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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6 Responses to Weight Loss is all about content strategy. No, really.

  1. Happy to be a part of your Fitbit/MyFitnessPal support group of techcomm folks. You’ve given me food for thought… :)

  2. Larry Kunz says:

    Danielle, I really like how you’ve tied together a weight-loss regimen with content strategy. I think your points are spot-on. Count me in as part of your support team!

    Here’s some more food for thought that you might like: http://bit.ly/1viskyT

    • Wow, congrats on your big weight loss! And thanks for being on the support team! I like your article found in the link you provided as well. I think it complements this one nicely. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. Paladin says:

    I’ve started this strategy over 18 months and 68 pounds ago. Being an engineer though, I look at it as a Law of Physics, Conservation of Energy. Calories are a measure of energy contained in food. Calories expended via exercise is the amount of energy used to do the exercise. At it’s most basic, if you don’t expend more calories than you consume, you will gain weight. A calorie deficit will produce weight loss. Obviously there are complicating factors, like disease, or other medical factors that complicate things, like thyroid. However, the physical law remains unchanged.

    • You are right that there is physical science at work here. No doubt about that. But to take your point to the same analogy, do we want to expend a lot of words (calories) to achieve little results, or expend our words/calories wisely for the best outcome? Or in your example, a calorie deficit will achieve weight loss–a positive result from efficiency. I personally do have a medical complication that makes weight loss difficult. In content strategy, there is usually some obstacle in the way. It’s not always evident in the planning stages how it will impact the outcome, but it does make an appearance at some point, and that’s when alternate strategies need to be employed. We can’t always anticipate the impact of those obstacles from the outset, but by the time we’re done with our project, we’ve figure out how to adapt for optimum results.

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