Inspiration And One Year Of Blogging

I recently realized that this blog is nearly one year old. It made me start to think back on why I started it and what writing it has done for me.

Why I Started This Blog

I was diagnosed with Graves Disease and Insulin Resistance.

Graves Disease is an autoimmune disorder that leads to overactivity of the thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism).

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Metabolic syndrome is a name for a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

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Scary stuff.

There is no cure for Graves but it is treated with either surgery (removal of the thyroid) or Radioactive Iodine. My doctor opted for the Radioactive Iodine treatment. I went to the hospital, was given a pill, and then was sequestered for three days. After the treatment, they monitor your hormone levels via various blood tests and wait for the thyroid to cease functioning. In my case, I was lucky that I lost most of my thyroid function but not all. I am able to control many of the symptoms with medication.

Having a slow metabolism (your thyroid regulates your metabolism) makes weight gain easy, so I decided that I had to something to make sure that I stimulated it by getting my butt moving. I had attempted the Couch To 5K program a few times, never making it all the way through. The idea of running and maybe even racing was very exciting. I could picture sticking to that, as opposed to just going to the gym. I need goals, something to strive for, and some way to prove that my effort is worth it. After six months, I actually started to like running and thought that writing about my experiences would keep me on track.

One year after the Radioactive Iodine, my endocrinologist told me that I no longer have Insulin Resistance. That exercise works better than medication and that my levels were at a normal level. Even with minimal thyroid activity, I have not gained any weight. Even though the Doctor told me to expect a 20 to 30 plus pound gain after my metabolism slowed down. After a year, I have maintained the same weight but most importantly, I feel better and am stronger than I have ever been.

Favorite Memories

My first race the Seasons 52 5.2K. I loved this race and am looking forward to running it again this year.

My first comment was on 5K Number Two. The idea that anyone is reading this was crazy and really exciting to me.

My favorite post is about my wedding.

My most popular post is Food Rut.

My most commented post is my 30 Before 30 list.

Running my first half marathon.

Favorite Pictures

Blogging has not only lead to my love of running but a new hobby of photography. I am so new, and still trying to figure out my camera and Photoshop, but loving every minute of it. I have also taken more pictures of cats that if they ever become extinct, they should be able to genetically engineer new ones based on my pictures.

Cute Cat Near Shoes

Cat PW Actions

BW Alia Cat

Thanksgiving 2011

Bondi Band and Race Bib

Cat Under Blanket

Thank you for reading and here’s to one more year of great memories and lots of sweat.

Undercover Blogger

Are you an “out” blogger? Do your friends, family, or coworkers know that you have a blog?

There are a lot of good reasons to keep work and blogging separate, some people work in offices where the personal and professional never overlap. Some may write about their jobs in a way that needs to be kept separate. Other than that, I really do not understand why you would hide a blog from other people in your life.

I post all of my blog posts on Facebook and do find it interesting how frequently people in political meetings I go to or even at work, ask me about running or suggest a new recipe. I find it really amazing to be face to face with someone who took the time to read my random thoughts,

Doesn’t a blog, regardless of the topic, ultimately reflect you? I am more likely to keep reading if I can get the person who is writing and maybe even like them a bit. Won’t the people in your life love the blog part of you?

(Full disclosure, my in-laws do not know I have a blog. Not because I have any concerns about them reading it but J does. He thinks posts like Is Your Family Making You Fat?, may not paint him in the most positive light.)

Speaking of in-laws, has anyone seen previews for the new show Monster In-Lawson A&E? It looks like it could be interesting,

Are you an “out” blogger? If you are not, why?

Bloggers Invade El Bodegon

Wednesday night, I went out on a work night (trust me, this is a shocking occurrence.) I was lucky to get to break bread with a lovely group of Central Florida Bloggers.

We ate at a local Spanish restaurant called El Bodegon. The restaurant would be great for a date night, very cozy and romantic. I had a salad and chicken that was cooked in garlic and lemon.

El Bodegon Chicken

I really liked the salad but the chicken was just OK. I did love the many olive’s on both dishes, can rarely go wrong with those.

(The pictures below are courtesy of Michelle and her camera that takes very nice pictures.)

Central Florida Lady Bloggers 2

(An actual picture of me, please be amazed.)

Central Florida Lady Bloggers 3

Central Florida Lady Bloggers

(Photo below courtesy of Claudia.)

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I had a lot of fun and was also able to check off something from my 30 Before 30 List.

12. Do one thing that makes me uncomfortable (like introducing myself to people) and get comfortable with it.

I am not shy exactly but meeting new people and putting myself “out there” can make me anxious but it is something I want to do more of. Plus the more you do anything, the easier it gets.

Please take a moment to check out the women above and their blogs.

Kristina from Love and Zest

Claudia from Sanford 365

Roz from Roz Pearcy

Michelle from Crazy*Running*Legs

Jackie from MomJovie

Carolina from Peas In A Blog (She also sent me the invite. Thanks!)

Katherina from Zephyr Runs

Andrea from Run, Eat, Date, Sleep

Have you ever attended a blogger meet-up?

Do you ever get anxious meeting new people?

Central Florida Blogger Conference

Today I attended the first Central Florida Blogger Conference held just north of Orlando. I want to thank Bess for all of her hard work in putting together such a wonderful event. It was an amazing experience and I learned so much.

I also was able to eat at my first food truck. Hello, Big Wheel Truck where have you been my whole life?

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The menu was amazing.

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Service with a smile.

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That’s my friend Norka who hung with me the whole day.

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I had the green salad with shrimp. Yum!

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Amazing artichoke hearts for Norka.

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Now I am wishing there was a food truck near my work.

The conference included a few heavy hitter Central Florida bloggers. Meghann from Meals and Miles talked about Monetizing Your Blog with Missy Ward. J from J’s Everyday Fashion talked about knowing your niche and her unique way of using Facebook as a platform itself. Lee from MySentimentExactLee helped out us newer bloggers with Blogging 101.  

One of my favorite parts of the conference, besides the food, was a breakout session held by blog type. The fit bloggers spent time introducing themselves and discussed ways to get together as a group. We have a lot in common, like running, and it was nice to be around likeminded people. I hope to have a chance to do so again in the future.

After the conference was a mixer at The Eden Bar at The Enzian Theater. They had a few contests, I won one, yay for fast fingers on the twitter. Norka and I shared a veggie pizza which was pretty good.

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What a whirlwind day! I have so many ideas swirling around in my head for all of the excellent information. I just cannot wait to implement them here.

Have you ever gone to a blogger conference or met-up with other bloggers?