Thursday, August 1, 2013

Coca-Cola Steps to Wellness Challenge - Mommy Blog Expert Wins First Place at BlogHer 13


During BlogHer 2013 Chicago last week there was a new activity that I really was excited to join in called the Steps to Wellness Challenge, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company. Luckily I'm not extremely overweight, but blogging is a sedentary profession and I can definitely afford to lose a few pounds and get in better shape. So I was thrilled that the oldest soft drink company in America was integrating a fitness element into our annual conference for the first time.

The view from my room at Sheraton Chicago,
First Lady Michelle Obama talks about motivating kids to "Get Moving" to fight unhealthy lifestyles. I'd take it one step further: To combat the obesity epidemic in this country, all moms need to model good diet and fitness habits for our children. And there's no better place to start than at BlogHer where influential bloggers who have the power to change public opinion flock each year.

Me at the Hasbro Party at Hard Rock Cafe Chicago
For this challenge Coke offered everyone registered for BlogHer (more than 4,000 mostly women bloggers, according to the official organizers) a cute red heart-shaped pedometer to wear throughout the conference. Stakes were high: the Grand Prize, valued at up to $3,500, was the winner's choice of either a personal trainer or nutritionist for a year. There were also several smaller prizes that would be awarded to runner ups.

Incognito, during a rare minute sitting down,
Last Thursday night, Coke started issuing pedometers to attendees at the Night at the Expo opening event. However, I wasn't able to pick up mine until first thing the next morning, so there were definitely others ahead of me before I even took my first step. I love competitions, though, and I also really enjoy walking, especially to see a great city like Chicago on foot. So it didn't take any convincing to get me to jump into the game. 

Keep in mind, I'm the mother of four kids born in a year (a son, followed by girl, girl, boy triplets) and I'm in my mid 50s now. I've never run a marathon, either, and I don't work out at the gym regularly, but I do love to snow ski, bicycle ride, and play tennis as well as walk 2-3 miles per day, 7 days a week at home.

Here I am running in this Samsung Galaxy 4S booth shot
This is my third BlogHer, so I knew that I'd be doing a lot of walking (and some running to save time) anyway over the long weekend, between official BlogHer events and the Expo Hall and to and from the more than a dozen off-site private parties I was invited to. So -- as a personal challenge to myself -- I decided just for the fun of it to push myself as much as I possibly could over the two day competition.

My Coca-Cola Pedometer,
Early in the contest I stopped by the Coke Wellness Station in the Expo Hall and was truly surprised to find out that I was in first place. Not long after, though, I discovered I had slipped to second or third place. Knowing I'd lost my lead position motivated me to work twice as hard to get even more steps in. The more I walked, jogged and ran, the more steps my pedometer recorded and the better I felt. In fact, just seeing these ever increasing digital numbers encouraged me to push myself far past what I had thought possible. Talk about an endorphin high that I hadn't felt in years.

I received this cute workout towel at the Coca-Cola exhibit

Shortly after the contest ended, to my surprise, a friend told me Coke had tweeted out that I'd won the Steps to Wellness challenge ...

Thanks to Coca-Cola and all the steps I took in Chicago during BlogHer 13, I'll soon be doing something that's been on my bucket list for way too long. Over the next year, I'll be working with a personal trainer to finally realize my dream of being in the best physical condition of my life. Guess what else? My teen children are actually proud of this great physical accomplishment. 

Stay tuned for more posts as I document my progress!

Chicago skyline at dusk,
Find out more about what Coca-Cola is doing to fight obesity HERE

FTC Disclosure: I've attended multiple BlogHer conferences and have also been a speaker at this event. I paid for my own 2013 full conference ticket. As disclosed above, I did win the Steps to Wellness Challenge grand prize from Coca-Cola. However, this post is purely voluntary and I did not receive any compensation for writing it. Thoughts here are my own. See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one. 

1 comment:

  1. Awesome, Janis! And I'm proud of you too! Way to be an example!