That's 602.920 US dollars or 420.566 Euros! (thank you, pleasure to entertain you, tip your waiter, etc.) December 23, 2009 9:12 AM   Subscribe

With the new year around the corner, and recently noticing that Mefites have burned 490,834 calories, traveled 2,364 miles, and lost 378 pounds, I figure it's a good time to ask: Is there interest in some sort of MetaFilter weight loss/exercise challenge? (Meta-fitter? Har. Har. Sorry.)

I did some MetaTalk archive searching last night, and found that this has been alluded to before in terms of crapmatic's pony request of diet.metafilter.com (summary: no.), as well as jbickers setting up a group on Gyminee, which is now the daily burn, apparently. And, of course, the topic of weight loss/exercise motivation comes up frequently in AskMe, not just exercise and eating well for weight loss, but for depression and other health related matters...

SO!

1) Anyone interested in some sort of challenge?

2) Has anyone used Gyminee/Daily Burn? (I just joined.) Should we keep with it and do some sort of challenge on there? Or is there another site to use which is better? (I know some of us work in the metric system, and I don't know if DB has conversions available.)

3) Ideas on how to set up such a challenge are welcomed. (goals, timeline, etc.)

I realize that there are running and cycling related challenges on other sites, but I'm imagining something closer to the stats tracked on DailyBurn, with weight loss or burned calories as a goal.

No intent on alienating our slimmer friends, but considering the widespread effects of obesity and metabolic syndrome, I figure it doesn't hurt to ask.

yes, thanks to my mom, i watched the biggest loser reunion show last night. this may have something to do with it along with my recently rapidly expanding waistline.
posted by NikitaNikita to MetaFilter Gatherings at 9:12 AM (90 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

We just got a treadmill, so I may be down for some sort of fat-burning group effort.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:16 AM on December 23, 2009


NikitaNikita, I LOVE YOU. I was just wishing 2 days ago for something exactly like you propose. For babymakin'/IVF/infertility surmounting/life reinventing reasons I have got to quit smoking and lose some weight in the New Year, and I would love a MeFi challenge group to help keep me motivated.

Yay!
posted by bunnycup at 9:19 AM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hm, at a rough estimate I think I might have personally burned approx 365,000 calories in exercise & also cycled around 2,000 miles this year.

On the other hand, I must have consumed around 365,000 calories worth of beer, considering my weight has remained stable. I don't know if this means I should join, or not...?
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:37 AM on December 23, 2009


sparkpeople seems to come up a lot on the green in these kinds of discussions. i don't know if it's better for metric folks, though.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:43 AM on December 23, 2009


I'm interested in a challenge of some kind. Maybe the challenge could be related to whether you meet or exceed some personal goal? Maybe a percentage of weight lost relative to original weight?
posted by SuperSquirrel at 10:10 AM on December 23, 2009


Well, the cookies should be gone in about a week, and then I will DEFINITELY be interested in a challenge.
posted by bearwife at 10:17 AM on December 23, 2009


I'm in.
posted by reenum at 10:28 AM on December 23, 2009


I'm definitely interested. Not so much for losing weight, but for getting motivated to get off the computer and go exercise. I'm pretty competitive and I like to be liked, so if my bestest friends in the whole wide web were telling me, "Go away! And while you're gone, I'm going to out-run/yoga/climb you!" I'd probably find it just the right thing I needed to actually ambulate into the big sweaty outdoors.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:30 AM on December 23, 2009


Yep -- I'd do this. I'm on dailyburn too, kinda erratic about it at the moment though.
posted by susanbeeswax at 10:35 AM on December 23, 2009


I'm in too. And if there's anything I can do to help set it up, I'd be happy to do that as well.
posted by librarianamy at 10:35 AM on December 23, 2009


I'm interested. Is clicking on more MeFi links one of the approved fatburning activities?
posted by lukemeister at 10:45 AM on December 23, 2009


I'm interested, and definitely for the weight-loss aspect. I got 25 pounds that needs to get gone.
posted by gaspode at 10:50 AM on December 23, 2009


I'm tired of being a fat ass interested in this idea.
posted by brundlefly at 10:55 AM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is this something that getting a Wii fit will help me with?
posted by Artw at 11:01 AM on December 23, 2009


Me too :)
posted by Abbril at 11:05 AM on December 23, 2009


Maybe we just need a huge collective MeFite effort to all start using Treadmill Desks.
posted by hippybear at 11:06 AM on December 23, 2009


Yes! I am starting Crossfit on the 4th and I am so excited & very, very nervous. A challenge and/or community of others trying to be fitter/slimmer/etc would be a great help.
A while back a friend had a community & it was based on meeting a time a specific, measurable goal (point for every day you exercised for at least 30 minutes or whatever) . That was nice because you got points for doing the work not for pounds gained/lost - which isn't controllable but also works for people trying to gain muscle but not necessarily lose weight.
posted by pointystick at 11:09 AM on December 23, 2009


I'm in. And let's say that I have the potential to really jack up the total (I have a lot to lose).
posted by theredpen at 11:12 AM on December 23, 2009


I already have the body of a Greek god, so won't be joining. Admittedly, the god is Pan, but as long as I keep me kecks on, no-one's any the wiser.
posted by Abiezer at 11:17 AM on December 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm only in if we call "exercise" "Leveling up."


Grind 4Ever
posted by The Whelk at 11:24 AM on December 23, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm in. One thing to consider about US v. metric: it's 2.2 times harder to lose a kilogram than a pound.
posted by double block and bleed at 11:25 AM on December 23, 2009


I was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid today. Suckers! Seriously.
posted by gman at 11:36 AM on December 23, 2009


I'm in. The Metafilter group on sparkpeople has not been very active, though, so I'm willing to try something else.
posted by liketitanic at 11:37 AM on December 23, 2009


gman: "I was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid today. Suckers! Seriously."

Just like gman to bring an overactive thyroid to an under active thyroid fight.

posted by double block and bleed at 11:43 AM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not interested in weight loss, but would be in for some kind of strength challenge.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:44 AM on December 23, 2009


Yay, I'm in but first I have to eat all of these holiday goodies.
posted by jamaro at 11:48 AM on December 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, give us a week to re-adjust after New Year's and I'll be up for it.
posted by JoanArkham at 11:50 AM on December 23, 2009


I'm in.
posted by nestor_makhno at 11:56 AM on December 23, 2009


Okay, I'm in, but you guys should be aware that I can't start until I get my replacement elliptical since I tore the old one in half. Should be, like, 10 days, although I'm SUPER pissed about the holiday timing. I have days off and I bent my equipment like one of Ralph Wiggum's Wookiees, this is a total free-time fail!

I did the same thing to my stairmaster a few years ago, too - sheared the iron stabilizing bar in half.

Workouts: that's where I am (literally) a viking
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 11:58 AM on December 23, 2009


I'm in as well, and would also do a strength challenge thing if we get enough people in on it.
posted by restless_nomad at 12:32 PM on December 23, 2009


I'm in. I recently signed up for Daily Burn -- it's way nicer looking than Spark People (which makes my eyes bleed).
posted by tastybrains at 12:47 PM on December 23, 2009


I'm in! I've got a mountain to climb. Literally.
posted by youcancallmeal at 1:03 PM on December 23, 2009


Yes, please.
posted by paulg at 1:28 PM on December 23, 2009


Yes please. More interested in exercise than weight loss, myself.
posted by spinifex23 at 2:01 PM on December 23, 2009


Yes, I need this, thank you for thinking of it. So far, no new holiday pounds, but there's still time.
posted by theora55 at 2:48 PM on December 23, 2009


Yes. That'd be great.
posted by MasonDixon at 2:52 PM on December 23, 2009


I am up for this, however implemented
posted by rollick at 2:57 PM on December 23, 2009


I'm totally in.
posted by penduluum at 4:17 PM on December 23, 2009


Yes. For those who trick food, there's an iPhone app (LoseIt!) that has a community site as well.
posted by subbes at 4:43 PM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Trick food? TrAck food.

There's Freudian for you.
posted by subbes at 4:44 PM on December 23, 2009


Well, neato! Glad I'm not the only one who's game. I'll wait around a bit to see if anyone else has any other suggestions on what "platform" to use. Daily burn does have a mechanism to create challenges based on % pounds lost, which might be a good one for weight loss a la Biggest Loser.

Daily Burn also has the capability to create cardio challenges by exercise-type (i.e. who elliptical trained the most "miles"?) and weight challenges (who pressed the most in X months?).

However, I do like pointystick's aforementioned suggestion using of a point system for every time you do your workout... it's better suited to people of varying fitness types.

Anyway, like i said, yay! and keep the ideas coming...
posted by NikitaNikita at 4:57 PM on December 23, 2009


I have been a DB user since, well, since I read about it on the Blue. A couple of thoughts: 1. DB lets you create "everyone wins" challenges where you set a goal (say 15 pounds) and then everyone works on it and motivates each other &c. 2. Instead of weight, I like challenges to reduce the % of body fat instead. I know all of these things work against people who are already fit, but I think it is a great idea for the rest of us.
posted by cgk at 5:22 PM on December 23, 2009


I actually gained about 35 pounds this year. Mainly from quitting smoking.
posted by jonmc at 6:01 PM on December 23, 2009


hmm...i did just sign up for a gym membership.
posted by jacalata at 6:18 PM on December 23, 2009


I'm not doing the weight loss thing (for me, that's a one-way ticket to crazy) but I'd love to have some outside motivation to exercise. I'll be watching this thread with interest.
posted by Space Kitty at 8:02 PM on December 23, 2009


YES!!! I want to go to there.
posted by spec80 at 8:14 PM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


SpaceKitty: you can join the group without participating in the challenges, it can be a good outside motivator.
posted by cgk at 8:21 PM on December 23, 2009


Yeah, although I'm even worse at exercising than I am at NaNoWriMo.

Positivity ftw!
posted by Madamina at 8:32 PM on December 23, 2009


I'm in as well. I need to lose weigt, get fit, and eat better but at this point I'm not sure what would motivate me the best. Maybe points for working out each day because I really need "instant gratification" to keep going so I'd need to see the graph change each day instead of weighing in once a week (at least until I get the habit fully ingrained). But I'm definitely in!
posted by MultiFaceted at 1:29 AM on December 24, 2009


Positivity? Everyone Wins?? Is this really metatalk?
posted by theora55 at 6:15 AM on December 24, 2009


It's the new improved MeTa, theora55: more schmoopy, less GRAR.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:19 AM on December 24, 2009


I'm in, sounds good.
posted by ceiriog at 9:08 AM on December 24, 2009


I'm in! :)
posted by LN at 11:28 AM on December 24, 2009


My elliptical trainer and I await instructions!
posted by anitanita at 3:28 PM on December 25, 2009


I'm in.
posted by arcticwoman at 5:11 PM on December 25, 2009


OK, as a pilot project I set up a challenge in DB. It is a three month body fat challenge, if the mechanics of this work then we'll know how to do more. You should be able to follow this link directly to the challenge, if you are otherwise on the site and prompted it told me that the challenge code 858335 is important. Hope to see others there!
posted by cgk at 8:56 PM on December 25, 2009


Cool beans. I think consensus says Daily Burn is the way to go for this... at least for starters.

so! recap:

We're trying this via Daily Burn. So first, sign up!

Then, join the Metafilter group! It is HERE.

As per the comment right above mine, cgk's got a three month body fat percentage challenge going here. Wanna lose body fat? Join it!

And, for those of us who have pounds to lose, and without body fat monitors (me, for instance!), here is a 3 month challenge running from Jan 1 to April 1 for "percentage of original body weight lost" . It starts January 1st, link here (hopefully that link works, if not let me know.)

For those of you who offered to moderate too:

1) Thanks!

2) Setting up separate challenges is pretty easy on Daily Burn, so if you want to do something different like an elliptical machine race or weightlifting challenge, have at it! And repost it here and over on the DailyBurn Metafilter group, por favor.

and

3) I set up the % lbs lost challenge with the offer of a meager prize (meager because I'm seriously broke) but if a lot of people sign up/play, it might be more fun to have a bigger 1st prize, or 2nd, 3rd, etc place prizes. So, anyone wants to donate to the prize pool, I welcome it, even if you're just offering to, say, serenade someone by phone. Or something. Just contact me by January 15th so that we can nail down the prize list.

(is that everything?)
posted by NikitaNikita at 2:32 PM on December 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm in, too.
posted by angiep at 7:51 PM on December 26, 2009


I'm in as well. Will have to leave the actual signing-up until tomorrow, though.
posted by sueinnyc at 8:08 PM on December 26, 2009


"percentage of original body weight lost"

This is bad, don't do that. Losing body protein sucks.
posted by tad at 12:20 AM on December 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd like to do something 'step-ish', since I have an elliptical trainer & pedometer. Maybe an everybody wins/how many steps did you take today sort of challenge?
posted by anitanita at 4:15 AM on December 27, 2009


tad: I agree that losing body protein is bad, and monitoring pounds is not for everyone. Hence cgk is running a body fat percentage lost challenge, which I encourage you to join by clicking here!

I'm entirely made of cheese and butter and don't have access to a body fat monitor, hence the other group for those in that boat too. (if I see one on sale soon, I'm getting one and joining cgk's group too though!)

anitanita -- I can see if they have something step-ish on DB. I know the american heart association had a program along the lines of "steps taken", with an instant converter for a lot of different sports so maybe I can trot over to their website and see if they have a tracker our group can use.
posted by NikitaNikita at 7:02 AM on December 27, 2009


Hmm. Doing some research, it seems like when you set up a DailyBurn exercise challenge, it is based on one type of exercise (elliptical, or rowing, or etc.).

So, again, if anyone wants to start, say, a rowing challenge, elliptical challenge, weight lifting challenge, etc. please do so!

In the meantime, I'll keep looking for something that converts multiple types of exercise into one metric, such as steps taken, or calories burned.
posted by NikitaNikita at 12:09 PM on December 27, 2009


Oh, and the American Heart Association program I alluded to in response to anitanita is this one:

Start!: http://www.startwalkingnow.org/

When I was working for a large research/teaching hospital, we had access to a tracker, via the Start! program, which converted any type of exercise into a "steps taken" equivalent.

I don't see anything on that page jumping out at me which says we can create our own mini-MeFi forum to use it for a challenge/comparison basis, though.
posted by NikitaNikita at 12:15 PM on December 27, 2009


Hi NikitaNikita -

Thanks for looking! I see that we're already got a MeFi elliptical challenge going on, starting on the 1st, so I signed onto that. I can just focus on the distance, which is a pretty good metric.
posted by anitanita at 9:43 PM on December 27, 2009


I am still in on all of this, but won't be home with access to my usual stuff until Dec 3rd, so I can't do any signing up until then. So, one last indulgent trip this week and then my New Year will start on the 3rd!
posted by MultiFaceted at 2:51 AM on December 28, 2009


How can you find all the MeFi challenges? I signed up for the % weight lost one, but a distance one might be better.
posted by JoanArkham at 7:50 AM on December 28, 2009


Small question about Daily Burn, as I've never used the site before: is it possible to record activities such as shovelling snow (which I had to do yesterday for a good 40 minutes) as part of your "workout"? The site only seems to recognize organized sports, running and walking, and weights.
posted by LN at 10:00 AM on December 28, 2009


is it possible to record activities such as shovelling snow (which I had to do yesterday for a good 40 minutes) as part of your "workout"? The site only seems to recognize organized sports, running and walking, and weights.

Which is why most of these track-your-blank-fit-day stuff just fail with me. I don't eat a ton of prepared or packaged foods and I do almost all my own cooking so they never have the right stuff to input or an easy way to figure it out - and trying to estimate best guesses turns it into a huge time-sink that's only "kinda" accurate - and the tracking of activities so limited that 2 hours of strenuous cleaning and moving has no representation and doing anything else starts to resemble spread-sheeting your waking hours and I'd really rather just take a walk without the calculator and a pen.
posted by The Whelk at 1:54 PM on December 28, 2009


Yeah, I can't think of an online system that tracks activity like cleaning, gardening, snow shovelling, etc, other than Weight Watchers' eTools, which is subscription-based and not really oriented to create a subgroup as MeFi has done on DB, WeEndure and Runner+.

JoanArkham: Scroll down on the MeFi group page, and peeps have posted links to the other challenges on the group discussion boards there: http://dailyburn.com/groups/326-MetaFilter
posted by NikitaNikita at 2:59 PM on December 28, 2009


I'm gonna PLAY!
posted by Night_owl at 3:45 PM on December 28, 2009


Let me know when there's one for maintaining a given weight but reducing body fat percentage.
posted by davejay at 8:54 PM on December 28, 2009


DaveJay, this one is just body fat %. Are you looking specifically for one that awards credit for maintaining weight as well?
posted by restless_nomad at 8:09 AM on December 29, 2009


I'm in! Finally time to drop those last few lbs.
posted by SoulOnIce at 11:03 AM on December 29, 2009


OK, I'm not getting TheDailyBurn. Is there a threaded discussion forum in there for people in the snowflake challenge to talk to each other? Or is "Have Something To Say" the only thing?

Also, it's a pain entering workouts. Is there a way to just say, hey, I walked an hour, and it will calculate the calories burned? It seems really clunky, but it's new to me. Is it even worth it to bother logging your exercise?

Can somebody explain it to me?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 2:21 PM on December 29, 2009


Also, it's a pain entering workouts. Is there a way to just say, hey, I walked an hour, and it will calculate the calories burned?

Yeah, that's where I find it clunky as well, and not very well suited to my purposes. Maybe the pro version allows you more flexibility, but as far as I can see, you only seem to be able to select from their predefined exercises.

For walking, you're OK (just add it to your daily workout, and record your walks after you take them) but snow shovelling is out. Similarly, a large proportion of my exercise is either capoeira classes, or practicing capoeira moves (eg handstands etc), and they don't seem to even have a generic "martial arts" as an option.

And within their predefined exercises, there's annoyance - eg planks. I can't record, say, a 60-sec plank because it expects the units to be either pounds or kilos. WTF?!?? Planks are all about holding a position for X period of time. Uber-gymnerds might have somebody put a weight on their back, but you almost never see that, and the main measure is still time, not weight. And they have no side planks. WTF again. That's a pretty basic ab/core exercise.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:52 PM on December 29, 2009


I don't find it clunky at all - I've had several aborted attempts to make spreadsheets of my lifting routines and could never stick with it (the data entry that is).

I've really been needing to track my hefting sessions & cardio and I find that Daily Burn covers those bases very well.

As for the nutrition tracker, well I admit that this feature seems a little intimidating at this time. I think I would have to nurture and hone my OCD to really utilize that feature.

I'll probably upgrade to a pro account so I can track my average heart rate during cardio sessions...
posted by cinemafiend at 5:47 PM on December 29, 2009


noscrolls.com (originally developed for CrossFit-style workout logging) has a pretty flexible way of recording and sharing workouts (including FaceBook interface, if you're into that kind of thing) and a way to set up groups. It's oriented for exercise, not diet, though.
posted by ctmf at 1:40 PM on December 30, 2009


Signed up! Time to make better use of my treadmill/drying rack!
posted by soft and hardcore taters at 1:49 PM on December 30, 2009


the tracking of activities so limited that 2 hours of strenuous cleaning and moving has no representation

Hey, you're right: Sorry, we couldn't find any exercises that matched "power clean".
posted by ludwig_van at 5:00 PM on December 30, 2009


I forgot who asked this, but you can add custom exercises to DB. I added "shoveling show" myself, and I use this site to calculate calories burned for random-type activities, like shoveling snow. For its various shortcomings doing XYZ, I have settled into using DB since I find the nutrition tracking very flexible and have discovered that until I started paying attention to my diet, no amount of exercise was helping me out.
posted by cgk at 12:56 PM on December 31, 2009


Per this site, two hours of cleaning = 699 calories burned for a person of my size. That has me thinking about my garage.
posted by cgk at 12:58 PM on December 31, 2009


RIGHT! Signed up, joined the group, added the requisite challenge. I'll see ya at 100 elliptical miles*

*1 elliptical mile = 0.868976242 nautical miles. Or a mile. Whatever.
posted by Ridge at 11:31 PM on December 31, 2009


I don't think I'm so much fat as undertoned, but I might just join anyway. I wasn't using that muscle tissue anyway.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:46 PM on January 1, 2010


Yeah, I can't think of an online system that tracks activity like cleaning, gardening, snow shovelling, etc, other than Weight Watchers' eTools, which is subscription-based and not really oriented to create a subgroup as MeFi has done on DB, WeEndure and Runner+.

My Plate offers calorie counts for everything, including country dance.
posted by availablelight at 4:52 PM on January 1, 2010


Joined up to track the last stretch of hitting optimal BMI, got approximately 20 pounds left to shed after losing 30 pounds in 2009. Oh hells yes; walking 3 miles a day does the trick.
posted by porn in the woods at 6:59 PM on January 3, 2010


I just joined the % weight loss group. Yay! I need this.
posted by apricot at 1:45 PM on January 11, 2010


Ugh, jumping rope and jogging 7 miles every other day is kicking my ass. I need to enter this stuff.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 6:57 PM on January 13, 2010


I feel left out. Where is the group for people who are working on their spring bulk?!
posted by Loto at 6:50 AM on January 14, 2010


Set up a gainer challenge! Or a lifting challenge - do we have one of those yet? I'm not bulking (pretty much decided that the cut/bulk concept Does Not Work for me) but I am lifting, and trying to gain strength.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:25 PM on January 14, 2010


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