Welcome to Part Two of my #FitBlogNYC recap! I hope you found some helpful info from my first post about the amazing speakers who FITNESS lined up for us! If you somehow missed it, please take a moment to check it out here: A Day In NYC for #FitBlogNYC (Part One)
After our information packed morning of seminars, FITNESS provided lunch for all of the bloggers in attendance and an opportunity to visit all of the sponsor tables that were set up inside of the Mercedes Club. When we arrived at the event, we were given a program and on the back of it was a list of all of the sponsors. We had to use this as a sort of passport and collect stickers from each vendor in order to earn an amazing swag bag!
First up was Saucony, since we encountered their table immediately upon going inside. They had a table set up with amazing running shoes, in bright, fun colors. Looking at the array of colors just made you instantly happy, so you could image how I was about to burst with joy when I found out that we were all receiving a pair of them!! The shoe being featured were the Kinvara 4′s and they are simply #Kickassimus and will help me #FindYourStrong!
Next up was the Athleta table. They had a table full of swimwear on display for us to check out and two racks full of different athletic wear. While taking everything in, we were told about an Instagram contest they were running. We were to pick out an outfit we liked from the rack and Instagram a photo of it with the hashtag #PowerToTheShe. A winner was selected at midnight based on who had the most likes. Obviously, I did not win, but it was fun anyway!
From there we moved over to the Marmot table where we met Paige Claassen who is a Professional Climber. She will be taking part in the Lead Now Tour, which is a global tour to inspire people through rock climbing. While speaking with her, I learned that she will be traveling the world for year during this tour and that she is most excited to visit South Africa, which is where the tour kicks off.
The next table I visited was sponsored by Tonalin. I had never heard of them before, but learned that their products are used for reducing body fat and are sourced from natural safflower oil. Tonalin CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is natural and environmentally sustainable. I don’t know how much I buy into supplements like these, but if you have ever used them and have seen good results, I’d love to hear about your experience.
From here I moved on to the Reebok table and it was fabulous! They had a great display of their CrossFit sneakers set-up for us to check out, along with some of their new #LiveWithFire apparel! There was also a photo-op set up here. We got to write a catchy phrase on a white board, along with our blog/twitter information and have our photo taken. Later, we found out that Reebok had also given us all a pair of their SubLite Train 1.0 sneakers (not featured in this photo) to try out! Score!
Vichy Laboratoires was the next table I visited. Upon arriving there, we were presented with an iPad and earbuds so we could watch this funny video, which is part of their #celluliteconfessions campaign:
After laughing for a while and joking with Violet Zaki (Fitness Expert, Owner of ZakiFitness and Equinox Instructor), we were introduced to CelluDeStock and their new Capital Soleil Lightweight Foaming Lotion SPF 50, which smells amazing and doesn’t leave that gross sunscreen feeling on your skin. Vichy was kind enough to offer us a full size bottle of each in our swag bags, so I’m sure I’ll have more to offer on these products soon!
Our next sponsor was Smart Balance and they had a very fun set-up for us. First, we were offered a little snack made with Smart Balance peanut butter, of course! They were No Bake Peanut Butter Cocoa Cookies and they were yummy! They were also kind enough to have the recipe printed out for us to take home, so I figured I’d share with you, too!
Smart Balance No Bake Peanut Butter Cocoa Cookies
- 1/2 cup Smart Balance Fat Free Milk and Omega 3s
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 2 Tbsp Smart Balance Blended Butter Sticks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 cups oatmeal
- 3/4 cup Smart Balance Rich Roast Chunky Peanut Butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Boil the Smart Balance Fat Free Milk and Omega 3s, cocoa, Smart Balance Blended Butter Stick and sugar in a small pot for two minutes.
- Remove from heat and add oatmeal, Smart Balance Rich Roast Chunky Peanut Butter and vanilla.
- Drop by heaping tablespoons onto parchment paper or way paper. Let cool for at least 1 hour before eating.
Nutrition Fact: Serves 40. Nutrition per serving: Calories 72, Fat 3g, Saturated Fat 1g, Poly Fat 0, Mono Fat 2g, Trans Fatty Acids 0g, Cholesterol 1mg, Sodium 29mg, Carbohydrates 9g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 2g.
They also had a fun aspect to their table. There were headbands for us to wear with the hashtag #BalancedBlogger on it and we had to attempt to do a fun pose on a Bosu Ball while wearing it. It was an interesting couple of minutes as I tried to balance on one leg for a photo. Luckily the representative taking the photo caught it right before I fell off. Good times! For our efforts we earned a jar of their peanut butter in our choice of chunky or creamy. If you Instagramed and tweeted the photo, you also earned the chance to win free Smart Balance peanut butter for a year.
The final sponsor we visited before giving into our hunger and breaking for lunch was Crystal Light. They had a table set-up with cups of water and a few sample flavors of their new #CrystalLightLiquid flavoring. We had a choice of trying Blueberry Raspberry, Pomtini or Strawberry Lemonade, which is what I opted for. I liked that you could control how much flavor was added to your water and that it wasn’t overly sweet because of that.
From here we took a break to grab some food and head back outside to socialize and enjoy the gorgeous weather NYC was having that day.
I wish I had taken more photos of the bloggers I met during the event, but it complete mental overload and I was honestly more into socializing than documenting by this point. It was nice to meet up with Jen (@MomsGottaRun) since we went to High School together and it had been years since I’d seen her.
After lunch we headed inside to visit the final sponsor table, which was brought to us by Ford Fiesta and their #FiestaMovement. They had a fun photo booth set up so myself, Sylvia (@Frolic_Life_Syl) and Susan (@SusanFishback) participated together.
Our final event of the day was the group workout. Those of you who read my blog regularly already know we had a choice of three workouts. A Cardio Dance Party, Yoga or a Group Run. I chose the run so I quickly changed into a tank top and met my group. The run was being sponsored by Saucony and was being lead by Dorothy Beal (@MilePosts) who is a marathoner, mom of 3, cover model and running coach. Our group wasn’t very big, but it was full of some runners who know their stuff and could easily do the 3 miles we set out to do. I felt great at first and was keeping pace with some of the newer runners, like myself, but as we continued our run along the Hudson River, I suddenly felt the familiar tightening of my chest… the one that has driven me crazy since I was Derailed By The Plague back in March.
I was starting to have an asthma attack and I didn’t have my inhaler with me. Awesome! I slowed down and walked, tried to run again to catch up and then realized I had to walk if I wanted to make it back to the venue. I instantly felt like I failed and tears began to stream down my face. I called my husband to vent once my breath returned and he tried to reassure me that it was okay and I didn’t fail, but it’s hard to accept in the moment. I felt embarrassed and I felt like my body let me down. I eventually came to terms with what happened but it still sucks.
Upon returning back to the Mercedes Club, many of the bloggers had already grabbed their swag bags and were leaving. I quickly changed my shirt and headed over to claim my bag awesomesauce before meeting a few of my new blogger friends for a drink and some snacks.
This was hands down and amazing event and I hope I am lucky enough to be invited to attend next year. I promise to share more information about what was in this amazing bag as I use the items, but the brands include Saucony, Reebok, CamelBak, Vichy, KIND, SparklySoul Headbands, Smart Balance, Marmot, Goody, Pure Barre, Three Jane, Athleta, Julep, Bliss Labs and many, many more!
One quick one I’d like to feature is Sugarfina.
They gave use a beautifully packaged, delicious box of dark chocolate covered goji berries that even my kid liked!
They are offering our readers 20% off their antioxidant collection until May 31, 2013. Just visit Sugarfina.com/antioxidant and enter the code FITNESS at checkout!
Today I woke up to gray skies and light rain. Not the ideal weather for my first 5K of the year, but it goes hand in hand with the events that lead up to the fun run this week.
The hubs and I were supposed to do this run today, but my mom ended up going to Aruba and my FIL was attending my nieces dance recital. (This is what happens when you buy a Groupon and register months in advance, right?!) We thought about leaving my daughter in charge for the few hours that we would be gone, but then my husband opted to stay home with them (she’s old enough to babysit – they just don’t always get along), so I went ahead alone. Thankfully I knew someone else who was going to be there, because I couldn’t find anyone willing to takes the hubs’ race bib.
After sitting in crazy ass traffic to get into the parking lot at PNC Arts Center, I met up with Maria (@mariacmelendez) and we headed up to the Start Gate. We had amazingly epic timing, because our 9am wave was just getting ready to start when we arrived. They just so happened to have everyone turn around to begin, which put us only 5 people back from the starting point.
Today’s Color Me Rad was being help in partnership with Jersey Strong, to help raise money for the rebuilding of the Jersey Shore after Sandy destroyed so much of it this past October.
With music pumping, people cheering and the rain falling, we were off!
The course was not as nice as The Color Run, at all. This one had some steep hills which became dangerously slick with the rain falling and the amount of people running. We also had some sections that looped into the grass, which also became slick and muddy, not to mention some really narrow parts where we would bottle neck because it was uphill and people were opting to walk instead of run. Overall it was a fun time!
We finished the run in 33 minutes which leads me to believe the course was not a full 5K – but closer to 2.6 miles. We were held up too many times to have finished a full 3.1 in that time. I wish I would have had my RunKeeper on, but I opted to put my phone away to keep it safe from the elements. Either way, we did awesome and had fun!
I was wondering if there would be a difference between Color Me Rad and The Color Run, and the answer is yes! Color Me Rad uses powdered colors much like The Color Run, however, they also had two color stations that were liquid color, and I thought that was pretty cool. I actually thought that the color from this race would be harder to remove from my body, hair and clothing, since they use the liquid color as well, but I was wrong. Showering was super easy and there was no trace of color on my shirt after one washing. (This might not be a good thing if you WANT the color to stay in your shirt as a keepsake/trophy. In that case, simply spray your shirt with vinegar and iron it, to set the color.) I’m not sure if weather conditions play a role in this or if it is just a difference in product. Either way, Color Me Rad wins in the color removal process.
The other difference, was that Color Me Rad actually had photographers throughout the course taking photos, as well as photo areas at the end of the race. The Color Run only offered the photo area at the end of the race,where you could have professional photos done. In all honesty, I don’t know what Color Me Rad is going to charge for the photos taken on race day yet. With The Color Run, I paid a $5 flat fee for the photos and that covered my entire team! I was able to download the digital files and print them at my local photo processing studio. For now, Color Me Rad wins in the photo department because of the on-course photographers, but that could very well change once I hear what it will cost me to purchase these photos.
I ran these at two different venues, but I preferred the course from The Color Run better. It was much wider, which was nicer for those who were running it like a race. It gave enough room for runners to pass those who wanted to walk or just goof-off and it was primarily black top, which was nice and stable. A win for The Color Run!
The other thing liked about Color Me Rad, was that they were giving away prizes at there Finish Line Celebration. I heard them giving away hoodies, t-shirts and 1 year memberships to WOW! (Work Out World) who was a sponsor of this event.
Overall, Color Me Rad received more “wins” in this post, but I still preferred The Color Run’s set up! Would I do the Color Me Rad again? Absolutely! I think 5K’s like these are a ton of fun and I’m looking forward to doing The Color Run again in August! Care to join us in August – contact me! Do you have a favorite fun run? I’d love to know which one you think I should keep an eye for!
I woke up bright and early to catch the bus and head into Port Authority. From there, it was a quick walk over to the venue and the meeting spot where some of us had agreed to meet. We grabbed some coffee, exchanged business cards and just chit chatted before heading over to the Mercedes Club, where the event was being held.
Upon arriving, we headed upstairs to check-in. We received our ID badge, an awesome Camelbak water bottle and there were morning snacks/refreshments for us. After grabbing a muffin and some juice, we headed outside to the rooftop patio where the speakers would be presenting.
First up, were introductions by FITNESS magazines Editor-in-Chief, Betty Wong (@FITNESSBetty). She introduced us to the lovely Heather Muir (@PYTbeauty), who is the Beauty Director at FITNESS as well as Sarah Lucero (@stilaPROartist), who is a celebrity make-up artist and Executive Director of Global Artistry for Stila Cosmetics, as well as a Stage 3 Breast Cancer survivor.
During their seminar on “Insider Beauty Secrets to Get You Glowing”, they discussed ways to get pulled together in a flash, even when it’s 95 degrees outside. Their top tip? Less is more when it’s hot out!
We also learned Sarah’s Top 3 Beauty Secrets:
“Believe in the Beauty of the Future”
Our second seminar featured, FITNESS magazine’s Senior Editor, Lisa Haney (@FITNESS_Lisa) and Jennifer Ashton, M.D. (@DrJAshton), who is an ABC News Senior Medical Contributor, ob-gyn, triathele and author of the book, “Your Body Beautiful: Clock Stopping Secrets to Staying Healthy, Strong and Sexy in Your 30s, 40s and Beyond” as well as “The Body Scoop for Girls” – which I plan on picking up for my daughter.
They hosted a seminar on “Healthy, Strong and Sexy in Your 20s, 30s and Beyond”. Dr. Ashton gave her down-to-earth advice on a holistic approach to health and why you need to be able to talk to your doctor as if they were BFF.
Some of the topics covered and take away points included:
“Life Is An Olympic Event and We Have To Train For It”
Our third seminar was one I was looking forward to! It featured FITNESS magazine’s Digital Director, Christie Griffin (@ChristieGriffin) - who is one of the sweetest people ever! – Dana Weiss, Possessionista (@Possessionista), Deb Perelman, Smitten Kitchen (@SmittenKitchen), Jill Hanner who is a Ford Fiesta Agent and YouTube guru (@JillHanner) and last but not least, Erin Whitehead from Fit Bottomed Girls (@FitBottomedGirl) discussing their unique success stories and how they turned their passions into profit, during “My Blog Is My Business”
Some of the biggest take away points from this seminar where:
Don’t Waste Your Time:
Tools They Love:
How To Pitch Yourself to Companies:
Other Tips They Offered:
“Don’t Blog For Money. Blog, Then Make Money.”
Our fourth seminar featured FITNESS magazine’s Deputy Editor, Mary Christ Anderson (@FITNESS_Mary) and Celebrity Trainer Brett Hoebel (@bretthoebel), Founder of Brett Hoebel Fitness, featured trainer on The Biggest Loser season 11 and creator of RevAbs.
The topic of discussion here was “The Extreme Fitness Trend: Should You Try It?” They discussed how going to extremes is the new thing in fitness today…but does it work? We learned how and why 20-minute workouts can get the job done better than long, all-out sessions.
First off they discussed CrossFit:
Then they moved into the Tough Mudder trend and how many people where doing them for social media bragging rights. Brett’s advice was to “Know what you’re getting into when doing Tough Mudders”.
Programs like P90X and Insanity were also discussed, since they are also extreme in nature. The subject of lack of time being the biggest excuse when it comes to not working out was discussed, too. Brett said that 20 minutes is the magic bullet for many busy moms and people who are short on time. It allows you do a few rounds of moves with maximum benefit, but you HAVE to get breathless while doing it!
When asked about his thoughts on TRX, Brett responded “I thinks it’s amazing!”
“If Want Results In A Short Amount Of Time,
You Have To Get Breathless!”
Our fifth and final seminar was all about food, and you guys know how much I love food and cooking! It was hosted by FITNESS magazine’s Executive Editor, Pam O’Brien (@FITNESSPam), along with Rocco DiSpirito (@roccodispirito), who if you don’t already know from Food Network, is one of FITNESS’s favorite celebrity chefs, author of “Now Eat This! Italian” and star of the AOL web series “Now Eat This! Italy“.
In this seminar, they discussed how to “Eat What You Love – and Lose Weight“, and Rocco revealed secret ingredients for speedy, healthy meals, as well as cooking tricks that slash the fat, but keep the flavor!
Some of the advice given to us during this segment were:
Items to keep on hand in the kitchen:
Two of Rocco’s favorite ways to prepare Spaghetti Squash are with garlic and oil – OR – with butter and parmigiano reggiano.
As you can see, the morning was full of amazing and informative speakers. I feel so lucky to have been invited to this event and to have listened, met and spoken with so many inspirational and wonderful people.
I will be sharing information on the wonderful and generous sponsors from #FitBlogNYC in my next post ….so keep an eye out for it!
After I shared my #FitBlogNYC news and shear giddiness, things got more exciting!
Remember I said I hoped FITNESS magazine would give us more info about the event during this next week? Well… they did!
We all received an e-mail yesterday afternoon providing information on the workouts that would be offered during the event. We had to choose one of the following three, cardio, yoga or a power run. All three of these are being brought to us by amazing sponsors, and they all sounded great. However, I immediately felt really stressed and out of my comfort zone. My thought process went a little like this:
Those of you who know me and follow this blog, know that I don’t do group fitness activities. My first ever group fitness event was when I met Tony Horton at his book signing, and I at least had my husband and good friend with me. Outside of that, I’ve done three Bikram Yoga classes (I hid in the back during all of them) and some 5k’s, which I dont’ mind at all.
I ended up reserving a spot for the Power Run and I am extremely nervous about it. I fear that I won’t be able to keep up with everyone. I fear that I’ll gas out halfway through the workout. I fear that my fears are going to make me fail. This is not a good mentality to have. I need to learn how to have confidence in these things. I can’t compare myself to others. I need to give myself credit for trying, do my best and know that I’ll get better with time and training. I need to lose the self doubt, because I have come so far in the past four years. It’s time for me to quit trying to be a perfectionist and just have fun!
I clearly still struggle with the mental aspect of fitness, but I suppose that makes me human.
My next bit of good news also came via e-mail!
I received an invite from Physique 57 to try a barre class after #FitBlogNYC!
Once again, group workout anxiety kicked in, but it’s not everyday that these opportunities present themselves, so I responded that I’ll be there.
I’m sure I won’t be the only person trying this class for the first time, so there is a little comfort in that. I believe that trying new things makes you grow as a person. Plus you never know if you’ll like something unless you try it, right?
So… Here’s to trying new things, leaving my comfort zone and learning how to relax and just have fun! Wish me luck!
In one week from today, I’ll be in NYC attending the FITNESS Magazine “Fitness Blogger, Meet & Tweet” aka #FitBlogNYC!
Last night Brittany from Healthy Mom Runs, hosted a chat on Twitter for the people attending this event. During the chat, we discussed things like must have items to bring with you, what to wear and possible before & after meet-ups. It seems the important things are a phone charger, water and protein bars, which I had already planned on bringing. As for clothing, everyone will be sporting fitness gear and it looks like the one item everyone will be wearing is cropped black pants. (Good thing I received a pair for my birthday yesterday…I like to blend in at social events)
Some of the #FitBlogNYC veterans were kind enough to share their experience from last years event with us newbies. It appears that there were some hottie waiters in attendance last year and many are hoping they will make an encore appearance this year.
We were also lucky to have FITNESS Magazine’s Digital Director, Christie Griffin with us for the chat. She shared a few names of the speakers we can look forward to. I’m excited to say that I’ll get to hear @SmittenKitchen and @Possessionista as well as Erin from @FitBottomedGirl, who will be offering tips on how to be a pro blogger.
Christine also tweeted that if we are runners, we should bring our favorite sneaks…which made me very giddy! She mentioned that we should bring sunglasses as some of the speaker sessions may be held outdoors, since it will be around 70 degrees and sunny. It was also announced that there would be workout option this year. I guess they only offered one last year, so people sounded excited about that. Of course all of this info was given to us with a disclaimer that is subject to change, but I’m hoping if it does, it’s only for the better!
Overall, it was an exciting hour well spent on twitter. It was nice to “meet” some of the other bloggers who will be attending, and to get a little bit of info on what to expect at this event. Hopefully FITNESS will release more info this week, as we approach the event. A lot of people were curious about who will sponsoring #FitBlogNYC this year and we were just told that they would be amazing as last year. I wasn’t there last year, but from what I’ve read, amazing is an understatement!
I’d also like to thank Wendy from The Weight Is Over, for starting a Facebook page for this event and keeping us all updated there!
Are you attending #FitBlogNYC this year? If so, I look forward to meeting you! Speaking of….I should probably go and check bus schedules and purchase my tickets!
The month of May has always been my time of the year to start new things. I don’t know if it’s because it’s my birth month, the fact that it’s spring and everything is coming to life again, or just some weird fluke.
Four years ago this month, I began taking steps toward becoming healthy so I could lose weight and while I began to thrive on that new journey, I began to suffocate and wilt in my graphic design business. After doing something that I loved for years, I felt nothing but dread and hatred toward doing it, so I closed up my business, shut down my auctions and took down my website. As soon as I did that, I felt instant relief. I focused on my fitness and my part-time job as a cake decorator. I was happy and loving my new journey in health & fitness, as well as learning and experimenting with cake decorating.
Fast forward four years, drop 100 pounds and subtract my cake decorating job and here I am. Only now, I have an itch to design again. I felt it coming on a few months ago when I was asked by a friend to help them with a logo. I felt it here and there during the years I took off, but I would design a tattoo or two, do an invite for a friend, design my own Christmas card or something small, that I could easily walk away from if I didn’t feel like continuing. However now I feel a void in my life and I’m ready to fill it with design again.
This past week I’ve been designing …and it feels good to be doing it …so I decided to dive back in!
Every morning I wake up, get the kids off to school and then focus on my workouts. I made a promise to myself that I won’t blog or design until my planned workout for the day is complete. I even start scheduling my day like I would if I was still working, and it’s helped. (Although today I was really excited about the stuff I was working on and may have fed the family frozen pizza after 8pm because I lost track of time…. ooops!)
Speaking of workouts, I’ve had a really good week. I felt good on my all trail runs, started lifting again and my friend Jac started a May Challenge with me, which I posted on the Facebook Page in case you would like to join in!
Nutrition has been so/so, but I’ve been drinking my protein shakes again. (Being sick really knocked me off my routine, it’s bad) Yesterday I stopped into GNC to pick up more the Designer Whey Protein 2GO but they didn’t have any. I of course had to look around and picked up a new Lean Shake 25 flavor, which is super yummy!
The rest of the week was spent focusing on making new designs. I have an external hard-drive with most of my old designs on it, but I felt I needed to get some of the rust off and do things from scratch. Things came back pretty quickly, although there was a lot of cursing at first as I tried to remember the shortcuts to making scrapbook style paper, like I use to. I’m a huge fan of typography, so lots of time was spent on making sure I had plenty of fonts I liked, since this is a new laptop and I’ve never really designed using it before.
So, here’s to another May rebirth of me! If you’d like to see some of the stuff I’ve been working on, you can check it out at Nicole Hynes Designs!
Can you believe it’s May already? How have your workouts been going?