Trimming The Fat And Dropping The Pounds

Excess weight is on my mind today. It could be because I started a 90-day Fitness Challenge. Or because I bought a FitBit for the challenge. Or because the FitBit told me my body fat is 29%.

Or it might be because I got the 5.5 pound, 1-inch thick Restoration Hardware Source Book in my mailbox. Yeah, that’s probably it.

So get ready for a litany of weight metaphors....


I’m six feet tall and weigh 210 pounds. That’s not a problem. The problem is, I have 29% body fat when I should have around 15%.

Same with Restoration Hardware. It’s not a problem that the company took hundreds of photos to create its Source Book. The problem is that nearly 100% of the use of those photos was in its print catalog and on website. No Facebook presence, no Pinterest profile and one-way communication on Twitter.

I’m not the only one that needs to balance my activity level along with my sources of consumption. Restoration Hardware makes a critical flaw of being too lean-back, when the current age of marketing requires more involvement.




I burn about 3,300 calories a day. That means I can eat 2,300 calories a day and reach my target weight of 185 pounds by mid December. But, those 2,300 calories need to be a balance of carbs, fats and proteins. Otherwise, my body will fall apart.

According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Restoration Hardware Source Book is estimated to have cost $3 per book package, while typical catalogs cost a third of that. One estimate is that Restoration Hardware spent “millions” of dollars on the mailer. In my opinion, that’s a lot of carbs.

Let’s say it did cost $3. Imagine if the company had spent $2.50, which might equate to $400,000-$500,000. Spend some of those Source Book carbs on digital protein, and that’s a much healthier balance. $500k would go a long way toward creating strong Facebook and Pinterest presences — both highly visual and scrapbook-like social properties that encourage shopping.

Restoration Hardware isn’t alone, though. I use the company as an example, not merely to pick on it. Plenty of companies spend millions upon millions on traditional advertising/marketing, but fail to earmark marginally significant budgets for social media.


Of course, even brands with great social media presence could slim down — an interesting proposition when we always look for more: More fans. More followers. More Likes. More shares.

However, there is plenty of fat in posts: Posts that don’t engage, that don’t serve the audience, that don’t really say anything at all. And plenty of extra weight in ghost fans: Fans who don’t interact, don’t log in, or aren’t even real.


So, why, in the course of about 600 words, have I fully disclosed how painfully out of shape I am?

Simply put: I’ve now fully committed, in a “no turning back now” way, to my 90-day Fitness Challenge. By setting a goal and proclaiming it in an accountable way, I now have all you good people to hold me accountable.

Maybe you want to put more effort into social media. Or cut the fat of non-engaging social content. Or trim the weight of fans who don’t add value.

Explain your 90-day challenge in the comments below, and we’ll hold each other accountable. Let’s see what we can accomplish in 90 days.

4 comments about "Trimming The Fat And Dropping The Pounds".
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  1. Andrew Boer from MovableMedia, September 18, 2012 at 2:40 p.m.

    Good luck with your 90 days. I'll bet you $100 you can't get to a 25 BMI (184 pounds) by Christmas Day. Seriously. aboer at

  2. Betsy Kent from Be Visible Associates, September 18, 2012 at 2:40 p.m.

    Great article, and a great goal. I was totally p-o'd when I got that massive waste of paper in my mailbox (yes, The Restoration Hardware catalog) knowing that I would have to bundle it and take it out to the curb on garbage day.

  3. Marilois Snowman from Mediastruction, September 18, 2012 at 2:48 p.m.

    Right on, Bryan. The catalog wouldn't even fit into my mailbox. I ended up making a trek to the post office, not knowing the US Postal notice wasn't for some fantastic birthday gift but for a Restoration Hardware pitch. That's not only too many carbs, but loaded with so much sugar as to make my stomach turn. What an exercise in excess. (Pardon the pun.)

  4. Marlo Huang from Liquid Advertising, September 18, 2012 at 4:37 p.m.

    I love this post, but also because I am so angry at that book. So huge and clearly misspent money. Good luck with the challenge!

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