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Obesity Action Coalition Convention 2012 Day 1

So I had every intention of writing blogs and doing a video at the OAC Convention, then I got there and realized how incredibly busy I was going to be and how many new friends I would be wanting to spend time with and decided the writing must wait.

So we arrived in Dallas on Wednesday. Heather and I got checked into the Hilton Anatole and got our room in the Tower area of the hotel. The room was very nice, the hotel was very nice too, very large, it had several restaurants, shops, a spa and fitness area a running trail, two bars, pretty much anything your heart could desire. Even a Fed Ex place to save my butt and get my business cards that were left at home.

HJ and I decided to have dinner at the Media Grill were we planned to take advantage of their free Wi-Fi, I’d planned to get a blog written while we had a drink but I decided to check in with Rain Hampton from AfterTheFat.com, someone I was very excited about meeting, and low and behold we were seated about 3 tables away from each other in the restaurant, she and Linda we’re having dinner there too and being the lucky girl that I am I met one of my new besties my very first night there! Rain, Linda, HJ and I spent several hours sitting and talking and dancing. Rain and I stayed out late, talking, sipping on cucumber water and dancing. In fact we danced so much we both left the restaurant sweaty and certain we’d gotten a workout in.

On the way to my Advocacy Training session I decide to head to the gift shop for some hairspray and boy I was so excited when I happen to run into Michelle from The World According to Eggface! I’ve admired and looked up to this woman for so long. I’ve followed her voice through her blog for nearly three years now. Her blog and what she has been able to do for the Bariatric Surgery community through sharing her passion and love for food by providing healthy, delicious and easy recipes for the weight loss community is simply amazing.  Along with Michelle I also met another Weight Loss blogger that I had just recently found and started to follow, Beth AKA MeltingMama the founder of the Bariatric Bad Girls Group on Facebook. I tagged along with both of them and their friend Sarah and we had breakfast together. I also got the opportunity to meet Shawna and Carla, two members of the BBGs for the first time at breakfast. A whole table of what would become new friends by the end of the weekend. And then we were off to the Advocacy training program.

The next morning we were up bright and early for the Advocacy Training program. Now I have to admit, going into the OAC Convention I wanted to get involved. My passion for fighting obesity is limitless and my desire to help others is one the biggest needs I have ever felt within myself. But I had no idea how much attending this Advocacy Training session would change my life. I’ve never been a very political person. I’ve never been the type of person that would get into an opinionated  conversation about a political issue. I’m more the type to avoid Politics and Religion knowing that they often lead to disagreements. But as I sat there and listened to Joe Nadglowski, the CEO of the OAC and Chris Gallagher, the OAC’s Policy Consultant explaining the concept of Marching to Capital Hill in defense of a bill that might affect people with obesity; suddenly I realized, there is a point I will indeed get involved in politics, a point where I care enough. When the politics start affecting the goals and aspirations I have by affecting the people I want to help. You’re damn right I’m ready to risk talking about one of the big No Nos in order to try to make a difference.

The best way I can explain this, I’m the type of person that always roots for the underdog, that always fights for the victim and wants to take down the bully. I’m that girl who will be completely non confrontational with you, I’ll be calm and rational with you, but you mess with my friends and I’ll come out swinging like a mama bear defending her cub. That’s just who I am, I’ve been a fighter my whole life, I’ve fought emotional battles for a long time, I’ve got good training, and I’ll come out with my gloves on to defend someone else so that they don’t ever get emotionally beat up the way I did faster that you can blink.

Several times along my weight loss journey I have had moments of epiphanies. Moments that something hits me and I realized that I have just achieved another mental breakthrough. I love these moments because for someone who was used to having mental breakdowns ALL the time this is a very big non scale victory for me. It shows how much I have grown as a person and how far I have come in breaking the cycle of abuse that plagued my family.

As I sat there participating in the OAC Advocacy Training program; all I could think of was the day that my Personal Trainer first introduced me to Kick Boxing. While we were doing combo punches on that bag I felt so much emotional release. It was a physical manifestation of the anger I needed to release. I beat the heck out of that bag. Ever since I’ve used exercise as a physical outlet for anger and frustration. The more I need to workout the harder I push myself to do it. I saw what the OAC was telling us we could do on Capital Hill as my opportunity to find my emotional release. I believe that our weight loss journey consists of several elements, some physical, some emotional, some mental. I think we need to be engaged in all those ways, and I think; working with the OAC is going to be another way for me to be engaged emotionally and mentally. I’m so excited.

We ended the evening at the meet and greet at the hotel where I got to meet WanningWoman for the first time. You have no idea how excited I was. There are two women in this community whose voices I followed through a time in my life that was full of darkness. It is amazing how much one person’s voice can stand out like that. But for me, when I was struggling through one of the most emotional times of my life after my Father’s death, there were two women who were really able to help me with what they were sharing on their blogs.

Michelle: The World According to Eggface: I could follow her voice and find answers about what to eat and put in my mouth when I was struggling to eat at all, her examples and suggestions kept me trying things and eating rather than sitting in bed crying and grieving.

Keisha : WanningWoman: This woman’s confidence, her take no prisoners approach and her drive and determination coupled on top of her ability to persevere against crazy odds reminded me often of what kind of voice I wanted to have when I was done healing emotionally. Her voice guided me back into the light and every picture she posted in that I’m bringing my sexy back attitude reminded me of the woman I wanted to be. We headed out with Keisha and several of her friends, and I’ve got to say, this Dallas local crowd were the first to open their arms up to me and truly make me feel welcome. The moment I hung out with these women I knew I had started to build friendships that would last.

I got to meet both of these women my first day at the OAC Convention and both of them were just as genuine in person as they are on their blogs. I’ll always admire these women greatly for what they were able to give to me trough sharing their voices on their blogs and websites. I’ll always credit them for inspiring me to do the same. But now, after visiting the OAC Convention I have the privilege of calling these two amazing women my friends.

My first day at the OAC Convention was amazing. But it just got better and better each day…

Stay Tuned for day two!

Pandora’s Surgiversary Give-away!

Okay so first let me say that you will learn to expect this sort of random, spontaneous spur of the moment behavior from me. I randomly decide to do things, often against the better judgment of others, just because I feel it is the right thing to do. This is one of those times.

So first let me put this Disclaimer up here: THIS IS NOT A BRAND NEW IPOD TOUCH!

The IPod Touch 4th Generation 64G that I am giving away is USED; it has been loved on by me quite frequently for the last two years. There is however, nothing wrong with it.

There is in fact a very special story surrounding this IPod:

Two years ago I was rushing out the door to a doctor’s appointment with my gym bag in hand so I could head there after and I heard something drop. I couldn’t see anything on the ground and I was running late so I left. Later I pulled back into the driveway and I had my window rolled down and heard something crunch under my tire… Oh vey it was my IPod. After hearing what had happened and knowing how important music was to my exercise, the two women that I have the most amazing privilege of calling my best friends decided to contact a bunch of our friends online and see if they could rattle together the funds to buy me a new IPod. Sure enough they did, and for my birthday they gifted me with a 4th Generation IPod Touch. Our friends at the time were all playing a RPG Roleplaying/Combat game in Second Life at the time and my Character was a Vampire so the engraving on the back reads, “For Our –Vampire Queen- Happy Birthday! – The Coven” – which was the name of our little group.  I was truly touched that so many people cared about me that they got together and got me this present, and they’ve shared my journey and their support with me via that IPod for just over two years now.

For my Birthday this year I was given an IPhone 5. It was one of the Items on my “Things I need for my new Business” list and I have been blessed with some people that are always there to support me and most of my birthday presents this year came off that list. Jason purchased the IPhone 5 for me, Tom put $250 towards my ACE Certification Fund and my Soul Sister, Debby and her husband Colin put $100 towards my ACE Certification Fund. Thank you all, for loving me and supporting me, you are amazing people. So far I’ve got $350/$800 I need for the Certification, so I’m getting there slowly but surely.  \O/

But since I got an IPhone 5 for my birthday, it has sort of made this very special IPod unnecessary, and rather than just have it sitting around collecting dust on my shelf I’ve decided that to celebrate my two year Surgiversary on October 19th, I’m going to give it away.

Now I have been told this is cheesy, and that re-gifting is lame, but, I believe it is a kind gesture and that if someone else can use this IPod to help motivate them in the gym with music or it helps someone post-surgery out with keeping track of their protein because they can now use a program like Daily Burn over their Wi-Fi at home, well, then I just really think it should.

So IF you ARE Offended by my Re-Gifting this for the Motivational Benefit of someone else, well, don’t sign up for the Giveaway and please remember if you don’t have something nice to say; sometimes it’s best not to say something. That said, if you want to enter, here’s how you do it…

How to enter: Like Desperately Seeking Slender on Facebook or Follow Desperately Seeking Slender on Twitter. Then come back to this page and leave a comment on this post. (Posts are moderated so it will need to be approved; you only have to send it once. Comments are typically approved within a few hours) Please be sure to include your name and email address in the post. Do NOT include your Mailing Address or Phone Number please. I will be contacting the winner for shipping information. The Giveaway is open to anyone in USA and the IPod will only be shipped to a USA address.

Giveaway Ends on Friday, October 19th at Midnight PST

The winner will be selected by random drawing and announced on October 20th here on DesperatelySeekingSlender.com and the winner will be contacted at the email address posted in the comment section on this blog post. You’ll have (14) Days to respond to my email and provide a shipping address or another winner will be selected. Please Remember, the winner MUST have Liked Desperately Seeking Slender on Facebook.

You CAN enter more than ONCE: If you use multiple social media networks you can enter more than once. You can enter once for each of the following just make sure that you tell me your comment which one’s you did so that I can peak. Up to 5 Entries per Person are allowed.

Good Luck Everyone!

 And the winner is selected by the Random.ORG is …. KimJ @PudgyPanda3 Congratulations Kim! I hope you enjoy your new iPod Touch and get as much use out of it as I did. 🙂

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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