I Fit In at FitBloggin Because I Had the Courage to Show UpJuly 11, 2014
Recently, I submitted an idea to the FitBloggin Conference for an opportunity to present a Spark during their Ignite Fitness Keynote. The goal of Ignite Fitness Spark is to share knowledge, inspire change, and/or motive your peers, the challenge is to present your topic in 20 slides that auto rotate every 15 seconds with a time limit of 5 minutes. I accepted the challenge because...I love to inspire change and raise awareness about Lipedema and Lymphedema and anyone that knows me, knows I don't mind talking rapidly for 5 minutes! So without a second thought, I submitted my Spark topic idea! A few weeks later, the FitBloggin community voted and my topic was one selected to be a part of the Ignite Fitness Sparks! It was then, that my nervousness began to set in.
Was I infiltrating the FitBloggin community, was I an impostor?
FitBloggin' is a conference that brings together a community of health-conscious bloggers for education, networking and friendship. "The FitBloggin’ conference is for anyone who blogs about fitness, wellness, good food and a healthy lifestyle, regardless of where they are in their journey. Our attendees are a melting pot of fit-minded people. Some of us are on a mission to lose weight. Others are training for triathlons. We have gym rats and folks learning to run. We welcome vegetarians, vegans, and convenience food junkies alike. We may all be in different stage of fitness, but we all share one passion: To live a happy, healthy balanced life." Me...well, I am not "fit" by most standards, and I've even been slacking at the blogging aspect. I wasn't sure how or if I would even "fit" into FitBloggin, but then again I rarely completely fit into any situation. So yes, I had some nervous butterflies about being the new kid on the block but then I remembered one important mantra that has always helped me through life. Just show up.
"Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen." - Brené Brown
As soon as I remind myself of that, the nervousness clears and I can remind myself of other things, such as:
- I know to just be myself and typically I find a way to relate my experiences to others.
- Despite my outward appearance I am healthy and no doubt I'm HAPPY!
- I want to experience a new conference, learn about new topics & meet new friends.
- I want to raise awareness about Lipedema and Lymphedema by sharing my story and experience.
- I remember why FitBloggin caught my eyes in the first place, #wycwyc (What you can, When you can)
Too often we set unattainable goals, then tear ourselves down when we are not able to achieve our unrealistic expectations. It's often an all or nothing mindset, when any little thing is better than doing nothing. I refuse to have a do nothing mindset and that is why I show up.
Why I attended my first FitBloggin' conference in Savannah, GA
I wanted to share with others that movement and fitness is attainable at any size, even with conditions such as Lipedema and Lymphedema. That is why during my Ignite, I shared my journey to health in the pool, "Finding Sarah: Just Keep Spashing". Fourteen years ago when I had my “ah ha” moment and knew I had to make a change in my life, I asked my doctor to send me to physical therapy so I could have monitored and safe exercise. At over 500lbs, simply “moving more” is not as easy as it sounds. I was unable to get onto or fit on most gym equipment and walking was difficult. The swimming pool gave me the ability to move and exercise, that land could not.
It's a wrap! My FitBloggin experience was refreshing...
Not only did I show up and share my story but my experience there was so refreshing!
- I participated in a Zumba class (barefoot and all) - my foot was too swollen to put my sneakers on but I went anyway and had a blast!
- I learned about the technical (HTML) and legal side of blogging, and actually learned I was much more tech savvy than I realized.
- I tried a blueberry muffin made with AVOCADO and it was delicious!
- I was approached and welcomed by a community of caring and friendly people with whom I shared a common goal.
- I met Mickey Mouse! He was there as part of runDisney!
The nervous emotions I felt prior to going are ones I'm sure everyone has felt about something at some point in time in their life. It is this fear of not belonging, or not being good enough, or worrying about the most irrelevant details that keeps many of us from even showing up to events in life that we really want to participate. But...I'm here to tell you, that it's okay to be nervous and be vulnerable...just don't let go of the courage to show up, because that is when the real journey begins.
Credit: Featured photographs by Carrie D Photography
ABOUT THE AUTHORSarah (aka Sarahlicious) has been an active member of ObesityHelp since 2003. Her specific areas of interests are Lipedema, Lymphedema, Obesity, and Health Insurance advocacy. Sarah writes about her life experiences at Born2lbFat. She is a member of the Board of Directors of both the Obesity Action Coalition and the Lymphedema Advocacy Group. Sarah has a Masters in Health Law.
Read more articles by Sarah Bramblette!