These are all the places you can find me (other than at a bar, the gym, or in a pool):
FatGirlvsWorld on Facebook
FatGirlvsWorld on Youtube
FatGirlvsWorld BodyMedia SpokesBody page (it's a contest... help me win $5,000 by clicking on "like"!)
As many of you all saw (on Twitter), I had my reservations about going to #FitBloggin. I was very surprised to see that I wasn't the only one intimidated by the whole thing.
- being in a room full of people that knew each other and expected me to know them
- people knowing who I was and I didn't know them (I'm so bad with names, avatar/facial recognition)
- saying that I was "FatGirlvsWorld" and having people think I wasn't fat enough for the name
- being at a fitness conference and being seen as fat
- wanting to meet people more than learning about monetizing my blog, or data mining, or sponsor du jour, but people not wanting to socialize
Two moments highlighted my fears, though: When I introduced myself to Andrea Metcalf as "Robby, FatGirlvsWorld" she said something to the tune of "you're not fat at all." I know she meant it as a compliment. I was very much reminded of something that Cara (of Cara's Cravings) said (in the middle of gelato) -- that the new people she meets have no idea of her journey or what she used to look like, be like, and feel like. They just see the thin person.
It's odd to be in the middle of a fitness conference and feel too big to be thin and too thin to be big (and worse of all, worried about offending anyone who was bigger than me by calling myself fat). But the truth is that I will always be FatGirlvsWorld; I will always have the mentality of someone that has struggled with their weight. I started this blog as an open letter to the world to show that there are many definitions of health and fitness, and it is available to anyone who wants it. Calling myself "FatGirl" has never been pejorative (in my mind) -- it is my way of paying homage to the struggle.
The second moment came a little towards the end of the conference when Jack Sh!t jokingly said that everything would be gravy for me once I overcame my shyness. He was being facetious -- but as I told http://www.sweatinguntilhappy.com/, the truth is that it is much easier for me to be FatGirlvsWorld, with all of her bravado and charm than it is for me to be Robby sometimes. I try to be both, but it's not always possible. I am naturally an introvert. I am petrified of being in new places, petrified of being in large groups of people.
|Courtesy of @FattyBoobaLatty|
|The resemblance is uncanny, right?|
I was shocked by the number of people who came up to me and said "ZOMG, you're FATGIRLVSWORLD. I love you!" Here I think I'm running this little blog under the radar. It truly means so much to me that I'm able to not only write for myself (and my own sanity) as well as write for words when you need the words. I am flattered, but I am also humbled.
I was equally as surprised by the number of people who were okay with sitting with me in my silence, or who recognized that I was a bit in over my head A huge thanks to Sharla who recognized that I was on overload and asked if I wanted to get out of there for a bit. We ended up going to the National Aquarium and getting hit on my a longhorn cowfish (photos to follow).
Another huge thanks to my friend Katie, and my friends Amy and Elisha for giving me a place to rest my head. Leading up to the conference I was so overwhelmed that I did nothing to handle the logistics.
Thoughts about #Fitbloggin:
- It is clear to me now that I am not a professional blogger, nor do I have an inclination to be. I am not interested in data mining. I'm not interested in being the most read blogger evar! I'm just interested in writing what's true to me and hoping that my words are what you need when you need it.
- I would have loved there to be more fit than bloggin. My favorite panels/events were Zumba (it was fun to see so many first-timers having fun. I think it was the ice breaker we all needed -- to look silly, get sweaty, and burn some calories) and the Intuitive Eating panel (it was intimate, honest, and uplifting).
- I appreciate that breakfast was being provided courtesy of corporate sponsors -- however, I greatly missed my morning Chobani and FiberOne. I know some people were in need of more protein for breakfast. Hard boiled eggs are easy to transport, but not as good as scrambled eggs.
- I can also appreciate that lunch and some snacks were provided for us -- however, I was missing out on having veggies. There were tons of fruits, but I run on veg. Whole Foods was getting a lot of action from the conference.
- I know part of the problem was not having dedicated rooms for the conference, but I would have liked to see a little more flow from the conference -- having a blogger "speed dating" meet-and-greet early on (not everyone was there on Thursday night) would have been helpful. I would have also put the 101 classes early on in the first day. I would have split up the fitness events over the 2 days. The second say was a lot of sitting in a chair.
- OMG, liveblogging is hard. I gave up after one session (kettlebells).
- I didn't take many pictures. I don't know why this is. Maybe b/c I spent more time on hugging than normal.
- We are a group of very sexy people. Even the firefighters think so. I think the Preakness people were intimidated. Do spandex and fancy hats mix?
- I'm glad that no one thought it was rude to listen and tweet at the same time, or if they did they realized where they were.
- It was a shame that so much of the event was inside. While I know the schedule was busy, it would have been good to have breakout groups for things like the Intuitive Eating panel, it was clear that some people needed some personal attention/support.
- I know we all use twitter, but it would have been cool to have some white boards near the registration booth to post stuff like "Anyone looking to take a walk at 2pm?" "We have an extra bed" or "ISO size 7.5 new balance, will trade size 8." The #Fitbloggin hashtag was too much to keep up with sometimes.
- OMG..... @FitandFreeEmily gave me the best new toy.
- Yeah, I'm a teacher's pet. I asked a question at almost every panel I went to. But I like asking questions. Maybe I need to do more interviews on my blog.
- Are there awards for "Best timing of a hiccup at a conference"????
- I'm so sorry if I launched a wristband at you and you were hit. With power comes responsibility, eh?
- Nope. The interview with Dr. Fitness and the Fat Guy was NOT rehearsed. Man my back was killing me by that time and my posture was horrible.
- Trampolines are fun. But as fitness? Didn't urban rebounding die in the 1990s?
- Where are the wine & cheese sponsors?
- I'm glad there were cherries and chocolate though. nom nom nom. The missing sweet link.
- Oooh we should have had a juice/smoothie bar. One blender was NOT enough, eh?
- It would have been nice for wordpress/blogger to have a table or even a "How To" -- as they're the two most popular platforms. (word to @paolo -- livejournal and diaryland RULE(d)!)
- Did the Marriott know we would be drinking a lot of water?
- Did the Marriott know we'd need more bandwidth/a bigger boat?
- We should have taken over a water taxi.
- Support http://www.leavingfatville.com/ setting and meeting her next mini goal (#LFDoesIt) and remind her that she's a good mom.
- Like I wrote in response to the Blogger Responsibility panel: We need to be the TRUTH TELLERS of the fitness world. Let's be louder than mainstream media. What does this mean? By being a blogger in the fitness world, I think we have the responsibility of showing the world and media that fit and healthy does NOT need to be airbrushed. Our collective voice needs to be louder than the media so that those who are at the beginning of the journey know that they can do so without feeling bad about themselves, without feeling alone, without feeling desperate.
- We really need to explore the whole intuitive eating aspect -- many of us still have issues with emotional eating. Let's get @BradGansberg/#7daychip involved. Let's have a meditative retreat (or a podcast series) where we work to reprogram our relationship with food and forgive ourselves a whole lot more. It's very clear that this is a subset of the fitbloggin community that still needs support and love. ((The quote from Jack Kornfield, if you missed it the first time around: "In the end, forgiveness simply means never putting another person out of our heart.")
- We need to be more willing to (1) be proud of our expertise if we have one (even if it's just being an expert on ourselves, to quote @Krazy_Kris) (2) acknowledge when we do not know something (3) and make connections with the people who might have the information we need, or the information someone is asking us to find. As a community we should be able to help other people based on trusted and proven relationships.
- We need to reach out to corporate sponsors (ones that we currently have relationships with and ones that we do not have relationships with) and show them that they can have spokespeople who are real people, with real lives, who are are imperfect, and who are joyful. There is one among us that can represent most companies with integrity (diet pills and gimmicks need not apply). ((KitKat needs to reach out to @Shauna))
- We need to meet with people more often. This weekend was proof that we love and support each other in a unique and genuine way. Mini-Meetups! #Fitblogginsgiving anyone? #FitBloggin Commune?
- I think @charliegirl2490 and I need to star in our own musical revue with many fitbloggin guest appearances.
- From Elisha: We need to be willing to experience the bad with the good, rather than trying to deny it. Allow ourselves to feel what we're feeling and not be ashamed. [We need to s]hare what we're going through, so we can FIND strength in those who have gone before and GIVE strength to those who follow.