both a half and full marathon in just 1 short year, now hasn’t run in over a month.”

    I was that same girl…the girl who always said she could never run. The girl who finally tried and who know runs half marathons just because and is a marathoner as well. That, in itself, is awesome, even if I go a week or two, or three, without running.

    Megan

    March 11, 2010

    LOVE this post. It actually comes at a time where I am reuniting with college and high school friends as the winter thaws in DC and I caught myself thinking just the other day “geez, if only my younger self could see me now…maybe she would have just given up the fight and concentrated on health instead of the yo-yo diet cycle that caused this weight gain”. GREAT post. Can’t wait for FitBloggin.