#YWM2013 Wrap-Up: A Weekend to Remember!

Let’s be honest: Anyone can begin a “weight loss journey.” Anyone can start and maintain a blog.

But, me? I truly feel there needs to be an underlying passion to really advocate and educate an audience when it comes to the importance of these lifestyle changes, milestones, and victories!

I am so grateful that Sean and I were able to make it to the Obesity Action Coalition Your Weight Matters Convention in Phoenix this year.

I met so many amazing people, and learned so much useful information that I am excited to use to keep going through my transformation, and hopefully, utilize to inspire you on YOURS.

There were multiple speakers and educational sessions that really taught me a lot, and also, some that validated the feelings I have had at my heaviest, and as I transition to the newer, healthier, fitter me.

Sadly, we weren’t able to make it to Thursday’s Member Mingle and Advocacy Training, but we arrived just at the beginning of the breakout sessions on Friday morning, and from the moment we walked into the conference hall, I could feel the energy!

Our first session we attended was “Weight Bias: Changing Public Perception Starts with Me.” I felt like this session was the best way for us to start the day, because a lot of people don’t realize that images and stereotypes of Obesity are perpetuated by society without even thinking about it. How many times have you held a bias towards someone who was Obese, or even too thin? We all do it, and more importantly, we can all help BREAK THAT CYCLE! I am pretty well-known in my circle of friends for being very vocal when people try to attack my size or the size of others in general (just attack-y people in general). I feel a need to really put these people in their place, and make them realize that 1) people can HEAR them and 2) it’s NOT ok to treat people that way. What I walked away from this session, is that I can use the information and resources I have from organizations like the OAC, or even my personal experiences, to educate people, and break those biases.

Other sessions we attended?

Everyday Advocacy: Simple Ways to Make a Difference,” “Planning, Shopping, and Dining: Practical Tactics for Good Nutrition,” “Who’s Staring Back at You in the Mirror: Improving Self-Perception,” “Understanding and Managing Food Addiction,” “My Everyday Routine Matters: Sleep, Stress, and Other Factors Impacting Weight,” and “Weighing Success Beyond the Scale: Identifying and Maintaining a Healthy Weight,” and “Expectations of Your Body After Weight Loss: Plastic Surgery and Other Options.”

All in all? So much good stuff! The OAC will be providing attendees with access to the powerpoint presentations within a week or so, and I’ll be sure to get access of all of you, so that you can see all the amazing lectures and statistics we got to learn from!

Friday evening, there was a Welcoming Ceremonies Dinner, and Sean and I sat at an empty table by the door. We were later joined by 4 others, who just so happened to all be representatives from the Platinum Sponsor of the convention, Eisai Pharmaceuticals. This company has just launched a new weight loss drug that uses neuro-science and triggers the signal in your brain that tells you that you are “full.” They were so interested in my opinion of the American Medical Association declaring Obesity a disease, and what my thoughts are on their product.

It felt so AMAZING to be sitting with this group of professionals and talking to them about something that I wish would have been a more prevalent option back when I was talking about Weight Loss Surgery with my Primary Care Physician. I was honored to have my opinion regarded so highly, and it was an awesome networking opportunity, as well. One woman shared her personal weight loss success with me, and said she was going to have her sister check out my blog.

In general, I made some new friends, and they happened to be some of my most favorite WLS/Health/Weight Loss bloggers! It was AWESOME! Twitter shout-outs were happening all weekend!

It was 114 degrees all weekend, and Saturday night after the awards dinner as I was headed to the bar with some new friends, it was actually raining, and there was lightning…but it was STILL 100 degrees! Crazy!

The resort was beautiful. The OAC truly picked an ideal location, and we enjoyed all of the amenities of the resort that we were able to use during our visit.

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One cool thing about the event was that at the Welcoming Ceremonies Dinner, the location and date of the 2014 Convention was announced!

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Will YOU be there? Because if so, you’ll run into me! We are already planning to make sure we can fit this into the budget, and I am hoping we can make it our first real vacation together, as well! No way we are going to Orlando and not going to their Sea World (and maybe even DISNEYWORLD!?!?!)

We shall see what happens 🙂

This event got me even more excited and inspired for my next convention in October, and it is really cool that some of the new friends I have made will be there, so I won’t be the totally new kid this time around! I cannot wait!

If you’re interested in starting your experience with these amazing, inspiring, educational events, you still have time to register and join me at the Obesity Help Convention in Anaheim October 4-5 and experience the magic for yourself!

That’s all for now, but stay tuned for those amazing presentation powerpoint links coming soon!

Sean and I are off to use our “Planning, Shopping, and Dining: Practical Tactics for Good Nutrition” education this weekend, and prepping all of our meals for the week after we hit up Costco and the Farmer’s Market to do some nutritious damage.

Now? Time to work on the thigh lift post you’ve all been asking for, before this Percocet kicks in again and makes me snooze for the next 6 hours!

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO

#YWM2013 Day Two!

Ok. So, yesterday?

Yup. Totally amazing (or as my cousin Kirsten would say, “totes amaze!” Unfortunately,  I don’t sound sound as chic as her when I try that)!!!!

Sean and I attended some amazing educational sessions, from ones about Self Perception with the AMAZING Merrill Littleberry (Google her. Now.), to Advocacy and what we a can to to help stop ignorance towards Obesity!

I met fellow blogger, “The Waning Woman!” She came up to Sean and I between sessions to say hi, which I thought was pretty awesome!

It’s about 114 degrees here in Phoenix. Loosely translated,  that means that as Sean said “it’s like having a man’s hot breath all over your body!”…every time you walk out the door. You’re welcome for that charming simile!

Despite the heat, I am freezing everytime I enter the conference room, and as a result I am all congested and have a sore throat. Thank goodness for the coffee and tea station set up outside the educational session rooms all day. More tea and honey with breakfast!!

Today, we are thinking about heading to the resort water park during one of the breaks. It is super close to our suite, and we get free access to it all weekend as part of the special convention rate we got staying here at The Arizona Grand Resort and Spa. Golf course, 4 or 5 restaurants, huge conference amenities,  golf cart pickup and drop off around the grounds…all that they DON’T have is a casino, which is likely for the best. 😉

He evening ended last night at the Welcoming Ceremonies beach-themed, buffet-dinner party (3 words: frozen yogurt bar. Yummy!), where the OAC announced next year’s convention location!!

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How exciting is THAT??!! Sean and I are already talking about the possibilities and committing to working out our finances to make sure we can go (we should have our own place by then, so we will have to be even MORE responsible) to make our fun trips and experiences a priority.

I am so, so, so excited to be in attendance at this amazing convention.
Today’s agenda? Introductions with the OAC President and CEO (SUCH an inspring individual), learning more about Advocacy Trip scholarships, getting more materials for my healthcare providers from the OAC to distribute back home in Cali, and not dying of Heat Stroke!

Sean and I were fortunate enough to meet some nice people at dinner laat night who were here representing the conventions Platinum Sponsor, Eisai Pharmaceuticals. We are excited to stop by their booth in the vendor area today and get health screenings! They are providing a copy to each participant to take back to their Doctor, to catalyst a discussion about their weight. I am in serious awe of the products/programs they create, and can’t wait to learn more!

I guess it would be way easier to get the say started if I get up and do my hair, huh?

That’s all for now,  but keep a lookout for more fun and exciting #YWM2013 updates! Follow @SeeSondraSlim on Twitter,  and “Like” the official SeeSondraSlim page on facebook for photos,  and tidbits of todays educational sessions and speakers!!  

Join Me at the OAC Your Weight Matters Convention!

Hey, Cyberspace!

While I was home recovering from “Phase I” of Excess Skin Removal Surgery, I was able to take care of a lot of things! One of the most exciting?

Image Credit: Obesityaction.org

Image Credit: Obesityaction.org

 

I booked our trip to Phoenix, Arizona this August for the Obesity Action Coalition “Your Weight Matters 2013 Convention!” Not only did I make sure Sean and I were both registered for the event, but I booked our suite at the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa, too! As convention attendees, we were able to book rooms for $105/night! And they are luxurious suites, right on site. There is even a waterpark on the property….how convenient for a girl who just had a panniculectomy/tummy tuck, eh? 🙂

On top of the gorgeous location and swanky digs? There is an abundance of knowledge and activities on the agenda! I am really looking forward to topics like “Weight Bias-Changing Public Perception Starts with Me,” and “Who’s Staring Back at You in the Mirror? Improving Self-Perception.” Plus? There’s an awards ceremony, a kick-off party with a beach theme, and the Walk from Obesity to round things out on Sunday! There will even be different exercise options each day….weekend workouts, anyone?! 🙂

I am proud to be a member of this organization. It is SO important to make sure that we make sure people are truly aware of the issues and consequences at hand when we talk about obesity. Too many of us know that obesity doesn’t always hold its roots in eating too much sugar. It puts us, and the people we love at risk, each and every day! I strive to help people see that through my personal journey, but I am so glad the OAC is there to help with resources and education for all of us, even those of us not tied to the cause professionally.

You can get all the details about the YWM 2013 Convention here. It takes place August 15-18 of this year, and if you happen to register, be sure to let them know SeeSondraSlim sent you! Also, be sure to check out the OAC for yourself, and learn about all the benefits becoming a member has to offer. $20/year…for access to information and resources that can help you become an informed advocate! One of my personal goals is to become an involved OAC Advocate, and maybe even make it to Capitol Hill to represent the Coalition!

That’s all for now, but I’ll be back before you know it!

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO