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20130322_butterfly

I’ve been wanting to write this post for some time, and like on the How Did I REALLY lose the weight post, two things have inspired me to finally sit down and get it all out of my head.

First was this quote by Sam:

This post reminded me of why I started following your blog in the first place – years ago. Lately, I’ve been skipping some of your blog posts because they seem so far away from my reality – I can’t see myself ever doing the things you do now… This post reminded that you started the journey a long time ago and have worked your butt off (literally) to get where you are today. You are an inspiration and I appreciate you taking the time every now and then to remind us that it’s not an overnight trip – it’s a lifelong journey. One that we have a choice every day to start or put off until tomorrow…

Sam touched on a fear I have. One I think gets magnified because I blog. Not only am I trying to figure out this whole weight loss,  maintenance, fitness, new identity thing, but I’m doing it in a very public way, which also happens to effect my livelihood.

Hello, pressure!

Since losing the weight I’ve constantly felt an internal battle. Fighting with my old identity. First as a chubby, awkward, girl jealous of her skinny friends. Now of a weight-loss success story who’s still trying to figure things out as she goes.

The truth is … I’m neither of those anymore.

WOW.

Do you realize how scary that was to admit?

I have just killed the chubby, awkward girl and the weight loss blogger in one fell swoop.

Admitting that is my do-one-thing-that-scares-you-every-day thing.

Embracing this new me is scary. There’s a fear I’m wrong. That I’m going to fail at all of this (maintaining my weight, staying fit, running, etc.) but there is also a fear I’m succeeding, and I think that’s the scarier of the two.

I also fear losing who I once was. Losing readers. Fear that I’ve become one of the people I was jealous of for so long. Fear that people won’t like this new me. Fear that I’m no longer the person fighting fat yet I’m still not fit enough to fit in with the fit folks.

All of this leads me to this quote, the second thing that inspired this post:

“How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”
– Trina Paulus

Boy, did that hit home. It’s hard giving up being a caterpillar. It’s safe, and known, and comfortable.

 
  • Svanhvit

    My word, Roni!! You totally hit home with me with that one. I love the picture you draw as butterflies are my favorite things – but I have found out that I am afraid of becoming one. There’s the huge fear of failing. Of not being “perfect” (I know, I know… should kick myself now). And there’s a bigger fear of succeeding. what business have I to be successful? Years and years of bullying certainly left deep scars that still sometimes burn, even if I have worked hard and long to overcome my issues. But deep down there is an insecure girl who just won’t really, REALLY try for fear that all those mean people who made my childhood hell were right and that I am indeed worthless, boring, annoying and a failure. Sheez. I am crying now.

    Another part of my knows that it’s not true. I am a good mom to great kids who love me more than anything. I am very good at my job and am valued there for what and who I am. I am much loved by a doting husband who keeps begging me not to be so hard on myself all the time. And I have a horribly tight schedule and have had a lot more than my share of sickness after my burn-out in 2007.

    So why do I do it? Why am I so hard on myself. On monday I went to work to teach with a badly thrown out back, that affected all the nerves still inflamed by last year’s broken disc and I did not give up untill I almost fainted and then crying. How do I not manage to pour that will and strength and effort into myself?? Am I really that afraid that I might not be worth it? That I might not have the strength?? That they were right????????

    Thank you for yet another awesome post. And I think I speak for all your doting readers when I say that I/we totally love and adore the new Roni you have become!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mom2Ways Julie Long Donahue

    Wow! That was powerful! I remember years ago I told someone I was okay with my weight (and I was, mostly) because, “I know how to be 250 pounds. I know how much space I take up. ” I was afraid to try being something else (butterfly) because it would take too much adapting and learning.

  • Anon

    I used to subscribe to an astounding number of blogs. Lately I’ve been really thinking about which ones I want to read, and I’ve pared my subscriptions down tremendously. But it was an easy decision to keep Roni’s Weigh and Green Lite Bites. Because regardless of where you are in your journey, your writing is fun to read, and I do find it inspirational. You make me think. You’re not just focused on yourself, you have a way to pull a group of people in. You start meaningful conversations. So I say, please keep on flying like a butterfly.

  • sheetal pramod

    Wow Roni! I see what you mean totally ! I have been overweight all my married life and now if I loose the weight-I don’t know how I will fit into this relationship-I totally fear succeeding at it and so I keep finding excuse not to! As cliche as it sounds!

  • Ann

    It’s definitely scary giving up being a caterpillar. The biggest fear for me is that I’ll be found to be a fraud of a butterfly. I’ve let that feeling keep me from “spreading my wings” so to speak. It’s a lot of pressure to reveal yourself as something different than you’ve identified as your whole life. If I walk away from the comfortable caterpillar and it turns out that nobody really believes I’m a butterfly then how do I not just feel like I’m left with no identity at all? It’s so hard to not care what others think. I need to find that point where I am comfortable calling myself a butterfly even if nobody else agrees with me. Well…enough waxing philosophical.

    Roni, I have followed your blog for 5 or 6 years now, through my ups and downs and reading all about yours as well. You have always kept it real and that is what has kept me reading. Honestly, I think you are one of those people you were so jealous of before. However, there’s a not so small difference from my perspective. I know for me I have always been jealous of the “skinny chicks” (fit, healthy, etc) in part because on some level it felt like what they had was just natural for them, didn’t take any work, that they were born that way. It also seemed to me that “they” were really ok with people thinking that of them. That view of them (which may just be my perspective) made me feel defective and as if I couldn’t have what they have. You on the other hand, let your readers in on the truth. It does take hard work, it isn’t always pretty, but it is absolutely possible and 100% worth it.

  • Jessica

    You will never lose me as a reader. I have read your blog for years, and will continue to. Your blog is by far my favorite (I read several healthy living blogs) because you are the only one who admits there are days when you eat junk, didnt get done what you wanted to, etc. You are also a mom to two boys, I am a mom to three girls. I love to read about your mom life. I read GLB because you post delicious recipes, with calorie counts (so I dont have to do math) that my family and I enjoy. Lastly, I read because you are frickin inspiring. I am near your height, and am working hard to get a body similar to yours. I weigh 162 and am a size 12 right now. Days I feel like stuffing my face, I will read your blog or facebook page and happen to see the picture of you in your new jeans and tanktop, and think ‘Roni sucked it up and worked hard, I can too’.

    Be a butterfly, because you are a beautiful one.

  • http://www.ConfessionsOfARecoveringChocoholic.com/ Laura Jane

    Don’t worry, I think we all still love the new you just as much!

    I don’t really know where I’m going with this comment and I can feel that it’s going to turn into a whole post in and of itself, but this post made me think, and you put yourself out there so I figured I would too. I stumbled across Weight Watchen in 2006 when Ryan was a toddler, you hadn’t been at goal that long, and you hadn’t found exercise yet. It was my senior year in college, I was 23, and desperately felt like I needed to lose about 60 pounds after struggling majorly with my weight since I was 13. I felt like you really got it and that’s why I loved reading your blog, and I also thought I’d join you at goal in a few months!

    Fast forward a few years, it’s now 2013. In that time I’ve graduated, worked a full time job for 6 years, quit my full time job to follow my dreams, met and married my husband, lived in 5 different places, bought a house, and I’ve GAINED 40 pounds since the day I found your blog. Despite trying very hard many, many, many times to lose weight. A few times I even really thought “This is it. I think I get it now.” Of course, it wasn’t. But through all that I’ve never missed a post here! I keep on reading, and, let me tell you, in certainly not because it’s helping me lose weight because I haven’t done that.

    I actually asked myself the other day why I keep on reading. I marvel at how I can read so many words about becoming healthier – words that I can so relate to – and yet not really let them sink in despite really wanting to. But then I think it’s because you offer so much MORE than weight loss. Of course you talk about healthy eating, exercise, and weight because it’s a part of you.

    But I think your real message is so much deeper than that, and, you know, some of that message has actually sunk in for me. Even though I still struggle ENORMOUSLY with my addiction to sweets, I have changed and improved in so many wonderful ways. When I first started reading, I was so shy that I was terrified to even leave a blog comment. A couple years later, I finally got up the nerve to comment, a few months later I started my own blog, a couple years later I got up the nerve to share it with friends and family, and now I willingly share it with anyone who wants to listen. Last year I really faced so many of my fears head on – I started my own business on-line, I went to a blog conference, I started reaching out to other people in real life and on line, and earlier this year I did something I had dreamed of for so many years. I quit my day job which wasn’t my thing at all to give me more time to pursue my own business. Although my inner mean girl came into my head so many times and told me I couldn’t do it – told me I was too fat – told me no one would want to read a fat girl’s blog – told me everyone would question whether a girl who couldn’t say no the cupcakes would have the discipline to run her own business, but I didn’t let that mean girl have the final word. I let my true self come out instead.

    So I think some of your message really did sink in – the real heart of the message about accepting yourself, loving yourself, improving yourself, and facing your fears – and that’s why I keep reading.

    • Rylee

      Sorry Roni I already posted this comment but I am trying to get feedback for a paper I am writing: With that being said, Laura Jane you are the exact person I want to target this comment to.I love your story because it fits in with exactly what I want to share.

      I would like to ask the readers and the author if the have heard of Health at Every Size ®. The philosophy behind the name is a non-diet approach to health. The approach is based on allowing your body to reach its natural weight and for people to accept their body’s natural beauty—no matter the number on the scale. In our
      weight-obsessed world, people think that diets are their only hope and
      according to science, they may be doing more harm than good. Diets often result in quick weight loss, but the majority of the time, the weight comes back. The process of weight cycling has been proven to increase inflammation, which “is known to increase risk for many obesity-associated diseases” and can cause issues such as “hypertension, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia” (Bacon, 2011). Dieting also leads to an increase in psychological stress, which in turn increases risk for disease (Bacon, 2011). The basic idea is that weight loss is not the cure all for health.

      To achieve the correct mindset, people need to accept that there are no good foods and bad foods. They need to be willing to eat a variety of food and learn to recognize their body’s internal cues for hunger and satiety. As Clifford says, “don’t let it [nutrition] rule and the ruin your life” (Clifford). By allowing oneself to engage in imperfect eating, people will be living along the Health at Every Size ® paradigm, a non-diet approach to health. Randomized control tests have been conducted with Health at Every Size ® lifestyles and “All studies indicate significant improvements in psychological and behavioral outcomes; improvements in self-esteem and eating behaviors were particularly noteworthy” (Bacon, 2011). Health and nutrition are not about perfect eating but rather a healthier mind that allows for acceptance of all food. The main point, you don’t have to be thin to be healthy, or happy!

      References:
      Clifford, Dawn PhD, RD. “Becoming a Competent Eater”
      Bacon, Linda, and Lucy Aphramor. “Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift.” Nutrition Journal 10.1 (2011): 9. 24 Jan. 2011. Web. 15 Mar. 2013.

    • RoniNoone

      Rylee I appreciate your situation but I have to ask that you don’t hijack the comments of every post for your research.

  • Chris Brown

    Roni –

    Your blog isn’t about losing weight or exercising more. Or about parenting or traveling. Your blog is about embracing change. Being the person you want to be. Getting thru the mundane and the plateaus. Facing the huge challenges.

    Don’t worry about your career changing. It will. It already has!! You’ve done 3 conferences. You are a published author. You’ve helped thousands of women blog to lose… and gain their voice and confidence. This year you’re traveling across the country to run 6+ Mudder races with other women to encourage them.

    As the world changes and your life changes, your medium to motivate will change. Maybe you’ll have a bunch of mobile apps. Maybe you’ll be doing augmented reality videos. Who knows what the new technology will bring?

    But you clearly know how to connect with the deepest fears, share your story and motivate your readers to look square at their fears and reach their goals.

    Your tag line in your header: Just Roni – Motivating online since 2005 says something different from your title: Roni’s Weigh | One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Healthy.

    During the years I’ve been reading your blog, you’ve started and expanded your family. You’ve lost your dad. You’ve moved. Meanwhile in my life, I’ve gone from “taxi” mom to “empty nester” while my children have finished high school, gone to college and one has moved across the country. My life as a mom has totally changed. And I’m in a different place than you are, but your blog has very strong appeal because you are authentic. As long as you don’t change the “real” part, you’ll have many, many readers. As long as you continue to embrace change and encourage each of us to embrace it too, you’ll always have an audience.

    We’ll keep reading as long as you keep sharing!
    Chris

  • sue

    So very very well said. After reading this I feel that at 73 I am ready to really become the butterfly. I am listening to Tim McGraws song “She’s A Butterfly” as I’m writing this. Ronnie,meet you in the sky because we have become butterflys.

  • Cindy

    At first I wasn’t going to respond to this but then I realized that I love your blogs so much that I have a responsibility to respond to your post. So here goes…..
    If I didn’t know any better I would have thought this was written by someone who just recently lost a significant amount of weight. When I read this comment I kind of groaned a little:
    “Not only am I trying to figure out this whole weight loss, maintenance,
    fitness, new identity thing, but I’m doing it in a very public way,
    which also happens to effect my livelihood.” – I thought to myself, really?
    I don’t understand why it’s such a naive sounding statement, especially coming from from you, someone who has been maintaining for 7 years, right? Yet, you’re still trying to figure this all out? You’re still calling this a ‘new’ identity. I’m sorry but I just don’t understand.

    I’m a huge fan and follower of all of your blogs and will continue to be but, quite frankly, this ‘identity’ topic is not new. You’ve blogged about this or referenced it in several past posts. I remembered them because they were unique and different to your normal posts and I appreciated that. Now I feel like this is just rehashing the same content. The big deal is not that it’s rehashing the same content but your post today reads as if this is some brand new revelation and that’s what I think bothers me so much. For reference, here are a few of the posts that I really enjoyed before on this same topic:

    http://ronisweigh.com/2012/10/do-you-feel-the-need-to-explain-yourself.html
    http://ronisweigh.com/2012/08/embrace-change-and-adjust.html
    http://ronisweigh.com/2012/04/just-roni-here.html

    You already know that you can blog about whatever you want. It’s your blog. You own it and you do what you want with it. At the same time, though, I wanted you to at least know how one loyal reader feels about this whole ‘identity’ topic that you reference off an on. I will continue to read because you are super inspiring and you are REAL. That’s what makes you so unique in the blogging world.

    • RoniNoone

      Cindy I’m glad you commented. I do have to say that I the only reason I reference the identity thing on and off is because it’s still how I feel! It may be naive but I can’t help it. When I read comments like Sams my fears are somewhat validated. If she doesn’t relate to me than others don’t either and maybe no one will care or read if I’m not struggling. Who cares about some chick who runs tough mudders and takes CrossFit 4 days a week?

      It may seem like I’m just rehashing old content but the truth is: this is how I felt all week. When I start to get more confident I’ll read a comment or see a quote and that brings back all these feelings. I only blog my thoughts and feelings as they come. This isn’t scripted it truly is my life and thoughts.
      Thanks again! I do appreciate your insight.

    • Peggy

      Hi, Roni and Cindy, I think both of you touch on
      something important. I thank both of you for being honest and open in your feelings! When I was in my own therapy to deal
      with a traumatic relationship and break-up, it took me 2 -4 years of “rehashing”the same issues to work through them. I learned
      that when you are working with core issues of the self –who am I? Am I worthy of love? Am I safe? – it takes a long time. When you get hurt along one of these themes, you are dealing with a great deal of need and vulnerability, and you can’t only know the answer – also you have to live out the answer. You have to live it, day to
      day, while facing life’s daily challenges – the moods and frustrations, the desires and hopes, all big and small. And
      that’s what you are doing, Roni – you are actually living out the change you created, while also dealing with life in general. By asking a question from a time when you were uncertain and vulnerable, you continue to enact and reaffirm the answer :
      I am this, and that’s ok. I think Cindy touches on something important, too, which is bringing an awareness that the
      answer and question are familiar ones, which automatically ought to register in the brain as, “Aha, I know this old cat, I know this issue. I can relax because I know how I’m going to
      handle these thoughts/feelings. I know that how I respond to myself is going to work, because I’ve done it before.” The benefit in recognizing that you are revisiting something is that it you give
      yourself greater self-support when you do so. Revisiting an issue, no matter how ‘old’, is not something to be embarrassed about. I did it for at least two years, more like four, in my therapy. The fact is that these themes are eternal, and, given the culture we live in – we do not live in a culture that values real confidence at all. Our culture values competition and comparison, which totally sets us all up to question ourselves no matter what we achieve (or to resist questioning ourselves no matter what we do, which is just another way to avoid insecurity). Anyway, revisiting an issue is not a problem. What you do is that you realize this is a familiar friend, and you realize that the self-doubt is just chattering, self-critical
      thought, and then you ignore the thought; or, if the thoughts spring from an old wound, then you attend to the wound with understanding and respect, while giving yourself the loving reminder that you have successfully dealt with this before. The goal isn’t to take care of self-doubts or insecurity forever, because that usually isn’t realistic. The goal is to support yourself clearly and kindly, when you happen to need to do so. Remembering the inner work you’ve already done, and using that remembrance to support yourself in the present, is one excellent way to have a positive, supportive relationship with yourself in the present.

    • http://twitter.com/darnfood Reinaldo

      I also got this mixed feelings all day long. I’m not fat anymore, but I’m not a proud owner of a sixpack either. I’m strong, yet I’m no powerlifter. I’m not trying to lose fat anymore, but I’m not in maintenance work either. I struggled to maintain a few year ago, but now… it’s *sort of* just hapenning. I’m not the skinniest at the gym, but also I’m not the most muscular. I follow several fitness blogs, yet I sort of let my own blog unattended lately, so I won’t call myself a “blogger” right now. Then, what am I??? How do I fit in this community???

      I knew what I was when I just started my journey: fat. Then, I was at maintenance. But then, I’m now a totally different animal that wasn’t in my books. Step 1: fat. Step 2: maintenance. Step 3: ??????

    • Stefanie Cooper

      Roni – I just wanted to say, I DO relate to you that’s what I was trying, in my clumsy way, to tell you through my comment. I do care and I do read…I just went through a little spell where I kind of forgot how great you are and let my inner mean girl convince me I had nothing else to learn from you. Just because I’m still trying to get steps in my day by parking further away from a store while you are off doing tough mudders doesn’t mean that I can’t be inspired by reading about those tough mudders. That’s what I was trying to say – that you reminded me of the journey. I didn’t mean I only want to hear about weight loss or where you used to be…I think it’s awesome how far you and your blog have come just in the years I’ve been following. I’m sorry if I wasn’t able to make that clear. I also posted about my thoughts on your post and my comment on my own blog (that you helped inspire). If you want to read it, it’s at http://rimor-vita.blogspot.com/2013/03/can-i-be-butterfly.html

    • Sam

      Roni – I just wanted to say, I DO relate to you that’s what I was trying, in my clumsy way, to tell you through my comment. I do care and I do read…I just went through a little spell where I kind of forgot how great you are and let my inner mean girl convince me I had nothing else to learn from you. Just because I’m still trying to get steps in my day by parking further away from a store while you are off doing tough mudders doesn’t mean that I can’t be inspired by reading about those tough mudders. That’s what I was trying to say – that you reminded me of the journey. I didn’t mean I only want to hear about weight loss or where you used to be…I think it’s awesome how far you and your blog have come just in the years I’ve been following. I’m sorry if I wasn’t able to make that clear. I also posted about my thoughts on your post and my comment on my own blog (that you helped inspire). If you want to read it, it’s at http://rimor-vita.blogspot.com/2013/03/can-i-be-butterfly.html

  • Marina

    Your blog is the only one I’ve been continiusly reading for 2 years. I know weight loss it is a lifetime journey with ups and downs, your blog is more than that. When I read your “life” I think ” she did it”, but what it is more comforting for me is the feeling of plenitude that you transmit and many many days that feeling, empowered me in the same direction. For that reason, thank you Roni.
    Ps: excuse my english, It is not my language…

  • whosallysparrow

    I kind of “get” the reader who wrote that to you. I, too, have a hard time relating to the things you are going through, and sometimes I get a little discouraged when topics on blogs, not just by you, but in general by women my age all relate to juggling children and husbands and weight maintenance, etc. when that is SO not my life. The reason I started reading your blog was that I related so much to your struggles with weight loss, insecurities, etc. That isn’t really true anymore.

    -HOWEVER-

    I still love your blog. To ME, your kids have become like my little nephews…I tune in to hear what’s going on. Irish always makes me laugh. (so stinkin cute!) I someday WILL run a tough mudder…walking cast be damned! I’m fascinated by yoga. Etc. So, I guess the point is, your blog has become less of an inspiration to me and more of a friend that I check in with now and then. And that’s okay!

    • whosallysparrow

      And that doesn’t mean that YOU are less of an inspiration!!! That will never happen. Keep living the dream, girl!

  • Kelley

    Lovely post, Roni. Congratulations on all of your successes, and the many more to come!

  • Kim Fearn

    I believe this is true for all of us no matter where we are in our journey. You are simply ahead of some of us… and you give us a view of what can be ahead of us as long as we keep moving forward! You have moved into the “benefit” portion of your healthy lifestyle – you are now giving your children the examples and habits of good health early, which will save them time trying to figure it out later!
    You may not be the chubby girl anymore – but you are a woman who seeks healthy food for both the tummy and the soul! You feed our minds, hearts and eyes with pictures of your life – ups and downs, good days and tough days. You show us what MOVING FORWARD in a positive way is like…
    Look at your wings Roni – we’ve been able to see them for a long time now!! :O)

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