Thursday, June 24, 2004


I am enrolled in a Wellness Program at my company. I do this because I get $500 taken off my insurance deductible, and if you meet some goals, you get a little spending cash around Christmas time. When they first started the program, three years ago or so, it was pretty easy to meet the goals. Attend some classes, wear your seatbelt, don’t smoke, exercise a little. Pretty easy stuff. Then twice a year, you got weighed and your blood taken to see how you have progressed.

The program definitely has it’s problems. The first time I took the blood test, I was given a personal nutritionist to give me a monthly telephone call, mainly due to the fact that my cholesterol was 259. The first time the chick called, she started asking me lots of little questions. Finally, she said, “How old are you?” I was 26 at the time. She then asked, “How much do you weigh?” “122.” She almost dropped the phone. “You weigh 122 and your cholesterol is 259?!” “Well,” I replied, “My HDL is 95.” (which, by the way, is the good stuff, and my number was double the excellent level.) “Oh,” she said. “Nobody gave me that information.” She never called me again, and the next time I looked at the goals, there was a stipulation about the acceptability of your cholesterol being high, as long as your HDL was good.

But, over the years, the HR department has upped the ante on the goals. We are all thinking that they were having to shell out too much money at Christmas. We have more hoops to jump through to get our money and complete the program. Pretty soon, we will all probably be forced to have computer chips placed in our brains to monitor our exact calorie intake. It doesn’t help that our HR department is full of morons who have no…well, human relation skills. There are have been grumblings and murmurings about certain aspects of the program. For instance, pregnancy is definitely frowned upon in the program. You automatically, just by giving birth, go over the insurance money usage cap. At one Wellness meeting, a Catholic friend of mine (fourth child on the way), complained to the HR director, “Are we being punished for having children?” The director replied, “Well, you did make the choice to have a child.” A couple of people snickered because three of my friend’s children were “oopsies.” The director then made a veiled comment about birth control, which pissed off a great many people.

Yesterday, I went to a “Nutrition and Fad Diets” class. I have been to about four of these over the years. (Okay. I get it. Atkins is really bad for you. Point taken. Let’s move on, shall we?) These classes always leave me slightly freaked out and scared that I am heading down the road to colon cancer. I am not the best eater in the world, but I do okay. I eat McDonald’s once a week. Twice at most. I only get a small cheeseburger and fries. Last time I even got a salad! And I eat my spinach and fruit. I’ve also gone to caffeine-free Coke.

But I swear, I always leave those meetings scared to death that a big blob of Saturated Fat is going to jump out from behind a bush and grab me, clogging my arteries and sending me into convulsions.

Oh! And now I’ve been informed by another employee that I am not eating right for my blood type. I don’t even know what my blood type is! Have mercy.


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