Five things that will happen when you attend ShiftCon

In early December, I was lucky enough to go to Shiftcon in New Orleans as a volunteer. During the conference, I bounced from session to session providing back-up photography, but I also got to help lead two Twitter parties, where I gave away tons of prizes from Shiftcon’s amazing sponsors. April went to Shiftcon in 2014, and I’m so glad I finally got the chance to go. Leah, the founder, is a friend of mine (and my favorite chicken lady), and I’m so proud of the huge community she’s brought together. Want to know five things that will happen if you attend Shiftcon in 2017?

  1. You will meet awesome people from all different walks of life. Here’s me with Tracy, who I clicked with instantly when we joked about the hotel hallway feeling like the hotel from the Shining. Dark sense of humor? Check. Passion for blogging? Check. Mutual friend of Leah? Check! You will also connect with people you may have met before, and enjoy an awesome bloggy-friend reunion. 15327479_1198311406904107_4270921376446775687_n
  2. You will learn something. I learned more about obesogens, Instagram Pods, and how to run around an exo hall taking live photos while also giving away prizes during a massive live Twitter party.



  1. You will come home LOADED with swag… even more than you get at BlogHer, which used to be the grand-daddy of all free stuff. My favorite Shiftcon swag I’m still using from day to day? My BeautyCounter lipstick and a bunch of delicious goodies from Bob’s Red Mill.dsc_0120


    Loving my Plant Therapy essential oils!

  2. You will be well-fed. And you’ll be well-fed with food that is locally sourced, non-GMO, organic, and often, gluten-free. We had freshly shucked oysters, a locally raised cow, sandwiches, yogurts with granola, roasted veggies, salads, pudding… We were *very* well-fed between the sponsored breaks, expo hall, and hosted lunches and receptions. dsc_0232dsc_0272
  3. You will enjoy the sights and sounds of Shiftcon’s location for the year. New Orleans is one of my favorite places on earth, and it’s a city that comes to life in its rich music, stunning wrought iron and brick, and vibrant local personalities. This year, Shiftcon will be in Orange County, just a jaunt down the highway from my place, nestled between the majestic ocean and theme park mecca. There will be something for everyone, no doubt!


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So, whadda ya say, friends? See you in February next year? 🙂 Stay tuned here and at for all the latest about everything ShiftCon. This is one conference you won’t want to miss! (And trust me – I go to alot of ’em. I’d definitely go back!).

All about April’s first blog convention, ShiftCon!

It has been a busy past couple of a weeks here at Double Chin land. Alyssa and I have both been prancing around the United States and last Wednesday ended up trading cities. I left Oakland for Burbank and a few hours after my arrival, she left Burbank for Oakland.

Saturday was the wedding of our special friend and honorary sister, Katelyn. Alyssa had to be back to do all the wedding party excitement and since she already had bought a ticket to her friend’s blog convention called Shiftcon, I got to reap all the rewards and go in her place!

The website does a better job than I can when it comes to all the awesome aspects of this event so here is a blurb of explanation from their page:

 “ShiftCon is the very first international social media conference focusing on wellness, health, and the environment. This conference blends workshops, networking, parties, and intense collaboration of changemakers all over the United States and Canada in one place. Bloggers and other social media professionals participate and collaborate with each other to inspire and empower each other to create effective communication and take their profession to the next level. Attendees participate in workshops, learn from professionals, discuss their niche and value systems, and decide on themes to collaborate on in the following year. This is a powerful event meant to organize the eco-wellness niche as a powerful community online.”

ShiftCon was held in Los Angeles from Thursday October 2nd to Saturday the 5th. I had wanted to be back in time for Katelyn and her (now) husband’s wedding, so I ended up only attending for Friday afternoon. Within a few hours I had pulled in so much information about brands I already loved and brands I have a feeling I will love.4

There was probably well over a hundred different eco-approved products to try with representatives from tons of companies ready to share information and samples. Besides the THREE hefty swag bags I immediately I received upon check-in, sponsors showered me in samples and challenged me to share pictures to receive additional perks. I got a sweet Patagonia bag from Organic Valley for instagramming a picture. I’m extra stoked on it because  it is PERFECT for my ultra long walks I have been doing!


Here are some brands I was excited to experience and/or learn more about!

  • Organic Valley – I’m a fan of chocolate milk so it was easy to lure me to the table with buckets of chilled chocolaty drink calling out to me. Organic Valley does a lot more than make delicious tasting drinks, they also do a variety of dairy products like cheese, butter and sour cream. I noticed at the grocery store tonight that they also have a bunch of organic produce available too, like the bag of potatoes offered at the same price per pound as conventional potatoes. I got a few bottles of their protein packed milk shakes called “organic balance.” These yummy drinks carried 16 grams of protein with them and I’m likely to be utilizing my coupons to buy more. With  the awesome bag they gave me and these drinks, I’ll be well set on my ambitious outdoor adventures. 1
  • Nordic Naturals – This is a product I noticed had hooked up our swag bags pretty heavily with goods. They gave me a whole gift pack full of samples, coupons, mints, a pen, chapstick, a lanyard, and a full size bottle of “Ultimate Omega” fish oil supplements. With my food allergies kicking my ass lately, I am excited for the opportunity to try out some new ways to improve my health.  According to their website, “Extensive research has documented the health benefits of EPA and DHA, which include not only a healthy heart, but brain and cognitive function, joint mobility, eye health, pregnancy and lactation, healthy skin and hair, and a normally functioning immune response.” I’ve got enough capsules for a month so I’ll report back and let you all know how I feel!

    I've got lots of love for all things Norwegian.

    I’ve got lots of love for all things Norwegian.

  • Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap – I’m not sure when I first discovered what I fondly refer to as “hippie soap” but I have been a faithful fan of this product for definitely more than five years. They were certified organic before being organic was the cool thing to do and their big variety of body products is always giving me more things to try. I started my appreciation of this product when I fell in love with their original castile soap. It is incredibly concentrated and a little bit can create a ton of bubbles so it is the perfect product to take while traveling. Plus, they can be used for way more than your skin. “Completely biodegradable and vegetable-based, our Castile Liquid Soaps have been called the “Swiss-army knife” of cleaning – usable for just about any cleaning task. These simple, ecologically formulated soaps are gentle enough for washing body, face or hair, but also powerful enough for tasks like dishwashing, mopping, laundry and even pest control. ”  Dr. Bronner’s seems to be found in all sorts of stores now, I know our local drug store CVS carries a ton of their stuff at a pretty cheap price so give it a shot! I’ve had the same little bottle for years throughout my travels!

    I was excited because this photo was tweeted by the awesome Trish at Dr. Bronners!

    I was excited because this photo was tweeted by the awesome Trish at Dr. Bronners!

  • Naturepedic Beds – This organic mattress company started out making beds for infants and toddlers and grew in size from there! Now offering all sorts of beds for the entire family, these beds feature no harmful chemicals and are made with organic materials that help ensure the healthiest night’s sleep you can get. The ladies at the display offered me a moment of rest in exchange for a selfie and I was excited when I saw they used it on their own instagram feed! I’M FAMOUS! Thanks, naturepedic! Plus, the bed itself was super comfortable and when I’m ready to buy a new bed next year, I’ll be checking them out first!

    Comfortably organic.

    Comfortably organic.

  • Soap Box – I’m obviously a fan of products not made with a bunch of weird chemicals so when I saw I had a full size bar of a BLACK soap, I got really excited. The company is Soapbox Soaps and they make simple soaps that are 100% palm oil free, vegan, and every box gets another box sent to a child needing their own cleanliness product. They’ve got more types besides my charcoal-activated black soap like lavender, orange, cinnamon, and eucalyptus. Plus,  these soaps run just $4.99 which is pretty reasonable considering the high-quality product it is. I used it tonight during my “shower break” away from writing this long post and my skin feels super silky and clean without an ultra strong scent or weird film that some soaps leave.

    They have a $20 gift set with a bunch of products for the holidays! Click here for their website!

    They have a $20 gift set with a bunch of products for the holidays! Click the pic for their website!


So, as you can see, I had a blast at Shiftcon getting to know these products better and learning more about the organic and eco-product movement. I was especially grateful to meet many incredible and like-minded individuals and excited for all the networking I was able to do! Thank you SO much to the people who worked their ass off to put it on, you all were running around the whole time so I only got to meet a few of you! Event planning is tough but you guys did a great job! For a list of the MANY sponsors that hooked us bloggers up, click this link for a wonderfully made list! 


Check out the enormous amount of goodies I came home with!

I hope you all have a great rest of your week!


Lots of love,




Fitbloggin’ 2014: It’s all about the people.

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since Fitbloggin’! I had the most amazing time exploring Savannah, but it wasn’t the beautiful dangling moss, delicious cheese board at Alligator Soul, or cushy soft bed at the Hyatt that made it so great; it was the people! My first Fitbloggin, I let my nerves control me, and I was too shy to strike up conversation with “famous” people like the wonderfully talented and kind founder of Fitbloggin, Roni, or Carla, an awesome tattooed lady blogger with some bad-ass perspectives on life. I had a good time, but I didn’t really throw myself in. So the next year, in Portland, I threw myself in, and I left a changed person; full of excitement and a renewed sense of endurance towards this lifelong path to health. My first Fitbloggin, I worried I’d be the only fat person, or I’d be too much of a “baby blogger”, or that my hair would be too blonde, or whatever. Nerves can tell you strange things, but they’re just fears, that’s it. So if you’re thinking about coming to Fitbloggin – come. So you don’t have a blog yet or haven’t started one? There’s still something for you. So you’ve gained weight, not lost? I was in this boat in 2013 and all was A-OK, and helped me get back on track. So you have anxiety and prefer hiding in your bedroom? Come. Lots of people at Fitbloggin’ are introverts, too.

I know I’ll inevitably miss someone, and for that, I’m sorry (I’m going off the photos I have), but please take a few minutes to check out my friends below. I could gush on and on about each person, but I’m instead going to share a short and possibly random snippet of who I perceived them to be. (Don’t worry, I’ll reserve my judgements about their fashion sense, breath, and hair styles for myself. KIDDING. I’m not a mean girl. (only to myself).

From Left to Right:

1) Emily of Big Life, Little Blog. Sweet, smart, my generous chauffeur from Atlanta to Savannah. Makes me laugh all the time!
2) Matt and Sam. Funny, welcoming, awesome zumba king and queen along with Sue.
3) Brooke of Brooke Not On a Diet. Inspirational, took on a fluffy woman’s mag, knows good beer.
4) Sarah of Losing Weight and Having Fun. Makes a mean cuppa tea, hilarious. My 4 a.m. insomniac texting buddy.
5) Paula of Runnin Paola. My neighbor (no, seriously – she lives like 10 mins away), great smile, smart, likes ghosts.
6) Nik of Bariatric Foodie. My 1st Fitbloggin friend, pro blogger (FOR REAL), always bright and bubbly. Loser of lots of weight!


7) Liz of Prior Fat Girl. Fellow 3-Day walker (Hooray!), lovely, friendly, welcoming Minnesotan with irresistible E2.
8) Heather of Yummy Sushi PJ’s. Yoga star, open, honest, sweet.
9) Kay of Weight Chronicles. Reads my blog! Fun person to talk to. Positive, happy, kind.
10) Emily (You know her now!) and Dani from Starting at the Middle. Dani: true Southern hospitality. Great perspective on life. Gettin’ hitched!
11) June of Simply June Bug. Old skool Fitcation friend. Birds of a feather. Poetic, honest, brave.
12) Deanna. Smart cookie, awesome person to sit next to a drag show. Good dancer.


13) Martinus of 300 pounds and running. Enthusiastic. Bow-ties. Makes me want to try running (again).
14) Melissa of The Valentine RD. All around awesome lady. Registered Dietitian. Lover of Duran Duran!
15) Margo of Brooklyn Fit Chick. Cat lady, like me. (We’re showing off our cat stickers in this pic.) Welcoming, bubbly.
16) Emily of Fit & Free with Emily. Selfless, generous, inspirational, some have said she could be my Fitbloggin twin.
17) Heather of Divas Run for Bling. Great smile, happy, fun! Must pick her brain about compression socks!
18) Sam and Heather. You know them already 😉


19) Leah of Mamavation. Fearless, leader, nurturing. So-Cal girl, throws great parties. Founder of Fitcation and Shiftcon. (Want to go to another amazing health oriented conference? Go to Shiftcon in October in Los Angeles! April will be there!)
20) Kris of Kris Gets Healthy. Lost 120 pounds! Brave, sharp-witted, sweet fellow Minnesotan (Midwestern love!).
21) Denise of Almasdays. Awesome live blogger (she covered Avocado session!), sweet, bubbly, bright.
22) Nik, Dre of Mission Meltdown. He’s insanely talented at photography, videography, and even rapping! Super welcoming.
23) Kenlie of All the Weigh. One of the first bloggers who ever replied to me! Warm, smart cookie, amazing baker!
24) Dani, Emily, and Emmie of Authentically Emmie. Visionary, funny, wardrobe I wanna steal. Inspirational.


And for 25, my sweet Fitbloggin’ roomie, Kelly of No Thanks to Cake! Kelly and I met at last year’s uber emotional Fitbloggin’ session, where I ugly cried about all the jerks in Thailand who wanted to tell me what a cow I was. (Actually, it was elephant, and it sucks that it happened, but it IS one of my most highly read blog posts, so ya know, there’s that…) Kelly is one of those people that lights up a room wherever she goes, and our room was certainly mega watts brighter with her beautiful smile in it. We called ourselves the Avocado room, because Kelly was also a winner! Kelly’s home base is in Colorado, where Fitbloggin 2015 will be! I can’t wait to have a personal tour of Colorado with the expert herself.


And #26… the awesome ROBBY of Fat Girl Vs. World! I met her in Baltimore, and have always loved her brave, fearless writing on her blog. We took a pretty amazing photo in Baltimore that was meant to be a kickboxing pose, but it just looked like I was pooping, so I won’t share that again… but you know. She’s rad. and huggable. and inspiring!



and #27… the Fitbloggin Famous Alan! Alan is seriously one of the most upbeat, positive, inspirational peeps ever. He and I occasionally text, and he always finds a way to brighten my day. Do you know he’s lost a TON of weight and does triathlons? Rockstar status, achieved.



I know there’s no way I’ve recapped every amazing person I met, but these were the pictures I had. If I met you and you want my elevator pitch of how I’d describe you, chime in below! I can promise you – Fitbloggin’ is an amazing community. You’ll notice many of the words I used to describe people were the same: kind, welcoming, happy, bright, inspiring, brave. This community is a tribe of good-hearted people who all care about the health and happiness of YOU — and that’s a wonderful thing. <3

Losing weight with the help of the internet

I’ve been using myfitnesspal for probably a year now, I’m not sure.  Sometimes I can be good and actually log in every day but most of the time, I’m horrible at tracking my food and exercise.  I finally downloaded the app on my phone with thoughts that maybe I would get into the habit of logging in but nope, that didn’t help either.

I have a bunch of friends who are AWESOME at logging in every day.  The best part of tracking my progress online is definitely sharing my experiences with friends.  I think I’ve gotten to know some people a lot better because of the webpage and it’s been so wonderful to see how well they do!  Seeing them do great inspires me to do better yet I still find it so hard to get in the habit.  I can easily spend an hour on Facebook, but why is spending five minutes on myfitnesspal such a challenge?

Perhaps it’s because websites like myfitnesspal require me to be responsible for my actions.  If I’m honest and include everything I consume for the day, the shocking reality that I’ve processed 139 grams of sugar in a day screams out at me in bold red writing.  The line graph that shows steady progress being made only for it to plateau and eventually head north again doesn’t lie either.  There’s no running from my weight loss and health issues online if you’re being honest. Of course, I could weigh-in and avoid the shame, which I did all summer, but when I finally did sign in again, it made the process of dealing with the numbers and graphs even harder.

Myfitnesspal progress for the month of September... up and down...

Myfitnesspal progress for the month of September… up and down…

This week my weigh-in showed I lost .2 pounds.  Not much, well, from last week’s one pound gain, I guess I lost 1.2 pounds or so.  I did a TON of walking last week and played tennis twice!  I went up and down San Francisco hills and also spent a while wandering frantically around the San Jose State campus trying to find a meeting.  On each occurrence, as I would lift my baseball hat to cool off, I would brush aside the light layer of sweat that seemed to building and remind myself that all this was just a free work-out.

Next Monday will mark a full four weeks that I’ve been “back on the wagon” and I hope I’ll be able to make my progress line graph drop down a little bit more.

Do any of you track your weight loss or health progress online?  What are you experiences with it?

Thank you for reading! I’ve been loving all the support we’ve been getting lately!  You guys rock!



Mamavation Motivation

Hey gals and boys! TGIF, right?! This week has been a craaaaaazy whirlwind. I’ve been jamming on some client deadlines and projects, and in addition, I’ve got a personal project going on that’s keeping me very busy… HOUSE HUNTING! More on that and how it makes me want to stress eat later.

I’m pledging my membership to Mamavation and part of that pledge is to tell y’all why I want to be involved. Because Alpha Gamma Kappi Phi! Just kidding, but any time I hear the word pledge I think about sororities, of which I was shamefully never invited (nor interested). I was always more of a band nerd/online message board type of gal…

Anyhoodles, Mamavation is an awesome online community of women social media and blogging fanatics. The cool thing about Mamavation is it has a healthy living angle, and the creator, Leah, is a weight loss and health transformation success story, having lost over 170 pounds over two pregnancies. WOW. Beyond being an all around kick-butt lady, I’ve met her in personal several times and she’s always been super nice, incredibly intelligent and an all-around mentor and thought-leader in social media. Given that I pay my bills by twiddling with Twitter and frolicking on Facebook for brands, companies and public figures, I look up to Leah for her unique approach to creating meaningful conversations online. She’s the real deal.

Leah and Alyssa show off their pearly whites at FitBloggin 2013 in Portland, Ore.

Leah and Alyssa show off their pearly whites at FitBloggin 2013 in Portland, Ore.

I’ll be joining other Mamavation bloggers for a fun-filled fitness vacation in October in Paso Robles, Calif. Although I’m not a mom yet, I’m looking forward to the MOTIVATION, SUPPORT, KNOWLEDGE and FRIENDSHIP I can gain through Mamavation. That’s one of the very best things about social media and blogging — the friends you gain just by being yourself. (I’m lookin’ at you. Yes, you, the person reading this when you probably should be working!) 😉

So, there you have it — my pledge to be a Mamavation Gal and work off this double chin. I actually haven’t stepped on a scale in two weeks, which could be catastrophic, genius or just “meh”, but I’ve been doing ok food wise and slacking a bit on exercise. My goal next week is to kick it up, which should be easier as a bunch of my deadlines will have come and gone. Also, tomorrow I’m running the Neon Run 5k — so watch for that! It will be a glow bracelet, black light jamboree in downtown LA. I can’t wait!

I hope you have an amazing Friday, and tell me, what online communities or groups are you a part of???