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Fitbloggin’

The Twitter Fitness Web

Every once in a while, I think I have GOT to write a book called “The Twitter Diet” although I think there already is such a thing. But sometimes I am just overwhelmed with the incredibly community and power that is the Fitbloggin’/FitTwitter world. Just last week I blogged about needing more accountability and consistency in my fitness life.

My buddy Kris responded, “Me too!” and just like that, a little thread of accountability was spun between us. And every day we check in on each other. We had an energetic holiday weekend and cheered each other on with all kind of high fives, but then…. we went back to work today. Both of us were feeling a certain degree of stress and “how are we going to do this?” When I got home from work it was hot and I was tired. And I needed to make dinner and and and…..

The pile of excuses.

Then Kris Tweeted, “8pm. Twenty minutes of ANYthing.” And there it was. My accountability. She lives over 200 miles away from me and yet she is my exercise buddy. Which I already established that I really NEED. So I hemmed and hawed after dinner “I’m really full!” but then it was 7:49 and 7:55 and I said, “I’m putting on my shoes.” She wrote, “No fancy exercise clothes, just regular shorts.” Which was what I was wearing, too. I told Mr. McBody I was taking a walk. He had a look of consternation on his face. He worries about mountain lions.

When I got up to the park it was half full of cars (which is a lot for 8pm!). Lots of people and dogs had been waiting for it to cool down. I headed up the trail carrying a big stick anyway, and I whistled loudly and out of tune to my iPod.

I had a great walk. I went 1.75 miles in 35 minutes, which was more than the “twenty minutes of anything” I was hoping to accopmplish. I even jogged a tiny bit and worked up some sheen.

While I was out on my walk, I saw that Deb had also joined us from her own location. Three friends walking together simultaneously, many miles apart! Kris sent a photo of the view from her hill.

Pretty, huh?

This, my friends, is the best of what technology has to offer. It shrinks worlds and allows connection, not just between people glued to their computer screens, but out in the world, on the trail, getting healthy together/apart. I know tonight that if it were not for my friend 200 miles away, I would NOT have put on those shoes and gone into the woods. There were just too many reasons NOT to. But I did it and feel so grateful and glad.

Ahhh Saturday: Fitbloggin’ Recap Part 3!!!!!

photo credit: @BrittGettinFit

Yes folks, we are coming down to the home stretch! The final day of Fitbloggin’!

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.

Katie Heddleston, RD
Karen CL Anderson!
Christie Inge
Shauna Reid

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.

the one and only Jack Sh*t
Sue O'Lear, aka Mrs Fatass, has a funny!
It's Super-Charlie!

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.

@LisaJohnson, mulling it all

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?

Carla (aka @mizfitonline), deeply listening

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??

Carrots & Cake, pondering

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!

Dr. Fitness & the Fat Guy!
What a dramatic claim!

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.

The NeverEnding Story: Fitbloggin’ Part 2!

"I'm alive!!" (from FoodFoodBodyBody, the show) photo credit: @bodhi_bear

Ah, so where was I? Friday late morning!  My goodness, is this recap ever going to end? Apparently not. (and as a warning/disclaimer: this recap is going to be pretty much all about our Fri evening performance, since it was ALL I could think about the entire day!!)

So after the fitness fun, we had lunch. WOW the food was amazing at this conference! Not the usual icky hotel fare. It was GOOD. Lots of fresh veggies, and grilled sandwiches, and interesting salads… other people have detailed the food better than me, with lovely photos, so check that out.

After lunch I started feeling insane from sweat and grunge (I had not showered since leaving California – UGH!) and also jittery tired and starting to get anxious for the evening performance. I ran upstairs to take a shower and since I did that, I missed the Laughing Cow blogger & brand panel. Wahhh. It just isn’t possible to do everything!  Then it was time for the Blogging: from Hobby to Career panel. During that one, Paolo and I were getting some very very necessary shut-eye so we could refuel for the evening. Zzzzzz. I was very sorry to miss Carla & company on that one until the final 15 minutes or so.

By then it was 5pm and it was time to get serious about prepping for the show. I have to say, performing in a venue like this is very very different from performing at a little theater at home. Usually, what I do at home is not plan anything else for the day (hahahahahaha!). Then we get to the theater a couple hours early to go over our tech cues, walk through our lines, meditate, pace, or huddle in a corner. We don’t talk to anyone and they don’t talk to us. To be prepping for a performance on the same day as a 5k run (in which I got up the equivalent of 3am), several other fitness events and hundreds of people milling around that I wanted to talk to, was brain-melting to say the least.

photo credit: @bodhi_bear

Paolo and I instructed the hotel guys in re-arranging the stage platform riser, and they listened to us (mostly him) run through the piece a few times. The guys LOVED listening to Paolo and kept cracking up while they were breaking down the huge screen and moving chairs around. But I was aware of the cocktail mixer in the room next door, and hoping that people would drift in… drift over… and a few did, and a few more, but definitely nowhere near the 250 people in attendance at Fitbloggin’. We started fretting. We started begging our friends who were in the audience to go next door and make an announcement. Which they did.

Deep breath.

I think I hadn’t realized until this moment how BIG it was for me to do this particular performance in this particular venue. I had performed it many times in San Francisco, but that was for general audiences who may or may not care about fitness or health. But this audience… this audience was the reason I HAD a blog, which was the reason I had a show. I know my big raw heart was super out there that night, and every time I saw a little group of people walking PAST the open doors, it just broke a little.

It’s every performer’s heartbreak to have a tiny audience in a huge room. Those empty chairs just… echo.  I’d say our audience was little/medium. Paolo and I kept whispering to each other, “If this was Stagewerx….” (the theater where we normally perform, which seats around 40!)

we did it! Yahoo! photo credit: @bodhi_bear

But you know what? We killed it. I think we both brought our best up there and I know it was good for the people who were there. It was a really huge and emotional thing for me. I was so glad Paolo was there, to be my performing buddy, to ROCK his brand new show “I Get Wet” and to really understand what all of it meant. After the show we were sprinkled with wonderful Tweets and it all felt good. I went out to dinner with my terrific roommates, and then collapsed big-time.

givin' it up for Paolo! Woot! photo credit: @bodhi_bear

In retrospect, it was understandable, that more people didn’t come. People were starving and exhausted. A lot of people didn’t even realize it was happening. (one friend said, I can’t wait to see your show tomorrow night! later at the bar) Most people hadn’t gone up to their room for a nap in the afternoon like I had. I had to miss some stuff because of my own personal situation, and the same was true for others during the 8pm hour.  If we ever come back for a repeat Fitbloggin’ performance (and I hope we do), I think I’d propose that we get scheduled earlier in the day OR that there are provisions for food during the show (after all, it was all set up a la dinner theater). Some resourceful people went out to Whole Foods and brought their dinners back to eat during the show, and that was cool, but most people just had no idea to do that.

For anyone who’s reading this who didn’t come to the show that night, I don’t mean this to be all guilt trippy, I really don’t! I love you and I understand that Life just happened that night, whether it was “I need to do something else” or “PF Chang’s held us hostage with poisoned chopsticks” or “I fell asleep.” (I totally get that!!) I hope that we will have more opportunities to perform for this wonderful community in the future.

And I want to thank Katy Widrick for this tearjerking (for me) awesome review!!

It was a night that I almost skipped — I’d had one of the busiest days of my life, running around the Fitbloggin’ conference –But when I saw that Susan Ito and Paolo Sambrano were scheduled to perform their one-woman and one-man shows, I decided to peek in and see what it was all about.One hour and two standing ovations later, my face was streaked with tears, my stomach hurt from laughing and I was so glad I’d attended the shows.

Susan Ito’s performance struck at my very center — from the first line, in which she finds herself facing a devastating health journey, to the very end, her emotional yet entertaining story inspired and touched me. Her ability to tell a story, with no props and just a small stage, made me forget where I was. People of all ages, backgrounds and experiences will sympathize with Susan’s challenges while cheering her on through the defeats and the successes.

Paolo Sambrano has an incredible ability to transform his body and face to tell a painful yet wildly funny story — and as he shared his history of overeating, ripe with family pressure and cultural challenges, I found myself laughing hysterically while fighting back tears. From the showdown at the fast food joint to a shudder-inducing story of his family’s travels, Paolo takes what could be a sad and depressing journey through obesity and weight loss and turns it into just a well-told experience.

I can’t recommend Susan and Paolo’s shows highly enough — two thumbs up, five stars and roaring ovations for both.

Just one amazing review like that makes it all. Worth it.
Recap up next: Fitbloggin’ SATURDAY! The day I was able to Relax And Enjoy It All. And it won’t be all about ME! Ahhh! 😉

Fitbloggin’ 2011: Or, Moby Dick Part 1

Fitbloggin May 19 Day 1 (35 of 40)

I’ve been putting off writing this mega-recap of Fitbloggin‘ because I know it’s going to take hours and hours. It was such a HUGE experience and I’ve been having difficulty processing it all in my head. I know I’m not the only one. It was an incredible event and I’ve been contemplating- do I tell it chronologically? (like my race recaps, from beginning to end) or topically, thematically? I think what I’m going to do is write it chronologically, but then I’m going to have to write separate blog posts for big themes that come up. Sigh. This could take a long time. Bear with me, people!

I have to start with the plane flight there because it was hilarious, “meeting” another Fitbloggin’ attendee by realizing (via Twitter) that we were both boarding the same flight from Salt Lake City –> Baltimore. While waiting at the gate, I saw on Twitter that another blogger, Julie had checked-in at Salt Lake City. I peered at her tiny little avatar photo and tried to match it up with people at the gate. I tweeted, “Are you at C-5?” but she didn’t seem to have her phone on. When I sat down, I tweeted, “I’m in seat 22F”! and then figured it would be a mystery. About halfway through the flight, a super friendly face stopped by my row and said, “Are you Foodie? I’m sorry, but I don’t know what your real name is!” It was @Juliejulie!! I think the guys in my row were like, “Uh….wha????”

At the baggage claim, we met up with Mara of Medicinal Marzipan and the party began! My roommate Karen was on her way to pick me up and we all got in the car together. Good times! Happy Times!

@juliejulie and @mmarzipan -yippeee!
Karen, our lovely personal Fitbloggin' driver!

Got to the Marriott. Wow, Baltimore is pretty. I hadn’t realized that during my last work trip in February. It’s totally cool! We checked-in to the Fitbloggin desk and got our GINORMOUS bags of swag which included New Balance running shoes (whaaat?), cute beanie caps with MP3 speakers at the ears, and a pile of other stuff. Also the coolest name badges ever which we got to decorate ourselves. Yay! I heart stickers! The opening social was kind of a whirlwind chaos of meeting people for the first time, eating yummy snacks, hugging (yeah I wore my Free Hugs shirt), jumping on trampolines, poking people with our Pokens (coolest little gizmo ever – you stick your little hand next to their little hand and when the palms turn green, voila! your contact info has been exchanged!) and just brain-exploding WOW WE ARE HERE!

@paolo and Luke getting their Pokens together
Really? For ME? Wowwww!

Friday night I had one of the awesomest crabcakes ever, at dinner with my roommates in the hotel restaurant. YUMMY!

ginormous lumpy crab cake!

Friday morning I woke up at 6am, to get ready for the 7am 5k. Mind you, this was 3am California time, and I’d gotten up at 2am California time to catch my flight the day before. I was running on pure adrenaline fumes!

I was wearing my Totoro hat, which I’d brought two of, one to share with my Asian twin/sister/buddy Jess. But sadly Jess could not make it to Fitbloggin and I had an extra, empty Totoro hat. (insert sad face)

missing @halfofjess

As other people have pointed out, Fitbloggin’ is not the most racially diverse event one could find. Which was why Jess and I were so excited to be Asian buddies together. Without her, it was lookin’ like just me and @Paolo. Did this matter? Not reallllllllllllly. But at the same time, there’s a certain comfort in not feeling like the only One of something.

A lot of people were not quite sure what to make of my Totoro hat. One person Tweeted that I was wearing a “manga cat” hat. Hahaha! NOT a cat. Then Kia (aka @bodhi_bear) went wild went she saw it! TOTOROOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! and I knew she was the one who had to have the twin hat.

Happy @bodhi_bear!The 5k commenced out back of the hotel. It was allegedly a run-walk thing, but I could immediately feel the SPEED in the front-runners and I knew people were going much faster than my norm. It’s hard for me especially in smaller race crowds to “find my own pace” and not want to keep up with everyone else. It takes a lot to FOCUS when it seems like everyone is passing you. And yet when I run too fast for my own body, I struggle, and that just doesn’t feel good.

It was a beautiful run along the water and past some cute shops and cafes. The weather was pretty much perfect, maybe in the 50s, not too hot or cold, and it didn’t rain as threatened. So it was pretty much an awesome run. But on the way back, the runners were so spread out, I couldn’t see the group ahead of me. I ended up getting a little lost (and taking a few people with me: SORRY!) and doing an extra half-mile or so.

5k Finishers! Yahoooo! Love the tutus.
This rockstar @dubyawife ran her first 5k at Fitbloggin! As did several others.

The sponsors at Fitbloggin were absolutely awesome. From the swag to the events to the meals to the giveaways, it was just so well supported. Yay sponsors!

@Attune foods gave us a yummy breakfast and nutrition lecture. And a cute bamboo spoon!
yummy cherry smoothies from the Cherry folks!

After breakfast there commenced a huge number of other fitness sessions, none of which I wanted to miss! But I was sweaty. And shivery from the air conditioning on top of cold sweat. And TIRED! But as I said, I wanted to miss nothing. Except the Zumba.

There was an awesome kettlebell demonstration by my roommate Karen, @fitmommy and @girl-heroes. WOW they knew how to swing those things. I was inspired.

@kclanderson in her Rather Provocative Shirt
Woo! GIrlHeroes was amazing!

But there was more! My hero and friend MizFitonline (aka Carla Birnberg) gave a great demo on resistance training with bands and the UgiFit ball. (a huge, soft, 8 lb medicine ball that smells just like a new car)

another contender for "best T-shirt" @mizfitonline

The awesome thing is there was a drawing for an Ugi ball (NOT CHEAP!) and… I won! I won! I won!!!!! I can’t even describe how happy this made me.

And… with that… I’m gonna have to take a break. Midmorning Friday! Oh man. I’ll be back. There’s so much more to talk about. But this little recap has taken the better part of 3 hours and I got much else to do this sunny Sunday.

If you were at Fitbloggin, I know you have your own recaps but please feel free to chime in about ANY of these happenings! And if you weren’t there, ask questions. It was freaking awesome.

Back later!

Fitbloggin’ 2011 (watch this space)

A recap will be coming here in the next several days. But I’m warning you, it’s gonna be something along the lines of War & Peace.

In a word: AMAZING. Here’s a little placeholder from the friendly folks at Popchips.

Cold Feet?

So I’ve been reading on blogs and Twitter about people getting cold feet about Fitbloggin – people thinking about not going, or deciding not to go, or feeling uber nervous about going.

I can relate.

In spite of my INTENSE level of excitement, there’s a little-to-medium-sized part of me that is all freaking out inside. And not just because I’m performing on Friday night (to either a big room full of people, or a big room with like THREE people. Which is worse??).

It’s hard to really put into words but I saw that Roni’s recent blog post (Roni is the founder/organizer/QUEEN of Fitbloggin’!) was called Self-Sabotage. This word resonated with me so deeply without even reading the post.

I think there’s a teeny tiny bit of that going on. I was going gangbusters with the #30daychip a while back, diligently exercising Every! Single! Day!

But then things took a little bit of a turn, and that diligence just turned to something else. Defiance? Laziness? Fear? I think maybe a bit of all those things. Someone Tweeted me this morning “I see you’re still awesome!” and I was like, um, I’m feeling sort of Awesome-Minus right now. Not at my very best.

I think we all fear Showing Up at Fitbloggin’, when we’ve been sort of invisible to each other for all this time. Expectations are out there. People have a certain idea of who I am or might be. What if I’m a disappointment? What if, in spite of the Free Hugs campaign, people feel I am ignoring them? What if I don’t have enough TIME to talk and share and hang out with everyone I have wanted to for so long? What if… AGH!

This is just the shadow speaking up, the little Gollum hiding underneath all the excitement and happiness. The voice needs to come out.

But screw the cold feet. I’m gonna find myself some socks.

Can you relate??

Fitbloggin’ Countdown Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

It’s hard to believe that after all this anticipation, I’ll be getting on a plane to go to Fitbloggin this Thursday! Squeeeeee!!!!! Last year at this time, I think I barely knew what Fitbloggin was.  But what a difference a year makes. I’m so beyond excited.

In the past couple of years, I’ve had the chance to have a few face-to-face meetings with bloggers I’ve come to know and love and admire. One of the first blogger I met (she was one of my very first online friends to reach out to me) in person was Shannon. I cannot describe the affection and love I have for this woman. She was my first fit-blogging friend and will always have a special place in my heart.  I’ve also loved spending time with @Pubsgal, Mary, Tracey, Roni (major major star and organizer of Fitbloggin!) Kat, Deb, Hazel, and most recently, Kenlie! (traveling rock star!)

So I’ve met a few folks from my cyber community. But it will be nothing like the surreal experience of seeing hundreds of my “virtual” friends all together, IN PERSON, FACE TO FACE, in one place! There will be 300 bloggers at Fitbloggin’ and I think it’s safe to say I’ve read the blogs of half of them, and been a mad raving FAN of dozens of them. I can’t believe I’m going to actually meet:…. err….

Okay, I was just going to list all the people I am excited to get to meet and realized it would take me ALL DAY to list them all with their links, so… suffice it so say, there are LOTS of them! So many that I can’t count them all and I fear my head is going to explode.

I am excited.

Part of me is nervous though. In spite of the Free Hugs campaign that I actually helped organize (along with Alan). I can tell that my anxiety level is a bit higher than usual. I’ve been doing some, er, nervous eating. Last night I had an anxiety dream that I managed to gain 50 lbs in 4 days and that I was standing on a stage weighing more than my “before” weight. (heh. classic dream)

But I am going to be standing on a stage. Which is both the culmination of a huge dream AND a source of major nerves. I’m going to be performing for the Fitbloggin community, my solo show which is basically all about THEM. How awesome is that. But also it feels big. (I’m used to performing for nice little audiences of 30)

At any rate, I am both thrilled out of my mind and jittery. Which is normal. We’re all jittery. But I’m ready. I have my business cards. I have my Totoro hat. I have my Free Hugs shirt and buttons. I have my hugging arms and my camera. One thing I know is that two days is going to be totally insufficient for all the meeting, greeting, sharing, hugging, laughing and sweating I intend to do (including the Fitbloggin 5k run! and stuff with Ugi balls and such!).

Six months ago, I vowed to myself that I wanted to be in the Very Best Shape of my Life at Fitbloggin. Well, life had other plans and I am not exactly in the best shape of my life. I’m not in the worst either, but I’m not in any peak sort of form. But it’s okay. My arms are in fine shape for hugging, and that’s really all that matters, isn’t it?

Comment here if you are going to Fitbloggin! Or if you went last year! Or if you’re not going but wish you were!

The Power of Art

Two years ago, the same week that I received my diabetes diagnosis, I attended a night of solo performance. I was going to see a friend of mine, but as is often the case, she was performing in a showcase with a few other people I didn’t know. One of them was a woman named Lisa-Marie. I had no idea what her show was about, but as the lights came up and she started acting the part of her mother, “Lisa! Lisa! We have to check your numbers!” I knew that it was about diabetes. And it was. The friends I had come with started tossing concerned glances my way. They knew I had been fairly traumatized by this news from my doctor.

Turns out that Lisa-Marie has Type 1 Diabetes, what used to be called “juvenile diabetes” because she was diagnosed as a child. And in one scene, she was ranting about how frustrating it is to be misunderstood for that “OTHER” kind of diabetes, the kind that fat people who eat too many cheeseburgers get.

Ouch.

I remember slumping down in my seat, my face burning with embarrassment. I think I had a bit of an out-of-body experience for a few minutes. Yeah. That’s the kind of diabetes that *I* had. The kind that you bring on yourself. The kind where it’s all your fault (you disgusting pig). I died a million deaths during that 15 minute show, and when it was over I fled the theater like I’d been set on fire.

Well. Funny how life turns out. Last week I did a performance of my own show, and guess who else was in my lineup? Yes, none other than the same Lisa-Marie, who did an amazing piece about breast cancer (entitled “Nice Rack.” It was fabulous). And I knew that I had to talk to her about her show, and my show, and my life, and how it all linked together.

And I was talking to her, I realized (huge flash) that even though seeing her show had been absolutely excruciating back then, it also solidified in me a feeling of “HELL NO. Nobody is ever, ever, ever going to talk about me and MY diabetes that way.” And I realize now that it was a very very real and clear catalyst for my getting healthy. She was one of the things that pushed me into my journey in a very real way. And while her show had upset and embarrasssed me, it also was one of the greatest gifts I could’ve gotten.

Right in the midst of my own performance on Wednesday night (dress rehearsal for my performance at Fitbloggin next week!!), I added a line just for her.  🙂 “Oh no. I brought this on myself. I can’t tell anybody. I’m so embarrassed. I know what they say about people who get Type 2 diabetes – that happpens to people who too many cheeseburgers…. but… I don’t eat THAT many cheeseburgers. Do I?” It’s sort of a poignant/funny line, and now I know it’s going to stay in there.

It’s kind of amazing to me how many people come up to me after a performance and say, “I have prediabetes. But I haven’t done anything about it. But now…” Or the same thing about a family member or friend. And I hope that maybe my show can be the same kind of catalyst for them.

I didn’t make myself have diabetes, not 100% anyway. Genetics does that. But once I have it I can choose to ignore it or manage it and be as healthy as I can anyway. That’s what I choose.

Now I’m dreaming up ways that Lisa-Marie and I can do our shows together, the voices of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes coming together. How cool would THAT be.

Has a performance/book/movie/painting or other piece of art ever influenced how you lived YOUR life?

Events WishList for 2011

Calendar

Okay, so I must be feeling better. I’m making up my wish list of active events for the coming year. And: I would LOVE COMPANY at any of these!!!!!! Tell me if you want to join in! Remember, the “company” is for before/after shmoozing. I go at my own pace which may be much slower or faster (<<ha ha unlikely!) than another person. But I love sharing events with people and especially reading race or event recaps where I shared the same experience.

  • January 29: Dam Run 5k (I downgraded from a 10k just because of my shaky health and that I still have not run a mile this year!!) — COMPLETED! YAY!

  • January 30: My Healthaversary! TWO YEARS of health and fitness, yahoo! A ritual hike to the labyrinth at Sibley Volcanic Park, followed by awesome lunch at my house. Email me if you want to attend.
  • March 27: Fight For Air Stair Climb – sign up for our team!! East Bay Fit Club! I am about to post about the amazing fundraiser I’m doing to raise some $$ for the American Lung Assocation.
  • March 28: Oakland Running Festival – not sure yet if I’m going to do a Team Relay or go for the Half-Marathon. It all depends on how my running goes in Jan/Feb.
  • May 15: Bay to Breakers! My first! Yahooo!
  • May 20: Fitbloggin! Including the Fitbloggin’ 5k! Yay!
  • September 4: Disneyland Half Marathon
  • December 4: Rock ‘n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon!

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