Hi friends. I made it back from Blissdom, a blogging conference in Nashville, on Sunday. My partner-in-crime Holli went with me, and I had a good time. More than just going to the conference and learning things, I realized how I've grown slightly in confidence but have a lot farther to go. I'm working on recognizing progress more than just on the scale, but also in how I am living my life.
Holli drove, and I took the 3 hour trip to Nashville to write some.
There was a newcomers group gathering Thursday afternoon, and I quickly felt my old social anxiety issues creep up. A room full of people I didn't know, and feeling uncomfortable, fat, and with my confidence level in the toilet. This was different from Fitbloggin' since there were a lot of mom bloggers and bloggers in different niches. Thankfully, I had a chance to go back to the room and recoup before I got too panicky. Holli and I then made a field trip outside of the hotel, and then had a hastily-thrown-together dinner with Emily and Dani, both residents of Nashville.
I was so thankful Holli was there to keep me from being a wallflower the entire night. We met some lovely people and I started to feel more comfortable in my skin.
The sessions had a lot of “table time” where you discussed different ideas from the speaker with your table. Leah (Bookieboo) of Mamavation was the community leader for a few of the tables, so it was good to have a familiar face around. The group was pretty broad: beauty/fashion/health and fitness. I ended up getting to talk a little about my plus size fashion blog, so that was fun.
At the beginning of the conference, this was the negative self-talk that consumed me:
No one knows or cares who you are. You're not a mom, not a photographer, not someone who knows all the big blogging names here that you should. People will roll their eyes when you say you're a weight loss blogger. How can a size 24 person be a weight loss blogger? I know that I've done a lot to make progress, but I wish I had made more before I got here. I wish I were more outgoing so I could talk more with people. What do I have to say?
I went to a session called “How to be present in a demanding world.” This is something I struggle with immensely as I feel like I'm always looking to the future to change how things are now. I've always been a chaser – I chase something, then when I get it, I'm already off to chase something else without even acknowledging I reached a milestone. In the session, a young man named Sammy from Kenya told his story about how to live in the moment. His story was more awful than many of us could imagine, so his perspective was great. These are two things I'm focusing on intensely right now, and I was glad to hear them from him:
- Gratitude. Practice it, live it.
- Don't compare yourself to others. You may want to be like someone else, but someone else wants to be like you.
All-in-all, it was a great experience. I got to meet some wonderful people and learn some good things. Of course, the music and entertainment was fun as well.
A few victories that I'm focusing on:
- The conference was at Opryland, which is MASSIVE. Seriously, I had no idea despite all the warnings. Even with my clunky boot on, I made it around without getting winded or sweaty. Conditioning, for the win!
- I got some confidence up to introduce myself to people I've read for quite a while now.
- I didn't overeat the wonderful food or drink myself silly. Seriously, it was so hard. I don't even know what a Shamrock Shake is, but for some reason, being on the interstate made me want one. I settled for coffee.