One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


The Tough Mudder Madness Voting is Now Open

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Tough Mudder Start Line

Two weeks ago, I issued a challenge for folks to seriously consider running a Tough Mudder. I’m putting up one entry fee in exchange to for someone to step out of their comfort zone get muddy with me.

Well, the entries are in and I’m gonna be honest, I can’t pick a winner! I want to run with everyone! Unfortunately, I can’t afford to pay for it.

So I’m leaving the hard work up to you. Please read through the stories below and vote for your favorites. Who do you relate to? Who inspires you? You can assign up to 5 stars per story. All I ask is that if you vote you agree to read ALL of the stories. We don’t want the folks on the bottom to get the short end of the voting stick.

Megan’s Story

Wow, Roni! What an opportunity this is.

I want to run a Tough Mudder with you in order to find myself. Sure, it sounds cliche but it is entirely true. In late 2007 I was a married woman who had no children. As such, I signed to work with a trainer and was successful in losing 60 pounds. I felt amazing. I was strong. I was dedicated. I was successful.

Towards the end of 2008 I found out that I was pregnant with our first child and I used this as an excuse to stop training, start eating and get lazy. Nine months later our daughter was born and had to spend a week in the NICU. This is where I lost myself. During her stay I started having panic attacks and problems with anxiety. She came home healthy. :)

Four months later I found out that I was pregnant with our second child. He was born healthy with no problems. Unfortunately for me, I have struggled with anxiety and depression since that moment in the NICU when I had my first panic attack.

I am working on my anxiety with medication and therapy and I must say that I feel the best that I have in three years. Now, my life has changed and all the things that I did the first time around aren’t necessairly working anymore. I am stuck in this place where I have no confidence in my ability to lose the weight again. To get strong again. To be susscessful again. At the time in my life where I should be confident in my abilities as a mother and as a wife, I am the least confident I have ever been. I am tired of being afraid of failure. I’m not looking to be a size 0. I want to be strong and confident. I want to show my children what they are capable of by showing myself what I am capable of.

Is twelve miles and obstacles even possible for a girl that weighs 240 pounds and doesn’t currently run? I don’t know but I am sure as heck willing to look my fear in the face and try! :)

Lets do Kentucky in October!

Susan’s Story

For the past 2-3 years i felt like I was stuck. Stuck at a higher weight than I would like. Stuck in a dead end job and stuck in a rut at home. Just before my birthday last fall (Oct 2012) I started running and completed my first 5K. It was the first domino that led to a lot of other healthy changes. My life still isn’t perfect (whose is?) but I’ve lost weight, am much happier and feel like I am on the road to bigger and better things. If chosen, I feel like this challenge would be like metaphorically getting myself unstuck from the mud. Plus I really loved playing in the mud when I was a kid and the Charlotte, NC Tough Mudder is the weekend after my birthday.

Rebecca’s Story

Roni, I’d love to do the Buffalo Tough Mudder(July 27) with you! I am a 31-year-old mother of two girls, ages 3 and 4, and social work graduate student. Growing up, I was always the cliche chunky kid; accident-prone (have broken 7 bones), asthmatic bookworm. I married an athletic, outdoor-loving guy and always felt somewhat ashamed to be seen with him because of how obviously fit he was, and how obviously unfit I was! One year after my youngest daughter was born (spring 2011), I decided to start running with C25K. It was slow going at first, but by July I was logging 5-6 miles at a time and had lost about 15 pounds. I decided on a whim to run a half-marathon that fall and by October 2011 I had lost about 30 pounds due both to running and feeding my body whole, nutrient-rich foods. For the first time, eating food was about fuel and pleasure, not guilt and regret. I have run two other half marathons and ran my first marathon in September 2012.

For me, exercise has been about claiming my body for the first time in my life. Being able to run, hike, chase my children and be active with my husband are secondary, though, to the peace and joy that I have found from treating my body with respect and taking time for myself every day. My kids and my husband would tell you that I’m a completely different person on the INSIDE than I was three years ago.

I’ve been flirting with the idea of doing a Tough Mudder, but have shied away as it would be a huge challenge for me. In school, the annual event I dreaded much more than exams was the obstacle course in gym class. I needed special help to get over the elements and was completely mortified by the experience. Even now that I’ve achieved a certain level of fitness, the idea of doing obstacles like that fills me with butterflies. But part of why I’d even consider it is due to the community-focus that those events embody; you’re not just in it to finish yourself, its about something bigger. I love that its about NOT taking yourself too seriously – its about having fun, letting your inner kid shine through, and getting dirty all while giving your body and mind a legit challenge!

Props to you for taking on so many of them. Thank you for showing the rest of us how to have fun again!

Mehgann’s Story

I’m scared to death at the prospect that I could actually be the one picked, but you describe me so well that I am compelled to write and force myself to take the chance anyway. I am a lurker…a commenter, a reader, an “I wish I could do that, but I can’t because I’m so darn fat” whiner, an “avid believer that everyone is amazing and should post pictures of themselves whether or not they look good in them, but for heaven’s sake, don’t do it yourself” hypocrite, the girl who can’t wear a tank top in pubic, the girl who doesn’t go out with her friends as much as she wants because there might be a camera and a picture MIGHT end up on facebook for everyone in all the land to see, and someone who so DESPERATELY wants to change all of that but doesn’t know how. So here’s for taking that first step…all the while hoping that something happens between now and that dreaded click on the “post” icon…

Kim’s Story

Why do I want to run a Tough Mudder? Well – I actually don’t. Well, that’s not true. I don’t know what I want…. what I do know is I am petrafied to do anything out of my comfort zone. I try to find all the reasons NOT to succeed at overcoming my heath and fitness hurdles in life. Why? Probably because if I move past the first hurdle, I won’t have any more excuses to hide behind.

I always feel more secure when I do things with others…. especially when I go walking or exercising… for some reason I won’t let others down and will always show up to be a workout buddy – but I am willing to let myself down daily if I am left to myself.
I have never pushed past that point of doing it just for me.

Commiting to training for something this crazy would be insane – and completely out of my comfort zone. But I wouldn’t want to let you down – so it would be the perfect push…. KNOWING I was going to run it with you – but having to prep for it by myself… holy crap – this sounds nuts….

If you pick me – a 45 year old 215 pound woman who would start training immediately if she knew she was picked…. because today, Feb 5 – I can’t walk up two flights of stairs without getting winded – and by September in St Louis MO – It would be a miracle to run 12 miles and face my fears by doing the obstacles.

I have followed your site for years – and regardless of the outcome – I like many am grateful for the chance to hang out with you!
So whatta ya say? St. Louis in September? :O)

Cheryll’s Story

I’m fighting with myself about whether I should actually type this… The Tough Mudder scares the crap out of me! I have lost about 40 pounds in the past three years and run several half marathons. But I haven’t done much to develop my upper body or core strength until the last month or so. I’ve been taking strength training classes at my gym and now I can do two full push ups! haha (I couldn’t even do one before so I’m kinda proud of that!) Still terrified of THE WALL… but the Tough Mudder in WA State isn’t until October. So, I think I have time to train for it. I’d love to do this race with you, Roni! (I think!!) EEEEEEE!

Teresa’s Story

This is awesome! After attending my 25 high school reunion a few years ago, I hated all the pictures of myself. I took charge of my health and changed my lifestyle to loose almost 50 pounds. I have kept it over for over 3 years now. I have since run 7 half marathons and my first FULL this past October!!! Not bad for a 46 year old mom of 4 and grandmother!! I so want to do a Tough Mudder but I can’t find anyone that wants to do one with me!!!! I live in MD so the closet event to me is WVA at the end of April. Be my Buddy Roni!!

Ann’s Story

I hope I am not too late! I have gone back and forth with myself over this for..well a week now. I am finally ready to write this….

I have been following you online for the past 6 years now and you have been an amazing inspiration to me. I always felt like I “got” what you were saying about breaking the cycle of yo-yo dieting but yet I continued to struggle with it myself. I lost 35 lbs only to gain 70, I lost 60 lbs only to gain 90. Each time I thought I had set myself up for lifelong success, only to backslide and gain more than ever before. Six months ago I found myself at my highest weight ever, miserable in my own skin, unable to participate in activities I used to enjoy. I decided once again that something had to change, and that something was me. I have lost 70 lbs in the last 6 months (doctor supervised, but not surgical) and have radically changed my entire thought process around food and fitness. While I felt like I “got” what you were talking about before….now I know that I get it. Food is fuel. Yes, it tastes great and can be really enjoyable but the most important part of what you put in your body is what you get back out of it. My self esteem is no longer tied to how my body looks, but what my body can do now that it is fitter and stronger than ever. I am not at my lowest weight ever, actually I’m about 35 lbs from it, but I am at my strongest both physically and emotionally

So, why do I want to run a Tough Mudder with you? Well, for one I would love to say thank you in person, for all the tough love and brutal honesty you have put out there for all of us over the years. Secondly, I’m ready to take my fitness journey to the next level, break out of my comfort zone. I can see no better way to do that than with the woman who has helped push me in that direction all these years!

How about it? Kentucky in October? I sure hope so!

Whoever receives the most stars by 11:59 PM EST February 24 “wins” the Tough Mudder Madness contest and the entry fee. HOWEVER, I will still run with any runners-up who are willing to pay for their own ticket. All we need to do is register and figure out the logistics.

Ohhh, I’m SO excited! Let’s the madness begin!

Update: I had a typo up there. Voting closes THIS SUNDAY! I want to give the most training time to the winner and runners up who choose to register!

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I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.


There are 1 comments so far.


    February 19, 2013

    Thank you SO much for this opportunity Roni!