UPDATE 11/20/14: #WYCWYC is going to print! The What You Can When You Can book, by Carla Birnberg and Roni Noone, will hit bookstores in April 2015! You can get your first preview of the WYCWYC book here.
I’ll exercise tomorrow. I’ll start running when it’s not so cold outside. I’ll diet when this chocolate cake is gone. I know I’ve personally uttered every one of these excuses and I’m probably not alone. Fitbloggin’ founder Roni Noone wants to take away the excuses and show people that living healthier lives doesn’t have to be a monumental commitment of time, money and energy. She encourages people to do what you can when you can (#WYCWYC). Now, her hashtag campaign, nay, challenge, has gone viral.
As a mother with two young sons, Roni knows all about the cycle of yo-yo dieting and “waiting until everything is perfect” to start an exercise program. She credits the what-you-can-when-you-can mantra for helping her achieve and sustain a significant weight loss over the last eight years. As a self-described “social media fanatic,” she was inspired by other hashtag challenges including #plankaday #yogaaday and #running.
“I love the idea of using social media to inspire,” she explained. “I truly believe that when we share positive, motivating and inspirational things, it helps spur more positive, motivating and inspirational things.” A few weeks ago, the #WYCWYC Challenge was born.
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Throughout the week of October 7-12 there have been quite a few bloggers exposing themselves online. Before your mind wanders to any dark places, let me clarify exactly what exposing means in this case. I’m talking about the Exposed Movement, which was started by a blogger named Mish back in 2009. Mish got the idea for the Exposed Movement after deciding that she was tired of hating the way she looked and wanted to instead celebrate her body and all that it has done for her. She forced herself to see her own body in a different light and focused on its strengths rather than scrutinizing every little imperfection.
What happened next was a revolution of sorts. Men and women started coming out of the woodwork to take part in the Exposed Movement. One by one bloggers began posting photos of themselves at their most vulnerable (which was often in a bikini or underwear) in order to put it all out there. Rather than focusing on their flaws, each blogger wrote about what they love and appreciate about their own body. Here’s a few of the bloggers that took part in the movement in 2009, 2010 and again in 2013.
Carla, Miz Fit Online
Prior to taking part in the Exposed Movement in 2009, Carla had a little hesitation about how others would view her body. She feared that many would view her as “already fit” and it may lessen the impact of her appreciation for what her body can do. By exposing herself Carla focused on what she is most thankful for in regards to her body, which includes her eyes, brain, legs and overall health. She learned that if she gives her body the nourishment it wants, it will be good to her in return.
Four years later, Carla is very much the same person but admits that she is older and wiser. By revisiting the movement four years later she was reminded that yes, she wants to be an active mom who stays fit and healthy – but her most important and exposing traits are in her words.
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My lunch on Friday, June 28 was the best I’ve had in a while. A roasted chicken sandwich with a basil aioli, lots of fresh veggies, and a table surrounded by new and old friends – it was exactly what high noon at Fitbloggin’ is supposed to look like. I was three meals in to this year’s conference when I could whole-heartedly say it was the best food that had ever been served at this event. And then, the noon hour entertainment pushed beyond anything we’ve seen at Fitbloggin’ before.
I’d seen a fashion show on the schedule and admittedly balked. By the time the third person stepped on to the catwalk I was fighting back tears. I tweeted out that what was happening in that room was redefining strength and beauty. Organized by Emily Ho Sandford, women of every body shape and size graced the stage to rousing applause, often bearing nothing more than a bra and workout pants. They donned wares by Handful, Enell, and Reebok and showed that what was on the outside hardly defined what was on the inside.
If that fashion show didn’t set the tone for the weekend, I don’t know what would have.
It was the conference’s fourth year and proudly our fourth to be involved. This year, a special scavenger hunt with a hot prize awaited the more than 200 attendees. Every goodie bag had one of our token blue cowbells stuffed inside. But hidden around the conference center were five golden cowbells earning the recipient a seat at an upcoming Google+ Hangout with Biggest Loser’s Dolvett Quince. One winner announced she’d have to leave her husband, another was on the verge of tears, and all seemed to be on the cusp of exciting new detective careers!
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Roni Noone is one of our favorite healthy bloggers and for good reason. More than eight years ago she lost 70 pounds and still boasts a lean, strong body today despite two kids, plenty of diet blunders and a hectic schedule. The best part about it? She’s just an everyday mom being real, trying to stay healthy and inspiring others to do the same. If you’ve never met Roni, prepare to be inspired.
Roni’s weight struggles began around age 12 when she saw a photograph of herself and didn’t like what she saw. “That’s when I started obsessing over becoming thinner – skipping lunch and trying not to eat much at home,” she said. “I starting the yo-yo cycle of deprivation and binging, and I did that throughout high school.”
Though it helped her maintain a “healthy weight” through her teens, the cycle of binging and starving did her more harm later on in college. By the time she graduated she weighed 210 pounds, and the struggle didn’t stop there.
After college when the low carb craze was all the rage, Roni hopped on the band wagon and cut out nearly all carbs from her diet. Though it helped her lose weight initially, she inevitably gained it all back. To make matters worse, she and her husband were hoping to start a family soon, so reaching a healthy weight became critical.
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A diet is never easy, that’s why we have an entire website dedicated to helping you tackle the pesky four letter word. So rejoice, frustrated dieters, for recent trends suggest you don’t have to lose your sanity or money trying to tackle your weight loss goals. In fact, a study by the Annals of Internal Medicine found that financial incentives were a significant tool for getting people to lose weight.
The science is fairly simple: out of the three dieting control groups they tested, the two that had the potential for monetary rewards fared better than the group with none. The control group that lost the most weight was the one that stood to make even more money if their fellow dieting teammates failed to meet weight loss goals. It’s no shocker that Americans will do just about anything to make a buck, and this study is all well and good for the few lucky people chosen, but how does it affect you?
There are legitimate and reputable websites dedicated to a phenomenon called “weight loss betting.” It’s a lot like betting on a horse race, except the betters are the horses and they control the outcome. Better yet, it’s legal, and you have the capacity to gain money while you lose weight.
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