Lessons learned at Blend 2013

From the balcony at the Hyatt Escala ...

From the balcony at the Hyatt Escala …

Bear with me, everyone: This is one of several posts I want to write recapping my awesome weekend at the Blend Retreat in Park City, Utah. I had a blast, indulged a bit — but never felt out of control — and got more exercise in two days than I’d gotten in the two weeks prior to it.

But I’ll talk about the fun (and pain) later. First, I’ll start with the lessons. Get the hard stuff out of the way first so we can savor the fun, right?

Smiling on my way downstairs for Sunday's bootcamp workout.

Smiling on my way downstairs for Sunday’s bootcamp workout.

I’m a social exerciser. I push myself harder and don’t mind working out nearly as much if I have a group to do it with. When I’m at home, on my own, I don’t look forward to exercising — and, in fact, can find any excuse NOT to do it. But at Blend, I wanted to work out. I even headed to Sunday morning’s bootcamp, despite being sore from Saturday’s activities. I also push myself harder when working out with a group than I do by myself. Not that I was comparing myself to anyone else (much, anyway). I just didn’t want people to look at me and think “What’s she doing here?”

Good or bad, my food choices were all on me. There was no Boyfriend pushing “bad” food on me — and so many women, most of them known for being healthy, to set a good example. Yet I still managed to NOT eat a salad for dinner Saturday. I even ordered a chocolate milkshake for dessert Saturday, then chased it with two of Momma B’s Utah Scones once we returned to the resort. And you know what? I’m okay with that. I indulged a little bit without then feeling a need to go back to my room and scarf down all the sweets in my swag bag. That’s a non-scale victory for sure.

Putting yourself out there never gets easier. Instead of hanging out with one group all weekend, I tried to get out there and meet as many folks as possible — even when it would have been easier to hide in a corner. Come to find out, I wasn’t the only one who felt a little nervous about approaching others. Michelle at Eat Move Balance mentioned it in her first Blend 2013 recap. I shouldn’t have worried, though. Everyone was super-nice and supremely approachable.

We all have issues. Even folks who seem like they have it all together … don’t. Their journeys are all different, yet remarkably similar. Food fights? Self-doubt? Grasping for that elusive balance with both hands, only to see it slip through our fingers? We’re not alone.

I look pretty good. Seeing myself in some of the photos that have been going up in various recap posts makes me realize I’m not hideous. I still have weight to lose, sure, and my arms could use quite a bit more tone — but I don’t look half bad.

I’m glad to have had the chance to meet so many amazing folks. I’m sure I was a bit starstruck meeting some of the bloggers I invite into my living room every day.

Thanks to Katie, Lindsay and Janetha for the opportunity. Blend Retreat was a fantastic experience … and so well-organized. Things ran smoothly all weekend.  I’m already planning on attending in 2014.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll be at my goal weight by then.

For now, I’m nodding off over my laptop. Time to go to sleep. Recaps on the f0od and workouts to come.

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9 responses to “Lessons learned at Blend 2013

  1. I’m so glad you came, Arlene- it was great to meet you!! You are absolutely right, you look great! 🙂 Glad you had a good time!

  2. Arlene ~ I love this post! You look great and I’m so glad to have spent time with you this weekend. I was the same way about putting myself out there. I was scared and nervous but glad i took the plunge and went. Looking forward to the rest of your recaps and seeing you again next year!

  3. I love this! I was lucky to have known a lot of the attendees since I went last year- but I remember last year that I was sooo nervous. And you’re right- you just have to put yourself out there! People will respond. 🙂 I’m so glad you had a great time, and it was great to meet you!

  4. It was so great to meet you Arlene! These are such great lessons especially that putting yourself out there never gets easier. It’s been interesting reading everyone’s recaps because I was convinced that everyone else was so at ease when really, all of us struggle at times in new situations. And you DO look great!!

  5. Thanks, everyone. I wasn’t fishing for compliments … but they’re still nice to hear.

    It’s funny how so many of us have similar worries about fitting in. They never go away, do they?

  6. You deserved a Utah scone after making it to both boot camps AND the Zumba class! Nice work!

    I noticed that you were really putting yourself out there and hanging out with different groups this weekend and I totally admired that about you. It was a pleasure meeting you and rooming with you!

  7. Love your recap posts. I definitely admire the ladies who got up on Sunday and hit that workout, I was one of the missing faces! I also never learned how to do a cartwheel either! This conference was much easier for me to be at ease than the first one I went to, but I definitely still felt the fear of “will I fit in” I think it lessens with time, or at least I hope it does! Hope to see you at Blend 2014!

    • Thanks, Meg. I hope to be there in 2014, for sure. I think my problem with cartwheels, besides not being that athletic, has always been that I hate the out-of-control feeling I get when my feet leave the ground.

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