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Apple iPhone Event 2019: Phil Schiller Max

Today was Apple's annual iPhone event where we saw several new devices joining Apple's range of consumer products. There are a lot of websites that will be fawning over the details of those devices, but I want to raise a much more important issue. Phil Schiller needs to get in shape.

During last year's iPhone event, I noted that Phil did not appear to be availing himself of the many health features that were touted during the Apple Watch key note. His physique today was even more alarming. His weight is now affecting his posture, forcing him to walk at an odd angle. Phil Schiller's appearance was even more unsettling because he forgot to untuck his shirt. In all of the years Phil has appeared at Apple events, he has always had his shirt untucked. Occasionally you'd get the impression that he had just untucked it prior to going out on stage, but at least the effort was made.

Today he looked old, lumpy, and defeated; like a man who has given up.

A couple of years ago I was dealing with a fairly serious health issue that I haven't talked about publicly. This was at the same time that Doug Woods was beginning to experience his health problems.I kept mine private because I did not want to give the impression that all music app YouTubers were dying. But I was.

Between September 2016 and February 2017 I was periodically hit with a terrible pain that wracked every organ of my body. During these "attacks" I was weak, confused, and truly felt like I was dying for several hours at a time. My mind would just kind of go into this odd Zen of acceptence, "Well I guess that's that then." This would happen to me at about once per day for the entire 6 month duration.

I was in and out of Emergency Rooms and doctors visits during that time. No one could tell me what was causing my "attacks" or how to prevent them. I had noticed that it seemed to be related to my eating. As long as I kept eating I would avoid attacks, or minimize their impact.


Acidic Blood (Artist Rendering)

I put on a lot of weight in those 6 months before I figured out that I was dealing with a rare non-diabetic form of ketoacidosis, brought on by a clinical magnesium deficiency. The pH in my blood was going down to acid. The cure was simply to start taking a magnesium supplement and that fixed me overnight.

With that solved I needed to address all of the weight I'd put on, so I began a work out regimen that same February. And I kept at it. I just turned 40 last month, in the best shape of my life.

There are a lot of virtues to being fit, beyond looking fit. I have more energy, and just feel great throughout the whole day. I'm not just strong, I feel strong and it is a great feeling! I'm also less susceptible to random annoyances, like digestion problems. I intend to continue to lift weights and do cardio as a means of combating aging. I would like to strongly encourage others to try it as well. Working out sucks, but the benefits are enormous!

For anyone that cares more about the new Apple toys: There's a new Watch that is more like a watch, but still doesn't do anything that justifies itself or its price. There's a new iPad that's the lowest-tier iPad, with the lowest-tier bezel. There's a trio of new phones that are faster than last year's old phones.

Reader Comments 13

I absolutely love your takes on this stuff always left field always priceless!

Keep up the good work Dude!
September 10, 2019  | person Redoom
Thanks so much for sharing what you went through. It definitely has inspired me today to take my health seriously... as well as knowing I’m not alone... and to know that sometimes the answers to our issues are something as simple as some magnesium. Rather than worrying what might be wrong ... maybe just start with some supplements and exercise. Be consistent with our health first than with our toys first.
September 10, 2019  | person Adamtear
Thanks for sharing Tim. I also have had my share of health issues and it was difficult for me to share with others at the time or afterwards. However, like you the outcome was positive: a. because I no longer have the issue I did, and b. my illness led me into iPad music making and my Frozen Lonesome project.

My takeaway is that we can't assume anything when it comes to health related issues (physical or mental). Just because somebody does not share that they have a health issue doesn't mean that they aren't experiencing personal challenges. Treating others with respect and kindness is the best path to take.

Nice to hear that you're better and in the best shape of your life. Makes me want to be more serious about my level of physical activity, especially with winter coming.
And thank you guys!

On September 10, 2019 - @Frozen Lonesome said:
Nice to hear that you're better and in the best shape of your life. Makes me want to be more serious about my level of physical activity, especially with winter coming.

This last part is key. I think a lot of people have a hard time sticking to New Year's Resolutions because it is in the middle of winter. They're stuck in and used to being sedentary, or feeling lazy on grey days. If you get into the habits of fitness before winter, it is a lot easier to keep that momentum through winter!

A few tips that helped me:
I knew I wouldn't be going to a gym regularly, so I figured I'd just make my own home gym. I bought my own dumb bells and already had a disused treadmill. You can get both very cheap on the used markets like Craigslist or Kijiji, because so many people give up on their fitness commitments.

If you have no idea what you're doing there are a lot of great resources. My favorite community is the /r/fitness30plus/ on Reddit, because I'm already on Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/fitness30plus/

Look for a group that you're going to want to be a part of. There will be a lot of great positive reinforcement from reading other people's stories. It's like social media, but instead of feeling jealous of your rich friend's trip to Dubai, you get a sense of "Hell yeah, I want to be that strong!"

Don't go crazy on the supplements. Most of them are bunk and nearly all of the commercially available pre-workout shakes are just overloaded with caffeine. Creatine is good. If you're a guy and you're lifting you need creatine. I only use two other supplements, which I mix in my own pre-workout shake, because they've got real scientific evidence to back them up. L-Citrulline DL-Malate 2:1, and L-Carnitine L-Tartrate. They make a godawful mixture that I wash down with a green tea chaser. That small amount of caffeine is all I need for a grueling workout. I also take my vitamins, every single day! I start to panic a little when my magnesium bottle gets low...
Good to hear you are past your health problems.
September 10, 2019  | person_outline Simon
Thanks for sharing your story. (I need to learn about magnesium!)

In April of 2018, a bout of stomach flu allowed me to do a major "reboot" of my eating habits and exercise. Over the rest of 2018 I steadily lost 55 lbs. I formed a pretty rigid eating pattern (but one that I created and that I like), in addition to exercising most days of the week. I reached my goal a few days after Jan 1, 2019. This year, I'm continuing the new pattern and have been successful at holding this new weight. BTW, apart from a couple eggs most mornings, the rest all vegan.

I have a used total trainer, and a treadmill (I got a new one), and a fake suspension trainer.

I feel pretty strong. I sleep better. Just got some skinnier pants at the thrift store. (sorry, @Pants of Death)

I still get tired, but I've been pretty busy, spread out to lots of tasks, and stressed about the idiots who are eager to wreak havoc on the planet, the animals and anyone who isn't them. Weighs heavy on me.

Hey on a side note, I bought some new drums, just got a call today that I can come pick them up!
September 10, 2019  | favorite_border stub
So I was in a pretty severe motorcycle crash here in Thailand. In 2017. I had to learn how to walk again, with doctors saying i wouldn’t. So I was spending a lot of time in bed, in a horizontal position. I’m 45 years old, but I am going to university over here, and I always toted a 17” MBPro with the charger in my bag. I knew I had to get some sort of tablet, or phone or something for school, because my bag would be way too heavy on crutches. So I got the iPad. 2.5 years later, I do absolutely everything on an iPad from video editing to full blown audio production and performing with live visuals. I have completely abandoned OS X, and I will never go back Also, music suddenly became less of a chore, and fun, and inspiring again. The iPad brought me back to my old, crazy creative self. I write more music now then I have in fucking YEARS, and it feels fantastic. As far as my health goes, I do isometric, body weight exercises in random public places, and I do race walking on our school’s track. I can’t run and I can’t jump yet, but i will get there eventually. Take care guys, time to watch the Apple presentation.
September 11, 2019  | person burnalot
On September 10, 2019 - @Frozen Lonesome said:
...Just because somebody does not share that they have a health issue doesn't mean that they aren't experiencing personal challenges. Treating others with respect and kindness is the best path to take.

Those are words to live by. You never know what kinds of burdens people carry. Also, you may never know when your kindness made (or will make) all the difference for someone.

On September 11, 2019 - @burnalot said:
I knew I had to get some sort of tablet, or phone or something for school, because my bag would be way too heavy on crutches. So I got the iPad. 2.5 years later, I do absolutely everything on an iPad from video editing to full blown audio production and performing with live visuals.

The two of you were brought to iPads (and presumably to this forum) because of some health challenge. I guess that's taking lemons and making lemonade.
September 11, 2019  | favorite_border stub
Pretty awesome you got it figured out, hope you dont keep secrets again if you start to die on us, for fucking fuck sakes, I think a lot of people in the music world have a lot of love for you and typically its nice to know when people we care about are not ok, but its also great to hear this good news.

Regarding the apple guy, hes just getting fat cuz thats what those ceo fellas do best.
September 11, 2019  | person_outline Cyp3
On September 11, 2019 - @Cyp3 said:
hope you dont keep secrets again
I feel super weird about complaining on the Internet about my problems. We've all got problems. You're not coming here to hear my problems. I'm know for a fact there are people who visit this site with much bigger problems than any I've had to face.

If I have a problem that you guys can help with then I do let you know. Like I did last year when Apple cut my funding and I was facing a pretty desperate situation. If it is a medical problem I don't see the point in worrying other people with it. It either gets better, or it doesn't. Only doctors and I need to worry about it.

As an independent journalist I wear a lot of it like a badge of honor. I've kept this site updated with the latest news every single weekday for over 8 years. I've had just about as many random colds as anyone else has in the last 8 years. There have been a few times when I've written the day's stories at 3 AM because a severe stomachache was keeping me awake, and I wanted to try to sleep in if I ever did get to sleep.

I've managed to get most of the stories done before noon, even on days when either I or my husband have gone in for surgery. Surprisingly his surgeries have been more disruptive to the schedule than my own. Gallbladders are scary when they're angry.

Christmas, New Years, and even Halloween don't stop the news. You guys don't need to worry unless there's no new articles on this site by mid-afternoon Chicago time. If it's 4 PM in Chicago and there's no new articles up on a weekday then I'm probably dead... but I'll be beyond all worries, so don't worry for me then either.
@Tim Webb
I’m glad that you share beyond the bounds of your journalism. There’s good science showing the stressed (we all of us with challenges) benefit in all ways when tales of stressors are shared.
I’m happy to hear you solved your health issue. What was the underlying cause of the nutrient deficiency?

I’ve started, a year ago now, a routine of exercises to get myself in better shape. I like to take walks on the local rail trail which has a 5.9 mile loop. It hasn’t been so easy to maintain the walking schedule (ideally one loop per day), especially with the too hot summer days and the too cold winter days. I’ve decided it’s important enough that I must do indoors what walking I cannot do outdoors, so I will pace in my house (narrow but deep row house) while doing arm exercises with weights (8 pound or 3 pound).

About two months ago I hurt my back pretty severely from overdoing daily activities (chores and helping a companion with a back injury) and my exercises. It seems that the extension of arms in front of me, as well as using weights for arm motions in front of me,I ended up injuring my psoas major. I needed a walker just to get from bedroom to bathroom on the same floor. It was scary and it was only one or two weeks after my companion had injured her own back (which had me helping her up from various positions, further straining my back). Luckily I recovered more quickly than she did and, today, 1.5 months later, I’m mostly normal (still having back soreness and pain).

This is all to say that our bodies have limits. DEFINITELY exercise and get in shape, but remember that being out of shape for a long time means that we might not know what our limits are. Be careful!! Don’t do too many similar workout motions in one day!
September 14, 2019  | person dysamoria
On September 14, 2019 - @dysamoria said:
I’m happy to hear you solved your health issue. What was the underlying cause of the nutrient deficiency?

Just a lack of magnesium in my diet. There were some precursor symptoms that were super weird, and my doctor couldn't identify. The most prominent was sodium related hypertension, even though I am not predisposed to sodium issues. I could eat a nice Chinese dinner loaded up with MSG, but if I had leftovers for lunch I would have intense hypertension that would last for hours. Any kind of sodium at lunch, even small amounts, would trigger this. This is a super specific symptom, so I was disappointed that modern medical science couldn't identify the cause when I brought it up to my doctor. It was definitely related to a severe magnesium deficiency and should have been a red flag. This went on for about 6-12 months before the ketoacidosis kicked in.


This is all to say that our bodies have limits. DEFINITELY exercise and get in shape, but remember that being out of shape for a long time means that we might not know what our limits are. Be careful!! Don’t do too many similar workout motions in one day!
Very good advice! And if you do screw up, which is definitely something I've done more than a few times, see a physical therapist. They've helped me out big time with back and knee injuries.
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