Yes folks, we are coming down to the home stretch! The final day of Fitbloggin’! Follow @foodiemcbody
I have to admit to “sleeping in” until the late hour of 8am on Saturday. It appears that none of us set the alarm. But then I peeked at my phone and my Twitter stream was blowing up with “bacon! bacon! bacon!” and I knew that Ryan of @NoMoreBacon was starting his panel (<– check out the liveblogging recap) with @yumyucky @esthercrawford and @priorfatgirl! Yikes!! We tossed on our clothes and ran for the elevator.
This second day of Fitbloggin’ was pretty much all presentations. I’m sure that there were all sorts of logistical reasons for this, ie room setup logistics, chair moving and the like, but it felt like Friday was so physical – running and jumping and dancing and lifting (and performing!) and Saturday was all… sitting. And staying inside. I wonder if there could be more of a mixup of physical/mental next year.
It was so, so hard to choose between sessions in the amazing schedule. I had come to the conference with the intention of learning all kinds of stuff so I could improve my blog (I admit I am completely stuck on Blog 101!), but in the end I made all of my decisions for purely social reasons. I went to panels so I could see/support the people who were on them. So I missed the photography panel, and the website analytics talk, and the design workshop and SEO (I still don’t know what the heck that is, which is why I have about 4 blog readers) and self-hosting. Thank goodness for the wonderful people who did live recaps and thanks to Roni for posting them!
I did go to the session on Building an Online Community, which was really good. It ranged from JulieJulie (my carpool/plane buddy from Day 1!), who has a small-but-a-lot-bigger-than-mine community blog, ranging all the way up to DailyBurn, which is like… GINORMOUS.
Next up, I went to a panel featuring my awesome roommate Karen CL Anderson, as well as Katie Heddleston, Christie Inge and the amazing Shauna Reid. The topic was “Ditch the Diet: Eating Intuitively.” Now I have to admit, I went into this feeling some amount of trepidation. I could feel my stomach scrunching up throughout this panel, every time Weight Watchers was mentioned with contempt or distaste. I could feel the confusion from the audience – including one woman who had victoriously reached her goal weight this week – and now hearing that maybe it was better to NOT use a scale, to not have goals, to eat “intuitively.” It was a very emotionally charged panel, and I know it spoke powerfully to many in the audience. Many panelists said things that I felt myself nodding at, and other things, I just felt the invisible arrows flying through the air. It reinforced to me that there are an infinite number of ways to “DO” this journey. I just felt sad hearing people bashing WW from the stage, and nobody up there saying what an awesome program it can be. (Dave Kirchhoff, you gotta come to Fitbloggin 2012!) I had to keep silently reminding myself that people weren’t attacking ME.
One of the best things that came out of that panel was the powerful question, “How do you know when It is Working?” If you’re not using a scale, or other measures, then what does “Working” mean? The variety of answers around that question was fantastic. It’s a great and important question, whether you’re “dieting” or not. I loved Shauna’s answer, which was that she knew it was “working” when she ate only 2 finger of a KitKat bar instead of all four!
After that panel, it was time for another awesome lunch. Then, more decisions. I decided to go to the Humor in Blogging panel, mostly because I am a mad fan of the panelists: JackSh*t, Mrs. Fatass and the fabulous Charlie, who showed up in a purple cape AND took a pee break during the session! What can I say about this panel except that it was funny and I laughed a lot.
Then there was a panel on Blogger Responsibility. I was fascinated by this topic but it was another one that sort of irked and perplexed me. It was based on the premise that bloggers need to be careful (or do they?) about what they write, because they could, as Marie Claire magazine accused, trigger their readers and turn them toward dangerous or unhealthy behavior.
The whole idea of this panel seemed unnecessary to me. But it’s easy for me to say since I have just a teeny handful of susceptible readers, compared to the likes of some of the superstars up there. Do we need to write a disclaimer if we’re going to write about weighing ourselves, or setting a goal, or counting calories or running a marathon? Will people reading it feel competitive, or unworthy or what?
I don’t know. I guess I feel like my own blog can’t really affect anyone that much, and if it affects them at all, I’d hope it would be in a good direction. I do know that some people felt tweaked and “triggered” when I started keeping a food blog. All I could do was hope that they would not look at it, that they would avoid something they knew would upset them. My feeling is that ANYthing can trigger ANYbody, and if we spend too much time censoring ourselves against who might be triggered, well then we’d never write a word. Those are my two cents on “blogger responsibility.” What do you think??
I wrote recently about being triggered – BIG TIME- by this solo show I went to in 2009. At the time, it was terribly upsetting. But in the end it triggered me INTO this journey, it triggered me into health and the life I have now. So I also believe that sometimes triggers that feel bad can end up being good things.
Once, many years ago, someone I cared about said something very hurtful about my, er, state of underemployment. Some people could see me as a part-time worker or stay at home mom (I never saw myself with that label), but this person said I was “mooching” off my husband. OW. OW OW OW OW!!!!!!!! I think the reason that stung so much is that deep down, I worried about the same thing. I went out and started working that year, and it led me into the most meaningful work of my life. So, yeah, triggers can be a good thing. Sometimes it’s just what we need.
The keynote session featured radio personalities, Dr. Fitness & the Fat Guy, who are pretty much the Click ‘N Clack of the fitness world. They had interviewed me (for one minute!) earlier on for one of the Fitness Minutes, and during their keynote they did a great impromptu interview with FatGirlVsWorld. They’re a total hoot (but also an awesome resource) -you oughta check them out!
Okay my dearies, that’s enough for now. I’m almost at the end of this epic tale! Coming next: The Friends I Made and Met.
June 1, 2011 at 1:45 am
To learn how to do SEO, you should check out Danny Sullivan from SearchEngineWatch.com (he’s on twitter also but you’ll learn more about SEO from the site – although he’s super funny!).
Love your writing. I got all teary eyed in joy for you on your Day 2 write-up. So happy for you & the show success (and WOW what an impressive review of the show!).
June 1, 2011 at 1:55 am
thanks for that tip!
June 1, 2011 at 7:23 am
I am sorry you felt like there were daggers in the room; I don’t think that was anyone’s intention at all. And, I know that for some people, weight watchers does work and all of us went into the panel knowing that our view would not be for everyone. We also knew that only a subset of folks would agree with us and be interested in ditching the diet – as the panel name suggested. Knowing those things going in – all I could do was be myself and talk about my experience and know that it was impacting the people that needed my message at the time.
I can only speak from personal experience as well as reflect on the experience of my clients and that experience has a loud and clear message for me. But, I also know that no matter what road we take – we all have the same goals, desires, needs and wants. I am glad you came to the panel and I am glad we were able to meet one another.
June 1, 2011 at 11:20 am
I think it’s ALL we can do- be ourselves, right? I keep forgetting to write that that was my huge takeaway from Fitbloggin- that we all do need to be ourselves and be true to what works for us. I think the panel was a big thing for many people especially those who have been struggling with weight loss. I got that for some people it was the most liberating moment of the weekend and for others it was confusing, ie “What? I’m not supposed to do what I’ve been doing??” But we all truly do want the same things and we will find them on different paths.
June 1, 2011 at 9:08 am
Oh dear I really feel crushed that you felt WW bashing vibes from the panel. I know that was not my intention at all. I have always tried to be very clear on blog, book and when speaking that WW was not a long-term solution *for me* (especially after getting emails from book readers saying WW should sue me for defamation! eep!) WW was a fantastic starting point tool for me, but after awhile I found myself on a very obsessive path. I know this doesn’t happen for many people!
As Christie (I think) said on the panel, you’re doing soemthing that works for you and that doesn’t leave you feeling rubbish about yourself then keep going with it (I remember chiming in at that point citing Roni as an example of someone who does WW and has a great relationship with food).
I think we all need to find our own definition of “what works” for us and be unapologetic about it, and don’t worry about what label you put on it (says the girl who dabbles with intuitve eating techniques but still hops on the scale and would never give up her food journal 🙂
June 1, 2011 at 11:23 am
I totally agree Shauna – we do need to all find what works for us – and for many of us that changes over time, AND it often a combination of many things. Please don’t feel crushed! That wasn’t my intent either. It’s my own ‘stuff’ to work on, right? Just because “my way” isn’t everyone’s way, doesn’t make it or me evil. It also just made me feel disappointed because I truly do believe, when done well, that WW and IE are absolutely interchangeable and true allies. But I realize that it isn’t always presented in that light and that was also disappointing to realize.
June 1, 2011 at 11:30 am
i actually have a post coming up that addresses the very thing of it not being right or wrong – it is just what it is. And expecting what works for me to work for everyone else is just arguing with reality. As Karen mentioned, this is also a recent realization for me – that being militant about one thing or another is about me – and not it.
June 1, 2011 at 11:20 am
I echo what Shauna said…at one time I was rather…um…militant about “diets” (not any one in particular) but have come to recognize that it was my “junk” so to speak. I, too, wanted to make sure that I didn’t bash anyone’s method because that’s just not helpful!
And I wanted to say that you totally ROCK for all the live-Tweeting you did during our session (and others). 🙂
June 1, 2011 at 11:39 am
Ahhhh – so in the words of MizFit – we are all the experts of ourselves… LOVING your recaps! xoxo
June 1, 2011 at 11:51 am
Susan, I am in complete agreement that “there’s no one right way to do this”. For me, Dr. Michelle May at AmIHungry.com is a fantastic resource on how to make the intuitive/mindful eating part work. My current combo is weightwatchers for food plan, Beck diet solutions for structure, and mindful eating/amihungry and buddhist practice as the ground. Also, dancing and Oakland Women’s adventure boot camp, for exercises I never thought I’d do at Lake Merritt at 6:00 am. It’s all going so well and smoothly I can’t believe it. I love the intuitive part, really paying attention to my hunger/fullness and emotional cues; but I want someone else (like WW) to help structure the food plan. It’s just so much easier. Annie
June 1, 2011 at 11:57 am
Oooh I love that combo! It sounds awesome!! Go Annie!