I’m Still Alive (Updates into August)!

I am constantly prattling on about how busy my life is. I promise I am making every effort to find a way to streamline things so that I may be able to actually take a day or two to catch up on blogging, Facebook, and all the other social media outlets that keep me connected to YOU!

In the meantime, I alternate between running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and sleeping.

And so, I feel the need to at least debrief you all on the latest happenings. There have been some huge things taking place, and it’s kept me busy, to say the least!

I moved.

I hate moving. I moved a lot as a kid with my mom, and my dad. I always felt like a displaced person, especially after leaving home when I was 15. So the longer I live somewhere, the more accomplished I feel! But alas, the last year brought two new jobs that weren’t very close to my old apartment and working 80-90 hour weeks meant that I was unable to even BE home very often. I moved all of my possessions (well, most of them) into a storage space and they’re there for safe keeping until the next move in the fall. So, for the summer I’m at Sean’s house, and have plans to relocate in October before Italy and the holidays! It’s my hope that my next move after that will be into my first home as a home-buyer….but the thought of that makes me break into a cold sweat. Moving on…

I got a scholarship to attend the 2015 Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) Your Weight Matters (YWM) Convention!

Convention-Vision-Statement2

PHOTO CREDIT: YWMCONVENTION.COM

Originally, I applied for a scholarship through the OAC and didn’t make the cut. Then, back in June an additional opportunity came up thanks to Eisai, who offered a “Weigh In for Healthy Change”  scholarship for those interested to attend and take part in the amazing OAC Advocacy Training! When I attended in 2013, I was unable to attend this training and I have wanted to so badly! Now, for that reason, I got a scholarship for the entire convention! My flight is booked, my room is paid for, and I am registered and ready! There are officially two weeks until I head to San Antonio, TX for the event…and I still need to figure out what the heck to wear for the Wild West themed welcome dinner/event….

My trip to Europe was CANCELED.

Yes. You read that right. And yes, I had a full on nuclear melt-down. Like, Mariah Carey 2004 mental breakdown status melt-down (no shame!). We had an amazing 19-day adventure in Italy, France, and Spain planned. We originally had to postpone our September 20th trip due to Sean’s new job, and then the new October 30th date was canceled due to lack of registration.

It’s not news to anyone that I’ve wanted to take this trip for years. In fact, I was super excited last January when I registered for Italian classes at the Italian Cultural Center (ICC) in the Little Italy area of San Diego to brush up on my skills and get ready for the trip I knew I was going to take. And so, when all this took place, there was only one thing to do….

I planned a BRAND NEW trip.

The way I see it, there comes a time for everyone where they have to stop being swallowed by sadness and DO SOMETHING. My general rule? I’m allowed to be mad for five minutes. Being a woman, this is sometimes extended to 5 hours, or in the case of this trip madness, it was like, 3 days. I found out Thursday and died a little inside. How do you truly accept that the trip of your dreams will go from being less than 100 days away, to over 400 days away? I just couldn’t deal!

Roman nights! Photo Credit: Google Images

Roman nights! Photo Credit: Google Images

I wallowed Friday and knew I needed a solution but wasn’t ready to come up with one yet. And on Saturday, my friend Zainab (who I’d texted Friday and planned to call, but decided to watch Food Network and sleep instead-because I’m a Mariah) called and asked what my previously mentioned proposal was.

Firenze aka Florence! Photo Credit: Google Images

Firenze aka Florence! Photo Credit: Google Images

Luckily for me, I have ridiculously amazing friends, and Zainab was down to hit just Italy with me for a total of about 10 days with travel time. Just like when we did Hawaii, we agreed that I’d figure out the logistics and handle things-because she’s a busy heart surgery PA. Within 4 days, we had two homes booked in Rome and Florence for a total of 8 days, and a killer deal on flights out of Seattle (which means I get to make a second trip to pretty Seattle in addition to visiting her in September!) with minimal layover times, and I already have leads on some amazing things to do while we are there. Also, I already started shopping and acquired BRAND NEW luggage that my dad gave me. So basically, I’m just counting down the 89 days until take-off.

My second article was published for TheBlot Magazine!

I channeled my sadness/frustration/irritation/triumph about the trip shenanigans into an article about resuscitating a vacation-or even just planning one on a budget! I am really proud of the resources I used, because most articles I find on the topic involve taking out new credit cards and things like that, which isn’t always feasible or desirable for everyone! It’s my goal to make my next article about getting ready for the trip itself (now that it’s still happening)! Stay tuned for it! While you’re waiting, you should totally check out “Tips for Resuscitating a Vacation” on TheBlot.com!

Time is flying, tomorrow is the first day of August, and I still have so much on my to-do list!

My presence is sparse, but you can find me on the daily on my Instagram page, Facebook page, and on Twitter! I always follow back (unless you’re naked and have obscene profile info), and I love seeing the other side of my readers….the one where I’m checking out what YOU are up to!

August 13th is right around the corner, and I’ll be sharing fun from the OAC YWM15 Convention! Make sure you check me out on Periscope for live feed while I’m in San Antonio, too!

Be back soon!

See Sondra Sign-off-horiz

Join Me and the OAC-Let’s Ban the ‘F Word!’

Good Morning, Loves!

I was so, so excited to check my email and all of my social media channels and learn about the Obesity Action Coalition’s latest campaign: The ‘Ban the F Word” movement has arrived!

Anyone who went to high school with me can tell you that I adamantly refused to use or acknowledge the word “fat.” I thought that it was such a harsh, degrading word….one that can often cause more harm than being “the f word” can in the first place!

I am honored to have been selected to receive a Weigh in for Healthy Change scholarship to attend this years OAC “Your Weight Matters” convention in San Antonio, TX. Thanks to Eisai Pharmaceuticals, I am able to attend Advocacy Training to be a better, more informed and effective proponent in the fight for better treatment and options for those struggling with Obesity. This latest campaign is a huge leap for changing the everyday misconceptions that excess weight defines people moreso than their character and actions.

Check out the press release:

Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) Launches “Ban the f word” movement to end fat-shaming

Tampa, Fla. – The OAC has launched a national movement – “Ban the F Word” – aimed at putting an end to fat-shaming. The movement is anchored by an online petition that individuals are encouraged to sign, pledging their support to raise awareness of fat-shaming and put an end to it.

“Weight bias has long been accepted in various areas of life such as healthcare, entertainment and more. With the rise of social media, a new trend has started in the way of fat-shaming. The goal of the OAC’s campaign is to raise awareness of fat-shaming and encourage the public to support our movement to end it,” said Ted Kyle, RPh, MBA, OAC Chairman.

With a membership of 50,000 individuals, the OAC is no stranger to addressing weight bias. Developed in 2005, the OAC has taken on high profile weight bias issues such as, fat-shaming apps, a Tennessee insurer’s IQ testing requirement for bariatric surgery, and ESPN’s Britt McHenry’s stigmatizing comments regarding body weight.

“The word ‘fat’ is most appropriately used as a noun. The fact that today we use it as an adjective and shame people dealing with the disease of obesity is highly unacceptable. As Chair of the Weight Bias Committee, I know individuals, especially children, are often targeted and shamed for their weight. Ban the F Word will raise awareness of this alarming trend and hopefully put a stop to its pervasiveness,” said Melinda J. Watman, BSN, MSN, CNM, MBA.

In April 2015, Ms. Watman appeared on CBS’ The Insider where she discussed how obesity is one of the last acceptable forms of public humiliation.

“Fat-shaming doesn’t discriminate based on race, gender or socioeconomic status. We encourage all Americans to stand with us and end fat-shaming,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO.

To learn more about the Ban the F Word movement and sign the petition, visit www.BantheFWord.com.

About the OAC:

The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a nearly 50,000 member-strong National non-profit organization, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by the disease of obesity through education, advocacy and support.

I urge you to sign the petition and share on your social media outlets! Let’s BE the change, and take a stand to ban the “f” word!

See Sondra Sign-off-stacked

OAC YWM15 Scholarship Applications are Now Open!

Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) Now Accepting Applications for the 2015

Your Weight Matters National Convention Scholarship Program

 

Tampa, Fla. – Today, the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) announced that it is now accepting applications for the 2015 Your Weight Matters National Convention Scholarship Program – a program that helps those in financial need attend the OAC’s ground-breaking educational Convention, set to take place August 13-16 in San Antonio, Texas. This year, the Convention Scholarship Program will continue to award full and partial scholarships to individuals who submit an application by the deadline date – Tuesday, March 31.

Launched in 2014, the Convention Scholarship Program awarded more than $10,000 in scholarships for individuals to attend the 3rd Annual Convention. For 2015, the OAC aims to match and award more scholarships to help individuals attend YWM2015. Applications are evaluated based on three areas of criteria: Statement of Financial Need; Impact of Obesity on Your Life; and Your Intent for Attending the Your Weight Matters Convention.

This year’s Convention, Our Journey – Restore. Refresh. Renew., will offer the everyday individual concerned with weight and health the latest evidence-based strategies to help them in their journey. The OAC’s Convention attracts more than 500 attendees from across the country and welcomes the country’s leading experts to deliver more than 40 educational topics, all designed to help the everyday individual in their journey toward improved weight and health.

“We know the journey of battling obesity is often a difficult one paved with many pitfalls. The OAC is proud to once again offer the Convention Scholarship Program, an initiative designed to help individuals attend Convention and receive access to the latest evidence-based information on weight, health and more,” said Michelle Vicari, OAC Convention Committee Chair.

In its first year, the Convention Scholarship Program received more than $100,000 in requested funds from individuals throughout the United States. “We were completely astonished in 2014 at the response we received to the program. We quickly realized that this was a tremendous public need, and we are very excited and proud to be able to offer this philanthropic program again this year,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO.

To learn more about the Convention Scholarship Program or complete an application today, please click here. If you are interested in donating to the Convention Scholarship Program, please click here. For more information on YWM2015, such as registration pricing, hotel details and more, please visit www.YWMConvention.com.

The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a nearly 50,000 member-strong National non-profit organization, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by the disease of obesity through education, advocacy and support.

The OAC and #GivingTuesday

Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) GIVES Away more than 500 memberships

IN HONOR OF #GIVINGTUESDAY

 

“Because of you” year-end giving campaign launched to help support oac efforts

 

Tampa, Fla. – The OAC was proud to take on the challenge of #GivingTuesday and give back through pledging 250 FREE memberships to those who need it most. The OAC received an overwhelming response to this initiative and gave away more than 500 memberships in less than 24 hours to individuals wanting to learn more about their weight, improve their quality of health and lend their voice to the Nation’s only non-profit organization whose sole focus is representing individuals affected by the disease of obesity.

“We are extremely proud of the fact that we were able to provide more than 500 individuals with memberships in the OAC. The OAC was pleased to pay-it-forward on #GivingTuesday and help hundreds of individuals join the Coalition. We thank everyone who helped us spread the word about this initiative and grow the OAC voice,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO.

The free OAC membership drive was the first part in a month-long effort by the OAC to inspire individuals to become engaged in the Coalition and support its efforts. Throughout the month of December, the OAC is encouraging individuals to donate to the OAC with its “Because of You” year-end fundraising campaign.

The OAC is asking for all individuals to show their support of the OAC’s efforts by making a tax-deductible donation that will directly fund the OAC’s mission-oriented efforts in education, advocacy and support. As a 501(c)3 registered charity, the OAC relies on the support of those it serves in order to continue making an impact and fighting for change in obesity.

“The reality is that we simply could not make the proactive impact we do in education, advocacy and support on a yearly basis if it weren’t for the fundraising support of our members. We rely on the members of the OAC to help us make a difference for all those affected by obesity. The ‘Because of You’ Campaign is a great way to give back to the OAC during this time of year. We thank you for your support of the Coalition and our efforts,” said Ted Kyle, RPh, MBA, OAC Chairman.

To learn more about the “Because of You” year-end giving Campaign, please CLICK HERE. To donate to the OAC today, please CLICK HERE.

About the OAC

The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a nearly 50,000 member-strong National non-profit organization, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by the disease of obesity through education, advocacy and support. To learn more about the OAC, please visit www.ObesityAction.org.

OAC Press Release: ObesityWeek in Boston!

Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) Set to Host

Your Weight MattersSM Local Event in Boston During ObesityWeekSM

 

On the heels of a highly successful Your Weight Matters National Convention, the OAC is excited to announce the debut of YWMLocal – Boston 2014. On November 2, 2014, the OAC will host the Inaugural YWMLocal event, in conjunction with ObesityWeek 2014 and in partnership with The Obesity Society and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, where Boston and surrounding area residents are welcome to attend a FREE event focusing on weight, health, nutrition, children and weight, weight-loss options, and much more.

 

Conveniently hosted at the Westin Boston Waterfront, YWMLocal – Boston offers easy access from a variety of cities. The OAC welcomes individuals and their family members from all throughout the northeast. The event will begin at 11:30 am and end at 4:00 pm. YWMLocal Boston will offer educational sessions on topics such as “A Look at Your Options: Evidence-based Weight Management Strategies,” “Childhood Obesity: A Complex Discussion between Providers and Parents,” and much more! If you, a friend, loved-one or colleague, are interested in learning more about these topics, YWMLocal – Boston 2014 is the perfect FREE event to arm yourself with the right education. For the full program agenda, directions to the event and more, please visit www.YWMLocal.com.

 

“YWMLocal Boston is an excellent opportunity for the OAC to give back to the city of Boston during ObesityWeek. This free event will provide attendees with easy-to-understand evidence-based information on weight and health. The presentations will be given by leaders in the healthcare field who truly understand the difficulties of managing excess weight and obesity,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO.

 

YWMLocal – Boston 2014 would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. The OAC would like to thank the sponsors of YWMLocal Boston 2014 for their generous support: Gold – Novo Nordisk; Silver – Eisai, Inc.; and Bronze – Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

To learn more about this FREE event and register, please visit www.YWMLocal.com today!

 

About the OAC

The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a nearly 50,000 member-strong National non-profit organization, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by the disease of obesity through education, advocacy and support. To learn more about the OAC, please visit www.ObesityAction.org.