One of these things is not like the others

Remember that Sesame Street song – “One of these things is not like the others…one of these things just doesn’t belong…”  sesamestreetpic thumb One of these things is not like the others

Well, many times in my life I’ve felt like that thing that “didn’t belong” was me. I felt that way through grade and high school. I am Mexican and lived in a Hispanic neighborhood and had Hispanic friends, but didn’t look like them. So, I felt out of place (ugly duckling syndrome, anyone?).

Even though I am brown on the inside, I don’t look very Mexican.  I was a foot taller, chubby and had flaming red hair…. (I’m slouching in this picture so I can hide my gigantic body. )

CHEERHATS thumb One of these things is not like the others

I did ballet folklorico for years. My mom had to find special hair pieces for me because they didn’t make them in red hair!  Another reminder that I am not like my peeps. But I danced my little red headed Mexican heart out icon smile One of these things is not like the others BARNFOLKLORICO thumb One of these things is not like the others

Sometimes I was fatter than others… CINDYWEDDING thumb One of these things is not like the others

But, that didn’t change the color of my skin or hair or bigger bone structure.

One of these things is not like the others… (Side note: the pic above and below are of my highest and lowest weights respectively. I didn’t do this on purpose though.)

MONICCINDJENNY thumb One of these things is not like the others And finally, I learned how to own it. I learned how to be loud and proud about my Mexicaness (I made up that word), my red hair, my tiny friends, my too loud voice and laugh.

I’m not always happy with my body or how surprised people are when they find out I’m Mexican, but I have come to accept it all. Good, bad, ugly…it is what it is. And it is me.

This morning Elisabeth from Jogger’s Life  posted about not feeling like she fits into the “Healthy Blogger mold”.  She said most healthy living bloggers are probably white, middle class, between 23-27 years old. And she doesn’t feel a part of the group.

You can check out her post here “Don’t feel guilty if you’re not white

I really don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that I don’t feel a part of the group either. Sometimes I feel like I’m back in high school where popularity was determined on looks (or rather, body – and mine cannot compete with my peers).

I haven’t ever felt out of place in the blog world because of my culture, skin color, family… But, I have felt out of place because most other bloggers are the “After” part of the success stories. While, I am the “Before/In Process”.

I don’t know what determines popularity in blogging besides yummy new recipes and pretty photography, but if race or economic status have anything to do with it then I’m out.

I’m not trying to become an “After” success story for the blog. I’m doing it for me. And I really think that should be the motivation behind anything you do. Eat healthy – for you. Run or exercise – for you. Make jokes – for you. And don’t take stuff so seriously – because that’s good for you too.

I mean, we’re all going to die anyways, right?
good news everybody One of these things is not like the others


  1. says

    Great post and thanks for sharing those pics. I have some embarassing dance school pictures. I was always the chubby girl and stuck in the back even though I was one of the best dancers in the class. Those things stick with you don’t they? Oh, youth…how I don’t miss it!

  2. Christy says

    This was a great post. After reading “Don’t feel guilty if you’re not white”, I thought, why doesn’t Monica write for that blog too? Seems right up your alley. You have such a unique perspective and a great sense of humor, you should share it with the world. Happy Tuesday! :)

  3. says

    I could say a lot of things about this post (all in the AGREE category), but mostly I’m jealous: you get red hair and all the benefits of that (in my opinion, there are lots!), but you probably get TAN! I’m a white red-headed girl with freckles and sunburn like nobody’s business. I love my skin, I just wish I didn’t have to buy buckets of 50+ SPF sunscreen! :)

  4. Jamie says

    Please, never, ever, change…you are quite possibly one of the coolest, realest bloggers of those I have read and I think it is awesome. You are so funny and intelligent, and purty, too :) Your blog is wonderful and your perspective is refreshing and inspiring!

  5. says

    I went to school with 3 red-haired mexican girls. You should have gone to school with me. My younger sisters are red-heads too. (We’re Irish.)

    I loved Elisabeth’s post. It was fantastic. I’ve never felt like I belonged with the other health food bloggers because I’m overweight, living in a tiny apartment and tall. I’m 5’6 but I felt huge at every blogger meetup I attended. I actually just wrote a post about it. Definitely inspired by Elisabeth and my desire to lose 30 lbs and become the “after!”

    I love the Natalie Dee pics. Cracks me up.

  6. Faith says

    I have to say, I like your writing exactly for the reasons you feel like you don’t fit in…I think as someone who is also in the “before/ in progress” stage, it’s great to hear from someone in the same boat. Don’t change, I think you’re awesome as is!!

  7. says

    Great post. I am half Chinese (but my mom was born in Jamaica) and quarter Irish and Scottish. I still feel like I don’t fit in as my background is such a mix of cultures but other the years I’ve slowly grown to accept and embrace it.

  8. says

    Hey lady! I’m a “before”story too! Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed or that the blog world is too competitive, I take a break from it all. Stop reading, sometimes stop posting for a few days. There’s always the concern that readers will stop following but you said it best, do it for you.

    P.S. I like your random ass recipes and old carrot pics!

  9. Becky says

    You are my absolute favorite blogger because you aren’t perfect!! And I feel like I can relate to your struggles. Plus I feel like a “before” myself. Reading your blog makes me feel less alone in my daily battles with food. I love the way you write and your sense of humor and the fact that you are totally honest and real.

  10. says

    I love that your are not an after. I feel like I can relate to you more because you aren’t finished with your journey.

    (I’m squarely stuck in the before part of my journey.)

    I’m I’m super jealous of your red hair and that you can probably tan better than me.

    I didn’t even get to be the “one of these things is not like the others.” No one ever invited me to be in their pictures.

  11. says

    i read that post earlier too. i don’t necesssarily fit the mold either – i’m 42, married with two kids. i just recently recovered from 30 years of compuslive overeating, so i guess that makes me an “after” but my blog didn’t start that way, it was a journey.
    for me, it doesn’t matter to me anything about the blogger, their age, marital status, where they live or whether they are before or after. i feel different connections with different people and that is why i read the blog and comment.

  12. says

    All the reasons you listed are the reasons why I love reading your blog.
    I’m imperfect; hopelessly flawed. I have good days and bad. That is what makes us real.
    Your perspective is real to me. As much as I don’t want you to struggle, because it sucks, it’s comforting in an odd sort of way, that I don’t feel alone in my struggles.

    Your blog is inviting, honest, refreshing and pretty awesome; I look forward to reading every day.

  13. says

    I don’t think you are in the “before” phase. To be a healthy blogger means striving to live a healthy, balanced life. You are an athlete. You take care of yourself and you strive to be your best. That is the “after”. Not caring is “before”. Also, I would give anything for your red hair :)

  14. says

    I agree with Skinny Runner. I know I come back because your blog is real. I know exactly how you feel about not fitting in though. Im also in Progress so when I write about eating certain things or feeling out of control in certain aspects I feel like Im judged differently than if I was maintaining my weight. Honestly though, I read your blog everyday and I relate to you so much. You definitely are one of the huge reasons why I started blogging!

  15. Rebecca says

    Great post! I’m Puerto Rican but I have light brown hair, green eyes and I’m so pale I’m almost see through; I have been called guera (never heard the word before moving to Texas) and have been met with many a surprised look by people when they find out. I am proud of my heritage, it’s one of the reasons I kept my name after marrying, so I have learned to just role with it. It was very nice to read something I can really relate to.

  16. says

    I’m in the “before/in progress” stage with my blog too. I’m loving living my healthy lifestyle, but I also wouldn’t mind losing 10lbs (or more) along the way. For me it’s less about “fitting in” with blog world, and more about just having fun. :-)

  17. Lauren says

    This is a great post!!! I love your honesty and I enjoy reading your blog because of your “imperfections”! I always appreciate the “realness” and honesty of your posts…as well as your sense of humor about yourself. Also, I think you made a great point. Regardless of where you are on your “health journey,” you should always being doing it for yourself. Because the changes you’ve made or any progree you’ve gained won’t stick otherwise!!

  18. says

    I love this post! I really enjoy your blog. I know I don’t comment that often (ok, um, ever) but I always read it! I just started my blog a little while back and I completely relate to your feeling of still being in the beginning stages of your journey. For what its worth, I really enjoy your blog and I alwyas look forward to reading it, so I am glad you have embraced your signature style and are choosing to own it!

  19. says

    Even though I have lost over 90 pounds I still feel like a work in progress. I get comments on SparkPeople inspired by my loss, but I don’t feel like an “after” either. But I agree, I blog for me!

  20. says

    Your blog is so much more interesting than the bloggers that are already at their “after”. Sure, they’re inspiring but I find more inspiration in you, someone who struggles with the same eating issues I deal with.

    You’re awesome. Plain and simple.

  21. Stephanie says

    You are me. I am you. I am the whitest white girl you’ve ever met in your entire life. I have the pale blond hair and icy blue eyes of a scandanavian milk maid. Except, I am not white. My mom is Colombian and I have had to fight everyday to fit in. Even within my own family, I am ostracized for my height (I am 5’8” and the average height in my family is about 5’1”) and my overall “whiteness.”

    Honestly, sometimes I can’t even read the blogs because I am so tired of these tiny girls with perfect bodies telling me that I have to love body. I’m sure it’s easy to adore your body when you’re a size 2! Rationally, I know that self love is important, but the message is much more effective when it comes from someone who is fighting the good fight along with you, not from someone who has never had a weight problem.

    I love your blog for all the reasons that make you self-conscious. You are real. You’re irreverant. You tell it like it is. I am just like you, an average weight girl just looking to shed a few pounds and having a hell of a time doing it. I appreciate your courage to really put yourself out there.

    Keep tellin’ it like it is, white girl. ;-)

  22. Linda says

    To me, a work-in-progress is way more interesting and inspiring than the goal. What do you do after you’ve reached your goal? The path there is the fun part! :)

  23. Jessica says

    You may not fit the mold of the typical food blogger, but that’s what keeps me reading! Your blog is fun, and your jokes are hilarious. And I am in awe of how much you run! You’re definitely a role model of mine!

    Happy Tuesday, Monica!

  24. says

    wowee wow wow. i’m totally on board with everything you’ve stated in this post. when i went to college, i was seriously one of four asians on that campus, surrounded by tall white boys and girls. it was hard…and it was horrible to try and fit in…we all know the consequences that came with that though. ugg.

  25. Valentina says

    You should be so proud…so many of these “healthy” blogs set up triggers for tons of us…do we eat too much, not enough, exercise to little, weigh too much, not eat natural enough…eat too much processed foods…etc. It is getting to be annoying to be honest…and I have stepped away from many of them and their repetitive green monsters, oat bran and vegetable dinners…because they will never make you feel good enough. So major kudos to you for eating like a normal human being, with normal human being cravings and normal wants and needs…THANK YOU.

  26. Lisa says

    Monica, I think that you are beautiful. You’re real. You’re so much more relatable than so many of the “perfect” bloggers out there who seem to PR every race and who act like having one or two “mini” chocolate bars is such a HUGE giggle-worthy slip to show they’re human. I’ll show them a “slip” and it sure won’t be giggle-worthy, it’d be more gasp worthy for sure! By the comments I see here, there are lots of people who feel like I do.

  27. says

    This is just a fabulous post. You know what you are and own it so you go girl.

    I will have to check out the original blog post but I would kill to have your body. I just want to be in the after process but I am a work in process.

  28. says

    You may not feel “part of” it all or “popular”, but I love your blog! Yours is one of my favs! I think you’re gorg, hilarious and if I lived anywhere near you I would constantly try to convince you to double date with us! You and Ben seem to have so much fun together! :)


  29. says

    Ifit makes you feel better, we have a latin friend who’s last name is Pasquarelli. Go figure. I was also a little suprised when I was in Mexico City a couple years ago and saw Hacidic Jews walking on the streets. I am sure they have Jewish surnames *and* are Mexican!

  30. says

    Very well, said! I like how Elisabeth’s post encouraged others to tell their stories about not fitting in. It’s funny how that need to fit in goes way beyond our childhood and teenage years. It’s always present and I think in some ways it encourages us to always strive to be the best versions of ourselves. If I only read the blogs of people I feel I fit in with, then I wouldn’t read very many. :) It’s the writing styles, the information and the support that draw me in. And, yes, WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE. This is my first visit to your blog, and I really like your message! I’ll definitely be back. :)

  31. Megs says

    I think we’re all a work in progress – and bloggers (other ones) are misrepresenting themselves when they portray otherwise…

  32. says

    I started my blog as a way for my family to see what my husband and I doing. We live at least 8 hours away from any/all relatives, so the blog was my way of keeping in touch without having to send out mass e-mails. It was there if they wanted to see it, and that was it.

    Over time, I got a follower or two. I was surprised that people actually wanted to read about my daily life…running, food, or otherwise. Sometimes, I find that I am writing for an audience instead of myself. That’s when I get frustrated, because the blog doesn’t feel like it is for me anymore.

    I enjoy it more when I write for myself than when I try to think about what people “want” to read.

  33. Rae says

    Oh man….Monica! Did it ever occur to you that most of us LOVE YOU even more because you are so REAL???? Own it, girl, YOU ROCK!! LOVE your blog!

  34. says

    I loooovvee this post! It’s so easy to feel compelled to fit in with the norm of the healthy living blog world. But it is YOUR blog and obviously people love you regardless. I read your blog because I can relate to the hurdles you face and love reading about new ways to face them! Your blog has helped me realize so many things about myself (and how to deal with my own Binge ED) and I am truly grateful! :)

  35. says

    I have been to your site several times now, and this time I am adding it to my bookmarks :) Your discussions are always relevant, unlike the same-old stuff on other sites (which are coming off my bookmarks!) Keep it up!

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