I’ve always struggled to maintain a healthy weight due to various issues. I don’t have an eating disorder, but I do have disordered eating habits. (I expect that this sort of setup would work for eating disorders as well, but I’m not a doctor or anything like that.) This past summer I realized I’d gained a bit too much weight and wanted to try Beeminder for a weight-loss goal, but I was hesitant because I didn’t want to add any incentive to continue losing more weight than I needed to. The solution: make two Beeminder goals!
Losing the weight was no problem. In August I set up the goal to lose 5kg by the end of the year, and I’d already reached that goal by the start of November. Weight loss has never been the tricky part for me (both a blessing and a curse), but maintaining a healthy weight and not just continuing to lose weight has always been hard. So I’m very pleased that these two goals combined have kept me in my intended weight range (+/- 1kg away from 65kg) for about three months so far. I did give myself an extra kg of wiggle room for the holidays, and that worked really well also.
I also have a third goal which makes sure I weigh myself at least five days a week so that I stay on track consistently and don’t just quit paying attention entirely. Everything syncs together beautifully through IFTTT and my Withings scale (found for a great price on eBay!), so tracking all this is no trouble at all. I step on the scale once in the morning and technology does the rest. I get a reminder from Beeminder if I’m getting too close to either limit, and otherwise I don’t have to think about it.
Here’s how the two goals work together (one do-more and one do-less goal):
Nice! Years ago we argued that this isn’t something Beeminder should support – https://blog.beeminder.com/bothsides/ – but this is a good argument for it. Or, well, also an argument for how Beeminder already does support it! Amending that post or doing a followup would probably be worthwhile. (Feel free to add a comment pointing here in the meantime!)
Btw, is it a Beeminder bug that your y-axes are saying “cumulative total kilograms”?
Yeah, we actually talked about this sometime last spring, I think.
Basically: Beeminder minds the “bad” side and you mind the “good” side yourself.
I think this is a good example of an edge case where that approach doesn’t work. The only other similar ones I can think of off the top of my head are also mental health related, but I think that’s an important demographic of users. The setup I have now does work and does the job well, but it’s kind of clunky and annoying.
It’s also too complicated to use as an example when trying to recruit new users: If I tell someone that Beeminder is the first thing that’s helped me maintain a healthy weight, it’s much harder to keep their interest in trying out the system than when I have to pull up two or three graphs than one. People were much more likely to continue the conversation when I showed them my simple weight-loss goal than these two combined.
I could write a followup post about why a double-sided goal option would be useful if that would be helpful!
Huh, I’m not sure why it says cumulative total kilograms. I’ve actually never noticed that before. I’ve fixed it in the settings now, but I’m pretty sure that was added by default since it’s not something I can see myself writing intentionally.