(Yes, I have to say it, COUNT THE BBGC Bloggers! I'm proud to see so many of them on this list.)
Links are blog posts ABOUT this event –
- Andrea Ullberg http://www.wlsvitagarten.com
- Barbara Thompson http://www.wlscenter.com/
- Beth Sheldon-Badore http://www.meltingmama.net
- Cari DeLaCruz http://www.bariatricafterlife.com/
- Colleen Cook http://colleencook.com/
- Dave Fouts http://www.chefdave.org
- Emily Gomez http://weightlosthopegained.wordpress.com/
- Jill Harris http://jellosjourney.blogspot.com/
- Kaitlin Nelson http://www.thebypassedlife.com
- Laura Preston http://mydailydetour.typepad.com/
- Lynnda Shepherd http://www.bariatrictv.com
- Maria Fitzpatrick http://www.formerlyfluffy.com/
- Michael Towe http://www.bariatrictv.com
- Michelle Schiener http://vsgmom.com/
- Michelle Vicari http://www.theworldaccordingtoeggface.com
- Rachel Lebowitz http://bariatricrevisionary.blogspot.com/
- Susan Maria Leach http://bariatriceating.com/SMblog/
- Taunia Soderquist http://www.divataunia.com/
- Teresa Dunn http://teresajourneyshome.wordpress.com/
- Toni Towe http://www.bariatrictv.com
- Yvonne McCarthy http://www.bariatricgirl.com/
I got into NYC on Thursday afternoon via JetBlue with Taunia! Taunia had the pleasure of being stopped by the TSA on the way in, and I had the pleasure of laughing at her. I got paid back with being not only STOPPED, but SEARCHED on the way home to Boston.
It was so unique, and sparkly, and blue, and not at all what I envisioned. New York puts a lot in a small space, including hotels. We went up to the registration desk and found lots of BBGC's waiting! Hugs and smiles all around. The rooms were not ready for us, so we checked out luggage and went out to play.
After a quick run around town, Andrea, Kaitlin and I made it back to the hotel, and got dressed for the Obesity Forum reception that night. We stopped to take photos of Andrea of which she wanted no part of, I forced her to smile and giggle uncontrollably to take adorable headshots, one of which may or may not end up on her book which is due for release this spring. (Yes, she's an author now.)
We joined all of the forum invitees for a reception at a little hidden club in the hotel.
This was a great little opportunity to meet one another and meet the President of the ASMBS and the President of the Obesity Action Coalition. It was kind of cool when they asked — "Do you all know each other …." Yes, yes we do. I was quite surprised by a few of my peers. (Future post.) I was so pleased to see Eggface again.
A glass of wine, some amazing little appetizers, and some awesome companions. We could have chatted all night, but…
Apparently this hotel is a trendy hot-spot. Me = clueless. I assumed the police and security details I kept seeing were because we were simply in New York. Not really, celebrities were totally there, what up 50 Cent? (And, I sat in the lobby with my sparkly Converse sneakers, wondering "Why so many police?")
The girls and I took off for more tourist-ing, and landed to bed at a respectable hour to be up and shiny for the Obesity Forum the next morning.
We zoomed to Starbucks as good little WLS post ops do, and off to the forum. Breakfast was served, and then the sessions began!
The speakers + sessions –
- Jeff LaConte, Bariatric Surgery: Myths and Facts
- Joe Nadglowski, State of Obesity in America
- Robin Blackstone, Overview of Bariatric Surgery: What the Future Holds
- Jeff LaConte, Why We Are Here
- Susan Hayes, Highlighting Aha Moments
- Joe Nadglowski, Importance of Advocacy
- Melissa Lierman, Maximizing Your Online Presence
The sessions were taped, photographed and documented and will be available for sharing soon. I found all sessions hugely informational. I WILL share them as soon as I have the links. You should really hear them from the sources.
However, the session with Melissa Lierman regarding blogging, social media and maximizing your online presence could have gone on for days. The audience was captivated, and had too many questions for her two hours. I was for once the smart kid in the class, I knew at least MOST of what she was discussing. "Ooh! Ooh! Pick ME! I know!" <wink>
I started to implement a bit of her advice DURING the session (You never saw 30 women start TWEETING SO FAST) and I plan to look further into the ideas she shared, but much of it I was already doing. She asked us to list a fantasy goal sponsor (or something like that…) and when others were listing bariatric companies I thought, "Wait." How about "Johnson + Johnson?" I would love to pick Melissa's brain for a couple hours. I was enthralled. But, not everyone is a blogger or looking to get a message out to people, so it could have been ME, I have blog-brain. So much so, I think, that a few of the women came to me afterwards to ask for advice or to connect later. You want me, to help you, blog?
Then I realized how many of the women there WERE there because I made them start blogging. (I apologize.)
After the event, we met up with more friends for more tourist-ing.Because, that's what you do in New York. Good foods, a little free wine, NYFD, and fun. The next morning, a meet up to walk the Brooklyn Bridge!
I told you, it's not really about eating the cupcakes. <g>
A group of us took on the bridge, freezing our patooties off and hitting a major goal for a few of the ladies. It was a lot of fun, and we made tons of memories! After, more FOOD! (OF course, we ARE bariatric patients!?) More touristing and chatting.
When it came time for everyone to start going home, the US weather system imploded and planes were delayed, diverted and canceled. (I have my theories.) In the end, I spent a half hour on a plane with my head between my knees and about 24 hours awake, though I did not win the prize for worst travel home. That goes to Emily Gomez, her trip lasted over two days, or Andrea's, who's hometown was obliterated while she slept in an airport. (I told you, I have theories. Someone else might also, you know… have a theory.)
Everyone is home now, safe and I should assume, BLOGGING. (It was a blogger event, yanno.) If you are posting about the event, I would love to link to your post! Send me the link.
The bottom line for YOU, my readers? Is that the OAC NEEDS US. They need members. To be an effectual source of voices, they need 50,000 members.
As the winner of the OAC Membership Drive, I absolutely believe we can continue to raise awareness for the Obesity Action Coalition. They have promised us, the 'online influencers,' open communication, tools and opportunities as they grow, for helping them spread their message. I support the Obesity Action Coaltion.
If you have not joined the Obesity Action Coalition, please consider it now. In fact, if you sign up to join me in the Walk From Obesity – that makes you a member of the OAC!
- All of my photos are here.