Body by Vi – 90 Day Challenge – Trying It Out

This was the photo that made me say enough already and find a diet solution. Photo was taken on a green screen in January at at Fox TCA event.

Since I’ve been working out of a home office, I’ve been feeling the pounds slowly creeping on. I’ve tried to keep ahead of them, but, alas, they are winning the fight. I’ve tried every diet out there to lose the 20 pounds that I desire. I’ve been on the one with double W’s (Weight Watchers), The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss and even the one based on Kellogg’s Special K cereal.  My last resort was to try the physically exhausting, P90X, fitness program, but then I started hearing about Visalus’ meal replacement shakes and well that one sounded much easier.

Please note that I am not writing this as part of Visalus’ multi-level marketing plan. I am solely commenting on my experience as a customer using the product. Before I sign up to endorse this weight-loss project, I first have to believe in it. So I’m going to blog from time to time on my results from embarking on this diet and see if it is something that I would recommend for you.

I started my Body by Vi – 90 Day Challenge on Friday, February 24. I ordered the Transformation kit and I am following that program. I am staying in the range of 1200-1400 calories a day and am trying to do some sort of exercise five times a week. My exercise varies from Zumba, to curling to ice skating or even a occassional stroll around the block.

The Transformation Kit provides the fastest weight loss results

I’m replacing two of my meals a day with Vi-Shape shakes (you use their powder and mix in yummy flavorings. My favorite so far is the peanut butter/chocolate flavored shake.) In addition to the two shakes I take two of their Omega Vitals vitamins and 1 metabolism booster supplement tablet daily. They also provide a flavorless hunger control drink mix  and an energy booster mix, called Neuro.

In five days, I can verify that I have lost five pounds and inches. (My official measuring and weigh in day is Friday). I feel great and my energy level is much higher than a week ago. In short, I feel so much better about myself and how I’m fitting into my clothes in less than a week. I do get hungry at times and thus will grab a piece of fruit. But other than that, I’m eating a sensible meal for my one meal a day because I have to remember that I am on a diet.

I put together a short video about why I’m on the 90 Day Challenge and promise to provide video updates as I journey toward my desired goal.

Wish me luck.

 

A New You In 2012

                                                      Lot’s to Celebrate About

I’m Super Excited about 2012. Why? Because of one word “New.”  Throw out everything old and usher in everything New.

Who doesn’t love new things right? Is there anything better than a new car or new house. Or a new dress or a new love or a new baby! New is awesome, don’t you agree. With that, I’ve been spending time looking at what “newness” I can bring to my life and I highly recommend this practice for you too. These aren’t necessarily resolutions, but certainly can be, the choice is up to you.

My “New” Plan includes the following To Do Items.

(1) New Online Branding – With so many social platforms that have my image attached, I’ve been updating each one with a current image of who I am. When I worked in TV, the networks always re-freshed their logos once a year to energize the viewers. Well, the same principle applies here in regards to social photos.

(2) About Me – Several “Blogworld” Conference sessions pointed out that the most overlooked section of our online branding dealt with the “About Us” section of our profiles. Have you read how you are describing yourself on LinkedIn, twitter and Google lately? If not, go back in and do some updating. Let us know about some of your recent hobbies and other such news.

(3) New Job – I’m going to actively pursue a new fulltime corporate job, but, this time I’ve opened my options to include areas that are “new” and will be stretching. I’m so excited to see what transpires as I walk down new paths.

(4) A “New” Attitude – Instead of automatically waiting for the other shoe to drop, I’m going to drink from my half full glass. Yep, I’ve read enough studies lately that prove that individuals who have life-altering events handle them so much better with a positive outlook. Pessimism was so 2011…Optimism is what’s in store for me in 2012.  Here’s what I mean.

  • I will land a new job.
  • I will lose weight.
  • I will continue to exercise.
  • I will continue to take the high road.
  • I will ask for forgiveness and forgive others.
  • I will find love and exude it to others.
  • I will continue to stretch myself and continue to learn new things.

Being Nice To Yourself

(5). I will look for opportunities to “Be Good To Myself.” We are always so hard on ourselves and well, this year, I’m going to be more mindful of what my body and mind are really saying to me and heed that advice. What does this look like? Below are some samples of what I mean.

  • I’ve consolidated my blogs down from four to two now. It was just too hard for me to keep up producing content for each one – so I’m making it easier for myself. And it still is just as effective.
  • I’m reaching out to friends/family whom I cherish and being proactive in staying in touch.
  • I’m looking at groups and clubs in my life and assessing which ones I enjoy and learn from and then spending less time with the others.
  • I’m realizing that life is short and thus, I am not procrastinating on planning things that I want to do.
  • I’m trusting God and putting all worry in His hands. And as such, I’m freeing myself up to enjoy more moments and be the person He wants me to be.

That’s just a quick glance at what “newness” I hope to achieve. I do hope that I’m able to live up to at least half of them…for it sure would be great to enjoy life to its fullest.

I’d love to hear what new things you’re bringing into the “New” Year.

Happy New Year,

Cindy

 

 

 

 

 

Why the US Olympic Curling Coach is Participating in the Sin Sity Spiel

Nick Kitinski, Sin Sity Spiel Commissioner, and I could not be more thrilled to announce that the USCA’s Project 2018 Men’s National Curling Coach Phill Drobnick is participating in the first inaugural Sin Sity Spiel.  Nick and I were able to catch up with Coach Phill today fresh off a win at the Fort Wayne Summer Spiel and in this interview you’ll learn more about him, his position and why he’s coming to Vegas. And if you feel you’d like to hear more from “The Coach” you can for we will sharing Part 2 of our interview in a couple of days.

Sit back and enjoy these 10 minutes with one of the nicest people on this earth. If you are coming to the Spiel be sure to spend some time with this exceptional curler, instructor and coach. If you would like to follow Phill on twitter, you can find him @coachphill.

Good Curling Cindy

 

Best Customer Service Practices Include the Human Touch

Clever Way for A Customer to Make A Point!

Are businesses ever allowed to provide mediocre customer service? Is it okay to leave customers hanging on a phone tree for more than five minutes? Are there industries that should provide excellent service more so than others?

The answer to all three questions above is a resounding NO-at least that’s my $0.02 worth. But, unfortunately, we all experience poor service on a daily basis as customers even from blue-chip enterprises to boot.

If you are a small business owner you are probably cringing at this thought because YOU know that your success lies in the quality of your customer service. So then why do we allow large conglomerates to do that to us all the time? Why do we still give these companies our precious dollars, especially when we expect more out of own business services?

Today I experienced such an experience. Unfortunately, I am dealing with medical issues associated with a loved one. As such, I had to wait for four hours in a hospital lobby while a family member had tests conducted. Since I was just sitting there I had hoped that I could log on to the Internet and quietly get some work completed. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they had a daily wi-fi access code, however, I soon found out that the system does not allow access to Apple devices only PCs. Say WHAT???

PHONE TREES DRIVE YOU UP A TREE!

I think I'll Skip This Place.

This wasn’t a life-threatening situation and I could do other work offline, but this example just got me thinking about all the other times that I’ve been frustrated by poor customer service. I attend dozens of small business connector meetings and each always stresses the importance of guest relations. So why is excellent customer service applicable to small owners and not large conglomerates?

A HUMAN VOICE GOES A LONG WAY IN CUSTOMER SERVICE

I would rather do anything than call my satellite provider, healthcare company or phone service. I know that when I call them I’ll be sitting there for a while. Phone trees that put you in sequence are annoying as are the companies that don’t provide any voice connection like Facebook. Most tech companies now provide email customer service and hide their main phone numbers. I don’t care how great you are in answering email support questions, yes I’m including Google, in this rant as well. There are times when a human voice is the best possible service a company can provide.

What companies drive you crazy with poor support and what companies do you think deserve some applause. Do tell.

TAKE A DAY OFF! It Works for Chick-fil-A

When Is Your Business Closed

Sundays are my personal days to be more human-like and step off the grid. I frown on forwarding and receiving business on this day of rest because I need to recuperate from the past week and get restored for the next. When I receive business-type tweets from others on Sunday, I feel really sorry the people who sent them for those tweets tell me that they are not resting. I rarely tweet on Sundays and when I do it’s about something that I found shareable that occurred at church or another social event. I rarely tweet out anything that I would normally do during a business week. Why?

BECAUSE EVERYONE NEEDS A DAY OF REST

In order to stay  balanced as well as mentally and emotionally healthy you need a day to rest from your electronic devices. You need a day to re-charge your batteries and chat on the phone with friends or go to a social event. Or just some time to do laundry or take a walk.

If you think by not sending business messages out seven days a week you’ll lose business think again. Look at how well does Chick-fil-A restaurants do on a six day work week. It was reported that last year the company’s annual revenue was $3.4 billion. Not too shabby huh.

In an interview with ChristianityToday.com VP of Chick-fil-A Dee Ann Turner said this about being closed on Sundays.

“It is doubtful that a public board of directors would allow Chick-fil-A to stay closed on Sundays…When we started in the mall business, Chick-fil-A always led all the restaurants on sales even though we were only open six days to their seven. I think that is still true even though the majority of the restaurants are now free-standing restaurants.

People always say to S. Truett Cathy (Founder of Chick-fil-A), “You could make so much money if you opened on Sunday.” His response is that we’ve been so successful because we have not been open on Sunday.

Truett’s children, two sons and a daughter, actually wrote a covenant that they would not do two things: 1) Sell the company or go public, and 2) Open on Sunday.

A lot of people believe the no Sunday practice originated due to Truett Cathy’s faith. And it did evolve to relate to that over time, but originally they closed on Sunday because Truett was exhausted. He needed rest. He said that if a person couldn’t earn a living in six days, then he needs to do something else.

It was about rest, but also about spending the time to rejuvenate and get strong again to serve his customers. As he hired people, he also realized how important it was for his employees to also have a day off.”

So what’s your philosophy on taking a day off? Do you agree with Truett Cathy? I do. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hluPrHZYC98?modestbranding=1

 

 

 

 

Fishing is a lot like PR

A big catch always makes your Day in PR.

While watching Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” it dawned on me how fishing for king crab is a lot like pitching for media coverage. The similarities are astounding so much so–that I’m wondering now if I should start calling myself a fisher-person instead of a publicist. I’m not talking about sport fishing here. I’m talking about those individuals whose livelihood is bringing in big catches. Like us publicists, we receive our earnings too by the success of our takes.

THIS IS NOT ANOTHER FISH STORY

Think this is a laughing matter (wink, wink), just take a look at these occupational comparisons.

  • Fishermen use charts to find fish; publicists use media plans
  • Fishermen often go off of instinct to find fish; so do publicists as to who might like the story.
  • Fishermen need the right bait to catch particular fish; publicist must make sure that their pitch is news-worthy and right for that publication.
  • Fishermen can go through spurts without big hauls; the same is true for publicists.
  • Sometimes fisherman must play a waiting game for the fish to surface; ditto in the publicity realm.
  • Fisherman have to release smaller fish at times: publicists sometimes have to do they same in order to gain a keeper-a larger hit.

I could go on and on with the comparisons, and I did! Just take a look at this tongue in cheek PR fishing video below that I filmed last night.  (Note to self: Don’t ever use a magnet when fishing out of a metal pail. Boy that was dumb! lol)

Also, I must warn you – if you are ever trying to reach me and I’d don’t answer – now you’ll know why. I’ve gone PR fishing!

[youtube width="640" height="360"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUOEsviVeLM[/youtube]


I couldn't resist including this photo of me when I hiked Beverly Hills' Franklin Canyon Park. Behind me is the shooting location for the opening of "The Andy Griffith Show."

 

Yes You Can Start A Blog

Blogger Cindy Ronzoni says, "I can't help but smile every time I finish a piece. Still can't believe we can have personal voices on the web." - goofy self portrait

When I was in between permanent work positions a few years ago, I had the urge to try out blogging.  As a PR pro, I had worked with bloggers, and thus, had some semblance as to what they did.  I really had no idea how to start one and what it was all about…that was in 2008. Now, four years later I’m thriving as a blogger and can’t envision a day when I won’t have an active blog or two.

I love blogging! I can’t begin to tell you about the personal freedom it has given me. At first, I didn’t know what to write. I mean, prior to 2008, all my writing and voice had been exhibited through corporate communication efforts like statements, press releases and/or pitches. I had never been able to interject my personal opinion or beliefs in anything I had ever done except diaries and journals. I always represented the company with anything I had ever written.

Thanks to a friend who got me all set up with my first WordPress blog, I was ready to start exploring who I was and what I stood for. It was hard to start and I found myself often staring at a black screen. I felt like so “naked.” I didn’t know what I could write and was scared about having a voice. Some of  the thoughts I had were these questions:  Would I write something that would cause controversy? Would anyone care what I had to say? Could I even do this?

Bloggging is Alive and Well in Colleges Credit: Cindy Ronzoni

I fumbled a bit at the start, but now I have hit my stride transforming and refining my content over time. For you see, the more you practice at something the better you get.

JUST DO IT

I love having my own voice on the web.  And that’s my wish for you too. I want to encourage you start blogging today. Put those fears aside and just do it. If you don’t know how to begin…send me a note or check out WordPress.com or Blogger.com or heck, even tumblr.com is a fantastic place to start. It’s so much easier now setting up websites…you can do it!

BLOGGING IS THRIVING

Recently, I experienced the perfect trifecta. I was absolutely in my glory for I was able to mix my thirst for news, my love of blogging and passion for teaching college-aged students in one full swoop. I taught a college journalism class where the students blogged for their homework. At first I wondered how they were doing finding “their voice” on the web.  I also was curious about what that age group had to say…what drove them and where their passions lie.  I let them write about something that they were interested in…they had full reign to write whatever they wanted. The only thing I required was that they would email me their posts. I was blown away by the “voices” I heard back.

They covered non-profits. Several told me about their favorite hockey teams and how they hoped they’d make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Some moved me when they spoke about how dance affects their lives. Others shared their souls about being confused about their future. And most wanted to make things “right” in this world.  They had deep and heart-felt suggestions. They care and they have voices that need to be heard.

And the same is true for you.

Start blogging today, but be careful – for it does become addicting.

Let me know how it goes for you – please send me your first post so I can congratulate you properly and keep encouraging you to write on!

Happy Blogging,

Cindy

 

 

 

Is the Dancing with the Stars Wardrobe Getting Too Risque?

I know this post is going to upset a few of the men out there and some readers may label me a prude. But, I’m taking a risk and saying it. Don’t you think that some of women’s dance costumes on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” are a bit too risque for prime time viewing? I do.

“SWEET FANCY MOSES”

As I watched the season opener of “Dancing with the Stars” last Monday night, I noticed a few of the women’s costumes were a bit more revealing than usual.  Not all of the costumes were that way, most were fine and age appropriate for the respective dancer.  But, when I saw what they had Chelsie Hightower dressed in….the only response I had was what George and Jerry exclaimed when they watched Elaine’s wacky dance in the Seinfeld episode “The Little Kicks”.Sweet Fancy Moses! Ms. Hightower’s outfit was barely a dress and was probably made out of less than a half-a-yard of shimmery fabric! Take a look. The only spot of fabric on her backside was a 12 inch area of cloth covering her bootie. To view this dress in action click on video link: Dancing With The Stars Relive the Opener

Sweet Fancy Moses - Chelsie's Dress is Short and Missing its Back Side

Yes, Ms. Hightower is beautiful and physically fit and can wear that costume well. But, that’s not the point. I mean – isn’t the show about dancing and not about selling something else. If I was a male fan of the show, I think one of the reasons I would enjoy watching it is to see the scantily clad women! Is this really necessary ABC?

INAPPROPRIATE OR APPROPRIATE?

I know that women dress in barely there bikinis when at the beach or pool. I also am aware of some of the outfits that gals wear to the gym look like underwear. The public is exposed to revealing clothing all the time and there’s no way to control it. But, ABC is a corporation that can control its decency. I mean if a someone wears a logo on clothing that is not a sponsor of the show, then we see black duct tape put over that logo. And sometimes, low cleavage is blurred in live programming…but, on this show I sometimes wonder about the outfits.

Season 11 contestant Audrina Partridge Did In Fact Wear A Bikini on the Show

Well, I guess that statement isn’t 100 percent true. I don’t wonder about the outfits. I know perfectly well about how they cast the show.  They cast the “older” favorites, the models, the younger sensations, the athletes and yes, handsome hunks too.  They cast every demo. And to be fair, they do at times dress the young, fit gals in less revealing wardrobes, especially when they perform dances like the waltz.

I’d love to hear what you think? Your turn to discuss the wardrobe on Dancing with the Stars. Bring on the conversation.

 

 

 

 

Favor or Gifts?

Moving Friends is One of the Most Common Favors

Marketing Genius Seth Godin presented two very interesting thoughts regarding favor and gifts. His last two blog posts have dealt with each respectively and I’ve been puzzled every since I’ve read them.  For upon further reflection, both are extremely complex in how you use them in business.  They also say much about the personality of your company and brand.

FAVOR VS. GIFTS

So let me ask you a few questions about this issue.

Do you provide favors? And if so, do you expect something in return?

And if you answer no, that you don’t normally expect anything in return, then is that a gift?

These questions are perplexing for I believe that one good deed does deserve another.  I also am a woman of deep faith and believe that doing good things in the world is what I should always try and do. For instance, last year I provided resume writing services to homeless individuals.  I did this service as a volunteer fully knowing that I wouldn’t get anything in return. In fact, I didn’t want anything in return.  It was a personal gift to them and an honor that they let me help them.

That instance was an easy one for me.  It gets personally harder when I decide to help a professional, who has money, and provide a service as a favor. To be honest, my motives for those favors is the hope that they would recommend me for future business.  But, that’s not a solid guarantee.  So as I’m writing this, I’m asking myself – should I provide less business favors and only do so if I can ask for a tangible favor back? My business side says yes. My Christian heart says no.

THE PRESSURES OF FAVORS

The problem with favors is the fact that they do “one up you” to the recipient. Although, the words are never stated, the sentiment is there that I’m helping you with this, but at a later date, I’m going to ask you for a favor.  That sentiment is understood without words and is what Seth calls the “social contract.”

I personally do not ask for many favors – I probably should ask for more. So I think I will be a bit wiser now regarding each instance. If a business associate is asking me for a business favor, I might be a bit bolder and ask them how they could provide me with some extra help.  I’ve never done that.

I will treat each instance separately and decide whether or not I am willing to provide a gift or favor.

I am so thankful for these timely blog posts by Mr. Godin.  If he never penned this idea, I don’t think I would have ever changed my business tactics.

THE ANSWER COULD BE NO

And again, sometimes, the best answer to a favor is “no.”

Therefore, in conclusion, you control when you give a gift or not.  And when you bestow favor.

How do you dole out favor?

Please comment, I’d love to hear how you handle this sensitive subject.  LOL – You’d be doing me a favor by sharing your thoughts on this business approach.

 

Cindy

 

 

 

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