HLS 2012 – Stream of Consciousness

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Hey, guess what?! My first HLS photo-recap post is featured on DailyBuzz Health today! This is huge for me, being listed up there with some of the bloggers that I really admire.  There are some great posts in the mix, you should check them out 😉

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But, now that I’ve gone through the events chronology of the Healthy Living Summit, I’d like to share some thoughts and reflections – both good and not so good.  I am in no way aiming to bash HLS, but I didn’t think it would be totally honest of me to only share half of what I really think.

  • I came to realize that my blog is much more about healthy food than fitness or anything else health-related.  I love fitness, but it’s more a part of my life than a passion.  I’d have to say food is a passion.
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  • That said, I’m absolutely dying to try CrossFit! After the teaser-WOD we did on Saturday, my desire to do crossfit has only intensified.  The community just seems so amazing, and I just wish I had the funds to pay for a membership.
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  • There were practically no sessions about healthy living in and of itself, aside from the keynote presentation.  Almost everything was about blogs, blogging, and careers in the HLB world.  Yes, I get that all of us in attendance are already very knowledgable about healthy life, but I feel like the conference shouldn’t be called “Healthy Living Summit” if it’s mostly about blogging.  Don’t get me wrong – I learned a ton about blogging, but I walked away wanting more about health and life.
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  • A blogger conference is one of the few places where you can go up to someone and say “you probably have no idea who I am, but I’ve read your blog forever and feel like I already know you!” – and it’s not creepy at all.
  • A ton of the “healthy food” brands that sponsored the summit contained ingredients that I wouldn’t consider particularly healthy.  The biggest culprit: sugar and sugar substitutes.  Yes, I get that these companies are supporting healthy, active lifestyles, but they are still selling a processed product. I think it’s fantastic that there are healthier alternatives to some of the “fake” brands out there, but I can’t say I would be on board to work with brands that advertise sugary, processed things.  Once again, this is just my philosophy – I’m not saying that these people and their products are bad.
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  • There are a ton of bloggers that seemed to “put on a mask” when writing their blogs.  Most of the girls I spent the most time were not like this – they were genuine, and very open, but I turned off by a few people who seemed so different in person than in writing.
  • I learned so much about the business and media side of blogging, and I have quite a few (not-so) grand plans for the future of this little blog.  Who knows what I will actually manage to get done, but it feels great to have a lot more confidence and knowledge up my sleeve.
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  • I still have little to no self-control when it comes to buffet meals. No, I do not feel guilty about all the food I ate – I did not stuff myself silly.  But, I definitely ate more than I really needed to, and wish I had more mental preparation to handle the buffet.  Healthy living is a journey, and there is always something to work on.
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  • I felt self-conscious the whole time. I eat a lot, I’m not skinny (and accept that that’s just not my body), and can’t afford to buy clothes that are always the latest and greatest.  I’m just getting more comfortable in my skin, but I felt like I was constantly being judged on what I ate, and how I looked.  I know this is probably me being ridiculous, but for the first day or so it was hard to shake this feeling.
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  • On another note, the fact that I could run a 5k without stopping and barely feel like I used up any energy felt fantastic.  A year ago, I would have felt horribly tired and worn after a run like that.  It just goes to show that if you are careful about increasing your running mileage and fueling properly, your body can do amazing things for you.
Overall, the conference was a fantastic experience – and I would sign up again in an instant.  I met so many wonderful people, and I would not give that up for anything!

For those of you at HLS – what was one lesson you learned or thought you had about the experience?

Have you recently learned anything about yourself from others (bloggers or not)? Please share!

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15 thoughts on “HLS 2012 – Stream of Consciousness

  1. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin

    I loved reading your thoughts on HLS!

    I had the same realization about my blog – I’m always posting about food, but rarely about fitness even though it’s a part of my life. I guess I just feel like I don’t have the qualifications or experience to post workouts like some other bloggers do!

    That’s really interesting about the ingredients in the products of the sponsors. It seems like a lot of people, even us HLBs, get really caught up in the claims of a product without really digging deeper! Another comment about the food that Heather (For the Love of Kale) pointed out is the lack of vegan food at the buffets! That seems really weird considering how many vegan bloggers there are!

    I’m sorry you felt so self conscious there though! I think a lot of people there felt like they were being judged (from the posts I’ve read, at least)… I mean, we’re always checking out each others’ eats on our blogs, so it only makes sense we would do it in person too! But if it helps you feel better, I eat a LOT too and I often noticed I was eating more than the people I ate with. But whatever. Power to us for having such healthy appetites, right? 😉
    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin recently posted..WIAW #52: Back to realityMy Profile

    1. Rachel Post author

      Thanks, Chelsea – I must admit I was a bit hesitant to post this. I definitely noticed the vegan issue as well, as more often then not I choose the veg option at restaurants and buffets. I do think most of my self-consciousness was all in my head, but always good to know I’m not alone when it comes to loving my food (and a lot of it)!

  2. Liz

    I totally agree with you on the whole “healthy” but still processed foods thing. There are so many products out there that try to pass themselves off as healthy, but are they really? I always have to stop and look at them for a minute. I mean, there are quite a few protein or nutrition bars out there that have just as much sugar as a candy bar in them.
    Liz recently posted..Summer Lovin’My Profile

    1. Rachel Post author

      “there are quite a few protein or nutrition bars out there that have just as much sugar as a candy bar in them.” <-- I love this comment, Liz! I feel like we get so lost in labels and claims sometimes, and often lose sight of the "real food".

  3. HollieisFueledByLOLZ

    Wow that sounds like so much fun and congrats on being featured-how cool! In all honesty, I’m pretty a big socially and real life awkward so perhaps my blog might give off a different tone-though I hope not. Anyways-everything looks so awesome!
    HollieisFueledByLOLZ recently posted..Striders 1 mile (5:31)My Profile

  4. Sara @ Nourish and Flourish

    Congratulations on your Daily Buzz feature! That’s huge! I’m going to go check it out after I write this comment. 😉

    I really enjoyed this post because it was so HONEST! <3 Many of your reflections about HLS Boston are similar to my reflections about HLS Philadelphia. I had a wonderful time last year, however I felt very self conscious the entire time. It seemed as though people were judging one another right and left! This year I came to the conference expecting the same, but found it to a warmer environment. I think it was all in my own self-perception though. I realized that I've *finally* reached a point where I truly don't care what others think about me. If a person chooses to judge me based solely on what I'm wearing or putting into my mouth, then that's what they're going to do. It in no way affects me or who I am. :) Even though that's something I've always believed, I haven't always *felt* it. I think that was the biggest self-realization I took away this year. :)

    I completely agree with you about a need for more health-related sessions! Healthy living is about balance, and over-saturating our lives with blogging can quickly become UN-balanced. I'd love a session addressing that very topic, actually! :)

    Oh, and I am much more passionate about food too! Fitness is a huge part of my life, but I'd much rather talk and write about food! <3

    1. Rachel Post author

      Thanks, Sara! I have to admit I was a bit hesitant to hit publish, but based on the responses I’ve gotten, I’m so glad I did. I did find the summit was a very warm environment, and I think that most of these feelings are all in my head.
      Thats so fantastic that you can be yourself without caring about others’ opinions. It’s something that I’m really working on, the ultimate goal for a healthy balance for me.
      I look forward to seeing what sessions will be offered next year, hopefully more about health and life :-)

  5. Erin @ A Girl & Her Mutt

    Love your recap! I agree with you on a few things. I can totally relate to the judging comments although I think that is really all in our mind. Or at least I hope so. I can’t remember a single thing that anyone wore or what they ate. Why would I think they would remember that about me?! 😉 I posted about my initial insecurities, but they quickly faded once I got there. Thank goodness. It can really take away from the fun if you are worried that people are looking at you, right?!

    As for the sessions. I agree that the name Healthy Living Summit can be a little misleading if you have never been. Back in 2010 there were quite a few sessions that were geared more towards the Healthy Living Lifestyle rather than blogging, but honestly…I didn’t think the speakers had the right expertise to be speaking on the subjects they had. I’d like to see a nice mix next year, but definitely speaking from people who have some true experience in their areas.

    Congrats on the Daily Buzz feature!

    1. Rachel Post author

      Thanks, Erin! I do think all the judging was all in my head, something I’m constantly working on. Good to know about the sessions, I’m with you on hearing from qualified speakers about healthy and life for next year!

  6. Tessa @ Amazing Asset

    I just realized you wrote this post before I published mine from Wednesday focusing on the eating part of HLS and yeah… we were most certainly on the same brain wave here! I actually read this after getting my own thoughts out on it and we really did feel the same when it came to the food. I wish we had talked about it while we were together. But I have definitely come to the conclusion that much of this was in our minds and if people were actually watching us and judging, well then they need a life. I honestly cannot remember what you had, other than the fact you pointed me in the direction of the goat cheese, thank you very much for that :)
    I really enjoyed reading your other takeaways and thoughts on the summit too. I didn’t realize the ingredients in some of those foods and yes, it does seem pretty dang ironic that many of these were full of sketchball additives, sugars and such. Also, heck yes to more sessions on actual healthy living as opposed to blogging. Like you, I enjoyed those, but I also like to hear more about the things I blog ABOUT as opposed to the actual website, getting in contact with companies and such.
    Thank you for your honesty here Rachel, I am so glad to have met you last weekend and really got to know your very lovely self :)
    Tessa @ Amazing Asset recently posted..Friday- This and ThatMy Profile


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