Weight Loss is all about content strategy. No, really.

IMG_0178.JPGFear not, TechCommGeekMom readers, I am still here!

I have had an incredibly busy summer. While some places might have a slow-down during the summer, my summer cranked up instead! I’ve been so mentally exhausted by the end of the day that writing or even curating content has been just out of the question. The good news about that work-related mental exhaustion is that most of what I’ve had to do this summer was truly dig into some content strategy with several clients at work, so at least it’s been productive. I’ve now found a free moment while on vacation to see if I can catch up a little bit here.

One of the things I’ve been working on this summer is myself. I’ve been really unhappy with my health, more specifically, my weight. Anyone who has met me knows that I’m a “fluffy mama”, as my son says. It’s been finally time to do something about it, so I’ve been really concentrating on that. I’m fortunate that among those who support my weight loss efforts of eating better and exercising are several of my STC/tech comm friends, which makes it that much easier to bear. At this writing, I’ve lost over twenty pounds this summer (although it doesn’t look like I’ve lost an ounce), and I’m eating very differently (a lot less!) and exercising by walking long distances and by using my stair-elliptical machine like a crazy woman.

One of the things I figured out early on in this change in my lifestyle was that it really is all about content strategy. Yes, weight loss and getting healthy really is all about content strategy. No, really, it is. Let me explain.

The first thing that makes me align weight loss with content strategy is counting calories. Counting calories is like doing an inventory assessment of your content. You have to look at how much food you are eating, and see if you are eating too much, or eating too little. In my case, I was eating too much. I had to learn to cut back, and start doing word counts–I mean, count calories. Part of that assessment also involves figuring out what content can stay, and what needs to go. I figured out that having Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy Ice Cream had to go, but small amounts of chocolate frozen yogurt could stay. Choosing the right content is part of the process. Yes, I can still have chocolate, but I have to make different choices of which food items would fit into my eating plan. Counting calories is also like keeping within a budget. One is allotted a certain number of calories, and if you go over the allotment, then you have to answer for it. You can balance that budget with cost-cutting measures like exercise, which gives you an opportunity to show what works with your content and what doesn’t work. What foods are providing energy and which ones aren’t? Which ones enhance your calories counts, and which ones don’t? What is providing positive results or negative results? Which tactics are helping you reach your weight loss goal, and which ones are making the process more difficult?

Every single day for the last few months has been a daily task of doing an inventory assessment, keeping within a budget, figuring out the right content that should go into my body, and what would be the best content to make my weight loss work. Managing this content will need to be done on a continual basis until I reach my weight goal (about 65 pounds from now) and proper maintenance of this balance content will always have to be adjusted even once I reach my weight goal, to make sure that the content will help support whatever status my system needs in the future.

Doesn’t it all sound familiar?

Even if you aren’t watching your weight, look at your own health as a content strategy project. You’ll find the similarities in the process amazingly similar. You’ll also find that the content you put in and edit will improve, just like it does when you are writing and editing content.

(For those who are curious, I’m using FitBit and the My Fitness Pal apps to help me assess my daily stats. Call them my personal Google Analytics. If you want to follow my progress or support each other in health goals, let me now and we can connect!)

What do you think?

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Who Has a License to Drive the Information Superhighways?

The former U.S. Vice President Al Gore coined the term, “information superhighways” to describe the Internet. It was a great political slogan, and Gore was certainly one of the most internet-friend…

Source: humanistnerd.culturecom.net

My friend Ray Gallon has written an interesting article exploring how we should be looking at the "information superhighways". He’s provided some great thought-provoking ideas about how we access these "roadways". Take a look. 

–techcommgeekmom

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Taking Your Blogging Back to Basics – Notes from a Floating Life on scriptogr.am

Notes from a Floating Life | Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

Source: scottnesbitt.info

This is a fantastic blog post about…blog posts. Scott Nesbitt does an excellent job of reminding us to keep it simple, and concentrate on the content. My blog has never been one that got caught up in too much "bling", and I’m proud of that. Read what Scott has to say. It’s good. 

–techcommgeekmom

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Microsoft may do the unthinkable to make you dump XP, Vista and Windows 7

Windows is one of Microsoft’s main money makers, and the company is interested in seeing as many current Windows users move to its latest operating system as possible. However, no matter what the company does, there still are plenty of users who are on older Windows versions, including Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. ZDNet has learned that Microsoft may be working on a huge Windows 9 surprise to convince reluctant users to finally move to the latest Windows operating system available. The company is reportedly considering offering some sort of Windows 9 upgrade deal to XP, Vista and Windows 7 users, with a completely free upgrade option also on the table. This isn’t the first time free Windows 9

Source: news.yahoo.com

This is interesting news. I can understand dumping Windows XP and Windows Vista, but I admit I’m one of those Windows 7 holdouts myself. While Windows 8.1 does seem to be a slight improvement over Windows 8, I still haven’t been entirely convinced that it’s time to upgrade yet. Perhaps, if some of these rumors mentioned in the article come to fruition, then I might be tempted. 
–techcommgeekmom 

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I’m a Mom. (Sorry, I’m Not Sorry.)

Recently over brunch & Bellinis, a mommy friend of mine asked me about an article that I published here on LinkedIn, 7 Sanity-Saving Tips for Busy Mompreneurs. It wasn’t that she was curious about

Source: www.linkedin.com

This is not limited to moms in technical communication, but all moms that work. I don’t regret that I took time off to be a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) for a few years during my son’s early years, because if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have figured out his developmental issues and gotten help properly. It was because I was at home at the time that he’s doing well today. At the same time, family has always come first. I sacrificed growth in my career during those SAHM years, but it was worth it to see my child thrive.  

 

The author of this article makes excellent points that I completely agree with. Parents–both men and women–shouldn’t be penalized for being a parent. Women get penalized more severely because more often they are the primary caretakers of children, although I know there are exceptions. For the most part, a lot of the parenting responsibilities fall on the moms. Over the years, fathers are taking on more responsibilities than before, but there are many families in which the responsibilities are not divided equally (my own included, but I’ve had my husband step up more over the years). Somehow in a country that likes to try to promote family values, we’ve lost that in favor of corporate dominance. It goes back to identity–are you a person who works at your job, or are you a person who IS your job? When I work for a company, I can be loyal to that company and its goals, but not at the expense of my family to get ahead.  The author’s last paragraph is my own credo. And it really should be the credo of ALL parents, not just moms. 

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What Happens When a School District Gives Teens Laptops

School officials at one Hoboken school thought it was a no-brainer to give every student a laptop. Now they’ve decided it was a terrible idea.

Source: www.wnyc.org

This article comes to me by way of my friend, GeekMom.com editor Andrea Schwalm. 

 

I actually feel outraged reading this. The US wonders why it’s behind, and when measures are put in place to provide tools to help kids keep up or get ahead, they aren’t working. In this case, it looked like the school district didn’t come up with a definitive plan before distributing the laptops out. Kids will be kids, but at the same time, I get the feeling that they haven’t been taught that laptops are not toys, but equipment or instruments, and need to be cared for. If a teenager had a high-end smartphone, you KNOW there would be consequences for needing to fix or replace one of those! 

 

My son’s small private school gives all the kids laptops–MacBook Air laptops, in fact. They distribute them in September, and take them back in the summer. Every year, parents have to signed waivers and such that say that if something happens to the laptop, especially if the kid is given permission by the parent to bring the laptop home, then any repairs or replacement is on the parent.  The same should happen with school districts as well. I guarantee that a lot more laptops would come back undamaged if parents knew that if something happened to them, they need to replace the machine. Many families can’t afford one, so it promotes responsibility. 

 

With a better plan in place on how laptops and tablets can be used in the classroom and for school work, with a written understanding that the device is not a toy but rather an expensive tool to be used and mastered, then perhaps there’s hope. The article mentions that other places have made it work. Perhaps the districts where this implementation did not work need to take few lessons from those where it did work. You can’t implement something like this without careful consideration and a plan. You need a strategy, and it doesn’t sound like Hoboken really thought it out. 

 

Perhaps rather than throwing all those laptops out, they should donate them to another school district who has a plan and be more appreciative of the chance to get kids up to speed in technology. 

 

(Oh, and yes, teacher/staff training is important and lacking, but I could go on about that too. That’s part of having a good plan, after all. )

–techcommgeekmom

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“Lucy, you have some ‘splanin’ to do!”: Considering your ESL Customers

Lucille-Ball-Desi-ArnazContent Rules Inc. was kind enough to extend their invitation to have me blog for them again. This time, it’s on a subject that’s near and dear to their hearts as well as mine.

This article talks about my own personal experiences in trying to use standardized language. Whether you use standardized language in your personal or professional life, it’s something that one needs to keep in mind as a writer, especially when writing for a global audience, and even more so if you are writing for a digital format that is easily accessed through the Internet. It’s not easy to do, but it’s something that should be tucked in the back of every writer’s brain.

Read the article for more:
“Lucy, you have some ‘splanin’ to do!”: Considering your ESL Customers

Many thanks again to Val Swisher and the gang at Content Rules, Inc. for the opportunity!

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