The Diet: Change Making Pt 1

Two thousand fifteen has been an interesting year. The best Seattle summer in the last twenty-two years — climate change is working out nicely here, for now; Nine camping trips — with cameos from deer, bear, and hunting owls alike; And another year of kids growing up — and more distant.

Sometime in early March or late April — I cannot recall which just now — something struck me. I’m going to be thirty-nine, which — since the year we celebrate is the year we have completed — is another way to say forty. My weight at the time had started to bother me again. I had been heavier before, I had also been lighter. And just at what point does one decide to do something about it?

For me it was that evening out back of the house with our neighbors over at the fire pit. I asked my wife, Nicole — “Would it be possible for me to lose fifty pounds in twenty weeks?” It seemed like some nice round numbers I could get behind. Simple. Linear. Math. Two and a half pounds a week. It seemed reasonable to me, but it is Nicole who has the domain expertise.

“It’s possible. But it would be hard.” She said.

Tuesday, March seventeenth was day one of my new diet; I had weighed in that morning at two hundred forty-two and four tenths pounds. I would weigh in every morning for the next twenty weeks. Have the same snacks. Have the same meals. The routine was simple. Break fast at five in the morning. Snack at eight. Lunch at eleven. Snack at two. And evening meal at five.

“Just tell me what you ate,” muttered several readers.


  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 6 egg whites
  • lean turkey added to eggs


  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • an apple


  • chicken breast
  • vegetables


  • two scoops protein powder


  • chicken breast
  • vegetables


  • no beer
  • no eating from 5pm to 5am
  • black coffee is okay

So how did I do?

Graph of weight loss of twenty-one weeks.

And so it went.

It took me twenty-one weeks to hit a total of fifty pounds lost. So I missed my goal by one week — although, hit one hundred ninety-two and seven tenths of a pound a week early.

Variation is important. After a while, your body will acclimate to your fuel. My initial breakfast was one-half cup vs. one-quarter, as well as having a one-quarter cup of orange juice and a yogurt. I would usually cut the orange juice with a pint of sparkling water. It was kinda like a mimosa in the morning. Also, originally I was only having one scoop of protein powder at each snack, but we realized I was too under carbed, and we upped it to two.

The hardest thing is making the decision to do this. Once you can decide that, the rest will take care of itself; Provided you stick to the plan.

Things I’ve learned along the way. My moods and general personality are definitely related to my blood sugar levels. I’ll suddenly start feeling grumpy, or dead-brain and sure enough it’s been almost three hours since I last ate. This is normal and dangerous. After about four weeks into this the wife was fed up with my insane crankiness, and asked that I stop. It was a difficult conversation but a rewarding one, as most hard things are. It served to reset my self-awareness of how I was treating other folks around me. I had a similar slide-back somewhere around week seven.

It takes two. Empathy and understanding from your partner, and not being a complete dick-ishness from you. Just be ready.

And for god’s sake keep a jar of peanut butter with you at all times, have one at your work desk, and several around the house — preferably one that the kids don’t know about. And if you start feeling like you’re going to faint — which you will from time to time — take a small scoop of peanut butter. Or almond butter. It’s amazing how quickly you’ll start feeling better. Within one hundred seconds usually.

Coffee is dangerous. Not for it’s nutritional contents, but the caffeine. It masks your ability to know that you’re hungry. I’d recommend dialing down the coffee when you first start. Or set a timer for every three hours to remind yourself to eat.

Ritual is a powerful thing. I still break my fast this way every morning some twenty-six weeks after first starting.

When you hit the wall, you hit. The. Wall. You need to eat immediately. It’s worth planning. If you start browning the turkey when you’re already hungry, you might pass-out in your kitchen and die.

After you’ve gotten through the first four weeks, you may want to start changing up the protein source. I think I made it about twelve weeks before I could not eat another fucking chicken breast.

Anything lean will do. Fish is good. Pork is a nice change. And that ninety-eight percent fat free turkey is great. Shrimp is another great treat. Being the penny-pincher that I am, cost was always in my rear-view mirror. Chicken is by far the cheapest lean protein source you can get. Safeway has got you for four dollars a pound. That lean turkey (not the ninety percent, or the ninety-three percent) is five. Pork can range from five to six dollars a pound. Oh, and I’m always talking boneless. Some fish are great deals at six or seven dollars a pound. Salmon is heaven at eight or nine. And shrimp is the fruit of eden at ten dollars a pound.

Next? Part 2 where I bring physical activity into the mix.

How I want the cloud to work.

Today was the Amazon Prime Photos announcement. There’s Dropbox upping it’s limit a while ago. And iButt re-pricing and family sharing. I’m sure there’s a Microsoft butt thing too. But here’s the thing: None of these things works like I want them to work.

Maybe it’s because I’m in the midst of dealing with a small iButt fucknest. I’m currently running on a backup from my 5 from September 22, because when I signed in to my new 6 on September 23, I only had photos back to August, 2014. Which is about two years+ worth of photos gone. But really, everything will be okay.

Here’s how I want my butt to work:

  1. Media from every device is automatically pushed to my account.
  2. Each device has a adjustable threshold of time that media will remain on the device.
  3. Each device can act on any bit of media in 4 ways:
    1. Keep local, a la like. This media will remain on this device.
    2. Keep everywhere, a la favorite. This media will be pushed to every device.
    3. Delete local, a la archive. This media will be pushed to account, and deleted from device.
    4. Delete everywhere, a la Delete. This media will be, well, deleted from everywhere.

That’s it. I don’t want to have to have the available space on all devices for my entire account. That defeats the entire purpose of my butt.

Please send hate mail to

Recycle your machines.

Upgrade and resell every two years.

I’ve been asked a few times by folks about what Apple laptop or other device to get, how much ram, when to buy and the like. I’ve answered these questions over time with whatever seemed appropriate.

After engaging in a twitter conversation with @malaclypse, I thought, why not publish this? It relates to my when i start a company post, but it’s also how folks could operate individually as well.

There are many people more qualified to talk about such things than myself.

You will always own a computer.

With this agreement, all else seems to follow. I suppose there is another market assumption that is slowly becoming less true, but I think still holds, which is: Apple products have a high resale value. As Apple continues to make mountains of profit, our potential resale market gets smaller. But, I think we’re safe for a while.

The typical model of computer ownership by generally less technology friendly is “Buy it and hold it for as long as possible.” This emotional response makes perfect sense, you just spent this large chunk of money on a shiny new thing, it should last. The flaw in this approach is that these items have a built in shelf life of 20-30 months. Not that they are worthless after that, but they are certainly well into middle-age.

Let’s just say the computer you want is $2,500, and that as long as possible is 5 years. Over 10 years, you will have spent $5,000. Contrast this with buying brand new, every 2.5 years. Now you’ve spent $10,000 over the same ten years.

Recycle is superior. No, srsly. Wat?

Resale Value & Experience

The resale value of a 5 year old Apple machine is not likely to be more than 10% of the original purchase price. And frankly, I start to feel guilty charging even that much. The resale value of a 24-ish month old Apple machine however, is likely to be 50%-70% of the original purchase price. And a good low-cost entry into the Apple world for many folks. My first Apple product was a refurbished white plastic MacBook.

Buy & Hold will return you $500 over the ten years (if you can go through with the two sales), bringing the total cost from $5,000 down to $4,500. Recycle, however, will return you $6,000 (selling each original $2,500 machine at 60%, or $1,500), bringing the total cost from $10,000 down to $4,000.

The inversion in thinking is this: you’re not paying for the new machine, you’re paying for the depreciation of value of the machine you already own. And Apple products are like Volvos, they hold their value well.

Have you ever worked on a 5 year old MacBook Pro?

This is the other thing that’s not often recognized. What is the experience of working on a 5 year old machine like? Spoiler Alert: It sucks. Contrast that with buying a new machine every 2ish years. What a much better owner and usage experience that is. And it costs you the same, or a little less.

Huge Win

There’s a further benefit to Recycle. What about all your files? Software. Licenses. Cute hard drive icons. Srlsy, what about the icons? The thing is, dealing with this stuff every two years is a pain. But it’s a way bigger pain after five years. In fact, this idea that you’re really just renting the machine, causes you to look at al your data as separate from the machine you’re using to create it. This is a good thing.

You start to deal with data backups as a part of using a computer. Lucky for us the Internet is really good at this, and we tend to use it for redundancy for lots of stuff. All of Instagram isn’t on one hard drive somewhere. It’s on many. And as long as Amazon East stays up, we’re good. Srsly, everything runs on Amazon. Netflix, Flickr, it’s scary. OMG, so scurry.

But anyway.

Paying for computer depreciation frequently gets you a better computing experience and you have a more mature understanding of your relationship to the hardware (you don’t own it, you rent it).