Monthly Archives: September 2012

I went to this thing called FitBloggin

A mere eleven days after coming home from Italy, I was back on an airplane to Baltimore to go to a blogging conference called FitBloggin.  It’s billed “For bloggers interested in fitness, wellness, good food and a healthy lifestyle. Two days of education, networking, friendship and fun.”

Which sounded reasonable.  And I was chomping at the bit to meet my friend, Caroline, in the real life.  We’ve been super good interweb pals who’d never met in person.

Hanging out with Caroline was awesome.  Of course, it’s really nice to just have a go-to-gal when you’re trying to socialize with 300 strangers, but I think we would have had a grand time even if had just been us.  We stayed up too late chattering into the night and we needled each other into getting up and doing all of the workouts offered.

me and caroline, at the hotel bar
picture stolen from caroline

Speaking of the workouts…
They were my favorite thing about the conference. We completed a yoga class, a Crossfit workout, and a crazy aerobics class on the first day. Then an intense boot camp, a trampoline class, and a Zumba class on the second day. The final day was just a 5k.

I don’t have enough hours in the day to do so much working out in my regular life, so this was a really neat opportunity.

Plus, I learned in a totally non-snarky environment that Zumba is not for me.

The 5k was especially awesome, because I ran it with a cool lady named Michelle aka The Running Jewess, who made me go just a little bit faster than I would normally be inclined to.  Which is just the right sort of running partner, really.  Full of the love-loathe.  AND!  She’s local (at Stanford) and also going to be running the upcoming half marathon in San Jose, too, so hopefully I will see her there.

Like at ALT Summit, there was a sort of inner-sanctum of bloggers who seemed to largely know one another already and who did the presentations for most of the sessions.  I knew of some of these folks, but not many.  And I was surprised to learn that the majority of the bloggers were weight-loss oriented.  If I had to guess, I’d characterize the attendees as 75% weight-loss and 25% fitness focused (although the two are not entirely distinct, of course).  And of those weight-loss types, maybe at least half of them were big losers — people who already had lost 100+ pounds or who were working on losing that much or more.

So there was a lot of emotion and sharing and story telling wrapped up in the experience of having lost or having to lose so much weight, and in a place surrounded by others in the same sort of situation, emotions were running high and there was much love and bonding.

For me, it felt a little like I was watching a really interesting tv show.  They were all compelling stories, but I couldn’t completely identify with them.  My weight hasn’t really ruined my feelings of self worth and I haven’t gone through some process of learning to accept me for me.  I’m pretty sure that I’ve been awesome since forever.

I was also not using social media in the same way that most folks there seemed to be.  They’d meet with their eyeballs and then turn around, walk away and then tweet to each other how nice it was to have met.  We were also strongly encouraged to “talk” to the sponsors via Twitter and Instagram, pretty much constantly.  Which is just a really different sort of blogging approach than I have… my philosophy is definitely geared more towards minimal followers and free stuff!
The sneakers I got, though, were pretty nice.  So, uh… thanks, @Reebok?

Overall, it great to have a venue to meet up with Caroline and very cool that we had all these workouts to do together. And I definitely liked lots of new people.  I didn’t get as much out of the sessions as many other people did, but my general impression is still a good one.

Next year’s FitBloggin is taking place in Portland, which is WAY more convenient for me than Baltimore was, so the temptation to go again is there.  No promises yet, but we’ll see!

Anyway, a few more pictures…

action shot on the trampoline
also stolen from caroline

triangle pose in the yoga photobooth thing.

jazz hands at the start of the 5k.
that’s michelle next to me in the yellow.


Filed under About a blog, Fitness and/or Fatness

birthday thirty-five

I was moping about turning 35, that it was half way to 40.

“No, Maggie,” said Brice. “It’s half way to 70.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Whatever. It’s a milestone on the way to something.

Maybe I would feel just as glum about it if I had done all those life things you’re supposed to have done by now. 35 could still be all boo-hoo even if I did have a for reals career, a kid or two, a mortgage and a partner legally obligated to contend with my oldness.

But I suspect those developmental delays have a bit to do with the feeling of having messed up a bit some how along the way. I turned 35 and I didn’t get it right!

So, I’ve been thinking about my “life list” and trying to identify those things that I really, really want to do before I’m done. The things that could make it feel right.

Weirdly, the things I really, really want are not that exciting at all.

I want to save enough money for retirement.

I want to be a faster runner.

I want to remember to send birthday cards.

I want to be a good aunt.

I want to grow my own basil.

I don’t have a collection of dreams that I’m afraid to shoot for. My life is far from perfect, but I’m not pining for something. There’s a vague pining for the mundane, but big things I feel like I should have done by now. Which is possibly not even pining but actually fear that my friends and cohorts are all leaving me behind.

All those things, the babies-marriage-house-career, they could still happen. I can still figure out if those are all things that I really, really want. I’m not giving up, just because of this 35 business. It’s not a deadline.

It’s a milestone. Halfway to 70.

Which is a very, very, very long time from now.

A lot of things are going to happen before then.





Filed under Today

how to stop being on vacation

I’ve been back from Italy for a week now, but am still desperately clinging to some vacation-y habits.

You know what’s more awesome than not-running?

Big fat nothing, that’s what.  Vacation told me so.

After 2 whole weeks of no running, including 3 entire weekends of no long-runs, I’m super struggling to get back on it.

I’ve got another half marathon in just 3 weeks; I really needed to try and push out something this weekend.  But instead, I decided that the suck was too daunting to bear and I burrowed into bed with my latest young adult fiction overdose and provided cushioning for cats.

And while I haven’t been eating hazelnut gelato every day, I have largely been subsisting on pizza, popcorn and KIND bars.

I got on the scale a few days after I got home and had only gained 2.2 pounds, which I really didn’t feel that angsty about.  I should have been in a great position to just get myself back into my regular habits.  But I reasoned that jet lag was important to get over and that I should just let myself sleep in the morning.  Which I did, until about 4 am, a time that would leave me ample time to get to the gym by the time it opens at 5…. except I was real busy getting over jet lag.  So, um.  I didn’t do that.

And since The David is still in the UK, waiting for his passport to be returned to him after getting his Visa extension, I’m struggling with food prep for one.  It really is so much easier to plan and prepare meals for both us.  When it’s just me, I can’t be bothered and just want to find the quickest, easiest way to not be hungry.  And not one of the takeout places near me offers up an awesome side roast broccoli.

So, whine whine.  Excuse excuse.

I got up this morning and I went for a run.  In my mind, it was going to be 6 miles. It ended up being 4.

Which is about 3.75 more miles than I wanted to do.

But I did it and that’s a start.  I’ll do it again tomorrow.  And the day after that.  (The day after that, I’m going to FitBloggin – which is a whole other story to ponder).  And all of that adds up to the start of just making it a habit.  A horrible, fugly habit.  But if I get through a week or two consistently, then it goes into autopilot zombie mode.

Which is totally my goal:  full on zombie.




Filed under these are the days of my lives

Prego! (not pregnant)

I went to Italy!

Too many days have passed since I got back (on Sunday) and I’ve been swept away in a sea of the things I need to catch up on at work. But before it all fizzles away completely…

After spending 3 days in England with The David’s family, we flew to Rome and then spent 9 days visiting Venice, Florence and various spots in Tuscany.

This is the view, with moon, from the balcony in our Roman hotel room.


This is some food that I ate at some point. Totally not indicative of the quantities of past and gelato I ate.


We took a tour of the Vatican and of all the things I didn’t take a picture of, here’s a picture of an old map with a Sabatini lake. (Sabatini is my mom’s maiden name.)


St Paul’s cathedral.


Seated at a table right next to the guy making pizzas.


Costumed Venetian boat people.



Venice from on high.


Venetian cat, who would not respond to my “psss psss” noises. I had to say it in Italian.


We did not do a gondola ride, but they sure were neat to look at. I think Venice was my favorite. So pretty and charming.


David, being pretty and charming.


Our hotel room in Florence had an adorable little balcony and green glass windows.


Florence’s cathedral, the Duomo. We did not go see the actual The David in Florence, but we did see several of the reproductions. He (the statue) was impressively big, but his willy was concerningly small.



The view of Florence.


More hotel room views, this time from Siena.



We spent our last day having a picnic in the woods on Mount Amiato. It was like a fairytale forrest.



From the top of Amiato.






On the road in Tuscany.



Filed under Up to Stuff