I’m fascinated by big corporations. I’ve never worked for one, and frankly I’m intimidated by the whole corporate world. What goes on in those giant buildings, with 300 different VPs and branches in various states? Are they to be trusted, or are they pure evil? (I tend to think in black and white, which is apropos to the theme of this post.)
Naturally, I was a little skeptical when I was chosen to be part of a bloggers’ workshop on health and wellness, hosted by Coke. I had visions of being brainwashed and required to write posts professing the health benefits of Diet Cherry Coke, or sneakily peppering my next 10 posts with perfectly-placed beverages from their collection.
Nope. They were awesome. It turns out actual people run corporations, and everyone there was as excited as we were, especially since they are involved in some amazing programs, and they naturally want to get the word out. They have the soda-selling part covered, and we get to write about some of the behind-the-scenes aspects of how Coca Cola is giving back to communities.
We learned that they are focusing their philanthropic efforts on improving the overall health and wellness in the U.S, and over the last year Coca-Cola has given more than $13 million to support fitness and nutrition education programs around the country. That’s a lot of cash.
Troops for Fitness is a Chicago-based program, in collaboration with the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance, that pairs veterans with school kids in boot camp-style classes. For those not familiar with Chicago, the area around Garfield Park is a poorer area of Chicago, which are the areas hit hardest by the obesity epidemic.
I dug around for their offerings in the schools and was pleased with what I found– this from their Live Positively site:
Elementary schools will sell water and 8-oz., calorie-capped servings of certain juices with no added sweeteners and servings of fat-free and low-fat regular and flavored milks. Middle schools will apply the elementary school standard with portion sizes increased slightly to 10 ounces. High schools will sell the beverages available in elementary and middle schools, as well as no-calorie and low-calorie drinks, such as bottled water, diet and unsweetened teas, diet sodas, fitness water, low-calorie sports drinks, flavored water and seltzers, as well as light juices and sports drinks. At least half of the available beverages in high schools are to be water, no-calorie, and low-calorie selections.
Now. Let’s get back to me talking about me, shall we? I’ve been mulling over bits and pieces of the workshop, rehashing what information stood out the most, and here are the things that keep jumping to the forefront of my mind:
1. Although I brag about my gym-attendance, it’s more healthy to be moving continuously all day long instead of at spastic little treadmill bursts. That’s fun information for bloggers to hear; I’ve taken to keeping my computer on my kitchen counter, so I have to stand while I’m on it.
2. I’m doing a pretty good job of feeding my family. All guilt aside, I tend to make nutritious meals and choose healthy snacks for us. It’s so easy to get caught up in news hype about arsenic rice and what form the sugar you consume takes, but really it’s all about balance, and choosing healthy foods more often than the sugary foods.
3. During my visit with a personal trainer, I learned that I should be doing just as much body work as I am cardio work. Meaning, I should be focusing more on strengthening and toning my muscles, which not only burns calories, it, um, strengthens and tones. I’ve been wanting to learn some of those fancy little moves I’ve seen others doing at the gym, and now I know.
4. When we worked on vision boards, pairing images with how we view our healthiest version of our families, I was surprised by 2 of my additions. I had been so focused on nutrition and exercise, that I forgot about humor and creativity. Duh-oi, this is what our family is all about– these powerful coping skills we utilize on a constant, everyday basis.
I have a major phobia of New Year’s resolutions, but I’m really excited to implement a lot of the nutrition and exercise tips I learned. We all know that to change bad habits, you have to start small or you’ll feel overwhelmed and freak out and eat a bag of delicious chocolates. But it’s important to actually start, instead of using that as a reason to justify not changing. This is my problem. I
think for this year I will change my resolution policy. But instead of swearing off sugar and spending 3 hours a day at the gym, I will make teeny tiny changes that benefit my family in a realistic way.
By the way, here’s a video of asparagus I took when I was attempting to get a very graphic, minimal, overhead shot of it. This is brilliant; watch:
I was compensated for my participation in Coca-Cola’s Balanced Living Workshop, but my thoughts and views are my own.