Ignite Fitness Keynote: Vote NOW!

Who is excited for June in Portland? Between a quickly filling schedule with intriguing discussions, panels, and activities, we have a little housekeeping to do with our keynote featuring YOU!

It’s time to choose Ignite Fitness speakers. You will find all the submitted sparks and titles listed below. Your job is to gauge your interest for them. As a community we choose who gets to highlight their passions in 5 rapid minutes during a night of celebration. Voting is open now until Tuesday, April 9. We will announce the first seven speakers on April 10 based on the the vote. Additional organizer-picked speakers will be announced a week after that.

Have fun building the momentum with 101 days to go. Get your friends to vote, keep working those connections, make sure your roommate situation is getting set up, and join the Facebook group if you want to interact with the community more before we meet in the City of Roses.

The Ignite Fitness vote does not have names or blogs attached to avoid being a popularity contest. Fitbloggin’ is known as an open-armed, tight-knit group with a passion for fitness. Rest assured that everyone involved shares this passion and it will come out in the keynote just like it did for our inspiring event last year. Now get to voting! Vote for one, rank them all — it’s totally up to you!


The Mid Pack Queen – Things you learn when you stop stressing about competition

I don’t run to be competitive, I run for fitness. I run because I like my 150lb body so much more. I have learned so many things and met so many people who have inspired me. I want to share the lessons of being a mid-pack queen who runs for fitness.

A- You are your best competition
B- You don’t know who you can inspire
C- Enjoy the scenery
D- Stop beating yourself up when you screw up
E- The nutrition game.



Throw your scale in the garbage – Freedom after letting go

One of the best gifts I gave to myself was the day I threw the scale out the window.
I want to share the lessons I learned when I stopped letting the scale control who I was and what I did.
A- The scale does not control me
B- Nutrition in the real world
C- I might gain a couple pounds, but I run marathons (true fitness)
D- What other people think of the scale, doesn’t need to bother you. Otherwise known as what happens when your mother finds out you have gained a couple pounds.



How to be Socially Awesome On & Off the Internet!

Are you a wallflower? Not sure how to approach new people? Do you want to be socially awesome instead of socially boring? Learn some tips and tricks of dynamic social interactions. How to get people talking and make them remember you!



As bad as you want to breathe! Staying motivated and inspired throughout your journey

Have you lost your mojo when it comes to your journey? Are you unmotivated, uninterested and unmoved by your journey? I’ve got some tips to help you get motivated and inspired about your journey again. My question to you is how bad do you want it? Is it as bad as you want to breathe?



The Little Dinosaur That Could – My Journey to Run a Marathon in All 50 States and DC Before Age 30

Desperate to get out of my house and escape a failing marriage, like many people, I started running. I decided not to stop until I had run a marathon in all 50 states before I turned 30. Unbeknownst to me, I look like a T-Rex when I run; unbeknownst to me (is that a word?), I’m incredibly awkward, terribly unlucky, and have a penchant for ending up in the most random of places. You’ll hear about the time my head fell off during a race in Tulsa (literally…no, really.), why Adele makes perfect pump-up music, and how to make the best friends you’ve never wanted but always needed all over the country. Come along with me as I share a piece of my journey terrorizing the 50 states and DC with my antics, one marathon at a time!



Being Overweight Gave me Super Powers!

I will discuss how I gained “superhero powers” by being overweight. An example: I am like Superman and can be as fast as a speeding bullet, when I am at a public pool and do not want anyone to see me in my bathing suit.



How I Became a “Certified” Fitness Blogger

In the fitness blogging world there are different levels of fitness bloggers. There are personal trainer bloggers, success story bloggers, on-their-way bloggers, and me… the “certified” fitness blogger. Yes, certified is in quotations because the accrediting body that awarded me my certification is called the “Association of Trial & Error.” Over time, I have learned that my association is just as good as anyone else’s and that I, too, have a home in the fitness blogger world.



Drowning in Fitness Tech

The options! The products! The variety! The features!

You’re so busy deciding what fitness products to use that you don’t have any time to actually use them! Even going for a walk is too complex. Fitbit or Fuelband? Or do you need GPS? Game mechanics will motivate you, but poor battery life will halt you in your tracks!

Well, there’s great news. I have a simple formula to help you maximize your fitness investment and get you back in action. That’s right, I can tell you EVERYTHING you need to know in a mere five minutes. Are you ready?



How to become a Fit Twit in 6 months!

I just began my fitness journey last year and began my blog in August. I had 40 twitter followers at the end of August. I decided I wanted to grow my fitness love through my twitter account as well as other platforms. I engaged in twitter chats, ended up in “twitter jail” and was retweeted by some of the biggest names in fitness which caused me to act like a giddy school girl! I have learned so much from the other Fit Twits out there in twitter world, and I have connected with so many amazing people. I went from lazy to crazy (well only half crazy bc I only did a half marathon last year, no full yet!) in the spam of a year in fitness and became a “Fit Twit” in the last 6 months!



Live Your Life List

In these fabulous five minutes, I will share how to get off your duff and start living your life list. Tick off the things you want to do in life before your time is up.



F.I.T. Happens – Use IT!

Wanna take your and/or your clients’ results to the next level? Think F.I.T. – that’s Fitness and Information Technology. I know, you’re probably giving me a blank stare right now – yet you probably also know lots of folks wearing heart rate monitors and hanging out in Facebook fitness groups while tracking calories on their smartphone (assuming you’re not one of them yourself!)! Well, THAT’S F.I.T.! I want to share how people can use F.I.T. to improve their fitness programs and how fitness pros can leverage F.I.T. to offer enhanced services to their clients. I’ll share my own experiences with good and bad use of F.I.T. and tips for avoiding gadget overload. And I’ll do it in five minutes. :-)



Mama Hits Pavement

Being a stay at home mom with 2 kids not yet in school, fitness fell from its high rank in my life. Finding balance, time, and the willingness to ask for support has been key. In two months, I’ve gone from sedentary to running nearly 4 miles a day. My goal now is to keep my love of running in the forefront without feeling guilty or neglecting my family. It can be done!



581 Days Later*

On October 7, 2011 my marriage nearly ended. Secrets came to light and hearts were smashed and a shitstorm ensued. It sucked and I cried. Lots.

518 days later I’m still married. And I have learned so much about how to come back from heartbreak. And what’s more universal, I have learned techniques for surviving a trauma that I’d like to share with my tribe.

Perhaps this sounds sad or depressing, but my message is full of evolving with laughter. So my spark with be honest, but it will be uplifting. And in 20 slides I would like to take people on a ride from hurt to hope.

*On the day I present this, if invited to do so, the title will have changed to 629 days later. Or maybe 1 year, 8 months, and 20 days. Or something like that. But you get my point. And yes, I realize that counting days might make me sound crazy. I assure you, I am not. At least not for this.



Taking Charge and Creating My Own Happy Ending!

My life has been transformed in a million ways since April of 2009. Sure, I’ve maintained a 100 pound loss so far (and still have a long, long road), but the biggest difference is that I love the person I see when I look in the mirror now — and that’s a pretty new thing in my head.

The biggest changes in self-love and acceptance have occurred in the past year, and they include going back to school (because I can finally fit in the desks) and getting honest with myself and the people around me which really started happening in an incredible way during Fitbloggin’ 2012.

I’m not an expert on anything, but I love my life … and I’m fighting to make it an extraordinary one.



Spark of the Ruby Red Slippers

The biggest part of this journey is believing in ourselves. This is a fun, creative, magical way to look at creating a belief system beyond the negative self talk and old behaviors



What I Learn by Being a Loser

I’ve been disqualified from my second power lifting competition. AKA I’m a loser.

I could choose to say this isn’t for me and quit. Instead I’m looking at the experience for what I can learn. What can make the next competition a winning experience?

And how do I apply this to life?



Become the Voice

Becoming the expert of your domain means you are THE expert. Present your content with an inviting authority and with the enthusiasm you feel about your niche.
I will talk about presenting your best, authoritative self on each and every blog post, tweet and video. Think authentic and approachable with an expert flair.



Exercise Endorphins: The Accidental Depression Drug

As a freshman in college, I found myself sad for no particular reason, extremely emotional, very tired and sleepy and losing my appetite on many occasions. When I finally got myself together, after one very rough night dealing with suicidal thoughts, I went to the student counseling services and found out I was clinically depressed. I was prescribed medication and with my counselor, I worked out a plan for fighting off “triggers” and other negative thoughts and to keep me from flunking out of school. One of the conclusions I came to was the fact that running and exercising were my best outlets. They gave me a high that helped me free my mind and for a short time, I could forget what I was going through. Everyone knows that exercise and physical activity produces endorphins – chemicals that make you feel good and lessen the feeling of pain. They became my “drug” of choice. I used the endorphins those activities produced, to gain more confidence in myself and build my body and my self-esteem. I began coming out of my dark hole of depression and to this day, the inevitable endorphins produced during fitness, running and movement give me a freedom I look forward to everyday, while dealing with my mental health. Not only do these endorphins help me, but my work is built around helping others experience the same kind of “high”. I love what I do and I love the “drugs” I use to do it.



How Do You Get Fit When You’re Stressed All The Time?

Stress, stress, stress. It’s everywhere and can serious consequences on your cortisol levels. Do you ever have the feeling of being tired but wired? Whether you’re a hard driving type A or a people pleasing type who puts your health last you are at risk of having some pretty dysfunctional adrenal glands. At some point in their lives, 66% of people will drive themselves to adrenal fatigue and 16% will develop a severe form of it. And the side effects aren’t pretty with a dramatic loss of energy, reduced immune function and a big fat ol’ spare tire around your middle. Think: Massive, won’t budge muffin top. It ain’t pretty. After living as one of the 16%, I have a few tips on why this matters, how to avoid this fate and take better care of yourself.



Why not NOW? Why not YOU?

This is My STORY of how I got into health and fitness. How a smoker, drinker and proclaimed STARVER (one a day eater for skinniness not health) transformed into a health and fitness blogger.

Meeting my husband who was very, very fit and him teaching me about HEALTH and fitness. Having to address old thought patterns that said if I eat more than once a day I will get fat. Where did these thought patterns come from? Yep mom and fam, friends growing up.

How we are influenced by those around us.

THE FOOD, THE FOOD. THE FOOD of getting and living healthy and fit. Learning to make friends with food. Learning to FIND FOODS THAT WE LOVE that are healthy so we will eat them. No carrot and celery sticks here. REAL food and finding foods we LOVE

It a journey of self discovery this getting and living healthy and fit. Anyone can do it. We can change and become who we dream of becoming and it IS NOT ALL ABOUT HOW WE LOOK and our scale weight. In fact, I can’t stand the scale as a measurement tool.

It about THE PROCESS of learning and growing and becoming better tomorrow than we are today. In all areas of our life.



What I Gained from Weight Loss

At my 21st birthday party, I not only celebrated the ability to drink legally, I also celebrated the loss of 150 pounds and my reintroduction to society as someone who straddled many lines – almost thin, almost beautiful, almost enough.

It was after the weight loss that the journey truly began.

Noticing my new-found privileges as this line-straddler, I became obsessed with maintaining my weight loss and losing even more. At first, the blogging community added fuel to the flame of my self-loathing. I compared myself and thought: I can run even more. I can eat even less. I can be thinner, more beautiful, more accepted, MORE. I thought there would be more benefits in life, the LESS of me there was.

When grad school began and I could no longer keep up my crazy running schedule and carefully calculated meal plans, I resorted to bulimia. For a year, I fooled myself into thinking that straddling the line between life and death was better than ever being fat again.

And, in many ways, the world does send that message. We are told over and over again that our body size dictates our health, our worth, our employment options, our healthcare coverage and our chance for romance.

And then I found a spark. At first it was an annoying one. One that I wanted to quickly burn out and forget: the idea that I could ever possibly love myself and accept myself no matter my size – that I could eat well for my health and not for my weight; that I could find exercises I enjoyed rather than exercises to torture myself. I laughed at the thought.

Then the spark turned to a flame. I began reading Health At Every Size literature and size-acceptance blogs. I began asking myself hard and uncomfortable questions: will you ever be thin enough to love yourself if you cannot love the body you’re in now?

And the truth was: I knew that the real work was not in weight loss or in maintaining my weight loss — it was in finding out why I believed my value as a person was inextricably tied to my body size.

I began to realize that I had so much to GAIN.

And so I got to work.

I turned to mindful eating and to intrinsic exercise. These concepts are difficult to implement when you’ve been programmed to diet, but they’re worth the struggle.

I began to tell myself how WORTHY I am; that I am ENOUGH.

I began to believe it.

I still catch myself bemoaning the loss of my skinny thighs. But my counter-voice is getting quicker at responding.

For the first time in my life, I am no longer dieting. I am eating and moving to thrive. That spark of dissent is now a torch I want to pass along.

We are more than our jean size. We have so much more to gain in life than a number on the scale. We have too much to lose by being obsessed with the so-called limits of our bodies and looks.

Our daughters, sisters, nieces, friends, family, loved ones deserve a world where we thrive because there is an inextinguishable light of love inside of us, not a flickering flame of self-hate.



Break Down the Door

I want to talk about creating and then seizing your opportunity. I used to work at a boring corporate desk job, and had the bravery to walk away and pursue a career as a fitness trainer and yoga teacher, and I don’t regret a second of it.

The 3 main points I will make involve 3 questions:
Do you want it?
Can you do it?
Will you do it?

Thanks for your consideration!



The Year My Blog Died and How Social Media Saved My Life

I started blogging in 2006 to have a place to tell stories and learn about social media. I went to the first Fitbloggin’ conference and was amazed and humbled by the talent, drive and community of my fellow tribe members.

I continued to write and tweet, I learned to make videos, and how to promote myself to sponsors. I eventually leveraged my social marketing skills into my contract jobs in marketing and the tech industry. My blog served as a good resume for the kinds of things I could do for clients. My blog was my creative outlet, and agents and editors approached me about writing a book. I talked to VC’s about taking my blog and running club to the next level as a business.

On the outside, I was happy. But things started falling apart in my personal life, and after 19 years, my marriage ended. I stopped writing. I needed all my emotional energy to jump into the world of work full time to support myself, and face the reality of sharing joint custody of my kids.

I tried to write, but I found I just couldn’t. It was too hard. Too personal. I didn’t have it in me. But I kept tweeting, and Facebooking, and pinning and reading blogs. There was something about seeing all those people, many of whom I don’t even know, showing up every day online that helped me keep going, and contributing.

I ended up leveraging my social media and marketing skills to get a job as a marketing and social media manager at a great company in my home town. I was thrilled! Then HP called, and offered me an incredible opportunity to work with them on a new project, because they liked my background in content development and social media, and my blog.

That little blog that I don’t even write anymore keeps winning! But I’m done with it. I haven’t written in over a year. And I’m OK with it. It was a good chapter in my life (okay, hundreds of little chapters!) and opened so many doors for me.

So now I’m ready for a new chapter, and a new blog. Because writers write, and bloggers do ridiculous things to make their friends laugh, and friends show up every day, rain or shine, and tell each other what they ate for breakfast, the funny things their kid did, how many miles they ran, how to do a one-armed push-up or stand on their head, how delightful it is to fall in love and skip down a hill at sunrise.

Together, we help each get through life, and we save each other and ourselves, one letter and phrase and sentence and blog post and novel at a time.



Plant the Seed

My talk is about planting the seed that will grow healthy habits in your children and community. I show daily examples to my kids, friends and coworkers.
Like it or not, I am a role model. The extent that I choose to promote that is up to me. If you are into fitness, you too are a role model.

We all know not everyone makes the team, and not everyone is a competitive athlete, but everyone can be healthy and make healthy choices. As fitness role models to our kids and communities, we can plant the seeds that bring people together in healthy and fun ways.

I was a competitive athlete in high school and college. I won lots of awards and medals and they are all in a box somewhere in my attic. The only ones that really matter, and really apply in my world today, are the ones that read Most Inspirational.

I’ve inspired running groups and a private gym in my place of work. I’ve ignited a junior high soccer program where none existed before. I’ve personally completed outrageous self-established lifting goals in my gym; I’ve completed marathons and ultra-marathons and ultra-cycling events. I’m currently on the brink of contributing to a massive skipping for health campaign.

The thing that keeps me going and contributing and showing up is connection. Most inspirational is a torch that gets passed around. There is no Most Inspirational with a team of one. My talk is about connection and inspiration. I will use slides showing the people and communities I have inspired and been inspired by.