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Respect the Selfie: Why Oxford’s Word of the Year is Nothing to be Ashamed About

It seems anywhere you go these days the odds are pretty good that you will catch someone taking a selfie. What’s a selfie? Well, Oxford Dictionaries just named it the 2013 Word of the Year, and defines it as, “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”.

Honestly I think selfies get a bad rap. I think often times people look at others who take selfies and write them off as possibly being arrogant, full of themselves, and at times down right annoying. We, as a society, are quick to judge others from the outside without actually knowing the story that person has to share.

You see, for me, selfies have a unique meaning. I have been overweight for most of my adult life; the picture below was me at my highest weight in 2009 at 480 pounds.

sweating it off
I don’t have a lot of pictures of myself from that period of my life; the reason being I was scared of the camera. I didn’t want to capture myself or what I looked like. I didn’t want to see the reality of what I had done to myself. At social functions when people would pull out their cameras wanting to capture the moments, I would mysteriously disappear or be that awesome person who volunteered to take the pictures for everyone else.

There were even a few times when people would sneak up and take pictures and I would kindly ask them afterwards to please delete any of the pictures I was in; they never really understood why.

The bottom line was I was not happy with many aspects of my life and I didn’t want proof of that published in the form of a picture as a constant reminder.
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ShiftCon to Bring Together Health, Wellness and Environmental Bloggers

Next October, Los Angeles will be the home of the world’s first international social media focusing on wellness, health and environment. Presented by Bookieboo and Mamavation, ShiftCon Social Media Conference will bring in bloggers from all over who write about wellness, health, the environment, food, fitness and natural living.

ShiftCon 2014
Leah Segedie, the event’s founder, hopes that it will provide these bloggers with a way to connect and share. “ShiftCon was born out of the idea that together we can create a profound impact on the world around us. We can literally shift how we eat, raise our families and our impact on the environment,” Segedie said. “That shift has begun, and now it’s time to come together and leverage our collective influence to accelerate that shift.”

As the first conference of its kind, ShiftCon was created in the spirit of providing wellness and eco-friendly bloggers with a chance to network, share ideas and learn from industry experts. Robyn O’Brien, author of Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It, is already slated as one of the keynote speakers.
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Roni Noone’s #WYCWYC Challenge Inspires the Interwebs to Move!

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.

Roni Noone #WYCWYC

 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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Maria Kang Didn’t Bully You, She Just Asked What’s Keeping You from Your Potential

I’m sorry, but I don’t get it. What exactly is wrong with Maria Kang’s photo?

maria kang excuse
I don’t think she’s a bully.

I don’t think she’s fat shaming anyone.

I don’t think she’s narcissistic.

I don’t think it’s inappropriate.

ALL. DAY. LONG. people are posting photos of themselves. From selfies in the bathroom (that’s where our outrage should be) to before/after weight loss pics (champion those every chance you get), we are not a people who has a problem with showing off ourselves.

So why is it a problem when this woman does it? My take away – completely neutral of any other commentary – when I first saw it was, damn, good for her!

I often feel like I’m barely holding it all together with one kid; she’s got three, and one is still an infant! She’s right, my excuses, when I employ them, just aren’t good enough.

The photo was originally posted to her Facebook community, a seemingly appropriate place to post photos of yourself. She was in a safe place.

“I thought the caption [What's Your Excuse] was fitting since I often saw posters of grandmothers running in marathons, paraplegics competing in the Olympics and even a father performing a pull up with three kids in tow – all with the same caption: ‘What’s your Excuse?’.” This as part of a lengthy response she posted on her personal website.

Fully agree; in fact, couldn’t agree more. Look at these and tell me they are worthy of starting a firestorm of controversy on the Internet.

excuses82 excuseskid
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Digital Weight Loss Consultations on Expertory Virtually Eliminate All Excuses for Skipping Meetings

A lot of us these days are extremely busy. It seems as though we barely have time to do the important things in life, like taking care of our health (or those long naps on a comfy couch, who am I kidding?!). It is increasingly difficult to be able to budget our precious time to make it out somewhere to achieve our health goals. Being that we are so connected to those crazy interwebs these days, I figured I would try to take care of my wellness through an online format. Enter: Expertory.

skype-call
Expertory is a website dedicated to educating on YOUR terms, not the schedule of someone else you have to work around. I had no excuse like “Oh, I can’t make it at this time because of this, or this time because of that.” Your workouts or counseling sessions are achieved through video chats that you schedule with their enormous panel of experts, which range from fitness and nutrition experts to people who can teach you to speak Mandarin!

Being several years off of the Biggest Loser, I have a stubborn 20 pounds I wish to lose which have crept back on me (much better than the 213 pounds I had to lose originally!). I am pretty happy where I am now, as I am fit and healthy beyond my wildest dreams, but just want to tone up a bit more. Since I work out like a fiend, I know it is my diet that needs cleaning up, which is why I decided to book a session with Amy Goldsmith, a nutritionist, whose session was titled “Boosting Your Metabolism.”
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