Ignite Fitness Voting is Now Open!

We’ve received 26 Ignite Fitness Sparks for the FitBloggin’12 keynote event and now it’s time to choose our winners.

You will find all applications 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!

Voting is now open, and 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 May 30 and winning sparks will be notified June 1.

Which presentations do you want to see for this year’s keynote presentation?

Spark 1

My presentation will have three major components. 1) It will be about losing weight and getting healthy. 2) It will include information about zombie apocalypse survival. c) I will let my fans and twitter followers decide what every other slide will be about.

I was once told that I was funny. I am not sure if they meant haha funny, or just funny looking. I plan to let Fitbloggin12 decide…

Spark 2

I’ve got many ideas, but the one I like most is “Why do you exercise?” I wrote this as a guest post for Freakin Fitness / Joyce Cherrier. See the link here: http://freakingfitness.com/healthy-living/why-do-you-exercise-guest-post-by-angrytrainerfit

Spark 3

Once upon a time my husband told me I was crazy for trying a triathlon. After I proved him wrong and went on to do sprint, olympic and half-iron distances (and he fell in love with the sport too), I figured out that EVERYONE can do one if a non-runner and non-endurance athlete like myself can (in fact most people are probably already training for one and don’t know it!) I will prove it in 5 minutes & 20 slides.

Spark 4

I would like to talk about how I became an ultrarunner and what I get out of it. On the eve of my second half marathon, I read an article about a local woman who ran ultras and thought the very idea was insane. I did a little trail running and hated it. I tried again a few years later with a different perspective and loved it. Once you do trail races, you encounter ultrarunners. A seed was planted in my mind but I had doubts. I’m an ordinary runner. I’m not super skinny. I don’t run very fast. I’m not even the type of person who feels compelled to run everyday. Could I do something that seemed so impossible?

In April of 2011 and set my sights on a trail 50M race in December. I spent the next 8 months training and on Dec 17th, I ran 50 miles. I upped the ante this year and ran 100K. I have my sights set on a November 100 miler. I’m totally addicted now.

Spark 5

Id love to discuss how I started making YouTube videos in 2006 and how I transformed into health and fitness. I have IBS and had to change my diet. In my videos I like to experiment with healthy cooking to let people know you can eat healthy and it’s delicious.

Spark 6

In 2006, at 471 pounds, I found a doctor who listened to me. REALLY LISTENED. My thyroid had been out of whack my entire life but because I was medicated incorrectly I kept gaining weight, nearly lost all of my hair and couldn’t even brush what I had without being winded. I fought, I went off the medication and suffered in silence. I fought back. Severe Hashimotos thyroiditis was the diagnoses and the treatment? Synthroid AND Cytomel. I fought for the Cytomel because Synthroid alone never did anything to help me. Now I’ve lost 170 pounds and am seeing the scale move. Everyone should be an informed consumer of their medical care. Don’t let the doctors tell you the symptoms aren’t real. I want everyone to know that it’s ok to tell your doctor NO and demand more tests, different treatment options and never give up. EVER. If I can get back in control after a TSH of 35, anyone can do it.

Spark 7

How I lost 50 pounds, caught the running bug, and learned a life lesson… I’ve spent years fighting my weight, struggling with food, and now I’ve suddenly got it under control. Most of it is a desperate desire to raise my daughter in a household where exercise is just what you do and healthy food is just what you eat. Of course I still struggle, but I make it work. Binges are smaller, less often, and revolve around cereal. I’m learning to listen to my body, to exercise stress away, and most of all that it’s a slow and entirely UNsteady process.

Spark 8

My story is about how losing 100+lbs has shown me direction and purpose in my life. It all started when I gave birth to my daughter and I wanted to make a change for HER life. Little did I know, I would completely change MY life, and I am not just speaking physically, as well as the lives of those surrounding me. Losing weight, making the conscious decision to get healthy, and sharing my story with others has opened up a realm of new opportunities for me and shown me that I actually am here for a reason. That I was overweight my entire life for a reason. I am put on this earth with a God given purpose to change lives and I it all started by changing my own. I would also like to share the importance of self love along this journey and how loving myself and being my own best friend at 270lbs or 150lbs has given me the strength to keep going and to keep persevering.

Spark 9

Practicing Self-Kindness: aka Loving Who You Are TODAY & Where You Are in Life TODAY.
When you’re morbidly obese, obese, or just plain out-of-shape many are often filled with self-loathing. You feel like everything is overwhelming, unachievable, and that you’ve failed in life in an enormous way. This story gives positive examples of how to believe in yourself, believe in your own worth, and believe in your dreams no matter where you are today. It focuses on believing in yourself and the actions you can take now, not when some ‘out in the universe’ dream is realized. It celebrates the NOW. The story told involves anecdotes that everyone can relate to from touching your toes for the first time in a very long time, to fitting into those skinny jeans… and includes why NOT fitting into those skinny jeans is perfectly acceptable if you’re taking positive action and believe in yourself. “I am AWESOME”, “Yes, I can!” and “I so ROCK!” slides will be incorporated into the story, encouraging the audience to yell those words – top of their lungs – out for everyone to hear. This self-kindness and acceptance has helped me change from a morbidly obese gal into a healthy loser gal and I know it resonates with others, too! ; )

Spark 10

I would love to share how Crossfit makes you better – through the experience with the community, with coaches that care and guide well, to experiences that scare the crap out of you but you do anyway, to how good lifting heavy weights is for your body and how constantly varied functional movement performed at high intensity is amazing. All of these things will help you in other areas of your life. Each provides there own lesson. I am passionate about Crossfit, community and helping others around me get better.

Spark 11

A journey. Starting at Fitbloggin’ 2011. A story. Of a guy who hated running. Who was inspired by Fitbloggers. To enter, run and complete a Tough Mudder. To take his personal fitness to another level – a level he hadn’t seen since college. A story of a new addiction to obstacle courses and running, leading to at least 4 Tough Mudders in 2012 and numerous other “mud runs.” And inspiring others to accept the challenge with him. A story that doesn’t end. It just keeps writing itself.

Spark 12

Have you ever thought about creating your own eBook or other information product? Most of us have, yet we find ourselves in a tailspin when faced with the daunting scope of the task. What if I told you that you never had to struggle with analysis paralysis again? I’ll show you how “agile development” can help you avoid common obstacles and accelerate your product releases. By the end of this session, you will have the tools to rapidly take your ideas through to your first product launch.

Spark 13

“Find Your Strong” will be a presentation about my experience as a blogger and I hope to motivate people that for any blog to be successful it starts with the person behind it… We as bloggers need to figure out the real reason we blog- and when we finally do, it comes together and works. I’d go through slides- Most, if not all of us, have struggled with our weight and the number on the scale- it unites us, brings us together- but we all have different reasons for blogging. Know what yours is…

It will feature slides about money- making it a lucrative career/livelihood, and tell how that wasn’t my case- Many opportunities came at me after the first Fitbloggin’ but here three years later I still don’t have a twitter account and I blog on Blogger.

It will feature slides about community- How some of us use our blog in a true social media form- I saw fatgirlonamountain is a speaker- She was the first person to outgoingly introduce herself to me at the first conference and she’s speaking about that very topic. Some of us build relationships, meet friends, and have the confidence online that we only wish we had in person.

It will feature a picture of a transformation- How some use it as a place to journal, have accountability, have an on-line diary…

It will feature other reasons and end with a slide of an overweight girl on a bike in a triathlon- with the biggest smile on her face ever. I will say I blog because of people like her. Someone that is overweight- exactly what I’m trying not to be- but because of the smile on her face. I want to be happy, strong, and own my own beautiful- flaws and all.

The truth is- at the end of the day we all blog to fill a void. When it comes down to it, if you look inside yourself, it’s probably not about the scale after all. It’s about wanting to find an outlet, friends, career… you name it- for me even free therapy. But leaving this conference, make it your mission statement to have a mission statement. Find your strong- and know why you blog.

Spark 14

Finding the Real “I Am…”

Everyday we use the words “I am…”, but I think too often we confuse what we do with who we are. I want to break down all of my identities to find the Real Me.

Spark 15

Modern Roller derby is not staged fakery like pro-wrestling – it’s the fastest growing sport in the world. Maggie Mayhem, in the movie Whip It said “Put on some skates and be your own hero.” That’s just what all kinds of women (and men) are doing. Moms, nurses, lawyers, PhDs and retail clerks in many different shapes, ages and sizes gather in warehouses, parking lots and skate halls to take part in one of the most challenging workouts available. The basic rules can be understood in two minutes – and then the fun begins of mastering skills, quick thinking and teamwork.

Anyone with skates can do this, if they are willing.

[NOTE: I play co-ed roller derby and I haven’t been this excited about working out in years. I never miss a practice and I’ve progressed very far in just 9 months. My slides will cover the current state of the sport, rules, how to get started and why it’s so awesome.]

Spark 16

This is a true story: once there was a young girl who was jogging along a yellow running trail with her dog when she chanced upon a sad scarecrow. I know that this sounds kind of “Wizard of Oz-y,” but please bear with me, and remember: this is a true story.

“What’s the matter, Mister Scarecrow?” she asked.

“I haven’t any brains,” the scarecrow replied.

Okay, okay… I’ll warrant that there are similarities between my story and The Wizard of Oz. There, are you satisfied? May I please continue with my story?

“Oh, I think you’ve got plenty of brains,” replied the girl. “After all, you wouldn’t have any speech or motor functions if you didn’t have a brain.”

“I never thought of that,” frowned the scarecrow.

“No, what you’re lacking is creativity,” she told him. “You stand here in your field, doing the same thing every day, seeing the same things every day and your life is much the poorer for it.”

There’s more to the story, but I can feel you judging me, so I’m going to get on with my main point: Creativity is a part of who we are and how we express ourselves in everyday life.

While it may come easily and more naturally to some, creativity requires encouragement and continuous application in order to truly flourish.

And there is a fount of creativity in each of us, ready to be tapped into.

I would like to take five minutes at Fitbloggin’ to provide a few simple, easy-to-adopt ways to help people jump-start their own creative juices. For their blogs, for their jobs, for their lives.

Spark 17

Numbers are just data – You provide the meaning

As healthy living bloggers we are surrounded by numbers from the scale to race times to readers. All of this information is important for helping us to make changes and grow, but it’s also very easy to get wrapped up in the numbers and feel bad.

This presentation will talk about not letting the numbers around us dictate how we feel, but instead using them as information. While covering aspects that have effected us all I will also give examples from my own life such as blood tests revealing my own body was working against me and how at first I chose to give in to those numbers, instead of providing my own meaning.

I will use slides and ensure everyone has specific takeaways they can use! Healthy living is about more than a weight or PR it’s also about being mentally healthy and this will address that topic.

Spark 18

The story I would like to share is a whimsical but true tale on how I ended up my war against my body by adopting a new thought process and new actions. This is the story on how I overcame bulimia and stepped on stage as a burlesque dancer 6 months ago.

It’s about learning to embrace your body for what is, shifting the thoughts from I can’t to heck yeah it feels good therefore I am in.

I have extensive public speaking experience from presenting at large groups in national conference to workshops and presentations to diverse audience. I have been speaking about my eating disorder recovery for years and inspiring women to take loving actions through daily self-care. I believe I would be an excellent asset to your roster since I have a unique fun message to present on body acceptance and adopting healthy lifestyle by adding a touch of cheeky and whimsical approach. I would be more than happy to submit a sample public speaking video at your convenience.

Spark 19

Conquering Your Food Kryptonite

Superman might be faster than a speeding bullet, but even the smallest chunk of kryptonite transformed the “Man of Steel” into a weakling. And while most of us can’t leap over a building in a single bound, I bet we can relate to his plight. Because no matter how far along you get on the healthy living journey, chances are there’s some form of food kryptonite that saps away your resolve like an evil temptress. Like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which I still have a love-hate relationship with nearly 20 years after losing 50 pounds. But it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. Whether you crave chocolate or Cheetos, bacon or loaves of bread, this session will present insight from nutrition experts and quick tips to help conquer your food kryptonite once and for all!

Spark 20

The presentation is based on a popular blog post written for Kris Carr’s CRAZY SEXY LIFE.

The post is titled: Sweat With Love; Three Ways to Rejuvenate Your Workout

In the post I talk about my mom’s experience with ovarian and breast cancer and how her strength, courage and unconditional love for herself was an integral part of her survival.

As a former professional dancer and addict to beating myself up, her journey taught me that the BEST + ONLY way to change your body is to approach anything you do from a place of love. It took the BIG FAT CANCER for me to get this lesson once and for all.

I learned the lesson and my body CHANGED.

I apply this to all the fitness classes I teach today. Your workout should be an opportunity for you to access your power and celebrate your life.

I would love the opportunity to present!

Spark 21

How to take your blog from I to We

Q: There are millions of blogs out there. How do you make yours stand out?

A: Stop thinking about yourself.

So many bloggers primarily focus on promoting their content, their blog, their message – and find themselves frustrated at how slowly their readership and traffic grow. What they may not understand is that the key to successful self-promotion is actually to focus on others, instead of themselves. Like-minded bloggers aren’t the competition: they’re allies in building up your online presence.

We can’t wait to share with other bloggers what we’ve learned about reaching out, building community, and making friends. Put other bloggers first, and reap the rewards—traffic, link love, followers, comments—effortlessly. We’ll share some of our own secret sauce, with specific examples of what works, and what doesn’t.

Fitbloggin 2012 is THE place for fitness bloggers to network with their peers and make long-lasting and impactful friendships. If you walk away from our presentation with one thing, we hope it’s a couple new bloggy bffs—just the start of your growing community.

In our presentation, we’ll cover:
– How to build an engaged community around your blog with less effort
– How to gain traffic, comments, and followers without paying a dime
– How to generate more content – write less, have more!
– How to easily diversify your content to attract new readers
– How to be a shameless self-promoter without sounding like one

We’ll share the secret to building a vibrant online community, and talk about how to bring your blog from bland to brand.

We can’t wait to contribute to the Fitbloggin community this year! Thanks for your consideration. 🙂

Spark 22

It Takes a Village to Raise a Locavore

Growing up, often I heard that it takes a village to raise a child. Now I know that it takes a village to feed a child. In this Ignite talk, I’ll tell the tale of raising two little locavores, and the village of local food sources it takes to make it happen. It’s not only for parents. Everyone can provide a little influence to help the kids they know grow up as healthy, local eaters.

It all starts with a decision to eat more locally. A CSA is a great start for getting plenty of local vegetables. For us, joining one 2 years ago started us on family journey of becoming locavores. It hasn’t been without is challenges. What on earth are these strange vegetables? How can you tell your collards from your kale (and are collard chips as tasty as kale chips?) And what’s this green thing that looks like a satellite doing in our CSA box? But, we’re experimented and learned a ton in the first season as a CSA member.

From there, it grew into visiting farmers (more of our villagers), farmer’s markets, and U-pick farms. Strawberries grow near the ground, they start out white and turn red. Blueberries grow on bushes. What better way for a child to learn than to pick some themselves?

It can be hard to find the time to pack and preserve the seasonal treasures, but it’s worth it when your little one asks if the applesauce at dinner is from the apples we picked. It can also be tough when you have to explain to a disappointed child that no, we can’t go banana picking in Ohio.

Parents or not, everyone can influence a child. Look around at the things you can do to teach the children you meet about healthy, local food.
It can be as simple as choosing local produce for snacks at a church or community event or as directed as a teacher incorporating local foods into a lesson plan or an aunt or uncle taking a child to a farmers’ market or berry picking.

It is a lot of work, but it is completely worth it when my three-year-old points out Swiss chard in the grocery store, or when my toddler asks for a third helping of broccoli. I didn’t do it alone. No, my children had a village of farmers, teachers, relatives, and cooks to teach them. We are all villagers for the children around us, and we can all show them how to live eating delicious, healthy, sustainable food.

Spark 23

I would like to do a presentation called Fitness Kaleidoscope

I would like to take a (5 min) walk through the past, present and future of fitness trends, fads and fashion.

Spark 24

Once upon a time many of us began a blog. The idea sprang because we consider ourselves writers and we want to share our insights and views with others. But rather quickly we realized that blogging could become a 24/7 job.

We pack our cameras, iPads and charge our cell phones to never miss capturing a moment and then Tweeting, Facebook posting, blog posting, Pinning it, checking in at, Instagramming, alerting our Google + friends, and basically interacting with the whole universe.

We’ll take a look at how to maximize your time with social media and minimize the “you’re schizo” looks your spouse and friends give you on a day to day basis. My Ignite presentation will be “How to be a Social Media Maven without Going Batshit Crazy” (Title can be modified for a G Rating)

Spark 25

In a world filled with obstacles, personal stories of triumph inspire and encourage. My story is one that shows us that we are stronger than we realize.

One minute I was enjoying a run on the beach and the next I almost lost my legs and my life in a six-vehicle accident. For two days, I hovered between life and death. For weeks, amputation seemed like the best option for my left leg. Doctors doubted if I’d ever walk again and they said running was definitely a thing of my past.

I had ongoing surgeries for four years and I spent about two of those years on the couch angry and depressed because of the pain, limitations and deformed leg I have. Tears, chocolate and self-pity were my daily companions.

Today I not only walk on my own two feet, but I run again and depression is a thing of the past. By making choices to eat well, exercise regularly and laugh daily, I’ve recovered much better than expected. In the past year, I’ve done four half-marathons and now I’m training for a full marathon.

My story is not an overnight success story, but neither is the decision to live a healthy lifestyle. It is a daily choice to do what’s best for our health. I’d love to inspire the Fitbloggin’ attendees with an Ignite talk that will give them;

~Courage to face obstacles
~Boldness to challenge their status quo
~Endurance to continue one step at a time

Spark 26

The Title: Spice up your weight loss

The Idea: A presentation on how being more creative with my cooking and using spices to experiment in recipes, has helped me stick to my weight loss and lose 85 pounds so far.

The Spark:

When I started out on my diet, it was immediately obvious that I’d have to begin spending more time in the kitchen preparing healthy, fresh, low calorie meals rather than relying on the prepackaged junk I’d been accustomed to in my heavy days.

My absolute, favourite kind of food is anything hot, fiery and spicy and since I was trying to cut out sugar and white carbs, it seemed like investing in some spices and new flavours would be a great choice to help keep my meals from becoming boring and hard to stick at, which was part of the reason I’d failed to stick at any plan for years.

I went to the supermarket and spent £10 (around $16) on 12 bottles of spice powder and never looked back. Immediately, everything I cooked smelt and tasted so much better and I began actually looking forward to my meals, rather than dreading the sight of another plain, dry chicken breast.

My ideas come from all sorts of cuisine, such as Chinese, Mexican, Indian and Thai and I frequently post recipes for soups, salads and meats which use spices to enhance the flavour. I also plan on growing some different brands of chillies not commonly found in stores, which I feel would be of interest for people who prefer to use natural ingredients in their diet.

The reason I feel my presentation would fit the Ignite format and entertain an audience is the dramatic change I can show in my own body. I think my before & after weight loss images are very powerful, as I was at a high of 301 pounds only one year ago and by the time of the Fitbloggin conference, I am completely confident that I will have lost another 30 pounds, bringing my total loss to over 110 pounds. I’m aware that the audience at a conference like this will be especially health conscious, so the use of spices in cooking would appeal to a variety of interests such as gluten-free foods, low-carb cooking, paleo cooking, Weight Watchers and clean eating. I’d also like to have some focus on the metabolism and health boosting effects that certain spices such as paprika, cayenne and ginger can have.

I’m really enthusiastic to share my passion and show others who may have been in the same, unhealthy situation I was in not so long ago, that it is possible to lose weight and get healthy without having to cut out the foods you love and by making small, cheap alterations in the way you prepare your meals.

Thank you.