Health Month August 2012 July 25, 2012 6:34 AM   Subscribe

Join us on HealthMonth! Eat better. Get fit. Floss more.

Healthmonth is a website where you pick certain rules (you can have 3 as a free player; more if you pay or are sponsored; many of us have "sponsorship chips" and will sponsor other mefites), and check in daily and share how you're doing with following those rules. Miss too many days of flossing and you might lose a lifepoint, but never fear! Your teammates can heal you with fruits. Teammates, you say? Yes! You can join Team MetaFilter, so other mefites can give you help, encouragement, and tasty tasty healing-fruit.

Here are some prior posts about HealthMonth, with lots of testimonials.

Personally, I lost 15 pounds in the first three months I did HealthMonth, just by eating more fruit (which displaced my snacking-on-crap between meals) and by getting in some light exercise on most days of the week. This ENDLESS HEATWAVE has thrown me a bit off my game, but I have been flossing like crazy (one of my goals) and working on my stalled embroidery project (another goal), and I'm looking forward to meeting my food-and-exercise goals more diligently as it starts to cool off!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 6:34 AM (73 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

Website not working for anyone else?

Also, does this thing have any sort of rules for gaining weight? I need to gain weight but, obviously, in a healthy manner.
posted by griphus at 6:42 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Come join us, really. My weight loss hasn't been as fantastic as Eyebrows McGee, but I've built from no walking at all to walking 4-5x week because of Health Month. The more of us there are, the merrier it is.

Griphus - there are custom rules if none of the existing ones will work for you, so if you're trying to eat a particular food to gain weight or eat above X calories per day or whatever, you can make that rule.

(Also I was just on it doing my daily turn and it was fine for me.)
posted by immlass at 6:44 AM on July 25, 2012

That's weird, I tried to register, it sent me a "verify your email" email, and now trying to get onto the site in any fashion is giving me a "We're sorry, but something went wrong" error message.

Welp, you had your chance, HealthMonth. It's triple-bacon-cheeseburgers and black tar heroin for me from now on.
posted by griphus at 6:46 AM on July 25, 2012 [11 favorites]

That's weird, I tried to register, it sent me a "verify your email" email, and now trying to get onto the site in any fashion is giving me a "We're sorry, but something went wrong" error message.

Welp, you had your chance, HealthMonth. It's triple-bacon-cheeseburgers and black tar heroin for me from now on.

Same problem registering here.

On the subject of health and triple-bacon-cheeseburger, I once ate at a restaurant that had a lite menu that just replaced french fries with salad. I ended up getting a triple-bacon-cheeseburger off the lite menu.
posted by Gygesringtone at 6:58 AM on July 25, 2012

ditto on the registration problem. Also it says the mefi team isn't signed up for August yet?
posted by brilliantine at 7:03 AM on July 25, 2012

I can't see what isn't working (since I'm logged in), but the contact form for the website owner is here.

Maybe webgoddess will pop in and help, she runs our team!

You can definitely set up the rules for whatever you want. In fact most of the diet rules are "avoid caffeine" or "eat more fruit" or "don't snack" or "Eat breakfast" -- more about creating healthy habits than about counting calories, which is why it's been successful for me. I'm not going to keep up with calorie counting, but I know I don't eat nearly enough fruit, so knowing I have to check in about whether I ate fruit at the end of the day tends to make me eat it, which tends to displace a bad snack-food snack. A little bitty change but it made a big difference for me!

(Also my dentist better look at my teeth and be like, "Wow, you must have been flossing all the time!" this fall. Because otherwise I'll know they have NO IDEA if you're actually flossing or not.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:08 AM on July 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

You can go ahead and sign up, btw, without joining the team, and join the team later. The option to make it "go" for the next month comes up nearish the end of the month, I recall.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:09 AM on July 25, 2012

Thanks for the reminder. I need to get back into it.
posted by zarq at 7:17 AM on July 25, 2012

It won't let me sign up either...
posted by patheral at 7:18 AM on July 25, 2012

I think I need HealthMonth Month, you know an online community to keep me participating in HealthMonth and prevent me from getting lazy and stop checking in after a week!
posted by bluefly at 7:30 AM on July 25, 2012

I'm debating taking a month off from HM - particularly since I start next month off with a week of vacation. On the other hand, I'm on a roll so why stop?
posted by rmd1023 at 7:34 AM on July 25, 2012

After not doing HealthMonth for nearly three months, it's time to go back in. I am in. I am all in.
posted by Kitteh at 7:36 AM on July 25, 2012

I would like to get back into this . . . but the site is down? And that tiny, temporary impediment might be enough to stop me!
posted by grobstein at 8:11 AM on July 25, 2012

August will be my third Health Month, and it has been really helpful so far. Even though I'm about as quiet on the Team MeFi page as I am here, I think just knowing that other people are also working towards goals makes me feel like we're all in it together - even though our goals are all different (except for flossing). But I do think the site is a bit flaky.
posted by featherboa at 8:48 AM on July 25, 2012

Flossing for everybody! My dentist was very happy with me the last time I went in because of my improved flossing.

I got 6 copies of the same e-mail telling me he had sold the company and welcoming the new one that would keep the same level of service. I was not impressed.

Apparently there was a severe mailing glitch. They have a blog and the new guys have issued a big mea culpa about that and promised to fix the mail stuff. I love the site, but its emails haven't been great for a long time. I never get the one inviting me to the new team each month.
posted by immlass at 8:59 AM on July 25, 2012

Hmmm now it says Team Metafilter is not signed up for August yet?
posted by grobstein at 9:27 AM on July 25, 2012

I love Health Month so hard.

The first month I was on Health Month, my rule for walking was a total of six miles a week. That was March of 2011. Now my walking rule is 33 miles, PLUS riding my bike 22 miles, PLUS 60 minutes of other exercise (spinning) twice a week. So I have gradually, and painlessly, ramped up my physical activity quite a bit. I've still got a ways to go, but it's good to look back and see where I started. And yeah, I'm down 25 pounds. I floss daily, drink a ton of water (licked the diet soda habit!) and get more sleep.

The white flour rule continues to kick my ass around the block, however. Baby steps.
posted by ambrosia at 9:49 AM on July 25, 2012 [3 favorites]

Thanks to Team Metafilter I've been doing this HealthMonth thing for Awhile now, and some months I really ramp it up, others I cut way down to just trying to be grateful and floss. So it really can be almost anything you want it to be. And the Team is tremendously supportive!

Hunh, time to start contemplating those August rules.
posted by ldthomps at 10:18 AM on July 25, 2012

Yeah! I'm back in for August after failing to complete June on, like, the last day. I have been doing OK at exercising without it, but horribly at everything else -- the one that I've dropped most noticeably is "take stuff to goodwill once a week." And I definitely miss the team.
posted by librarina at 10:41 AM on July 25, 2012

I so need to come back to Health Month! Will sign up at once.
posted by bearwife at 10:59 AM on July 25, 2012

Ack, it won't let me login on IE or Firefox. Something is amiss at the site.
posted by bearwife at 11:18 AM on July 25, 2012

I should probably get back into this, as I'm moving cubes and will not have such easy access to quick food and parking and would really like to make new habits around this. But the not being able to log in is foiling me!
posted by sarahnade at 11:38 AM on July 25, 2012

Yes, I just tried to reset my password. No dice.
posted by purpleclover at 1:11 PM on July 25, 2012

Something definitely seems borked over at HealthMonth. I hope that I can remember to sign up when they've gotten around to fixing it.
posted by Scientist at 3:46 PM on July 25, 2012

45 years of bad living caught up to me last month and I landed in the ER with a blood glucose level of "DUDE! You should be in a coma!" and I won some Type 2 Diabetes. Naturally I have many new health goals, may of which I am already meeting. I'd like to be on Team Metafilter once HealthMonth is unborked, I'm getting the "We're sorry..." message also.
posted by Rob Rockets at 4:22 PM on July 25, 2012

Yeah, the site appears to be borked. I've actually been doing weight watchers with my wife for the last 3 months, lost 25 pounds! I actually only intended to lose 20, so now I'm just working to try to maintain and maybe get back up to my goal weight. I'm also planning on riding my bike into work for most of August, only 7km but a good few hills. Health month should be good for helping with motivation on that.
posted by antifuse at 4:40 PM on July 25, 2012

The site does seem to be borked, but I just got an email asking me to confirm my registration, hmm.
posted by peppermind at 5:17 PM on July 25, 2012

(I *have* been flossing every day for the last 2 weeks though, go me!)
posted by antifuse at 6:26 PM on July 25, 2012

I e-mailed our team leader and will try to e-mail health month tomorrow (if nap time goes as planned). I'll post back when I have something useful, so keep this in your recent activity and hopefully you'll see it pop back up!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:13 PM on July 25, 2012

Hi guys! Team MeFi is now registered for August and the invitation has been sent out. I'll do my best to watch for sponsorship and joining requests this weekend, but I'm traveling with my family so my access might be spotty...
posted by web-goddess at 12:12 AM on July 26, 2012

So, I went to the page today, to try and sign up (yay, the page was there!) and it turns out my username/email was already taken. So I guess the account I tried to create yesterday got created. But I didn't get a verification email. Tried to login, got the "Sorry, something is wrong" page or whatever. And now I ALWAYS get that page.

Tip: delete your cookies for HealthMonth if you get stuck in this state. Something on their page saves an error state to your cookies that doesn't seem to get fixed.
posted by antifuse at 6:23 AM on July 26, 2012

(ahh, verfication email was in my spam folder)
posted by antifuse at 6:24 AM on July 26, 2012

(still can't login though)
posted by antifuse at 6:26 AM on July 26, 2012

Is HealthMonth typically unavailable for a day straight each month? That would seem to limit its utility.
posted by Rob Rockets at 11:39 AM on July 26, 2012

healthmonth is still borked. headnsouth is still fat.
posted by headnsouth at 2:05 PM on July 26, 2012

Headnsouth isn't fat, they're just big-boned.
posted by Rob Rockets at 2:35 PM on July 26, 2012

This is the first time I've had any trouble with it since January 1, which I'm sorry coincides with my metatalk post! I've e-mailed them for help.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:37 PM on July 26, 2012

If it ever works again, I would like someone to explain how the social/team aspects of Health Month are supposed to work. I feel like I missed out on whatever the day-to-day benefits of being part of a team were last time I participated.
Sorry I can't ask more specific questions, but I can't, you know, sign in.
posted by obloquy at 3:22 PM on July 26, 2012

Maybe someone who tweets could tweet at them, they seem to respond fast on Twitter, but I do not understand Twitter even a little.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:32 PM on July 26, 2012

Obloquy, I think there are three big benefits. First, the exercise of logging in daily and seeing what other people are doing tends to be very effective at keeping people on task. Secondly, the support and encouragement of others helps a lot. And lastly, team mates save us from running out of life points by donating fruit.

I have missed Health Month and my uptick in weight seems tied in to me.

I can't decide if I'm more irked that I haven't been able to connect to Twitter all day, or that no one seems to be at the switch at Health Month.
posted by bearwife at 3:35 PM on July 26, 2012

Eyebrows, I think I understand twitter but can't tweet at HM because twitter hasn't been up today either.
posted by bearwife at 3:36 PM on July 26, 2012

posted by obloquy at 3:40 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

I just sent them a tweet to let them know I can't sign in. Based on their twitter feed, it seems they've been having trouble since at least Monday.
posted by peppermind at 4:31 PM on July 26, 2012

I was actually flossing before I even clicked on that thread. Let me tell you why...Plackers disposable flossups. The kind with handle and the loop with the prespread floss. SO EASY. Seriously I floss about 3 times a day, and my teeth itch from the packed in food if I don't.

I have really tight teeth, and it was always terrible getting normal floss in there. Plackers though are bullet proof. And don't buy the off brands, or any other brand. They don't work. They fall apart instantly. Plackers must be kevlar or something.
posted by Chekhovian at 6:35 PM on July 26, 2012

Chekhovian - I have super tight teeth as well, and every floss brand I ever tried would instantly shred when I tried to floss my teeth. But my dentist a few years ago recommended Oral-B Satin Floss and it was like night and day. That stuff is AWESOME. I still don't floss as much as I should though, because it's still a slimy business to have my hands all up in my mouth. Plackers are hella expensive at the store, but I never thought about the online purchasing aspect. Duh.
posted by antifuse at 6:44 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

because it's still a slimy business to have my hands all up in my mouth

The other Plackers supermove, for the tight teethed amongst us, is to position the placker, then gently bite down on it, using your jaw muscle to jam it between your teeth, rather than your fingers. Convenience! (you have to practice a little so you don't bite too hard and jam it into your gums).
posted by Chekhovian at 9:04 PM on July 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

UPDATE: Healthmonth replied to my tweet, and asked for my username. I sent it, along with a link to this thread so they can see it's not an isolated problem. Hopefully it's fixed soon, I really don't need technology to give me an excuse to be lazy!
posted by peppermind at 6:18 AM on July 27, 2012

I tried to register yesterday and got through the registration screen, but everything since then has been the "something has gone wrong" page (curiously enough, my "welcome/please confirm your email" email came through). Are any previously registered members able to get through, or does it seem to be down across the board?
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:57 AM on July 27, 2012

Healthmonth was fantastic for me last year - I lost a lot of weight, easily, and was running, flossed, felt better emotionally & physically than I ever did before and then we had a big move and my time- and self-management skills went out the window (Though I didn't gain all the weight back). Going to have to get back on the horse, methinks.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:30 AM on July 27, 2012

It remains down for me today. I direct tweeted them today (as I got Twitter working on IE, still not in Firefox) and I hope there is someone home there.

Maybe we should find another site to cheer each other on? has a community tab, for example.
posted by bearwife at 10:08 AM on July 27, 2012

I'm still getting "something has gone wrong!" too. As extra fun, when I don't get that, I'm informed that the change I was trying to make was rejected. My feelings are hurt, HealthMonth! I try to make a positive change in my life, and you reject the change? Gee, thanks.

Seriously, I'll keep trying, but I'm pretty bummed.
posted by MeghanC at 10:10 AM on July 27, 2012

It's working for me now!
posted by Proginoskes at 11:06 AM on July 27, 2012

I got an email from them a couple of hours ago, and they said they thought they'd fixed the problem. It's working for me now too.
posted by peppermind at 1:46 PM on July 27, 2012

Yay, it worked! Signed up for: gym 4x/week, walk dog 7x/week, tend veggie garden every day.
posted by headnsouth at 2:30 PM on July 27, 2012

YAY, finally worked for me too, and I'm IN.
posted by bearwife at 4:51 PM on July 27, 2012

I'm joining, I'm joining! My goals are pretty modest (walk more, do my physical therapy more, eat more fruits and vegetables), but it's always good to have support.
posted by Elsa at 6:10 PM on July 27, 2012

(Also my dentist better look at my teeth and be like, "Wow, you must have been flossing all the time!" this fall. Because otherwise I'll know they have NO IDEA if you're actually flossing or not.)

Eyebrows McGee, my dental hygienist can definitely tell when I've been flossing --- and, more to the point, when I haven't been. Yuck. On my last visit, she was all OH HAI GOLD STAR. I've been high-fiving myself for weeks over that.
posted by Elsa at 6:16 PM on July 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Heads-up to other newbs: Turns out that you can't be on more than one team at a time. I signed up for team MeFi, and then created another one for my partner and BFF to do with me...then discovered I had to choose.
posted by MeghanC at 1:27 AM on July 29, 2012

bearwife: There's also a Metafilter group on Fitocracy.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:56 AM on July 29, 2012

Yay all signed up! (no more soda, get more sleep, do more yoga...)
posted by somanyamys at 5:47 AM on July 30, 2012

I'm in on both HealthMonth and Fitocracy. Keep the links coming! Hold me accountable! Take this candy bar away!
posted by RainyJay at 8:47 AM on July 30, 2012

Yay, looking forward to more Mefits!
posted by immlass at 8:55 AM on July 30, 2012

Looks like it's workin! Sent the request to the MeFi group/team/whatever, just have to figure out the page itself now.
posted by antifuse at 10:42 AM on July 30, 2012

Yeah, it's a little non-intuitive to use at first, but you figure it out pretty quickly.

For me, the benefit of being on a team is that I'm motivated to check in and to record my own progress, and I get wrapped up in other people's adventures (because Lord knows I love me some human drama). I get very involved in other people's slowly-increasing jogging distances and I'm like "WOOOO! 1.5 MILES!" even though I can't remember the last time I personally jogged on purpose.

I'm sticking with my same rules -- the unusual summer heat has slowed me down on exercise so I haven't made much progress the last few months -- and adding one for knocking items off my to-do list that have been moldering there for long periods. I'm really bad about that!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:49 AM on July 30, 2012

Also for anyone having trouble getting to the Team Metafilter page, it's here.
posted by immlass at 12:33 PM on July 30, 2012

I think I'm all set - waking up on time, very limited fast food, and walking a lot! eee
posted by brilliantine at 7:05 PM on July 30, 2012

Hooray! I am back on the team.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:25 PM on July 30, 2012

OK, fell off for a few months but am back in, huzzah! Thanks for keeping the team up and running.
posted by kinsey at 5:33 AM on July 31, 2012

If anybody has a sponsorship chip available, I'd love to be sponsored.
I also have one to give away, is there a way to see which MeFi team members need sponsored?
posted by kinsey at 5:51 AM on July 31, 2012

All right! I'm in, got my 3 rules setup up, I'm on Team MeFi too. Flossing, exercising for at least an hour 3 days a week, and getting to bed by 11pm at least 5 days a week. That last one will be hard, but I should be able to make a go of it. :)
posted by antifuse at 6:42 AM on July 31, 2012

Can someone explain how the sponsorship thing works? I don't think I need to be sponsored since the powers that be decided they liked me for this month, but maybe next?
posted by peppermind at 5:15 PM on July 31, 2012

If you choose three rules or less, you play for free. If you have more than three rules, you can either pay $5 for the month, or I think $50 for the year. Paying gives you sponsorship chips that you can give to other people. You can also ask for sponsorship on the sponsorship page, and other people will see your request and help you out.

Once upon a time there were Four Square badges to be had on Health Month, and that led to people spamming the Game Wall with requests for sponsorship, so now the site won't let you post the word "sponsorship" on the website. That's the history.

By the way, I have a bunch of sponsorship chips left if anyone wants one, just make your request!
posted by ambrosia at 5:26 PM on July 31, 2012

I'm back in, after a ca-razy summer of not bothering.
posted by ladygypsy at 5:29 PM on July 31, 2012

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