Brad Feld

Tag: retrofit

When I started Retrofit last fall, I weighed 216. I’ve struggled for a decade to get below 210 – it would happen sometimes but I’d quickly end back up in the 210 – 220 range. I ran marathons so this was frustrating – I am a pescatarian and eat healthy, just too much.

I started Retrofit and within three months was down to 200. I’ve been between 195 and 200 for the past six months and have a clear understanding of how to be at 195 by simply cutting out a few things for a few weeks. My running has improved by a minute a mile, I’ve dropped from a 38 waist to a 36 waist (and could probably pull off a 34), and feel so much better.

If your have been struggling to lose weight for a long time, give Retrofit a try. It’s not a diet, it’s a complete and total reprogramming of the way you think about food. The founder Jeff Hyman is a long time friend (I was a seed investor in his first company in 1996) and is incredibly passionate about Retrofit and what he and his team is doing. I’m not an investor (it’s outside our themes), but I’m a huge supporter of Jeff and Retrofit – it’s been amazing for me as a customer.

Following is a short video that will start appearing on national TV in the next month. I’m honored to be part of it with David Cohen, the CEO of TechStars, who has lost over 30 pounds (and looks awesome) since starting Retrofit at about the same time as me.

While I feel like the guy on late night TV some times, this experience has been transformational. Seriously, take a look. I can’t rave enough about what Retrofit has done for me.

I met Andy Swan at Lindzonpalooza in San Diego this year. Andy towers over me (he’s 6′ 9″) and I’m always attracted to people who make me (at 6′ 1″) feel short. Among other things, he’s got a super creative blog and is a successful entrepreneur, so we had a great discussion. We also talked about weight loss, which I was focused on because I was squarely in the middle of my Retrofit experience (where I’ve lost a solid 20 pounds in the last six months.) Recently Andy sent me a note saying he’d lost 40 pounds with just Fitbit – I asked him to write a blog post about his story. Here it is – it’s inspiring.

It had been 6 months since my knee surgery where they replaced my busted ACL (wakeboarding).  I hadn’t weighed myself since, but I distinctly remember seeing “299.2” on the scale in pre-op.  That was a new all-time high, and “300” seemed really high, even for a guy standing 6 ft 9.  Just as the anesthesia started to kick in I thought to myself…. “well, this could go one of two ways.  Either you get sedentary and fat while your knee heals or you take it as a wake-up call and start kicking ass.”

I decided to start kicking ass.  I woke up from surgery incredibly optimistic and with absolute certainty that the year post-surgery was going to be BETTER than the year prior.  Funny how obstacles can motivate.

Fast-forward 6 months of no official “rehab”, but a lot of weight training and gradual but intense increases in movement. I was as strong as I was 15 years ago as a college basketball player, and my knee felt great.  Ya!

But…. I still felt big.  Too heavy.  Too soft in the middle.  This was a problem.  I’d worked really hard.  Ugh.

Then I went out to San Diego and chatted with Brad Feld.  Naturally, I looked through the companies he had invested in.

Interesting.  The fitbit tracker keeps track of your movement during the day (how?!  Who cares!).  The fitbit scale is wifi-enabled and keeps track of your weight.  Both sync online and work with MyFittnessPal, which I could use to keep track of my calories.

Tracking input.  Tracking output.  Tracking results in “real-time”.  This was a perfect storm of awesome for a guy that really loves excess in all directions– and knows that what gets measured gets done.

I bought both with expedited shipping.

Instant obsession.  3 months later, I still feel completely incomplete if I haven’t burned more calories than I’ve taken in.  I’m fixated on “doing more”.  20,000 steps is a good day.  10 miles moved is awesome.  Partly to lighten up, partly so I can eat more and drink more.  It works.

If you’re a regular reader, you know about my interest in the quantified self and exercise. You also know my struggle with losing that “last 20 pounds” which I’ve finally decided I am going to do once and for all. As part of this, I’m using a new program called Retrofit which was created by Jeff Hyman, a long time friend and entrepreneur, and some of the leading weight loss experts in the country .

Retrofit uses a Fitbit and a Withings scale to make tracking your sleep, activity and weighing yourself easy. Your data is shared with your personal weight loss team: a registered dietitian, exercise physiologist, and behavior coach. Your experts meet with you one on one via Skype videoconference. Not only do they help you lose weight, but also they help you establish the skills to keep weight off for life.

I’ve been doing the program for a month and my experience so far has been great. I’ve learned a lot about what I’m eating wrong and have started to reprogram my bad patterns. I’ve lost a few pounds already, but am taking a long term view toward losing the 20 pounds over the next 12 months and then maintaining my weight at 190 for the balance of my life.

Jeff has created this program for people like me – busy, on the road all the time, constant meals out, and the endless struggle with getting rid of a little extra weight. The goal is not a classical “lose weight right now and then gain it back” diet. Instead, it’s focused on gradual weight loss with long term behavior change.

While it’s not inexpensive, if you look at the overall cost and what you get for it, it’s a great deal. And, even though the program is never discounted through the website, Jeff was willing to give anyone reading this blog a 50% discount if you sign up before 12/31/11. If you are interested, just call 1-800-774-5962 and use the code word “Feld” to receive the special pricing.

If losing some weight is on your upcoming new years resolution list, take a look at Retrofit.