By - January 1, 2017

Living Life. Inspired.

Life. Inspired.

Publix’s associate wellness program — Life. Inspired. — focuses on four pillars of wellness: eat right, exercise, quit tobacco and achieve overall well-being. Publix is committed to being a great place to work where health and wellness are an essential part of our culture.

Many of our associates and their family members are choosing to live Life. Inspired. by setting and achieving their health and wellness goals. Check out how these four associates are enjoying an improved quality of life.

Eat Right
Fleet Refrigeration Class A Mechanic Kevin DaCosta
Orlando Distribution Fleet Maintenance

Kevin DaCosta and family before.

Kevin DaCosta and family before

Kevin DaCosta and family after.

Kevin DaCosta and family after

“First, we started meal planning, which is great when you’re short on time. We cook ahead, pack our lunches and stay in for dinner instead of eating out. We cut out fatty foods and started eating whole grains. Our meals are pretty simple. We avoid sauces and extra sides, and make sure to have lots of green leafy vegetables and a good protein source.

“Next, we invested in workout equipment for our home. That way, there’s no excuse for not going to the gym to work out. My wife and I are pretty committed to exercising one hour a day, six days a week. We set up the equipment on the back patio, and my wife and I make it family time by watching our son and two dogs play in the backyard while we exercise.

“Eating right and working out have made a huge difference for me. I’m more confident and energetic now, and I really enjoy kicking the ball around with my son. My advice to other associates: It’s all about wanting to do it and sticking to it.”

Assistant Department Manager Rachel Glawson
Lakeland Fresh Foods

Walking club Walking club Lake Hollingsworth“Last summer, I decided to start exercising so I could climb a mountain when we visit Alaska in the summer of 2017. I asked around my department to see if others wanted to exercise and was surprised to find a bunch of my     co-workers interested in joining me. My manager was really supportive, too.

“We agreed on a Life. Inspired. walking club to meet once a week for an hour. Men, women, retirees and spouses — all ages — are welcome. We meet in a different park each week, stretch first and then walk for one hour. We try to challenge ourselves without overdoing it.

“Each associate’s motivation for joining the club is different — to lose weight, to control cholesterol, to get healthy, to be social together or to increase energy. No matter why they started, everyone seems to be enjoying the outcome. People are really seeing results! There’s a board at work where we share helpful information, post pictures and recipes, recommend apps to help track our food and exercise, and motivate one another. We encourage making better choices, and everyone feels like we’re accomplishing this together.”

Quit Tobacco
Centralized Purchasing Coordinator Michelle Chen

Lakeland Facility Services

Michelle Chen

Michelle Chen

“I’ve smoked cigarettes on and off since my 20s. In fact, right before our annual benefits meeting last May, I went on a smoke break just like I did every day of the week. But at the meeting, my boss, Director of Facility Services Ric Truett, talked about the Life. Inspired. program and the importance of quitting tobacco.

“I started thinking about how I hated the taste and smell of cigarettes, and I didn’t like how I smelled after I smoked. I listened to Ric talk about the importance of living healthy, and he said I was worth it. I realized he was right. I am worth it, and so are my kids. I want to be around to see them get married and have children.

“Quitting wasn’t easy, but I changed my mindset to make it happen. I focused on the long-term benefits and just stuck with it. Ric posted a picture of the day I quit on the bulletin board, and my co-workers have helped me stay on track. Because I now have more energy, I’ve been getting involved in 5Ks. I first started only being able to walk at the races, but now I’m able to run some of it. I just set a personal record for my best time yet!”

Achieve Overall Well-being
Manager of Instructional Design Melissa Levitt
Human Resources

Melissa Levitt before.

Melissa Levitt before

Melissa Levitt after.

Melissa Levitt after

“I hit a wall about five years ago. My weight caught up with me in my 40s, and I was taking several medications for diabetes and high blood pressure. The medicines affected my body as much as the weight did. I decided that being classified a step above morbidly obese was no way to live. So, I embarked on a wellness journey that has led me to losing over 200 pounds — more than half my body weight!

“Because of my fitness level and weight, I had to start with water aerobics so the exercise didn’t hurt my knees. Then, through the years, I moved to the treadmill, then to yoga and Zumba Fitness. As I became more fit, I found I have a passion to help others do the same. I’m certified to teach water aerobics and licensed to teach low-impact Zumba, and I’m also a BeachBody Coach. I’m healthier and more fit now at almost 50 years old than I was when I was 25.

“If you’re looking to make a change in 2017, I recommend focusing on making a series of small changes — every single day. It’s taken me five years to get here. It’s not easy, but it’s possible for anyone. You have to find the formula of nutrition and movement that works for you. You only have one body and one life. Recognize that and take care of yourself.”