Healthy Living Summit: 7 Things I Didn’t Expect Last Year that I Will This Year

We’ll cover lunch quick like a bunny, because there’s a beast of a post to read about what I’m thankful to know this year going to the Healthy Living Summit!

Lunch was leftovers:


I was SO glad I decided to only eat half of my sandwich last night. That just meant I got to enjoy it again today! Winking smile

OK – on to the main topic!

Healthy Living Summit: 7 Things I Didn’t Expect Last Year that I Will This Year

The Healthy Living Summit is in three weeks and I am SO excited!! I’ve never been out to Pennsylvania or the northeast at all, so it’s a big deal to me Open-mouthed smile However, with it being only three weeks away, I wanted to post a few thoughts about the HLS that might provide some insight. I debated writing this post before I finally decided to sit down and pull the trigger, as they say. Let me preface by saying I have nothing but respect for the organizers and the sponsors of the Healthy Living Summit. I think they did a wonderful job last year and will exceed everyone’s expectations this year as well. I also think the Healthy Living Summit is a great idea and an incredibly fun way for bloggers to meet each other. I met some awesome people who I still keep in contact with today, and am so glad I went – obviously, since I’m going again this year Smile

That said, the Healthy Living Summit was hardly anything like I expected going in, and that threw me a bit. Here’s why:

1. When you first get there, it will feel like you’re at a new school. I remember when I walked from the L to the hotel, I wasn’t really nervous. I was excited! And then I walked into the hotel. The lobby was filled with girls who could be and kind of looked like they might be there for the HLS? I hoped they were, anyway, because I was about to go introduce myself to them. I also saw several familiar faces as well as bloggers I recognized, like Tina, Kath, and several other well-known bloggers standing in a circle discussing something or another. It was a little overwhelming. I think I dropped off my luggage and made a bee line to one of the couches and introduced myself to the group of bloggers who looked least like they’d known each other for years.What I expected was a bit more…formal I guess?  This year I’ll come knowing that the first day will be very casual, and just to walk up to random bloggers and say “hey!” Smile


2. You won’t get your beauty sleep. And if you do, you’ll inevitably feel like you’re missing out on something. Well, it’s impossible to participate in everything, but you’ll feel like there’s something going on until midnight and then that starts again at 5:30 a.m. because there is! I wanted to attend everything, but I tried to pace myself.There’s something to do at all hours of the morning, day, and night at the HLS. This year I’ll know that I can sleep when I’m dead…or at least when I get back to Illinois. Either that, or try to be a bit more choosy Winking smile

3. You don’t need to bring your own snacks. I bring my own snacks everywhere, but one place I didn’t need to do this was at the Healthy Living Summit. There’s no shortage of food. The Healthy Living Summit hooks. you. up. Aside from the breakfast, snacks, and lunches provided during the actual conference, you can eat your snacks in your swag bag, especially if you’re flying back home, which leads me to number 4…


4. Leave some room in your suitcase for the way home. Last year’s HLS was in Chicago, which is only a couple hours from my house. I decided to take the train there and back and a cab to the train station. But there were bloggers from New York, California, Georgia all doing the same thing. I remember thinking, there’s no WAY people who are flying will be able to bring back all this loot home with them! I barely did on a train! You will leave with more than you came with in your suitcase. This year I’ll pack light and leave room in my suitcase for extras. Plus, I’m getting there a day early (if you’ll be there on Thursday, let me know!!) so you can bet I’ll be shopping Open-mouthed smile


5. It’s less like a conference and more like a party. OK, so the entire Saturday is filled with amazing presentations from brilliant bloggers, but Friday during the day, Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday are more like one big party. I remember when I signed up to go to the HLS last year, I almost thought of it as a business trip  – one to enhance my blogging and perhaps my career as a personal trainer. It definitely did provide new perspectives and insight in blogging, but for the most part, it’s about meeting new people. You get the best of both worlds Smile


6. The entire weekend will be one big blogger cliché – in a good way! I’m not quite sure how to explain this one…can someone help me out? I guess what I mean is you will talk about food, you will talk about fitness, about being vegetarian/gluten free/paleo, you will talk about Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and chia seeds, you will talk about blogging. Get what I mean? The awesome part is – everyone gets you!! I don’t know about you guys, but talking about blogging to Shane isn’t the same as talking about blogging to another blogger Winking smile

7. It’s a little twilight zone-ish.  You’ll inevitably meet bloggers who you read their blog, but they don’t read yours, and vice versa. So, someone could be meeting you for the first time, but not the other way around, ya know? I remember walking down Michigan Ave. with Jess discussing several of these points, actually, and we were talking about how odd of a concept this was… Also, one night a big group of us went out for dinner at an Indian restaurant, and I remember chatting with Gina for a good while during it. It was weird because a lot of the things she was saying, I already knew from her blog! This dinner was also when I met Sana and Courtney (hey hey!) Open-mouthed smile

Phew! I didn’t realize I had so much to say! Hopefully this comes across the right way. I’m looking forward to heading out to Philly is less than THREE weeks – with my girl Kim, at that Smile Also, if you’re going to the HLS this year, please say hi! I love meeting new people Open-mouthed smile

Are you going to the Healthy Living Summit this year?

Have you ever attended any blogging conferences?

Peace!Party smile

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  1. Baking N Books says:

    Great insights! And love your honestly.

    I know I’ll get criticism for this but blogging/food conferences kind of freak me out a little…I don’t know, it feels a little “cult-ish” to me 😉 Taking and photographing food and exercise all day and related to computers/technology can be borderline obsessive.

    BUT I know that can be said about a lot of things -so don’t hate me!! Just one thing at the back of my mind.

    Have safe travels :)

  2. stephanie says:

    have fun!! I wish I was going!

  3. LOVE this post! I went last year – the sole British girl, REPRESENT! -and had suuuch an amazing time, and I’m going this year too! I wasn’t expecting to be so..moved / touched by the whole thing. Being around so many fellow foodie / fitness people was amazing, and everyone literally GLOWED! I loved it :-)

  4. #7 made me laugh b/c last December, before I started blogging, I met Meghann from Meals N Miles before the Palm Beach marathon. She was running the full and I the half. We met (with Kelly too) for lunch the day before and while it was fun, it was also very weird for me b/c I felt like I knew their entire lives while they knew nothing about me! It can make for a weird conversation!

  5. I’ll be there! So excited! – I had the same thoughts on packing/swag bags as you. It wasn’t such a big deal when I didn’t have to get on a plane with it all!

    • Awesome! Excited to meet you:) Yep – don’t want to have to pay an extra $50 bucks in order to tow back some bars 😉

  6. Great post! And you know I will be there super excited to meet you!!!

  7. aww you post made me wish i was going – great insights!

  8. Yay! I am SO excited!!!!!! (I am going to HLS, in case you couldn’t tell). I found this post super-helpful, as it’s my first time. Look forward to meeting you there!

  9. I am not going, but you make me want to!!!

    I took a break from blogging for a bit, but remember a lot of people talking about HLS last year. Maybe next year for me! Have a great time!

    Just found your blog- love it!

  10. This was a really helpful post! I am SO excited to hang out :)

    • Meeee too!! Can’t wait to meet ya, girl :)

      • Oh my goodness! All these pics are soolooo cool! When you can’t be there to hold her yourself, really good photos are the next best thing. Thanks for doing such a good job, Katie!Love, Elena & Paige’s Grandma

  11. Haha this is all very true. I went to Fitbloggin last year and agree with several of your points.
    I’m going to Philly that Saturday/Sunday but not to the conference. Hope to see you there!

  12. Awesome post! I’m was getting sorta nervous to go… but this calmed some of my worries! It just sounds like it will be so much fun!

  13. This post rocks, girl! I love your honesty and it totally comes off with a positive vibe. I had a lot of questions concerning more than one of these points so I am glad you brought them up! :) Cannot wait for our “road trip” in 3 short weeks!! Woooopty Wooop!

  14. Ah I’m so glad you’re going again- me too! :)

  15. oh I want to go! have a great time and bring some snacks back for me, k?

  16. I didn’t join the blogging community early enough to register for HLS, but reading this post makes me excited for next year!

    That must be crazy talking to someone whose blog you read but they don’t read yours. Kind of makes me feel like some kind of creeper haha

  17. I wanted to go, but I have jury duty that week! How lame is that. I should have just bought a ticket and worst case, planned to arrive Friday evening after I’m done jurying Friday during the day. Wish I was going though — Phila is only a 40 minute drive away. Regretting not buying a ticket and missing out on all the blogger-fun!

  18. I love the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” part. So true! I mean, sleep is important, but not when there is a nonstop weekend to be had.

    I sososososo wish I could go this year! You have to promise me you’ll have extra fun on my behalf. Maybe have an extra Blue Moon for me on Friday night 😉 But, if there’s one thing I DID learn from last year – don’t get too drunk. Cause that 5:30am wake-up call for a group run can be harsh!


  19. This sounds so awesome and fun! Maybe I will check it out next year =)

  20. Laura @ Backstage Balance says:

    Wonderful post, Paige!
    I won’t be at the Healthy Living Summit this year, but enjoyed my experience last year. It was incredible to be in the presence of so many incredible and talented bloggers (and blogging enthusiasts), such an energizing weekend. And it was great meeting you, Paige!
    I recall being a bundle of nerves and feeling somewhat awkward the first day, but once getting acquainted it was like I was among old friends.
    To all of you going this year – have an amazing time! :-)

  21. LOVE this post. It definitely gives people who are new to HLS a good feeling about what it will be like (or at least what it was like last year) I’m excited to go again this year too! See you there! :)

  22. I definitely wish I was going but I would also NOT be looking forward to that first “walk into the hotel and hope I see a friendly face” moment. Especially if I was arriving alone. That stuff is scary :) Can’t wait to live vicariously through the blog posts!

  23. i went last year, but missing this year, the keynote speaker looks AWESOME and I’m sure the swag will be top notch again!! the best thing was going out to eat with other people who just GET IT and ALSO are taking pics of their food plates!! Enjoy!!

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