The first order of business was to go through a complete health assessment which included a blood draw, blood pressure, height & weight measurements, flexibility test, bone density test, grip strength and body fat analysis. Once all of the results come in we'll each get a custom assessment from Dr. Duke Johnson, who heads up the Center.
We then got together for a nice healthy breakfast (always nice when you truly are breaking a fast ) and then were led through a tour by Bob Tully who introduced us to Nutrilite's approach to health & fitness, with frankly only a small discussion about supplements and other Nutrilite products. This would be a trend of the day – I was thinking we would be actively "sold" on Nutrilite products but that wasn't the case at all. In fact a couple of fellow bloggers thought there should have been a little more product education. Through a short video and discussion we learned about Nutrilite's focus on organic farming, sustainability and truly how they focus on improving the communities around their facilities. I thought the story resonated very well.
Next was a session on Optimal Health by Dr. Duke, as he is affectionately called. He surprised us all with a signed copy of his book, The Optimal Health Revolution which is subtitled "How Inflammation Is the Root Cause of the Biggest Killers and How the Cutting-edge Science of Nutrigenomics Can Transform Your Long-term Health." A balanced health approach was the focus of Dr. Duke's discussion and I thought that giving us the book was a great approach because there was so much he wanted to share with us that a 25 minute discussion wouldn't do justice.
If we thought we would get away with sitting in our comfortable theatre chairs just listening to presenters we were sorely (and I mean sore!) mistaken as we were led into some real fitness activities by Diane Paetz, who was without a doubt one of the most enthusiastic people I have ever met in my life. She introduced us to 4321 Fitness and the The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough. The concept here is that lack of time is one of the biggest excuses for why people don't exercise and that with only 10 minutes a day you can truly make a difference. The 4321 program is very simple – 4 minutes of high-energy cardio, 3 minutes of resistance, 2 minutes of core, and 1 minute of stretching and deep breathing. We did a little warmup and then went through a simple 4321 routine and let me tell you I was feeling it. If you want to try this for yourself sign up for the Take Ten Challenge. I'm going to give it a go.
After a short break we learned a little more about the science of Nutrilite products with an overview presented by Micheline Vargas and then we got to hear the awesome stories of our special guest athletes, 2008 Olympic women's pole vault silver medalist Jenn Stuczynski and Tom O'Rourke, Masters track cyclist and world-recorder holder at the age of 75. The common thread between them other than they are Nutrilite sponsors? They both found themselves having outstanding success in sports that were not neccessarily familiar sports for them. In Jenn's case she went from basketball to pole vaulting and Tom has a lifetime of stories around his experiences in cycling and skiing – and let me tell you this guy has some stories! I'll buy any book about his life he puts together. I think he toned down some of the stories for this audience – I'd like to read about details of this amazing adventurers life. One tip that Tom shared that really struck home with me was that "if you want to lose weight don't make losing weight as your goal – set a goal related to achieving something else that will naturally result in losing weight." I am definitely going to take this approach seriously.
By now it was around 1:30 and it was time for a healthy lunch and then we slowly made our way back to the shuttle bus to take us back to the hotel. I thought it was really smart to end the day at the Center with lunch – I have been to so many functions that try to squeeze a full day in after lunch and the audience attention span is just so poor in the afternoon.
After we got back to the hotel most of us met down in the lobby for a group exercise time which consisted of a run down to Long Beach (the actual beach) and back. The real runners in the group actually ran, some of us walked, and I hung with Israel and Jeff from Nutrilite and did some running and some walking. Overall it felt great to work up a sweat in such a beautiful surrounding and it reminded me of when I had success early on in my journey and I was jogging in Paris. I need to get back to doing that, although with winter coming up here in Minnesota that will make it tougher.
After a couple of hours relaxing in our hotel we met for the last time in the lobby and took a short walk to Wokcano Asian Restaurant & Lounge for dinner. I had a couple glasses of wine, some nibbles of shared appetizers including edamame, short ribs, chicken satay, scallops and calamari and then for dinner had some miso soup, a really tasty seaweed salad (although Lindsay didn't think so!) and some sushi. I also had to have some of Israel's sweet shrimp. Yeah, I think I ate too much, but not really bad. The big surprise at dinner was when Jenn mentioned she plays paintball at least once a month – although she has to be sure to do it a few weeks before a meet in order to allow the welts to go away!
On the way back to the hotel we stopped in at Cold Stone, and I had a small dish of Mango Strawberry sorbet. We slowly made our way back to the lobby and then said our goodbyes – I think we all had a really great time.
Jennette – Pasta Queen: a blog about her personal quest to lose weight. Mark – My Fitness Hut: a blog by a former NCAA Division 1 athlete about fitness. Roni – Roni's Weigh: a blog by a mom and wife on a quest for Optimal Health. Evita – Evolving Wellness: a blog about a holistic approach to health and wellness. John – John is Fit: a blog about one man's journey from fat to fit. Israel – Fat Man Unleashed: a blog about weight loss with a community of support. Steve – I Wanna Get Physical: a blog about triathlons and other endurance sports. Pharmie – RX Ironman: a blog about a Pharmacist and her love for endurance sports.
Thanks to the Nutrilite team for inviting me to this great event!