Thursday, August 26, 2010

Business Is A Gamble

I recently read, Rising Tide: Lessons from 165 Years in Brand Building at Procter & Gamble, by David Dyer, Frederick Dalzell and Rowena Olegario. At 476 pages, it was quite the hefty tome. The jewel of the book was hidden back in the epilogue: Principles of Brand Building. They held true then, and they still hold true today, no matter your business.

10 Principles of Brand Building

1. Do the Right Thing

A commitment to good products and a commitment to improve communities in which you operate.

2. Cultivate a Passion For Winning

Strive to outdo rivals as well as yourself.

3. Sustaining Brands Is a Never-Ending Challenge

If brands are neglected, they will wither.

4. The Consumer Is Boss

The consumer must be at the heart of everything you do.

5. Individuals Make A Difference

The interests of employer and the employee are inseparable and individuals should be treated with dignity.

6. Discipline Counts

Gather a mass of data, analyze and reflect on it before developing a plan of action.

7. Innovate Constantly, Everywhere

8. Lead Change
Companies do not sustain success without anticipating and leading innovation and change.

9. Alliances Create Advantage

10. Partner with Customers

While I enjoy reading the newest business books, I also enjoy the older ones for they still have things to teach us.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Do What I Can't

The simple truth is that I cannot do anything to reverse/cure/get rid of my Type 1 Diabetes. I was diagnosed 21 years ago this month. 21 years ago, they told me there would be a cure in 5 years, so please excuse me if I no longer get excited every time there is a "breakthrough". I am perfectly fine living the rest of my life as a Type 1 diabetic. My insulin pump makes my life easier, my attitude makes my life wonderful.

I'd thought about raising money for the JDRF in honor of my 21st year of diagnosis, I briefly thought about having a party. But what I really want. What I really, really, really want, is for everyone I know to do everything they can to prevent themselves from getting Type 2 Diabetes. And if they have already been diagnosed, doing everything to reverse/lessen it.

Even after 21 years, I still remember being the terrified 14 year old who found herself in the Intensive Care Unit, saddled with a chronic disease with no cure. So if not for me, do it for her.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Make Every Exercise A Core Exercise

It's been about six weeks, so it's time to change my strength training routine. My push ups, planks and ab exercises are all going to get harder. And rather than increasing my weight amount this time, I'm going to actually decrease it, but add more stability work.

Each exercise is done 15 times (*= 15 times each side):

5 minute warm up

Lateral lunge with one legged biceps curl (13.5 lbs)
Step ups (bench is 10.5 inches high) with overhead shoulder press (13.5 lbs)

Rear lateral raise on stability ball (8 lbs)
Dumbbell fly on stability ball (8 lbs)

Skull crushers on stability ball (8 lbs)
Stacked feet push ups

Wingman (3 lbs)
V Tucks

Oblique V Ups*
Superman on stability ball*

This routine is done 3 times a week.

Week One: I do one set of each exercise
Week Two-Three: I do two sets of each exercise
Weeks Four-Five: I do three sets of each exercise


Monday, August 16, 2010

Save Your Life With Your Cell

When my husband I go cross country skiing, we usually leave the cell phones in the car (no reception). The June 2009 issue of Backpacker Magazine has now taught to never do that again.

Please read the entire article, but here are some hi lights:

* A text message requires less power and can transmit over a weaker connection
* Make sure your emergency contact knows your phone number AND carrier, which will save rescuers valuable time.

Worst case scenario, you can use your cell phone to start a survival fire.

See you on the trail!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Draw A Line

Some people call me lazy, some people call me brilliant. (Only the ones that call me brilliant survive.) Originally to aide in treatment of my low blood sugars, (instead of trying to measure out Gatorade/Powerade while my heart is pounding and adrenaline is coursing through me) I drew 8 oz marks ("mustaches") on the outside of our *well loved* plastic cups. All I have to do is pour and go.

I realized recently, that I've also been using the mustache glasses for other things. I want 8 oz. (one serving size) of Chocolate Soy Milk but don't want to get out the measuring cup? Bingo! I use the mustache cup. I want 8 oz. (one serving size) of apple juice? Bingo! Mustache cup.

I suppose I could also just drink out of one of those glass measuring cups, but even I have my limits, that would be truly strange.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Learn From Your Grandmother

Even though all of my Grandmothers have long since passed away, I still remember many of the things they taught me. (Grandmothers are smart.) So I was delighted when I came across Erin Bried's How To Sew A Button: And Other Nifty Things Your Grandmother Knew. A light, but educational book, it would make a perfect graduation/off to college or wedding/commitment ceremony gift. The intended audience is women, but the majority of the tips are non-gender specific.

One of my favorite tips from the book--

Topic: How To Knit A Scarf:

If you poop out early, either set aside your project for later or cast off and congratulate yourself for making one amazing pot holder.

Go call your Grandmother, she'd love to hear from you.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Take A Closer Look

I'd say I've lost about 15 lbs in the past year. And according to the height/weight charts I have 15 more to go (but the exact number is debatable). I definitely have subcutaneous fat (I need it to insert the needle of my insulin pump infusion sets) but the amount of it is lessening. I have yet to read what it actually feels/looks like to be losing fat and gaining muscle, and it's taken me a few weeks to come up with a scenario to share with you, but here it is.

Ok, picture a 10 X 10 X 5 inch sheet of Jello (Lemon flavored). It wiggles, it jiggles, etc. This is me a year ago.

Ok, now put a cookie sheet under the Jello and slice it down to 2 inches high. Take a spoon and lightly carve out some of the Jello. This is me 9 months ago. The cookie sheet is like a wall of my developed muscles, and the reduction in Jello is a reduction in overall fat due to weight training, cardio and food management.

Ok, now every 6-8 weeks, poor warm water over the Jello and watch the whole thing shrink just a little. This is where I am now.

It's not glamorous, but it's what happens. I thought someone should explain it.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Reach A Little More

Martin and I have been playing MahJong (which means "sparrow" in Chinese) together for about a year. His recent interest in the Portland, OR MahJong Society has enabled us to play even more than usual. There are many, many types of MahJong, but we've been playing by World Series of MahJong rules (WSOM). I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the nuances of the game, and thankfully everyone in the Portland MahJong Society is very patient.

So on Sunday, we all met at a campground near Mt. Mood, set up our tables and tiles and played.

Martin and I ended up sitting with two foreign exchange students from Japan, and played the Japanese version of MahJong, often called Riichi. It was a little more complicated than WSOM MahJong, and I had to stretch my brain a bit, but everyone was patient and helpful and we ended up having a lot of fun.

One of the Japanese exchange students asked me if he thought Americans knew what MahJong was. I replied that I think most people have heard of it, and know that it involves tiles, but don't know how to play.

Am I right? Do you know about it, but not how to play?

If you'd like to learn, please join us at the next Portland, OR MahJong Society Meet Up!