Self-Hacking

Jason Knapp
5 min readOct 28, 2019

About five years ago, I had two very significant warning flags that prompted me to embark on a path of completely changing how I treated my physical and mental health:

  1. My doctor at the time informed me that I officially qualified as having “metabolic syndrome” — putting me at high risk for diabetes and heart disease and that I needed to get my act together quickly on weight loss and exercise.
  2. I didn’t feel as mentally sharp or engaged, so I was referred for a Neuropsychological Assessment at UCSD. After a battery of mental quizzes, they informed me that I had an attention deficit and was “bored” and needed more mental stimulation.

I took these warning flags seriously and launched on a journey of discovery, developing a fascination with physical and mental health improvement. Solutions can be multi-layered, none more so that improving our physical and mental health. I’m a solution junkie (a term I first heard used by Michael Eisner about Skip Brittenham, who was on the board of the startup I co-founded); I tend to get fixated on what works to solve challenges. So this is the ultimate rabbit hole for me.

I took a right turn on a 16-year career track, launched a startup advisory and funding side hustle, and began a multifaceted physical and mental training regimen which I have been refining for the last 6 years.

In the process, I’ve done a lot wrong, but enough right. So far, I’ve dropped my body fat from ~30% (obese) to close to ~20% (low average), put on plenty of muscle, dropped my A1C from 5.8 (borderline) to 5.3 (completely normal), and driven my triglycerides and cholesterol from unhealthy levels to perfectly normal levels.

I’ve learned a lot over these last several years about what does and doesn’t work, and about how what most people think about what’s important to their health and what science says matters are amazingly divergent. I’ve learned not to trust casual press articles which would lead you to believe things like red wine is good for you or that losing weight is mostly about something other than how many calories you eat.

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Jason Knapp

jknapp.com—Entrepreneur @ craftedpour.com, angel syndicate lead, startup advisory, product/development services, husband to @knappleton, fascinated w the future