Fitbloggin 2011

First of all, hello to my new readers, my new supporters, my new friends. These are all the places you can find me (other than at a bar, t...

First of all, hello to my new readers, my new supporters, my new friends.

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.

My fears:
  • 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 
I got out of my cab and was immediately greeted by Tara and Sharla.  In a instant (and deeply moving moment) I immediately knew that despite my fears I was not only in the right place but among the safety and security of friends. 

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,  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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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). 
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 
  5. 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. 
  6. OMG, liveblogging is hard.  I gave up after one session (kettlebells). 
  7. I didn't take many pictures. I don't know why this is. Maybe b/c I spent more time on hugging than normal. 
  8. 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? 
  9. 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. 
  10. 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.
  11. 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. 
  12. OMG..... @FitandFreeEmily gave me the best new toy. 
  13. 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. 
  14. Are there awards for "Best timing of a hiccup at a conference"???? 
  15. I'm so sorry if I launched a wristband at you and you were hit.  With power comes responsibility, eh?  
  16. 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.
  17. Trampolines are fun.  But as fitness? Didn't urban rebounding die in the 1990s? 
  18. Where are the wine & cheese sponsors? 
  19. I'm glad there were cherries and chocolate though.  nom nom nom.  The missing sweet link. 
  20. Oooh we should have had a juice/smoothie bar.  One blender was NOT enough, eh?
  21. 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)!) 
  22. Did the Marriott know we would be drinking a lot of water? 
  23. Did the Marriott know we'd need more bandwidth/a bigger boat? 
  24. We should have taken over a water taxi.
#Fitbloggin Action Items (not just for me....):
  1. Support setting and meeting her next mini goal (#LFDoesIt) and remind her that she's a good mom.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.")
  4. 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.
  5. 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)) 
  6. 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? 
  7. I think @charliegirl2490 and I need to star in our own musical revue with many fitbloggin guest appearances.  
  8. 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.

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    Im rocking the bracelet, Sister.
    Need I say more?

  2. As a new blogger and marathon dieter I love reading success stories and connecting with those that want to be healthy, happy and helpful!
    I see this great community and the enthusiasm and determination is freaking contagious!

  3. I really wish I could have attended. I am reading everyone's thoughts and reflections and it's such an awesome experience it seems.... I suppose there's always next year!

  4. Thank you for summing up some of the Lessons Learned at Fitbloggin, so to speak. It's easy to go and say, "Oh, yeah, that's great" and then walk away with no plan of action, so I'm glad you laid it out for us.

    Secondly, you're just jealous because I won the Fitness Trampoline and you didn't. :P

  5. MizFit: I'm so glad to have met you and your biceps. You're a badass. I'm glad my bracelet can be on your arm :P

    Christa: Welcome to the fold! There are success stories, and successes-in-progress. The one thing in common is that we know that if we help one person succeed, everyone wins.

    Rae: You would have had a blast! I'm sure of this :P And I'll see you there next year.

    Elisha: I was thinking about this on the way back home. I didn't make the connection about my VERY FIRST POST and what i said to Dr. Fitness and the Fat Guy -- my position seems to have always been about not just changing the world's mind about us, but about changing the world. It requires actions, not just words.

    I don't think I'd have room for a trampoline. I think my cats would just use it as a bed. However, I want to see photos and posts of your brand new trampoline in action!

  6. The thing that surprised me most with this post was you saying you're naturally an introvert. My only interaction with you was watching you during the Dr. Fit and the Fat Guy interview and you were funny and charming and seemed very comfortable talking in front of a group as large as this one was. My only regret about the conference was that I didn't extend myself more. I really seemed to have missed out on meeting some wonderful people.

    Amy (@amyradish)

  7. I love the brain dumps from Fitbloggin! Keep them coming. Makes me less jealous that I missed it. Ok not really, but I can pretend ;)

    Love it Robby!!

  8. Amy -- I think that would shock most people to learn that. I'm very much the kind of person to sit in the corner of a bar and just watch people. I have moments of being a social butterfly but they are few and far between. But like I said, it's easier to put on the FGvW persona and let her shin in the spotlight while Robby is shitting her pants out of fear. I'm glad you liked the interview. I hope it was recorded somewhere. I don't remember a second of it.

    Vinny -- next year you will be there. You were missed!

  9. Nice recap! I need to sort of put my thoughts in order. I woke up this morning and got roped into running a 5K by my weight watcher leader. Oy. We got big things in the works girl, and I'm so excited you're a part of my ride!

  10. Amy -- thank you for being so awesome all weekend! And yeah, I think the only reason why i got my thoughts in order is b/c my uterus is not in order right now and i don't feel like moving.

  11. love love love this post and you, chica! You're totally kick ass and i'm rocking my bracelet too! SOOOO many things to process and think about!

  12. PERRRRRRRRFECT post! My head is spinning and I can't get up! Seriously - so many funny, lovely, touching, heartfelt thoughts and feelings running through my head - I don't know where to start. I too was nervous - I'm not fit and I'm a non-blogger and my health journey has almost nothing to do with pounds. That said - I was struck at the similarities in the common themes (acceptance, care, respect, support) despite our "details" being different. The other thing that was soooooo interesting to me was our connection - yes - we connect on FB/tw with some people more than others. Then we meet in person and WHAM there is an unbelievable similarity/story/history/relationship that "proves" the connection. It was very cool. So - that said - I loved your comments, tweets and elasto-slinging - you are amazing and I'm so glad we met! (ps - soooo blushing at your super kind mention above - I'm "almost" typeless.) xoxo

  13. Britt: you're right -- so many things to process and think about -- but I'm glad that I got to meet you! You've been with me a long time on this journey...

    Kris: Mew! I think you're right that we were all looking for the similarities instead of pointing out the differences. We wanted to belong to each other as much in person as we belong to each other on the network of tubes. I'm so glad to have met you! I need to elastosling more in my life. It made me giggle and I'm glad no one was injured.

    I have a lot to think about being an expert on myself. What does that mean and how can I use that to reach out to other people?

  14. There was a WordPress table and how-to session - in the Lobby and at the end in the Newbie room. You must have been invisible. ;)

  15. Well then.
    *sits in corner with dunce cap on*

  16. Best time for a hiccup. You are the clear winner.
    Let's beef up our set list baby... ;)

  17. Charlie -- I thought about asking my brother to videotape a testimonial stating that my hiccups are indeed that loud (that was a quiet one) and that they are unpredictable and unforced. But well.... it doesn't seem to be that anyone doubts the validity of my hiccups. Good for me?

    I had so much fun sitting to you at dinner! If only every meal was filled with giggling and spit-takes, I might be 5lbs lighter.

  18. Wow!! You sure did learn a lot and these two points really hit home with me:
    1. We need to be the TRUTH TELLERS of the fitness world. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!

    2. I've been thinking a lot about the intuitive eating session. "forgive ourselves a whole lot more." YES YES YES YES YES!!!!

    Thanks for this great wrap up in list form!!! Good for those of us who are attention challenged!! (OHHH Shiny penny!)

  19. Robby thank you so much for helping me put my picture on the Twitter thingy...LOL It was a pleasure to meet you...You really did a wonderful job on stage, it was great.I added you to my favorites so now I will be able to follow your blog.I can't wait till next year...

  20. Greta: I learned so much more but I think it's all stuck in my brain some where. I have to shake it loose during boxing tonight. :)
    But regarding the Truth Tellers bit -- I was looking through Women's Health last night and I was kind of disappointed that there was only one version of health presented--thin. Give me articles about larger girs doing amazing feats of strength and endurance. Then we'll talk, yanno?

    Maria -- I'm so glad i was able to help you! Now everyone can see your GORGEOUS face!

  21. Great post, friend!

    Although I wonder how many people think my "toy" for you is something ... naughty? ;) On second thought, it does involve tea-bagging.

    oops. :)

  22. No bag needed! That's the best part! Free Tea Ballin!

  23. That hiccup was just about the funniest thing I witnessed that day, other than perhaps Charlie having to run off the panel to go pee. ;) It was great meeting you this weekend!

  24. You.

    Highlight of fitbloggin.


    Touched my heart forever.


    Make me crave for our friendship..


    Are a part of me.




  25. Hmmm and for some reason I left random M on comment...


  26. You Rock. I honestly have to say that I really didn't even know you on twitter until just a little before fitbloggin but so very glad i took the opportunity to tweet ya. You just have this beam about you and sense of confidence and a girl who knows what she wants. So glad that we met. Keeping your bracelet forever.

  27. Jess:

    Mwhauahahahaha i have you all fooled! Self confident I am not! I mean, I have a lot of bravado, but that is totally me taking whatever little confidence I have and multiplying it by 10. And that's just so I don't piss my pants. But.... you seem to know where I'm headed and where I want to be -- the captain of the SS FGvW.

    I'm glad we met too -- and just think, pretty soon you'll be wearing it around your wrist all day long without your hand feeling like it's gonna fall off :P

  28. I love this post and in awe of your ability to articulate your thoughts about that insanely wonderful gobsmacking weekend. Still feels so unreal... how could it be so good? How could you feel like you belonged somewhere so much? Dude.

    It was so good to meet you and if KitKat calls I promise to share the loot. Mwahahha :)

  29. You mean you gave those bracelets to everyone? I thought I was special! LOL!

    Great, great post! And it was great meeting you!

    Winks & Smiles,

  30. Shauna -- It took a while to gather my thoughts and be able to talk about the gestalt of the event, rather than every single specific. I think if one were to write about all the specifics, you'd lose the wonderful feeling of the whole weekend. But you're right, maybe they need to call 2012 "FitBelonging"??

    Wifey: I gave many out, but some of them were more as projectiles.... not everyone got it hand-delivered :P


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<3 Robby