Learned to Kick Off that Totem Pole at the #CCBalancedLiving Event

#CCBalancedLiving  - Photo Credit: The Coca-Cola Company and Bruce Powell Photography
#CCBalancedLiving – Photo Credit: The Coca-Cola Company and Bruce Powell Photography

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

Pre-family I was a svelte size 8 actively working in the fashion industry. I worked hard, loved life and embraced everything with vigor. Dancing, swimming, workouts, eating well, were just simply life. I also grew up with parents who served lots of vegetables and fish during meals and has a father who ran a couple of miles every single morning and sometimes even tagged us along. My now 71 year old father up to this day still wakes up every 5am in the morning to do Tai-Chi. Because we lived and breathed it, the word “nutrition” was never a topic I ever dealt with.

That word – “nutrition” became an emphasis when the kids started coming along. I was lost and confused and just simply tired. It is all about the kids now. All suddenly a totem pole erected. As each child was given life to this family, I went down that totem pole. The last time that I consciously watched what I ate and did to keep healthy was when I was pregnant with each child. Which is really because of them inside of me so maybe that doesn’t even really count when positioning myself on top of that totem pole again.

I’m pretty sure I’m not any different from all the other moms out there. We simply do not have enough time to dedicate to ourselves. In most cases too, not enough time to learn about nutritional values to shop for the right food, doing the right exercise, and all that encompasses more time away from doing the normal get up, get the fastest things to get the children to school, take them to school, clean or leave for work, pick them up, feed them he fastest things you can find, drop in bed and then start all over again the next day.

Taking part of the #CCBalancedLiving was simply getting me to change the way I think about taking care of myself. A crash course on what to do, when to do, and what not to do. Exactly what I needed!

Happily peeled away from our family, I shipped out to the Conrad Chicago Hotel for an intensive 2 days of learning / re-learning. While I was ready and gung-ho into learning new things to re-invent myself, I just simply realized to get rid of the totem pole and start from the basics again. Live like how we lived as my parents did. Not such a novel idea, but with all the high-tech modern way of life, I succumbed to so many latest and greatest that I forgot that there were no fixing needed in that part.

I learned that for me to be successful in this journey, I have to allow to create a tunnel vision of what would I’d like to see myself be as a healthy person. We were given a blank cardboard to cut out & paste and make our own vision board. It was the simplest of all segment in our 2 days of #CCBalancedLiving, but it is one that stayed with me the most.

Beyond reading the labels in grocery aisles (which is by the way very important!), and the new learned exercises, I walked away knowing that one day I want fab hair, luscious skin, dare to bare bod, more travel, more gardening, and more importantly, more sex. Hey, don’t we all?

With keeping my vision board in mind…I am jumping aboard with all of the other things I learned from the event.

Photo Credits:  The Coca-Cola Company and Bruce Powell Photography

Make sure to check out the other blogs/bloggers that participated in the #CCBalancedLiving Event


  A Grace Full Life

 Bereaved and Blessed 


Hormone-Colored Days

Just Another Mommy Blog 

Suburban Scrawl

The Double Saving Divas 

The Mane Source

 Tiaras & Tantrums 

Ups and Downs of a Yoga Mom

Web Band of Mothers



MJ Tam

Head Chicagonista, Co-host of the Chicagonista LIVE! show, Founder of Women Driving Excellence. MJ is also the annual host of SocialRevUp - Brands & Bloggers Summit (#bbsummit) attended by about 200 professional high-profile bloggers nationwide. Follow MJ on Twitter: @mjtam

7 thoughts on “Learned to Kick Off that Totem Pole at the #CCBalancedLiving Event

  • December 21, 2012 at 11:52 am

    It was so good to meet you in person!
    Big hugs!

  • December 22, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Love your Totem Pole analogy and the idea that we were re-learning, as much as we were also learning last week at the workshop. So glad that we got to meet and spend time together. Thank you for sharing your take-aways and insights from the event. Hope to see you again soon! Thank you also for linking to my and other fellow #CCBalancedLiving participants’ blogs here. Happy holidays to you and yours!

  • December 22, 2012 at 5:43 am

    The totem pole thing was brilliant.

    It’s amazing how we can juggle so many things in the air at once, but totally let our own health and fitness needs go by the wayside. Time to make ourselves a priority! 🙂

  • December 22, 2012 at 7:47 am

    I always love hanging out with you, MJ. Merry Christmas!

  • December 22, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Okay, here’s another love for the totem pole analogy. That’s just brilliant, and right on. I find it so wonderful that we were all completely excited to just have a short separation from our families- it makes us all realize just how caught up and indispensable we are. It was great to see you again!


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