Roni Noone’s weight loss journey has inspired many via her blogging. She is the author of Just Roni (formerly Roni’s Weigh), a great blog highlighting her weight loss journey and her life, as well as the popular recipe blog GreenLiteBites.
Roni began Weight Watchers following the birth of her first son and after years of yo-yo dieting. Her first experience blogging began with her page “Weight Watchen.” She then authored a recipe blog, GreenLiteBites, which continues to be very popular. She then went on to organize the blog community, “Blog to Lose,” and the yearly conference “Fitbloggin.”
Weight Watchen evolved into her blog about her weight loss saga-Roni’s Weigh. Recently, she changed the name to “Just Roni” to better represent the broad scope of the blog.
Also, check out her delicious recipe for Zucchini and Spaghetti Squash Lasagna, worth only 1 Points+, after the interview.
First of all, how do you do it all?! On your site, you state that you are “a mom, wife, web publisher and overall geek.” Obviously, your blog is pretty busy too! How do you find time to exercise, cook and have downtime to yourself?
“It’s so funny. I never really realize how much I do until someone points it out. I thrive off being busy and find I’m happier when I am. That being said, my whole philosophy is based on doing what I can when I can. I may return a few emails in the morning before the kids wake up, write a blog post during nap, sneak a conference call during a walk. I even get my social media time in while watching TV. I cook when I can, work out when I can, even write when I can. For me it’s all about being flexible and taking advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. It also doesn’t hurt having a supportive husband and a home office.”
This kind of goes with the first question, but it seems that many people do lots of crash diets and lose weight but don’t keep it off. They also don’t exercise to go with the dieting, often due to such a busy schedule. You are clearly busy too, so how do you incorporate healthy eating and exercise into your schedule? Did you have to cut certain activities to make it work?
“Well I first have to confess that I wasn’t always an exerciser. Actually, when I lost my initial weight I didn’t do any formal workouts. I didn’t even have a gym membership! It was the first time in my life I approached weight loss from the concept that if it was going to work it had to be on my terms and at that time I hated exercise. So I focused on portion control, food journaling, simply moving more.
Now I’m exercise obsessed but it took years for me to figure out what worked for me and now I want to find the time. It’s not a punishment. I actually look forward to it.
All of that being said, yes, something has to give. It all comes down to what you prioritize.
My house is a mess and I don’t get nearly as much sleep as I should so yes, compromises have to be made but again, it comes down to priorities. On the top of my list is spending time with my family, feeding them and myself as healthy as possible, getting some kind of activity in and getting my work done. Using the “busy” excuse doesn’t fly with me. Everyone is busy. Have you met someone who isn’t? We all make choices and we have to own those choices. Instead of saying you are too busy to eat healthy or exercis try to reframe it as ‘Eating healthy and exercising is not a priority for me.’ That helps put things in perspective.”
So, you began Weight Watchers after your pregnancy? Did you also have weight struggles before or did they come up mostly after having a baby and all the busyness involved in that?
“I have always struggled with my weight. Dieting from about the age of 12 and consistently gaining more and more weight through high school and college. I call my teens and 20s the yo-yo dieting cycle of hell years. I was only ever in 1 of 2 states: gaining or losing.”
Why did you choose to do Weight Watchers rather than the many diets that promise quick weight loss?
“After I had my son I wanted the cycle to stop. I was so tired of gaining and losing, hating myself and my body, it had to end. I didn’t want to be the mom who didn’t do things with her kids because she was self-conscious. I chose Weight Watchers because I knew I would learn how to eat. I took my meeting seriously, like a class, and for the first time I made changing myself and my lifestyle the priority instead of losing the weight.”
Do you have any favorite Weight Watchers recipe or favorite healthy recipe in general?
“One of my favorite recipes is Zucchini and Spaghetti Squash “Lasagna”. I came up with the idea in 2007 and it’s still my favorite way to make Spaghetti Squash. LINK: http://greenlitebites.com/2007/12/16/zucchini-and-spaghetti-squash-lasagna/”
How did your blog Weight Watchen evolve into Roni’s Weigh/Just Roni?
“Everything I’ve done online has really grown organically. When I first started blogging I had no aspirations to become a full time blogger or own my own business. I just created a “page” called “Roni’s Weight Watchen Page” where I was going to post weekly about my weigh ins. Well, before I knew it I was posting daily, a couple of years later I launched GreenLiteBites for my food ventures and now even I blog travel at TheUnworldlyTravelers.com. I just do what feels right at the time and go with it.”
I know you tell a bit about this on your blog, but I was wondering about your dramatic transformation. What was the key? I saw some photos of you peeling away the layers & showing off your transformed body and you look amazing! You went from looking like an average, slightly plump American woman to looking pretty hot. How would you encourage others who want such a transformation but are discouraged by the lack of quick results?
“Hot? I beg to differ and that brings me to my first piece of advice. Everyone is going to see you the way they want to see you. You have no control over it. Recently I had comments telling me I looked better before I lost the weight! It’s those experiences that remind me the only person I have to make happy is myself. And that leads to my second piece of advice: you have to work at being happy first. Don’t focus on the scale or what size you want to be in. Focus on making small changes daily that you are willing to live with for the rest of your life. Because regardless if you ever lose the weight and get the results you desire, if you didn’t accomplish it in a way that sustainable long term then you will just end up regaining and reliving the cycle. Work on you. Love the body you are in now. Live the life you want to live NOW not when you lose the weight.”
How difficult was it to get in shape when you began your weight loss journey? What are your favorite activities to stay fit now?
“As I said, working out was not something I enjoyed in the beginning. I just wasn’t an exerciser so I took walks. I focused on simply moving more. About a year after I lost the weight I joined a gym and actually started to enjoy classes. Then a friend challenged me to run a 5k and I fell in love with crossing the finish line. It gave me such a sense of accomplishment. Now I am slightly obsessed with CrossFit. I’m constantly trying to do new things and challenging myself. That’s what motivates me. You can see my entire journey from non-exerciser to where I am today on this page. LINK: http://ronisweigh.com/event-recaps”
You also blog a lot about your family. Now that you are a mom, what do you do to encourage healthy values in your sons?
“I try to teach by example more than anything. I want them to see me as a confident woman who’s not afraid to work for what she wants. I want them to see me enjoying life and making time to do things that are important to me.”
What have been your greatest obstacles to losing weight and now to keeping the weight off? How do you overcome these?
“My greatest obstacle was getting out of my own way. I’m a self-sabotager.”
Do you have any final encouragement or advice for readers who are trying hard to lose weight and get healthy?
“Don’t give up on yourself, start small and know that you will never be perfect. Your diet, your body, or you. I really thought that once I lost the weight everything would be and it wasn’t. I was the same girl with the same insecurities just a few sizes smaller. I had to learn to love me at any size and live the life I wanted regardless of what the scale said. That, to me, is the hardest part of the journey.”
Zucchini and Spaghetti Squash Lasagna:
- About 2 cups Homemade sauce (or your favorite red sauce)
- 1 medium zucchini thinly sliced (I used the slice setting on my cheese grater)
- About 2-2 ½ cups cooked spaghetti squash
- ½ cup fat free ricotta cheese
- 3 oz fancy shredded mozzarella cheese
- Ground pepper
- Dried parsley flakes
Directions (for full directions with images click here)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a casserole dish, smear a little of the sauce on the bottom to prevent sticking then begin layering zucchini, top with a bit of squash, dab on ricotta (I crumpled the best I can to cover the area), sprinkle with a bit of the shredded cheese, add some sauce repeat until you are out of ingredients.
Repeat the layering until you are out of ingredients. Be sure the save a bit of mozzarella cheese for the top. If you use fancy shredded cheese it tends to go a bit further.
Sprinkle the top with some ground pepper and dried parsley. Bake uncovered for at about 45 minutes until zucchini is tender.
During the baking process there will be a lot of water, no pasta to soak it up. About every 10-15 minutes use a turkey baster to remove some excess water.
This recipe it even better double baked! You can easily make it ahead and then pop it back in the oven. Just like traditional lasagna, it’s better the next day!
Entire recipe makes 6 servings.
Serving size is 1/6 of the lasagna
Each serving is only 1 Points +
Per Serving: 100 calories, 2g fat; 7g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 4g protein