I've got that Health Month Feelin' March 31, 2011 2:12 PM   Subscribe

Join Team MetaFilter for the April Game over at Health Month! Why should you join? A) It's fun. 2) You might actually improve your health. iii) Because mefites have accomplished some pretty great changes. (previously, previouslier)

I cut out my afternoon coffee and replaced it with water! I also saved $120 on not buying lunch. Oh! My partner in crime also got totally on board with the lunch and drinking water thing halfway through the month. Plus, 3 times this week people have told me my skin is positively glowing. —zophi

I went from drinking perhaps 12 glasses of water a week (no joke!) to 56. The chronic dehydration is gone, and I feel SO much better. I’ve been motivated to keep up with exercising (though I loathe it) and I’m feeling stronger and more fit. I’m also weening myself off of caffeine, and that’s going better than I expected. Oh! And I’m eating breakfast damn near every day now – oatmeal and I are good friends. I used to eat breakfast maybe once a week. Usually not at all. —lriG rorriM

I have now taken my medication everyday for a month. Never forgetting it once. This is not something I’ve done in the previous year on it. Also I’ve managed to add Vitamin D as a daily habit and my doctor says my levels are improving because of it. —kanata

I floss every single day. (My dentist is going to be so happy!) And I’m just checking our expenditure for March, but I have a feeling our “booze” spend is going to be way down. [pause to check expenditures] Okay, budget updated. January (pre-Health Month) we spent $150 on booze. In February, $90. In March, $30. The savings is mostly from avoiding going to the pub with my co-workers, and from the wine we used to have with most dinners. (Instead we got a Sodastream and I drink sparkling water now!) —web-goddess

My ten year old dog was getting noticeably creaky and stiff, but after a month of mostly regular walks he’s moving around a lot better. So the benefits can ripple out beyond just ourselves. —ambrosia
As for me, I now drink more water each week than I do Diet Coke. (I kid you not, that was actually something I had to apply effort to make happen.)

So come on over and join us! It's fun.
posted by ocherdraco to MetaFilter-Related at 2:12 PM (88 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

Ocherdraco, just casually visiting the site I haven't been able to figure out what the pay model is. Can you nutshell it for me?
posted by grobstein at 2:22 PM on March 31, 2011

I have been raving about Health Month to everybody. It's awesome, and the MeFi team is even more awesome. Thanks again ocherdraco for letting me know about it!
posted by web-goddess at 2:23 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

3 rules or fewer: free!

4 rules or more: $5 per month (pay-as-you-go) or $50 per year (member)

Each pay as you go player can sponsor a non-paying player who wants to do more than three rules, and members can sponsor up to 15 non-paying players (I think).
posted by ocherdraco at 2:24 PM on March 31, 2011

That was lucid, thanks.
posted by grobstein at 2:25 PM on March 31, 2011

Posted too soon, April Fool's Day isn't until tomorrow.

On mature reflection, this may actually be a good idea.
posted by Elmore at 2:26 PM on March 31, 2011

Yeah, Health Month is awesome, but I seriously have to resist the urge to edit the game for clarity.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:26 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh shit I completely forgot about Health Month and I mean completely. Did I fail the team for March?
posted by Metroid Baby at 2:30 PM on March 31, 2011

I've been gushing about Heath Month a ton. It's been hugely helpful for me to check in with people who are cheering me on- and made it so I actually cared to do all of my rules.
posted by Zophi at 2:34 PM on March 31, 2011

No worries, Metroid. You did us no harm. Come on back for April!
posted by ocherdraco at 2:34 PM on March 31, 2011

I think this is exactly the kick in the pants I've been needing, I think. I'm in, but with baby-steps rules for now.
posted by alynnk at 2:47 PM on March 31, 2011

I've been thinking about doing this since the last time you posted, so I joined. Yay!
posted by sarahnade at 2:56 PM on March 31, 2011

Ok, I'm going back to this. Must. Keep. Away. From. Starbucks.
posted by epersonae at 3:07 PM on March 31, 2011

I don't even want to check how bad this month went for me. While I followed most of my rules, there are some I stopped doing due to lack of time and weird weather (C25K, studying, etc) and they are enough to make me go into negative points, again.

Also, the interface is really annoying when you're late as you need to input days one by one.

I'm not sure if I'm going to register for next month, it's somewhat disheartening to keep losing. I do have some sponsorship chips (free +3 rules) though so feel free to ask after joining the group.
posted by Memo at 3:31 PM on March 31, 2011

I started REALLY small in February. I had already started making some changes in January but I was really struggling and unsure if I was going to be able to stick with it. Now, by the end of March:

I've quit smoking.
I've started running.
I've lost 9.5 pounds.
I've made SERIOUS headway on releasing my album.
I've started keeping a journal again.
I've reconnected with friends and have become more comfortable scheduling friend dates.
I've started regularly cooking at home instead of ordering out.
I am now training for a 5k.

I plan on using health month to keep all of these new awesome habits up, and start writing new material, and become more financially organized and responsible.

Honestly? I feel like kind of a big deal. I don't think there's anything magic here, I just think that the game is helping me to stay focused.
posted by pazazygeek at 3:50 PM on March 31, 2011 [18 favorites]

I need to finalize my list, which is going to be shorter than it currently is because I've spent most of the last two weeks flat on my back with a nasty cold. Start small, ramp up next month, make it easy for myself to succeed!
posted by immlass at 3:54 PM on March 31, 2011

Ah-ha, just what I needed! After being sidelined with a shoulder injury for a few months I'm hoping to get the all-clear to start swimming again, and this will definitely help me keep on track. Perfect timing, thanks!
posted by Room 641-A at 3:57 PM on March 31, 2011

Holy crap, pazazygeek! That is a great list of accomplishments!
posted by Mouse Army at 3:59 PM on March 31, 2011

Joined Health Month last month when I saw Ocherdraco's fpp on the gray, and am so happy I did. Much more minor accomplishments for me than pazazygeek but here's what it helped me do in the past four weeks:

1. Average over 15 miles/week running
2. Also exercise at least 30 minutes/day and do yoga and visit gym at least once/week
3. Finally limit eating added sugar items to once a week
4. Practice my guitar at least 5 x a week
5. Eliminate red meat and pork (and at this point, pretty much all meat)
6. Stay away from added salt

Also, I have shed a pound a week plus a little more.

And, the support from the other MeFis is awesome. For example, many of us would be very pleased to sponsor anyone who wants to join and doesn't have $5 handy.
posted by bearwife at 4:31 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

I did it in March and mostly failed on 2 out of 3 of my rules, because I was sick literally all month. But I found that checking in about it every day helped keep me aware of my intentions, and that seemed helpful. I'll do it again in April.
posted by not that girl at 4:38 PM on March 31, 2011

OK, I'm in. I tried it back in October, but didn't have a team, and failed spectacularly after setting up overly ambitious rules. I have three modest rules for April, and lots of enthusiasm for other people's efforts to share.
posted by donnagirl at 4:47 PM on March 31, 2011

I'm in! Just 2 rules to start out with, though.
posted by shiny blue object at 5:18 PM on March 31, 2011

It's been helping me keep up with studying, drinking lots more water, and (though I still struggle with this one) taking my lunch to work. I'm now firmly a journal-writer (today is day 40!) and multi-vitamin taker, and honestly, I think the "getting things done" vibe has helped me exercise and get outside more. Yay HealthMonth!

(And please: do NOT be afraid to screw up. I end EVERY month with excess fruit that I wish I could give out to people, and I know I'm not alone. Aim for the stars, fall short, ask for help - that's the whole point.)
posted by SMPA at 5:39 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

Health Month rocks. I'm so grateful to ocherdraco for getting this going.

I have a couple of sponsorship chips if people want to try it out for free, happy to help another MeFite. Memail me if you're interested.
posted by ambrosia at 5:47 PM on March 31, 2011

How mobile-device friendly is Health Month? It sounds great, and I'd love to join the team, but I don't have internet access at home.
posted by charmcityblues at 5:58 PM on March 31, 2011

I joined! Dental health ahoy!
posted by little cow make small moo at 6:00 PM on March 31, 2011

I've also got a bunch of sponsorship chips, should anyone want one.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:14 PM on March 31, 2011

Can I just take this moment to give a big ol' shout out to ocherdraco? Thank you so much for organizing this team and moderating it, all the while working through your own rules. I'm quite certain it wouldn't be nearly as motivating if I was just doing health month alone.
posted by pazazygeek at 6:18 PM on March 31, 2011 [4 favorites]

Awesome! I joined.
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:30 PM on March 31, 2011

after sitting out a few cycles I'm back in on Team MeFi!
posted by jazon at 6:42 PM on March 31, 2011

DANG, I would like to be able to be on multiple teams. Go vote that up over on uservoice for me? Then I can be on the mefi team and also on a team with my sister, who is all lonely and not a mefite.

This will be my first month and I'm kind of terrified but hopeful.
posted by librarina at 6:48 PM on March 31, 2011

Health Month makes me happy enough to hug a kitten!
posted by drlith at 6:50 PM on March 31, 2011

I joined in February but promptly forgot about it. I'm back in for April!
posted by arcticwoman at 7:06 PM on March 31, 2011

I think I joined? I don't know, I picked eight goals, and it wants me to pay five bucks. Only I can't figure out where to give them my five bucks...
posted by smalls at 7:26 PM on March 31, 2011

Get your sister to join the MeFi team, librarina! We're friendly and don't bite, really!

(Alternatively, if you just follow each other you'll see each other's progress on your Game Wall along with the team's.)
posted by Phire at 7:49 PM on March 31, 2011

librarina, I will totally buy your sister a Metafilter membership.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:12 PM on March 31, 2011

I'm on the team - or, at least, signed up and waiting for confirmation. I'd happily take a sponsorship if someone would like to offer - I'm in grad school, and my wife and I are trying to cut the little $5 spending bits that we seem to do all the time.

If not, I'll still throw up the cash. I just thought I'd pander to y'all first.
posted by SNWidget at 8:12 PM on March 31, 2011

SNWidget, you're in and sponsored. Sweet!
posted by ocherdraco at 8:17 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

If this is your first month, do the "three rules or less" free option. Not just because you'll save money evaluating the site--though I guarantee you'll be giving Buster five bucks in May--but because that's the perfect amount of change to make in your life if you're just getting started.

...says the guy with 11 rules in April. Shuddup, I'm impatient.
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:28 PM on March 31, 2011 [4 favorites]

Ian A.T. is very wise. Starting out with three rules is an excellent idea.

(The next month you can jump up to nine or eleven and fall on your butt a few times, which can be good for you, too.)
posted by ocherdraco at 8:38 PM on March 31, 2011

I just joined! I'm not sure that I get the whole game aspect of it yet, but I will drink more water and exercise more this month and try to figure it out as I go along. Thanks, ocherdraco!
posted by msali at 8:51 PM on March 31, 2011

Oh, and thanks for all the props, guys. You all help me, too, immensely.

Your humble servant, &c.

posted by ocherdraco at 9:04 PM on March 31, 2011

> How mobile-device friendly is Health Month? It sounds great, and I'd love to join the team, but I don't have internet access at home.

I give them a solid B minus on mobile. Nothing's specifically mobile-formatted, but it works. I use the site probably 60%/40% iPhone/computer.

Everything that you need to do will operate fine, it's all clean and ajaxy. You might run into insurmountable formatting problems in some of the nooks and crannies of the site but nothing that'll hinder your normal use of the thing.

Supposedly a native mobile app is in development, which has a lot of potential. It'd make a great iPhone/Android app cast in the mold of the mint.com or linkedin type apps.
posted by churl at 10:09 PM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]

I chose my goals and I'm all set to get started. This will be such fun!
posted by HotPatatta at 10:35 PM on March 31, 2011

I was in a team with my sister too, but she's stopped playing, so...Team Metafilter, here I come! During this last round, I foolishly chose 12 rules in a month when I went on vacation twice, so suffice it to say I am so lifeless (points-wise) that Hades himself is blushing for me. I'm limiting it to 5 rules this time, with a focus on reducing my consumption of sugary drinks.
posted by brookedel at 11:05 PM on March 31, 2011

Thanks for the invitation. I'm signed up for April! I'm in a wheelchair and so many times I talk myself out of even trying to exercise or do my stretches. This may be just the thing to motivate me to TRY.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:07 PM on March 31, 2011

Oh, and I've also got a few sponsorship chips available if any Mefites need them -- send me a MeMail with the name you applied under if you're interested!
posted by brookedel at 11:17 PM on March 31, 2011

Just hit join the team, then realized I hadn't adjusted my profile name. I'm shootingstar.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:54 PM on March 31, 2011

I can't see how anyone does more than 3 rules! I can never even keep up with my three. I think I would totally lose focus on eight or nine and forget what I was meant to do. But I applaud those of you who can!
posted by lollusc at 2:28 AM on April 1, 2011

OK, this looks worthy. Joined with 3 rules for the time being.

posted by ursus_comiter at 2:36 AM on April 1, 2011

And I see this is another cool site by Buster Benson! I'm also a 750 words user, although I think I'm going to need to use Health Month to motivate me to get back on that.
posted by ursus_comiter at 2:39 AM on April 1, 2011

lollusc, I'm doing eight rules this month, but a few of them are just "do it once in the day and it's done" (flossing, limiting to one cup of coffee), and some of them are exactly the same as I had last month (eight glasses of water a day), so hopefully those'll be easy to keep track of...

posted by Lucinda at 5:20 AM on April 1, 2011

I just joined as well! Looking forward to doing this with the rest of Team MeFi!
posted by so much modern time at 6:00 AM on April 1, 2011

Last month was so bad for myriad personal reasons, but I'm really looking forward to getting back on track. If I manage my three rules successfully this month, I'll take someone up on a sponsorship offer if one is available to up my game next month. I may have set impossible goals though:
a) I live in Chicago, and go to MeFi meet-ups.
b) I'm limiting myself to 5 alcoholic beverages a week (for weight-loss reasons)
posted by booknerd at 6:55 AM on April 1, 2011

I'm in the same boat as booknerd - I might be begging ya'll for a sponsorship NEXT month - we'll see how I do with my three basic rules (flossing, water, exercise) this month.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:02 AM on April 1, 2011

OK, I joined! Let's get 'em! Positive saying!
posted by ignignokt at 7:40 AM on April 1, 2011

okay, I am in!
posted by mrs. taters at 7:43 AM on April 1, 2011

Whoever is "Kim Shier," please memail me so I can confirm you're a mefite and add you to the team. Thanks!
posted by ocherdraco at 7:48 AM on April 1, 2011

That's flibbertigibbet.
posted by Phire at 7:50 AM on April 1, 2011

I just finished setting up my rules, and I'm surprised to say that I am pretty excited! Not as excited that I have to follow the rules today - which is *exactly* why I am excited to be doing this.
posted by mrs. taters at 8:00 AM on April 1, 2011

Thanks, Phire!
posted by ocherdraco at 8:09 AM on April 1, 2011

Hooray for accountability. ;)
posted by cmgonzalez at 8:17 AM on April 1, 2011

HealthMonth has been fabulous. I started in March with 4 rules, am going with 7 in April. Ocherdraco has been a tower of strength and endless enthusiasm, but lots of other MeFites have been unstinting in their support. I can also sponsor a MeFite or two.
posted by angiep at 8:18 AM on April 1, 2011

It's crazy silly how excited I am about this!
posted by shiny blue object at 8:22 AM on April 1, 2011

OK I am in. We are doing a biggest loser thing at work, I am doing bike-every-day month, just started playing soccer for the first time in 100 years, and starting a fitness challenge with my partner. I am three sizes bigger than I want to be and it's time.

For healthmonth I have 3 rules: exercise 30 min 5x/wk, take my vitamin D and fish oil every day, and get enough protein every day. I think the lack of protein has been my kryptonite so that's a biggie. If I win, I get to pay to have my legs waxed. If I lose, I will not beat myself up about it.

Good luck everyone. Go team MeFi!
posted by headnsouth at 8:28 AM on April 1, 2011

Getting signed up! This is exactly what I need to keep on track with some changes I've made recently.
posted by workerant at 9:22 AM on April 1, 2011

One more thing for those of you confused by the site: for a long time I was convinced that I understood, at best, maybe 10% of what was going on, but once I dug around a bit more and read through the Encyclopedia, I realized that in fact I understood about 90% of the site, but the UI made me feel like I was lost even when I wasn't. (Buster has talked about this issue, and seems to be working on a redesign of the site to make it more friendly to new users.)

My point is: don't get too hung up on Spirit Animals and team points and stuff like that. Just pick your rules, try to follow them, and record your progress every day. That's the bulk of the site right there...just be active on the Team Wall and the rest will fall into place eventually.
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:23 AM on April 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

I totally and completely failed at sticking with this in Feb/March, but I think I'm finally healthy and ready to focus, so I'm in for April, this time for sure!
posted by Kat Allison at 11:18 AM on April 1, 2011

amanda kilbane, please memail me so I can confirm you're a mefite and add you to the team.

In general, if you sign up for the team, please make your mefi username visible somewhere in your health month profile. That way I don't have to ask for confirmation, which is difficult since there's nothing like memail on Health Month.
posted by ocherdraco at 12:23 PM on April 1, 2011

Ocherdraco, if someone were to sponsor me now, could I add another rule for April or would it have to wait until May?
posted by sarahnade at 12:38 PM on April 1, 2011

Where are the little notes that you add to your rules? One of my rules is "take a multivitamin every day" and when I picked that rule it allowed me to add a note to myself, so I wrote "EVERY DAY! Vitamin D and fish oil every day, flax oil at least 2x/week! DO IT!" or something to that effect. Similar for my other rules. Are those notes hidden somewhere on the "your rules" or "your game wall" pages?
posted by headnsouth at 12:47 PM on April 1, 2011

When you play a turn, you'll see those reminder notes.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:20 PM on April 1, 2011

All forms like signup respond : The change you wanted was rejected.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:40 PM on April 1, 2011

Take that, Gandhi.
posted by grobstein at 2:28 PM on April 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's a good point, Ian A.T. Thanks. It does always seem like there's eleventy thousand things happening and they're all under different headings, but this is misleading. I mean, there are eleventy thousand things on the top and bottom and side menus, but they're largely just different views of the same information or different names for the same thing. It is really scattered and a real argument for an overhaul.

But it works fine and you just kind of have to trust you're actually using 90% even though it's trying to trick you.
posted by churl at 6:24 PM on April 1, 2011

Heyo I'd like to sign up for this. Memo if you still have any sponsorship chips, please send one my way. :)
posted by phaedon at 8:10 AM on April 2, 2011

I have sponsorships. I haven't 'sponsored' before; can you go here and email me the link to your application? I guess that's how it works? Anyways my email's in my profile, anyone who wants can hit me up.
posted by churl at 10:38 AM on April 2, 2011

Me and my ridiculous amount of rules are so excited for April!
posted by saveyoursanity at 12:30 PM on April 2, 2011

I joined, but then my account disappeared. Weird.
posted by dejah420 at 4:02 PM on April 2, 2011

Signed up late, but I'm totally in!
posted by shesdeadimalive at 10:02 PM on April 2, 2011

Yeah, ocherdraco is indeed a legend and the greatest supporter you could hope for. The rest of the team are cool, too. I started off with three rules and that's a good introduction, I think. After a month, you'll most likely find this too easy and want more. I started this month with seven rules and started to fail almost immediately. By the end of the month I'll be on top, though, because of the team support.
posted by dg at 3:35 AM on April 3, 2011

dejah420, what do you mean by "my account disappeared"? You can't login anymore?
posted by ocherdraco at 4:11 AM on April 3, 2011

I'm in too, thanks ocherdraco! Though I'm about to break my 'go to bed on time' rule by playing around on the site...
posted by une_heure_pleine at 5:45 AM on April 3, 2011

I realized I had screwed up on one of my rules on April 1 because I didn't quite get how the turns worked, but I think I have it in order now (and will catch up later). Still trying to figure out the Wheel of Whatever before I spin it, though.

Also, I think I have a sponsorship chip, which I figured out last night at bedtime. I don't know how to apply it, though.
posted by immlass at 7:40 AM on April 3, 2011

Hey churl thanks! I'll send you a link to my profile there, I think that's how you sponsor somebody, by clicking sponsor me. Also I just got added to the team. I'm a little confused by the site but really want to meet my goals so... :P
posted by phaedon at 11:54 AM on April 3, 2011

I'm in and going. Maybe having some visible accountability will help me change some stuff up this month.
posted by SNWidget at 12:31 PM on April 3, 2011

Hey! Somehow I totally missed that pb added Health Month to the available social apps on MeFi profile pages. That's awesome!

You can add Health Month to your profile like so: go to your profile, click "edit profile," and scroll down to "Social Apps" (the last section before the save button). At the bottom of that section, click the dropdown that says "Choose a service" and click Health Month. Then add your Health Month username* and click "Save your Preferences." Ta-da!

*Having trouble figuring out your username? It's in the url of your Health Month profile, like so: http://healthmonth.com/profile/ocherdraco

Once you've added yourself, take a look at the Social Explorer page for Health Month and see who else is on Team Metafilter.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:06 PM on April 5, 2011

Holy bejezus I had no idea you have to re-apply to join the team every month. That's ridiculous. I assumed when you were on a team you'd stay on the team month-to-month.

I just thought everyone was being quiet this month! (Crickets on the game wall.)
posted by churl at 4:21 PM on April 5, 2011

That is kind of weird, I agree. But I do send out an invite to the next month's game to everyone who played the previous month.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:52 PM on April 6, 2011

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