Beating Blogger Butt with My Treadmill Desk

My husband made me a treadmill desk for my 40th birthday

I know you know I turned 40 this August. I’m on the top of my career, having just shared the stage with Jack Canfield and Arielle Ford this past weekend. I regularly place people on top media. Within the past week alone it’s been CNBC Power LunchCNN, Associated Press, Wall Street Journal and coordinated potential segments with Geraldo, Good Morning America and even more print and radio, too many to list. My companies’ free media lead site is up to 16,000 media expert/journalist distributions just since February 2009 and growing by dozens of new users daily. Yes, I’m a busy woman and I love the intensity of breaking news, PR and all that comes with it. Okay, what comes with that is what I lovingly call, “blogger butt.” The more and more I discuss “blogger butt” with friends and family, the more I realize I’m not alone. And while we all laugh at that term, let’s face it. The more we sit to work, the more our work causes us to sit. It’s not healthy. I’ve personally gained weight this digital age. My doctor wants me to lose 50 pounds. Yes, 50. I said to her, “50? I’m just big boned.” She laughed and said, “I know you can do it. Your blood work is perfect, you just need to find a way to keep the weight off.” Today, breaking news suggests women are finally holding our own in the work-place (we’re representing finally the 51% we are in the human race) and guess what, we feel the stress. I do.  Some days I work 14 hours (in front of my computer tethered to a phone). But I LOVE my work. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I just need to find a solution. So my loving husband made a treadmill desk for me after I told him about my doctor directing me to lose 50 by August 2010, and asked for his help. Yup. He’s a great wood-worker. I bought a treadmill online for $650 and my husband made a removable desk attachment in one Sunday afternoon. And I’m using it every day to walk 1.0 miles while I do email, blog, social media networking, pitching to top tier media reporters and more. My doctor says she wants me to lose weight, so here, at my blog I will check in and let you know how this “publicist on the go” is doing to beat her blogger butt. (Move over JLo.) I’m hoping walking the 14 hrs I’m typing will move something in that butt. For sure, my back feels better so far. Let me know how you balance health and work. I figure I’m not alone in this. I need to lose 50 pounds within a year. I’m going to see if I can do it with my treadmill desk. Keep me posted and let’s get moving together!

41 Responses to Beating Blogger Butt with My Treadmill Desk

  1. Arielle says:

    Good for you Michelle! This is multi-tasking at its very best. I am cheering you on 🙂

  2. Marcy B says:

    I am so inspired, I just shared your story with my online WW group. This is great – I wondered if the laptop on treadmill thing was working out!

    Shannon should market them. I’d certainly be a candidate to buy one!

  3. I love the treadmill desk idea- Can he make one for me too?

  4. Hey Blogger Butt (Michelle) I love your idea! You have a very creative husband by the way. I would say you are definitely onto a great idea. Recently I worked in a job that required me to be on my feet for 9 to 10 hours a day – it involved a ton of walking and fast paced at that. The first few months, I had to ice my feet every day after work – I thought it was going to kill me. Prior to this I had spent about 10 years behind a computer so this was a shock to my system big time. Financial expediency kept me going and after the first 4 months I began to not notice that I was on my feet ALL day… in time I got to like it. Then I began to actually gain weight. Oh Oh! Then I realized I had developed the habit of not eating very well – my arch enemy is sugar. So one day I decided to cut out the sugar and I ate better food more regularly, no fancy diet at all. In three months I lost 40lbs. and it stayed off because I was on my feet every day. I think our bodies were made to work. The end of the story is, I moved on from that employ and have become self-employed and stuck behind a computer again… in a few months I gained about 20lbs. back. You are right the answer is just getting more exercise! I love your solution! We want to know the ongoing status of that “butt” – keep us posted! We are all cheering for you!

  5. Drew Gerber says:

    This is awesome! No gym memberships, no time off for exercise, and more results for our clients!

    I love it! Maybe we should institute this company-wide.

  6. Michelle,

    Love your creativity and commitment! It was great meeting you at 21st Century Book Marketing. Your presentation was helpful-I loved this “The media only cares if you are controversial, solve a problem, are really entertaining” Was that you who said that?
    I too suffer from the ever-expanding butt. having a dog with a wagging tail and ready spirit, paying off my friends to call me with invites for walks, putting my desk by the prettiest window so I’ll be drawn outside – none of these do it for me. My only hope? i exercise in the morning before i turn on the computer – yup 7am yoga or walk. I can barely move, let alone do 10 sun salutations, and the rest of the routine but I feel great afterward and guilt free for the rest of the day.
    Too bad you don’t live nearby!

  7. Fantastic! I recently attended a wellness conference and heard about a major corporation that instituted the same idea with great results. This is exactly what I advocate in my soon to be published book: Whole Health Healing. That is – look for ways to add exercise into your multitask world. I write about several examples. This is the only way we will beat our don’t-have-time-for-exercise culture. Now, just tell your husband to hook a small generator to the treadmill and……. LOL

  8. Jan Marshall says:

    Well I have been on exercise bicycles that go nowhere and leave me spinning, inner journeys that lead to serenity but do not register on Google Earth or my GPS.
    I did jog once and thought I heard applause but it simply turned out to be my thighs hitting together. The clapping annoyed neighbors so much, they paid me to leave, thus turning flab into fortune. Now THAT is good marketing.
    I have seen the type of computer holding treadmill your husband created for you and I want one, I mean the treadmill. I’d like to purchas a second hand one if you ever learn that one is being offered. Wouldn’t it be grand if after exercising we could actually see the fat falling to the floor and get to watch someone actually sweep the fat away? I mean really, where does it go anyway when we lose it? I know where I want it to go. As an organ donor I am leaving my cellulite to Catherine Zeta Jones. But for now I will keep it in a good warm place.
    Good Luck to you, Michelle. Jan Marshall

  9. Lynne Klippel says:

    This is so funny and so true. Hey, Jan Marshall, I hope you are an author because your comment had me rollling.
    Michelle, I’m right with you on the blogger butt train. All this desk needs is a cup holder for Diet Coke…on wait, that’s really bad for us!
    Thanks for a smile on a Friday afternoon.

    • Michelle Tennant Nicholson says:

      Actually the cup holder (mine has water in one side and coffee in the other) still works on the treadmill.

  10. Selfish Mom says:

    My big butt and I must have this.

  11. Awesome…. we’re already lining up for a “treadmill desk”. Soon you will be on all of the talk shows marketing it!!
    Great to meet you at the 21st Century Book Marketing Conference.

  12. Jan Marshall says:

    Lynne, yes I am an author. My web-site is My newest project STRETCH MARKS, THE BOOK:Ageless Wisdom for Sexy Old Broads (it’s a playful endurance option) is seeking a “Paying” publisher. Are you one? Let’s have fun.
    Thanks for your kind words.
    Jan Marshall, Author of
    “Still Hanging In There:Confessions of a Totalled Woman”.

  13. Ray and Nikki Nicholson says:

    Michelle’s father-in-law, Ray Nicholson says, “Now Shannon should figure out a way to have the treadmill exercise actually power your laptop.” To which Michelle replied, like that actor Ed Begley powers his bike to toast his bread? Love it.

  14. Michelle!

    That is BRILLIANT! I tweeted it to my followers @LaurenBlaine as “Tweet your Butt Off!” LOL!

    Um, I know of some manufacturing people in China – Want to have a secondary business?

    And, by the way, do what you gotta do and take off that extra bit of the body but you are beautiful and radiant and it shows through. Your body’s just gotta catch up to the Goddess that you are!

    Go, go, go, Athena!

  15. Dr. Diane Schneide says:

    congrats on thinking out of the box. Just be careful and don’t fall! (Caution on texting and walking.) Have fun & look forward to progress reports.

  16. Michelle,

    Love it. Butt bloggers unite. btw.. I love your butt.

  17. AND the comment every entrepreneur wants to hear…”Where Can I Buy One?”

    Go, Michelle!

  18. When you told me about this, I kept having the image of Jodi Foster in Nim’s Island…just don’t recreate! It is actually a great idea and as another PR person and freelance travel writer, I’m in front of this dang computer way too much…I try to change positions often, but to actually get some exercise in too, now that is great. Way to go…..

  19. I love Weight Watchers and just lost 40 pounds. I’ve always walked a lot–about 5 miles a day–but my eating habits had to change.

    The program made me aware of the huge amounts of food I was eating. Portion control is key. This, from somebody who ate a half big bag of pretzels in the lat 24 hours.

    • Cool! I’ve been doing the online Weight Watchers but with just 5 pounds lost over many months, unfortunately. Not sure why I don’t have the results others do on Weight Watchers, but I do like their cookbooks very, very much and have about ten of them. (Shows you how much I love to cook.) In addition to my treadmill desk, I just started a program that has you keep your insulin levels level. I’ll only plug them if I get results. So stay tuned. The power of the word (wink).

  20. Michelle,
    I can relate to you so much. I am a VA and I sit at my computer for hours at a time. I have gained some weight and as a result of this I have lower back problems. Like you, I have been told to lose the weight and get excercise. I now schedule an hour a day (at least) and go to the Y to either swim, do yoga or go into the workout room.
    I decided that this was important for me!

  21. Debra Smith says:

    Priceless, but true. Am going down to use the Nordic Track myself.

  22. Hi Michelle,

    That computer desk for your treadmill is a brilliant idea, and I’ll bet you and Shannon could sell a million of them to help people all over the world keep “blogger butts” at bay forever.

    I can’t say enough about how the Isagenix nutritional products have made a difference in my energy, outlook, and appearance. Best of all, those skinny jeans aren’t hanging in the closet, waiting for me to wear them someday. I wear them now. What a revelation!

    I’d be happy to introduce you to my friend Deborah Jones at Isagenix. She can show you an new way to look and feel great AND achieve your weight loss goal well before your August deadline.

    Having been a lifetime member of WW and tried so many other approaches to weight loss and weight maintenance, this program really works. Did I mention that my husband has lost 20 pounds, too?

    Keep up the GREAT work, no matter what approach you take toward meeting your goal. Your “blogger butt” days are well behind you now.

  23. […] out the treadmill desk Shannon Nicholson created for Michelle Tennant Nicholson at this link to help her get fit while blogging.  This just goes to show that there are extraordinary solutions […]

  24. Amanda Bell says:

    Full disclosure…I work for Steelcase, but wanted to let you know of a contest we are holding that may be of interest to you and your reader base.

    We want you to beat blogger butt too and are giving away 3 Walkstations (Steelcase’s version of your homemade treadmill desk) to help you meet your goals while donating to a great cause.

    To enter, individuals or companies must submit a short video and essay explaining why they should receive a Walkstation. Winners will then compete in a two-week walk-a-thon in December and, via Twitter, share their experience.

    For every mile logged, Steelcase will make a donation to Friends of TOMS, the non-profit organization of TOMS Shoes.

    Full details here –>

    Hope you find this helpful!

  25. Gail says:

    Michelle —

    I’ve been trying to fit my treadmill with a desk of sorts for more than a year. Someone quoted me $5,000 to build what I need…and I know I can buy something like Steelcase for that money!

    It looks like your husband created a removable “desktop” for your treadmill. May I ask how it’s attached and attaches to the handles of the ‘mill? Thanks!!

  26. You might have a fantastic technique of placing points into point of view.

  27. lacoste minneapolis says:

    good advice and sharing,I will buy one this beautiful jeans for me .thanks

  28. You know this is very true. just says it all.

  29. I’d like to know if this treadmill would make me feel comfortable without my shoes on. My doctor told me to avoid shoes to reduce pressure when running.

    • Mika: Nice URL treadmill desk. And for $1000… still more expensive than what my husband made me for my 40th birthday, but hey. Look, I’m not a doctor. I’m a publicist. So I really have no idea if this treadmill is good for bare feet or not. It’s a NordicTrack so my recommendation is to just ask NordicTrack if you can run on their treadmills barefoot. I do know I get after my mom when she visits for getting on it barefoot and watching TV episodes from my laptop. I know bare feet are a huge trend in this country and it’s simply best to ask medical advise from medical experts. But thanks for posting and best of luck to you. Nicely done promoting yourself on my blog. Hey, everyone, you can learn from Mika. That’s how it’s done on blogs. Ask a nice question, squeeze in your website address and viola, you’re online forever. I’m all for self promotions. It’s how I make a living, after all ;-). PS: You can find medical experts at if you’re a journalist or writer of any kind. Cheers!

  30. Judy says:

    Hey Michelle,
    How about an update on your progress toward your doctor’s goal? I see it’s been about a year since you got your treadmill desk. Has it helped your fitness level? Your weight? Was it easy to use? Do you still use it? Please let us know – millions of blogger butts are waiting…

    • Judy: First of all, I am so honored you are checking in! I love it! Yes, my treadmill desk did help but with my cardiovascular fitness (my blood results were perfect), alas not my weight loss. What I started to do in 2009 with the treadmill desk was the “Jorge Cruise” program which cuts down sugar and emphasizes whole grains and other wholesome foods. In fact, one of you commenting on my blog post suggested his program. Like most diets I’ve tried through my life, I first lost weight on his diet and then gained. In the end, I kept up my treadmill workouts but stopped Jorge’s program and just went back to eating healthy: whole grains, lean meats, etc. Jorge didn’t emphasize exercising anyway. I will say while I didn’t lose weight on his program, my massage therapist’s sister heard me doing it, tried it and she lost 20 pounds. But this is the story of my life. My body just refuses to lose weight because on the weekends I’m whitewater kayaking or off-road motorbiking 5 or 6 hours a day, which as you probably know puts the body into a mode of severe calorie saving. It knows, hey, she’s going to workout in an endurance manner so ‘pack’ on the food buffet so she has calories on her hips, thighs and butts. My resting heart rate is 47 (athletic) and my cholestorel level dropped an amazing 40 points (hello; this is a lot). But my health pursuits aren’t over and neither are my treadmill desk updates. Recently I started training with Coach Beth, a trainer I have through and the treadmill desk exercise is “bonus” after my circuit training, which focuses on strength training in addition to cardio. The first thing Beth did was have me eat more to break the plateau — yes, I said eat more. Now I’m back down to about 1200-1400 calories a day and the days I’m doing a lot of exercise, I move up to 1600-1800 calories. I’m losing about 1-2 pounds a week on Jillian’s program. You’ve probably heard about her from The Biggest Loser. My husband points out changes in my body every day and that’s a lot of fun for someone who’s had a blogger butt since 2005. I’ve been posting videos about my progress with that program at my YouTube channel So for all you “blogger butts” with me, I recommend a program that emphasizes balance. And for sure I’ve found that in Jillian’s program. You can see in this video update I’m out to finally be carried over the threshold by my husband and this year’s the year. Again, Judy, I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you are checking in. I’m thrilled you care enough to even write and find out. If you want, buddy me at YouTube so we can support each other through an ongoing pursuit of health.

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