HLS 2011 – Part 2 (Weigh-in)

Advanced apologies that this is probably gonna be a long’un, friends. In case you missed Part 1 of this weekend of intense awesomeness, be sure to catch up here.

Picking up where we left off, Saturday morning kicked off bright and early at 5 AM with a group of us doing a 14 mile run around downtown Philadelphia.


Pic pilfered from Beth

I was not actually in that group, of course, but I just thought you might like to hear about it. Bahahahaha. Did I have you there for even a second? Instead I gave myself a workout by bolting straight up when Theodora‘s alarm clock went off at 4:30, and then by rolling over and going back to sleep, haha.

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Breakfast was a big cereal bar courtesy of Attune Foods, so I helped myself to a bowl of strawberry Uncle Sam’s with soy milk, a hard-boiled egg, and a big ol’ plate of fruit.

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Anne is an Attune Ambassador so she was definitely feeling the feast:

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A great way to start off the day! (They do still say it’s the most important meal, you know.)

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After foodage was consumed and opening remarks were, er, remarked upon, we tucked in for a full day of breakout sessions on various topics. So much information! The first session I attended was by editor of Daily Spark and Spark People (recipe sites many of you probably use daily!) Stepfanie Romine.

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It was entitled “Writing a Better Recipe” and it really got me thinking about the sad lack of well-structured recipes on this blog. Be on the lookout for some changes to my basically non-existant Recipes page!

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I also hit up the presentation on networking through blogging and social media in your area by Cynthia and my amazing roomies, Ashley and Theodora. We got many ideas from this for future DC blogger meetups, so my local peeps should stay tuned!

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By the time the morning sessions were over, people were HANGRY. Feeeeed us, we cried!

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So feed us they did.

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The conference served up a buffet of vegetarian sandwiches, salad, and this absolutelypositively delicious quinoa and chickpea salad that I must recreate.

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Nom. I loaded up my plate with some of everything but ended up not really partaking in much of the roasted veggie wrap or tofu sandwich as neither was too great, IMO. I went back for another half-o-caprese’wich instead because you know that cheese makes it aaaaall better, hehe.

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And I felt super fancy washing down my sammies with a Perrier. There really is just something about sparkling water that makes you classy all over.

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After lunch, Anne, Theodora and I really needed to stretch out legs. We thought we’d only go for a 15-minute walk around the hotel but ended up missing the entire keynote presentation — oops! It gave me flashbacks to our similar session-skipping adventure in Boulder back in June!

Ph-ph-ph-Philly!

Guess we just got wrapped in walking the street of Philly. Totes worth it.

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And anyway, we made it back just in time.

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Just in time for (early) happy hour, that is! What? It may have been 3:30 in Philly, but it was 5 o’clock somewhere!

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Shanna, a Delaware blogger, brought Kath a 4-pack of Dogfish Head beers (my fav!) and Kath generously shared with the whole table.

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We improvised a chilling method, and everyone got to have a taste.

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Cheers!

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Ashley and I were happy bears, obvi.

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Anne, Chase, me, Tina, Theodora, Katie, and Kath.

Best table ever. Just saying.

So you know, we were nice and socially lubricated for the piece de resistance of conference sessions: Blog monetization with the brilliant and beautiful Katy Widrick!

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So many nuggets of wisdom. So little time. Before I knew it — poof! The conference was wrapping up. Props must be given to Meghann for organizing pretty much the entire thing.

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But don’t worry, it wasn’t time to wrap up quite yet. A big group of us continued on the happy hour festivities into dinner and beyond after the official closing remarks. I didn’t lug my big camera out with me that night, but suffice it to say that good times were had. I’m sure you can catch up with the shenanigans on any number of other blogs.

Friday morning was spent on a nice 5K walk through Philly (I ran up the Rocky steps!)


Thanks for the pic, Meghann! Can you spot me?

Followed by an oatmeal bar sponsored by Quaker. I ate my face off, then used the added body weight I gained from eating approximately 1.4 million pounds of oatmeal to squish down my suitcase so I could fit my swag in it.

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Mission so not accomplished.

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Sadly, I had to lug my three separate bags o’ stuff through the train station and say goodbye to this fantastic weekend. And after cuddling with the pups (I did miss them, after all. Let’s all petition for a dog-friendly conference next year, yes?) and reading like 67 weekend recaps, I conked out. But like the good little blogger I try to be, it was business as usual when I woke up this morning:

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Week’s Weight: 189.8 lbs
This Week’s Weight: 189.0 lbs
This Week’s Loss: -0.8 lbs

Shock! Shock and awe! I wasn’t expecting to lose anything, not even this wonderful glorified half-pound after this weekend. Sure, I ate healthy food, but for being at a health bloggers conference I really phoned it in fitness-wise (so what else is new?) I’ll take it!

Onward and downward, and so it goes. <3

The Big Apple: Part III

This is the last one, folks, I promise. But if you need to catch up on Part I or Part II of my epic NYC weekend, be sure to check those lengthy posts out, hehe.

So! After the excitement of Harry Potter, How to Succeed, and meeting Mr. Daniel Radcliffe himself, our final day in the Big City was destined to be a little more low-key. We woke up Sunday and only had one thing on the schedule (other than trying not to miss our bus back to DC, that is!):

Meeting up with these lovely ladies for brunch!

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My beautiful friends Steph & Diana – high school buddies from my Taiwan days!

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We met at The Mason Jar, a cute little place with unfortunately slow service but a great brunch menu! Enter my first attempts to make up for the kazillion calories I had consumed throughout the weekend:

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I got an apple salad that had tons of greens, blue cheese (yummm), craisins, and walnuts. Yummm. Brunch also came with a mimosa. Triple yummm! It was awesome getting to catch up with Diana & Steph, even if only for a little while. I forced them to take some pictures with me outside after we finished eating:

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We couldn’t miss out on this classic pose, after all!

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Kekeke.

And with a few sad goodbyes, and the promise that I would be returning soon (I hope!) Steve and I hightailed it to catch our bus back home. ‘Til next time, New York!

And that, as they say, is that! It’s been a busy week since getting back, too, and it’s only Tuesday! Last night I met up with my lovely friend Lizzie for dinner at Rustico in Ballston and worked in a teensy bit of exercise while I was at it. Huzzah!

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I laced up my new New (hehe) Balance sneaks that I was given at the Fitbloggin’ Conference and leashed up the pups to walk ’em over to my parents’ house (0.6 miles).

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I ditched the dogs at Grandma & Grandpa’s at that point, and continued to huff on over to the Metro to head one stop over to meet Lizzie at the Ballston Metro station.

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The path from my parents’ house to the Metro is a hilly little jaunt! Probably about a mile, maybe a little less — it definitely got my heart rate up, so that’s good! I really liked the shoes at first – cushy but supportive. Unfortunately, my incredibly undefined heels kept rubbing up against the back lip of the shoe, and I have some fairly painful blisters on ’em now. Sad! Dinner was great though, so I guess that made up for it.

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In case you didn’t get to see last night’s Daily Eats post, I got a small beet salad to start with (INCREDIBLE!) and the appetizer of mussels in tomato sauce for my entree.

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The mussels also came with two gargantuan breadsticks… which I didn’t totally avoid. Heehee. But, considering the amazing selection of pizzas and pastas that the Rustico menu boasted, I thought my salad + seafood choices were pretty good! And between the walk there and the walk back (picked up the dogs on my way back and hustled on home!) I worked over 3 miles into my day. That’s something, right?

Now that travel and trips and stuff have died down somewhat temporarily, I’m making it a priority to work some kind of exercise and activity back into my routine. Since the Fitbloggin’ 5K my exercise habits have been pretty much nonexistant, I hate to admit. So this is my new goal: do at least 20 minutes of activity every day. Even if this means just getting the dogs out for a quick walk. If it’s 10:30 PM and I realize that I haven’t done anything but sit down and stand up all day, I get off my laurels and DO IT. I figure that if I can work just 20 minutes of something into my day, then maybe I can bump that up to 30 minutes soon. And then maybe to 45! And then I can start ramping up the activity level, impact, etc. Baby steps, baby steps, as always. I’m really reverting back to square one here, in order for me to attempt to establish a real routine. And hey, at least I got my 20 minutes in today!

What’s your exercise routine? How did you establish one? Do you stick to hard & fast times to exercise, and types of activity? Or just do what you feel when the mood strikes? I want to know! I know I’ve said it many, many times before, but I really want to try again. This is still the thing I struggle with most when it comes to embracing a healthy lifestyle, so I need your help! 🙂