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The Non-Recap HLS Recap

August 15, 2010

This is a post about the Healthy Living Summit
This is not a post about what I ate.  This is not a post filled with photos of my new friends.  This is not a post detailing how much I learned about Strength Training, or blog photography, or ethical eating, or fueling for fitness. This is not a post showcasing my swag bag and explaining that I’m just not sure how I’m going to get everything home.  This is a post about more than that.


When I sat down on the L at 5:15 Friday Morning, I found my self in a bit of THS history.  The last time I was on the blue line, from O’Hare towards Forest Park, was several years ago, when a good friend of mine and I had decided to come visit Chi-town for New Years Eve.  The night of my arrival, I learned some disheartening information. 

At the time, the ex and I were broken up, but we would find ourselves dating again a few months later.  Regardless of the fact that the night I was on the blue line, from O’Hare to Forest Park, I had learned that he had cheated. More than once.  With my friend, who shared this information with me.

This isn’t to be said so that you can hate him. Or my friend.  I didn’t share this to gain pity, or support, or to say mean things about him on the internet, trying to form the first official blog-inspired “Team Heather".  But I needed to share. And this is why.


When I started dating him again, I was lost.  When I looked into the mirror, I didn’t see a fat girl, or a thin girl, or really a girl at all.  At the time, although I didn’t realize it, I only saw a ghost.

I had lost my self, in the desire for his love.  I felt like my ex was completely out of my league, as I was overweight and unhealthy and lacking any kind of confidence to even be aware of my awesomeness; on the inside or the outside.  I thought he was my last chance for happiness – somebody to love me until death do us part.  I feared no man ever would love me, after him, and I compromised so much of who I was for the false hope of a dream I thought I needed to be happy.


While I was speaking on the panel titled, The Ups and Downs of Pushing Publish, the wheels in my heart started to turn faster than the wheels in my head.   I started thinking about honor and respect.  I can’t blame him for not giving me the honor and respect I deserved, because, honestly, I wasn’t giving myself the honor or respect I deserved.  I didn’t know how. Not yet.


When my dear, sweet, friend Katie spoke during the last presentation, I cried.  Chills ran down my spine as she shared her story, while I was nodding my head so often in agreement, tears running down my cheek, one after another. Throughout the remainder of the discussion and when the attendees in the audience started sharing their own stories, the revelations began. 

When I started blogging at THS, I never intended to be part of this amazing community.  It just sort of happened.  And excuse the cheese, but I think it may have been fate.  Very early this morning, Julie and I sat in the hall way outside our hotel room and a discussion arose about where we found ourselves.  While attending HLS, I realized how much blogging has really changed my life – not only have I made amazing friendships and connections with people all over the world, but I have also made an amazing friendship and connection with myself.

In the last 11 months, I have learned about honor and respect.  From each and every one of you who read this.  And from each and every one of you who blog.  This community has helped me to find myself.  To know myself. And to love myself. 

If it wasn’t for THS, and Healthy Living Bloggers, I am afraid I might be lost, again.  Or maybe even still.  When I look into the mirror now, I no longer see the ghost.  I see a strong, confident woman who honestly loves life, and stands firm in her beliefs.  I see someone who wants to be honest and not ashamed. I see someone motivated to continue to make one decision at a time, who exercises to get healthy, not skinny.  I see someone who doesn’t feel guilty for who she is.  I see someone who wants to say thank you. 


Thank You. 

31 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2010 8:12 am

    You are so amazing and beautiful, in SO many ways. Thank you for writing this post.

    Also – you are freakin’ phenomenal with words. You have a gift my friend.

    P.S. Love ya, but you already know that. 😉

  2. August 15, 2010 8:12 am

    This post is beautiful, as are you. I hope I get a chance to meet you sooner rather than later as I truly feel you are one of the most inspiring bloggers out there, my dear.

  3. August 15, 2010 8:18 am

    Love, love, LOVE THIS! Thank YOU Heather for everything you do in the blogging community! It has changed my life too, but a huge part of that has been YOU helping me make the change. ❤

  4. Lynne permalink
    August 15, 2010 8:19 am

    Wow, great post, Heather. I am gradually coming to terms with valuing myself for the person I am. It’s a struggle sometimes, but I have honestly surprised myself with the inner strength I have discovered! Thank you for a great blog. 🙂

  5. August 15, 2010 8:36 am

    Heather you are amazing and I’m am so glad the you found you through getting it all out through your beautiful writings. So AMAZING! You are AMAZING!

  6. Sharon permalink
    August 15, 2010 8:40 am

    Thanks for Sharing! Hugs.

  7. August 15, 2010 8:54 am

    Thank you for the beautiful post Heather. Being lost is such a lonely place to be and as you have found there is so much more waiting for us out there in the world.

  8. August 15, 2010 9:03 am

    As always, this is so wonderfully written. Eloquent and heartfelt. I love hearing bits and pieces of your life story. This community IS so amazing. Jessica is right – YOU have brought so much to so many of our lives. At the end of the day, it can be hard to keep up with everything and everyone but I believe no matter how often you press publish, how many tweets you send, how many comments you receive, once you’re in this community, you’re in and a part of something so life-changing and wonderful you can never imagine your life without it.

    Thank you.

  9. August 15, 2010 9:42 am

    Love this post, thank you. It was so nice meeting you!

  10. August 15, 2010 1:06 pm

    “I see a strong, confident woman who honestly loves life” – this line really resonates with me because I feel the same way. I often say that two things I never even saw coming have changed my life: healthy living and blogging. I fell into both of them and they have completely changed me, for the better. Now I don’t feel ashamed or “fat” when I look in the mirror. I feel confident and healthy and I honestly love my life.

    Wonderful post!

  11. August 15, 2010 1:06 pm

    I love this post! It’s amazing to see the positive growth and changes actively happening in people. Blogging has helped me accept my own voice, love my own body, and make choices that are best for me. This includes reading all of the inspiring posts by people like you and all of the other amazing bloggers! I will absolutely not miss HLS next year!! Thank you for always sharing. xoxo

  12. August 15, 2010 1:27 pm

    I can relate so well to this post. I did so much damage to myself by not honoring myself or seeing my worth and that I deserve respect. It took a long time to reach a better place and the healthy living blog community reaffirms it for me every day. That is a big reason why I’m so excited to share the 30 Days of Self-Reflection on my blog because I want others to learn to love themselves. And I know it will be easier done in the supportive community of bloggers. Beautiful recap and worth reading more than just a “Here’s what happened” post. 🙂

  13. August 15, 2010 4:08 pm

    Such an amazing post, as always, and so much more meaningful recap of an event… Not saying swag isn’t great and all, but being able to so eloquently explain what this community and this event means to you could never be told in any amount of pictures.
    (Except word pictures, which, let’s be honest, you excel at!)

    PS. I’m glad you make it safely on to the 5AM L 🙂

  14. August 15, 2010 8:23 pm

    This was beautiful, of course. I too have learned so much about myself from blogging. It really forces you to look inward.

    I really wish that I could have been there with you this weekend. Love you!

  15. August 15, 2010 8:41 pm

    I just started following your blog, but there is no doubt in my mind that you are a strong, amazing woman. Thank you for being so open and honest; you are an inspiration to many!

  16. August 15, 2010 9:56 pm

    Heather, I don’t always comment, but I always read. I regularly feel in awe of the way you have with words, with insight into yourself and your emotions…really, just in awe of you! Keep it up…you’re touching many more people than those who comment here with your words.

  17. August 16, 2010 5:17 am

    This is perfect. So happy to know you.

  18. August 16, 2010 8:14 am

    Love this! Glad you were able to go! I’m so glad we became real life friends through blogging. It’s definitely an amazing concept. ❤

  19. August 16, 2010 10:48 am

    What a fantastic post. You captured so much of what I was thinking as well. It was amazing to meet you in person. You are such a joy to be around!

  20. August 16, 2010 10:53 am

    Glorious post! Not surprising. You are such a beautiful person Heather! Hugs. And more hugs.

  21. August 16, 2010 12:03 pm

    What a wonderful post…it’s so refreshing to hear a such a real story. I wish I could have made your presentation – I had to leave HLS a little early, but it sounds like it was the one to be at.


  22. August 16, 2010 12:09 pm

    Wow, you summed up what I just started to feel and experience. Well said! 😉

  23. August 16, 2010 10:09 pm

    This right here is why we were crying in the hotel hallway at 2 am. And why I am teary-eyed again. Love you, best blend!

  24. Mary permalink
    August 17, 2010 10:24 am

    Wow heath! This is beautiful. YOU are beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

  25. August 17, 2010 10:27 am

    Gosh what a beautifully written post! When I met you this weekend I thought that you were just so caring, helpful, confident and glowing with joy…. and after this post it all makes a little bit more sense.

    Yay for our awesome community 🙂

  26. August 17, 2010 11:54 am

    You are so awesome Heather, thank you for sharing this. I’m so glad to have met you this weekend.

  27. August 17, 2010 12:32 pm

    Heather, this was a great post and one I will remember for a long time. I’m glad we got to meet this weekend, but sad that we didn’t get a chance to chat. I know our paths will cross again.
    So happy too, to be a part of this great community with people like you.

  28. August 18, 2010 7:31 pm

    Wow – awesome story. I think you are so right – women need other women to learn from and to affirm one another. Thanks for sharing your story.


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