All sparks are below as they were entered by the presenter. Notice there are no names or blog addresses. This is not a popularity contest. Read through the sparks and choose topics based on what you would like to see, not who submitted them.
Vote for one, rank them all — it’s totally up to you!
The top seven entries will be selected to present at this year’s conference. An additional seven will be chosen by FitBloggin’ staff.
Voting closes Feb. 2 and winning sparks will be notified Feb. 3.
Which presentations do you want to see for this year’s keynote presentation?
Spark 1: Hip hop blog soup: Be inspired. Stay inspired.
We all have things or people who keep us inspired and feed us the energy to keep going. This is a hip hop tribute to the many friends and Fitbloggers who help keep the mission possible.
Spark 2: Fighting back against the darkness
Crisis (n) – an emotionally significant event or radical change of status in a person’s life At some point in all of our lives, we will be throw into a state of crisis. I entered this state on February 13, 2013, when I received a call from my brother that my mom had died and that my dad had been charged with killing her. My mom’s death was how my family found out that my dad had suffered his own state of crisis: undiagnosed dementia. From that moment, I faced a daily choice of fighting to hang on or slipping into depression. I chose to fight. Although my state of crisis is undoubtedly an extreme scenario, I believe that there are basic ways anyone in crisis can choose to fight for themselves. In my presentation, I would like to share with you what helped me stay above water over the past year. By sharing my journey, maybe you will be able to find hope for your own.
Spark 3: 9 miles
When I first started my fitness and weight-loss journey, I believed I needed to go 110% all in. I started hyper-managing my food, memorizing calorie amounts, and running. A lot. At the lowest point in my journey, I would run anywhere from 6-9 miles a day, burning close to 1,000 calories and eating less than 500. Along with this unhealthy exercise, I also began contemplating unhealthy behaviors like binge eating, purging and continuing to overexercise. I dropped weight, lots of it, and very quickly — but I was miserable. I treated running as punishment for eating, and began to actually fear certain foods. The bright spot — I got healthy. I readjusted, re-learned, trained myself to look at food in a healthy way again and found exercises that I loved and enjoyed, and stopped treating it as a form of punishment. Now, I treat food as a means of healing and nurturing my body, and view exercise as a means to a healthy and more fulfilling life. It used to be all about vanity– it’s now a lifestyle. I’m proud of the journey I went on, and understand that there are many others who have faced or are facing similar situations. If my journey can inspire others, I know I went through it for a reason.
Spark 4: A Trichy situation
This will be my story about my journey with Trichotillomania. It is a psychological disorder associated with OCD, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and various other psychological disorders. I will provide ways to cope, what recovery is like as well as the high percentage of relapsing. This is a fairly taboo and unknown disease, so I believe it is important to get the information out there and educate one another on the topic.
Spark 5: Self-acceptance 101
How I ditched the diet, scrapped the scale, and learned to love myself and really listen. My path from a super stressed unsuccessful dieter to a happier, healthier wanna-be yogi.
Spark 6: Conquer your fears, Believe in YOU!
I will base my Spark on my fitness and blogging journey that began in 2012. I will base the presentation on my 2013 wrap-up that I used as a photo blog with short talking points. Here is the introduction that I used for my post: Beginning in 2012 I began conquering my fears and though I stumbled a few times I rarely looked back because that was not the direction I was headed. Now, 2014, I am continuing on my journey to conquer those fears and also starting to cross some really big dreams off my bucket list. In March I will begin a new decade in my journey, as I will be turning 40. I must admit, I used to think 40 was OLD, now I know OLD is just a state of mind. It is not until you stop dreaming, believing and going for it. I’m looking forward to aging, now more than ever in my life, because I know I am ready to face whatever life throws my way with a happy heart, a strong support system and most of all the will to be victorious!
Spark 7: Be more awesome
What does Be More Awesome mean? Why is it important to Be More Awesome? Get inspired, get motivated, get pumped to live with inspiration. This ignite get you supercharged to scream to the world “I’m awesome!”
Spark 8: Just keep splashing: My journey to health in the pool
Weighing more than 500 lbs, I began my journey to health by walking laps in a pool. I progressed to water aerobics and learned that water fitness was actually one of the best exercises for my lipedema and lymphedema. While my physical abilities may be limited, fitting on gym equipment and mobility, in the pool I have freedom with my movements (foot at shoulder level) and the ability to adjust the intensity of my workouts. I have taken classes at many gyms, my favorite being with “Coach” as we called her, thick accent and “more faster” commands. My first day in her class, at a new gym she advised “do your best.” She obviously noticed this was not my first class, and in the midst of an exercise as I was daydreamingly making “rolling” moves with my arms she dropped down into a push up on the pool’s edge so she was in face and yelled. “Faster, faster, faster.” Whoa? What happened to “do your best?” She obviously noticed I was not doing my best, which was appreciated, and funny as heck. My journey to health has definitely been full of waves, and even a rip current, but I keep on splashing. I am healthy, and my lymphedema has amazing improvement.
Spark 9: Chicken or the egg: Healthy mind makes healthy body or vice versa?
I will be speaking about the oft-missed connection between a healthy mind and healthy body and also speak for both sides of the coin, how a healthy mind helps create a healthy body, and a healthy body creates a healthy mind. I’ll follow up with some examples of ways to make both sides happen.
Spark 10: Drop it like a squat!
Walking the audience through a power lifting competition, to encourage more to enter local competitions.
Spark 11: How to SCREW your shoes
Are you a runner? Love to run in all the conditions? Is it WINTER where you live in December-Jan-Feb-March-April-the upper Peninsula of Michigan-June-July? Do you love to run outside? Safely, in the ice? Wonder how to do it on the CHEAP?? Welcome to Screwing Your Shoes 101. I am going to show you how to use sheet metal screws, a drill, and your running shoes, to expand your winter running. It will actually take about five minutes to Screw your shoes!
Voting ended: 52
Spark 12: Running down a dream: A mom’s journey to become a world-class athlete
“How the heck did I get here?” is the question I ask myself most days. I’m absolutely a dedicated athlete but also a mom of 4 year-old “active” identical twin boys. This past year has been a whirlwind. Last May I competed in a local duathlon (a run, bike, run event) and qualified to compete at Nationals in Arizona this past Oct. At Nationals, I qualified to represent Team USA at the World Championship Duathlon competition in Spain this May! I’m excited, overwhelmed and trying to learn Spanish, all while keeping up with family, blogging and work obligations. I’ve hired a coach who is also a rocket scientist – what? – in hopes of conquering all my fears and realizing my dreams when I take my twin boys, husband, dad and stepmom to the biggest competition of my life! The journey thus far has taken dedication, buckets of sweat (visual), sacrifice and faith – which is what every mom already has. I did it and so can you – here’s how…
Spark 13: From baby blues to running shoes
I was suffering from severe postpartum depression after the birth of my son. I had gained a lot of weight and took “eating for two” quite literally. My husband, seeing how unhappy I was, suggested I try running. At 250 pounds I couldn’t make it from one mailbox to the next but each day I tried again. As I ran more and more I was literally running away from my depression. I’ve lost 70 pounds, just finished my first marathon, but most importantly I feel whole again!
Spark 14: Color me successful!
After weeks of refusals from many different companies, we finally convinced major race organization Color Me Rad to come to our small town. Our team put together a grassroots movement and brought in the fastest registration CMR had ever seen. Using Facebook, local media, and feet on the ground, we more than doubled the expected attendance and raised almost $50,000 for our charity. Now even Color Me Rad is sharing the story of how we had sponsors lining up for our next event, and what you can do to make your charity event a rousing success.
Spark 15: Yes, you can fly, too
Taking strength training to the next level, aerial dance is your next stop. Aerial arts takes your body from the ground to the sky and pushes your body to the limit by hanging on a piece of fabric or a single bar. Learning aerial arts takes stepping outside of the box and is how I step outside of my box. Learn how to step outside of your box.
Spark 16: #Hashtag disordered: Normalized disorder in social media
I’ve spent much of my first semester as a PhD student in health behavior and promotion focused on the social norms surrounding eating behavior, specifically the disordered eating continuum and the notion that “normal is not normative.” Studies show the three predominant influences on one’s eating behavior are friends, family, and the media; I’ve become captivated by the notion that social media — as a merging of all three, in essence — will provide an even stronger influence than the three alone. What this means for bloggers and other social media enthusiasts is the very real need to evaluate what behaviors they are representing and considering as ‘the norm,’ and whether such behaviors and images (macronutrient-focused eating, fitspiration, etc.) are beneficial, or doing more harm than good.
Spark 17: Fatter to fitter with cosplay
Cosplay is, literally, Costume Play. For most people, it brings up visions of dorky guys and girls in homemade Star Trek costumes at conventions. And for the most part, that’s pretty accurate, except that Cosplay extends FAR beyond Star Trek. Pretty much every fandom has its Cosplayers. This fat Cosplayer (who cosplays whenever the occasion warrants) will share how Cosplay is driving a desire for weight loss. As the pounds come off, so will the types of cosplay he can do. And perhaps more than that – cosplay is simultaneously the opportunity to both be someone else and be true to yourself, regardless of what your body looks like.
Spark 18: How to live the B.L.O.G.G.Y life every day
The blogging community is unique — the support, the friendship, the motivation and the inspiration can be life changing. How can you take all of what the social media world gives you and make it all part of your everyday? Learn the principles of Being Loving, Open, Generous, Geeky and Yourself to live the B.L.O.G.G.Y life every day!
Spark 19: Kim Kardashian helped save my life
Social media helped save my life. It led me to where I am today in my life and weight loss journey. It helped me meet the amazing support system of people I have surrounded myself with. As funny as it sounds social media forced me out of my shell. It pushed me outside my comfort zone and to try things in life that I never thought I would try. I always thought I was the only person in the world going through the struggles I was facing. I found out I wasn’t alone at all and neither are you.
Spark 20: The geek’s guide to health
One of the key definitions of a “geek,” beyond the social awkwardness, is a person who is very interested in and knows a lot about a particular field or activity. Most of us can claim geek status about something. This Ignite will take my one of my geek tendencies – a love of science fiction – and show how it inspires me toward health in order to demonstrate how we can all translate what we love into a healthier life. Together we will “boldly go where no Ignite has gone before”
Spark 21: Wine, wings, cream puffs and a pink flamingo
How wine, wings, cream puffs and a pink flamingo sponsored my half marathon journey to Germany! How to obtain local sponsorships by thinking outside the box. *Be Bold *Be Confident *Be Yourself By following these tips you can form your own local sponsorship team too!
Spark 22: The adventures of the traveling shoes
Two of my all-time loves are traveling and racing. No surprise that destination race vacations are my bag! Planning, packing, nutrition, sight-seeing, recovery… I’ve definitely learned what not to do. Share my adventures and learn from my mistakes!
Spark 23: Everyone hates me
Being a blogger, we open ourselves up to the world. With that comes adoration but also the big “R” word….rejection. I would like to talk about how to handle rejection when it comes our way.
Spark 24: Conjunction junction, how’s your function? Releasing OR for a healthier BUT — AND more!
“I need to put in 3 hours at the gym before breakfast OR I might as well not exercise at all.” “I can’t eat anything I really like OR I’ll totally lose control.” “My ab muscles must be visible to the naked eye OR I can’t feel good about my body.” “I need to have thousands of followers and daily offers for sponsored posts OR my blog is worthless.” Maybe you have your own “OR” statement. Is it working for you? Here’s how to tell: If a wall (or plateau) has sprung up between you and your goals OR If you feel like you’ve lost your motivation OR If it seems like the deck is stacked against you OR If you feel like things come easier for other people than they do for you, then it might be time to take your focus off your “OR”…and find your “BUT” so you can: Reconnect with (or locate) your mojo BUT in a stronger way than ever before. Experience setbacks BUT learn and recover from them. Embrace who you are BUT let go of what’s holding you back. Get what you want BUT leave room for even better stuff you didn’t know you wanted until now… AND enjoy yourself along the way.
Spark 25: Leveraging technology for better health
So, you’ve got this super fancy tell-all health monitor that you wear faithfully day and night. You check your stats, evaluate your numbers, and those of your 200 closest friends. But how do you use that data to actually make you a healthier person? Let me show you. Without the expense of a gym, a year ago I used my personal health monitor to help me lose 40 pounds and keep it off. With a few simple ideas, you, too, can leverage your powerful technology for better health.
Spark 26: Fabulously fit me!
Put simply, How to live a fabulously fit life at any size! Learning this year to love myself no matter what, so when I get to goal I can enjoy it!
Spark 27: Weight, weight, don’t tell me
Let’s face it. Losing weight is not an easy task. But it IS within your grasp. And now with my new and improved 5 step program, I can teach YOU how to become the Wolf of Weight Street and make losing weight YOUR business. But in all seriousness, I would love to share with you 5 things that hinder us all when it comes to losing weight. It will sort of be like a 12-step program in which step 1 is actually 5 steps…
Spark 28: A proper cuppa tea
Time for this Brit to educate the world on how to make a proper cuppa tea and all the health benefits that go with drinking tea. Move over coffee – your time is up.
Spark 29: Light your blog on fire
Building relationships with your local PR outlets and media to showcase your blog, light it up, and propel your readership skyward! Learn how to pitch, but more importantly, WHEN. Also, how to NOT be “that guy” when pitching. We all know “that guy.”
Spark 30: Why Kia rubbed my butt: A comeback story
We might be starting at square one recovering our bodies from 20 years of overeating or a freak back injury that requires Kia to rub your butt in a TX hotel room. My story of recovery starts with TX and ends four months later with a baby, a back fusion, meeting my goal and so many tears shed.
Spark 31: Now there are five
Imagine if you might – having a little family of two, just me and my daughter – then reigniting a relationship with the boy you were infatuated with when you were a teenager. Boy meets girl (again) and BAM you become a family of five. Yeah, that happened. Yeah, that is my story, how I went from me and Samantha, to me, Kevin, Samantha, Juliette and Josephine. The ups, downs and in-betweens of it all. Start with that Sam turned 13 shortly after I moved in with Kevin, add to that Juliette was 6 and Josephine was 2. Yeah, interesting, right. As a mom, I knew I just had to go with it, figure it out and learn how to take care of a toddler and elementary age child again, as I had been used to a child who could get up, dressed, fed and out the door. It was time to pull up my big girl panties and work to make this family work. Life wasn’t easy, no, it was not. Kevin was going through a messy divorce — that is an understatement. I moved from NE Ohio to Columbus, Ohio, and settled in for the long haul. I had to learn to take care of myself, take care of my family and inspire them to join me in my journey of health and wellness. Not easy, but it happened!
Spark 32: Even monkeys fall from trees
Most of my fitness/health journey has resulted in less than spectacular results. Failure does not define me and I will show you why with a little help from my furry friends.
Spark 33: The answer is always yes
Last year I embarked on what I deemed my “yes year” — a year filled with the word YES. Want to learn how to kayak? Yes. Take a trip to Ireland? Yes. Learn how to make a felted birdhouse? Yes. Inevitably there were some no’s along the way but in general my whole vocabulary was shrunk down to one word. Yes. My “yes year” taught me about successes and failures (that bird house had several unintended “fire escapes”). It taught me to open my mind, take risks and interact with new people. Let me tell you all the reasons to say yes!
Spark 34: The myth of healthy addictions
Let’s talk about the idea of having a ‘healthy addiction’.What defines addiction and problematic behaviors? Why using this term is unhealthy. What to do if you or someone you know needs help.