It’s a funny old world. Just when I was feeling down in the doldrums and wondering if all the time I spent blogging at my computer was really worth the effort, suddenly the universe waves a magic wand and Kerpoof! Things changed in an instant.
Oh my goodness. There is nothing like winning an award to give you renewed faith in what you do. For those of you who’ve ever won an award, or won anything for that matter, just think for a moment and try to regain that tingly-butterflies-in-your-tummy-feeling.
Feel good? You betcha!
So anyway, I was really really lucky that Lifestyle Fifty was voted winner of The Healthy Lifestyle and Fitness category at the recent Bupa Health Influencer blog awards, and one day last week found myself plucked from the everyday-ness of a hot spring day in Perth and jetting off instead to Sydney for an awards luncheon.
Sadly Dave couldn’t take the time off work to be my +1 so I invited my friend Jenny for a girlie 24 hours in Australia’s fair harbour city. We stayed at a boutique hotel right in the middle of the city, which to tell you the truth felt like a different country to Western Australia. The crowds, the humidity, the plants and trees, all so different, although as in Perth the jacarandas in bloom were casting purple rain on the pavements.
We started off the day with a walk around beautiful Hyde Park where we had a slap up breakfast under the trees, as water sprinklers switched on and cast rainbow swirls in the early morning air, before getting glammed up and heading to the venue.
The event was held at a zooty place called The Ivy. It was fresh and bright with big delicious monster plants blooming everywhere, and actually the decor matched my dress – or vice versa! How did I know to wear green, one friend asked me on Facebook! Haha 🙂
There were green cocktails and champagne, but I tried to be restrained so that I didn’t trip up or embarass myself, although I have to say that a couple of glasses of bubbles did pass my lips.
Matt Welsh opened the event with a keynote speech about Bupa, and how the company’s mission is to help people live longer, healthier and happier lives. “We aim to help people find a healthier them,” said Matt.
Up next was the supercharged gorgeous Lee from Supercharged Food who won the overall prize last year.
Lee spoke about blogging, giving us some super helpful tips.
She also spoke about how she got into blogging…
Lee told us about her auto immune condition, and how one day she woke up feeling terrible and her health kept on worsening to such an extent that she had chronic fatigue and her hair fell out, among other debilitating ailments. She was put on all sorts of drugs and ended up having to take 20 pills a day, which gave her bad side effects. So she decided to experiment and discover what foods made her sick and how she could use food as medicine.
Now she writes a blog about her findings, and healthy eating, plus she’s written some fabulous healthy recipe books. Check out her blog Supercharged Food and see for yourself 🙂
The next keynote speaker was Sally Obermeder, media personality and Channel 7 presenter who blogs at Swiish – Your fix of Lifestyle Luxe for Less.
Sally talked about weight loss her career path, her struggles with IVF and the life shattering diagnosis a few days before her baby was born that she had a rare form of stage three breast cancer. The thing that kept her going throughout she said was her determination.
“This is happening to me, now what can I do?” she asked herself. “I found out that if I just put my mind to something and chip away and don’t quit, then I’ll get there. Life goes on and you have to do something about it.”
“Use other people’s, ‘You can’t do it attitude’, to do it anyway. This is the philosophy that helped me survive cancer. You have to be your own cheerleader,” Sally said.
Carly wrote much better notes than me. Here’s what she had to say about Sally’s speech on her blog Carly Findlay.
“Sally chipped away at losing weight. She got out of a job she hated. She worked many unpaid hours to get into TV. And she’s in remission from breast cancer. She would say to her cancer “game on mole”, handling it with humour, treating it as a challenge. She wondered “how do you raise a child if you’ve only got weeks to live? How do you tell them everything?” She also reminded the room that even when you’ve reached a level of success, “you’ve always got a slog of some kind”. The hard work doesn’t stop.”
Which pretty much sums up blogging – it’s an enthralling, creative medium but it’s hard and relentless work. Many lonely hours are spent in front of a computer before you might come out blinking into the sunshine when nominated for an award like the Bupa Health Influencers.
Throughout the speeches we were served a delicious three course luncheon. Winners had to make impromptu speeches (more of my feeble attempt and how not to make a speech in another blog post!) and we were interviewed on video too. Honestly it was like a star-studded Blog Oscars – I had to keep pinching myself.
But you know what? In amongst the excitement of being made to feel special, I felt really humbled.
The other finalists’ blogs were all top class. Their blogs are all interesting, helpful and stylish. I felt supremely honoured to be numbered amongst them.
Some of the other category winners are writing about topics that include travel with a wheelchair-bound child, the joys and tribulations of raising a child who has autism, a pet blog about a not for profit Australian Farm Sanctuary, elderly parents and the trials of growing old, and how to still be a minx when you become a Mummy.
Deserving winners don’t you think? So without further ado I bring you …
Every Cloud has a Silver Lining – Family Time Award
Edgar’s Mission – Animal Lovers and People’s Choice Award
Have Wheelchair Will Travel – Best Travel Blog Award
About a Bugg – Social Good and Best Overall Blog
The Mummy and The Minx – Babies and Parents-to-be
Scoop Nutrition – Healthy Eating (not pictured – unable to attend the event)
Founder of the awards, Matt Allison summed up the event with an impassioned speech, and said: “At Bupa we recognise that bloggers are so powerful that they help motivate and inspire people as well as improve people’s lives.”
High Five Matt!