Margo Donohue launched Brooklyn Fit Chick in 2012, but her wellness journey started in 2002 when she kicked her smoking habit and decided to wholly devote herself to a healthier lifestyle.
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“It was never about weight loss for me but more about gaining endurance and increasing my lung capacity, which had been compromised from years of cigarettes,” she says. “I used to get winded climbing stairs and now I teach 10 spin classes per week—who knew?”
Donohue shares everything from playlists (“Music is a huge motivator for me,” she says) to favorite health and fitness articles to “cheesy” workout DVDs. She also reviews top wellness magazines like Women’s Health, Shape, and Self each month—a reader favorite. “My main is goal is to be both fun and informative,” Donohue says. “If I can make you smile, learn something, find a cool new band, or inspire you to get to the gym that day, my work is done.”
Lorrie Fenn started Token Fat Girl shortly after moving to New York City in 2006. “Walking down the streets of Manhattan looking for a job wasn’t easy as a 315 pound woman,” she says. Fenn joined a gym and shed 50 pounds effortlessly, but two years later she moved with her husband to rural Virginia and the weight she lost found its way back.
“Now I’m working on becoming the former token fat girl by eating clean foods and breaking the habit of eating outside hunger.”
In addition to posting daily food diaries and new recipes, Fenn writes candidly about the trials she faces as an obese woman. “I haven’t let my weight stop me from looking my best or leading a full and successful life,” she says. “I want other women to know that you can have a loving husband, awesome career, and amazing outfits right now. If someone leaves my blog with hope, that’s really it for me. I want people to see somebody who hasn’t given up.”
Diane Carbonell was morbidly obese for 10 years. Having reached 305 pounds, she couldn’t fit into regular chairs and had difficulty walking. “At that point I knew that if I didn’t make a change immediately, I could end up housebound or miss out on seeing my children grow up,” she says. In 14 months she dropped 158 pounds—and has kept it off for 14 years.
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Fit to the Finish documents her journey into health but also delves even deeper into how she’s maintained the weight loss. “When you reach your goal weight, your journey has just begun,” she says. Her posts alternate between weight loss, weight maintenance, cooking, exercise, and stories about her life. She also shares newsworthy weight loss stories, studies, and statistics that could help her readers.
“My hope is that Fit to the Finish readers will leave inspired to successfully move through their own weight loss journey,” says Carbonell. “I also want them to engage with other readers, to cheer each other on in their successes and encourage each other when times get hard.”
“For women like me, who have had a lifelong struggle with weight, it’s a long road to change,” says Michelle Arteaga. Since 2007 she’s chronicled her weight loss and fitness journey on her blog, Diary of an Aspiring Loser, where she posts about eating healthy, working out, race training and results, as well as the emotional side of weight loss, exercise, and weight maintenance.
“I hope it’s encouraging to see me eat cheese puffs and not fall off the wagon, or get out there and run despite carrying an extra 50 pounds,” she says. “Sure, I get down on myself, but mostly I try to see the positive and keep focused on what’s going right.” Arteaga is not only inspiring (she’s now competing in triathalons!), but she’s also super relatable.
Juggling two little ones, a husband, a full time job, and a household makes her fitness feats and upbeat attitude even more empowering. “It’s not always easy to make exercise a priority but I try to remember that just as much as I am doing this for me, I am doing this for them.”
Josie Maurer started Yum Yucky in early 2009 to share her passion for good food and fitness—and to show that sometimes the two can live in harmony. “I’m human. And sometimes I want to be greedy and chomp on an extra large slice of cake,,” says Maurer, who shares taste tests, workouts, and quick and healthy recipes in addition to documenting the battle to keep her “health-hater” husband (her words, not ours!) and their four children, ages 3 to 18, eating well.
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“I keep the tone of the blog very lighthearted because trying to eat right and stay fit can put a lot of pressure on a person,” she says. “If you can learn to laugh through your journey, it relieves some of the stress and can help you stay more in control. I want readers to leave my blog informed, inspired, and a little bit giggly.”
Roni Noone didn’t start blogging with weight loss in mind. “I had created a family blog where I was already expressing myself and then I started to share my weigh-in results,” she says. “I made a decision that no matter what—gain or loss—I’d commit to blogging on weigh-in days. It gave me something to focus on besides the scale and it also gave me an outlet to release the thoughts that would normally sabotage my results.”
Within months Noone launched another blog specifically devoted to weight loss, which would eventually become Roni’s Weigh. “I started to use the blog to share ideas and tips that were helping me succeed and I realized it was easy to stay motivated when I was motivating others,” she says. Noone continues to inspire sharing posts about her family, healthy food, workouts, and finding balance she needs to maintain her weight loss.
For all of Noone’s tasty recipes, visit her second blog Green Lite Bites.
Jen Emmert launched PriorFatGirl.com in 2008 when she started her battle to lose 100 pounds. “I wanted a place where I could write about my struggles, frustrations, and successes,” she says. “I had an amazing support system around me but there was only so much weight loss conversation they wanted to have. Blogging became my outlet.”
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Emmert tells her story with touching honesty, sharing before and after photos of her body, intimate details about her post-weight loss excess skin removal surgery, and even the health effects of her mother’s tragic death in 2009—which occurred just hours after she achieved her goal weight. “I don’t sugar coat things—I tell it like it is,” she says. “Losing weight and being healthy is not always glamorous, and I pride myself in being able to share what it’s really like.”
But that’s not to say Emmert doesn’t also find plenty of opportunities to laugh along her journey. Her posts documenting silly personal experiences are just as frequent. (We love this one titled Cereal Does Not Have Eyes.) “I want to encourage people that despite the struggles you’ll face, being healthy is worth it,” she says. “Being honest about the deep-down feelings is a valuable part of the learning process and after admitting our struggles, we can start breaking them down.”
Rebecca Regnier likes to think of Does This Blog Make Us Look Fat? as a weight loss support meeting that serves margaritas. “Dieting cracks me up sometimes,” she says. “And I felt like there were a lot of dieters out there like me who could use a laugh while trying to lose. Laughing together makes all of us stronger.”
To keep her readers upbeat, Regnier shares tips, cooking videos, product reviews, and also offers free PDF downloads. (Our favorite: A warning label for your scale that reads, “Warning: Objects on top of this scale are lighter than they appear.) “My goal is to have something fresh each day that will put a smile on a dieter’s face,” says Regnier. “If there is a holiday coming, I have a strategy for dealing with it. If there’s a new Snuggie commercial, I already have a workout to go with it.”
For Monica Olivas, keeping a pictorial food journal not only helped her realize that her eating habits could use some work, but also laid the foundation for her blog, Run Eat Repeat.
“I already had experience keeping a food diary so I decided to start putting it on the Internet to keep me accountable,” says Olivas. “Turns out, seeing the pictures of my food helped me realize how much junk I was eating—especially on weekends. I was running regularly, but I was still eating way too much.” Now Olivas uses her blog to share her day-to-day experiences as she strives to live more healthfully.
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“I’m not a ‘weight loss success story.’ I’m a real woman who works every day at being healthy,” says Olivas. “I try to keep all of my tips, recipes, and suggestions realistic and doable.” Keep an eye out for recurring posts like “Monday Mini Goals” or “Sunday Set Up,” where Olivas shares how she gets organized and sets herself up for a healthy week by planning meals, workouts, small chores ahead of time.
When Breakfast to Bed blogger Cat Tan would tell people that she lost 175 pounds seven years ago and managed to keep it off through two pregnancies, they were baffled.
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“I wanted people to know that it wasn’t rocket science and it was possible,” Tan says. “I really wanted them to understand that anyone can do it.” She launched her blog in 2011 and has been inspiring readers ever since. Tan posts several times a day, sharing workouts and snippets from her life in her afternoon and featuring recipes in her morning posts. “I like to create decadent recipes as well as really healthy, quality, clean recipes. It’s all about balance,” she says.