Weight loss blogging has become increasingly popular. And why not? Sharing your journey in a public setting helps build camaraderie with like-minded people, gives you a place to express yourself and, most importantly, helps you stay accountable when it comes to your weight loss goals.
But in 2005, blogging in general was not nearly as popular. So when web designer and teacher Roni Noone decided to start a simple blog to talk about her family and weight loss, she never dreamed she would become one of the most successful, popular bloggers in the world and create a network that impacts so many others.
“I was kinda anti-blog at the beginning,” said Roni – adding that she hand-coded the very first version of her blog herself. “It was really humble beginnings, but it’s really grown.”
It certainly has grown. Her original blog, Weight Watchin’ (now Roni’s Weigh), gained serious traction in 2009 when CNN picked up her incredible 71-pound weight loss story.
Eight years later, Roni’s name and influence in weight loss and wellness blogging is synonymous with 24 Hour Fitness and exercise. You can’t join a gym without at least hearing about 24 Hour Fitness, and you can’t become a weight loss blogger or reader without encountering Roni. Roni was truly born to blog. She loves it because it’s interactive and gives her the opportunity to not only write, but also connect with others every single day. Roni founded and manages four websites dedicated to weight loss, healthy living and gaining confidence. On these sites, Roni shares her personal journey towards finding self-confidence and helps others endeavor on their own.
Roni’s Weigh – Often referred to as, “the blog that started it all,” this is the original where Roni shared her experience having a baby and her path from obese to skinny to confident. She continues to blog here often, sharing weigh-ins, information and her personal musings.
GreenLiteBites – Here, Roni shares healthy recipes that she creates and eats. For example, recipes like her Spicy Noodle Bowl with Peanuts and Cilantro out a healthy (and quite delicious) spin on traditional recipes. She also published her blog into a cookbook, GreenLiteBites, in 2011.
FitBloggin’ – Roni’s mission for FitBloggin’ is simple: to bring together the community of health-conscious bloggers for education, networking and friendship. It’s a conference for weight loss, fitness and wellness bloggers where they can get together and learn about blogging, plus make great connections with other like-minded bloggers.
BlogToLose – Roni’s way of encouraging others to join in on the blogging for weight loss movement, BlogToLose is a community of over 5,000 bloggers. The website gives them a place to share their experiences, stay accountable and build relationships with others on a similar journey.
Roni doesn’t believe that there’s any one perfect fix for everyone. Instead, she advocates for enjoying things in moderation and making conscious decisions to get moving.
Most importantly, Roni’s mission with all her sites is to spread a message that often comes up for Roni herself: it’s all about confidence.
“I’ve learned that a lot of my struggles with weight and fitness come down to confidence,” said Roni.
To deal with the issue, Roni encourages people to constantly push themselves out of their comfort zone.
“Sign up for a race, wear clothes that you think don’t fit, try new foods,” Roni urges. “Get out of your self-hating body image. Trying new things is really the thread, and it’s really empowering.”
Roni believes that confidence is learned through a cycle: the more you try new things, the more confidence you get and the more you’ll continue to try new things.
“Don’t just focus on the number on the scale,” she said. “If you’re only focusing on the number on the scale, you’re missing the point. You’re not building the lifestyle.”
Roni’s mission to spread the message of gaining confidence has resonated with many over the years. For example, one fan wrote her a heartfelt poem expressing gratification for Roni’s willingness to share her own journey.
“I don’t really think of doing this for others; I’m writing for me,” said Roni. “But people relate and it’s awesome. It’s humbling.”
Roni believes that health and wellness blogging in general has played a key role in impacting the way people think about weight loss.
“Long gone are the days of losing 10 pounds to fit in a dress,” she said. “The idea that it’s a lifestyle change is becoming more and more mainstream.”
To make that lifestyle change, Roni wants people to understand that small changes really do add up.
“People think they have to wake up tomorrow and do a complete overhaul, when really all they have to do is make slightly better decisions than they did the day before,” she said.
And building confidence by stepping outside your comfort zone is key.
“You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Roni said.