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14 September 2017
(Originally 12 September 2017)
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2 January 2018
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15 January 2018
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25 January 2018

Get Fit For CHI

The Get Fit for CHI Roadmap,
Part 1, Phase 1

by m.c. schraefel, @mcphoo, CHI Health Chair

Welcome to Post 2 of this Get Fit for( CHI ) 2018 to have the best CHI experience ever. Conferences can be brutal but also awesome for learning new things, coming up with new ideas and connecting with new and amazing people. This series will help you TODAY be as ready as possible for that Late April Blast in Montreal.

In this quick post we’re going to talk about the approach for this stride to a fit, resilient, brilliant CHI 2018 experience.

broken broccoli; broken chocolate - not broken new years promises

broken broccoli – not broken new years promises
(by the way, both cacao – here embodied as dark chocolate – and broccoli – both apparently super foods)

As noted in the last post, we have just under 16 weeks till the conference. That’s almost a perfect amount of time to

  • Build AND TEST a foundation of knowledge and skills around resilience to brilliance
  • Tune In that foundation of skills to what works for you
  • PRACTICE those skills

so that those dialed in and tested approaches will be there for you to draw on throughout the week of the conference.broken chocolate;

Phase One: Foundations

In the last post, i claimed you’re already doing everything you need to be doing to be the best you you can be. The message was that you only need to TUNE what you’re already doing to provide the optimal benefit for you.

What do we mean by “what you’re already doing” ? Five things: what i’ve called “in5” – it’s short for “the inbodied 5” – or the five things we need to do to be resilient. These five are – based on us as complex physical-social-cognitive systems. THey’re also based on mortality research: without ONE of these – mortality goes up. And it’s far less pleasant.

We are wired to


Promise: Become a little more skilled at each of these and you get resillience. Get Resillience – Greater Brilliance is a side effect.

Brief Definitions of Terms:

Move – to push, pull, bend, squat, run – these are all parts of movement. Breathing is a movement; eye movements are part of strenth building. We are born built to run but we are all also wired to lift heavy. More on that anon.

Eat – is not just about energy needs (calories) but about nutrients, bacteria, and social engagement. Which leads onto:

Engage – to be with, work with, cope with, to serve and support, to play with – others, physically – that is, in person. We’ll come onto that in person bit in the days ahead

COGITATE – to think new thoughts; try particular kinds of new things; to practice other things; to keep the neurons firing in the brain. Then to explain these ideas to others.

SLEEP – to knit up the ravelled sleeve of care – to get a sufficient number of complete sleep cycles to restore the body and enable necessary processes to function and complete.



You’re Already Doing Everything
You need to be Doing

As i said in post one, you’re already doing what you need to be doing – to be fantastic. Indeed, we all

Move Eat Engage Cogitate Sleep


The focus of the mission we’re embarking upon is to learn how to dial in the often very SMALL tweaks we need to make to any one of the MEECS to reap great effects.

How figure out those tweaks?

Phase One Experiments – in a Box

In the first post i promised the approach here is science based, and a basis of science is, of course: test it.

So in the coming five weeks or Phase One of this three Phase run up to CHI, we’re going to take a MEECS concept a week and test it – as an experiment.

The order will be

EAT – wk 1

MOVE – wk 2

ENGAGE – wk 3

SLEEP – wk 4


EXPERIMENTS ARE HYPER REAL, NOT REALITY Remember: as with most experiments, they’re not “normal” – the protocols are deliberately contrived to explore the effect of a particular variable. And as with any experiment, it’s a good idea to prep the lab space first before launching in, so that you can deploy the study with confidence and focus on observing the effects.

The approach here: test a concept – see how it works and how to tune it – so you can use it with purpose. As per one participant:

i always heard that [X] was good for you and believed it intellectually but until i actually tried it in the experiment, i never really got it – now i really get it – and how to use it

In other words, we’re running experiments to concentrate the effect or experience of a particular MEECS attribute.

Phases Two and Three: Tweak and Practice

Once we have some fundamental insights built up from Phase 1, we can begin to build your personal approach to dial in your Fit For CHI experience. We’ll talk more about that later – promise. For now Phase 1, Experiment one.

Prep for Experiment One: EAT!

Tomorrow, we’ll talk more about the first experiment in a box. Given the season, and all the dietary resolutions afloat, we’re going to start with the EAT part of MEECS.

The goal of the experiment will be to explore how ADDING and ORDERING certain foods can help improve both satiety and performance without thinking once about ‘diet.’

We’ll have two levels of experiment available, too: the Green Box – recommended for everyone. And for those who really want to totally GEEK OUT for a week and committ, they can try the Green and Red Combo Box.

Again, details next post – to give you the weekend to prep a little – but in the interim – have a think about this mental exercise:

1) CURRENT GREEN FREQUENCY Do you eat something green /each meal/daily/weekly/rarely?

2) What’s your FAVE GREEN? Do you have a way to prepare it that takes less than 5 minutes? Can you “make it in your head” from start to finish?

3) HEALTHY BITS What’s one bit about your green food that you believe is “good” for you? – what’s your understanding of what that bit is supposed to do for you? or put another way, what does it enable you to do?

BONUS ROUND: Seeing Red – the Meat (or meat-likeness) of the Matter

plant based alternatives to creature based foods

1) If you include creatures or creature by-products in your diet, how frequently do you have something that had eyes (or would have had eyes if given a chance) or breathed? /each meal/daily/weekly/monthly/rarely

2) What’s one thing that comes to mind that could be a plant based replacement for any one of those creature or creature derivative components of your meal? If nothing comes to mind that’s ok, too.

Green Day – Week 1 experiment set up

With those green (and red) food thoughts in your head, in the next post, we’ll talk about how to prep for Experiment One: Green Box for the week of Jan 8. It’s REALLY EASY – no fears – but a little bit of forethought will make it sure fire win win win.

See you on the next post:

Comments/questions welcome – ping me on twitter @mcphoo

or comment here


smaller print: Why Trust Me?

i’m m.c. – your CHI Health Chair – besides being a prof in the uk in Computer Science and Human Performance, i’m also a certified nutritionist, strength and conditioning coach and movement coach (and i’m insured for just this kind of coaching).

I work with a range of folks from those wanting to get a little leaner to athletes recovering from injury. I also have worked with businesses that want to improve their creative edge – as effortlessly as possible.

Find me on


If you’re interested in learning about this area of physical / mental connection – learning a bit more about kinesiology to the microbiome to inform design – i’m doing a CHI course, (From Resilience to Brilliance) come on and let’s dig into it.

Guy on a hammock wearing a virtual helmetand

if you’d like to explore research around body-centered computing – what the implications for design are from learning about how we work under (and on and around) the skin, please join us for our CHI workshop The Body as a Starting Point – no position papers required: just your interest – and a short form – and a deadline a month from now – so start of FEB.




all photos by m.c.




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8th January 2018
Getting ready for CHI? Have a look at the CHI 2018 "Health Blog" by m.c. schraefel

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