Being Less Fat

Liz Welch at Inc. Magazine interviewed me in 2010 as part of her regular “The Way I Work” series. I had just moved to Seattle as part of my overall goal of (occasionally) detaching myself Silicon Valley.

In the article I talk about my erratic sleep patterns and my overall weight gain – some 50 pounds since I started TechCrunch in 2005.

In the year since I visited a sleep center and began focusing on getting enough sleep at regular hours. After a year of that my life has changed dramatically for the better. But the weight just kept creeping up. In the late summer 2011 I was a good 70 pounds heavier than I was when I started TechCrunch. And probably 90 pounds over my ideal weight.

Basically, I’m fat.

Being fat sucks. I’m not talking about the way I look. I’ve always been fairly comfortable in my own skin. But there are a whole bevy of health issues that fat people have to deal with. You don’t live as long as you should, and your quality of life is diminished substantially.

I’m trying to take control of this issue in my own way, and for the last several weeks I’ve been experimenting with a complete shift in lifestyle. So far, so good. And since a lot of people in our world deal are dealing with weight gain and health issues resulting from sitting in front of a computer for 16 hours a day, I thought I’d share.

The lightbulb went off in my head as I was reading Neal Stephenson’s new book Reamde (buy it here). In the book a character works at his computer from a treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical machine.

That prompted me to research “treadmill desks” and read about people’s experiences with them. Some people can’t stick with it, but a lot do. And the benefits are staggering. You’ll burn an extra 150 calories or so per hour. Most people say that they’re significantly more alert during the day, and they sleep much better at night.

So I jumped in. I elected not to buy a $5,000 unit (there are a couple out there), and building one myself seemed like too much trouble. Instead I bought a “TrekDesk” on Amazon and a cheap treadmill. I’ve been walking at 1.5 mph for 7-8 hours a day on average over the last few weeks. Some days I’m logging over 15 miles walking.

That’s not all though. I’m also using a Withings wifi scale to track my weight, and I’ve shared it with friends so they can keep an eye on it. The scale itself works great. The software is terrible but it does the job.

The final product I’m using is a Jawbone Up device. It’s a pedometer (very handy), it tracks sleep and it has a vibrating alarm feature to wake me up – much like the Lark device that I love so much. The only complaint I have about the Jawbone Up is that it doesn’t track steps very well on a treadmill with my hands up at a keyboard. But from what I can tell all pedometers seem to have this problem.

Things are just getting started. But the fact that I’m sleeping properly and have revamped my diet with my doctor, combined with actually walking miles and miles a day, has already had a profoundly positive effect on me.

I’ll update in a couple of months with any progress. If all goes well, in a year or two my body may have forgiven me for the TechCrunch years. We’ll see.

108 thoughts on “Being Less Fat

  1. Douglas Crets says:

    I’ve heard it said that we should be grateful for what has been taken from us and what remains. I sense that you are profoundly better off for what is about to happen. It just feels this way. Good luck.

  2. I thought this article was going to be about startups cutting out wasteful spending.

  3. It’s awesome that you’re choosing to talk about this openly. Hopefully it will be an inspiration to others throughout the tech community. Good luck!

  4. deepak says:

    Wish you all the best.

  5. Mark Dawson says:

    About 12 months I discovered two things that have changed my lifestyle completely, the first was Crossfit ( basically 20 minutes of the most intense exercise you have ever done, a few times a week makes an amazing change. The next was discovering the Paleo lifestyle, this book by Robb Wolf is a great place to start, pretty much all the crossfit gyms have plans for 30 paleo challenges etc, you will lose weight and have more energy 🙂

  6. CS Farley says:

    If you’re in Seattle, check out Club ZUM downtown. They have great staff and helped me lose 60 lbs when I lived up there. I miss the place.

  7. Good luck — losing weight is hard.

  8. ip2k says:

    You should check out the Zeo for sleep monitoring. I like mine quite a bit. The fitbit is a joke for sleep monitoring because it only tracks movement. The Zeo actually reads your brain waves and can tell the difference between REM, deep, and light sleep. The software is pretty great as well (webapp). I have the Zeo Mobile. The bedside one is kind of strange because it just puts data onto an SD card which you have to manually move over to a computer to upload to the site (might have been OK 10 years ago, but my Squeezebox has had WiFi for a long time…).

    Anyway, good luck with the weight loss! I’m moving to SF soon and I ride the shit out of my bike when I can, but right now I work evenings at a place 30 miles away because Michigan sucks for tech stuff (which is why I’m moving).

  9. Peter says:

    Awesome. I made this change 7 months ago as well. So far so good, I’ve been much more active and visited gym almost daily. I’ve tried this before and those times I started exactly like that, bought a lot of gadgets et all. Invested time in planning etc. However, those actually made things more difficult and end of the day it’s so fucking simple: eat less and move more.

  10. Ian says:

    I lost 30 pounds in a month following tim ferris’ four hour body, you should check it out

  11. I know it would be less convenient than just using the Jawbone, but you could always try an ankle pedometer. I don’t imagine using a treadmill desk would affect it at all.

  12. ItsLeeOwen says:

    I appreciate this article, and feel a similar calling. So far my only action has been replacing one meal a day with a Kale smoothie as inspired by Joe Rogan. But returning to a standup workstation and more regular cardio is something I should do too. Train by day, Joe Rogan podcast by night, all day.

  13. Brady says:

    I would also recommend Tim Ferris’ 4 hour body and Gary Taubes’ ‘Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It (Borzoi Books)’ .. I have lost 35lbs this year through it. Also agree on the Zeo..It is excellent. Good luck, and writing this post is a really good part of your plan too

  14. Maya says:

    Good luck Mike! It sounds like you’re doing really well already, and best wishes for continued success!

  15. Brian McPherson says:

    Good for you. I use a Fitbit and that helps a lot, but the biggest change (other than simply exercising a lot and eating lots of veges and lean proteins and avoiding sugar and white flour) is that I track everything I eat using the Fitbit app or web portal. Huge part of my 25 pound weight loss since August. (Suggested by Ian Rogers, whom you may know – thanks Ian!). Really, try it – and be honest. Even if you eat something stupid. I try to keep daily calories around 1,500- 1,750 and try to walk 10 miles in addition to weight lifting and pilates – goal is to burn 4,000 calories a day. Been losing about 2 lbs a week this way – nice and slow. Good luck!

  16. Bradley says:

    Michael, why not take the $10M (or more) you earned from the sale of TC and just peace out? Go workout and just take care of yourself. Forget the rat race. But, alas, you launch a fund in an effort, among other things, to make even more money you really don’t need to buy shit you can live without (what can you buy with $50M that you can’t buy with $10M?). Could it be your pride and greed that make you fat? Think about it.

    • GR says:

      Most fat people are poor, incidentally. Which kind of kills your theory.

      I think if Mike “peaced out” he probably wouldn’t know what to do with himself and it wouldn’t help with his goals. Cheers to him for going open source on the issue.. Probably will contribute 100X karma back to the universe. And earn him a Get Out of Asshole Jail Free card.

    • @Bradley,

      You think he is doing this just for the money? Of course not.

      Hopefully one day you will have the chance to do something you really love, something you are passionate about, and something you can set huge internal milestones for and not rest until you complete and be what you want to be.

      He is just getting started. Money doesn’t hurt and is a cool benefit. But its about money, fame, and something to prove. Mike hasn’t done it yet – and he is on his path.

      Hopefully one day you will understand.

  17. Hook up to Runkeeper and/or Dailyburn for much better weight tools (integrated with Withings scale).

  18. I’m inspired to do better myself… thanks.

  19. Hung Luu says:

    Check out the Primal Blueprint. Basis is to cut out carbs (Grains, cereals, pasta) and processed foods and replace with vegetables and meats. It is the best way if you don’t want to exercise like you are training for a marathon. Diet is responsible for 75% of your body composition. 1 calorie of carbs is way worst for you than 1 calorie of protein since carbs are such an efficient form of energy, it stores as fat really easily. Really, this is the easiest way to lose weight and get healthy. Spend 5 minutes reading the article below and try it for 1 week.

  20. mogu (@mogu) says:

    Time to just man up and lift weights or hit the gym if you really want to make a good change.

  21. Nice article! I’ve lost like 30lbs from 170ish of just fat (im skinny) from just eating less, especially fast food, and making my own home cooked foods. Oh a George foreman grill is a great help too, just cook all the chicken you want! 🙂

  22. Losing pounds isn’t the solution, Mike, losing FAT is. By walking on the treadmill for long hours, you don’t accomplish much, except for increasing your stamina significantly. Moreover it is actually unhealthy. Yes, you heard it right. By walking for long periods, you end up losing valuable body muscle and not the ever-hated fat. Your weighing scale might put a smile on your face, but you aren’t doing good to your body. Your body will look more like a crooked hanger than a runway model.

    Fat loss isn’t related to miles covered on the treadmill but by the constant change in your heart rate. So if you, even for 15 minutes, alternate between sprinting and walking for one minute each, you will be putting your body in better shape than by walking at a constant speed for an hour. But before doing this, consult a doctor and make sure you have no heart related problems.

    I’m just advising you because I’ve made the same mistake before and the results are really disappointing. It took some serious dedication to get my body back on track. Avoid taking that route.


  23. I lost 35 lbs in a single month doing Tim Ferris’ 4-Hour Body. I highly recommend giving that method a try, in addition to what you are doing. What was nice about it for me was that I didn’t actually workout at all, I just changed my diet. But in hindsight, I know working out would have made the weight loss even more dramatic.

    No matter what you do or continue to do, it’s good that you are taking the initiative to make it a priority for yourself. I wish you good luck.

  24. Jamie Curle says:

    Want to see the weight stay off and make a real difference to your body composition?

    Squats, deadlifts, presses, cleans, chin ups &

    That’ll do it.

  25. Another one here recommending the 4-hour body by Tim Ferriss. It was a very interesting read and I lost 5kg from it in roughly 2 months. I wasn’t fat in the first place but it helped me get rid of the extra belly fat I felt subconscious about.

    What’s more the plan is very little effort and not based on calorie counting. It’s more about keeping your metabolism up whilst eating healthy, and releasing the right kind of hormones at the right time through exercise.

  26. Raj Kotecha says:

    Keep going bro, I’m going through the same shit. Hustling destroys your body. My advice is interview a few personal trainers. Just interviewing them teaches you a lot about yourself. You feel compelled to work with the right one, and a few thousand dollars to buy yourself more time on this planet is peanuts. The right trainer will have you working out like you’re 18 again. Recently, I found myself benching 40-50kgs just to kill a bit of time, which is nuts to me, and it took just two short months . Keep going Arrington.

  27. Jose says:


    I’m very tall and thin, but I started growing belly 3 years ago, while I program all day, this is what I did to recover:

    1)Put the computer screen to eyes level. I use a standard VESA bracket anchored to the wall as my imac 21 weights a lot (10kgs).

    2)Bought a stool if I need to sit “down” so I could continue using my screen at eyes level while sit, but I’m standing most of the time, this is very good for the spine.

    3) Created a 30 days routine (search for 30 days in Steve Pavlina site) of GETTING OUT of my house and doing intense exercise every day for 20-30 mins. That people can’t go out and exercise its beyond my understanding. It has been integrated for years.

    4) Changed the food over my table, I eat a lot of natural fat, but it does not matter, 40 years ago every American ate 8Kgs of butter every year and they were lean, the calories thing is totally stupid nonsense(*), I don’t eat chocolate anymore(well, yes I eat it from time to time,weeks or months in between but not every day as I used to). No trans fat(margarines) or industrial food, I cook my own food, in Spain(north) and France we have good traditional food skills.

    (*)Learn about metabolism, calories are calculated burning food at thousands of Celsius degrees with a physical burner and measuring the energy combustion release, it has nothing to do with the way your body extract energy from food, by chemical processes at body temperature. Those chain reactions are called metabolism, and is different for every single substance(e.g fructose sugar is different to glucose to oil).

    Sugar (fructose) is your enemy if it has no the fiber it has on fruits, the worst thing you could do is to eat sodas, as fructose dissolved in water will enter your blood stream so fast your liver wont be able to do anything else but transform it in fat, while also creating a spike of emergency sugar levels fist, and a severe “hangover” later, as the control mechanism release so much insulin that your body begs for sugar!!(it uses a closed loop control system, and you can make it unstable:

    The main problem today is that the food you buy precooked has to make economic sense, that means eliminating fiber(it gets punctured by ice crystals while frozen and leaks all the content), adding sugar (cheap way of adding flavor to something tasteless), artificial preservatives(that are identified as toxins by your liver and occupy metabolic organs instead of food), and trans fat(some part of them go back to their natural state in your body, so your body can’t get rid of some of them once inside).

  28. John Best says:

    Best of luck Mike, and congratulations on starting on a healthier (revolving) path.

  29. Suffer from the same issues and, in a bout of insomnia, came across this post. Go figure.

  30. Great post, I really admire your attitude. I was (and still am) pretty fat too. When I told people I wanted (needed) to lose weight they always told me I was being silly, and that I was just fine the way I was. I didn’t look especially fat (just big), but at 6′ tall and 220 lbs I think I was pretty over weight.

    For the exact same reasons as you (health, longevity) I started running twice a week and cut down the amount I eat. My diet was already good, but I was eating too much of it.

    I don’t have scales, but last time I weighed myself (about 6 weeks after I started) I’d lost a stone. I’m now 3 months in, and I can comfortably run 12 miles at a fast jogging speed. I’m getting there. In February I’m going to try and run my first marathon.

    Being healthier is fantastic. I feel so much better, can concentrate better and the exercise really makes me feel good. My excuse for getting fat was that we had kids, and they took up so much of our time that we just couldn’t exercise any more. There was some truth to that. Now they’re not babies, we’re back to exercising.

    I’d love to try a desk/treadmill combo, but I don’t have the space and I’m not sure I’d get on with it. I’d be really interested to know how you’re getting on with it in a few weeks/months.

  31. Davin says:

    Good for you Michael, hope it goes well – keep us up to date on your progress with it. Perhaps the workplace of the future will be complete with treadmills, stationary bikes etc. Can’t wait!

  32. Reblogged this on Bunty Sawardekar and commented:
    Less Fat is best for health

  33. Johny Miric says:

    Wow, that’s lot of equipement 🙂 I actually was thinking to put my iMac on higher level, keyboard around my chest level while I’m standing. Like this I would simply forced to iluse computers less and do only essential jobs, not spending hours on extra browsing, watching videos etc. It would be more like drop of message station, quick 5 minutes jobs.

    I know what you are struggling with and I was wondering how one can be successful in blogging without damaging your health. Definetely not easy.

  34. Exercise is one side of the equation. The other is food. Most doctors don’t know enough about nutrition to seriously help you on this matter (they get 10 hours of nutrition courses in their MD training).
    See a registered dietitian.
    And when you buy groceries, you may want to use your smartphone as a bullshit detector to make sure that so-called energy bar you are buying is really healthy for you. (Yes, shameless plug for our app – Fooducate)

    • Very true — they are finding the food you eat, the portion size and WHEN you eat may have more to do with your weight than exercise. Not that exercise isn’t important, but don’t get into that bad habit of “Oh, I just did 3 hours of exercise, now I can eat whatever I want.”

  35. kris says:

    Michael, consider trying Runkeeper. You’re a competitive guy, which is why it will help you.

  36. Jeff says:

    Michael – can you describe your diet changes? Low carb? No carb? Paleo? My body has been on a very similar trajectory as yours and love to hear what works for people…

  37. Travis Cotton says:

    I have the same problem. I changed my diet (I only eat out once a week…the other days I have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and some fruit for lunch) and I try and get to the Y more often.

    I dont think I could walk and code at the same time though.

    I have a friend who would ride an stationary bike while playing WoW. The laptop was strapped to the top. Funky but effective.

  38. Fremen says:

    I thought the Reamde treadmill idea was interesting as well, but I wasn’t sure if it was practical. I look forward to hearing how it works out for you.

  39. Fantastic man. Stay motivated & good luck!

  40. ArchangelManu says:

    Way to go Mike ! I used to be very fit but in the last 2 years had severe sleep issues- was constantly online- had no energy to exercise, things got worse until I realized how important having energy is in the long run and now am prioritizing it. Great that you are committed to a healthy lifestyle ! Some resources that I found useful are doing a detox by eating mostly raw vegan food and green juices -there are many inspirational chefs with tons of tasty recipes- unlike what the majority of people say this is about abundance not privation – try it out for 30 days- your energy levels will soar ! Also check out 15 minutes videos that will gradually increase your fitness level not to mention they area really great to watch ! Fingers crossed in reaching your health & fitness goals ! Keep us posted on your progress

  41. Why not take it one notch further and actually start generating energy with your treadmill? The miles you walk might be enough to power phone and laptop. Innovation? You bet!

  42. Leo Saraceni says:

    Weird, weird setup to work. I wonder how your keyboard looks after hours of dripping sweat over it. Office must smell like the YMCA.

    But really – “Kale smoothie as inspired by Joe Rogan.” Who the hell drinks a Kale smoothie and why would even think about listening to Joe Rogan?

  43. cranniem says:

    Weird question – how much noise does the treadmill make, and does that interfere with working?

    • Michael Arrington says:

      it’s not completely silent but it isn’t loud enough to be a problem. It’s also a very cheap treadmill.

      • Tuyen says:

        What’s the treadmill model? I’ve seen some people use non-electric treadmills. Not sure how effective those are but as long as you are not sedentary, you’re doing yourself good.

  44. Mike, without a doubt, you need to look into the Paleo diet.

    I’ve been on it for almost two years, and it has been transformative in my life. Prior to starting it, I did an extensive survey of the literature to identify *who* to listen to, and then read Taubes’s “Why we get fat”. There’s solid science behind it. In essence, if you elimate carbs and sugars, you body can’t accumulate fat. It’s not about the calories. It’s not about the exercise.

    When I learned that Joe Friel — one of the US’s most respected endurance coaches — had adopted the Paleo diet, I knew it was something to be investigated. I’m very happy I did.

    Here’s an article I wrote about my experience with the Paleo diet:

  45. Denny Deaton says:

    Best of luck! Does the UP work the same if wrapped around the ankle?

  46. Meg Levesque says:

    Mike, go vegan! It’s the number one recommended diet by the top doctors in the country. It’s the only scientifically proven diet that can drop your weight by 20 to 30 pounds in the first few months. Doctors say its the only diet that lets you satisfy your hunger by eating all you want, and still losing weight and keeping trim, not to mention that you save at least 100 animals a year by not eating meat.

    Vegan diet is also the only proven way to stop and reverse heart disease, it prevents many types of cancer and also diabetes. If you go to top vegan restaurants you will be blown away by how much better the food is than animal products. You would be amazed how much more there is to discover when you un-ground yourself from always eating the same meats and eggs/milk, which are extremely unhealthy for you.

    Check out this interactive Vegan starter kit, you’ll be truly impressed:

    Good luck to you.

    • Ross Messiah says:

      What?! Why would someone want to turn to an unnattural, inherently unhealthy lifestyle in order to get healthy?! Don’t believe the hype. There’s a reason that vegans usually look so sickly. It’s BAD for you.

  47. … we certainly miss TechCrunch, Mike — as you know, sadly, it has become a weird place, where trolls use it for leftist propaganda and political commentaries… but I digress.

    Losing weight/fat? We need self-discipline and a little info about food: dedicate at least about 1 hour/day for exercise [any exercise, no gadgets] and cut down on fatty foods — just replace half of what you are eating now with vegetables/fruits. Also, cut down on beer/wine/etc.
    This is NOT a diet, it is a long-term lifestyle change… which will assure us a longer and healthier life.
    [I started a modified Dr Koop’s weight loss/fitness program at my practice a few years ago. It was very successful but only with those patients who understood that the changes they would make on their eating habits would benefit them…]
    Good luck!
    David Callahan MD PhD

    • Dick Talens says:

      1 hour/day for exercise? Sorry, but this is why MDs are completely unqualified to give nutritional and/or weightloss advice.

      I suppose you still think that saturated fat causes heart disease.

  48. Josh SImms says:

    A lot of debate here focused on weight loss which is important. However, did you realize that overweight individuals can be healthier than their skinnier counterparts? It’s true just check out the studies. Movement is critical to health, so kudos to Mike for using his TrekDesk. The weight will come off if the diet is in check. As for the comments that you will lose muscle mass walking that is one of the most absurd claims I have read ever. Walking strengthens your major muscle groups, sitting will cause atrophy of your muscles. Another thing not mentioned much here is the effect on the brain. Mike is increasing his brain size, neurons, blood flow, cognitive abilities, memory and decreasing his chance of developing dementia -with every step he takes. So, eat healthy and move through the day. Your body will take care of the rest. We can’t all look like a greek god, especially after 30.

  49. stuartliroff says:

    Michael, good for you. I can’t afford nor do I want a treadmill while I work. I bought the FitBit and love it. It’s a reminder to push away from my desk and go outside to take a walk! I’ve also gone 100% Vegan (I eat veggies, milk products and fish) and I notice that I feel so much better without all of that meat clogging my you know what!

  50. JDB says:

    Mike, last year I had the same feeling… I read the four hour body by Tim Ferris. I followed his weight loss plan by the book (I think that is a key component which is not easy) and lost about 40 pounds in five months and have maintained that going on six months.

    Exercise and walking are great for many reasons but that is not going to contribute that much to weight loss.

  51. timbang says:

    Ditto on all of the advice to also address your nutrition. Better sleep + more exercise + better nutrition = trifecta of weight loss. Which nutritional path you choose, I’ll leave up to you. I have had personal success with Weightwatchers (50+ pounds in the last year) but the advice of seeing a nutritionist and selecting an eating plan that realistically meets your lifestyle is spot on.

    Best wishes.

  52. Andy says:

    Just two things. Walking is a great start – try to find activities that you enjoy doing. For me that’s mountain biking and weight lifting. And second – Diet is huge. Read up on them. I tend to prefer a ketogenic diet, with Atkins being the one you’ve probably heard of. The latest Atkins book is like 7 bucks on Amazon and an easy read. A couple other good resources: and

  53. James Zhang says:

    Recommends a movie for you all, if you have a netflix account, you can watch is directly online.

    It is called : fat, sick and nearly dead. It is a very inspiring documentary movie from Joe’s true story.

    Mainly eating vegetables and fruits definitely helps!!

  54. Luke says:

    Good luck Mike–I’ve been doing research on weight loss for my company for the past six months–I recommend “Mindless Eating.” Good read, great information, succinct.

  55. Shan says:

    Mike, weight gain is strongly correlated to stress. And one of the best stress-busters out there is meditation. I suggest you try that. A good read:

  56. Paul says:

    What are you doing with your diet? I’ve lost 70 pounds in just under 5 months. Yes, I have exercised, but then again, I always did and it never worked because I kept right on eating whatever I wanted. Donuts, pizza, burgers, etc etc…

    The difference: a large calorie deficit. I consume less than 1000 calories a day, and most days it’s closer to 600. It works. As I approach my goal weight, I will gradually increase my intake until I get to around 1400 a day (doctor’s orders). I am confident that I will never be fat again.

    Good luck!

  57. Speaking of how much Withings’s software sucks, our startup, Beeminder, can auto-update from Withings and makes much prettier graphs. Here’s my sexy sexy co-founder (bee)minding her weight (via Withings):

    • *blush*.. (Danny and I are also spouses, in case that plug sounded untoward.)

      Beeminder is my insurance against slowly gaining weight as I spend most of my days sitting building Beeminder.

  58. all the best…!!do share me ya tips when u start loosing weight..;)

  59. Philip says:


    One thing you’ll notice as being irritable is the fact that loosing weight is so god damn easy.
    And I’m not saying this to wipe your ass, or any of that motivation yadayada crap.

    But it really is, annoyingly easy…

    // – 100 pounds in 8 months.

  60. Chase says:


    I think I have a good product for you! It is a NordicTrack treadmill, and runs on our iFit technology. It is has an embedded 10″ android tablet, and does all sorts of cool things. For example, you can draw a map anywhere in the world, and the treadmill will automatically change your incline to match that location as you run it, on top of that, it will show you street view wherever you decide to run! There are all sorts of other cool features like video, full web browser, tracking, etc. If you would like one, contact me and I will set up a free unit to be delivered to you.

  61. Jonathan Lerner says:

    Read Fuhrman’s Eat To Live

  62. Matt says:

    Basis make a sensor that might help with tracking your data. Good luck!

  63. Flo Eysler says:

    Since I changed my nutrition with the guidance of a program called “Metabolic Balance” I lost more than 10% of my body weight and reduced my waist from 102 to 92cm.

    No additional sports, just a change of what I’m eating according my personalized nutrition table based on a blood test before the start of the program.

    The method is somewhat similar to the Palio diet (mentioned in another comment above), got developed in Germany and (therefore) lacks the big marketing buzz. It just works and especially for people with busy lifestyles simply lack the aim to consistently hit the gym..

    The praise of people around you will motivate you to keep on and eventually change your eating habits by simply being more aware.

    Here is a link for program coaches in the US:

    One suggestion: the first 2-3 weeks are a bit tough (just take it as is – don’t ask why). Choose a time that is suitable to focus on your nutrition to kick things off – it is an elevating experience!

  64. John B says:

    Mike – Good Job! I used to be a ballet dancer and went from that super-active lifestyle to writing code – without changing my diet, I’m sure you can imagine where that lead. Two Christmasses ago my wife got my a copy of Mark Bittman’s book Food Matters and after reading it I started doing what he recommended, which is nothing extreme, (no veganism, carbs are not outlawed likein Atkins, or anything like that), and the waist size went down to what it should be. I would highly recommend the book. It’s easy to read, and half of it is a cookbook!

  65. For competitive people (yes, I’m going there), can’t recommend a good bootcamp program highly enough. After putting on a good 20-30 pounds over the last few years (too much work and good living, not enough time or care for exercise), my husband and I finally decided to take a stand against creeping middle age. We now do a bootcamp class in SF at 6:00am most mornings. After a few months, i just completed a 5k race and he did a 10 mile race with an obstacle course thrown in. Unthinkable back in August and I can’t tell you how good it feels to make some positive decisions about your health. It’s really not about losing weight – it’s the other benefits and the huge mental boost it gives you too. And the bootcamp classes put you in a room with other people who really want to make a change and who will push themselves to muscle failure in every class. And muscle failure feels so good! Congrats on making the change.

  66. Try this system… looks pretty sweet:

    BTW, I keep a kettle bell by my desk and toss it around every few hours… super-cheap, takes up hardly any space, and costs about 40-50 bucks.

  67. Dan Miller says:

    Michael, congrats on the new routine. I started one over 2 years ago and am still going strong. I changed my diet to low-carb, higher-protein and I get my ass to the gym every by 6:30am, virtually everyday of the week for 35-45 mins of cardio, core training and weights. I’ve lost 30 pounds and all my physical numbers have improved. I love working out in the early-am before my day starts. The toughest thing is just rolling out of bed – that first step. Just take is slowly and be consistent – even when traveling.

  68. John Haden says:

    Michael… or can I call you Mike?

    Congrats on you’re new routine…. use or …. both have iPhone / Android apps and helps track your caloric intake, but I’m sure you knew that already.

    Hey… wanted to get in touch to see if we could build the “Uncrunch” app. Would love to chat w/ you or someone you work with about it…

  69. Jerry G says:

    I wish you all the best! It’s great to read read someone writing so candidly about their problem — and taking an honest, exhaustive approach toward solving it.

  70. TheDel says:

    The withings blood pressure monitor is awesome, I’ve been using it for about 4 months and it makes doctors visits if you have white coat syndrome more effective.

  71. I love my treadmill desk… get a heart rate monitor also, you wont regret it.

    if you’re committed to weight loss, read “Eat To Live” by Fuhrman and eat plants. You wont look back.

  72. edwin says:

    Hi Mike
    I met you in 2001 during bubble ,then I met you again on 2005 (Techcrunch days)
    in your house with a bunch of start up guys, wow and between 2005-2008 ,
    Then in 2010 , wow yes, I was so surprised how much weight you put in, i almost jump

    I am really glad you noticed you need to take care that weight and that sleep.
    I was so afraid that if you keep gaining weight and losing sleep you ended up like steve jobs, there are tons of fans in the valley that still love your work so much.

    One of my friend the former co-founder of lose 90lbs in 3 months
    following nutrisystem diet + P90x exercise, he does not have to take his diabetes pill
    anymore, good for him.

    Take care Mike, I wish you luck in losing weight fast and gaining constant sleep

  73. Mike says:

    Nike+ will track your steps more efficiently because the unit is in your shoe, not on your wrist.

  74. Resistance training (you know, weight lifting) would be a great thing to add. Muscle burns fat. A good resource including on diet is I used the women’s book but the original is for guys. For long term changes in body composition you have to add muscle to your physique. If you emphasize weight loss and lose muscle along with fat you end up with a body that needs fewer and fewer calories which is no fun at all. I blog about this stuff including the diet which is more protein than I had ever eaten. You get stronger and leaner by degrees. I admit that I love to lift weights and not everyone does but like it or not for long-term success it’s got to be one leg of the stool.

  75. Kevin L. says:

    Hey Mike, not sure what diet your doctor put in place for you, but one thing I truly believe in is cutting down portion sizes. When you go out to restaurants, consciously cut 1/3 of your food and push it to one side of the plate – leaving yourself an end point for your eating. If it’s a burrito, cut a 1/3 off and put it back in the bag, etc – so your willpower won’t be tested.

    Eventually your stomach capacity will shrink, requiring less and less to “feel satisfied”. Good luck and stick with it!

  76. Holly says:

    No matter what industry you are in. Being fat sucks… ! No better time than now to start changing it before the scale creeps up anymore. Replace the bad habits with better ones. Great Blog by the way !!

  77. Brandon Calder says:

    Mike, I remember going out jogging when we were crashing on your couch back in the ’90s… 😉 You and Wooten made me feel like you were going to run my ass off! I’ve fought that same battle and moved, now, to P90X, Insanity and Asylum. I’m telling you, man… It works. When you’re on your ass and your phone and a plane all the time, getting an intense hour a day (at home or on the road) makes all the difference. Remade me … FAST (along with trying to eat ‘right’). I’ll send you an extra copy of P90X I got sitting around. You tell me after 3 weeks if you don’t LOVE it. Drop me a note or give a call with your new addy.

  78. Sheryl says:

    Yeah, yeah, so I’m late to this party. I’ve been on a similar journey for a while now. Different goals, different path but misery loves company…or something like that. I’ve also been pretty ok in my skin, probably because I’m older and never really cared what others thought about how I looked. I was ok with it. But it all changed when my mom died and my then husband found out he was diabetic. It scared the crap outa me. I did great, losing about 60 pounds, but it started creeping back up. So a couple months ago I took control and started the journey back down. I did have pie for turkey day…actually made that day a splurge but what I won’t do is not exercise. Moving is critical and what so many post baby boomers have stopped doing. Anyway, Kudos, Mike. If you’re ever in the mood for wine in the middle of nowhere Washington state, it beats the hell outa the rat race in Ca. We are neighbors…just opposing sides of the state! 😉

  79. Stephanie says:

    Hi Michael,

    I thought you’d like to know about an exceptional service founded by an amazing young entrepreneur; Adam has helped me lose over 120+ pounds now (you can see my success story on his site here : (that after picture is outdated already).

    His program is the only one that’s ever worked for me and believe me, I’ve tried every program ever created!! Lol! 🙂 Because I’ve lost so much weight with his program, I’m extremely grateful to him and wanted to let you know about Adam and his wonderful company. I think he’d work wonders for you!

    Anyway, just figured you’d want to check it out!

    Good luck and thanks for constantly inspiring me.

    All the best.

  80. The Hook says:

    Yeah, fat with talent!
    And flush with cash, right?

  81. jim Harrer says:

    Michael, nice post, it hit home as I struggle finding time to hit the gym. One suggestion, use a bodybugg type device and log your food in their app. You’ll appreciate the education you’ll get on food and how your body is burning calories.

    Keep us posted.


  82. I’ll immediately grasp your rss as I can not to find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly permit me recognise so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  83. Erin says:

    Given this post, you might be interested in the Stand Instead of Sit Challenge this week on the HealthyShare Facebook app:

  84. this link says:

    Excellent post. I’m dealing with a few of these issues as well..

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