Jan 7, 2011

How Roni Changed My Life

On August 27th, 2009 I fired up iTunes and searched for a podcast on weight loss. I wanted something small, with little production, and no loud-mouthed fitness coach yelling at me. I wanted a personal story of someone who had been there, changed their life, and had reached out to tell the tale.

I found Roni (pronounced like "Ronnie"). After downloading an episode, popping in my ear buds, and setting about doing dishes at work, the first thing I heard was a relatively low-quality mic in an empty-sounding room, and a very friendly voice: “Hi guys! It’s me, Roni.” She answered a few listener questions that were fairly straight-forward, and then got down and dirty with a question about how to “love yourself.” I thought, “This is it. This is for me.”

I soon learned the basic story of Roni: after having a baby she lost 70 pounds on Weigh Watchers. As I listened and re-listened to episodes, I also learned the heart of the story: upon becoming a mother and realizing that her life was so much bigger than a number on a scale, she learned that she had the ability to make her life into whatever she wanted it to be.

Roni has transformed her body and mind, blogged, podcasted, run, tweeted, shared her own recipes, and used her genuine enthusiasm to inspire thousands of readers, watchers, and listeners. She now works full time from home doing all of these things, planning her annual FitBloggin conference, and taking advantage of amazing opportunities like being a spokesperson for Weight Watchers Ice Cream. With all this going on, I am amazed when I email her a recipe suggestion, and she responds within a few hours.

In addition to her many jobs, Roni is an awesome mother. She has an amazing relationship with her 5 year old son, and they cook together regularly. He eats an amazing assortment of food for his age, and can probably identify more vegetables than the average 30 year old American.

I have waited a long time to write a blog post about Roni, and I think I know why. She is such a huge part of what I have done for myself, of how I think about food and guilt and life, that to tell anyone about her is almost like admitting I’ve been cheating. I didn’t come up with this all by myself. These concepts that I have of my “diet” being defined as the food that fuels my body… that there is no “on plan or off plan”… and that some days I’m just going to want pizza, beer, and cookies… these concepts are all Roni’s.

While Roni discourages her readers from saying that they want to be like her, I can truly say that when I began this journey, if I hadn’t had someone like her to look towards town the long, long tunnel that I felt was before me, I don’t know that I could’ve walked through it. I knew that she—or more accurately, a version of me that was a little more like her—was on the other side, waiting for me. What I didn’t realize at the beginning though was that that tunnel wasn’t a journey of weight loss, because I came out the other side of it about 30 pounds ago, and I still have pounds that I will lose. That tunnel was the journey that my mind had to go through, and these days the old me and new me walk as one, continuing to love and be inspired by Roni. 


Deanna - The Unnatural Mother said...

Well said! It's great to have someone like Roni in your corner, she has helped me tremendously with weight loss and blogging, love her too!!!

MamaTwana said...

She is amazing! And good job on your journey! I have been folliwing her since she was 45 lbs down... Keep up the good work :)

Mary said...

Wow Laura! I'm so glad that I'm not the only person who thinks the world of Roni. Isn't if funny how you can consider somebody you never met a very good friend and inspiration? I'm looking forward to following your blog as well and being motivated and inspired by your journey. Thanks for sharing and Happy Friday! :)

lexy said...

Great post and I couldn't agree more! I've been following her since about 2007-ish if I remember correctly! She is so cool! :) My husband even knows her name and frequently hears me say.... "Well Roni tried this, or Roni says, etc" Haha!!

Mo said...

Roni is the best! Down to earth, honest, refreshing...one of my favorite bloggers! I'm looking forward to the birth of her second child almost as much as she is since she'll be starting the new WW points+ plan soon after.
Good luck to you!

Stacey said...

I love Roni too! I have been following her for a few years as well, and although I've never met her, I frequently refer to her as "my friend Roni". She's been such an inspiration to me. I've been maintaining a 40lb weight loss for 3 years now, and I couldn't have done it without her.

darnfitness said...

True! Even my family knows her name, and never ever seen the actual website! She inspired me to run a 5K, a 6K and somehow know I'm thinking about a 10K.
There is a lot of fitness bloggers out there, but Roni focuses so much in the actual journey. Many many times I have thought "Oh, I supposed I was the only one feeling like that!" while listening to her podcasts. And you instantly feel not-such-a-failure anymore. You know, the "funks".

It had been a 2 year journey for me, and now that I'm actually very close to my goal, I also feel that she has played a huge role in it.

Even as I will probably never meet her.

*note*: funny how I instantly read "Hey guys! It's me, Roni!" in her voice :D

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