Friday, July 20, 2018

On Day 2 of OAC’s 7th Annual Your Weight Matters National Convention, the weekend kicked-off with morning group exercise classes designed to help attendees get active and energize for the day ahead! Classes featured short walks in the surrounding downtown Denver area as well as Aqua Zumba and Circuit Training. Participants enjoyed getting to know one another before a day packed full of education, inspiration and fun!

Taking #OACAction Makes a Big Difference

Shortly after, the morning continued with the official YWM2018 Event Welcome where attendees gathered together to learn about taking #OACAction. This special session talked about the importance and power of taking action to make the world a better place for people affected by obesity, and offered important tips, takeaways and foundation messages for attendees to use while making a difference! OAC envisions a world where all individuals are treated with respect no matter their experiences, size or health plan, so we’re calling on our supporters to take #OACAction and help change the perception of obesity as a complex, chronic disease.

OAC wishes to give special thanks to Jeanne Blankenship, MS, RDN; and Ethan Lazarus, MD for presenting during this session and empowering attendees to use their voice throughout the weekend and after YWM2018 to bring change in the obesity landscape!

Evidence-based Weight and Health Education

Beyond YWM2018’s inspiring Event Welcome, Friday was also filled with top-quality, evidence-based weight and health education to help attendees take their health to new heights. OAC knows that so much misinformation and stigma fills the weight-loss and weight management industries, and we strive to offer attendees education and information they can trust along their journey with weight and health. Friday’s #YWM2018 Educational Sessions offered practical tips, tools, resources and takeaways, and included a variety of hot topics related to weight and health management including:

  • Why is it So Hard to Lose Weight and Keep it off?
  • Lessons Learned from Childhood Obesity Prevention and Treatment
  • Facing Post-surgery Weight Regain Head-on
  • Understanding Obesity’s Related Conditions
  • Obesity Medications for Weight-loss and Long-term Weight Maintenance
  • Prioritizing Post-op Annual Visits and Long-term Care

In addition to all General and Breakout Educational Sessions, YWM2018 also offered attendees a variety of opportunities to connect one-on-one with experts such as physicians, surgeons, researchers, nutritionists, etc. while having breakfast and/or lunch. This gave them the ability to ask specific questions and dive into topics that mattered most to them in a smaller, more intimate setting. Some (but not all) of these popular topics included:

  • Choosing the right bariatric surgery procedure
  • Navigating relationships through weight management
  • An honest conversation about transfer addiction
  • Connecting our intentions with our behaviors
  • Finding fun in celebrations beyond food
  • Understanding how metabolism works
  • Practical tips for meal planning and prepping
  • Silencing your inner critic and nixing negative self-talk

Healthy Living EXPO Hall

As part of OAC’s Annual National Convention, YWM2018 also continued to offer the Your Weight Matters Healthy Living EXPO Hall with more than 30 vendors in the health and wellness industries. Attendees were welcome to explore the EXPO Hall and check-out products, services, samples and more intended to help them along their weight management journeys. The EXPO Hall was also an opportunity for attendees to mingle, get to know each other and connect with OAC’s Community to get engaged and benefit from valuable resources and connections. Needless to say, the EXPO Hall was PACKED!

Celebrating Community and the Power of Connection

To end an amazing day of education, OAC hosted its Annual Welcoming Ceremonies Dinner with a unique 2018 theme of “The Great Outdoors” to commemorate our time in Denver. Many attendees arrived dressed for the occasion in costumes such as hikers, fisherman, crocodile hunters, wildlife and even the Universe!

The Ceremonies Dinner was also an opportunity for OAC to enforce the power of community and strengthen passions for not only helping and supporting one another, but taking a stand for all individuals affected by obesity. The evening was complete with food, dancing, laughter, support, networking and fun. In the words of OAC’s President/CEO Joe Nadglowski, “There is nothing we cannot do if we work together. The OAC Community is here for YOU.”