7 Things I Loved About Fitbloggin ‘14

While there are really about 500 things I loved about Fitbloggin 2014, I did my best to condense the list to just 7 highlights… If you’ve spent time out in the healthy blogiverse over the past week, I’m certain my other blogger friends have filled in the gaps with their recaps.

Fitbloggin 14  7 Things I Loved About This Conference | No Thanks to Cake(Photo Credit:  Carrie D. Photography)

7.  Thought-Provoking Sessions

Fitbloggin 14, as in years past, came with a full list of sessions that I could attend to grow my blog in new and exciting ways.  I attended a little bit of everything, and walked out with notes from just about every session.

As someone who takes way too many notes everywhere I go, I decided to spend time in the moment this year rather than attempting to capture every word spoken.  Instead, I walked out with a simple notepad speckled with a few notes and a quote or two.  These “nuggets” of information are all I need to upgrade NTTC in the next year… no transcription needed.

Fitbloggin Small Groups | No Thanks to Cake

The small group sessions are always the most moving for me.  I love hearing my peers talk about their experience and sharing my story as well.  I attended two in particular that I loved:  Maintaining the Mojo and Life After Goal.   I’ll tell you more this week about how I was inspired by Roni Noone herself in one of the sessions….

6. That 80’s Dance Party

Every single year, it’s my favorite class.  The energy is fantastic.  The smiles are abundant.  And this year, it was 80’s themed!??  Totally tubular….

80s Zumba | No Thanks to Cake

This Zumba-inspired class was incredible with Sue, Sam, and Nellie making sure that I shook my money maker and laughed all the way through.  I got to dance with Monica, Aliyah, Dawn,  and Nathan and 100 of my closest friends. What’s not to love??

80s Zumba | No Thanks to Cake

PS… This outfit made an appearance.  Thanks, Amazon…

80s Zumba | No Thanks to Cake

Lastly, if I could have squished Sam and Sue (and Thing 2) into a carry-on, I would have brought them back to Denver with me… so that they could make me sweat and dance it out on the regular.  The fact that we’ll be dancing in Denver next year makes me SOOOOOOOO happy.  Thank you for inspiring me… every single year!

5.  Ignite Fitness

In past years, I’ll admit I haven’t loved Ignite… but this year, the presenters REALLY outdid themselves and made it an incredibly interesting, motivating, and entertaining session!

We listened to Dre rap (thanks for the shoutout!), heard Allie’s tremendous story of competing on behalf of the US, watched Alan take the stage, and even learned how to make a proper cuppa tea!

Ignite Fitness | No Thanks to CakePhoto Credit:  Carrie D. Photography

I love the personality and preparation that the team brought to the table.  It’s not easy to rock a mike like they did… and they crushed it!  Can’t wait to see what Fitbloggin 15 brings… 

4.  Savannah Shopping

Oh my, Savannah was so hot… this girl was super sweaty throughout the weekend.  Thank goodness there were a bunch of cute shops to pop into to cool down!

I found two unique culinary stores to stop into that I’m so glad I found.

The Savannah Bee Company:  How often do you walk into a store that offers honey tastings??  It was so awesome!  I ended up with a few flavors for myself (Savannah and whipped honey!) and a few jars for gifts.

Savannah Bee Company | No Thanks to Cake

I was heading to the airport when I stumbled upon The Salt Table, and couldn’t pass it by!  The Foodette sent me to this awesome store, and wow… she made an amazing recommendation!

The Salt Table Savannah | No Thanks to Cake

The shop was full of flavored salts and sugars…. Popcorn seasonings, dips.  I was in heaven!  I ended up walking out with some mesquite flavored salt, maple salt, coconut sugar, and some Ghost Pepper salt for my bro for Christmas!  It was probably better that we were in a hurry.  Had I more time, I would have bought the entire store… and had to figure out a way to get it home in my carry on (along with Sue and Sam)…

3. The Avocados

Prior to the conference beginning, I entered a recipe into the California Avocado Commission’s Culinary Cutting Edge Contest.  And, as luck would have it, I was named to the finals with the lovely Alyssa and Kia, for this recipe!

Grilled Avocado Caprese | No Thanks to Cake

The session on Avocados was amongst my favorite because I got to learn all about one of my favorite fruits… and they announced the big winner:  My roomie Alyssa!!!  While my caprese salad took second place, it was Alyssa’s yummy tarts that brought home the grand prize!!

California Avocados Contest Fitbloggin | No Thanks to Cake Photo Credit:  Double Chin Diary

The chef even did a live demo of her recipe and they let us try the winning recipe!  So delish!!!

Avocado Cream Tarts Double Chin Diary | No Thanks to CakePhoto Credit:  Double Chin Diary

I loved this contest for many reasons… my love of avocado being one of them, but also I love the art of creating deliciously healthy dishes.  I put some time into coming up with just the right dish to present… and I’m incredibly proud of what I entered.  I also am bursting with ideas for more avocado dishes.  So get ready, readers, there’s more avocado recipes on the way!

Lastly, it also made me really consider the types of brands that I want to work with in the future.  These guys completely align with my vision for NTTC… so, expect more like it in the future!

2.  Reflecting on the Year that Passed

2013 was a rough year for this girl.  So much going on… and frankly, not a lot of happy.  I battled with myself trying to figure out what my next steps were going to be… and felt a little lost at Fitbloggin 2013, as a result.

There were multiple sessions where I just cried.  (Yep)  I cried because the topics touched a little too close to home… and I felt sort of lonely in a crowd of people.  It’s not something I’ve spoken of until now, but it was a tough time… mostly, I was just trying to Pollyana my way through, hoping that it would pass.

Thank goodness it did!!!!!

AND THIS YEAR… so different.  For the past few months, I’ve been so genuinely happy.  To be at Fitbloggin and to be able to share that “happy” was awesome.  Nice to have my head held high again.  It’s so nice to be back…

1.  The People

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  The people are what make Fitbloggin for me.  This picture below is from my favorite moment of the conference…

Fitbloggin | No Thanks to Cake

You’ll notice that we aren’t even at the conference.  We didn’t even find a swanky restaurant to dine at.  We’re at a cheesy Mexican joint across from the hotel that could seat 8 with no wait, and later add a table to grow our group even more.

This is the night I got to meet Beth, hear about Jessica’s job transformation, understand how Sarah’s world is changing, sit next to my girl Monica and unknowingly order the same dinner (life twins!), visit with Dawn and meet her friend Lynne and plan yoga time for my December visit, hear about Sam’s tattoo plans, visit with Emily and gush about how I adore Harper, and spend more time with my girl Ash fiercely getting to know these women.  Awesome night.  Beautiful people.  

It’s moments like this that keep me coming back for more.  It’s people like this that make me want to be a better person.

Roni, I can’t thank you enough for another wonderful conference year.  I can’t wait to see you all in Denver for Fitbloggin 15.

xoxo

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Overcoming the Fear of the Mirror

I absolutely love yoga… if it is a sport, it’s my sport. 

I’ve been practicing for at least two years… and I’ve had the pleasure of practicing with many beautiful beautiful people over the years.  Different flows, different posture recommendations, the ones that are super spiritual, the ones that feel more like a pilates class…. You get it.

For me, it’s that hour that I have where I can just disconnect and breathe.  Yes, we all breathe all the time.  If we couldn’t breathe, we wouldn’t be here after all… I get it.  But when you’re practicing yoga, you REALLY breathe.  It’s the most conscious, meditative, beautiful breathing I do every week.

I can’t get enough of it.

Perfect example, last week I sat in long meetings for days and when my mind wandered, it wandered to yoga.  After sitting in a chair watching presentation after presentation, I wanted nothing than to be in a beautiful supine twist, downward dog, or even savasana.

I’m hooked.  I love my practice.

When I was in Temecula two weeks ago, I went to my friend Crystal’s gym and took a vinyasa class while she killed it on the weights. The class was incredible.  Dimly lit with candles and the most perfect flow.

There was only one problem with this class… and it was that huge plane of glass in the front of the room:  The Mirror.

Overcoming the Fear of the Mirror | No Thanks to Cake

While yoga is typically my hour of peace, the mirror was right there staring back at me and giving me an opportunity to peek at how my body was behaving in most postures.  I got to check my alignment in warrior 2, which was helpful, but I also took time to judge my body which was not helpful at all.

For some reason, peeking at my thighs and checking out how my curves looked compared to the girl to the left of me was oh-so-subtly acceptable from my vantage point.  In the end, the self-criticisim was not okay, but it was what my eyes were immediately drawn to.  And like a new episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians… I just couldn’t look away, even if I wanted to.

Like a dark cloud that crept in over my practice, this reflection was completely consuming.  I escaped only during the final savasana and found myself once again before the closing “namaste.”

While class ended and the day went on, I found myself returning to this question:  Why do I do this?  Why do I pick, pick, pick at myself?

The amazing thing is that if you were practicing next to me, I would never EVER judge you in the way I judge myself.  I would be your biggest cheerleader, applauding your efforts if my eyes fell upon you.  Wondering why I wasn’t more bendy/athletic/wore a flattering shirt like you did/etc.  For years, I’ve taught myself to criticize only me.

Much like I learned to shut of my mind during yoga and to stop checking my to-do list during poses, it’s time to break the cycle of self-criticism while working out…  and, frankly, all of the self-criticism that I have going on.

Anytime in my life where I’ve adopted mantras, I’ve experienced great change.  I’ve felt better.  I’ve smiled more.  I’ve overcome.  As a result, I’ve implemented a new mantra  to use when I hear that “Judge Judy” in my head criticizing my body.

Body Love Mantra | No Thanks to Cake

I say it during yogic breathing.  I say it when I don’t like how my jeans are fitting.  I say it when that very same body is working hard on a Colorado hike.  I’ll say it when I’m the biggest girl at the pool.  Mostly, I’ll say it….

Simple words to reflect upon, simple words that could cause great change.  While I haven’t conquered it yet, I’m doing something to stop the insanity.  To stop the criticism and to appreciate all that this beautiful body does for me every single day.

I’ll repeat it today, and maybe even a few times tomorrow… whatever it takes.  I’m too proud of myself to let this bully get me down… especially when I have full control over her.

How do you combat negative self-talk?

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Introducing Bic Bands

I’m incredibly excited to share a new brand that I began partnering with a few weeks ago.

Bic Band Ambassador | No Thanks to Cake

Are you familiar with BIC Bands??

Bic Bands is an amazing brand of non-slip headbands that I’ve been wearing for YEARS.  Perfect for working out, for hitting the beach, or even just holding back a hairstyle by day.  They’re so cute and versatile, they’ve become my staple!

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 8.21.07 PM

Something else that’s wonderful about the brand is that the founder Sandy makes sure that she’s giving back every single month!  She just announced the charity that will receive benefit for June – The March of Dimes!  Just another reason to buy from Bic Bands…

Bic Band - No Thanks to Cake

To kick of the new group of ambassadors {there are 13 of us in total!  Check out the awesome ladies here!}, Bic Bands is launching a GIVEAWAY that you guys might like to enter!

How to Enter:

All you have to do is post a picture of yourself on Instagram or Twitter doing something active that you love!  You could be taking a walk, burning calories at the mall, doing cross fit, hiking a mountain, practicing yoga… whatever floats your boat!

Tag the Photo:

Add the hashtag and be sure to tag @bicbands and @nothankstocake

Enter by June 1st and you could be one of THIRTEEN winners!

BicChick | No Thanks to Cake

Here are 3 submissions from other No Thanks to Cake readers?  Who’s next??

Ordering Your Own BicBands:

To order your own beautiful Bic Bands, simply access their site here and choose from hundreds of beautiful bands!  You can also save 10% by using the coupon code “KELLYBIC.”

Enjoy!

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Currently: May

It’s that time of the month again!  Let’s catch up on what’s going on “Currently”…

Currently: May | No Thanks to Cake

Current Book:

I’ve been busy reading Cameron Diaz’s Body Book this month, while walking on the treadmill.  I’m not quite done with it, and I’ve learned a LOT from reading it.  It’s really  a “real-talk” approach to how to optimize your health.  Not a lot of gimmicky ideas and mostly just good ideas for taking good care of yourself!  If this sounds like your kind of book, I definitely recommend it!

I’m SUPER-EXCITED about the new Emily Giffin book that came out this week, and it will be the book that I’m reading next.  And, when I say that I’ll read it… I mean that I’ll devour it this holiday weekend.  It’s on!
The One and Only | No Thanks to Cake

Current Music:

I’m participating in a contest where I had to pick a song that represented me in the contest.  I know you’re shocked to hear I picked this one…

It’s a classic… my anthem… my running music… and my ringback tone when you call me.  Fitting!

Current Guilty Pleasure:

OMG… This one was EASY to answer this month.  I recently was contacted by… a cookie company, asking if I wanted to try their cookies.  And, of course, I said yes.

Klara's Gourmet Cookies | No Thanks to Cake

Klara’s Gourmet Cookies reeled me in with a promise of sending me some samples of their award-winning macaroon cookies.  I adore these coconut cookies… so I knew I wanted to try them!  What I didn’t expect was to get the motherload of cookies in the mail!  Check out all this tasty goodness!!!  Thanks, Klara’s!!

Klara's Gourmet Cookies | No Thanks to Cake

As a girl trying to keep an eye on my waistline, these cookies have been my guilty pleasure this month.  Rationing and portioning sweet treats is not my forte.  So, I have been sharing them with friends.  So far, I’ve tried the Chocolate Chip and Sea Salt Shortbread (OMG!), the Lemon Poppy Seed Shortbread (Delish!), and the Ginger Shortbread (Such spicy goodness!)  I’m taking the macaroons to work to share with work friends, and so I don’t eat them all!  If you’re looking to send a gift of tasty cookies or to try a new brand, I definitely recommend these delicious treats!!!

Current Nail Color:

I’m still rocking the Taupeless Beach by OPI… it is just perfect right now for me.  Loving it!

OPI Taupeless Beach | No Thanks to Cake

Current Drink: 

Most days, I only drink water.  In the interest of sharing something a little more interesting than that for you guys, I’ve found a new wine!

Savignon Blanc | No Thanks to Cake

I’ve been a red wine drinker for YEARS, but I’ve just recently started exploring more and more white wines… and I think it’s going to be my summer drink!  There’s something lovely and refreshing about a glass of Savignon Blanc on a warm Colorado day while sitting on a patio.  Yep, that’s where you’ll find me this summer!

Current Food:

Avocado… Not because I’m eating a lot of it.  But instead because I’m trying to figure out what recipe I want to use for the Fitbloggin California Avocado Cutting Edge Culinary recipe contest that’s coming up!  I have a few ideas to play with… it’s going to be a weekend of experimentation… I can feel it!  Wish me luck!!

BLT Summer Rolls with Lime Sriracha Dipping Sauce | No Thanks to Cake

Current Favorite Show:

Grey’s Anatomy… Oh my.  Did you guys watch this week’s episode?  We’ve all known it has been coming… the official goodbye for Dr. Cristina Yang.  Cristina and Meredith Grey represent a tremendously iconic friendship… one that I’ve watched for years.  Watching Cristina walk away from “her person” and watching them dance it out one last time was just beautiful.

I feel so lucky to have strong, inspirational, and supportive women like this in my life. Never ever underestimate the power and strength that comes with having and being a good friend.  This is what makes us human, and creates that human experience we all dream of….

Current Outfit:

I’d say this was my favorite look this month.  A cute little polka dotted fit and flare number I found at JCPenney last month.  Totally on sale and with a coupon, I’m so glad this little frock made its way home with me.  PS… It has pockets!

JCP | No Thanks to Cake

Current Bane of My Existence:

Gray hair.  Yes… you heard me.  Good news for all y’all, I have an amazing colorist… and you will rarely see my grey.  But dang, this change of hair color mess is so overrated.

My dad went salt and pepper pretty early… and fascinatingly MY OLDER BROTHER has very little grey.  It’s a cruel, cruel world, I tell ya… :)

Current Online Find:

I posted this link on my Facebook page, and have since added Andrea and her blog I’mPerfectLife.net to my personal blog reader.  I’d recommend you check it out as well!

I’ve read so many posts and comments from women that are just not happy with this or that about their body.  I look at my body, and there are things I don’t love.  Extra chubby bits or places where my skin has stretched.  While I know I can change these via surgery or even laser treatments,  I don’t.  I won’t change them.  They’re part of me.  The whole me.  They tell a story.

Andrea shared this post, speaking to why she too loves her “ugly” body.  Take a read, you won’t be sorry… here’s a sneak peek.

Amazing.   Real.  Inspiring… That’s the best type of reading, if you ask me.

Current Words of Inspiration:

I’ve been reading my friend Cameron Diaz’ book on the treadmill this week.  I’m in the final section that talks about establishing and maintaining a healthy mind.  She shared these words and they just stuck with me.

Whatever You are Consistent In is What You Will Become | No Thanks to Cake

This applies to everything I am and everything I long to be.  Consistency will get me there… I know this.  Thanks, Cam!

Current Mood:

Without a doubt and without hesitation… I am HAPPY.  I’ve been trying to think of a way to express how I’ve been feeling lately, and it’s been really hard to capture in a post.  HAPPY.  Yep, I’m happy.

And… no, there’s no change that’s causing it…. just decided to do it, and voila!  Try it!

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View my previous “Currently” posts here:

Currently:  April

Currently: March 

Currently: February

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