Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fitbloggin' Health and Fitness Conference Recap

I'm back from Fitbloggin'12 in Baltimore, Maryland. What a great weekend! FitBloggin’ is an annual health and fitness conference where hundreds of bloggers and brands from across the country come together to discuss health and fitness related topics and how to utilize social media to help promote overall wellness. This was my first year attending.

I felt proud being the weight loss surgery lifestyle blogger representative and sharing what life is like with rearranged guts. We may have had an initial helping hand with surgical assistance but we're not too different from each other. Life = healthy food choices, moving the body daily and working on the head. Rinse, lather, repeat, FOREVER whether you had surgery or not.

I learned a ton at the educational sessions, made some healthy new pals and connected with some old pals. I love going to conferences like these they are so crammed packed with information, smiles and laughter.

I am thankful to Fitbloggin' for offering the opportunity to Liveblog a session in exchange for a free ticket. I was assigned to live blog a session called, "Drive More Traffic Through SEO" presented by Brandi K. of DietsinReview.com a website I often read. You can read my liveblog notes from her presentation on the Fitbloggin' website if you want to know more about Search Engine Optimization. She shared some awesome, surprisingly easy and free tips. If you blog and you want Google to give you love be sure to read the session notes.

I want to also thank Big Train makers of nom nom nom Fit Frappe for picking up some of the tab for my trip. In exchange my fellow blogging pal Beth and I had the super enjoyable task of sharing our love for their product with the new blogger pals we made. If you haven't tried Fit Frappe you have to try it, it's soooo good.

Made lots of new friends. Here's Mark L. past contestant on The Biggest Loser Season 10. My pal Beth and I shared our Big Train Fit Frappe with him and he shared one of his favorite protein sources with us. Here's Beth and I doing a video review of his Protein Ice Power Shots.

The Food: I ate some delicious food. Lots of protein. I had Maryland crab (of course) in a salad and in a killer soup. I will try and recreate that soup soon. The Fitbloggin' meals provided were great, which is not always the case at these conventions. I was impressed. Moist, flavorful chicken and salmon, lovely salads, hard boiled egg Popsicles at breaks with little bottles of Tabasco sauce (such a cute idea), a celery root soup with chive oil that was the bomb, eggplant tapenade and veggies. Lots of healthy choices for this high protein, low carber.

The Hotel: We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor. If you are going to Baltimore for a convention or family trip I highly recommend it, for location it can't be beat. The hotel staff was lovely and helpful, the convention facilities were great, the rooms are fine, comfortable beds, clean. The only negative was one night we returned late and everything was closed (hotel store, room service, there were no vending machines) so I bit the bullet at grabbed a drink out of the mini bar. I hated paying the $5 but I was dying of thirst. I hated it even more when I realized the slightly funky tasting, thicker than normal drink had expired a few weeks ago. I had them remove the charge and I'm not dead so it's all good.

The City: I had never been to Baltimore (Charm City) funny because as most of you know I grew up on Long Island. I'm a New Yorker born and raised. You'd think I'd have taken a family trip there but nope. We didn't get any daytime sightseeing in but we did walk several miles one night from our hotel in the Inner Harbor through Little Italy and Fell's Point and then took a Water Taxi home. I wrestled a giant crab and kissed a fish.

The Swag: Scored a lot of fun stuff from the awesome Fitbloggin sponsors. Super cool new RealFlex Fusion TR workout shoes from Reebok, Spices from McCormick Seasonings, that new Blender Bottle Sport Mixer, I had to have one of these stuffed eggs (a long lost cousin) from Eggland's Best, some swag sadly I had to pass on to pals... my yoga mat and a huge bottle of Febreze Laundry Odor Eliminator (for us stinky exercisers) because I was edging close to the 50 pound weight limit on my luggage. It would be cool if they did more freebie coupons next year on the big stuff for those that have to fly from distances. Despite the stuff I passed on I still have a huge bag of awesome to sample. I'll review a few in the coming weeks.

I fell in love with these mini trampolines from JumpSport Fitness they are so much fun and seriously they are one kick ass workout. I watched an hour long trainer led session and the sweat was dripping from people. I am so getting one. I need the one with the safety handle at first. I'm a little wobbly and I think the bar will help me feel more secure. I'm thinking with practice one day I will not need it but I used to twist my ankle and fall a lot before I lost weight and I think I still have a bit of a fear. If you are looking for a fun workout this is it. I mean hello?! It's a trampoline! I felt like Tom Hanks in that scene in "Big."

Next year's Fitbloggin'13 event will take place in Portland, Oregon from June 27th-30th. My birthday is the 28th so plan to come celebrate with me. If you are like me and are documenting your weight loss journey with a blog you won't want to miss it!

New Fitbloggin' pals please connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest. Would love to keep in touch!

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sierra said...

Jealous! I'm hoping to go next year. Maybe. My blog used to be fit-blog related until I got lazy. I'm having an RNY (is that how you say it? An RNY? The RNY? Just RNY? Articles are confusing. Not like I have an English degree or anything. Oh, wait.) hopefully in April. I think my blog will be getting back on track soon. :D

MM said...


Pandora "Jaime" Williams said...

Wow Shelly I had never even heard of FitBloggin nor did I have any idea they were coming to Portland! I'm totally excited. I've been following your blog on and off for a couple of years now in between blogging about my own journey and living life after WLS :) I'd LOVE the opportunity to meet you when you come to town, I'll treat ya to Starbucks :) Do you have more information on FitBloggin and how to get involved?

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Sierra, Best wishes and speedy healing on your RNY! I also am an RNYer.


Jaime, http://fitbloggin.com/ right now you can read all the recaps from fellow attendees to see what it's like... next year it will be held in Portland, OR in June.

Linda said...

are you serious about getting the mini trampoline?
I am thinking about getting one and started researching them. There are so many and who really knows which one is the best. I dont want a cheapie because they probably would not last.

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Absolutely. I am definitely getting one. I loved the one I tried out at Fitbloggin', made by JumpSport, very high quality. I know what you mean flimsy on something I'm jumping on is not an option.

Pandora "Jaime" Williams said...

Shelly thanks for the info, I've been wanting to get more involved in the the WLS Community online now that I'm closer to the end of my journey. I've been doing the skin removal surgeries this year ( got my 3rd one coming up in December ) so haven't been able to Travel much but I'm trying to pick 2-3 events to attend next year to get involved. Which ones would you recommend most?

Pandora "Jaime" Williams said...

Oh and Shelly those "mini trampolines" Aka "rebounders" are supposed to be alot of fun. I thought the same thing about Tom Hanks in Big when I was looking at them :D

Cris Martin said...

It was soo wonderful to meet you and give you a hug. Thank you & God Bless. <3

Karla said...

OMG!!! I am sooooo going in June, my sister lives in Portland, so this event is totally doable!! weee I will finally get to actually meet you :)

Michelle "Shelly" said...

Jaime, A few I've attended (patient oriented) are the ObesityHelp Conferences, WLSFA Meet & Greet, and I'm really looking forward to the OAC's event next month in Dallas.

KKC said...

Love this blog! I found it right before my RNY on 8/20/12. I felt so relieved because of all the recipes that you have made available WITH PICTURES!!! Thank you so much Michelle!

Linda L said...

Hi again
Okay I am quite serious about getting a JumpSport rebounder but since YOU tried them, (lucky you), do you think the 220 is good enough? or maybe the 250?
May I ask which one you are leaning towards getting?
I am into it Shelly!

Michelle "Shelly" said...

You know I believe it was a 250 I was jumping on but I can find out for sure from the company rep. I loved it... except I really need that safety bar add-on. I am wobbly just walking LOL. As soon as my $$ wallet recovers from the trip I plan on getting one!

Sarah said...

I used to have a fitness blog but then I got into a car accident and got lazy. I am trying to get back to my routine and this sounded like so much fun. I am eating healthier again and those Reeboks look great. Sounds like a terrific opportunity to network and pick up some excellent swag!

Ryan said...

t looks fantastic! I need to get that taken care of as well. :) You have a great attitude going in....it does kind of feel like a Day 1, a fresh start at this point, doesn't it? But it's kind of exciting...today I had some of that FitMixer stuff after my run. I'd never have thought of buying it but since I had it, I thought I'd try it. I think after Fitbloggin' we'll all be trying a few things we haven't done before, and going back to restarting the things we have.