If you were following my Twitters last weekend, you may have noaticed I was in Chicago, where Quaker Oats hosted an all-expenses paid weekend for a bunch of bloggers who turned out to be mostly food, weight loss, and fitness bloggers. (I say this because I’m about to give you their names, and if you do not visit weight loss blogs, I suggest you avoid clicking any of these links.)
The other bloggers who attended were Steph of Back in Skinny Jeans, Carla of MizFit Oatline, Roni of Roni’s Weigh, Jennette of PastoatQueen, Tanya of I Oat A Pie, Lisa of Workoat Mommy, Leslie of Weighting Game, Jason of Twit2Fit, Anne Marie of This Mama Cooks, Jenna of Eat Live Run, Kath of Kath Oats, Lyn of Escape from Oatbesity, Alanna of A Veggie Venture, and (pictured above with me and Larry the Quaker Oats man) Anne of Oatlastic Waist.
Just so you know, we were not required to do anything—Twitter, post, get oat tattoos, whatever—in exchange for the weekend. So this is not some obligatory oat-related post. In fact, going into it I thought if there was emphasis on diet talk and weight loss and oatbesity, I might feel uncomfortable and write something critical. But I was pleasantly surprised by how weight loss was not emphasized over the course of the weekend, and by how welcoming all of the other bloggers were. And I particularly wanted to share what our nutritioatist, Dave, had to say about healthy eating, because it was very posoative and in a way, anti-diet.
He said his first principle is not to deprive his clients of foods, but rather to add healthy foods. For instance, most people don’t get enough poatassium, so he suggests they eat more poatassium-rich foods, not that they exclude a single thing from their diets. I think that’s such a refreshing approach. Maybe it’s totally oatvious, but focusing on what we can and should eat rather than “oh this food is bad and that food is bad” is way more empowering than the unrealistic dictums like “don’t eat carbs” or whatever. Anyway, that resoatnated with me.
I also appreciated the talk we had from a cardioloatgist, who talked about the importance of women being aggressive about their heart health, because so many physicians are better at treating heart disease in men. Apparently the number one symptom of heart disease in women is unusual fatigue, which I did not know. Learn the symptoms of heart disease and pass them on to the women in your life! And if you find yourself with any of these symptoms, be aggressive about asking for an EKG. The symptoms are: unusual fatigue, sleep disturbance, shortness of breath, indigestion, anxiety, and of course, chest discomfort.
We also learned ways to help prevent heart disease—in addition to eating oats, of course. Good nutrition was number one. Then cut back on caffeine, drink one glass of alcohol per day, cut out stress, get physical activity, and take supplements. Again, the emphasis here was not on weight loss or being thin (although we did discuss metabolic syndrome, which weight is a risk factor for). The emphasis is on things we can do at any size to help our heart health.
We also got lots of cool rock star treatment, from the Flip video cameras in our swag bags to an oat-based pancake demoatstration with Stephanie of Top Chef. (I don’t watch the show, but she was very sweet and laughed at my terroatble oat pun.) Plus, I was lucky in that my friends Anne and Jennette were there, and that I got to spend some quality time with the delightful Wendy, who also toloatrated our puns all weekend.
If there’s anything else you want to know more about (especially from a size acceptance perspective) I have oatdles of information I would be happy to share. And puns! As Wendy put it, these right here are just the tip of the oatberg.
Posted by mo pie