Conversations with Coke Recap
June 20, 2011 by Stephanie O'Dea
This is a compensated post. Coca-Cola paid for my travel, lodging, and activities in Atlanta, and BlogHer is paying me to write this post.
I am back, safe and sound from Atlanta from the Coca-Cola event. I feel fresh and renewed, and it doesn’t really have anything to do with the insane amount of Coke Zero I had on this trip.
For the record? I really like Coke Zero. I was too cheap to buy and test it out myself, but since Coke flows freely and readily within the mothership, I had the opportunity to taste test approximately every 3.5 seconds. I am not a Diet Coke fan, but like Coke Zero.
I got an awful lot of rather um, interesting comments and questions about this trip. I was ready for these questions, but the tone and the (perceived) anger from some of them kind of threw me for a loop.
To the point that I kind of wanted to hide in a corner and suck my thumb and twirl my hair.
And that’s not okay.
I will never ever ever try to get you (or you, or you) to buy something you do not want to. I would never try to make you feel bad for your choices or for what you choose to feed or serve your family.
Please don’t do that to me.
I’m not an all-or-nothing kind of girl. I like all-natural, organic food, but I also like Cheese in a Can. I try my hardest to get us to all sit down to eat dinner together at the table, but sometimes the best thing is to spread out a blanket and watch TV while shoveling it in.
And I’m okay with it.
I’m supposed to write what I learned these past few days at Coca-Cola’s headquarters. I should probably write that the nutritionist and scientist told us that your body metabolizes high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, and cane sugar the exact same way. I should refer you to their website: TheBeverageInstitute.org to read the studies and form your own decisions.
I should tell you that McDonald’s sponsored our lunch (McDonald’s is the largest distributor of Coke products) and that the Asian Salad is quite tasty, the dressing is Newman’s Own (NOT GLUTEN FREE) and only has 90 calories (the dressing, not sure what the whole salad has, but that info is readily available online) and that the new smoothies taste fantastic and my kids really like them for an afterschool snack.
One of the biggest and hugest highlights of the trip was listening to representatives of Coke’s Women in Leadership program. They spoke about the importance of listening to women and understanding their background. That women everywhere struggle with balance and feelings of guilt and worries of not “being perfect.”
The powerful quote of the day was their leadership motto: Lift as You Climb.
I learned that women need to be nicer to each other.
A LOT nicer.
And we need to learn how to support and nurture each other and stop making snap judgments.
Because at the end of the day, everyone is just doing the very best they can within their own circumstances and situation. And you should love and cherish that person—even if their choices are somewhat different than your own.
And these women? I couldn’t have been happier with this amazing, powerful, confident grouping. I feel honored beyond words to have met and spent time with them.
Women truly CAN change the world. I know it. But first, we’ve got to stop pushing each other down and start holding hands and supporting.
Lift As You Climb.
I am thrilled to introduce (starting at the top right and working down the stairs):
the guy is Phil, he was our Coke tour guide and archivist. super nice guy.
Take the time to meet these women and read their stories. We can learn so much from each other.
I’m in the midst of a new site redesign (nothing will change, but it will all be different. don’t freak out.) and would like to start an everyone-is-included blog/website roll. If you have a site that you’d like included and you’re a REAL person and not some spam monster, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (I’m the contact!) with the subject line: blogroll and I’ll get you on the list. This roll will constantly be updated—it’s time we reach out and support one another.
Thank you for your love and support, and have a wonderful day.