I ended up having a blast at the Fitbloggin’ conference. I truly didn’t know what to expect about spending three days in a city hundreds of miles away with hundreds of people I’d never met. I blogged about it fairly extensively at my other blog if you’d like the blow by blow.
Since the conference was geared towards fitness bloggers, sessions ran the gamut from “How to use social media to gain followers” to “Using Florida Grapefruit in a healthy diet” to “Self Acceptance” and “When You Have a Lot of Weight To Lose.” I had originally thought I would gain a lot of information about the nuts and bolts of increasing web traffic and dismissed the thought of the other more touchy, feely sessions.
But after meeting a friend who gently nudged me towards one of the weight loss sessions, I knew that I was right where I needed to be. The open ended group forums were like a support group, women just telling their stories over and over, peppering their tearfilled commentary with amazing advice about self loathing and acceptance.
It was like a punch in the gut for me who has been struggling over the last six to nine months with my headspace.
And suddenly, I didn’t feel so alone in my thoughts that go towards Crazytown from time to time. For all of my struggles in my past, some of these women had experienced much worse. Others had similar stories of difficult childhoods and losing parents early. Some were subjected to drug abuse in their homes. One woman, like me, had a child very young. They were all struggling somewhere on the journey towards self acceptance.
Some inspiring women were already there. They had managed to rise above their lousy circumstances and their anxiety filled negative self talk and found a way to honor themselves by taking care of their heads, hearts and bodies. Others were at the starting point, wanting to head towards that place but absolutely clueless where to start. Many, like me, were somewhere on the journey. Some days we feel like we have our heads together, we know how smart and capable we are, and we go forward with our heads held high. Other days we feel like the negative self talk must all be true and we let it win out with a vengeance.
It was honestly an eye opener to hear my own thoughts echoed by so many women. I think in our daily lives no one is this honest. For me, I am surrounded by women who don’t really seem to struggle all that much with self worth. Maybe I’ve put them there for a reason, to help pull me out of that tendency in myself. But sometimes that makes me feel like I am a total headcase; that I must truly be messed up if I constantly compare myself to others or think negatively about myself. But at FitBloggin’ , I wasn’t nuts. I wasn’t alone. I was just another among many who are working hard to overcome whatever it is that holds us back from being the best version of ourselves.
It was really, really wonderful.
And now I’m connected with some of these women online. Through their blogs, their tweets and their Facebook messages, it’s almost like an online support group. And for now, it feels like enough. It feels like therapy. It feels like maybe I’m going to be OK.