Does This City Make Me Look Fat?

The last things I'll say about BlogHer (for a while, at least)

Last weekend, about 1,500 women (and a bunch of their kids) took over the Sheraton Chicago for BlogHer 2009. Here's a quick recap of my BlogHer 2009 experience, sprinkled over this cupcake of a blog post in no particular order... 
The Community Keynote: I laughed, I cried, I fell over from giggling so much. There were some incredible stories - some health-related, some not - all worth reading.

Speaking on a panel, "You are not your disease, you just blog about it every day", was empowering and enlightening. The other panelists added lots of tips and perspectives to my own, and the audience participation was so strong we went 45 minutes long... we health bloggers have a lot to say! If you missed it, the live blogging recap is here.

I got the chance to lunch with Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President, along with about 15 other incredible women bloggers and Lisa Stone (@lisastone) (she's one of the co-founders of BlogHer). To enjoy the opportunity to speak about health care reform to a powerful, compassionate woman who has Mr. Obama's ear was simply incredible.

ChicagoNow Editor Alicia Eler (@aliciaeler) took Sunday off as a "detox day" (a day without tech) to refresh for the workweek starting Monday. Obviously I am a mind reader because I did the same thing, and it was delicious. (Well worth the hour I spent later catching up on an inbox overload!) Conferences - no matter how "healthy" you are while attending - can really kick your butt.

My pals at the Chicago Office of Tourism (@explorechicago) did a fantastic job of providing tips for folks who wanted to get out and enjoy the city, including info on renting bikes, taking walking tours and much more. They're worth following!

Tracy Samantha Schmidt (@tracysamantha), another ChicagoNow editor, offers up a nice recap, too.

On BlogHer's "The Juice" I gave a quick video tip on one of my favorite healthy pick-me-ups: the 10-minute dance party! (About 3:45 minutes into the video.) There are tons more fitness and health tips in the video so take a few minutes to watch it all the way through.

So much of BlogHer was about making connections...I met a ton of awesome health bloggers who I've only known online for years, like Rachel B (@talesofrachel) - and SHE met a ton of people, too. Hanging out with Kerri Morrone Sparling (@sixuntilme), Kim McAllister (@emergiblog), Loolwa Khazzoom, Mr Lady (@mrlady) and Casey Mullins (@mooshinindy) (among others) gave me terrific perspective on the writing and advocacy in which these health bloggers are steeped. There are a bazillion more insightful health writers out there, and each has her own unique perspective - it's worth exploring and finding all the greats!

Kevin Pang gave us his take on BlogHer yesterday but I wasn't thrilled, so I said so.

The swag was wacky and hilarious. I gave my flexible thermometer to a mom friend and the Mr. Potato Head to her son. I ate all the chocolate. Everywhere I went, I was laden with little gifts; my arms and shoulders are much stronger for having carried around all those swag bags - surprise workout! But while I got a kick out of all the freebies, Caitlin Giles (Wee Windy City) is none too pleased about the sponsorships at BlogHer.

So there you go: a quick recap of highlights (and lowlights) from this year's BlogHer. Tell me what you think! Did I leave out any awesome health tips or events?

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2 Comments

Caitlin Giles said:

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Lunch with Valerie Jarrett? How great is that!

Jenni Prokopy said:

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yea, it was pretty awesome. i was a little starstruck, but i got over it in time to compose myself and participate as a thoughtful blogger. :) but it was hard! she rocks!

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