Crashin’ Fitbloggin’

I did a little party crashing last night! The Fitbloggin attendees were arriving in Portland on Thursday and as I saw more and more tweets and posts about everyone attending, I was wishing I had sucked it up and just paid to attend the conference. I’ve never been to a fitness conference and I’ve always wanted to. It just wasn’t in the cards for me this year. That didn’t mean that I couldn’t go and hang out though!


I already had plans to meet up with some Twitter friends once they checked in at The Nines. The hotel was right by my office so I met Suzanne (my virtual trainer) at Departure for happy hour. I loved the decor at The Nines! What a pretty, classy place. I think Michael and I are gonna have to go there for a date night one of these days.


Deb was supposed to meet up with us but we got our wires crossed and didn’t find each other until later. It was so great to finally meet everyone I’ve talked to online for years. It’s a strange thing to follow someone’s life online and then meet them in person. You already feel like best of friends. I was happy that it was fairly easy to transition into real life. I admit, I was a little nervous as I was walking to the hotel. It was like I was going on a blind date! I’m sure I’m not the only one that was nervous about the conference.


Suzanne was so down to earth and easy to talk to. We went down to Urban Farmer to get a drink, a Pinot Gris from King’s Estate. And then we ended up getting some happy hour munchies because the wine was going straight to our heads. We found a couch in the corner that was quiet and intimate so we could catch up. We talked about fitbloggin, weight training, my training plan with her, blogging, life…everything. It felt like old friends seeing each other.

Sadly, my photos from last night didn’t turn out great. I seriously wasn’t paying attention and just snapped a bunch of pictures here and there. So I apologize some are blurry. Urban Farmer is a VERY cool place. I loved how it was open to the skylight. The hotel rooms all opened up around it and you could see all the way to the top. As a result it was very bright and open.


Suzanne got the pork slider and the glazed beef meatballs off the happy hour menu.


I got the cheese plate (with a smokey Rogue bleu from Oregon) and a few other things I can’t remember now. 🙂 I also got the bangers and mash–a small chicken sausage with mashed potato puree. Everything was delicious. I’m ashamed to say that living in Portland for over a decade and working two blocks from The Nines, I’ve never once been inside or been to their restaurants until last night. What a shame! I cannot wait to go back!



Suzanne and I went up to Departure, the sky bar at The Nines, to see if Deb was up there still. Still didn’t see her! We took in the amazing views and had some water while we chatted some more.


At the mixer I got to meet so many people! I met Jasmine, another Portland blogger, and Kristina from SpaBettie. It’s an absolute shame that there are so many Portland bloggers that I haven’t already met in person.

(I snagged this from Kristina!)

I also met Erika (another Portlander) and Sarah (from Boston). It was such a treat to finally meet Sarah. She’s had a rough time with many, many knee injuries and surgeries. I kind of feel like we’re kindred spirits in the injury department. It was great seeing her up and moving around after her recent surgery. Sarah is another long time maintainer, 200 pounds! I am really proud of her for maintaining the weight loss through all the crazy knee stuff. That’s really hard.

Sarah and I chatted a little about how it would be nice if there was a panel of weight loss maintainers at Fitbloggin. I would love to participate on something like that and just be able to talk to other people who have lost a lot of weight and kept it off. Since I don’t actually have a ticket to the conference, I don’t know what’s on the agenda this weekend, but Sarah mentioned there was a weight “regain” panel.

I got to meet Martinus from 300 Pounds and Running (and he looks fantastic!!!), Carla from Mizfit Online (we’ve tried a few times to meet the last time I was in Austin) and Emmie from Skinny Emmie.


Bummed the photo didn’t take! I was super excited to meet so many people. I felt like a fan girl at a Justin Bieber concert or something! So silly.

Anyways, I wasn’t able to participate in Fitbloggin this year but I got to meet a lot of people I wanted to meet. There were others I didn’t get to meet, and some hadn’t arrived in Portland yet. It was time for me to get out of there and let everyone enjoy their conference. I’m glad I stopped by! Maybe next year I will actually go!

I hope everyone here for the conference enjoys Portland. The weather is going to be perfect this weekend! Sunny and in the 90’s! I cannot wait to get out there and enjoy it.

QUESTION: Are you here for Fitbloggin? Tell me what you’ve done in Portland so far!

Guest Post: Skinny Emmie

It’s my pleasure to post a guest post written by Emily. I love her website and she inspires me every day! Not only that, it was Emily that informed me FIRST magazine was looking for success stories. Because of her, I’m featured in the magazine that came out TODAY. More on that tomorrow. Now…Emily…

Finding Success

by: Emily Sandford, aka Skinny Emmie

I am so happy for Lisa and being featured as a success story in FIRST. For someone as myself who has struggled with weight my entire life, being a success story is something that seems like a dream. You can work hard and push yourself for a while, but to sustain and reach the final destination of GOAL is something that is done so infrequently, based on the harrowing statistics of diet failures (and my own person experience of having restarted a weight loss journey at the rate of about twice per year since I was 10).

image via Bruce Berrien on Flickr

What if we flipped our perspective and looked at each smaller victory as a success story?

I’m 78 pounds into an (at least) 255 pound weight loss journey. Even if I hit 110 pounds lost like Lisa, I’m still not even halfway. Talk about a deflating thought! How will I ever get to the finish line and be called a success?

Sometimes, all you need is a perspective adjustment to feel better. If you flip these thoughts of desperation or longing for reaching the finish line and look at all of the seemingly small accomplishments made to get to this point, the success stories will become evident, even if you’re not at your ultimate goal.

Here are my tips for finding (and celebrating) your successes no matter where you are in your journey:

  • Stop the comparisons: I fall into this trap all the time, and even mentioned it at the beginning of this post. I can look at my journey and see that Lisa’s 110 pound weight loss wouldn’t even put me halfway to mine. Instead of using this to spiral me into depression and self-loathing, I have to flip the switch. Lisa is 1 person, and I am another. What she did is fantastic, and what I’m doing is fantastic. To compare myself with her and what she’s already been through is discounting everything that I’ve done so far. So stop.
  • Don’t get sucked in: Many times, people read others success stories and decide to follow whatever program the successful person has done, disregarding what has been working for them. Something takes over your inner voice that says “maybe THAT will work faster, or better, than what I’m doing now” and then you abandon your program. While this may work for some who are flailing about, if you have a program that works, why would you be so quick to jump ship? What works for one isn’t guaranteed to work for another. Take a step back and evaluate your program instead of trying to copy someone else’s. Remember, your mileage may vary.
  • Use your own measuring stick: Having a big number weight loss isn’t the only way to be a success story. Look for things other than numbers to measure your achievements against. For example, I took my dog for a 2.1 mile walk/jog today, something that 78 pounds ago, I would not have physically been able to handle. According to my measuring stick, this is an amazing success. According to others, it sounds like an insanely little feat that wouldn’t be celebrated. The most important thing to remember is to let you be you, and to not ever minimize your achievements.

So after you pick up the magazine and read about Lisa’s success, congratulate her, and appreciate the hard work she’s done. Then go through these tips above and use the positive energy to propel you to YOUR next success, no matter what that might be. We’ll all be there to cheer with you.

Emily blogs at Skinny Emmie, a weight loss blog that chronicles her 255 pound weight loss journey. She can be reached there, and also on Twitter and Facebook.