Tag Archives: washingtondc

Nan Shellabarger: 26 Years of Weight Tracking

“When I look at this, this is the story of my life in these years.”

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Nan Shellabarger has been tracking her weight for 26 years, including almost daily tracking since 1998. In the talk embedded below, presented at the Washington DC QS meetup group, Nan describes her experience with diving deep into how she’s making sense of her weight data. By looking over her complete history and layering in her personal contextual data she was able to find how different life events played a role in weight loss and gain. For example, she found that physical challenges and events were “tremendous motivation to get out there and doing things as well as helping me focusing on my eating.” Nan has also used a variety of activity trackers since 2010, starting with the Body Media Fit and now the Garmin Vivofit and Jawbone UP. These devices helped her explore calorie expenditure as it relates to her weight loss. On the other side of the equation, she also explored how diet tracking influenced her weight. Watch her great talk below to hear the whole story.

We hope to see an update of this great talk when Nan joins us at our QS15 Global Conference and Exposition next March in San Francisco. Early bird tickets are available for a limited time. Register now!

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James Norris: A Life of Firsts

Like many of us, James Norris remembers his first kiss. Unlike many of us, he also knows who it was with, where it was, and his age. How does he know this information? When he was 13, he realized that he forgot some detail about his life that he thought was important. To prevent that from happening again, he decided to carry around sticky notes to record important life events and has been doing it ever since. Fast forward 15 years and James has recorded 1,500 “firsts.” Watch this talk, presented at the Washington DC QS meetup group, to hear James talk about the data he collects, and the lessons he’s learned along the way.

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Tidings: QS Washington DC Show&Tell

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Today’s Tidings dispatch is from Daniel Gartenberg, co-organizer of the Washington DC meetup group. Read below to hear about their recent meetup. It sounds like a great time and we can’t wait to share the videos from these interesting talks.

We had our biggest meetup yet at 1776 – a start-up hub located in the heart of our nations capital.  At the meetup there were three great talks, fun socializing over sandwiches, and lively QS Discussions. We had three wonderful talks:

James Norris – serial entrepreneur and avid self-experimenter gave a captivating talk about tracking his “firsts”. This included everything from his first kiss to his first time meditating on a train.  One thing that James found was that traveling was one of the key factors that impacted his “firsts” – but only up to a limit – where after some time traveling, there are diminishing returns to “firsts”.

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Next, Daniel Gartenberg gave a talk on his new efforts to evaluate and improve sleep.  He described a study that he is conducting with the QS community where participants can receive $50 for tracking 2 weeks of their sleep data.  Some participants will even have the opportunity to use a Hexoskin, actiwatch, and galaxy gear.  However, users must have an iPhone and be willing to take 10 minutes out of their day for cognitive testing. Please contact Daniel Gartenberg at gartenbergdaniel@gmail.com if you are interested in participating in the study.

Finally, Daniel Martinez showed off an amazing visualization of more than 1800 days of his sleep data that he calculated using pencil and paper and inputting the data into Mathemetica software.  Daniel created a new tool for evaluating sleep, which included categorizing time as “up and at em”, dozing, sleeping, and awake while trying to sleep.  Using these categories he presented visualizations of sleep and showed a bimodal distribution in his bedtime and a new way to evaluate his sleep quality.

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If you’re in the Washington, DC area we invite you to join this great meetup group!

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Matt Velderman on Improving Skin Health

Matt Velderman wanted to figure out his acne problem. He dove into researching acne treatments, tracking himself and modifying his diet and behavior. His approach was to try every possible thing that could help at once to solve the problem quickly, and then remove one thing at a time to figure out a minimal set of interventions. In the video below, Matt describes everything he tried, odd side effects, and how it’s working, as well as some other QS projects he’s doing, from bodybuilding to home energy usage. There’s a fun discussion at the end about how tracking yourself can impact romantic relationships. (Filmed by the Washington DC QS Show&Tell meetup group.)

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Ewart de Visser on Tracking Trading Performance of A Friend

Ewart de Visser had a friend who “didn’t like the whole work thing” and started speculating on foreign currencies. When Ewart asked him how much he was losing in his first few months, his friend wasn’t sure, so they set up a spreadsheet to start tracking his trading performance. In the video below, Ewart describes how he used data to modify his friend’s trading strategy to prevent big losses, as well as the interesting benefits of being tracked by someone other than yourself. (Filmed by the Washington DC QS Show&Tell meetup.)

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Quantified Self in Washington DC

Here’s a quick note from Xaq Rothman for all of you who live in DC:

HacDC, DC’s hackerspace, will be hosting a QS Show & Tell this coming Sunday at 6pm. If you’re in the area, come see self-tracking presentations on topics including quitting cigarettes, GPS logging, and songwriting.

For more about the presentations: http://www.hacdc.org/content/meet-quantified-self-presenters
RSVP for the Meetup event: http://www.meetup.com/DC-Quantified-Self/events/17505733/

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4 New QS Show&Tell Meetup Groups

Here’s a quick post for today to announce 4 new QS Show&Tell meetup groups that were recently born:

1. Brussels, organized by Candide Kemmler – Candide has jumped right in, already joining London QS organizer Denis Harscoat in a French radio interview about Quantified Self.

2. Washington DC, organized by Daniel Gartenberg – their upcoming meetup on January 31 will focus on the latest in biometrics.

3. Ottawa, organized by Artur Denysenko – the second QS group in Canada!

4. Mountain View – Health, organized by me – this is a new experiment to spin off a health sub-group from the popular Bay Area QS group. We will share personal health experiments and health-tracking stories in a cozier group setting.

This brings us to 14 QS Show&Tell meetup groups around the world! If you’d like to organize your own group, here’s a basic guide of how to get started.

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Upcoming QS Show&Tell Meetups Near You

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Don’t be shy – come to a QS Show&Tell meetup! 
Say you’ve been reading this blog for a while. You’ve watched some self-tracking Show&Tell videos, read about some of the experiments people are doing, and now you’re thinking of coming out to a physical meetup. Great, this post is for you! 
Here is a schedule of upcoming Quantified Self Show&Tell meetups around the world, in chronological order – for newcomers and regulars too:
August

Boston‘s 3rd QS Show&Tell – August 10 at MIT Media Lab.

SF Bay Area‘s 15th QS Show&Tell – August 11 with Gordon Bell as a guest speaker. It looks like we will blow past our previous record of 100 people attending, so we’re in the process of finding a larger location. The new location will be emailed to all members of the meetup group.

New York City‘s 8th QS Show&Tell – sometime in August. Sign up on the meetup group to stay informed.
September – Quantified Self Comes to Europe!
Amsterdam, Netherlands‘ 1st QS Show&Tell – September 20, location TBD.
November 
Washington DC‘s 1st QS Show&Tell – November 8 or 9 as part of the mHealth Summit. More details to come in a future post.
Other groups getting underway are in Sydney, Seattle, San Diego, and Chicago, and here is some advice if you want to start your own group
I hope you’ll join us at one of these events, to share what you’ve learned from your self-tracking project or to meet other enthusiasts. We look forward to meeting you!
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