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Recently, I was invited to attend SHAPE Magazine’s Blogger Meet and Tweet at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica. If you recall, I had a blast in 2013. The event is a combination of motivation + networking + brand activations. I have to tell you that some of the learnings from 2013 have stuck with me, especially when it comes to nutrition. But hey, we’re in 2015 so let’s talk about this year’s event!
Shape Meet & Tweet: You Only Get One Body
I believe that the theme of the day was this: You are in the driver’s seat of your life. You get to choose what you do with yourself. Take care of the one body you have in this life.
As soon as I checked in, I was given a pair of Ahnu Yoga Flex footwear. It was like MF Christmas already! (More on Ahnu later.) I futzed with the photobooth and reunited with my glamorous friend Marla! I also got a selfie with actor and podcaster Lynn Chen! (I’ve followed her career foreverrrrr.) My fitness tribe Lindsay, Melissa and Jen were also in attendance – it’s rare for us to meet up because we live all over LA and are working moms. (It’s still weird to say – “mom.”)
This year’s speakers were no less impressive. Jen Widerstrom from The Biggest Loser kickstarted our morning on finding your motivational formula. She kept talking, and I kept staring. I mean, look at her biceps. All kidding aside, this was my favorite panel.
As a trainer, she does the believing for both her and her client. Sometimes it’s needed because her client may not believe in herself (yet). She warned us about the “F*ck it” mode – how you may just F it and go back to sleep and skip a work out. Beware of the F it mode. She works out to ensure that she can be a healthy old lady who may have children later. (Not her words, I’m paraphrasing.) That’s exactly why I work out – I want to keep up with Baby Spawn! I can’t do that if I’m 200-pounds and have a hard time walking one block. I’m ensuring Future Me is going to be alive and healthy to be a decent mom to Future Adult Spawn. In a nutshell, are you doing enough so you can participate in your own life?
We all applauded when she said “Eat carbs.” YES! Your brain needs carbs, people. Let’s have a carb party everyday! You cannot function without carbs.
Widerstrom also mentioned the social part of motivation, like using a fitness tracker (Fitbit, Garmin). I laughed. It’s true, I do like to see how many steps I’ve put in each day and “compete” against my friends.
The next panel featured Dr. Katie Rodan (of Rodan + Fields!), Sonya Dakar and Mimi Dakar-Berry who shared their insights on being skin smart. I feel like I’m an old hat in this – I wear sunscreen, sunglasses, sometimes a hat. But Rodan took the cake – she showed us a picture of her Darth Vader get-up. I guess my mother-in-law got it right – you should dress like Darth Vader when you go out in the sun. LOL.
Mimi Dakar-Berry said she just turned 40 and makes sure she puts sunscreen on all exposed areas include neck and chest. Cosign! If you have leftover moisturizer (with SPF) after you’ve slopped it on your face, make sure you put it on your neck, chest, AND HANDS. Dudes, hands. Your hands get screwed all the time. Protect them! (She also said she’s the oldest mom in her Mommy & Me group – GURL, join the club. #thisis40.)
Rodan pointed out 20% is genetics, 80% is lifestyle. (See? You are in control of your life!) Both Dakar and Rodan stressed cleaning (or exfoliating) your skin after a workout or even after coming home from work.
— Chris Lam (@thechrislam) October 28, 2015
I completely missed the next panel on branding because I had to pump. Thank you, Shape, for accommodating my milk-producing boobs and breast pump! They shared the green room with me so I could pump in peace. Special thanks to Lindsay for lending me a spare part that I forgot to bring for my pump!
After my pump session (and the branding panel), attendees headed to the sand for some yoga and stretching. I missed this again because I was busy talking to the Anhu footwear rep and learning more about my new shoes. Did you know Ahnu hiking boots are the leading women’s boots sold at REI? In addition, their shoes are designed for women. (Usually brands just make a man’s mold narrower and call it day. Ahnu designs for a woman’s actual foot.)
Let me do a quick shout-out to the sponsors: Aquaphor, Clarks, Jergens, Brooks/Moving Comfort, xperio UV, Luvo, Starkist, Hearts on Fire (diamonds!!), Garmin, Seiko, Clear, SkinFix, Ocean Spray, Ahnu and Bogs. I was fitted with a new bra by Moving Comfort – my very favorite running bra, especially because I still breastfeed. The reps at Clarks gifted me a pair of Cloudstepper shoes! I am literally walking on air, yo. I’m telling you, they are freakishly lightweight.
I love wristwatches so I had to try on the Seikos. After a year of not wearing watches (I feared denting the baby’s skull into my metal watches), I’m back to wearing my favorites. That black leather model is gorgeous. I lurves it.
After visiting all the brands and grubbing, we learned how Tone It Up women – Karena and Katrina work with their social community. While I am not part of the Tone It Up army, I am well aware of their fitness empire. They think “big picture” content, not just the individual post or photo in social media posts. (This is how strategy works, y’all.) They’re fans of Snapchat – something I need to get my flat butt on. I wish there was more questions about their business operations – but this was a blogger event, not a business event.
The one panel I wish they kept was a nutrition/food panel. I look forward to hearing from registered dietitians and healthy food experts about trends and new ways to incorporate different foods into my diet (and now Baby Spawn’s). I can’t always ping Melissa for suggestions for free. So adding back the nutrition panel is my suggestion to Shape.
In addition to the sponsors who showed off their latest products at the event, we were gifted a humongous gift bag filled to the brim with more products! Some but not all the products in my bag: Bombas socks, Peter Lamas pumpkin scrub, Rodan & Fields skincare, Garmin Vivofit 2!, Muscle Milk, Demeter fragrance, Sonya Dakar skincare, Shea Moisture 10-in-1 shampoo, HungryGirl recipe box, Eyeko makup, Purely Elizabeth breakfast, Blow Pro hair products, Think Jerky and Erica Sara jewelry!
This event couldn’t have come at a better time in my life. I’ve been struggling with carving out time to focus on myself and workout out – I feel like this happens a lot to rookie moms. A lot of my “free” time is spent keeping Baby Spawn alive – you know, the little human who doesn’t speak English. Since the theme was taking care of your body and spirit, it’s pushed me to lean on The Wife more so I can spend a couple hours a week to lift weights and focus. It’s all self-care, right? It’s ironic that I needed this reminder because I’m usually the one who reminds my friends that they are the ones in control of their lives. Why not me? Guess I needed my own reminder!
The event also came on the tails of October and the beginning of November, a month of thanks in my calendar. So I thank all the sponsors and brands who came out and shared their products and enthusiasm for “a healthier life/a better you.”
Special thanks to Shape for my invitation to this year’s Blogger Meet & Tweet! The speakers continue to be inspirational in my favorite topics – fitness, nutrition, beauty and business. I appreciate that the most. Find the entire threads on Twitter here and Instagram here. Readers, if you’re invited to attend this event, please go!
Have you had that “Ah ha! Of course! Now let me put it into action!” moment recently? What or who motivates your self-care??
Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links. The above is my honest review and opinion; each attendee was provided a gift bag with no obligations to write about it. But holy crap, LOOK at it!