One of the reasons I blog is to broaden my community beyond those (irreplaceable) people I interact with on a daily basis. Yesterday I got to do just that at Fitness Magazine’s Meet & Tweet in LA. The six hours I spent there were packed with fitness talk, new friends, great food, free goodies, and a 3 mile run with some pros. Certainly a memorable day.
Beyond the start time (10:30 am) and location (Annenberg Community Beach house in Santa Monica), I was not sure what the day would hold. So, I set one expectation for myself: make new friends. With that in mind, I headed towards the entrance and asked a new “friend” to take my picture.
First up was a hydration station and late morning snack. (Thank you CamelBak for the cool water bottle!) I mingled with a fellow attendee who works with the nonprofit Girls on the Run. Have you guys heard of it? SO cool!
Tony Horton (P90x people!!) and Betty Wong (Editor-in-Chief) kicked the festivities off. I appreciated Tony’s confidence, lack of filter, and cut-to-the-chase persona. He talked about techniques to get a better workout in less time. He shared that the bottom line of fitness is to be healthy and happy. I like it Tony! (Also, after hearing him advocate, I might consider wearing a heart rate monitor.) He was super approachable and didn’t make anyone feel like a fool for posing with him.
Nutritionist Alyse Levine was up next. She had a very interesting approach to food: ditch the diet and instead get in tune with what your body is telling you to eat. Alyse advises against having a “good” vs. “bad” food mentality. No rules. Only follow your body’s cues. This of course requires that you have a healthy relationship with food. I love the idea… but feel like I would probably be eating pizza and bagels for days on end if I ditched my rules. Besides, I kind of like my rules. I liked one of her strategies for evaluating hunger throughout a meal. Divide your plate into 4 quadrants. Upon finishing one quadrant, evaluate your hunger before you move on to the next. Stop eating once you are satisfied. I think I will try this out!
Next, we all headed down to the pool to visit with the sponsors and eat lunch.
Oh the sponsors! Let me just say that I tried desperately to play it cool during this portion of the day. But, when strangers keep handing me free stuff, sometimes I just get a little giddy. At least I wasn’t alone. I think all of the attendees were trying not to pee their pants as they walked from booth to booth. Roxy gave us our pick of a two pieces of Roxy Outdoor Fitness Gear, Oakley offered up a pair of glasses, Birkenstock fitted us for a new pair of sandals, Saucony gifted us with a pair of Guide 7, Cliff tossed bars our way, and Dermalogica gave us a skin evaluation and free products. I haven’t had a pair of Birkenstocks since 6th grade, so I am pretty excited about these puppies.
I set my loot down and ate lunch with some new buddies. It was delicious. In addition to salad, grilled veggies, salmon, shrimp, and chicken, they served these berries tossed in cinnamon – amazing and cannot wait to replicate at home.
The afternoon session began with Harley Pasternak, trainer to the stars and author of THE BODY RESET Diet. Well, that guy is a machine and means business. He has a science background and is very sure of the best way to do fitness. He advocates for chronic movement in our daily routine. Walk. Walk. Walk. While his theory on strength training is precise and technical, Harley admits that any exercise is better than no exercise. Agreed!
Each blog and gal is unique (of course), but one thing they all have in common is their ability to be vulnerable and communicate. They were gracious enough to share tips, humble enough to tell slip ups, and cool enough to encourage the attendees to remember their worth.
Before wrapping up, some of us hit the boardwalk with Saucony and a few of their pros. We did a leisurely 3 miles and I was able to run with one of their professional triathletes for a good portion. I nearly missed it to try and beat traffic, but I am so glad I didn’t.
I grabbed my goodie bag (such good stuff) from Fitness Magazine, said my “thank you’s” and headed back home. All in all, the day was a fun success! As I sat on the 10, 405 and 55 freeways, I charged my phone and organized the takeaways from the day in my mind. I am grateful for this new community of people with whom I can share common (and sometimes not so common) thoughts and beliefs. Thank you to Fitness Magazine for a wonderful day!
Added to the “friend roster” are: Andrea I Run For Donuts, Joyce My Superficial Endeavors, Melissa The Valentine RD, Paula From Fries to Fit, Margarita Cupcake Cardio, Micha Surf Sand and Son, Meghan Crazy Casa K, Debi Girl Reworked.