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I’m on a terribly long flight to L.A. with no wi-fi, no food and a window seat. I feel trapped and antsy. The only media I have with me is the audio book version of “50 Shades of Grey.”  Sad, I know, but after a few funny conversations during my recent girls’ weekend, I realized I may be the only woman in America who hasn’t read it.

So far all I can say is meh.

I can’t listen to it continuously (I just can’t) so I’ve been taking breaks, editing photos for GreenLiteBites and now writing this. I also had a great conversation with the man next to me who inquired about my food photos.

He asked why I was going to L.A. and I simply said, “work.”

I just didn’t feel like getting into the whole weight loss blog thing, which is not a good sign considering I’m going to L.A. to talk specifically about this “weight loss blog thing.”

Earlier today I had a great conversation with The Husband and it helped me realize the real reason I’m so nervous about this trip.

Have I told you I’m nervous about this trip?

I’m nervous about this trip.

Like really nervous.

It’s not the photo shoot or interview. It’s not even the recoding of a segment for a national talk show. I’m OK with all that. It’s scary, don’t get me wrong, but scary in a good, push-me-out-of-my-comfort-zone-yet-again kind of way. You guys know me, I thrive on “experiences.”

No, my fear is coming from the fact I don’t feel much like a weight-loss success story anymore.

I’ve been in maintenance for almost 9 years.

9 YEARS!

There was a time when I wanted EVERYBODY to know I lost 70 pounds. I wanted to scream it from the rooftops. I had to fight the urge to tell anyone who crossed my path. Not only did I want to tell them I wanted them to know how long it took me. How many years I yo-yo dieted. I wanted them to understand I was really a chubby, insecure girl on the inside.

I’d even get defensive when people would assume I was always thin or didn’t struggle or didn’t have to “work” for it.

I can easily remember those feelings without needing to re-read my own words on this blog, which I used to explore all those feelings through the years.

But I don’t feel those feelings anymore.

What’s the saying? Time heals all wounds?

I rode the weight loss roller coaster. After years and years of struggling with my body image, self-worth and disordered eating I was finally able to diet myself thin. Almost too thin.

Then, realizing I probably wouldn’t be able to maintain the loss through diet alone — plus I wasn’t really on a healthy path — I started to focus on fitness instead. I discovered I really was able to run despite what I was told. I found confidence in lifting weights. And I uncovered a love of challenging myself physically.

But here’s the thing, I don’t do those things to build a specific physique. I do them because they give me joy, sanity and a much needed outlet. I do them because I have two young boys and I want to be healthy and fit enough to explore the world with them. Bottom line: I do them because I feel better than when I don’t do them.

I can’t deny the change in my entire approach to life. Is there still a small part of me that wishes I was as thin as absolutely possible? Especially knowing I was approximately 15 pounds lighter than I am right now?

Yes. I can’t lie. My inner mean girl is completely obsessed with looking like a waifish runway model but my logical, fierce, confident, inner goddess (I had to say it — you got the reference if you read the book)  knows better. She’s proud of me. Proud that my life doesn’t revolve counting every calorie all in the name of “thin.” Proud that I live consciously and balanced. Proud that I’m confident enough to continuously change and evolve.

I guess what I’m most nervous about is letting people down. I just don’t know if I’m comfortable living up to the weight loss success story expectations anymore.

 
  • Amelia Winslow

    Great post, Roni :)

  • Jules Biggirlbombshell

    You wouldn’t let anyone down….all of us (and that’s a whole lot of ALL) care about you because of who you are and what you give, share, and inspire in everyone….NOT your weight loss success…..

  • Tanya

    Your ability to continually engage everyone, all shapes and sizes in your lifestyle change and your journey of life has inspired me for well over five years. You have been a constant for me. It was never about how big or how small your were but about your ability to connect with people on so many levels, to encourage good health and to take risks. Yes Roni! Risks! You are more than a weight loss story. You are the entire package. Losing weight is one thing. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the harder part. So go out there and be you Roni because you are a success in so many ways other than losing weight!

  • Leigh Anne

    Honestly I think everything you wrote above is the reason you are the best person to talk about weight loss success. You are the reality that happens after the after photos have been taken. You’ve been the waifish girl on Woman’s World (I think that was the mag lol) and now you are the strong confident woman. You are the ultimate success story. Someone who truly changed their lifestyle!

    I can go anywhere to read weight loss tips and diet advice. I come here because you are real. You help me deal with the mental battles that go along with trying to lose weight and I thank you so much for that.

    PS I’ve been reading your blog since that time you said you would NEVER have a second child :)

  • Karen

    I hear you loud and clear. I also succeeded in a great weight loss years ago. Have maintained them also for almost 9 years except for 10 lbs. Its hard to keep the success face on when it’s been so long. It’s like a new normal for me so really not big news anymore.

    Although, in our minds we did accomplish a great thing for our bodies and we need to be proud of that.

    (Now if I can just keep these perimenopause hormones in check and keep up the will to work out, now that will be a great accomplishment)

    Have fun in LA

  • DebraCC

    Oh my, you’re 15 pounds heavier than you were at your waifish most thinnest (should I say maybe unhealthiest) weight? We don’t know each other well enough for me to throw all my sarcasm at you… Girl, STOP beating yourself up. 9 years! that is such an amazing anniversary. Seriously though, It really sounds like you are on the edge of change. That point in life where you feel a little dizzy, maybe you aren’t quite sure of your role anymore but you know inside things are changing and you just aren’t sure which direction they are going to take. Everyone handles these things differently and the path you decide to take will be the one that’s right for you. All your followers, fans, friends, and those of us who stay hidden behind the screen should be willing to respect that decision. 9 years… sounds like a long time but to you it feels like yesterday, right? 9 years of saying look what I did, look what I’ve become, look what I’m doing. Maybe, and I’m speculating way outside of anything I’m knowledgeable about, the time has come for you to focus more outward for a while. Whatever, you will figure it out and you will make it happen and you will find that satisfaction again. Good luck on this new leg of your journey. I’ll just be behind the screen watching :)

  • Kevin

    nice post roni, inspiring read. time heals all wounds… and “I’m confident enough to continuously change and evolve.”

    http://www.losecheekfatsite.com

  • Laura Melville

    There is positively no way you could let anyone down. Yes, you ARE a weight loss success story; not just because you lost the weight but because you’ve MAINTAINED a weight loss (something few do) PLUS realized that healthy doesn’t mean skinny. You’ve chosen a healthy lifestyle and you’re willing to help others along the way. That’s your success story! I find you very inspirational and I love your recipes! Yes, there are different areas of your story but they’ve all equaled SUCCESS. You’re reality – people need to see and hear that.

  • Andrea@WellnessNotes

    9 years is amazing! And what’s even more amazing is that you are constantly adjusting what works for you, what fits into your life at the moment, what is important to you, what makes you happy. I think sometimes we look at maintenance as “doing the same,” but I think successful maintenance includes a lot of figuring out what works at this stage in your life. And it’s changing. I also think that going a bit too low when we lose weight is so common and getting back to a maintainable weight is a great reminder for so many!

    I really hope you’ll enjoy all the experiences this trip has to offer you! :)

  • PerfectImperfect

    I haven’t read 50 Shades either — it sounds terrible. If I want to read erotica, I will find something well-written.

    I hope that you will find a way to talk about some of this on The Doctors, though they probably will want to force you into the more typical narrative.

  • http://lettuceeatcake84.wordpress.com/ Lauren

    Roni, you are honestly the biggest weight loss success story and motivation for me, and you have been for many years. It’s the way you approach your struggles with openness and honesty and always, ALWAYS pick yourself up and keep going that makes you such an inspiration. Maybe you aren’t feeling like the success story anymore because it’s finally time for you to open a new chapter in your story, one where you are just a fit, healthy woman who has been this way for almost a decade. Maybe your weight loss no longer defines you the way it did a few years ago. You will one day reach a point where you’ve been fit and at a healthy weight for more years than you were overweight. You aren’t defining yourself by a number on the scale anymore, and you have confidence in your ability to maintain this lifestyle and measure your progress by new markers. I think it just sounds like you are shedding that old identity to make way for a new one.

  • Fiona Hatfield

    I agree with many of the comments here, it is your ability to live a life where you are no longer infulenced by the number on the scale, that makes you a weight loss success. I think we all want to be able to live a life where we no loger obsess over 0.1 Lbs etc… Your blog and your shared experiences show us that achieving weight loss sucess is about living it everyday. Eating well, exercising and forgiving yourself are the keys to a well balanced healthy lifestyle! Thank you for sharing your journey!!!

  • Sam

    I really like the comment that you and your blog show the world what happens after the “after” picture. Most of us are so concentrated on losing the weight we have no plan for after – you and your blog show us what can happen. That our lives don’t always have to revolve around losing/gaining weight. That being healthy, happy, adventurous, whatever is way more important. That even being healthy (making healthy choices) isn’t always easy but it’s worth it. Hang in there!
    Also, I too tried to read “50 Shades of Grey” (my step-mother gave me the eBook) because “everyone” was reading it. I have no idea how they’re making a movie out of it as the half of it I read didn’t seem to have a plot or storyline at all…

  • http://www.myweightingplace.blogspot.com/ Kari

    You’re the second half of the book that many people don’t get to read! A successful weight loss story (true, forever weight loss) has to end with maintenance. You give me a hope that there is a balance post major weight loss. Can’t wait to see you on The Doctors!

  • Agnes

    You’re awesome and real and that’s why we all keep reading! Plus your journey and even where you are right now is so balanced. It has it’s ups and downs but always, always inspires! More of us need to stop looking at these walking hanger supermodels and look at real women like you. Anyone can force himself or herself to eat nothing but lettuce and lose weight, it’s what happens when you stop eating the lettuce! Hope this makes sense, I just wanted to get across the message that you continue to inspire us and are a true role model of what weight loss should look like! Oh and I guess now I’m the only one who hasn’t read the book! ;) Just not into poorly written trash.

  • Martha Glantz

    Have you really looked at yourself lately? There was a picture of you holding the toddler and man oh man! You look amazing – not just trim, but incredibly fit and strong. With your workouts and eating I don’t think you can fixate on the scale; you have to really look at YOU and see how great you look AND feel!
    I have only been reading your blog for awhile and go back to read old blogs too and am totally inspired by you and your journey. Not surprising that you struggle at times like all of us and the media attention to skinny unhealthy looking starlets doesn’t help. You are doing all this to stay healthy and it is working. Work it!

  • LisaM

    Great post! Sounds like all you need is permission to re-brand yourself. The “weight-loss success story” is starting to be old news in your mind… that’s been your brand for 9 years now. How about allowing yourself to claim “adult health and fitness success story”. That is just as impressive in my book, and more indicative of what you focus on these days.

  • http://www.supercutepets.com/ SuperCutePetContest

    Such a great and honest post. Your story is so important even if it is 9 years old. It needs to be told and shared with others. Your story give people hope and inspiration that they can do better with their life.

    Oh, and I don’t think I could have done the audio book of Fifty Shades! I just read it myself and actually thought the second and third books were much better. It is what it is, based off of fan fiction from Twilight. You can’t expect too much from it!

  • Mindy Lee

    Just because it’s been nine years doesn’t take away from the amazing accomplishment you had! Many people try to lose weight for far longer than that or lose and gain it all back again. You just didn’t know that losing weight was just the BEGINNING of a transformation. Own it! You are awesome and have been an inspiration to many. The word Success makes it sound like a one time thing. Success is ongoing and you live it every day, with each fear you face, with each eating challenge you continue to overcome. Own it girl!!!! Can’t wait to see the segment :)

  • http://mysizehealthy.com/ MySizeHealthy

    I can see how this is where one would eventually fall after successfully living a healthy lifestyle and level of fitness like you have. I hope to be there one day too! And you know why you feel this way? You aren’t who you used to be! Now you’re the “after” and you are living it each day and it’s not really even maintaining–because that’s basically saying you’re still on the weight loss track soon after losing weight. You’ve been there, you don’t forget, it might be as painful as it used to be but that’s the past. Of course, yes, it’s still important to mention because that’s what started your site and where you came from but now you’re SO much more than a weight loss blog—I’d call you a wellness blog of inspiration ;) Congrats and enjoy your trip!

  • Melissa

    Never stop being proud of maintenance!!! Maintenance is as hard as weight loss if not harder! I read your blog everyday and you continue to inspire me in so many ways!

  • Georgia Reed

    This is cliche and probably many people have said it but, you ARE a success. When I look at your before and now picture.. the success IS the change in your attitude. It’s fighting the battle and not giving up. America needs role models like you. You are a success. Forget that inner mean-girl’s screwed up definition of scrawny success. Take your awesome, fearless, real-life success and tell your inner-mean girl to shove it!

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