One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


I’ll Never Be Thin Enough for Her

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I don’t usually do a lot of “before and afters” anymore because, well, after almost 10 years of maintenance you realize “After” is more a state of mind than a moment in time where you happen to look a certain way.

Today I made the following side-by-side image on a whim when I was looking for an old photo to post for Throwback Thursday on Facebook. The photo on the left was taken in 2004. I was married, no kids and, if I remember correctly, regaining weight after yet another attempt at low- (no) carbing it — Remember how HUGE Atkins was back then?

The photo on the right is me, this Sunday in the dressing room at Old Navy. I spied a dress that was half off and it looked perfect for my 20th high school reunion coming up in a few weeks.


I’m not the skinniest I’ve ever been. My old “after” photos no longer even seem relevant to me, like this one –


– Yes that is the 9-Year-Old!!

This photo was taken September 2006. I was 138 pounds. I’m just under 5-foot-9. I don’t think I’ll ever see that weight on a scale again.  I’m not sure I’d want to anyway because I know what I would need to do to maintain it.

Back then I dieted myself thin. I didn’t eat much and I’d portioned everything out.

I didn’t run. I didn’t lift weights. I was simply learning how to mange my eating, which was a HUGE hurdle for me.

I’m not going to lie, I felt great back then. I was definitely on a skinny high. For the first time in my life I really felt thin and it really was all that I expected it to be. Don’t get me wrong, I still struggled with the mental and emotional crap I felt before I lost the weight. I still had body-image issues. I still fought with inner mean girl. I still had fat thoughts.

So basically, I was dealing with all the same crap just in a smaller body.

Over the years I started to get more interested in exercise, not to lose weight because I started at my lowest, but because I had more energy. My walks seemed too basic.  I also knew that if I wanted to maintain my loss long term I was going to have to increase my activity level. Especially if I wanted to start adding back some of my favorite foods and eat a bit more than 20 points a day (old Weight Watchers folks will know what I’m talking about).

Today there is no way I could fit in the jeans I’m wearing in that photo. I’m at least a size bigger and to be honest, it nags at me. My inner mean girl is convinced I’m not “skinny” unless I am back at that super low weight, and you know being “skinny” is all she really cares about. She doesn’t care that I’m the fittest I’ve never been, training for a marathon and making progress on my lifts. She sees no value in running around the field with 12 10-year-olds while assistant coaching my son’s soccer team (had our first practice tonight!), or carrying the 3-Year-Old on my shoulders while I walk him to preschool, or being able to keep up with The Husband in a game of tennis (even though he kicks my butt).

She just keeps screaming in my head over and over:


I really, REALLY wish I knew how to shut her up because I feel freakin’ fantastic,  I look great, I have more energy then I’ve ever had, AND I’M LIVING THE LIFE I WANT TO LIVE.

In my photo I wrote, 

10 Years, 2 kids, countless 5ks, 5 half-marathons, 1 marathon, 7 Tough Mudders, and 3 CrossFit Competitions later…

I may have started out seeking skinny but what I discovered was my strength.

That was a message to myself because inner mean girl WANTED to say…

10 Years, 2 kids, countless 5ks, 5 half-marathons, 1 marathon, 7 Tough Mudders, and 3 CrossFit Competitions later… AND YOU’RE STILL NOT THIN ENOUGH!

Seriously, what is her problem? Why am I wired this way? 

I’m so over it.

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There are 29 comments so far.


    September 4, 2014

    Ugh. Yes. My inner mean girl spews the same kind of garbage.


    September 5, 2014

    I think the inner mean girl is still there because everywhere we turn, we keep getting bombarded by images and messages from society, media, etc. that “thin” is still the ultimate goal.


    September 5, 2014

    Remember your own words – You feel Freakin’ Fantastic ! That is what matters :) You are healthy, beautiful and an inspiration to SO many! Thanks for all that you are and how you share it all with so many of us. You are AWESOME!

    Denise Elliott

    September 5, 2014

    I have so many of those same thoughts, Roni, so thanks for sharing this today. I’m in better shape and SO MUCH stronger than I have ever been in my life, but my stupid stomach pooch makes me nuts – why???


    September 5, 2014

    That inner mean girl wants to break us down, but you know better now. That’s what you have to show for it 10 years later. You won’t starve yourself just to be thin anymore. You are after healthy and happy. I think that’s way better than being “skinny”


    September 5, 2014

    I feel for you honestly. My inner mean girl isn’t mean to me…she says things in my head when people say or do mean things to me or my kids…supporting me. Basically she says the things I want to say but don’t…she’s on my side, just says catty things to idiots around me. You need to look into getting a new mean girl…you give that one way to much credit. Have you ever thought of going to someone for a session just to pick their brain about her? I’m convinced you can shut her up if you look into it…cause who needs that? Ain’t nobody got time for that.


      September 6, 2014

      It’s true. No time.


    September 5, 2014

    Are you talking about the same mean girl that regardless of the fact that at 50, I am the strongest, fittest and healthiest I have ever been but says — you don’t have a thigh gap AND no girl should have calf muscles AND your butt is still too big etc. etc?
    I mentioned this once to my 90 year old grandmother who wisely said ‘you have to love ALL your parts. No one is perfect. After all, men left Christie Brinkley three times.’ (My grandmother, a perpetual reader of the Enquirer. She didn’t live to see the 4th divorce.)
    And so I say to that mean girl (who by the way is me, don’t forget), I love my flabby inner thighs and so do you. They get us where we want to go. And I love you too. Without you, I just might miss my gym appointment this afternoon. Helps sometimes. Doesn’t others.
    I totally sympathize.


      September 6, 2014

      Ahh the wisdom of Grandma. :)


    September 5, 2014

    Roni – ignore the mean girl and focus on your statement of starting out looking for the skinny but finding your strength – that was/is awesome!! The side by side pictures show a big difference but I liked your comments the best – everything you have accomplished and the changes in your life are what really matter. AND those are the things that keep your readers coming back – you are amazing and inspiring and that comes from your strength and your spirit, not your size. Take that, Inner Mean Girl!!


      September 6, 2014

      THANK YOU!


    September 5, 2014

    Ugh…I am 42 years old and I am wired the EXACT same way. It sucks. Thanks for this post…I needed it. And, by the way, I think you have had and are having an amazing journey, you are an inspiration, and you look fabulous! If I EVER figure out how to shut up that inner mean girl, I will let you know…and if you EVER figure it out…please do the same! :)


      September 6, 2014

      Thank you! You know I will!

    Karen Bures

    September 5, 2014

    I don’t know. I’m wired that way too. And I feel like I battle my inner mean girl daily.


      September 6, 2014

      We shall beat her together!


    September 5, 2014

    After following you all these years – your ups, downs and in-betweens, I have to say you are my favorite blogger because I can always relate to you. I’m at the point in my journey where I have realized that I’ll never look the same as I did pre-pregnancy, even if I weigh almost the exact same. And you know what? Most days I’m okay with that, and some days my inner mean girl wins out. Reading your blog always puts things back in to perspective. You are amazing, Roni – never forget it!


      September 6, 2014

      You are SOS RIGHT! Sometimes I’m not bothered by it at all and other times it nags at me for whatever reason. Affecting my mood and motivation.

    Sarah Deman

    September 5, 2014

    I think so many women are wired the same exact way, and I give you props for being so open about battling it! Just another reason you are such an awesome inspiration!


      September 6, 2014

      Thanks. I knew I couldn’t be alone.


    September 5, 2014

    Hey great
    post, i loved your story. I decided to lose weight about a year ago, i never gave up and finally i’m starting seeing results! I’ve found a great produt on this website, called belly flat forever, its simple and detailed step by step. It’s great!


    September 6, 2014

    Awesome post.. and one that I needed to read. I’ve lost 65 pounds the last 2 years but have been on a plateau that will never end. It’s time for me to put away my fitness pal and regroup. I’ve got more to lose, but have to keep remembering that I’ve run a couple of 5Ks in the last year and we’ve done some long distance workouts including a 75 mile bike ride last weekend. I am more fit that I ever have been and have to keep reminding myself that the reason the scale hasn’t moved is because I now have visible muscles in my legs and arms. I battle with that mean girl all the time, but I keep proving her wrong.


      September 6, 2014

      Sometimes i think moving on is exactly what we do need. Like shift our sites to a different goal.


    September 6, 2014

    Any idea why the inner mean girl cares? If you’re not an actress, model, ballerina, Olympic athlete, I.e.where your weight has a direct impact on your ability to hold a job or do it well, what is the goal? Are you trying to win some game against other women, prove yourself worthy, hold onto your marriage, what?

    The voices in my head are mostly about longevity, since excess weight has been caused a lot of health problems in my family. Not saying for everyone, but my genetic history shows a higher correlation with diabetes, heart problems etc at much lower weights than “normal”.

    Honestly though, I wonder if you need to find another project or goal? There’s all kinds of things I could obsess about or criticize myself for, but I’m too busy, you know, living. I focus on other ways I can spend my energies than fulfilling some media driven ideal. I’m surprised because you don’t seem obsessed with wearing Nike or Prada, you shop at aldi’s, I don’t hear any of the other consumerism’s in your thought processes. Its not that I want to have these things but reconcile myself to what’s practical, those ideals aren’t on my radar anymore. I don’t notice who has them or doesn’t, though maybe I don’t see anyone who does.


      September 6, 2014

      Wish I knew. I really do. I guess I just want to look good and I’m wired to think thin is good. I’m not sure what it proves, my marriage rocks and frankly, I have no desire to compete with other women. It’s a truly internal need of some sort.

      As for living, I’m doing a lot of it. It’s kind of hard not to when you are a mom and run your business. I’m planning travel, I’m competing in a sport I love, I’m coaching my sons soccer team, I’m writing a book, I’m creating new recipes. I do all those things despite a nagging voice about being thin.

      This blog is my place to vent and analyze myself and to give me an outlet so I don’t stew or obsess. That’s kind of the point and why I write. It helps me move on.


    September 6, 2014

    Therapy with someone who specializes in eating disorders can help with the inner mean voice.


      September 6, 2014

      Yeah, it would probably do me good. I’ve been using my blog as a shrink for years.


    September 8, 2014

    Wow. That sounds like my mean girl!
    I worked so hard to be thin I never really thought how it really wasn’t ago ing to be substainable long term ( working out 7 days a week, 2 times a day) and all I think about now is I’m 10 lbs heavier & it’s frustrates me to no end!!! Let me know how to shit her up please!


    September 12, 2014

    The best way to minimize her voice is to thank her for her comments, tell her you love her, and watch her dissipate. She will never go completely away, but as you do this, she will have less power over you with her words. One day, you will hear her words and simply smile to yourself and keep it moving, because you will KNOW better than she.


    September 29, 2014

    Really amazing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You looks great comparing to 10 yrs back.
    I appreciate your views – ” I may have started out seeking skinny but what I discovered was my strength”.

    Would like to share an article also :

    Good luck for all.