Free Hugs at FitBloggin’11!

Attending blogging conferences alone is scary. I know, I do it all the time. You don’t know anyone. You don’t know if anyone knows you. You aren’t that active on Twitter and everyone else seems to be. You are very active on twitter but none of your Twitter friends are going. Your blog is new and everyone else seems to have been blogging for years. I can keep going but let me fill you in on a BIG secret…

Everyone feels this way. Yes, EVERYONE. Some may hide it better than others. I’ve gotten pretty good and faking confidence over the years but the trepidation is still there. The small voice in the back of my head still says "I don’t belong here," and (with FitBloggin’ at least,) I’m hosting the damn thing!

Last year I tried my best to let everyone know they were welcome. FitBloggin’ isn’t a popularity contest to see who is most "Fit". Sometimes I think I might have slipped up on the name for that reason. I cringe when I hear people like Melting Momma say "fitbloggin’ notsomuch fatbloggin’?" in a post about her experience at last years event.

FitBloggin’ is SO much more then what we look like. It’s a state of mind. It’s the belief that you can use blogging and social media to spread a culture of health. Fat, skinny, short, tall, black, white — I don’t care what you look like, you are welcome at FitBloggin’. The only requirement for entry is that you have an interest in using blogging to better yourself and your readers. Geesh! I don’t even care if you currently HAVE a blog. Come learn how to get started. That’s the point!

Listen, this is how it works: How you project is how you are perceived. If you come with the attitude that you don’t belong then others will assume you don’t belong. But if you come ready to embrace the situation then others will greet you with open arms.

How do I know? Because the online community of bloggers includes people like Foodie McBody. Quick go read her post No Cliques, Only Free Hugs! I’m serious. Go now! Click here, read and then hit the back button. I’m not going anywhere, promise.

*whistling*

*humming*

Oh! You’re back! Awesome! What did you think? I hope you are getting the warm and fuzzies because we are a warm and fuzzy bunch. We really are, as Katy so eloquently put it after last year’s event, It’s FitBloggin’ not CliqBloggin’! SO come one, come all, regardless of current fitness level and get a free hug. We have plenty to give! Or better yet.. Join Team Free Hugs and be part of the welcoming committee!

  • http://www.tjstestkicthen.blogspot.com tjstestkitchen

    I'm very excited to attend…all by myself! :) Oh and I love FREE HUGS! :) hehe

  • http://geekturnedathlete.com Geek Turned Athlete

    I'll be giving free hugs as well!! haha. I went this year, and I'm going again this next year. I didn't realize some people felt that way. I did notice the cliques. I did feel like it was kinda like h.s. at first. Sidenote: h.s. sucked for me. BUT, then I started walking up to random people and talking. I was scared, don't get me wrong, but it was better than standing there for ANOTHER 30 minutes staring at my pomtini! I had peeps to hang out with the rest of the time I was there. If anyone sees me, please feel free to come up and talk. I promise it won't be awkward!

    Great post, Roni!

  • Foodie McBody

    Hooray! Go Team Free Hugs!!!
    But really, WERE there cliques? My idea of a clique is "we're friends, and you can't join us." Exclusive, you know? I know there will be lots of groups of friends who will be happy to see each other – but to the exclusion of others?I hope not!! Anyway, the more huggers the better! Yay!

  • http://www.joggerslife.com Elisabeth

    Oh my gosh, I didn't feel left out or like an outsider AT ALL last year! I felt welcomed by everyone, and I had an awesome time. So much that it made me want to come back for FB 2011! =)

  • http://www.lastminutemommy.com amndaj

    I think whenever there is a group, and you're not in it, you can easily take it as a clique you aren't in. I've done it, and will again, I'm sure. It's hard not to.

    But here's the thing: I went to Fitbloggin "knowing" maybe 2 people last year…left knowing about 25. Not that I talk to them all regularly, but I will search them out at Fitbloggin11 and squeeze the stuffing out of them anyway. They may be like, "uh, okay weird girl that I don't remember," or they may be like, "Yay! It's Mandy! Let's go drink!" Either way I'm fine with.

    And if you see me doing this, and are like, "frack, there's another "group" I'm not in," then think again. I have an open club. It's open to all awesome people. That includes you.

    One more note, to make this an extra long comment: I was one of the bigger girls at Fitbloggin. No one looked at me funny. Or, if they did, I didn't really care/notice. I came to the conference because I *want* fitness – I fit in as much as the next person, because fitness is about wanting health…not being perfect.

  • http://www.fitinmyheart.com @FitInMyHeart (Dr. Mo)

    Love this!!!!! I LIVE for HUGS!!! I went to the last fitbloggin conference. I’m pretty sure I was the most PLEASANTLY PLUMP blogger there and I could NOT have felt MORE WELCOME!!!!! You, Miz, Jacq, Marsha, The Shrinking Jeans (Hooker) Ladies, Jen, Jen, Kim, Ben, (Just to name a few) Made me feel like ONE OF THE TEAM!!! I agree and I say this to ALL OF THE BLOGGERS & BLOGGER WANNA BEs that are a little hesitant… Come, Bring your SMILE and Stay awhile! YOU WILL LOVE IT!!!! #IWillHaveAHugeWarmHug waiting #JustForYou!!!

    😉

    See You There

    Dr. Mo

    • http://www.lastminutemommy.com amndaj

      This! See…I love fitbloggin. (And you, Mo!)

  • It All Changes

    I'm so excited too. I have never been to a conference by myself but I'm excited and have been trying to talk to people who are going so I "know" some before I get there. I'm in love with the fear and fun right now.

  • behealthybebalanced

    I was on the fence about attending next year because I was thinking all those thoughts! But after reading this I'm definitely going to register right now!

  • http://www.girl-heroes.com Jenn (GH)

    Thank you for posting this as it really touched on my feelings. I can be really shy depending on where I'm at emotionally for the day and, truth be told, I'm really nervous about attending. On the other hand, I'm excited as I can't wait to meet new people. I'm just praying I wake feeling semi-confident that day or else I'll be walking around like a kid lost at Disneyland.

    • Ito

      If you're a kid lost at Disneyland, just think of Team Free Hugs as WInnie-the-Pooh waiting to give you a hug!

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  • Erin

    I'm so excited to attend and make new friends. I've met a few other bloggers in the past and they have each been so warm and welcoming that I'm sure FitBloggin' will be more of the same amazingness, just on a larger scale.

  • gettinfitbritt

    We should make shirts… with Team Fitbloggin on the back :)

  • http://www.losinginthecity.com cassie

    i'm looking forward to this.. i've been on a hiatus from blogging because i'm pregnant, but i will be more then ready to go by May…

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  • http://www.alittlenosh.net Amy @ A Little Nosh

    I soooo needed to read this right now. The anxiety was setting in but now I'm feeling much better about it!