A few years ago the then parent company of my company changed their health plan to offer a service called Healthy Roads.
I participated for a little bit, but was later kicked out because I didn’t participate in the insurance for my company. (Even though they said it was cool for me to participate to begin with!) The premise was that it was little bit of a social network focusing on getting healthier, and also you got the pedometer type device called a KAM. It didn’t actually count steps, it must have done some sort of internal calculation and then it gave you a number and you were supposed to have your number higher than some baseline number and you were healthy for that day. Also, you were supposed to hit a little button on it when you ate a vegetable or something like that.
To me, that’s like voodoo. If I can’t understand what goes into the calculations, I have no motivation or reason to care. I think that’s one of the main reasons I really love my Fitbit Ultra. I can see and feel what happens when I take a step. I can take many steps or go up flights of stairs and see the results displayed on the screen and on my Fitbit dashboard.
People were so detached from the numbers on the device that one of my co-workers simply twirled it around his finger all day and was able to hit his numbers that way. I think there was some reward at the end where you got to be on a cheaper health plan the next year or something.
In the years since then, the original parent company stopped using Healthy Roads, and also we were bought by another large corporation.
Needless to say, earlier this year when our new parent company announced that we’d be participating in the Healthy Roads again this year I was less than excited. However, there are some additional motivations and some changes this time that made me want to participate. First, for health plan participants (not me) there was some sort of financial benefit. Secondly, if you do a biometric testing and participate in some phone coaching sessions, I would get a 100 dollar visa gift card. Sweet!
Now, the great part about this is that everything fit exactly into my plans for weight loss. Biometric testing is something I needed to get done anyway just to get sort of a baseline to see how much I improve throughout my weight loss journey. Coaching? I wasn’t that excited about it, but I figured I could do it. They offered weight loss coaching, so I signed up for that plan. Basically, they offer a huge wealth of resources on their website, and a ton of documents and plans that people can use to help themselves.
The phone coaching has actually been pretty good for me so far. While I’m being accountable in a very public way, it definitely helps to talk aloud about my plan and to keep myself on track. It’s also been great, that during each session I have set little mini weight loss goals, and I’ve been able to meet them by the next session each time.
The best part is, they don’t use that little awful KAM anymore.
Has anyone else participated in this as part of their health plan? What were your results?