Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Elle Noel: The First Year

On year ago today, I woke up with an idea, something I had been contemplating for a few months. It was the day I decided to start writing my own personal blog about my weight loss and fitness journey, first post here.

The blog idea came about as something of a joke. I began taking pictures of my food and outfits daily. For me, seeing a picture daily was a reminder of progress, and I enjoyed sharing recipes with friends.  It also began a habit my husband found most comical. "What are you going to do with all these pictures Leigh Ann?? Is this what the girls are doing now? Texting each other ya'll's outfits every day?!" he thought I was being a little re-donc-u-lous. "I'm going to start writing a blog!" The first time I said the words "blogger" it earned me a quizzical mmmmkkk yeah right look. 

However, I don't think the idea was initially all that surprising. I've always enjoyed writing, and literally everyone who is close to me knew of my increasing interest in fitness and nutrition. Health and wellness had become my subject of choice. I was developing a passion. I was enjoying my personal progress. I was elated at the way my weight loss was affecting my life, all aspects of it, in the most positive ways. I wanted to talk about it. I wanted to talk about it a lot. 

My new lifestyle was adding to my life, filling it with joy and purpose. I wanted to share the way I was feeling with other people who cared about weight loss and fitness. Cause lemme tell you, everyone in my every day life, as I'm sure everyone in your every day life, does not care about weight loss and fitness. In fact my change in lifestyle has greatly affected many of my  relationships. Another post for another day. 

Monday, July 16, 2012, I wrote my first post. Before I even had the courage hit publish, I emailed the post to a group of my very closest friends, "Should I publish this?? Is this a good idea?? Have I completely lost my marbles?!" Less than an hour later I had an inbox full of YES! DO IT! I'll read every day! I love this idea! Go for it!

Backed by the encouragement of the people who love me the most, I hit publish. Everyday I started writing, and I was genuinely surprised by how much I had to say about weight loss and fitness. However, I still second guessed my content frequently in those first several months. Anyone who writes about something as personal as weight loss, body image, diet, fitness goals, is going to second guess themselves. It's personal content, and allowing yourself to be most vulnerable is quite scary at times. It opens you up to judgement and criticism.

Initially, I didn't share my blog with people who knew me in everyday life. It's safe to say most bloggers have the fears of "Who is reading my blog??" Everyone with a blog has someone they hope will never ever find their space here.

Present day, I think most everyone who know me, knows about this little corner of the internet. I no longer feel bashful about content. I won't email this to a single soul before I hit publish. I no longer fear criticism or negativity. Everyone won't agree with everything anyone has to say, and that's ok. I no longer care who reads my story here and I feel comfortable discussing the blog in real life. Although, I do feel a little strange every time I say the phrase in real life in. real. life. Elle Noel is a significant part of my real life, it's a part of my real life I enjoy very much. Blogging has been trans-formative and positive. I never imagined I'd meet so many people from across the country or receive encouragement from strangers to reach for my dreams. Blog world is awesome-sauce. Times ten.

What started out as a little venture to document shedding my last 20 pounds morphed itself into so very much more. I didn't lose 20 pounds. I lost 17, so yeah I came close, but I really don't care. I no longer care about the scale.

I care about being fit. I care about being strong. I care about faster run times. I care about how I feel. Fit beats skinny every single day.

If someone would have told me a year ago that I'd become a long distance runner, I would have laughed in their face. Me? Run a half marathon? A pipe dream I'm sure. Honestly, I still feel like a phony sometimes when I talk about long distance running. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around, I am a runner. I'm running my second half marathon in October and the full marathon in January. ME. Whoa. 

Sometimes when I'm out pounding the pavement, I literally get chills of pride thinking of all I have accomplished. That is the feeling that continually propels me forward. That is the feeling I want to share.

Looking in the mirror and liking what you see is wonderful.Strutting that body you slave away for, in a size four, feels fantastic. I'm not going to lie about that. Feeling great in your own skin is amazing gift. Everyone should give it to themselves.

But all that stuff. All that stuff I thought I wanted the MOST when I started writing this blog, to feel thin, hot, super sexy, confident, etc. 

It all pales in comparison to the way I felt when I turned that little corner in New Orleans City park last February, and saw the finish line at my first half marathon. I will never forget that feeling. I've got chills right now just thinking about it. I would run to New York City and back to recreate that feeling if I had to. It will happen again. Faster. Better. Stronger.

It can't hold a candle to the pride that comes with lifting more weight this week than last week. Being strong and fit has trumped any feelings associated with a smaller dress size. 

Sure, we all want to feel good in our cloths, but I encourage everyone to strive for strength. Conviction in self. Confidence to push outside the box of what you imagine you are physically cable of. You are capable of so very much more than you can possibly imagine or limit yourself to.

There is more pride in building self strength than anything anyone sells at a store. The best part? Those things are free. You can build it all yourself. Be strong, you're worth it!

On to Elle Noel year two- can't wait to see what the next year will bring :) Thanks for sticking with me ya'll! 

Find me on FacebookPinterest, Instagram @ellenoelfitness, and My Fitness Pal!

Daily Motivator


  1. Happy Anniversary Elle Noel!!

  2. I love your blog! You inspire me every day!!!

  3. Happy Anniversary! I am so glad that I found your blog last summer. You have helped motivate me so many times. You have helped me see that strong/healthy is the new skinny. You (unknowingly) have helped me see first hand that comparison kills joy and that I need to focus on ME and no one else! Thanks for letting us into your life each day!

  4. Happy Anniversary Elle Noel!!! Your blog is my favorite of all the bloggers I follow. I am so motivated and inspired by you. Thank you for sharing your struggles and helping others!!

  5. Happy Anniversary! So happy to have found you here on the interwebs. Your motivation and dedication is so inspiring and I come back here when I need a kick in the butt sometimes. It's always great to feel like I'm not alone in this journey and other people face similar struggles!

  6. Happy blogiversary!! I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog (and while I don't comment very often), I read it every week! Your blog is one of my top 5 fitness/healthy living blogs that I follow =) Your positivity and attitude have inspired me as I transitioned into a healthy lifestyle this past year. Keep on rocking girl!

  7. Happy Anniversary...and many more!

  8. Happy Anniversary! You have come such a long way and it's natural and awesome that you take pride in those amazing accomplishments. I love how vulnerable you are with us in sharing your struggles and successes. You are an inspiration and proof positive that we are capable of anything that we set our mind to.

  9. Happy anniversary! I loved this post. :)


  10. Congrats on a successful year of blogging! I am thankful for your transparency and always feel motivated after reading your daily posts. Cheers to another year!

  11. I love your blog and I am glad you started it :)
    I feel weird telling people I blog too. I kept it a scret for over a year. My husband looks at me funny when I ask him to take my picture or whip out my camera at a restaurant.

  12. Happy Anniversary!!! I'm so grateful everyday that you chose to share your journey! It keeps me motivated every single day especially on the "I don't wanna days" You are an inspiration and a positive role model for those looking to get healthy! Thank you thank you!!!

  13. Happy Blogiversary :) Youre one of my daily reads and have inspired me so completely that I am now a runner as well :) Cant wait to see where the new year brings you!!

  14. Elle... you have no idea how much your blog is changing my life! This post gives me chills!!!! HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY TO YOU SWEET LADY! xoxo

  15. Happy anniversary :) Love your daily motivators!!!

  16. Happy Blogiversary!!
    I'm so glad you decided to start this blog! I look forward to reading your motivating posts each day! Thank you for sharing your story & inspiring so many of us!

  17. Happy Blogiversary! Your blog is one of my absolute favorites!

  18. Happy Anniversary!!(very late! I'm just catching up on blogs!) mine was the 11th of this month!! Doesn't it feel great to look back on the difference a year makes?!?!