Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programmers

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Monday, December 21, 2015

Clown Trousers

An indirect side effect of stopping programming is that none of my trousers fit any more.

People who like to explain things before they have all the facts (or “programmers” as we sometimes call them) will justify this observation by pointing out that I have more time for exercise now. I do, but I don’t use it. While working at Facebook I walked six miles each day as part of my commute and worked at a variable-height desk; I spent a lot of time walking and standing.

When I began my gap year, I put some effort into running every day. That didn’t last long. I still stand a lot to play musical instruments, but am significantly less active now that I’m 8kg lighter than programmer Graham.

Looking at videos of programmer me, I just see an obese, tired guy surviving on caffeine, sugar snacks and three big meals a day as he lurched between commuting trips, flights abroad, conference talks and infrequent visits to bed. Peak Graham (weight for weight) came in June, as attested by the video of my AltConf talk, I have no idea what I’m doing.

It turns out I had no idea what I was doing to myself either. But now that I’m not doing it, the historical record that is my wardrobe tells me I’m healthier than I have been in over five years.

You may not need hipster silicon valley nutritional engineering sludge. You may not need an extra hour in the day to fit in a run and a shower. You may not need to drop a few hundred quid on a watch that also reminds you to stand up. You might just need to discover what you’re doing wrong, and not do it like that.

posted by Graham at 10:49  


  1. So, what was it? Just generally being more aware, and looking after what you eat, or consciously deciding to cut out things (eg no more sugar in coffee)?
    I lost about a stone when I realised I was 10 kilos heavier than my ‘default’ weight, and decided to pile less on my plate and not have second helpings.

    Comment by Oliver — 2015-12-21 @ 11:02

  2. None of the above. Just not being stressed or depressed.

    Comment by Graham — 2015-12-21 @ 11:34

  3. Right, makes perfect sense. Hope you can preserve that state!

    Comment by Oliver — 2015-12-21 @ 11:54

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