Birders, Business and You
Birders and business have more in common with you than you think
FACT: Many of us are suffering from the COVID 5-10-15 or more. Yes, that is the dreaded weight gain. How did that happen you might ask? When did you notice it? And what can you do about it.
How did it happen
You got dressed and pulled on your jeans and said to yourself YIKES, what happened?
Let’s begin with the how. Most people were required to stay at home about mid-March of 2020. During that time, we were stressed about where to find toilet paper, milk, sugar and more. Not only were we stressed about the physical items and the empty store shelves, but many of us were responsible for their child or grandchildren and their schooling at home.
The good news is that many people began cooking and baking more. The bad news is that what was being made at home was bread, cake and cookies. We also drank more alcohol, just saying.
Business and trends
Let switch to business (stay with me, it will all make sense)
During my business career, I frequently did analyzes. Were sales up or down, was there a particular product that was selling more or less. Which sales professional was over or under performing. I was always looking for trends and patterns to help me make recommendations and better decisions.
Many businesses that we are familiar with (think Walmart, CostCo, CVS, etc) mine and trend data to identify customer trends/pattern to assess customer purchasing preferences, frequency of visits, etc. This information drives new product introduction, discounts, specials and more. If you are on social media, you will notice ads that pop up. These ads are based on trends the algorithm is seeing about what you are viewing. Just watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix and you will really be frightened.
Let’s now switch to birders. Are you still with me?
Yes, those people who watch birds to learn about their behaviors and other nuances. An article in Harvard Business Review titled Spotting Patterns on the Fly: A Conversation with Birders David Sibley and Julia Yoshida discusses how recognizing patterns is important in business, health and bird watching.
Sibley and Yoshinda stated that recognizing bird patterns often relies on the birders instinct, or as I always like to say, our gut feeling.
Think about the information the birder needs to know. There are males and female birds, birds that migrate and birds that have different songs and sounds. There are specific bird populations depending on geography, time of year and the type of habitat in that locale.
How does this all relate
Our own health is certainly easier to look at than the patterns that a birder needs to recognize. Think of it. Did we recognize we were gaining more weight? My guess is that is slowly crept up until you went YIKES, 6 months later.
Businesses can’t be successful without data and trends, birders can’t figure out bird behavior and habits without trends and information, and we certainly need data as well to get a handle on our health.
What can you do
To get a handle on this gain? We need to determine a few things:
1. Our patterns of eating and drinking. Do we tend to eat and drink more in the evening, do we find ourselves snacking during the day? Write it down! This is business, your business and health.
2. How much activity we are getting? Are you walking, doing exercise at home? Are you moving more, or sitting and binge watching TV? No judgement, just write down home many hrs you are sitting vs. moving. If you are tethered to zoom meeting, remember the days when you use to walk to meetings? That counts!
FACT: If we are sedentary, stressed (those cortisol levels will get us) and eating more we will gain weight. People generally gain 2-5 pounds over the holidays. Think about it, we have been eating and drinking for the past 6-7 months like we do during the holidays.
THE MATH: 6 months x 2 pounds/month = THE COVID 12 +/-
Determining your patterns
Looking at your patterns and being self-aware is important to determine where the issues might be. Think back to my business spread sheets or the birds in migration.
For my husband and me, it’s chips and dip at 5 pm, and a glass of wine.
Change your ways, not radical, but slightly
1. Drink a large glass of water before that first chip – it will fill you up a bit.
2. Substitute celery, carrots, peppers – something healthy for chips. NOTE: Prepare them and have them ready to go on the weekend, that way you won’t avoid cutting and prepping the veggies.
3. Make better food choices. Homemade hummus is relatively healthy vs. other types of high fat dips. If you are getting it in the store – please read the labels and look for something lower in fat, salt and sugar.
4. MOST IMPORTANT: Put out only what you want to eat if you are a snacker like we have become and not have the bag or container sitting next to you. If you are like me, it will be gone before you realize it.
5. Move more. If you walk for an hour, you will burn about 300 calories. One glass of wine (5 ozs) is about 125 calories. There are about 140 calories in 15 chips corn chips. You get the idea. You can walk off in 1 hour about 30 chips. I can down that many if the bag is sitting in front of me.
We may not be able to stop the stress, but we can look at our own trend line and get it going in a better direction by making a few minor adjustments.
Two easy trends you should do regularly to see where you are. Recommend every week while you are getting started.
- Weight yourself daily,
- Measure your waistline (here’s a link to my blog on your waist).
Next time I will write more on other important trends that can affect your health such as sleep, resting heart rate, blood results and more.
Until next time, be your own birder or business and start logging and looking at those trends.