OAC #YWM2014…I am SO excited!

It’s only 79 days away, and the excitement is killing me!

It's almost here!

It’s almost here!

Last year, I attended the Obesity Action Coalitions 2013 “Your Weight Matters” Convention. Not only did I get to meet and mingle with some amazing advocates and representatives for the fight against obesity (including my idol, Michelle Vicari of the “The World According to Eggface” blog which inspired me to start the SeeSondraSlim blog in the first place!), but I was afforded the opportunity to attend workshops with some motivational, inspirational, and ridiculously educated experts. Check out my post from last years event here!

Chilling on the gorgeous hotel grounds at #YWM2013 in Phoenix, AZ between sessions!

Chilling on the gorgeous hotel grounds at #YWM2013 in Phoenix, AZ between sessions!

I left YWM 2013 with a renewed sense of purpose, and more importantly, with more resources and information to help me not just on my own journey, but with the information I needed to be a better educator advocate myself!

This year, the Your Weight Matters 2014 Convention takes place in Orlando, Florida from September 25-28. I was originally going to have to opt out this year, due to budget issues and switching jobs (as of next week! YAY!), but this year, the OAC even has a scholarship opportunity to attend! Naturally, I applied as soon as I learned about it, and will be anxiously awaiting any word until they announce the recipients in August.

I think that events like this are essential to success for those who want to be a bigger voice and advocate for Obesity. It’s challenging in a world full of Photoshop and celebrity influence to stress the importance of not only body positivity, but overall health and wellness.

OAC’s YWM Convention exposes attendees to so many resources and speakers. Check out the 2014 Event Agenda here!  You can also check out some fun YouTube videos on #YWM2014, too!

The OAC is looking for bloggers/vloggers to help spread the word so we can make #YWM2014 better than ever! If you’re interested, you can email mvicari@obesityaction.org for guidelines and helpful info/links to share with your followers. You can also feel free to share or re-blog my post, if you’re too busy to put one together! You can also post badges, fliers, etc. to your social media outlets to help spread the word! Click here to see what content is available for you, and use it to your hearts content! 🙂

I really hope you’ll take a few minutes to learn more about this amazing event, but I hope even more to see you in Orlando in 79 days! ♡

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#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!!  

Life as I Know It (Or, AHH! It’s Almost August)

I am proud to announce that SeeSondraSlim was founded 2 years ago, today. 2 years ago, my weight loss journey took on a whole new meaning, and I am proud that it has gained a following and earned some street cred. It has been a wild, crazy, and emotional ride. It has been everything I hoped for, and it isn’t over yet! It has been absolutely AMAZING, and that’s because of YOU. Thank YOU, from the bottom of my heart!

In other news, it has become blaringly obvious to me that I am a grown up.

For one thing, I don’t get a summer vacation anymore. I miss those! For this reason, it has also come to my attention that no matter how ridiculously slow some days seem, the weeks and months pass by so quickly!

It’s like, I look up, and BAM! Summer is almost over. I had excess skin removal surgery on my stomach over 3 months ago.  I have my thigh lift/stomach revision in 19 days, and before that? 15 days until I attend the Taylor Swift concert with my Bestie, 16 days until Sean and I head to Phoenix for the OAC Your Weight Matters Convention, and then we come home and BAM! again. It’s almost September.

The past couple of weeks I have been a blogging procrastinator because I had been preparing for what will go down in my life as one of the best weekends EVER. My best friend Alex got married this past Saturday! As her Maid of Honor (which, I was truly too honored to be), I planned a fun night out last Thursday for the Bachelorette Party, we had  rehearsal dinner Friday, and before you could say ‘chapel’ it was time to see her walk down the aisle.

I’d post Bachelorette photos, but they violate girl code, and totally encapsulate what I feel like was a successful night between 6 good friends. I was fortunate to be a part of a bridal party made up of some amazing, hilarious, and super fun women. There was no drama, no shenanigans (the bad kind, that is), and I feel like that is  true testament to who my best friend really IS.

However, I will share the room setup for the party…if only because sometimes I impress myself with my creative skills. Lol.

The main table. Lanterns, Sangria, cupcakes, gift bags, and my tower of wine glasses (one wine glass was harmed in the making of this display).

The main table. Lanterns, Sangria, cupcakes, gift bags, and my tower of wine glasses (one wine glass was harmed in the making of this display).

The day of is something that shall forever be engraved in my memory. Everyone looked amazing, the weather was perfect, and the ceremony was beautiful. It’s something special to watch the people you love dedicate their lives to being together. It touches something in your heart….it’s like watching The Notebook, without any sad parts!! AMAZING!

The  GORGEOUS Bride and I outside the hotel, right before we headed to the ceremony site!! AHHH!

The GORGEOUS Bride and I outside the hotel, right before we headed to the ceremony site!! AHHH!

The five HOT Bridesmaids! :)

The five HOT Bridesmaids! 🙂

Alex gave each of us girls a gorgeous Coach clutch as a thank you, and I was floored to learn that not only had she and Josh gotten me a special Maid of Honor gift…but it just so happened to be what!?! The runner-up dream swimsuit from my previous Dream Bikini post!

YAY! Hawaii in roughly 3 months! I am rockin' this baby while we are there!!!

YAY! Hawaii in roughly 3 months! I am rockin’ this baby while we are there!!!

Now that the wedding is over, I am focused on preparing for all the concert/convention/surgery madness coming in August, and starting my savings/shopping/packing plans for Hawaii in October. While we are there, I am hoping to conquer one of my biggest fears: heights. Myself, Alex and our friend Zainab are planning on going on a hike that ends in cliff diving.

I have seen Forgetting Sarah Marshall, so I am assuming by the time I get to the top of a cliff, I will totally want to dive into the water…and it’s the super easy way to get back down. This doesn’t subtract from the terror that strikes my heart momentarily when I imagine looking out a nothing but sky, and down at nothing but water! But hey…I will do it anyways!

I am super excited that our Phoenix trip is roughly two weeks away! With all the things my time has been devoted to for the last couple of months, I am really happy to be going on a road trip with Sean and spending some quality time together! Plus, the convention line-up looks AMAZING! I am having a hard time deciding which speakers to see….and can’t wait for the Awards Dinner and workout schedule….plus, the water park on-site at the resort! Considering August in Arizona can be a brutal thing, I will welcome that. If all works out as planned, I may even book myself a spa service while we are there! 🙂

Most importantly, so many exclusive products will be at the convention, and I am excited to learn about new things, and be able to share info about helpful products and resources with YOU, my wonderful readers! And? Shelly Vicari, from ‘The World According to Eggface,” my personal blogging idol will be there. It’s gonna be good stuff!!

That’s all for now, but I promise I am working on getting back on my ‘A’ blogging game. SeeSondraSlim has tons more good stuff in store, and I cannot WAIT to share it all with you very soon!

‘Til Next Time!

XOXO

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