I spent last week in Savannah, Georgia at the fifth annual Fitbloggin’ conference. If you haven’t been, mark your calendars for the last weekend in Denver next year. It’s a life changing three days with an inspiring, motivating, beautiful group of about 250 souls. No matter what your place is in within the weight loss blogging sphere, there is a place for you within Fitbloggin’. And as last weekend proved, no matter how hot and sweaty you get — be it during one of the morning Zumba classes or out wandering the scenic historic district — everyone still has plenty of love for ‘ya.
On the last day of the conference, it was time to cool off and get even more scenic, with a drive out to Georgia’s Tybee Island. I didn’t go alone. My husband and daughter tagged along with myself, Emmie from AuthenticallyEmmie.com, and Alan from SweatingUntilHappy.com. After a whirlwind three days inside a hotel getting all of the hugs, blog lessons, and free California Almond trail mix snacks we could handle, sinking our toes in the sand, letting the seabreeze wash over our faces was the decompress we all needed.
And frozen lemonades, we needed those to fully complete the post-conference decompression slash Georgia heat exhaustion. After we dusted most of the sand from our bodies, we headed to a highly recommended local dive – AJ’s Dockside Restaurant. We sat outside, because we clearly love sweating as much as possible. We ordered po’boys, because when in Rome. And we ordered frozen lemonades.
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When you’ve been stuck in the same fitness routine for a while, finding some inspiration can be just the ticket to shake things up. Let’s face it: when we get bored we’re much more likely to quit. Changing things up could make you more likely to stick with exercise, whether it’s trying out a new group exercise class or learning a new sport. Spending time with other fit-minded individuals can also provide a major dose of motivation and help you break out of a fitness rut.
Here are five different fitness-focused events happening in the summer of 2014 that will enable you to network with others, make new friends, and discover the latest trends in fitness:
When & Where: June 6-8, Park City, Utah
Who attends: Healthy living bloggers and readers, anyone with a love for food and fitness
The Details: The Blend Retreat is back for a second year in Park City, Utah (in the gorgeous Canyons Resort) and is sponsored by Silk. It’s a weekend for like-minded individuals from all around the country to come together for three days of fun, great food, fitness and friendship. A ticket to the retreat gets you three meals (two breakfasts and a 5-course gourmet dinner), a cocktail reception with free drinks, coffee and tea all weekend, two sponsored snack breaks, a guided hike with pre- and post-hike snacks, two bootcamp-style workouts led by qualified fitness instructors, a t-shirt, an amazing swag bag filled with products from over 25 different vendors and entry into a closing ceremony raffle with big ticket items from various sponsors. For more information and to register, visit Blend Retreat’s website.
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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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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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Martinus Evans is a man on a mission, to get healthy, lose weight, run his first full marathon in October and blog about every step of the way. Known by his popular online moniker “300 Pounds and Running,” Martinus recently attended FitBloggin to mingle with fellow fitness fans and flash his infectious smile. In one short year he’s gone from sedentary college student with muscle aches and fatigue to a grad student writing his master’s thesis on social media/blogging and weight loss.
If you’ve got 10 minutes to spare, he could use your help.
Martinus is currently conducting a short survey to aid in the collection of data for his thesis. If you’re a weight loss blog writer or reader, he’s looking for you!
Click here to take the online survey about why you write or read blogs about weight loss. You’ll be part of the very first social media study of its kind and just for playing along, you’ll automatically be entered in a drawing to receive one of three $100 gift cards to the store of your choice.
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