Meeting Bloggers In Person

Today is the day!

The day I get to meet so many amazing bloggers in the flesh at Blend. That sounds so creepy, but seriously, I’m stoked! But the blogger meetups actually started yesterday when I had lunch with Emily from Beauty in Christ. It was so wonderful!

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We had a great time talking about our life stories, spilling our joy in Christ, and eating delicious food (of course 😉 ). Emily chose Vert Kitchen for lunch, and it was fan.tas.tic. It was one of those cute, organic, green restaurants with plenty of healthy options, but still plenty of flavor.

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I ordered the turkey sandwich (which included goat cheese, balsamic figs, tomato, and mixed greens) with a side of quinoa salad. Polished that baby OFF.

Somewhere in our conversation, Emily and I talked about how weird we feel before meeting a blogger. We all “know” each other through the internet (I mean, y’all probably know more about me than some of my “real life” friends), but how can you know what a blogger will be like in person?

To be honest, I feel nervous and slightly anxious meeting or talking to bloggers on a more personal level for the first time. Whether it’s texting, FaceTiming, or meeting in person, I always wonder:

a) What will he/she think of me as a person off the blog? In action– in real life.

b) Will he/she be outgoing like he/she is on the blog? 

c) Should I act extra healthy-living-blogger-esque around them?

Answers:

a) What goes on my blog is 100% reflective of my brain, my words, and my daily activities. The only thing I can do is act like myself when I meet a blogger. The worst that could happen is that he or she doesn’t like me in real life and we don’t become real life friends. Not meant to be. Life will float on.

b) Maybe people blog because they don’t like to be outgoing in real life, so they may very well be more contained or shy in person. I completely get that and appreciate that. Some of my shyest friends have the funniest things to say when they write or do decide to speak out in big groups. Blogging is an outlet for thoughts that do not have to be said audibly. That’s the beauty of blogging!

c) As a “healthy living blogger”, I also have a minor (and irrational) anxiety that other bloggers will be extra observant of my fitness, what I eat, or how much I eat. But then I remind myself that the healthy living blogging community is a supportive and nonjudgmental one. You guys see that I don’t always eat healthily or “get after it” in my workouts, so why should I try to tune those things up when meeting bloggers in person? I certainly don’t do that around my real life friends. WE’RE ALL HUMANS.

I had to rant about that, thanks. I’ll finish my rant by saying that meeting with Emily (and Kath + Clare last year) totally canceled out my anxieties. It’s so much fun meeting new friends!

In other news, we went to an all you can eat Italian buffet called Cinzetti’s last night.

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Such a thing does exist in Kansas (where we first discovered this phenomenon) and Colorado, evidently. It’s immense and not healthy at all. But it’s yummy comfort food to the max.

I’ll be back sometime soon to tell you all about Blend! I’m sure social media will be stormed by our photos and cute hashtags. If you’re going, I CANNOT WAIT TO MEET YOU!

So tell me:

How do you feel when meeting bloggers in person? Or how would you feel? Do you share similar anxieties at first?

Would you eat at an all you can eat Italian buffet?

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That Time I Fell Into a Canyon

Thinking-Out-Loud

with Amanda today!

1) Guess what! I wasn’t sore yesterday! After the hardest hike of my life, I was fully expecting to wake up not being able to move my body, but I felt fresh and fine. I was confused. The hike felt so hard and painful, but I guess it was mostly the altitude? Or maybe I recovered so quickly because I ate very well after the hike? Whatever it was, I’m just happy I was not completely debilitated.

2) We saw more beautiful rocks yesterday! Our family friends drove us to Colorado Springs, where we first visited the “Garden of the Gods”.

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please smile, dude

3) After walking around the pedestrian-friendly path for a while, we ate an incredible lunch at The Sahara Cafe— a Middle Eastern restaurant with the most amazing falafel ever.

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owned this chicken gyro

4) I was stuffed for the next 6 hours after that meal, because what you don’t see are the sweet potato fries, babaganoush, and baklava that I also ate with the falafel and gyro.

5) All that pita bread must have energized some of us, because our next stop was Cave of the Winds, where four of us decided to do the “Terror-Dactyl” ride. Basically, you fall into a canyon, just strapped in by a few seatbelts and hung by a cord. Juuuuust rocks under us.

Supervisor: The ground comes at ya pretty fast, so it’s over quickly whatever happens!

Oh….

I apologize for my blood-curdling scream

I prayed beforehand. The worst part was actually the beginning when they tilted us forward so that we were parallel with the ground and all our weight was resting on their somewhat questionable seatbelts. There’s a GoPro video of Ben’s and my face during the whole thing, which I’ll be sure to share when I get it!

6) It was totally amazing and worth it (the fear and the $50…).

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the daredevils’ “before” shot

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head first into this beauty

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walking the plank

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after the drop, taking in the scenery and thanking God we’re alive

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Even my mom and aunt did a ride! They took the less extreme, but still thrilling zipline.

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my mom and aunt on the zipline!

7) After that excitement, we slowed it down with a fun cave tour! All those stalactites, stalagmites, and slightly claustrophobia-inducing rock tunnels.

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It was so neat! Our tour guide was awesome, and the history was fascinating. If you’re ever in Colorado Springs, I 100% recommend Cave of the Winds. Let me know if you try the Terror-Dactyl 😉

8) “Eat, hike, repeat” is our theme of the week, so after our afternoon activities, we ate a late dinner at Thai Diamond Cafe. I was still kinda full from lunch, so I shared bites of everyone’s food and ate a salad that I had originally packed for lunch. I left the restaurant very full again 🙂

9) I’m going to meet Emily from Beauty in Christ today!!! I am so super excited. I can relate to every single one of her blog posts. It’s so wonderful to have a blogger friend who is about my age, who has gone through similar experiences with an eating disorder, and who loves Christ with a passion.

10) Speaking of blogger friends, Blend is tomorrow!!! So many exclamation points and so many things to be grateful for. I am blessed to just be alive, but God’s generosity is overflowing every darn day.

So tell me:

Would you do Terror-Dactyl? Have you done anything like it?

Have you ever gone on a cave tour?

What did you eat yesterday?

Beauty in Christ {Book Review and Giveaway}

Morning!

A couple months ago, a young woman named Emily Swanson emailed me about a book she had recently written and published called Beauty in Christ, Freedom From the Idolatry of Body and FoodThe only thing she had to tell me to hook me in was the title! My blog’s slogan is: “pray, eat, move, groove.” Pray is the first word because my faith is the most important thing to me in my life, so I was immediately interested in reading about how we can integrate faith with the trials of eating disorders.

Emily was kind enough to send me two free copies of her book— one for me to read + review and one for a giveaway!

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Review

When I was reading Beauty in Christ, I almost felt like it was one big, thoughtful, very well-written blog post, with some guest authors in there as well. That’s the best way I can describe the writing style, and I thoroughly loved it (hello, I blog and read blogs all the time).

Emily provides her own as well as a few other first account experiences about struggles with eating disorders. Her honesty and expression of emotion is awesome. Most of all however, her analysis of how to choose recovery for the glory of God and his Kingdom is truly what makes her story outstanding.

She addresses topics such as “Viewing Food the Biblical Way,” “Exercise: Taking Dominion of Our Bodies,” and “Food: A Tool, Not an Idol.” I love how she writes about these things very simply, but the simplicity of her words make such a huge impact. I also really appreciate that she makes so many Scripture references throughout the book, which really solidifies it for me.

It’s great to talk about how food is important and exercise should not be overdone, but Emily also acknowledges the other end of the spectrum, which may involve overeating and under-exercising. Her main point is that food should not be an idol in any sense, whether you worry about it making you fat or whether you eat without keeping nutrition and moderation in mind. In addition, exercise should be used as a means to stay alert and active in order to serve the Lord.

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Beauty in Christ really discovers what beauty and health truly are. One of my favorite excerpts from the book: “I began to realize that our ultimate purpose for living is not beautiful bodies and six pack abs, because what happens to those when you die? They crumble to dust.”

Kinda raw, but so true. There are unimaginably better things awaiting us, so strive for health to serve God and neighbor and to be joyful. Six packs don’t mean a thing.

Overall, Beauty in Christ is a short yet powerful read that I’d definitely recommend to any Christians out there who have struggled or are struggling with an eating disorder or even just body insecurities.

Giveaway!

Emily is being awesome and giving away a free copy of her book through Daily Moves and Grooves! If you’re interested in winning, comment below (anything at all)! Winner will be announced Friday.

{Open to U.S. only.}

Thank you so much for your generosity and your amazing work, Emily!