Health Quest

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Health Quest

Postby Bradshaw » Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:09 am UTC

So one day I get totally fed up with being out of shape. I thought, "I know what to do, but I can't stay motivated to do it. There must be a way I can stick with my program that's fun." So I wrote Health Quest.

Bottom line, it is a fantasy story/game in which you're not allowed to read the next chapter until you've completed a specified number of days of dieting and exercise.

Silly mind games? Yes. Did it work? Yes.

Now I'm a new poster here so I can't post the link. But I'm pretty sure that anyone in this crowd, with the information in this post, could find it within about 5 seconds. So, is this post a thinly veiled attempt at attracting some web traffic? Well, a little I suppose; but this book is just a hobby and I am NEVER going to get rich off of it. It's just too weird; not many people without imagination are going to get it.

Why I'm really posting on this forum of brighter types with some imagination (really my target audience) is to ask the question, "Is anyone interested?" My feelings won't be hurt if you're not; my day job is going quite well thanks.

My apologies by the way to the moderators. Should have read the posting guidelines first before trying to post a link. My bad.

Cheers,
Zac Bradshaw
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Re: Health Quest

Postby Evengeduld » Thu Oct 27, 2011 6:32 am UTC

Took me more then 5 seconds but here is a link to the book :wink:
Just searching health quest gets you all kind of results not even closely related to your book.
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Re: Health Quest

Postby Bradshaw » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:50 pm UTC

Evengeduld:

You rock.

Thanks,
Zac
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Re: Health Quest

Postby Bradshaw » Mon Oct 31, 2011 10:15 pm UTC

Update.

I've created possibly the worst nerd rap in history in support of this project. Look up "Health Quest Rap" on Youtube. Have a coffee first if you're in the morning.

Cheers,
Zac
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Re: Health Quest

Postby Bradshaw » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:34 am UTC

No? Ok.

Man, that rap was a bad idea. It's gone. Mistakes were made, lessons were learned, we grew from the experience.

So I made another video where I don't even talk. Much better. I'll leave you with "Health Quest Motivation" on Youtube.

Enjoy, and all the best with all your fitness goals everyone.

Zac
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Re: Health Quest

Postby gaurwraith » Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:07 pm UTC

better :P
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Re: Health Quest

Postby shocklocks » Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:15 pm UTC

Not to be a dick or anything but how exactly did it work for you if you were the one who wrote the story? It seems to defeat the purpose of not reading past a certain point until you've done a certain thing.
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Re: Health Quest

Postby Fossa » Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:04 pm UTC

shocklocks wrote:Not to be a dick or anything but how exactly did it work for you if you were the one who wrote the story? It seems to defeat the purpose of not reading past a certain point until you've done a certain thing.


Astute observation. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that he's selling something. :roll:

Gimmicks like this aren't the way to enable change.
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Re: Health Quest

Postby Bradshaw » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:55 am UTC

Shocklocks:

I don't think you're a dick at all, that's a great question. To tell the honest truth, I wrote each chapter in succession, completing my days as I went along. In other words, I didn't write the next chapter until I had finished my diet days. (though I had a basic idea for the story arc) That's partly how I came up with my ideas for what each monster represented in real life; since I took it from actual events. Example, stuck at a non-motivating plateau is like trying to beat an animated statue.

It didn't quite work out as simply as that. I screwed up along the way a few times, meaning I had a 1/2 written manuscript and a busted diet. When I went back at it, I just kept going till I got to where I had been and kept writing. Took me 4 tries to finish.

You know, Fossa is right too to be disenchanted. It was an interesting exercise (no pun intended) to go through the process of actually writing a book and publishing it independently; but I'm finding the marketing a huge drag. I've pretty much shelved my "selling" efforts and I'm returning to things I like, like writing. And making videos!

But Fossa is wrong about one thing. Using mental imagery to bring about change is cognitive therapy. This is a very mild form of it, but it works. I don't care a hoot if you buy my book or not, but never doubt your own mind's ability to change your reality.

Thank you both for your feedback.
Cheers,
Zac
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Re: Health Quest

Postby Fossa » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:23 am UTC

Bradshaw, I'm curious what your qualification is to make that claim.

I've been training people for years. I know what it takes to invoke change and what it takes to go farther and internalize those changes so that they are lasting.

Your book may be wonderfully written. It may get people to change their habits and take action. The problem is, without tackling the underlying issues and working with your readers for a longer period of time failure is highly likely. The majority of relapses happen 0-6 months after starting a new regimen. The main reason is cheap gimmicks that get people in motion without proper direction or guidance.

This means that however well intentioned, your book is most likely setting people up for failure. In addition to appearing to be a cheap attempt to make money, it therefore has the potential to be detrimental to its readers' well being. One of the things clients struggle with is finding motivation and believing they can make real change after having experienced failure. Books like this make me cringe.
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Re: Health Quest

Postby gaurwraith » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:35 pm UTC

Fossa, I think you are being too hard on that book and his writer.

You think it's going to lead an eventual reader to failure.

One of the things clients struggle with is finding motivation and believing they can make real change after having experienced failure


Not only clients struggle with failure. Everybody does. And in every aspect of life. And most of the time.

It's like saying, don't get in a romance unless you have a good counselor, because when it fails, (and they easily fail, romances) you are going to think love is just another word for pain. It's like thinking that someone who failed a year of study and had to repeat it will be forever damned.

What is more, isn't failure the way to success? Isn't failure fundamental in developing oneself? Why that fear of failure?

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same


And now, the book. Someone that gets up and reads and follows it (and I can only imagine how the book goes) could be just like someone who follows the 100 pushups program or the Couch to 5k. Or who joins fitocracy, or who posts in the Run 10000 miles thread.
Some average joe, who decides to try that out, not a big deal, he may keep at it once he achieves his goal, he may quit without achieving his goal. He could be playing darts and drinking pints instead. Lots of people just don't take fitness too seriously.

Changes you say. Why should be becoming a muscled version of you better than have a belly and give that time to improve your chess skills or your piano playing, or draw a webcomic? I don't think this book we discuss here is aimed at people with severe health problems. I see it as a, "why don't you swap some World of Warcraft / minecraft xbox, play3, you name it, gametime for this other game written in a book, that will make you do some exercise too? "

In the end, it's just a book someone wrote and a bit of non harming spam, I fail to see "a cheap dangerous gimmick"
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Re: Health Quest

Postby Fossa » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:04 pm UTC

There are a few big differences between a book like this and fitocracy or a thread on this forum, aside from the fact that one is a money-making scheme.

1) The book ends. Fitocracy and the forum members will be here to support you through your endeavor as long as you're willing to stick with it. There's still some missing pieces of the puzzle, but they at least provide a solid base to help keep you on track and motivated. Whatever it is they offer, however, the big thing is they don't dead end when you're most vulnerable to relapse.

2) Communities provide several serious benefits that a book alone cannot. Vicarious reinforcement and helping relationships are both well recognized resources for inciting cognitive and behavioral change.

It's like saying, don't get in a romance unless you have a good counselor, because when it fails, (and they easily fail, romances) you are going to think love is just another word for pain. It's like thinking that someone who failed a year of study and had to repeat it will be forever damned.

This is a weak metaphor, but I would liken it to someone falling in love with a celebrity they don't actually know or a sex worker. It's not the general case that I'm trying to discourage (by all means, people can and do succeed without having a personal trainer to guide them), but in this particular instance I strongly believe it is going to end very, very badly.

Changes you say. Why should be becoming a muscled version of you better than have a belly and give that time to improve your chess skills or your piano playing, or draw a webcomic?

Aside from the fact that this forum and his book are aimed at people trying to make these changes, the changes are of particular importance in that they will improve the general quality of life in countless ways (ease and safety of every day activities, self-efficacy, reduced anxiety, reduced depression) as well as prolonging it (drastically reduced chance of cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease in particular, reduced chance of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, stroke, osteoporosis, certain cancers, etc). I became a personal trainer after I made the transformation myself and I'm passionate about helping others make it.

Neglecting your health is frighteningly common and I've seen first hand both the consequences of doing so and the rewards of turning things around. There's a reason I'm back on these forums daily trying to help anyone I can for free. My only agenda is helping people who want to make these changes. Bradshaw's agenda is to make money.

Put your trust where you will, but understand that I have a reason for being as harsh as I was.
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Re: Health Quest

Postby savanik » Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:10 pm UTC

Hmm, and my mind went somewhere else entirely.

I was just thinking how cool it would be if you could have something in Everquest that lets you do extra damage for 15 minutes if you did 5 pushups or the like.
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Re: Health Quest

Postby Bradshaw » Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:26 am UTC

Savanik:

That would be totally cool. I read about some guys making a game called Fitocracy which works something like that. Wish I had thought that up and had the time to get it going.

Fossa:

You asked me what my qualification is to make my claim. I assume you mean my claim "..never doubt your own mind's ability to change your reality." My qualification is that I myself have done so, and with much more important stuff than just getting in shape. I've also seen friends do it too.

I think you're way out of line. First of all, a cheap gimmick is telling people they can take an herbal supplement to lose weight. I never make the claim anywhere in my book that getting fit will be easy. I specifically say it takes hard work eating less and doing more exercise. I only ever presented my book as a fun entertaining way to HELP with motivation, not replace it. Honest motivation to change your life must always come from within.

So in addition to bilking all these poor folks from their money, my book has the potential to be detrimental to their well-being??!! In a society that constantly assaults us with marketing imagery for tobacco and sugar products among many other detrimental vices, this assertion is ... well ... completely ridiculous.

This book is entertainment. If you want to hire a personal trainer for a year, then go spend hundreds (thousands?) of dollars and hire a personal trainer. If you want to buy an entertaining book for $8.99 then go do that. But please, don't equate the two.

My friend, please relax a little.

And for the record, my agenda with making this book was to:
1) Learn about the process for self-publishing;
2) Share a neat idea I came up with.

I guarantee you that I will NEVER make even 0.1% of what I make at my day job by selling this book.

I also guarantee that I will NEVER make another rap video. Now that was something that was detrimental to the public's well-being!

Cheers,
Zac
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Re: Health Quest

Postby Bradshaw » Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:30 am UTC

Sorry, just reread and saw that Fossa already mentioned Fitocracy. Does Fossa really think that the folks who made Fitocracy don't have making money as their primary agenda?

Zac
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Re: Health Quest

Postby Fossa » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:51 pm UTC

I'm not opposed to making money. I'm opposed to 1) advertising commercial services on the forum that you personally profit off of and more importantly 2) making money off of something that I strongly believe will be counterproductive.
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Re: Health Quest

Postby Bradshaw » Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:30 pm UTC

Fossa:

To my knowledge you have not bought my book nor borrowed a copy. (Believe me, there aren't many copies out there!) This means that you have not read it. Yet you strongly believe it will be counterproductive.

I do not debate with those who are unwilling to participate in rational discourse. Vehemently espousing an ill-informed opinion is not rational.

Best wishes to you sir or madam.
Zac
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Re: Health Quest

Postby savanik » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:08 pm UTC

Bradshaw wrote:Savanik:

That would be totally cool. I read about some guys making a game called Fitocracy which works something like that. Wish I had thought that up and had the time to get it going.


Fitocracy's fun and all, but it would be nice to have more real-time, gratuitous feedback. I was thinking like a RPG, linked up to a Kinect, where you could give your character temporary bonuses by doing pushups and having the Kinect keep track of how many you're doing. And then there'd be the boss fights, of course.

Or 'Fitness Hero'. I dunno. :) Rambling.

Oh, hey, there's a Kinect boxing game. Hmm. Doing that with weights on your wrists or something could be an interesting challenge.
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Re: Health Quest

Postby Bradshaw » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:07 am UTC

Savanik:

Sigh. If I had some more time and tech support, I'd bring you in as a creative consultant and we'd get something truly remarkable off the ground. That idea is pretty good.

But I don't. Have to settle with the low fidelity / high imagination version; Health Quest. Kinda like old style paper and dice D&D, which thankfully, still has quite the following.

Cheers,
Zac
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2012!

Postby Bradshaw » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:50 am UTC

Good luck in 2012 everyone! I hope all your fitness goals come true.

Cheers,
Zac
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