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!

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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.

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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 😉

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

I’m a FitBloggin’ Live Blogger!

Hey bloggies! This is the first of two pieces of very good news, the second that I’ll share in a couple days (just crossing some T’s and dotting some i’s…). When I first started blogging about my attempts to lose weight, I noticed that all the “big league” bloggers like Skinny Emmie, All The Weigh and Jack Sh*t Gettin’ Fit were talking about FitBloggin’. After some internet sleuthing I found out that it’s a super cool health, fitness and weight loss blogging conference in Baltimore, Maryland. I considered going but wasn’t sure if a small bloggy fish like me in such a big bloggy pond would fit in. Then, there was the cost. As y’all know from my frequent complaining, I’m a grad student by night, so I don’t often have a couple hundred dollars just laying around. With the cost of airfare, hotel and the conference ticket it was just a bit too pricey for me to swing with August’s text books looming! I asked about FitBloggin’ scholarships and then I found out the founder, Roni, had just implemented a new volunteer program. If you were willing to live blog a conference session, you could get a scholarship to attend the conference for free!

I applied, crossed my fingers, did a little rain dance and then I got the email Tuesday morning that I had made it in!!! I’ll be joining 29 other bloggers in September and covering one of the event sessions on the blog as it happens! I am SO excited, and I love that my love of blogging and new media and journalism is converging in such a cool way. Matt is also thrilled because he’ll be coming along with me to Maryland, where he’ll explore DC while I mingle with other fit-minded people, eat granola, do exercise classes and learn about growing the little old Double Chin Diary. YAY!

So tell me, friends – I can’t be the only one getting good news in July. What has rocked your world so far this month?