Takeaways from #FitBlogLA

#FitBlogLA happened yesterday in sunny Santa Monica, CA! What is #FitBlogLA? It was a Fitness Blogger Meet and Tweet hosted by Fitness Magazine.

I heard about it through my FitFluential network, and was told I could sign up to request an invitation. So I did and 2 weeks before the event, got an email invitation. I was mostly excited to meet some blogger friends in REAL life. There were about 50 people, mostly women, and some highly influential bloggers! I had no idea how much awesome was about to hit me.

FitBlogLA at Annenberg Community Beach House
FitBlogLA at Annenberg Community Beach House – Say hi to Lindsay in the front row!
Warning: I use a lot of hashtags in this post as this is the state of mind I was in from 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM yesterday. #tweetcrazy

Who I got to see! #namedropping

As soon as I arrived I saw Kymberly of Fun and Fit at check in. Then, I walked inside to see Melissa Running it and The Valentine RD! Not long after that Elisabeth Oberndorfer came in and we spotted According to Kelly‘s sparkle visor! For the first two presentations I got to sit next to Gigi Eats Celebrities! I also found Lindsay of Fit & Awesome thanks to a mutual friend who told us we were both there on Twitter and we should meet! A great new blog to follow! #onlinefriendsforlife #linklove

fitblogLA, snapshots

There were many more, but now we must move on to the discussions and my main takeaways. Keep in mind these aren’t all direct quotes from the speaker. Some are helpful thoughts I extracted from what they said.

Tony Horton – The New Way to Work Out

Confession: I’ve never seen a P90X video. Only infomercials. That being said, I knew who Tony was, I have friends who LOVE these workouts, and he had interesting things to share.

  • He’s 55 and shoots for 22 days of workouts/month. That is his magic number for results.
  • He schedules a workout for every day of the week. He knows he won’t always hit them all but is more likely too if it’s scheduled.
  • His “rest” day is yoga on Saturdays. He says “sleeping” should be called “healing”.
  • He’s never counted calories and his advice is to “not treat food like a religion.” You may need to change your diet someday and that shouldn’t cause an identity crisis.
  • Working out 2-3 days a week doesn’t get results. Might as well throw yourself down a flight of stairs. Two days off exercise disrupts your bodies’ progress.
  • 20 to 30 minutes of High Intensity Training is great but not if you aren’t ready for it.
  • To learn how hard you can push yourself – use a heart rate monitor. In fact, a heart rate monitor is one of the best tools you can use. #christmaswishlist
  • To keep from going too hard in a workout and getting hurt, always check in with your form.
  • It’s better to slow down, and focus on skill/form. This makes you less vulnerable to injury, more durable for hard workouts, and ultimately it’s what gets you the body you want.
  • The future of fitness is compound, functional movement, not isolating body parts.

Also, it needs to be said that Mr. Horton is pretty dang cool. He joked about getting old and keeping up with the ‘young guys’. A little self-deprecating humor goes a long way with me.

Tony Horton, FitBlogLA
Yeah, he’s pointing to my bicep.

I dare say he was a tad impressed with my guns. At least it was a fun enough photo to get “regrammed” by him and Fitness Magazine. AND the moment was captured on his page with advice I need to hear: “Take Your time. Be consistent. Show Up.” Yes, sir. #howdoesheknow

On rare occasions I do things people think is cool.
On rare occasions I do things other people think is cool.

Another confession: I didn’t know “regram” was a thing until yesterday.

Alyse Levine – Ditch the Food Rules – and Eat What You Love

A Registered Dietician that I had not heard of until earlier this week…Alyse was a breathe of fresh food aroma! I’m always nervous to hear what “official food people” have to say because I’ve heard some of them promote some whacky stuff. Alyse said awesome stuff! She’s a total food-relationship therapist, if that’s a thing.

  • Daily calories can’t be a hard a fast number. Your daily needs change (activity level, weather, menstrual cycle). If you are too rigid about this, sometimes you’ll be over feeding yourself and sometimes you’ll be underfeeding yourself.
  • Juice cleanses/detoxes are bogus (Tony and Harley agree). Your body detoxifies itself just fine.
  • She doesn’t force her kids to eat a certain amount at meal time and finds that they are likely to balance out what they need at the next meal.
  • Knowing where your “food rules” come from helps break free of them. Can be from family (Mom always told you to eat everything on the plate), or from fad diets and popular media myths (all fat is bad), etc.
  • How do I know if I’m really hungry or having a non-hunger based craving? She uses the “Fruit Test”. Would an apple satisfy you right now, or are those cookies/french fries/etc. the ONLY thing that will do?
  • She broke down her definition of CLEAN Eating:
    • Choose real foods. Great way to start. #noGMO
    • Lose the diet mindset. Think about eating what makes you feel good, not just what makes you loose weight.
    • Eat mindfully. Don’t multi-task your meals. Be present, taste, enjoy, and you will be more satisfied from it.
    • Assess your hunger. Check in mid-meal to see if you’re full instead of rushing to finish it all. Ask yourself why you want to eat to determine if it’s hunger or based on another trigger (emotions, it’s “snack” time, you’re bored, or need “something” while you watch TV).
    • No deprivation! So counterintuitive, but true. If you tell yourself you can’t have something, you’ll obsess over that forbidden fruit like crazy. Allow yourself the freedom to have or not, and the urge to binge on “cheat day” goes away.
  • “Diets” as we have come to know them may provide short term results but are not long term solutions for health.
  • Intuitive – You will notice the difference in how good food makes you feel. Therefore, you will naturally choose those things, finding it easier to limit processed foods, desserts, etc. without making them “forbidden”.

Harley Pasternak – The New Way to Lose Weight

Apparently Harley is a celeb trainer and has worked with uber famous people. I was glad to find he was a calm, down to earth and not a flashy person. What does that say about me that I thought he might be? #shameface

Harley Pasternak, FitBlogLA
Harley with Betty (middle), Editor-in-Chief and Pam, Executive Editor of Fitness Magazine

His new way to lose weight is really the old way: being chronically active all day. You know, how humans used to be before desk-jobs became a thing. He said he’d taken time off to study/research the healthiest people in the world. People who live long and healthy lives are chronically active. They walk a LOT. They don’t know what spin class or CrossFit is. Awesome.

  • Chronic activity is the goal. Popular fitness says 10k steps a day? He says 12k.
  • 45 minutes of exercise does not negate an entire day of being inactive.
  • 45 minutes of exercise does not give us “permission” to eat badly.
  • Fitness classes have their place, but only with proper programming.
  • Juicing is drinking a calorie bomb. Smoothies are better.
  • While any movement is better than none, at some point training without smart programming isn’t going to get you anywhere.
  • He doesn’t think most bootcamps have smart programming. One lady strongly disagreed and derailed the discussion for 10 minutes. #awkward #agreetodisagree
  • We think we’re progressing in fitness when we’re barely maintaining. Our standard for daily movement has gotten way too low.

Blogilates, Skinny Runner, Run Eat Repeat, Eco Vegan Gal – My Blog is My Business

I hate that this was the last discussion of the day. I had to run out the door as soon as it was over to get home for my women’s workout/bible study group. I missed getting to talk with Skinny Runner, Run Eat Repeat, and Eco Vegan Gal. I did, however, get to say hi to Cassey and grab another crazy-asian-ladies photo!

Blogilates, FitBlogLA
First IDEA World, and now this?

This panel was similar to things I’ve heard/learned at other fitness blog events. Here are some key things these ladies shared:

  • They don’t do editorial calendars but all think it’s a good idea. Blogilates does schedule out about a week and a half in advance but that’s it. #hilarious
  • Ignore haters. They don’t understand why bloggers aren’t more supportive of each other’s success. There isn’t a limited number of how many blogs can be successful. Collaborate!
  • They all use a variety of income sources: GLAM ads, sponsored content, selling services or other products, affiliate links, etc.
  • They all stay true to their brand and don’t accept projects/campaigns that they aren’t comfortable with.
  • A few use Mail Chimp for newsletter distribution. I need to get on that.
  • While your blog is about your personality, you still need to be professional.
  • Have a media kit. Have a rates sheet. Communicate professionally with brands.
  • Skinny Runner says if you pitch a brand and you don’t feel scared/uncomfortable that you’re asking too much (compensation wise), then you’re asking too little.
  • Eco Vegan Gal says most brands will negotiate, but don’t stress rejections. Keep at it.
  • Think about becoming an expert at/ corner the market in new social channels that come up. It’s a good way to become a trendsetter and sought-after influencer in that medium.
  • Blogilates says always check your contracts with brands. They try to sneak stuff in like required tweets or instagrams that may not come across as organic and natural to your followers.
  • Run Eat Repeat reminded us that no one knows exactly what their doing with social media. There are no social media marketing degrees yet. The brands you work with aren’t 100% sure they know what will work. You know your brand and your audience best, so you have the power to tell them what will make the most impact.
FitBlogLA, My Blog is  My Business
A gorgeous panel of influencers!

Thank you Fitness Magazine and Sponsors!

Fitness Magazine really did a great job at wowing everyone. I don’t know that they could’ve made it any better…unless they had randomly offered me a job. #theydontwhoiam

FitBlogLA Food

It’s disgustingly awesome how much great stuff we got from the sponsors. I saw woman after woman walking away from the Saucony and Birkenstock booths with shoeboxes and I thought they were all buying shoes! Nope. It was free. Pick your size. I honestly can’t bring myself to photograph all the loot (which occupied three tote bags).

[Late insert] Kymberly calls walking from booth to booth the “Swag Drag”. Love that term. Love her.

I'm not sexy enough for this bag.
I’m not sexy enough for this bag.

Seriously, I feel dirty and admit I am so into Fitness Magazine right now because I’m a #swagho. They did not require or ask that I write about or even mention them. But let’s be honest, they totally “bought” my vote with their suave speakers, succulent shrimp, and armfuls of goodies.

Ad. I’m sure I’ll feel better when I put on my new Saucony Glide 7s, Roxy tights, New Balance tank, and Oakley aviators, and get my sweat on. #dontjudgeme

I’m a blogger who fancies herself a future freelance writer/novelist. [Subtext: I have no money.] If I can’t afford new running shoes, you betcha I’ll be rocking whatever I get for free!

Athleta, FitBlogLA
Hopefully this posed pistol pic wins me some Athleta gear! #ExerSelfie

Truthfully I feel really blessed to have been able to go. Some flew from far away to be there. It just happened to be on a Tuesday when I get the car, so I was able to drive there. #onecarfamily

If YOU want to get invited the next time this comes to Los Angeles, either get into fitness blogging and/or start following Fitness Magazine so you don’t miss the invitation to request an invitation!

Super social media savvy! Our badges had all the tweet deets we needed!
Super social media savvy! Our badges had all the tweet deets we needed!

Read about this event from other blogger’s perspectives:

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