Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Takeaways from FitBloggin'

My story is a little different from others' I've read.  This was my first conference as an attendee but not from working all or part of one.  I've volunteered for various large scale events like the 2001 World Police and Fire Games as the Language Services Coordinator (that was a disaster and chaos rolled up in one for me on top of being pregnant).  For my event management certificate I helped to organize and run the 2005 P.L.A.N.T.S. conference for the Indiana Nursery and Landscape Association.

I started out Thursday night literally dragging Benny to the Registration & Reception at Scotty's Brewhouse.  He was such a Grumpy Gus about the whole situation we only stayed an hour.  The room we were in was a little small for the crowd but since people were coming and going it worked out OK.


Friday and Saturday morning I got up at my normal weekday time (6 AM) to get dressed and finish stuffing my bag to last me the whole day.  I ordered an Uber, but apparently selected the wrong one as a huge SUV came to pick me up Friday.  Oh well, it's was cheaper and less of a hassle than parking downtown!

Although I often have yogurt as my breakfast I was surprised to find that was the only option.  Those doing the workouts need WAY more protein and good carbs than that would offer.  Because of that I was glad that I opted out of doing the workouts on Friday.  (I'd switched my current Thursday rest day with Friday to allow me to chill.)

First up was the workout with Valerie Waters and her Valslides (writing that makes me think of Jem and the Holograms for some reason LOL).  I'd never watched an entire workout before but that hour went by fast!  I think having something like the Valsides would make it much easier to do exercises like mountain climbers (which I suck at).

Lisa said that we as a wellness community need to defy the stereotypes of what it means to be fit. As an example you see a plus size instructor is leading a workout do you bail questioning what you could possibly learn from someone so big? You just missed the chance to gain knowledge and experience from someone who lost half their weight or more. She has had an incredible journey and is stronger and healthier than ever; she just can't wait to help everyone she comes in contact with!

Like myself Lisa also recommends piecing different strategies together to find your path. There is no one size fits all method to healthy living. It's trial and error until you find what works for your body, and even then there will be further tweaks along the way.

Some other takeaways from Lisa
  • It's never too late to change.
  • Think about what's happening along the way, how to get there, and enjoy the journey.
  • It's our goal to move our audiences to improve their lives.
  • You can't inspire others unless you're inspired.

The panel of Dawn, Martinus, and Tyler discussed different ways for our messages to be powerful, tailored to our audiences, and motivating. No matter what we're talking about we must remain authentic to our selves.  In doing this it ensures the message we're writing about is consistent with our personal lives.

Some other takeaways from the panel:
  • Sharing your story, not leaving out the struggles, makes you more human to your audience.
  • Always have a clear call to action and a goal for how you want your audience to feel or respond to your message. (Martinus wants people to cry!) Never forget the way you make them feel.
  • You must understand your audience and their level of knowledge on the topic.
  • Living a healthy lifestyle is a "you change"; you must value yourself to make the change.

Sworkit is an app that you can customize your workout. (There's a free and a paid version as well as one for kids.)  You select what type of workout you want to do and how long you have to do it.  BOOM, now you have a workout no matter where you are!  This app is one that gives you a heads up of the next exercise so you can see whether or not it's something you can do at this stage of your journey.  I like these types of advance notices.

My plan was to head down to Food Truck Friday afterwards (since I've never gone) but after I stopped at the ATM I decided to grab Qdoba to go.  On the way there I got myself turned around (since I'm used to approaching the area from the east side instead of the west).  It was good to get some quiet solitude over lunch.

I took so many notes from Dr. Pamela that I could probably have her talk as a post unto itself! There are physiological, emotional, and mental factors contributing to the baggage we all carry. The top physiological factors are insulin and leptin resistance, adrenal insufficiency, excess toxicity, imbalanced reproductive hormones, malabsorption and/or food allergies, and under treated or untreated thyroid imbalances.

Emotional baggage effects all aspects of life because emotions are carried by all cells. Nobody is 100% together! Isn't that great to hear?

Emotional wounds live in the unconscious mind. The subconscious remembers everything at a cellular level. It's goal is to protect us.

There are several indicators that emotional baggage is preventing you from progressing in your journey. Examples include:

  • Bad habits that you can't get rid of
  • Doing what's right but not seeing progress
  • Destroying your own success so others stop celebrating with you
  • Believe you'll reach your goals but it won't last
  • Lose and regain weight repeatedly
  • Recognizing your tendency to destroy the good in your life but don't know how to change
There are also barriers we put up blocking success.
  • Not identifying your WHY for this journey
  • Setting unrealistic goals
  • No reward system for when you reach your goals
  • No true plan for your path
  • The belief that the goal is the end
  • The belief that positive changes don't last
Dr. Pamela also noted that impersonal why's weren't really good. You need to go deeper than just because the doctor so. Yes, it'll get him off your back but what does reaching your goal REALLY mean to you?

It stunk that Southwest prevented Elizabeth from making it to Indy but we still made the most of it!  The Zephyr crew set up a Skype call so that she could still speak with us.  Elizabeth did a great job even though she couldn't see us!

Did you sign up for your social media accounts without reading the terms and conditions - your contract with the network? I know I do; it's just too much to go through! There's probably so much stuff I'm doing wrong or missing out on but I can't bring myself to read them.

Everything we create is copyrighted. How it can be used by the other party is spelled out in the contract.

  • Right to make copies, sell copies, or sell all rights to the creation.
  • Right to make derivatives of the work - i.e. tweeting highlights
  • Right to public performance of the art
If you are under a work for hire contract YOU DO NOT OWN WHAT YOU CREATE! Everything produced belongs to the other party. I'm not sure how this would be a beneficial contract to entertain.

At the evening reception I tried two of Oliver Winery's Orchard Stand wines - mango and strawberry.  Now, I don't care for beer (it's too sour) and wine is just MEH but these two had great flavor!  I enjoyed mango a bit more than the strawberry.  Now to convince Benny to get this instead of champagne for NYE!

Once the day was over Benny and Austin picked me up a few blocks away and we headed home for a quiet evening (I still cooked dinner).

I'd tried the Jaybird Reign activity band we got but it ceased functioning. They sent me another one but it too died. Austin told me he wanted new earbuds so I agreed to swap the band for a pair. I'm currently awaiting the exchange instructions.


I woke up not feeling too well but took some meds and pulled up my big girl panties to make it through the day.

The Saturday morning session with Life Time Fitness was my only workout of the weekend.  They really had us kicking and punching up a storm the first half!  I kept having to run back for some water.  The second half was strength training, partly with the resistance band above.  This band made things uber tough!

These discussions were pretty similar. David and Angela did great jobs leading the groups!

Some takeaways:
  • We aren't broken, our environment is.
  • We were designed for feast or famine. There's an overabundance of food so as a society we feast too much.
  • When you find yourself talking down about you put a loved one in front of your mind. Ask yourself if you'd say those things to your loved one.
A group of us headed over to Café Patachou for lunch. I'd never eaten there before. I almost panicked looking at the menu - all those egg dishes and I'm not a fan! In the end it was a toss up between the salmon bagel and the spinach salad. I ate the salad less strawberries.

This was my first time seeing Zumba, more than little clips. Margo and Nellie took turns leading the crowd through a fantastic set of moves. With my lack of coordination I'd probably would have been running into everyone!

Kristin has been through a lot but through adversity she has evolved into something bigger. During her talk she told us about how she got into a great working relationship with Deepak Chopra. I too wouldn't have believed that it was real.


  • Imagine success and ignite possibilities.
  • Let go of the things you can't control.
  • Liquidity - be flexible and don't be fixated on one idea.
  • Unbounded Potential - be in touch with your core being, your pure self.
  • Moment - be present, making yourself available for that golden opportunity.
  • Illuminate - become the light that attracts what you need.
  • Nurture - practice self care to avoid burnout.
  • Align - examine what success looks like and train you thoughts to stay aligned.
  • Transparency is the portal to abundance. Be truthful with yourself. What's restricting your truth? Allow yourself to be vulnerable.
  • Evolve - become a student of life. Just because someone is popular doesn't mean they'll impact you the most. We don't evolve because we're afraid to ask.
We can't be the change until we change ourselves!

Steve led a lively talk on adjusting your mindset to achieve your goals. By this time I was hoping the second dose of meds would kick in but it never happened. I think I may have missed a lot of what he had to say because of that.

Some takeaways:

  • Saying "I can't" gives away your power.
  • Major Manipulators - perfectionism, shame, guilt, anxiety, financial stress, jobs, fulfillment, grief, situational avoidance, pattern paralysis, body image, people pleasing, performance, low self-esteem, hormonal imbalance, poor guy health, fatigue
  • Small micro changes lead to lasting goals.
  • Be accountable for goal behaviors instead of outcomes.
  • Realize what you've done right on your journey instead of focusing on getting it ALL right.

FitBloggin' wrapped up with Brooke's session on being in check with our emotional health, focusing on the areas of contentment, good relationships, self appreciation, and stress management.


  • Find satisfaction in the moment, accepting the way things are. Be present.
  • Practice mindfulness and awareness without judgement. Find a sense of balance.
  • Take responsibility for your emotions.
  • When you find yourself going negative, recognize it and redirect to something uplifting.
Good Relationships
  • You're the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. (I find this scary with all the drama at work!)
  • Reflect kindness.
  • Boundaries are essential.
  • You have to put in the work to make things work.
  • In communicating, mirror (summarize) what they say, validate that what is said makes sense (even if it only makes sense to them), empathize with them by guessing their emotions, and eliminate "but" and replace it with "and".
  • Best of all, have fun and laugh!
Self Appreciation
  • Support yourself and know who you are.
  • Know your strengths. Focus on them instead of your weaknesses.
  • Know your personality.
  • Know your thoughts.
  • Know your values.
Stress Management
  • Worrying is a waste of time and energy. QUIT IT!
  • Practice physical energy habits such as deep breathing, eating food for fuel, staying hydrated, exercising, and sleeping.
  • Practice emotional energy habits such as crying, smiling, having a support team, laughing, meditating, being mindful, adult coloring, scheduling priorities, and complete silence (think sensory deprivation chamber).

Did you notice any recurring themes between the speakers?

Where will FitBloggin' be next year? I'm hoping that they decide on another Midwestern city, maybe Columbus, Ohio. That way I can crash with family the weekend.


  1. You had so many great takeaways and notes from the sessions. I'm glad we introverts could stick together, especially for the expo! I think another Midwest city would be great for next year too.

  2. What a great event and a wealth of knowledge you came away with ! Thanks for sharing this! I wish there were more blogging conferences in my area. Atlanta, New Orleans, even Memphis or Birmingham!!!

  3. Awesome looking event! Need to check it out! And I love your rationale for avoiding change. So true.

  4. How fun! I wish I didn't miss it this year!

  5. Wow you packed a lot into one weekend!! Seems like you learned a lot. Lisa sounds like a really interesting speaker

  6. Awesome post! I will have to check out this event for next year!

  7. That was one great event Cassi! Tons of valuable information!