IMPORTANT UPDATE: This post was interpreted by many in a way I did NOT intend it to. This is completely my fault and has taught me a hard lesson. Many got the impression that all the things I mentioned in this post were about the specific people you see in the photos here and in my other Fitbloggin’ posts. I can see why it was confusing.
Please note: this post is about MY insecurities, MY thoughts, MY judging, MY anxiety. Because eating/food issues are heavily debated on healthy living blogs, I want to clarify that I did NOT see people “restricting.” I saw people eating healthy, balanced diets that were perfectly normal — especially in a place where fitness, balance and nutrition are valued. And, yes, we did eat doughnuts and drink cocktails! Specifically, this post was NOT a reflection of bloggers Tina, Anne, Gina, or Julie — those featured on the photos on this page!
I apologize for the confusion and that some were seen in an unfair light because of my failure to clarify my thoughts. Thanks for reading this imperfect girl’s blog post guys.
Despite my outgoing, friendly personality, I always have a wave of anxiety going through me before attending conferences like Fitbloggin. It’s especially so with a blogger event like this because you know you are going into an environment with people very similar to you. You know that everyone wants you to like them and you want to be liked back. You fear your online persona may not transfer to your “in real life” reality.
The other two conferences I’ve been to like this, I went to knowing pretty much nobody. I was forced to make new friends and meet new people. This year, I am a bit disappointed in myself for remaining too much in my comfort zone.
It was a solace to have a “group” to hang out with this time — people to chat with during breaks, go to dinner with and talk to. However, that meant I didn’t go out and meet as many people as I’d have liked to. After reading Erica’s post, I remembered feeling the way she did last year (and wished I’d have found her to come have dinner one night!)
While I spoke to many folks as I handed out Mizuno bags and answered questions (mostly — where did you get that skirt?!), the conversations were too short. Yes, I did meet some awesome new people (as I mentioned in this post) but I also feel like I neglected being as outgoing with people as I should have been.
|Pic stolen from Julie!|
I can swing it at these conferences not knowing people but there are MANY people who probably felt lonely, left out and anxious most of the time. It’s hard walking into this kind space — it feels a little like high school again to be honest. Perhaps I’m exaggerating but…despite our good intentions, I’m sure there was a solid amount of “judgment” happening — not on purpose, just in general.
I know I was feeling pretty insecure all weekend. I felt “bigger” than the ladies I was hanging out with and was also paying too close attention to what people were ordering for meals. Not going to lie, this didn’t feel “normal.” And, also, these are MY own issues.
In a non-fitness, health related group, people probably would have ordered more to eat, heartier meals, etc. And I know why it kind of bothered me: because it’s exactly like me.
I guess I’d rather be surrounded by people order and eating more than people ordering and eating less than me. It makes you really insecure when all of the sudden you can just tell that everyone around is concerned with keeping it light. And there is nothing wrong with keeping it light — it was just me being overly concerned. Being exhausted from travel, out of my routine and struggling to wake up in the morning also didn’t help my mindset.
I had a great time –– it had just be a long time since I felt that little voice of insecurity yelling so loudly. Not only with food and body, but with blogs! I caught myself wondering, when speaking to a new person, should I know their blog? Do they get more traffic than me? Am I totally clueless? Really really silly stuff in the big picture — but hey, let’s be real 🙂
I know I’m not alone in this and I just wanted to share. Perhaps just so others can know that hey, you aren’t the only one! Events like this can be really stressful — especially if you are an introvert or prone to social anxiety. It’s totally worth it to go and get connected — so do it if you can — but just know that the person at the table next you is probably a little nervous too.