feeling like a rock star

I was compensated for my participation in Coca-Cola’s Balanced Living Workshop, but my thoughts and views are my own.

I’m a creature of habit. It’s not big news around here. I’ve fessed up about my Norm-like tendencies in the past. And it certainly wasn’t my “aha” moment going into Coca-Cola’s Balanced Living Workshop last week in Chicago. But it did lead to some serious “ahas” as the day-and-a-half progressed. It was a tough exercise confronting my creature-comfort eating habits head-on…


and speaking of tough exercise, celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak certainly put us through the paces during his “light” fitness seminar. So much so that going up and down the stairs proved challenging for a few days afterwards…


But back to those food demons. Examining one’s diet can be painful. Especially when that diet is unhealthy. Filled with too many white foods. My first “aha” moment came when I realized how much sodium I consumed each day in the form of frozen diet meals. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner sodium-laced frozen meals. And while I learned during our grocery store tour that frozen vegetables are absolutely an acceptable form of healthy eating, a full day of frozen prepared meals is a no-no.


There were some positives, though, when it came to my diet – as pointed out by the registered dietitian who I met with for a one-on-one personal consult. I like a wide variety of foods. Foods that include those good-for-you fruits and vegetables. So when we were repeatedly encouraged to “eat the rainbow” – and no, that doesn’t include Skittles – it should be easy for me to break out of my creature-comfort-frozen-food-eating-habits and bring some of these …


Healthy Foods at grocery store

into my daily diet.  And here’s why my creature of habit tendencies needs to be broken.  I need more variety in my diet.


And while this wasn’t an “aha” per se, my RD consultant and I both agreed that Weight Watchers was the way for me to go – especially since I work best when I have a plan. And accountability.


On to exercise …   which was equally as painful to examine. You see, I’ve been living a sedentary existence for way too long. I put off exercise. Make excuses. Thankfully, Harley Pasternak, trainer to the stars, delivered more than his fair share of “ahas” during the fitness portion of our workshop.


Harley_Pasternak_celebrity_fitness_trainerSource: The Coca-Cola Company and Bruce Powell Photography


Like, you don’t need those expensive sneakers. Or a gym membership. In fact, walking is one of the best forms of exercise. 10,000 steps a day.   Oh, and the types of exercises he led us through were a serious “aha.”  When I think core, I think crunches. Harley blew that idea out of the water. He focused on the back as a way to improve the core. And I have to admit, this is probably one of the best approaches for all us bloggers who spend hours hunched over our computers.


So what actions did I come away with from the Coca-Cola Balanced Living Workshop?


diet coke in grocery store


1. I’m joining Weight Watchers the day after Christmas.

2. I’ll be exercising at home 3-4 days a week. In the mornings, before my day gets away from me.

3. I’ll be walking the dog. A lot. With a pedometer.

4. I’ll be reading labels at the grocery store to make sure I bring home foods that are healthy for me and my family.

5. I’ll continue to enjoy my Diet Coke guilt free. The experts dispelled those headline-grabbing myths.

6. I need to break my creature comforts habit and branch out in my food choices.  Variety is key.


Oh, and let’s not forget the swag I came away with …


Coca Cola Gym Bag 2

I’m seriously digging my new bag — with that super-sized bottle of Smartwater!


 I was compensated for my participation in Coca-Cola’s Balanced Living Workshop, but my thoughts and views are my own.

P.S. Thanks Coca-Cola for the rock star treatment last week. Enlightening presentations. One-on-one expert diet and fitness consults. An amazing dinner. A personal grocery store tour. Capped off with a professional-chef-instructed make-your-own lunch at The Chopping Block …


The Chopping block Lunch 3

and the opportunity to connect with so many amazing Chicago-area bloggers! It was like an intimate, mini blogger conference.

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  1. says

    Oh I would have loved to do this with you! So happy for you. A plan is always good. I try to wing it but am never successful. I really need to walk my dog too!

  2. says

    I was so with you–until #5. I say this as a (sometimes) drinker of Coke and (occasional) consumer of too much white food and person who (always) needs to move more. I say this as someone who believes all things in moderation is a good way to live. But I’m wondering what the experts who aren’t paid by Coke say…just cannot see how a caffeinated, carbonated, artificially-sweetened drink isn’t bad for us.

  3. says

    VERY cool Linda, and those are tips we could all use. It sounds like a really great conference. But I have one question…did you bring your “good” camera to the grocery store to get those pictures?? Or did you tweak your phone pics? They’re awesome! :)

  4. says

    What excellent timing you have! I am going to try to lose 60 lbs in 2013. And I have seriously been considering the “eat a rainbow” approach, as in trying to eat a fruit or vegetable representing each color from the spectrum everyday . I will also be doing Weight Watchers for accountability reasons. Apparently, I enjoy lying to myself about food. Plus the points make it kinds of like a game. And I have been paying for my unused monthly online subscription for like 4 years now. (My wallet is certainly lighter) The exercise is still a little mushy. But I am looking for a dog and I asked Santa for a pedometer. Does that count as an exercise plan?

    So good luck and carry on! To skinnier jeans we go!

  5. says

    I know that you want to lead a healthy lifestyle..but weight watchers..you looked terrific when I saw you at the conference…..my hubby is a “health nut”…he went on that Primal Blueprint diet…lost weight…too much I’d say…gained a little back..basically cut out all the “white” in his diet…no bread, etc…I try to do this with him…but on the weekends, I cave..big time….You go girl!!!

  6. says

    Great post and awesome pictures! I am so glad that we met last week at the workshop and appreciate the take-aways that you shared. Way to go on setting some specific and measurable goals for yourself after this experience. You can do it! I hope that we keep in touch and our paths cross again soon.

  7. says

    Thanks for sharing what you learned with the rest of us, Linda. I think I might need to revisit this the day after Christmas when I see Weight Watchers in my future…..again. Oh well, it has worked twice before so I know it will work again! I am curious what the experts said about the diet coke headlines-are you referring to artificial sweeteners? I would love to know more about that if you have time to share! Thanks, and Merry Christmas!

  8. says

    Sounds like you had an enlightening day. What great goals for 2013! I believe in you and I know that you can do it!!! I wish I lived closer because I’d love to take Riley for a walk along with you. You should also consider getting a Nike Plus…I am obsessed with me. It makes me feel very accountable to do something like walking or running every day since it tracks my progress, time and distance.

  9. says

    That IS an awesome bag, and what a super-awesome perk to get to go to that conference! I’ve done WW in the past, so often I can tell you the points value of everything Annoying thing is it actually works, which means you were eating badly before ugh, never fun:) This year I’m just letting it all go as long as I fit into my clothes. I’ve been pregnant or post-baby every single year for 6 years, so this year I’m giving myself a “pass” from either gaining or losing, just trying to maintain.

    Happy 2013!


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