This weekend I had the pleasure to attend the 1st Annual She’s Well event in Bethesda, Maryland. To sum up my experience in two words: BLOWN AWAY!
The event was hosted by two wellness entrepreneurs (and fellow Hampton U grads) Precious Frazier and Janel Jones. Together, they founded the She’s Well Ultimate Wellness Experience to have an open dialogue about women’s overall health. The event featured wellness vendors from chefs, to juicers to candle makers, and I almost missed the speakers when I found myself taste-testing, whiffing, and purchasing wellness products of my own! (Thank you to Dress it Up Dressings for my delicious apple cider vinegrette and Passport 7 for my scent-a-licious soy candle, “A Bronx Tale.”)
Over the course of the event, attendees could wind down with Yin and Vinyasa-inspired yoga classes held by Yoga instructors Caitlin Cun and Zeshan Mustafa — not to mention CHOCOLATE (yes, chocolate) meditation sessions led by clinical psychologist, Lizbeth Moses. Also on deck were cooking demonstrations (and TASTINGS!) from Organic Soul Chef, Madea Allen and Health and Wellness Consultant, Caroline Jhingory. And for some much-needed pampering, attendees also helped themselves to massages by J’Huti and skin care facials from Marilyn Dawson, RN and Esthetician.
To top it all off, five expert speakers graced us with their presence and shared their knowledge to inspire attendees to be our healthiest selves. Below is a quick recap of what they discussed and my favorite “bites” of advice that they shared!
Judith Samuels, M.A., certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant
Judith, AKA “Judi” is a pro on weight management. While sharing pointers on reaching our weight loss goals, she advises, “You bite it, you write it!” That’s write it as in keep a food journal.. Hmm. . . I just may give this a try to hold myself accountable!
Vanessa Cunningham, nutrition & wellness expert, owner of Unhealthy No More, and fellow Jillian Michaels super-fan
Vanessa started out sharing her personal struggle with her health, after nearly suffering a heart attack by letting the stresses of her Wall St. job eat away at her for years! During her talk, Vanessa taught us how to pinpoint the stresses in our own lives that may be hurting our health. She also shared a breathing technique for some on-the-spot stress relief:
Big exhale….inhale for 8 counts….big exhale and repeat slowly! I’m feeling more relaxed already! Aaahhhhh! (That’s an exhale, not a cry for help!)
Helen was pretty much a ray of light on an already bright Saturday afternoon. In a matter of minutes she had us sharing some pretty deep insights about ourselves, and there were constant collective nods as she spoke, because she spoke the truth! Before she left, she gave us a bit of advice on becoming successful women. She told us to work on exhibiting all the qualities we associated with successful women, confidence, clarity, and general happiness. Two things stood out to me as she spoke:
1. Try to do something consistently that makes you happy. This will feed your soul and help you focus on your goals.
2. “You can’t be surviving and thriving!” For those of us who barely are hold ourselves together, we have to take care of ourselves before we can thrive! (I know you’re nodding right now…)
I’m hoping for even more inspiration during my first coaching session with Helen this week!
Casandra J McFarland, DC, DCBCN, Chiropractor, Clinical Nutritionist
Up next were some scary facts: According to Casandra McFarland, we are perpetuating a vicious cycle with extreme amounts of stress that literally throw our hormones out of whack. What happening, is that constant bouts of stress cause our adrenal gland to go CRAZY and over-produce the cortisol hormone. Too much of this stuff can cause us to be tired all the time, restless at night, lacking in the sex drive department (say it ain’t so!) and… wait for it… GAIN WEIGHT despite exercise and proper nutrition. Yes, stress is the enemy and it MUST be defeated!
- Deanna Jefferson, BS, CPT
Last but definitely my favorite was celebrity trainer Deanna Jefferson. After reading her bio on her site, I’ve come to admire Deanna for building a fitness empire of her own, and she’s only 28!! Her journey truly gives me hope to continue to build my business to new heights!
During Deanna’s talk, we chatted about “Barriers to Exercise.” A few audience members were asked to read a barrier, AKA excuse for the group and we came up with some solutions to get over it! Some of my favorites were:
1. I Don’t Have the Time to Exercise: Every little bit counts–REALLY, it’s been proven! If you can squeeze in three 10 minute exercise sessions, that’s just as good as a 30-min straight session! So break it up, it’s ok!
2. I Don’t Have the Motivation to Get Started: Put your money where your mouth is! Pay for your training sessions in advance. If you miss a session you lose that money! I did a similar thing when I signed up for my first race. It cost $80 to register, so you better believe I was training my butt off so I could survive that race and not waste a perfectly good $80!
All in all the She’s Well Event was a HUGE success and I hope that it continues to grow for years to come. If you have questions about the speakers or want more information on anything you saw here, leave a comment, or click on the pictures above to find the speakers’ websites! To learn more about the She’s Well Event, sponsors, and founders, visit the event site at sheswellco.com. I’ve already been inspired to learn more about my overall wellness as it can have a major impact on my fitness!! Of course I’ll share what I learn along the way!
*Keep it moving!
© May 2014