One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

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Ask Roni: Do You Care Who’s Walking the Walk?

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I received this email last week from someone named “Martha.” When I tried to reply the email bounced back so I’m assuming it’s actually anonymous. I’ve edited the message to remove the name of fellow bloggers — XXXXX is now in place of those names.

Roni…have enjoyed your blog off and on for years; don’t always share your opinions/practices, but certainly have respect for your personal and professional style. I hesitate to even ask my question, however, because I know you can’t/won’t answer honestly or publicly. But here it is: does it bother you in the least that so many of the “fit blogger” community never actually walk the walk? I follow several of them and their blogs are FULL of ads for this “healthy” snack food or this fitness device or DVD or sports bra or whatever…and full of giggly posts about their new gym schedule and cutesy pix of their vitamins lined up on a pretty plate or whatever…and then posts about going out drinking with the girls, eating appetizers, weekends on the couch binge-watching TV shows and chick flicks, rationalizations about moderation, etc. They have a ticker that hasn’t budged in years as they yo-yo the same 10-ish pounds, never actually getting “fit” or losing any weight. You have a certain bunch of them who are all well over 250 pounds, some over 350, who have blogged for YEARS about losing weight and getting fit and have only gained weight — and lots of it — in the process. For every XXXXX, there seem to be four or five XXXXX and the whole gathering itself looks like a bunch of obese and flabby women carrying huge boxes of gigantic donuts and giggling about “fitness!” while eating junk for three days. The talks are about monetizing your blog and getting free merchandise rather than how to live a fit life in a fat world. It doesn’t irk you that, year after year, these people do NOTHING to improve their health or fitness but keep using your conference to promote themselves and some useless products? I mean..if you ran a conference about getting out of debt and I showed up the first year $10,000 in the hole and then came back the next year $9,000 in the hole and then $11,000 the year after that, blogging all the while about my great new plan to pay off my bills alternating with posts about shopping sprees and collection calls…would that be okay? Would I be a positive influence on other attendees? You don’t ever look at XXXXX and think, what the hell? You don’t ever look at the booths full of junky, low-calorie snack packs of mass-market crap and think, this is really not what I wanted this gathering to be about?

Martha,

Again, I’m assuming that’s your real name. I will answer this honestly AND publicly. I’m not sure why you think I wouldn’t.

My vision for FitBloggin’ was always a place for bloggers who were using blogging and social media to spread a culture of health and wellness. When I look around FitBloggin’ and see people of all sizes moving, participating, learning and being accepted I don’t think “what the hell?” I have tears of joy running down my face.

We live in a world were people are fearful of going to the gym because they are overweight. There is case after case of fat shaming and bullying. As a society we glorify skinny so much so young girls would rather DIE than be fat.

Have you ever been made fun of for your body or size? Made to feel less of a person because you don’t look the way others think you should look?

I have and you know what happened? I ate more. I withdrew more. I gained weight more and more.

Everyone isn’t built the same way and I mean that both psychologically and physically. Others may have the ability to let the body shaming comments and fat jokes roll off their back. I didn’t. I internalized them and they affected me deeply and I wasn’t even fat! I was an average size-12 teenager. I just wasn’t, what I’ll call, “Hollywood skinny.”

At 15 I would cry myself to sleep wishing I would wake up skin-and-bones thin. I cursed myself for not having the strength to be anorexic and then try to binge the problem away.

People are complicated.

So are our bodies.

I’m not here to make excuses for people or even myself, but wouldn’t you rather live in a world where everyone regardless of their size lived just a little healthier instead of beating themselves up for not looking like some airbrushed model in a magazine?

Frankly, I don’t give a crap how much so-and-so weighs or whether he or she “walks the walk” as you say. I have no control over them. However, I do believe change is only possible by creating a healthy, accepting environment and lifting people up, not tearing them down.

Have you known any smokers that took years to quit? Failing time after time and then finally succeeding? How about an alcoholic who relapsed a few times before becoming sober? Look at yourself even — have you ever had a personal goal that was just difficult to reach for you personally? Maybe something as simple as flossing daily or taking supplements or going to bed earlier.

I’m constantly trying to improve myself and I don’t always succeed the first, second or even tenth time around. I’m human and I make mistakes. We all do. Just because it’s easier to see those mistakes on some doesn’t make them any less worthy of a happy, supportive environment. (And I fear calling them mistakes but I’m using it for the lack of a better word)

The conference was always supposed to be about BLOGGING so your comment about the sessions being  about monetizing your blog and getting free merchandise (something I’ve never promoted) rather than how to live a fit life in a fat world make no sense to me. The goal of FitBloggin’ wasn’t to teach people how to live healthier. My goal was always for bloggers in the health, fitness and wellness space to learn how to use social media more effectively so they can continue to grow and inspire with their blogs.

Has the conference changed over the years? Yes! Everything changes. I mean Facebook and Twitter weren’t even “things” when we started. Over the years I let the community drive more and more of the content as it is a conference FOR THEM.

Let me ask you a question: Why do you continue to read blogs by people you don’t relate to? Why waste time on sites that don’t inspire you? Why do you care so much that someone else loses weight?

Even if someone is well over 250 pounds, or 350 pounds, isn’t it awesome they continue to share their story and show people you don’t have to be thin to run a race or take a yoga class? Don’t we want more people to care about their health and to be inspired out of their comfort zones regardless of their current size? I’d argue a 250-pound blogger sharing his or her story about finishing a 5k is TONS more inspirational than yet another super-fit model telling us how to get Michelle Obama’s arms or Kim Kardashian’s ass.

As for the “junky, low-calorie snacks” we give out at the expo we try our best to partner with sponsors who are supporting the blogging community and align with our values. Those “junky” snacks are the same ones that started me on the path of portion control and diet change. As I mentioned in this post, everyone starts somewhere. Pre-portioned, mass-marketed snacks maybe someone’s first step in a massive diet overhaul. They were for me.

I’ll end with this piece of advice, which is going to sound snippier than I intend it to be: if the bloggers you mentioned in your email bother you so much, stop reading them. Why waste your time on something that doesn’t inspire or bring you joy?

That’s my honest and public response.

-Roni

~*~*~

Food Journal

Activity Journal 

  • 6 a.m. I was late and missed warm-up! Rowed a quick 500m when I got there and then Back Squatted.
    3 @ 33 lbs
    3 @ 83 lbs
    3 @ 103 lbs
    3 @ 133 lbs
    3 @ 153 lbs
    3 @ 138 lbs
    3 @ 138 lbs
    3 @ 138 lbs
    I did today’s workout as prescribed in 8:29:
    21-15-12-9-6-3
    Hang Cleans @ 65lbs
    Hand Release push ups
  • 9:30 a.m. walk to and from Evan’s school with him in the wagon – 1.75 mi
  • 5 p.m. walk to and from Evan’s school with him in the wagon – 1.75 mi I snapped these photos on our way. I had to share. :)
    20150706_183138 20150706_182507


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Discussion

There are 52 comments so far.

    Chris B

    July 6, 2015

    Well said.

      Jenni S.

      July 6, 2015

      Agreed. I was really impressed by your thoughtful and well-written response.

    Shannon

    July 6, 2015

    Literally standing and cheering for your honesty and strength, Roni! Bloggers provide FREE support, entertainment, inspiration and support. If a blogger isn’t for you, move on.

    Danielle

    July 6, 2015

    I can’t adequately respond to how great this was to read. But it was. Thank you for fitbloggin and your encouragement. Pretty amazing.

    Carli

    July 6, 2015

    Amen Roni! You were way nicer than I would’ve been. As a “fat fitness blogger” I don’t do it to make a little change off of a few ads, I do it to help people change their lives. Losing weight is HARD for me and it isn’t for lack of trying. But my juicy behind goes to yoga, and lifts nearly 200 lbs and runs when I can. And I’ve helped over 40,000 people get off their butts and run a 5k with me. So… I’m not a size two, and amazingly I’ve helped tons of others size 2 and 22, lead a more active life.

      roni

      July 7, 2015

      YES! Everyone doesn’t need to be skinny to inspire! We can live healthier (and we are) regardless of our body size. Plus, I’d argue not everyone WANTS to lose weight. We don’t have all the same goals!

      I’m so tired of body size being the only thing we look at as a measure of success.

    Cindy

    July 6, 2015

    Way to go, Martha! I’m so glad that someone has brought this up! I’m not surprised to see that Roni has responded in her predictably defensive ‘screw off, if you don’t like it, don’t read, blah, blah, blah’ fashion rather than engage in any kind of intelligent dialogue. But then again, I get it. How is she possibly not defend her own conference?
    Quite frankly, I am stunned to see some of the same morbidly obese people at that conference YEAR after YEAR after YEAR.
    Rock on, Martha!

      roni

      July 7, 2015

      Did you only read my last paragraph or the explanation I provided above? Please discuss! I wouldn’t have shared if I didn’t want to share HER and MY OPINION which is exactly what I did. Which is the definition of DISCUSSION. I could have shut comments off if I didn’t want to allow others to chime in. What are your thoughts besides high five-ing Martha? Why do you keep following the conference YEAR after YEAR after YEAR? Why do you keep reading these “morbidly obese” blogs or mine for that matter since you don’t relate nor agree with me? Why are you wasting your time on us? Just let us be.

      And really? How else am I to respond? Regardless if someone is over-weight any healthy changes are good changes. I don’t care how fat someone is, people are people and I’m trying to inspire and get everyone moving and eating just a little better. That’s my response. Now, by all means… DISCUSS.

      Chris

      July 8, 2015

      …. Aaaaaaannnnddddd…. crickets.

      Chris

      July 8, 2015

      …. Aaaaaaannnnddddd…. crickets. So much for discussion from Cindy.

      Mehgann

      July 8, 2015

      I believe this is a case of “don’t feed the trolls.”

      roni

      July 8, 2015

      I didn’t see this as trolly but an opportunity to express an opinion that may help others see the power of positive change and how it’s doesn’t always need to be measured in body size or weight.

    Sabz

    July 7, 2015

    I read the question and your response and I agree completely with you. I’ve been reading your blog, haven’t lost any weight and in fact have gained with each pregnancy. But I keep coming back because I see you and I feel I can some day somehow overcome my weight issues. WYCWYC. I can’t do push-ups heck I was 3rd-to last in my one ever 5K (the other two at least 20 years my senior) but I went through and I did something completely out of my comfort zone. So Martha should really just stop following the people who don’t inspire her. Life’s too short. But don’t judge someone based on a blog. God knows there’s enough judging from family, friends and glossy magazine out there.

    nancyabc

    July 7, 2015

    Martha sees a train wreck but I see people under construction with unlimited possibilities.

    Sara

    July 7, 2015

    Sounds like someone is a bit miffed they weren’t invited to the party :P And yeah, I lost almost 60lbs and improved ALL my health markers, by eating those ‘junky’ low calorie snacks. I really don’t think ‘Martha’ would like my blog lol!

    Great response Roni :)

    Sabrina

    July 7, 2015

    I love it, Roni! Thank you for what you do and you support!

    Mary Nell

    July 7, 2015

    Reason number 124 that I love reading YOUR blog, Roni! I don’t blog for a lot of reasons and inevitably I lay claim to the commitment that it takes, but truthfully, it is probably much more of the hesitancy because of the judgment that comes when you share. Your transparency and ability to be candid but kind is amazing. Great response :).

    Heather@YSP

    July 7, 2015

    As someone who went to FitBloggin for the fifth time this year, maybe weighing more than ever, I want to thank you Roni for all you’ve done for ME. Without you and the support I get at the conference, I would have given up a long time ago. I wouldn’t have found my passion in yoga. I wouldn’t spend one weekend a year dancing and walking and liftin and sweating and stretching. I wouldn’t come away with renewed focus on MY goal, which isn’t about a scale or a pants size, but about living with joy.

    Now excuse me, I have to go wipe my eyes and get my sweaty yoga on.

    Eileen

    July 7, 2015

    I’m not sure I’m equipped to chime in (I’m not a health/fitness blogger and I’ve never attended any conference).

    I’ll say this. I come from a large family and have 4 sisters We range from very healthy weight and habits, to very heavy and bad habits. I probably sit in the middle, but toward the healthy end. Anyway, I was talking to one of my sisters (at the healthy/weight appropriate end of spectrum) about my Mom. She’s in her 80s, so she’s lived a long life, but she’s been dealing with issues related to her weight since she was in her 60s. She’s had knee issues (and replacements), she has adult onset diabetes. So in talking about our heaviest sister (now in her late 50s and with at least 1 knee issue) we talked about how our Mom’s health (and weight) has inspired us get our weight down (me) or never gain it (her).

    Perhaps the writer was blunt and very direct, but I think the question is generally, is there a point where you have to ask, even if you can do a 5k now, is your weight creating risk factors that have serious health implications? If you are obese, the answer is yes. As someone who lost my weight in my 40s and now am in the difficult maintain stage, I can say I have doubts that my 50-something sister can really make the changes necessary to avoid the path our Mom had. She was a Div I athlete and still does long bike tours each summer. But she’s extremely unhealthy.

    Obviously, anyone can chose not to read blogs/twitter/instagram and I whole-heartedly endorse that. I think the question is really about whether or not you (as a successful healthy person/blogger) reflect on those that blog in this arena, yet are still unhealthy. I think the comparison to a finance blogger is a fair one. If they go to a conference, would it be off limits to acknowledge that they should be making real financial progress in order to have credibility in that blogging arena?

    Don’t get me wrong, anyone can blog about anything for any reason — even if they don’t have an audience. It just struck me as a fair (if not blunt) question.

      roni

      July 7, 2015

      You bring up great points and I agree with everything you said but here’s the thing… It doesn’t matter. And I say that without trying to be mean or disrespectful. If I ran a weight loss program I’d see how it was relevant but I don’t. I’m running a conference (or was) for people who want to use social media to better themselves. That may mean losing weight or being inspired to run for the first time or trying avocados (all just examples). So while I agree that carrying too much weight can be detrimental to ones health it’s not my job to judge or shame them into losing it. Instead, I choose to try to inspire and create an environment where everyone feels welcome and not ashamed of themselves. I hope the byproduct of that is more motivation for folks to live healthier, blog about it and inspire others. Maybe all that will lead to weight loss, maybe it won’t.

      Eileen

      July 7, 2015

      Thanks for the reply. That makes sense when laid out like that.

    Chris

    July 7, 2015

    Hey “Martha,” — GFY.
    There’s no stopping the Effing Internet Trolls.

      Dana

      July 7, 2015

      Really?

    Bang

    July 7, 2015

    As someone who was fat-shamed by family from a very young age, I can tell you not a single pound was ever lost due to their “help”. It wasn’t until I tuned them out that I was able to pave my own way toward physical AND mental health, with great success. Thank you for creating a safe, healthy environment in Fitbloggin, where I’ve never been made to feel less-than.

    So much of fitness is what happens inside our heads. It’s not just walking the walk, it’s about the contemplation of the walk, the analysis of the walk, the strategizing and planning of future walks. Fitbloggin could be renamed FitNoggin — cause many of us go there to get our heads realigned when it comes to fitness or blogging.

    And just because some outside rcan’t see results doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been an evolution.

    Eric M.

    July 7, 2015

    I respect Roni’s response. I have never been to Fitbloggin and only know of it from the periphery, by viewing what people post on social media. The reason I connected with these people on social media is due to our shared interest/stories relating to fitness and weight loss.

    I think I see where Martha is coming from. As an outsider, I myself assume a lot about what Fitbloggin’ is. I could easily be shocked, as Martha is, to see those who are advocating for Weight Watchers while struggling with their weight posting more beer selfies than things related to Fitbloggin’.

    But with Roni’s response, I also see that it is a safe space and Martha’s perceptions are a bit skewed.

    But, what Martha wants Roni to do (unfairly I might add) is be personally responsible for individuals’ actions and representation of the conference. It’s not her responsibility to play food and fitness police. Her responsibility is plan a conference focusing on the goals of the conference and it is up to every attendee (and speakers, especially so) to step up and represent the conference. How they choose to do that is on them…not on the organizers.

    I have planned and participated in conferences before. In my field, we put too much stock on social media identity and talk alot about representing yourself well. But, it’s also a field that is high stress and attracts younger individuals, so we all do enjoy destressing over some adult beverages. BUT – while at that conference, it’s important to talk, tweet, share more about the conference than about my extra curriculars. That is MY responsibility – not the organization who planned it.

    But, ultimately, if there is a place where someone with weight issues or fitness challenges feels accepted and can take the step towards a better life…let’s keep it coming!

    Sasha

    July 7, 2015

    THANK YOU, Roni, for your great response, both in your post and in the comments. I was hesitant to come to FitBloggin’ for the first time this year because I wasn’t super fit, and my blog isn’t one of those amazing, thousands of people follow, content every day blogs. In fact, I had started easing away from blogging about my health journey because I felt like I would be shamed for not losing the lbs that I had set out to lose.

    I was so glad I went, though. I felt really supported, encouraged, and inspired. I felt like I learned a ton about how to better my little piece of the internet, and was reinspired by all of the work out sessions that encouraged people of all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels to get out there and move.

    I loved how accepting the conference was, and I can really relate with the idea that shaming only tears someone down, where as encouragement and support can inspire someone to do something.

    And it isn’t always weight loss. Sometimes its internal growth. Emotional growth. Sometimes its bravery to try something new or do something scary. There is so much more to “fitness” than weight, and I am learning that slowly.

    Anyway, I know that this is a super long comment, but I just wanted to say that FitBloggin’ has really made me feel encouraged in a way I haven’t felt in years, and to me, that is PRICELESS.

    Carol

    July 7, 2015

    Great response to “Martha”. I, for one, took 20 years of Weight Watchers to get to my goal weight. There weren’t blogs when I started, but when they became more popular, many blogs (including yours) really helped me to finally change my life and lose the weight. It didn’t matter to me if that blogger was actually losing weight or getting fit; it was more the community aspect of blogging that appealed to me and kept me focused on my goals.

    I’ve always wanted to attend Fitbloggin, even though I don’t personally blog. It just seems like such a great mix of people supporting each other.

    Dacia

    July 7, 2015

    What a wonderful response. It hurts my soul when people look at the conference and think that we aren’t ‘walking the walk’. Fitbloggin is probably the most accepting and welcoming place ever. Most, if not all, there focus on the person not the size. We are helping create a better world by being true to who we are and embracing what health looks like at every size. If I had children I would want them to know all of you personally because you all are wonderful examples of how to live life. I love it. I am sad she can’t see the blessing that is Fitbloggin. And it is all because of you. Thank you!

    Foodlove Girl

    July 7, 2015

    Great response to that email Roni. I have another response and it’s a quote from Theodore D. Roosevelt, it goes, “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat” -TDR

    I’d say to that woman, if you’re not in the ring, then you have no right to judge. The people she is judging are in the ring and choosing to fight. Can’t say fairer than that.

      Melissa (@TheDailyMel)

      July 7, 2015

      Wow, I *love* the quote you posted. I will definitely be printing that out and adding it to my inspiration board at home.

      DubyaWife

      July 7, 2015

      In the end, no one cares about the critic.

    Kathy

    July 7, 2015

    Hurrah, Roni! I completely agree with your defense of body size. At some level, I think blogs are for the writer as well, almost like a diary. I think that someone who is continually struggling to lose weight year after year is still worth reading, because, as you say, people are different, and I like to see what works and what doesn’t work for different people. Diaries are real life, not manufactured stories, and the plots in real life can be convoluted. Besides, the struggling part can sometimes be the most relatable.

    Martha, I do also understand where you’re coming from, though. The struggling part is relatable, but after reading for years, there’s a desire to see progress. Not just in a, “You better make this a good story, and good stories have good endings!” kind of way, but also in a, “I’ve been seeing you struggle for so long, and *I* have been struggling for so long, how come we *both* can’t make progress??” kind of self-reflected irritation (at least for me). I get it, but again, it’s real life.

    About just not reading: I, too, find it hard to unfollow blogs that have started to irritate me (not this one!). Especially if I’ve been reading for years, there’s a funny one-sided bond that develops. I feel like I “know” the blogger even if we’ve never exchanged words. Blogging is a funny medium in that way. The irritation is similar to the irritation I might feel for a close friend. In Martha’s example, if an intimate friend was in debt and yet continually went on frivolous shopping sprees, I would want to have a heart-to-heart with her about her behavior and see what I could do to help (especially if I had learned something about debt management in the meantime). So it can be hard to drop a blogger that is no longer inspiring… It’s a one-sided frustration, because you feel close and want to help, but the blogger does not feel equally close to you.

      roni

      July 7, 2015

      This does make sense to me (the unfollow thing.) And I don’t mean to negate feelings of the reader by saying to simply stop reading, I just don’t understand our fascination with tearing people down when we could just walk away. It’s take continuing to buy books from an author you hate or watch a genre of movie you despise. Why waste your time and energy? As the old adage says, if you have nothing nice to say….

    Meg

    July 7, 2015

    I knew your reply would kick butt and it did!!

    The audacity of this questioner to presume she knows how healthy someone is by LOOKING AT THEM! Technically speaking, “fitness” is comprised of 5 different components & only one really pertains to appearance!

    If she wants to look at ‘perfect’ fitness model bodies, then that’s her option. But to presume people who don’t have that physique are NOT inspirational or NOT living a healthy lifestyle is ignorant.
    It also kinda makes me sad.

    “I’d argue a 250-pound blogger sharing his or her story about finishing a 5k is TONS more inspirational than yet another super-fit model telling us how to get Michelle Obama’s arms or Kim Kardashian’s ass.”

    DAMN RIGHT!!!!!!

    Nicole

    July 7, 2015

    It sounds to me like Martha couldn’t come for whatever reason and she feels left out. How sad would the world be if there were certain size/weight parameters around who could attend a blogging conference? I loved the diversity there!

    Great response, Roni!

      Eileen

      July 7, 2015

      I didn’t see where they expected people to be excluded, just wondering how Roni felt about blogs that fall into the category they mentioned.

      roni

      July 7, 2015

      You’re right it’s getting blown out of proportion as things often do on the interwebz but this… “You don’t ever look at XXXXX and think, what the hell?” pretty much implies XXXXX doesn’t belong there. At least that’s how I took it. Like she/he doesn’t belong there because they are too fat.

    DubyaWife

    July 7, 2015

    1) I totally agree that Roni can’t control others who attend the conference. If Roni wanted Fitbloggin to be “successful” bloggers who have sustainably lost weight, good writers, and compensated for it then she should interview, vet them, and only allow certain people in.

    2) The description says “For bloggers interested in fitness, wellness, good food and a healthy lifestyle. Two days of education, networking, friendship and fun.” I don’t see anything about weight loss in there. So I never understand how people can see those who are overweight and then get mad cause they’re not a “weight losser.” Fitness, wellness comes in many different forms, imo. If I used to eat fast food, and now I blog about how I gave it up… does that make me a wellness blogger? Maybe. Maybe not. But Roni has never said Fitbloggin was for weight lossers, so I never understand that argument. There’s foodies, yoginis, even mommy bloggers that go to Fitbloggin.

    3) Martha’s message: We’ll never know her true intent. And I’m going to go in thinking that Martha is a nice person who genuinely wanted to start a conversation. Not troll. Troll to me is someone who posts “Omg you’re so fat, you should just kill yourself.” This was Martha’s opinion. And, honestly, I found it all over the place. Her basic question was “Does it bother you?” And Roni’s answer should have just been “Nope.” At least that’s what I would have responded. And just let it go. But let’s take a few of Martha’s points that seem… imo, misguided.
    a. “never actually getting “fit” or losing any weight.”
    Usage of the word never. Insinuates a finality and it’s a concrete thought which isn’t always true and therefore the argument is invalid.
    b. “You have a certain bunch of them who are all well over 250 pounds, some over 350, who have blogged for YEARS about losing weight and getting fit and have only gained weight — and lots of it — in the process. For every XXXXX, there seem to be four or five XXXXX and the whole gathering itself looks like a bunch of obese and flabby women carrying huge boxes of gigantic donuts and giggling about “fitness!” while eating junk for three days”
    Weight is not a measure of wellness of a person’s lifetime of fitness. In addition, 2-3 days is not a measure of a person’s life. “Flabby” is not a measurement of health.
    c. “The talks are about monetizing your blog and getting free merchandise rather than how to live a fit life in a fat world.”
    This is just plump false. For 5 years I’ve gone to Fitbloggin and haven’t sat in a single monetizing blog session. I go to the ones that talk about health, wellness, emotions, fat shaming, etc. etc. Cause that’s what I’m interested in.
    In addition, Martha’s statement here seems counter-productive to her argument. So fat/overweight/non-weight lossers shouldn’t blog, but yet they should be going to fitbloggin to learn “hot to live a fit life in a fat world”? Interesting.
    d. “year after year, these people do NOTHING to improve their health or fitness but keep using your conference to promote themselves and some useless products?”
    Again usage of a word – Nothing. Insinuates a finality and it’s a concrete thought which isn’t always true and therefore the argument is invalid.

    4) Another point and an interesting premise for me and something I don’t quite understand… why everyone is all butt-hurt about bloggers making money? If someone is making money on their blog, why do we care? I mean, shit, in Legally Blonde Brooke was selling her Brooke’s Butt-Buster workout and getting liposuction. And while that’s fiction, I’m sure shit like that happens every day. Friggin time share people sell stupid shit to dumb people all the time. There’s a dupe born every day (fucking Enron) and if companies/people are investing time and/or money bloggers who aren’t “successful” that’s on them, right? So if a person is overweight they’re not allowed to make money on their blog? People, there’s people out there selling their pubic hairs! Can we please find something else more interesting to be butt-hurt about!?!

    5) So then we come to the “opinion” part… The reason Roni’s answer of “don’t read it” irks people is cause it makes them feel like we can’t have an opinion. Or that the opinion is invalid. Or that [gasp] it may be wrong. Honestly I get tired of opinions being thrown around willy nilly and then when they’re challenged the next logical step is to say “I’m entitled to my opinion!” Yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion – quit saying it, we get it. Yes, I can think someone’s opinion is crap. Yes, they can think my opinion of their opinion is crap. And the two can go back and forth throwing crap at each other and get fucking nowhere.

    6) It’s so easy to pass judgment. We see a snippet of people’s lives… usually the highlights and boom, we’ve labeled, categorized, and judged. “If someone’s fat, it must be cause they don’t take care of themselves.” Sigh. I’m so sick and tired of hearing that I could scream. We’re quick to judge, and slow to compassion.

    7) I go into most conversations with an end goal in mind. For many people I realize that if I try to initiate a conversation the end goal will be nothing but tears, anger, and a bunch of time wasted on the internet when I could have been doing something useful… like binge watching Bob’s Burgers. So then, I don’t initiate. Upon occasion, I’ll have meaningful convos that really do make me think, organize my thoughts, or educate. But reality is we don’t like being told by others that we’re wrong. So Martha certainly isn’t going to convince Roni of that, Roni isn’t going to convince Martha, and the rest of the community will band together to their respective “we right, you’re wrong” corners like they always do. It’d old, I’m over it.

    8) Reality is it boils down to something very very very very very simple: The internet is the absolute worst way to communicate opinions.

    Missy

    July 7, 2015

    Thank you. That was an excellent answer to a rather rude question, full of assumption. There are several facets to health and fitness, and nobody will be perfect all the time. If I do a hardcore boot camp class in the morning, and then eat 2 donuts for breakfast, I’m not going to lose weight, no, but that doesn’t necessarily negate all the benefits of the exercise. I am not a member of your community, but I do blog my own journey for accountability and to share with prospective readers who are on that same journey. I certainly sabotage myself occasionally – and I write about it, because other people on that journey do the same thing, and commiserating helps shake a funk. I’m not going to give up blogging any more than I’m going to give up those morning boot camp classes – they both help me in different ways.
    Thanks again – excellent answer, excellent blog.

    Nancy

    July 7, 2015

    What an awesome response, Roni! To Martha I would say just what you did: rather than focus on those bloggers who you think aren’t doing it right or fair or whatever, find those that are in sync with your thinking, your situation, and offer you the motivation that works for you. Let people be. Everyone finds their own path on their own timeline, and it is always easier to do without being heckled from the sidelines. Also, you need to remember that in any blog you read, you only see what the blogger wants you to see. As readers, we are only privy to what they choose to share. We really have no idea of all the struggles, emotions, or situations that may be shaping their lives. And really, in the end, who are we to judge anyway?

    Lorie

    July 7, 2015

    I used to blog years ago about my own personal weight loss journey which has been a roller coaster. I have been overweight my entire life. I met many great people through blogging and some I even call friends still today. When I am struggling, these are the people I seek out, the blogs, the instagram pages, the facebook pages. I follow them all still today. At the end of the day I am human and I have fallen off the wagon more than anyone probably ever could. I like having human people I can relate to. It has been my experience in life that someone who thinks and says the things that Martha does is probably someone who has never really truly been fat. You can sit there all day and call someone morbidly obese and say they lose the same 10 lbs and gain it back but at least that person is brave enough to share and inspire someone like me. SO to all of you fitbloggers….keep on keeping on. ALL OF YOU inspire me daily especially when you fall because you seem to always get back up again. As for Martha, stop reading blogs that don’t inspire you. Go find something more your speed like a blog on how to be a judgmental a$$hole.

      Sherri D

      July 8, 2015

      I had a lot of mixed feelings about this thread. I have a blog. I wrote on it a lot for the first two years of my weight loss journey. I used to read other weight loss blogs for inspiration. I would become disappointed when a blogger gained their weight back. How could they let ME down, that way?

      Then I started gaining back some of the 100+ pounds I had lost. I started to blog less and less. I figured since I could not be a positive role model that kept my weight off, no one would want to read my blog anymore. Truth is, I probably had only a dozen regular readers and now might have one or two.

      Roni, you are so much younger than I am, but I am still inspired by you. Your saying of wycwyc has helped me a LOT over this past year. I might not be back down to where I was but I am not back up to where I was, four years ago either. I might not be exercising as hard or food journaling like maybe I should, but I AM teaching yoga classes now. I am also doing some strength training. I continue to eat healthier than I ever did, and I LIKE it.

      In time, I think I will find my sweet spot (and I don’t mean sugar) of being as healthy and fit as I can be and still not have it overwhelm my life. I do not want to be a fitness guru or the perfect healthy eater who tracks every speck of food that goes into my mouth.

      I just want to be normal. I want to live life healthier than I was. (having been obese all my life) I want to have a healthier life as I go into my senior years. (almost 61 years old now) I do, not only WHAT I can, but I do what I can keep on doing, every day, for the rest of my life. wycwyc…..it is better than not doing anything.

      Martha just is a putz. You answered her well. I don’t know if I could have done so.

    Bonnie

    July 7, 2015

    I have been reading your blog for maybe 6 months, I have been 250 plus for years now. I diet every Monday by Wednesday I give because I ate something bad so why bother? For whatever reason what you write clicks with me, I am looking at life from your point now (I think). Today worked sucked I got scratched in the face by a resident and screamed at by others and stepped in urine (all in a days work), I came home drank 2 diet Mt. Dews and then dinner with the family. By now I would be saying WTF and give up, instead I loved my soda not gonna lie and then the Hubs and I took the dog for a 2 mile walk again.

    My point is some will always disagree with anything people say, I for one am happy to found your blog.

    Regards Bon

    Maria

    July 8, 2015

    Great response! Everyone struggles, no one is perfect and we all go through cycles where our focus changes. Doesn’t mean we won’t get back to it, but that’s life-trying to improve, trying to find balance. If it were easy, there would be no need for blogs, diets, medications etc…

    Amy SP

    July 8, 2015

    This post struck me so hard. I started my blog three years ago in advance of attending Fitbloggin’ 2012 and in the three years I’ve been faithfully blogging about my journey, I have repeated the cycle over and over. Clean up my eating, lose a few pounds, start falling lax, lather, rinse and repeat. I have found myself judging myself in the same terms “Martha” here does…how can I call myself a runner, healthy, go to fitness classes and then muck everything all up with lousy food choices that keep me overweight. I read your post this morning and then clicked on a link to what happened to Rachel Taylor at Old Navy right after. The commentary on her post brought me back to what “Martha” said here and what I realized is that I judge myself in these same black and white terms. I feel like a failure when the scale jumps up even though I’m more active than I have ever been. I’m currently only 1.5 lbs down from where I was the day (ironically three years ago yesterday) when I started my blog. I could blow up your comment box here with my complicated feelings about it but rather I will link to my blog post about it. I think that your honest, real and true embracing of fitness and health where each of us are in our journey is why you have such a strong following. Thank you for creating a community where movement forward is celebrated, not judged.

    https://mostlyforward.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/weigh-in-wednesday-walking-the-walk/

    Amy

    Mehgann

    July 8, 2015

    I think a really important point has been missed here. How many of these people who are still overweight or obese after all of these years of blogging about fitness would be even MORE overweight or obese had they NOT blogged? Sometimes, it’s about learning not to do more damage. For some people, it’s about learning how to maintain a weight, even if it’s not an ideal one. And for SOME people, it’s about overcoming anorexia or bulimia or some other eating disorder, and how they look is not reflective of their actual health. There is an awful lot of judgey going on here, without a whole lot of intel on the background.

      roni

      July 8, 2015

      YES!!! Progress is progress!

    Karen P

    July 12, 2015

    Roni, have you thought about putting or stating the HAES goal or culture in Fitblogging? I think that would help others understand what Fiblogging is all about, including the social media, blogging, branding.

    I updated my own header on my blog to better reflect my goals, in hopes my readers will not waste time if abstaining from certain foods (grains/sugars) is not their cup of tea.

    Oh, ps AWESOME periscopes with your Crossfit stuff. Whoa!!! So strong. You GO! Karen P

      roni

      July 12, 2015

      I think I explained it best in our header already: “For bloggers interested in fitness, wellness, good food and a healthy lifestyle. Two days of education, networking, friendship and fun.”

      That says it all. Why does body size even need to come into play? Seriously asking… wouldn’t it be great if we could just promote healthy lifestyle and stop talking about body size all the time.

      And thanks on the CrossFit compliment. I’ve been feeling like a beast lately <-- And I say that confidently and a positive thing. :)

    Kaye

    July 14, 2015

    Roni…What a GREAT response…I’ve read it several times and every time I get something new out of it.
    I especially like your comments on change…how change is only possible if people feel like they are part of a healthy, positive, uplifting, supporting community. THAT IS SO TRUE.
    One of my favorite mantras is … fall down seven times, get up eight. It really is all about progress, not perfection.
    I’ve never been to your conference, but I wouldn’t EXPECT everyone to look perfect…we are all on different journeys to that personal definition of healthy.
    Thank you again for voicing a great response to a tough comment.
    Kaye