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Your journey with weight is not one you should have to endure alone. That’s why the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) was formed in 2005, and why we’ve hosted the Your Weight Matters National Convention every year since 2012. We want to provide the everyday individual — the learner, the supporter and the advocate — with a place to hear from the leading experts in the field of weight management, and a place to connect with others, try new things, and feel safe and empowered while doing so.
This year’s event marks the first five years of the Convention’s existence, and we’ve only continued to grow this event and improve the education we’ve provided to our attendees. The Your Weight Matters National Convention has established itself as the premier meeting on weight and health, and this year’s event — taking place in America’s backyard, Washington, DC — will be even more jam-packed, exciting and inspirational than years prior. We hope you’ll join us at the Convention, so you too can experience this event, which has been called “life-changing” by so many past attendees.
“United We Stand — Inspiring Health,” is the theme for YWM2016, because we know it’s important to have a support system and resources available to you on your journey with weight. Whether that’s in the form of a support group, a brochure you received at your doctor’s office or even the copy of Your Weight Matters Magazine that you’re currently reading, having a team to help you along the way will make the journey that much easier, and will ultimately inspire you to strive for better health.
At YWM2016, You’ll Experience…
The RIGHT Information about Weight and Health
With all the misinformation that’s out in the world, you may not know where to turn when you want a guarantee that you’re getting science-based tips and tools for how to manage your weight. YWM2016 will provide attendees with more than 50 educational topics, presented by leading experts in the fields of nutrition, exercise, weight management and more.
At YWM2016, our speakers will offer the latest information on topics such as:
• Health by Design: Creating a Mindful Eating Environment
• 360 Degrees of Movement: Integrating Activity and Exercise into Your Day
• The Struggle is Real — Why is it so Hard to Manage My Weight?
• And 45+ more!
The Your Weight Matters National Convention is YOUR place to discover the tools you can use to manage your weight and health. These tools are all backed by research done year-round by our speakers and presenters, with highly sought out individuals such as:
• Acclaimed Motivational Speaker and Psychotherapist, Merrill Littleberry, LCSW, LCDC, CCM, CI-CPT
• Cornell Food & Brand Lab Researcher and Best-Selling Author Brian Wansink, PhD
• “My Diet is Better Than Yours” Winning Coach Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, CSSD, LDN and her contestant on the show, Jasmin Queen
• “Extreme Weight Loss” Medical Director and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado Holly Wyatt, MD
• Renowned Obesity Medicine Physician Robert Kushner, MD
The presenters at YWM2016 are here to help you break down the science that surrounds managing your weight, and they’ll do so in a non-judgmental and safe environment where you can get the answers to your questions. There is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to your weight, and it’s because of this that we at the OAC strive to provide a diverse agenda, so every attendee has something to gain from this year’s educational event!
A Safe and Supportive Exercise Program
Exercise is a crucial component to your health, and at YWM2016, you’ll have a place where you can participate in a variety of exercise classes that you may not have tried before! When you’re away from home, it may seem tempting to let your workout routine slide, but at YWM2016, you’ll feel motivated to stay on track in an exciting and energizing way.
Topics to be presented include:
• Morning walks and runs
• Tai Chi
• Guided fitness coaching
• And more!
Exercise classes are offered in the morning and afternoon on Friday and Saturday of Convention, and they’re included in every Convention attendee’s registration. To view the latest exercise program agenda for YWM2016, please visit the Convention Web site by CLICKING HERE.
The 10,000 Square Foot EXPO Hall
At the Your Weight Matters National Convention, you’ll not only get the chance to learn about evidence-based information related to weight and health, but you’ll also have the opportunity to hear from companies and organizations who can provide you with products and services to help you on your journey!
The YWM Health Living EXPO includes a diverse array of vendors offering proven devices, products and services in the health and wellness industry. All registered attendees will receive access to the YWM Healthy Living EXPO Hall as part of their event registration, which features:
• 30+ Vendor booths displaying products and services that can best help you along your journey towards improved health
• FREE samples and giveaways from vendors
• The opportunity to interact and connect with like-minded individuals in between sessions and social events
• Time to grab free resources from the OAC, such as brochures, magazines and more
What’s New This Year!
In honor of the 5th year of the Your Weight Matters National Convention, we’ve added some new elements to the program agenda that will appeal to both seasoned and brand-new attendees!
The Great Debate Series
An addition to the Convention agenda is “The Great Debate Series” – two general sessions that will cover complex topics surrounding weight and nutrition. Even our experts regularly have discussions about certain aspects of the weight management field, and to highlight these discussions, we are offering attendees the chance to check out debate-style presentations on topics including:
• “Can You be Healthy and Have Obesity?,” a session featuring exercise researcher Steve Blair, PED, and Medical Director for the Center for Obesity Medicine and Metabolic performance, Debbie Horn, DO, MPH, FOMA.
• “Food Addiction,” a session featuring “Why Diets Fail” author Nicole Avena, PhD, and food psychologist Nina Crowley, PhD, RDN, LD.
Inspirational Workshop with Merrill Littleberry
New to this year’s Convention Program is our exclusive Break THROUGH Inspirational Session – “Breaking THROUGH and Finding the Power within You!” featuring nationally-acclaimed and Convention-favorite psychotherapist, Merrill Littleberry, aka “Vitamin ‘M.’” This unique event is one attendees will not want to miss, as it will be the perfect finish to a weekend full of education, focusing on providing a more intimate and personal discussion to help you connect with and understand how to overcome challenges during your journey with weight.
This session is a separately ticketed event, and all proceeds for this event will go toward the Convention Scholarship Program.
Past Attendees Rave about the Your Weight Matters National Convention:
On the Education:
“I was quite unprepared for what I experienced. I was blown away by the caliber of the speakers — real practitioners and researchers working at the forefront of obesity issues — and their ability to present information in a way I could understand.”
— Nikki Massie, Baltimore, MD
On the Community:
“I come here because the OAC is my second family. It’s where I don’t have to hide, and I don’t have to worry about pretending and watching where I go and what I do. It’s a place where I don’t have to worry about anything at all.”
- Michelle Mata, San Antonio, TX
On the Support:
“It’s been life-changing because when you come here, you’re not an outcast. Nobody is staring at you because you’re the biggest person in the room. You’re in a room with people who have been through this and understand what you’re going through being a person with obesity.”
— Jeff Newell, Fall River, MA
National Advocacy Training Session
The OAC hosts a National Advocacy Training Session each year to train our next set of advocates who have a desire to influence the legislative process on Capitol Hill. During this training session, you will learn from the OAC’s Policy Consultant Chris Gallagher and OAC President and CEO Joe Nadglowski about how to be an effective advocate for change.
Before the session’s over, you will have the opportunity to put what you have learned to the test during mock legislative visits, where you’ll combine your skills and experience to advocate for awareness about the disease of obesity, access to obesity care and treatment and much more!
This session is available to all registered Convention attendees, but pre-registration is required. Space is limited to the first 50 attendees who sign-up in advance. Attendees can sign-up for this event when they complete their registration on the Convention Web site.
You are the OAC: Discover the Power of Your Voice
This interactive, hands-on session will help guide you on getting involved with the work of the OAC. This session is designed for anyone who wants to learn more about the OAC, has a desire to raise their voice in support of the organization’s work and wants to become more involved in the OAC’s year-round efforts. If you have asked yourself “How can I get more involved?,” then this session is for you!
During the session, you will explore each of the pillars of the OAC’s mission, learn what the OAC does each and every day to help those affected by excess weight and obesity, and how you can join in our efforts to make a difference! One of the key things you will learn about in this session is how to share your story with others, and afterwards you will have the tools available to immediately begin making a difference!
This session is available to all registered Convention attendees, but pre-registration is required. Space is limited to the first 75 attendees who sign-up in advance. Attendees can sign-up for this event when they complete their registration on the Convention Web site.
Lunch with the Experts
One of the most popular extents of the meeting, Lunch with the Experts, is an opportunity to get up close and personal with the leading experts in the field of weight, health, nutrition, exercise and more! Lunch with the Experts offers attendees a nutritious lunch while discussing a certain topic in a small group setting. This event takes place on Friday and Saturday with different table topics available on each day.
Lunch with the Experts is a separately ticketed event, and because of the popularity of this event, seating is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis — so we highly recommend you register early to get your preferred topic selection.
OAC’s Advocacy March
We’ve worked hard the past five years to march to Washington, DC, and we’ve finally made it! Join us on Sunday morning of Convention to participate in the Advocacy March, a series of activities that support the OAC and that you can do to influence our organization’s work in providing education, advocacy and support to all individuals affected by excess weight and obesity.
The power of advocacy comes in many forms, and we’ll showcase this at the Advocacy March. Whether it’s signing a petition, taking a stand against weight bias or sharing your story with others, this inspiring event is designed to be the ultimate send-off for a weekend of education, community and fun!
This event is included in every attendee’s registration and is a way for participants to feel inspired to share the work of the OAC when they head back to their communities.
You will learn a lot of information at YWM2016, but there are also plenty of opportunities to socialize and have fun with your fellow attendees at the event!
Convention Attendee and Exhibitor Welcome Reception
The Convention Attendee and Exhibitor Welcome Reception kicks off the YWM2016 festivities and offers attendees a sneak peak of all the goodies they’ll get to experience in the YWM Healthy Living EXPO Hall! This special preview of the EXPO Hall gives attendees time to interact with the Convention Welcoming Committee and YWM Healthy Living EXPO Hall vendors before the rest of the weekend’s events unfold. Attending the Welcome Reception gives attendees a chance to connect with other attendees as well — and it’s a great opportunity to get excited for the rest of the weekend’s events!
Friday Night Welcoming Ceremonies
Always a time to have some fun, the Friday Night Welcoming Ceremonies features music, dancing and even a costume contest! Come join your fellow attendees for a buffet dinner, dancing and a few surprises along the way! There will also be a prize for the winners of the costume contest, so we hope you’ll come wearing your best creations!
Please note that while participation in the costume contest is encouraged, it is not required to attend this event.
OAC Annual Awards Ceremony
As a National non-profit organization that works year-round to provide education, advocacy and support to individuals affected by excess weight and obesity, the OAC has many people to thank for their hard work and support of our efforts over the past year. On Saturday evening of the Convention, the OAC will host its 5th Annual Awards Ceremony to honor our dedicated members, advocates and supporters who exemplify the excellence of raising awareness about obesity and overcoming the challenges faced by individuals affected by the disease.
Travel Details, Convention Pricing and More
Affordable Pricing Options
At the Your Weight Matters National Convention, we strive to make the price to attend as affordable for our attendees as possible.
Single Day Registration
When you purchase a Single Day Registration for the low price of just $30/day, you receive access to all educational sessions, group fitness classes, and the YWM Healthy Living Expo; an official Convention T-shirt, souvenir tote bag and a Convention Program Book; and the opportunity to pre-register for the OAC’s Training Sessions (Thurs.), and one ticket to the OAC’s Advocacy March (Sun.).
Meals, Lunch with the Experts, social events and the Break THROUGH Inspirational Session are NOT included in single-day registrations.
Full Convention Registration
When you purchase a Full Convention Registration for $95, you receive access to all educational sessions, group fitness classes, and the YWM Healthy Living Expo; an official Convention T-shirt, souvenir tote bag and Convention Program Book; the opportunity to pre-register for the OAC’s Training Sessions (Thurs.); breakfast on Friday and Saturday morning; one ticket to the Event Welcoming Ceremonies Dinner (Fri.); one ticket to OAC’s 5th Annual Awards Ceremony (Sat.) and one ticket to the OAC’s Advocacy March (Sun.).
Lunch with the Experts and the Break THROUGH Inspirational Session are NOT included in the Full Convention Registration.
The Official Convention Room Block
We are really excited to be hosting our 5th Annual Your Weight Matters National Convention in Washington, DC at the spectacular Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center! The OAC has secured a competitive room rate of $129/night (single/double occupancy) for this year’s Convention.
The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center is a first-class destination with fun for everyone including fine dining and casual restaurants, unique shopping experiences, an indoor pool and 20,000 square foot spa and fitness center. To learn more and secure your room, please visit the Convention Web site at www.YWMConvention.com.