Personal Hacking for Health and Productivity


I’m a veteran and prolific blogger, maintaining blogs on subjects such as running, allotment gardening and Microsoft Excel. It’s early days but I plan for Cool Moxie to be my place for discussing health and productivity hacks and document my n=1 health experiments.

I’ve long been interested in self-quantification, being an early adopter of predominantly fitness based gadgets that enabled me to collate data relating to my early attempts to become a runner. I’ve also been collecting near daily weight data for more than 15 years and can evidence the saw tooth decline in my weight from 22.5 stone to somewhere currently in the vicinity of 16 stone.

I’ve recently been interested in blood monitoring, although this is not so easily accessible for the home experimenter. I paid for a health screen recently and was pretty shocked to discover that I have an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. This has encouraged further research and interest in self quantification and personal hacking particularly because conventional medicine seems to be a little retarded in treatment methodology.

Your GP or endocrinologist is likely to ignore the fact that Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease, (partly because the pharmacological route for treating autoimmune diseases causes more adverse than beneficial results) and instead wait for the inevitable decline in your thyroid function when they can then step in to offer replacement medication.

I don’t intend to sit around and idly wait for my thyroid to self-destruct. There is plenty of “evidence”*, anecdotal and otherwise, to support the favourable impact of dietary measures on the progression of auto immune disorders such as Hashimoto’s.

Cool Moxie will collate all my experiments and discussion of topics relating to health, diet, weightloss and autoimmune progression.

I am a medically trained, Doctor of Philosophy. I wrote my thesis on the subject of alcohol formation on star dust and earn my living as an accountant. I’m telling you this, not to brag but to warn you that I have just enough knowledge to be dangerous. These are personal experiments, I’m not suggesting that they will work for you or that you should ignore your own medical practitioners advice in order to follow my route. I would however recommend that you do take ownership of your own health, maintain a level of intelligent scepticism, never blindly trust anyone and view your life as a series of experiments from which you can learn about yourself and your body’s response to the world.

* I chose to use speech marks to encase the word evidence here as I have a personal gripe with the claim that conventional medicine is evidence-based but that’s a subject for a blog post in it’s own right. If you want to wind yourself up and enlighten yourself to the quality (or not) of medical research that forms the basis of the so-called evidence base, I suggest you read Bad Pharma.