Get Inspired! Happy New You!

Most of us have areas in our lives that we want to improve in, but sometimes we feel frustrated by the magnitude of the task when we're already so busy. At such times, it's important to remember that there are people out there willing and able to help us out. My reality is that I am so busy I really can't get anything done well. I'm getting tasks done, but not well enough; just good enough and that's no longer acceptable.

I was fortunate enough to attend a Balance Living Summit hosted by Coca-Cola, #CCBalanced Living and BlogHer this past week in Chicago at the Conrad Chicago Hotel and obtain some much needed assistance to get me inspired for 2013. I needed the inspiration and excitement to help me and my family begin to lead happy, healthy and active lives.

Social Media at its very best at the Coca-Cola Balanced Living Workshop. #CCBalancedLiving

Introductions at the Workshop I'm not saying that we are a miserable family that sit around stuffing our faces with junk food, laying about watching television all day long. That is certainly not the case. Nevertheless, we are not making conscious decisions about what we eat daily and frankly, our activity levels could be much higher.

I am a home schooling mom to three little children and I tend to focus on school and school related tasks and endeavors versus getting up and moving about for the sake of healthy hearts. I simply cook a meal without really taking to heart what I am putting on my family's plate.

Creating my vision board for 2013

Presently my vision board on What is my healthiest life?Coca-Cola tells me, through the voices of the many experts I listened to this past week; eating healthy and exercising will lead to a healthy and a balanced life —and that's not just a future expectation, but a present reality.

Joan Koelemay & Robyn Flipse, RDs, let us know that "Mothers of the world are the largest health care system of the world".Sylvia Klinger –dietian & fitness expert, told us to "Remember to include variety, balance and moderation" in our diets.Harley Pasternak informing us that we do not need fancy shoes or equipment to exercise effectively.Harley Pasternak was very motivating and very real.To experience a healthy and balance life, I first need to get a handle on what matters most—the areas I feel compelled to focus on. As I identified my priorities this week, working with a fitness expert and a Registered Dietitian, I now have a sensible plan in place. I will begin eliminating non-essentials and gain a sense of purpose, enabling me to move forward one step at a time.

My fitness expert, Ronnie Sweiss, was so enthusiastic and realistic!I'm not too worried about the new exercise regimen laid out for me. My issue is and always has been motivation. However, my children are so excited to exercise with me, I do believe the 'Weight Be Gone Circuit!' I have in place will be a fun part of our day going forward. We will be making exercise one of our essential activities of the day!

Regular exercise and fitness may actually help increase my breathing ability and strengthen my lungs as well {I have Asthma and Acid Reflux}. With stronger lungs, activity will become easier for me and then I am more likely to maintain a regular, daily fitness schedule.

I learned the most from my assessment with the Dietitian and she really let me understand that losing weight isn't about depriving myself. I simply needed some smart strategies to keep me feeling good as I slim down. What I did discover about myself is that I happen to be a ridiculously fussy eater and I always considered myself moderately so.

Kim Kirchherr, Jewel's Dietitian, explaining the benefits of food label information.Kim Kirchherr, Jewel's Dietitian, explaining essential everyday brands to us.The first issue I must tackle is I can no longer skip meals. For the past two decades, I have been eating one meal a day. I need to add more protein and carbs throughout the day to fuel my body with energy. I am eating too few calories, my body is simply in starvation mode, and I will never lose weight if I continue on this path. I must have three meals and/or snacks per day to start fueling to help with my energy levels, to create healthy habits AND to show my children that I am a valuable role model to them.

The chef speaking to us at The Chopping Block before we all prepared a healthy lunch.All the attendees were getting busy and cooking.

A chef and I at The Chopping Block with some fingerling potatoes-so delicious!Living a healthy and balanced life isn't about being "Supermom".  It's about discerning choices and partnering with professionals as I exercise, make plans, confront my challenges and establish my health priorities. By streamlining what I'm trying to accomplish each day and concentrating on fulfilling my own personal goals, I will find the strength to change and enjoy the healthy and balanced life I've been searching for.

If I could choose one word to focus on that represents what I most hope for AND focus on it for an entire year, it would be: Focus must be on balanced diets and lifestyle – not on ingredients. Okay, I simply couldn't pick one word!

The Coca-Cola Balanced Living Workshop Gang.Thanks Coca-Cola (be sure to check our what positive and healthy initiatives Coca-Cola has in place) and BlogHer for inspiring me!

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

Photography credit: The Coca-Cola Company and Bruce Powell Photography