Good To Great

Have you seen this new video Move Your Body – by Beyonce?


It’s a 4 minute song with dance moves intended to get kids (and adults if you want) to move in a fun way. It’s part of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign.

I love it! Last night my dad and I were discussing how childhood obesity is rampant among minorities. I’m totally in support of getting kids to move and teaching them about healthy food.

Pass on the video to some kids you know Smile (*But not via this site as I have the F word below.)

I have to go into work for super short shift, then I’m coming home to BBQ chicken and sweet potatoes. I already made it so it’ll just be a matter of stuffing my face. But I want to formally “call” the big sweet potato – NOT this scrawny piece of shoe. IMG_0333

same o same o


While I kinda agree with this Natalie Dee cartoon, at the same time I feel the need to defend all the same boring websites Healthy Living Blogs out there.

There are a TON of blogs about running and food and healthy living and blah blah blah. And I definitely read my share Winking smile I don’t think they are all the same, but for some reason I am drawn to certain blogs over others. At the same time, I love that blogs give EVERYONE a voice and an opportunity to share their world.

So, my big questions for you…

1. What makes you a regular reader of a blog?

2. What takes a blog from Good to Great?

3. Do you think most healthy living blogs are the same?


  1. says

    1. I regularly read healthy living blogs because I love the community and I NEED the community. The more the merrier, if you ask me. It’s not about just posting your blog and people reading it. it’s the transformational community of healthy people and it makes a big difference (in my life).

    2. Sincerity.

    3. I think that there is a similar thread that goes through them all… but each person is different and that’s what makes the blog community beautiful.

    Excellent post :) I love your blog.

    • Anne says

      I could scroll down to the bottom and add a comment – or I could just agree with Chad, here. Well said! “Great” blogs are the ones that are real. I like reading this blog because you are yourself (or if you are faking it, you are doing a hell of a job).

      I’ve stopped reading a lot of other “health” blogs because the writers seemed too fake, like they were playing a role for their blog and trying overly hard to be witty, helpful, and even-handed. This blog is FUN and engaging first, and I think that’s why you are experiencing some success! Best wishes for even more ; )

  2. says

    I become a reader of a blog if I have commonalities with them (running/babies/dogs/whatever). I really like blogs that discuss current affairs and I LOVE funny blogs. I know being funny is a gift, but I demand it from my blogroll.

    Also good grammar is a must. I cannot read constant errors.

    Some of the healthy living blogs are the same “Look! I had OATMEAL with random shit mixed in for breakfast!” but good writing can make me stay and read, even if it’s the same.

    I actually did a blog post about this:

  3. D says

    I read your blog because I never know what is going to come out of your mouth. I have learned to NOT drink while reading your blog.

    A good blog to me is one where the blogger says what they mean and does what they say. Do not ask a question and then not read the comments and respond to the answer which includes a question. (Do not even get me started on e-mails.) If I see one more bowl of oatmeal which includes five views…. bleep, bleep, bleep.

    Entertainment and education is a must to keep me coming back. Even if a lot of the bloggers are blogging about the same thing, the delivery makes it unique.

  4. says

    1. Sincerity, realness, and writing style.
    2. Pictures, videos, giveaways, replyng to comments and questions. A sense of actual interaction with your readers.
    3. I dont think they are mostly the same, although I am noticing trends, and circles amongst bloggers. With that said, I pick n choos who Im reading based off of number 1 above.

  5. Laura H. says

    Hey Monica! Regular (every day!) reader but don’t comment much. IMO, what makes me a regular reader of a blog is consistency, relateability, utility, and personality. The first one is self-explanatory. By relatability, I mean that I relate to the person behind the blog. I can see where they are coming from and I relate to their fitness/health journey. Utility means that their advice/recipes/stories are useful in my life. I bookmark the recipes or make a mental note of the tips they share. Finally, personality is SO important. You, for instance, have a distinct and positive voice that I love “visiting” every day.

    Good to great – I think it’s consistent posts that are the right length. To use you as an example: you post multiple times a day, but you aren’t overly wordy with each post, so I can easily catch up. And you post lots of pictures and make me laugh. Humor is so important. Also, you are a human being! Hearing about your “mess up” days is just as important to me as hearing about your successes. Sometimes it can be discouraging to read about someone’s perfect house, meals, job, fitness, etc, especially if I’m having a bad day. You “let it all hang out,” but in the best possible way. You’re not overly negative. You’re willing to laugh at yourself, and make your readers laugh. And you approach each day with positivity.

    Not all blogs are the same by any stretch. That being said, there are some I read and look forward to reading more than others. Yours is definitely one of them!

  6. says

    1. I am a regular reader of a blog if I find myself saving recipes or routinely checking in to be inspired (aka -their food looks good and they do cool stuff, especially run fast) or if I can really see the blogger’s personality and I find them funny/interesting.
    2. I’m still trying to figure out what sets a blog apart… but probably seeing new and unexpected stuff, and not feeling like the blogger is being a fake, or presenting something that’s not real
    3. I wouldn’t say MOST healthy living blogs are the same, but a lot of them are. Oatmeal for the 920349th time? Yeah I’m probably going to unsubscribe. Show me something I don’t see anywhere else!

    • says

      I could show you something you don’t see anywhere else, but I think that’s illegal in most states… or I should at least be getting paid more.

  7. says

    There’s a difference for sure but I find you can’t always tell unless you read them regularly. I can’t decide if I love or not-so-live a healthy living blog until I’ve read it for a while.

    I think the good – great thing is personal. I like blogs with pics (but not too many) and blogs that tell me about the person writing. I tend to skim over super long posts because I don’t always have time to read a ton of text. I also like a good mix of food / life / fitness.

    And of course, the eats have to be good! Being dairy free I tend to eventually leave blogs that have recipes where dairy is essential.

    All this to say – I really enjo Run Eat Repeat :)

  8. says

    Good questions.

    1) Frequent posting, topics that I can relate to, and a real “voice”. Not just pictures of what they ate/Garmin shots/or no personal interaction.
    2) Humor. A sense that the person is not too hung up on themselves & wants to help others improve. Responding to comments, being a part of the healthy living community.
    3) Somewhat. I am drawn to the ones I can immediately remember and associate with a picture/personality.

  9. says

    1. someone I can relate to…which I feel I definitely relate to you in so many ways!!
    2. I think it takes awhile for a blogger’s true personality to come out in a blog and once that does, it can make or break if someone wants to read your blog. But it also takes the reader time to figure out the blogger’s personality. There have been a few blogs that I liked a particular post, so I started reading them, and then I stopped because they just weren’t really my “style”. I also always read my favorite ones first on my reader..and yours is def one of my favs!!
    3. I think each blogger has the same purpose: to document their life experiences and goals, etc., but like I said before, personality comes out in blogs and it makes a big difference!!

    Great questions Monica!

  10. says

    1. What makes you a regular reader of a blog?
    If it’s written by someone I feel like I could hang out with and someone who has similar interests as me.
    2. What takes a blog from Good to Great?
    This is just the writer in me – but good grammar, spelling, and layout.
    3. Do you think most healthy living blogs are the same?
    I think a lot of them are the same, yes. But I read a lot of them that I think are unique too.

  11. says

    1. I read blogs of those people who I look up to and feel that I can relate with, people who keep it real and don’t sugar coat their blogs/life

    2. Good to great…pictures definitely help, bloggers with a sense of humor, the more real the blogger is on the blog = the greater the blog is.

    3. I hate the term ‘healthy living blogs’ because a good portion of them just talk about how many miles they ran that morning and what they ate for breakfast. I have done a fair share of blog reading and some bloggers just come across as bitches, so I veer away from those. Obviously.

  12. says

    Ok so the makings of a good blog….well, every one leads a different life, we all have different obstacles and we all have wonderful new changes. However, what connects us in the end is our desire to treat our bodies well and find a nice balance to working, working out, and playing. I think what makes a good blog boils down to the personality. Since the content is generally the same, it is the context and the blogger’s persona that REALLY draws a reader in.

    Reading blogs is like watching TV to me, and if the show isn’t interesting, it’s time to switch the channel.

  13. says

    I regularly look forward to your posts because I love your honesty about emotional eating and your sassy attitude. Overall, I could see how many people would think the healthy living blogs are the same because they have similar elements but each blogger is so different in their approach to health and blogging and life in general. I have tried adding some people since they were “popular” or well liked in the blogging community but found that I just didn’t gel with their personalities. There is definitely something for everybody.

  14. Nikki says

    For me, it has to be frequency. I like going back to the same 15ish blogs every day, knowing they will have a post there for me to read. I have already deleted blogs in my favorites if they have gone to posting daily to weekly.

  15. Nikki says

    On another random note, whenever I post on your blog, the times are way off. The last comment I just typed a minute ago came up as 5:06 am when here it’s 1:06 am as I am on the East Coast. Even if this is set up to your time in CA, it would be 10:06 pm. Your blog is the only one I read that is off like that.

  16. Ida says

    I read blogs that are about more than just food or just running. I like reading post from bloggers that are honest, and have a good sense of humor mixed in.

  17. says

    Haha, there is a really funny video on youtube/huffpo of Michelle Obama dancing at a middle school for her Let’s Move program. It’s kind of hilarious.

    I definitely choose some blogs over others. There are a couple factors:

    1. Some other bloggers I have just bonded with, in-person or online, and I fee like we have a very real friendship; this makes me want to read their blogs.
    2. Good writing. I no longer read blogs that are just straight up poorly written. There are sooooo many of these — I’m not just talking about grammar or spelling errors either, I’m talking about a basic inability to make logical connections between concepts or to write something coherent about a theme. Ugh.
    3. Uniqueness. I think RER is special because it combines dry, self-deprecating humor with food and running. I think my blog is special because it combines mental health with food and fitness. I’m just no attracted to bland blogs.

  18. says

    Well that explains why I saw a clip on the news with Michelle Obama dancing. I was at the gym and didn’t have sound, so I was wondering why she was getting down and funky.

    I love your blog because you’re funny; you don’t take yourself too seriously, which I find refreshing. Your life is fun and you do a great job of giving us a peek into your day without sharing too much.

    Also? Your running ability is inspiring to me. To go from walking to lose weight to running (what I think) is fast, is amazing.

    On a basic level, all healthy living blogs are the same, but each of you provide your own spin or flavor to your blog. Some are preachier than others (ie organics, local food, etc) and one blog I read is totally phoning it in lately, which I find disappointing. I realize you all have lives outside of your blog which require your attention, but it’s nice to know that two (or more) times a day I can click on RER and have a smile put on my face.

    I’m a boring person, with an incredibly boring life, so it’s nice to be entertained a bit.

    Keep it up!

  19. says

    1. I become a regular reader if I can relate to the person because she/he is around my age, has similar interests or eating styles
    2. Good to great happens if the person makes me laugh, has informative links to other sites, seems genuine and honest, and consistently posts
    3. All blogs are NOT the same– ‘healthy’ means different things to different people, everyone is at a different stage in their journey, etc. Some people seem to have an agenda, some are vegetarian, some are triathletes, so on. It is nice when folks have other content besides “this is what I ate, this is how far I ran. the.end.” because there’s so much more to life than that.

  20. Emily G says

    Great questions:
    1) If the blogger is someone I feel like I can relate to, or someone who who I wish I were like, or just someone really funny. You’re totally relatable and funny. Also, content – the topics that you cover are interesting to me. And as someone in Minnesota, it’s great to see pictures of warm sunny SoCal.
    2) Good to great. I think consistent posting, evolving content, honesty and variety.
    3) I think some healthy living blogs become redundant, but the successful ones (and the ones I read) each bring something different. Some people are more food focused, some more running/triathlon focused, some talk more about body image, and others are more humorous. I think the “sameness” arises when people don’t let their own personality shine.

  21. Julie says

    I nosy by nature so I love reading blogs where the writer talk about their life and really shows their personality. I’m sure I creeped you out at Tina’s by knowing who cuts your hair… 😉
    Consistency and relate-ability is big, I like when blogs have a “theme” or “niche”. You’re funny and talk about weight/weight loss; I can totally relate and I feel your struggles! Another thing you do well is keep it real. I know some people tell little white lies here and there in blog land, and never talk about struggles…I like hearing about highs and lows, because that’s real life.

  22. Jill says

    I only read one blog, on a regular basis, and this is it. Love the photos, the humor and the feeling that this is written by a real person. Monica strives to be perfect, but like the rest of us, doesn’t always achieve the goal. I find that encouraging, especially that you keep trying.

    On the subject of childhood obesity, it is a frightening epidemic. I work with sick kids and see more than a few whose health is negatively impacted by their weight. A pediatric unit should not be needing bariatric beds and lifting equipment.

    • says

      wow, that is really awesome that you only read one blog regularly and that it is RER. with good reason… i agree with everything you said about monica!

      monica, i especially like that you tell it like it is. if you feel like a fat kid, you don’t hide it. if you feel like a champion, you aren’t afraid to brag. best blogging balance ever.

  23. says

    I think finding blogs you like is like finding new friends. If I wouldn’t be friends with you in real life for one reason or another (nothing in common, you’re full of yourself, you talk about your baby/dog/black toe every post, etc..) I probably won’t read your blog. Fortunately, you are hilarious and if we met in RL I’d probably be all “we need to be BFFs!” and you’d probably think “Is she hitting on me?” (no, I just try too hard)

  24. Danielle says

    I become a regular reader of a blog if I find myself reading entire entries and looking forward to the next. If blogs can’t keep me interested through a whole entry, I loose interest. A Great blog is an author who is honest, I appreciate when a blogger gives the reader a glimpse of who they really are. No, most healthy living blogs are not the same. I find some are more lax and realistic than others.

    For some reason, yesterday I became obsessed with this Beyonce Song. I first saw a video online of Michelle Obama dancing to it and then I saw another video that Beyonce surprised a school in NYC to join them while they were darning to it. I love it!

  25. says

    I really like the realness of the healthy living bloggers. I have read some that say they only eat healthy foods, no sweets/junk food, and never miss a workout. BORING!!! I want to know I’m not the only one who skips a workout now and then and eats half pints of Ben and Jerry’s with no regrets. (not that you do that but an example of realness) Each blog has a different personaliry just like the person. I started writing mine when I started school to be an Esthetician so I can relate food and fitness to healthy skin. Everyone is has the same goal, but different paths and I LOVE that.

    I LOVE Michelle Obama and her initiative for childhood obesity it’s amazing!

  26. says

    I am new to the blogging community. i started blogging initially to help raise money for the American Cancer Society for a half I did in feb. But, after I started reading other blogs, I got hooked!

    I like blogs about “healthy living” because 1) I like to see people’s perspectives on health – they vary so much 2) I like to see people’s training plans, how is it different from mine, what can I learn 3) product reviews.. a lot of people have been writing about compression socks and I like that because I’m looking for a pair and want some recommendations 4) it makes me feel like i’m part of a community. I love pics and I love when people post pics of themselves, their runs, their races, etc. That’s why I like Facebook too.. pictures!

    What I don’t like are discouraging blogs or blogs about weight loss. I have a history of being obsessive about weight loss, restriction, dieting to be skinny as opposed to eating to be healthy and so for me, i cannot read those types of blogs. They bring up too much old stuff…

    The thing I’ve been enjoying about your blog is your PT journey because it’s something I’ve been thinking about doing. I am going to start yoga teacher training this summer, and may get an ACSM certification at some point as well.

  27. says

    For me it’s all about personality! I will come for a good recipe or idea, but it’s a personality that makes me stay. I actually remember checking your blog out for the first time when you did a guest post on another blog I read, and I thought I have to read her blog! She’s seems so real and hilarious! So many of the blogs I’ve looked at have been so fake or condescending, and that’s why I don’t read them anymore!

  28. says

    1. What makes you a regular reader of a blog?
    I like people that post regularly, use lots of pictures, and are honest about their lives.

    2. What takes a blog from Good to Great?
    Somebody that tells it like it is, has a site that is organized and I can use it as a reference for various things.

    3. Do you think most healthy living blogs are the same?
    I think there are a lot of different categories of blogs in the healthy living arena and that each blogger has their own voice. So no. I don’t think most are the same.

    Interesting post! :)

  29. says

    there are definitely a ton and while i used to add every single one to my google reader, i stopped that because a lot of them are really similar…and i can only “stalk” so many people :) while my blog is totally different than a healthy living blog (even though I live a healthy life ha), i still enjoy reading others…the things that I particularly enjoy are humor, experiences i can relate to, etc. i’m embarrassed to say i also read some healthy living blogs of people that DRIVE. ME. INSANE. not sure why i torture myself like that ha (and yours is not one of them, promise ;))

    • says

      “i’m embarrassed to say i also read some healthy living blogs of people that DRIVE. ME. INSANE. not sure why i torture myself like that ha (and yours is not one of them, promise ;))”

      I do that too! I’m glad I’m not the only one!

      The reason I started ready healthy living blogs is because I was unhealthy and had NO CLUE how to fix it. I didn’t know anything about balance, nutrition or moderation. I thought if I just exercised I’d lose weight and could continue eating the same crap. So I started reading the main healthy living blogs and basically followed their meals with countless bowls of oatmeal, lots of veggies I’d never tried, and finally tried tofu (and liked it).

      Now I tend to be drawn to blogs that are funny and real. I make lots of mistakes and was getting discouraged by the seemingly perfect bloggers I was reading. I still read several of those, but I also read blogs by bloggers who are more real. They admit mistakes and laugh at themselves. I feel like they are easier to get to know.

  30. says

    If a blog inspires me, informs me or just motivates me, I will read it regularly. I find that I gravitate towards others like me (just like in real life). I think what can take a blog from good to great is honesty and humility in what you’re trying to achieve, successes and failures. And no, not all healthy living blogs are the same. Or at least I don’t get the same things from them. Some I go to for humorous inspiration, others to see what they are eating to see what changes I can make. Some I read for helpful tips or motivation. Sometimes it is just nice to find others on the same path as I am. It’s a comradery of sorts.

  31. Christin says

    What a great post! I like to read healthy living blogs that I can relate to…they are definitely not all the same! Different blogs appeal to different parts of my personality, the way I live, and the way I cope with exercise, eating, etc…in addition, it is a great way to share ideas and thoughts, find new strategies, and see what others are doing to stay healthy…

    I recently found your blog from Kath’s blogroll…I found her blog from reading a blog on years ago…why Kath’s blog? first of all she and I look a lot alike, and both have dance backgrounds, and eat oatmeal…but she is also a lot more disciplined than I am which encourages me to be more disciplined! Your blog I can relate to because I also live in SoCal, and while I am not Mexican I married into a family with a Mexican heritage…totally relatable! But I have a tough time running…trying to appreciate it more, and you help me with that! I could go on and on with other blogs, but you get the idea 😉

  32. says

    1) What makes you a regular reader of a blog?
    I like blogs from people I have something in common with. Be it a shared hobby, or something random like a love of cute pictures of furry animals, or ugly professional cakes (gotta love cakewrecks!)
    But then again I also have a whole load of blogs I read regularly in order to educate myself, blogs about something I’m interested in but have no personal experience of because I can learn about it in an accessible way (both because it’s free and they write well) about a subject from someone who’s an expert in their field.
    For me it’s definitely about learning and sharing – either developing my knowledge about an area I’m already familiar with or educating myself about something I know very little about.
    I think a lot of it comes down to whether I think I’d get on with them in real life, however.

    2) What takes a blog from good to great?
    This is a hard question! I’ve been blog-surfing a lot recently trying to find new healthy living and running blogs and I’ve been privately wondering why I visit one blog regularly and not another when the subject matter’s so similar. Honestly it’s so subjective it’s hard to describe. One blog could tick all the boxes but I still wouldn’t add it to my reader.
    I think it comes down to a few things:
    – Attractive layout. I like purty things!
    – Blogger is not inhumanly perfect online.
    – Blogger shows a sense of humour.
    – Blogger isn’t snooty or constantly negative. I like the odd rant though. They’re fun!
    – Variety – posts aren’t the same thing day in/day out but even if it’s a single-subject blog (such as architecture) the blogger covers many aspects of it.
    – Blog follows popular trends, but add their own spin.
    – Reviews – Golly gosh I love reviews!
    – Blogger responds to comments – not simply thanking people for every single comment, but if you ask a question they take the time to answer it, or respond to a point you’ve raised in a comment.

    And the all-time indicator of an awesome blog for me is:
    – Other commentators discuss and respond to each others’ comments. For me this is a sign that the blog is so interesting and, well, lively it has attracted other interesting and, well, lively people as well.

    3) Do you think a lot of healthy living blogs are the same?
    In the broadest sense of the question a lot of them are similar. They’re about healthy living after all! They cover a lot of similar subjects and like in all things there are trends and fashions. A lot of police blogs are similar, as are makeup or current affairs blogs. But no-one shares exactly the same experience and can add something so there’s still a lot of variation.

  33. says

    I had no idea there were so many healthy living/running blogs when I started mine about 1 1/2 year ago. But I follow several and I can’t really describe why I choose the ones I do. But I have learned alot from everyone single one and love all the feedback too!

  34. says

    hahaha i laughed my ass off at that natalie dee yesterday. such a good one. good post, lady.
    1. first of all i read it if i get along and mesh well with the blogger. like you. i read you blog because of you.. we are different (ie: i hate to run) but we would be friends in real life. in fact.. i wish we were neighbors. second of all i will read a blog for the recipes. i love recipe blogs!
    2. sex talk. obviously.
    3. no. there are quite a few that are the same, but there is such a broad range!

    off to read the comments because i bet they are good.

  35. says

    I will read a blog more and think its great if there is some PERSONALITY to it! That’s the hugest thing for me. And building a relationship. I like feeling a friendship and connection with the blogger. Like you. :)

  36. says

    I read health blogs because they are such a real way to learn about health and fitness and how it is truly different for everyone. It’s inspiring to see one thing work for one person, and another thing for for someone else.

  37. says

    Interesting and this is definitely something that I’ve been thinking about lately.

    1) What attracts me to a blog and keeps me reading is if I make some sort of connection with them. Whether we communicate via Twitter a lot, or we comment back and forth on each others posts, or even if we are just from the same area (I will admit, I read a LOT of bloggers from Florida because I relate to them in that way).

    2) What separates a blog from good to great is when the blogger can GRAB the readers attention and the reader can relate to them. A “great” blog to me may be a “good” blog to someone else.

    3) I think some of them are the same but as a majority we are all different. I will say that right now I am “struggling” to find my voice. I know and want my blog to go in a different direction, but I am just worried that it may not work out. :/ At the same time, I know that if I go a slightly different direction, it will be, not so much “real” because I try to be real in every post I write, but just more “me.”

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