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15th-Apr-2010 10:38 am
This is a public post. In the future, these will be behind a filter. Please let me know if you want to be included.

Active-U, M-Healthy, StayWell Online... whatever...

I've been working toward getting $100 (before taxes -- and no, I didn't even haggle -- that was the offer) by doing various "healthy" items. I answered the obligatory questionnaire for 20 points, am filling out a "healthy eating survey" each day, and am keeping track of how much I exercise, also each day.

Things about each of these irk me a lot. The eating questions are stupid. ("I chose more healthy-X than baaaaad-Y this day." By weight? By volume? By item? What if there was no choice involved? Yeah, being literal minded can be a handicap.) If I reach a certain volume of meeting my goal, I'll get 40 points. I will do this. (The final question especially irks me -- it suggests I get breakfast within one hour of waking up... but I'm on empty stomach drugs, so I MAY NOT eat for one hour after doing the drugs.)

For the physical exercise one, they set a "goal" for me (315 minutes... I've since reduced it because I can't guarantee getting a walk in at a con) based on the questionnaire -- how long do I exercise for, on average (45 minutes) how many days per week (7)... but I'm not sure whether or not I'm dinged for not meeting this goal. I might get 40 points. (If I make it, there's the 100 I need to succeed and get my bribe.)

If it doesn't matter, then I feel stupid for pushing (the times I did) to make it, especially since I usually blow the "target" away. I'm currently stressed about the one week I "didn't" make the goal -- because I thought I had put in my minutes, but they didn't "take" so the next week, when I could no longer update them, I had a "didn't make goal" week. So I don't know if I'll get my 40 points for this other 11 weeks of this (stupid) activity (if you'll pardon the pun).

But while I was digging around behind the scenes, I saw a "free nutritional consult" (for 40 points). Well, I know I don't eat right, and if it's free, all it will cost me is time, right? And there _might_ be some bennies.

So I called... and 2 weeks ago was my first consult.

She's sure I'm not the worst she's seen... but she said that before learning anything about me.

This might well be worth what I'm paying for it. She asked me my motivations for doing this, and I don't have any. It was there, free, and I figured to look at it. If I can die in one month by eating nothing but chocolate, or live for 65 more years eating nothing but eggplant, honey, pass me the Hershey's, I'll drink it right from the bottle.

But. My first goal was to have breakfast. Prior to this call, my idea of brekky was a glass of mocha in the morning. Well, that doesn't count. She hasn't quite explained to me how something with fewer calories does count, but mocha doesn't, but okay. And then in the last 2 weeks, there were 2 breakfasts that she told me were not all that great... but what she's trying to do now is build up my confidence, so while it's okay now, it probably won't be once she decides I've been doing it long enough. (Makes me grumpy. I _like_ chocolate almond croissants with chai. And I like supporting my local bakery.)

(And I think I took her off-chart. She asked me if I'd noticed any differences between before I started eating breakfast each day and after, and I told her that yes, now I'm having a much harder time getting out of bed, and I don't even hear the alarm most mornings.)

My next goal is water. I drink approximately 0 glasses of water per day. Unless milk counts. Unless what I mix my fiber into counts. Unless coke and coffee count. Some medical organization says I should get 9-11 8-oz glasses per day (depending on whether I'm male or female, active or not, stay inside or outside more, and based on my size). My current goal is small -- 1 glass, 2 days a week. And she'll check back with me in a month. I should be able to drink a half gallon of water in a month. Maybe. Especially if you're "supposed" to do more than that in a day. (Now _that_ thought is discouraging. I don't LIKE water. And tea has caffeine (so it doesn't count). And if I put honey in it, then I suppose _that_ is bad too.)

But she's pushing me to have "buddies" because apparently some people are more willing to actually do what they've said they'd do if they have "buddies". I'm not sure this reflects me, but I've mumbled something about "folks on the internet" whenever she's asked.

So you're elected. Welcome buddies. I don't expect I'll post a lot. Not going to say "this is the sort of goo I had for breakfast _today_" ... at least not every day.

(Although I am pleased to report that the "peanut rice milk" that I got a recipe for from one of my students from Taiwan "counts". I'm still figuring out how to get it right.)

15th-Apr-2010 03:00 pm (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure what organization you're describing here, but I'd be interested in being on your filter.
16th-Apr-2010 01:22 am (UTC)
I work for the U of M, and they've started doing this "get healthy" thing. I didn't participate last year, but the $100 incentive grabbed me. Active-U I think is where I get the related e-mails from, M-Healthy I think is where I log in to see the standing of my "team" (who's tracking at a higher percentage... we're at about #29 I think, 70-some percent), "StayWell Online" I think is the location that is really tracking my activity and participation, and they're not UM as far as I can figure. The nutrition advice I signed up for has someone in another state calling me at some specified time to talk about my goals and whatnot. So that is a University benefit, but it's coming from outside -- through the StayWell thingy or somewhere else I'm not going to guess.

You're on the filter.
15th-Apr-2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
Add me to the filter please.

I wonder what your nutritionist would think of me. Left to my own devices, I would pretty much live on soy milk, malt powder, and oatmeal/oat square dry cereal.
16th-Apr-2010 01:24 am (UTC)
You've been added.

Hmmm... My bet is that she'd encourage you to experience a little more diversity, but that she'd have not much bad to say about any of the items (except possibly the malt) individually.
15th-Apr-2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
Count me in.
16th-Apr-2010 01:25 am (UTC)

Edited at 2010-04-16 01:25 am (UTC)
15th-Apr-2010 04:17 pm (UTC)
We've got some stupid wellness thing at work too. It used to be when it was locally administered, you just kept track of how much you exercised, and if you did some number of minutes per quarter, you got a gift certificate. That was cool, and some of us had fun seeing if we could hit 10x the number of minutes (we still only got one gift).

Then they switched to giving away useless crap, like gym bags and jackets. Then they outsourced the program and now it's this idiotic complex thing where you need to track all kinds of junk. I gave up on it after they stopped giving cash.

The 8 glasses of water thing is widely known to be flawed in its normal form. it's supposed to include ALL forms of H2O going into your system, whether as water, juice, coffee, melons, whatever. Of course, the best would be if you were eating a glass or three of it as fruit, some water, then whatever else. My personal theory is that (sorry if this is gross) I drink until my urine isn't too dark colored or bad smelling; at that point I figure I've reached a point where I'm diluting it more than simply flushing out toxins, and that should be good enough.
16th-Apr-2010 01:31 am (UTC)
Last year they didn't offer money and I didn't participate. I nearly didn't this year, figuring it wouldn't be worth my time...

I would be more comfortable with the 8, or 9-11 or whatever if they *did* count not-just-boring-water, but I think the only reason the woman who's advising me (like everyone else has) didn't say "if there's caffeine it doesn't count" is because I told her I'd not believe her if she said it before she had the opportunity.

By your theory, most of the time I'm getting enough water, even though I avoid it in its natural form. :-)
Please be kind to a literal bumby and let me know explicity if you want on the filter. :-)
15th-Apr-2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
I'd be happy to be a "buddy". It might help keep me on track as well.
16th-Apr-2010 01:32 am (UTC)
You my buddy.
15th-Apr-2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
Count me in.
16th-Apr-2010 01:33 am (UTC)
Thanks. Done.
15th-Apr-2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
I'd like to be on the filter too, please. I'd be interested in hearing what kind of advice you're getting. I'm getting advice from my trainer, who is teaching us how to balance protein/ carbs/ and fat.

16th-Apr-2010 01:35 am (UTC)
You're on.

So far it's a "this is your plan what do you want to work on" sort of deal.

I've agreed to eat breakfast. I think we started small -- 3 days a week. (I've done it every day since that phone call.)

The next goal is drinking water. I've agreed to drink 8 ounces of water twice a week. I did it today, the only day since the 2nd phone call. (She wants me to get up to 8 or more, but is working slowly.)

15th-Apr-2010 05:52 pm (UTC)
Maybe we should put together a list -- At this point, you, me and 5 other women I can think of off the top of my head are doing "lifestyle changes" whether that means simply getting more exercise (bike riding or walking with a pedometer) to the full blown Weight Watchers regime or GI diets for type 2 diabetes...
16th-Apr-2010 01:38 am (UTC)
Heh. Could be interesting.

I resisted the "getting more exercise" -- since I currently try for 45 minutes a day, and since the last time I caught up on FB/LJ I've been catching up for the day while I walk, well, yesterday it was 84 minutes. I will *not* commit to more. Don't have enough time!

Please be kind to a literal bumby and let me know explicity if you want on the filter. :-)
15th-Apr-2010 10:14 pm (UTC)
Please add me to your list. It sounds similar to a program they have here at my work too.
16th-Apr-2010 01:39 am (UTC)
You're on.

Edited at 2010-04-16 01:40 am (UTC)
16th-Apr-2010 12:21 am (UTC)
Count me in too.
16th-Apr-2010 01:40 am (UTC)
16th-Apr-2010 12:50 am (UTC)
Me too. My company is working on a Wellness program. (So far all they have done is put hand sanitizers in the restrooms and break rooms.) Also i really need to get 'healthy' after my chemo and radiation treatments are over.
16th-Apr-2010 01:44 am (UTC)
You're on.

If I can be supportive in your efforts, let me know. :-)
16th-Apr-2010 02:02 am (UTC)
I'm interested!
17th-Apr-2010 03:03 am (UTC)
You're in.
16th-Apr-2010 12:47 pm (UTC)
Very interesting. So far my employer's "wellness program" consists of annual voluntary screenings and telling us they're planning to implement health insurance surcharges for smokers and being overweight. ($50 for each)

My exercise program is mostly walking the dog, mowing the lawn and ignoring the treadmill. :) But then I don't have your problems with sleep.

Keep me in the loop.
16th-Apr-2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
Please add me too. Part of wellness is wholeness--which means knowing what your brain needs too. I found out that for my brain & body type, a low-carb high-protein diet wasn't healthy--I gained weight and the depression increased. So back to a higher-carb diet. John is right about the newer liquid intake guidelines, BTW. I also use his practical test along with--how is my breath & am I getting a headache (if bad, drink more; if yes, drink more).
16th-Apr-2010 09:25 pm (UTC)
You can add me to the buddy list. I've always dreaded that whole buddy question when doing programs.
Water-what's that? It's not brown and carbonated with sweetener and caffeine. There are several herbal teas with no caffeine at most stores-check out Celestial Seasonings teas.
17th-Apr-2010 03:14 am (UTC)
You're in. Thanks. Yes, I like Celestial Seasoning (although they discontinued my favorite a bunch of years ago) -- and have a stash of various sorts of tea and tea-like substances... but work gives out free coffee and Lipton tea -- and my favorite beverage right now is chai, which is (usually) based on black tea. And I detest most green teas unless I put a lot of a sweetener in them.
17th-Apr-2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
Sure you can add me.

An idea about making it easier to drink more water that worked amazingly well for me was to use a straw. I just drink so much more at a time that way without even noticing I'm doing it. At this point, while I still drink a soft drink and some coffee out, at home I only drink water and don't feel deprived, anymore.
17th-Apr-2010 07:50 pm (UTC)
You're in. Thanks. I'll try the straw thing... in fact I just bought a 24 ounce storage container with a straw-sized hole in the top... We'll see how that goes.
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