Sunday, February 06, 2005

COLUMN: Wellness

It's certainly a new day for all of the employees here at the paper.

Like many other businesses in the Quad Cities, our company has recently installed a Wellness Program for employees as part of our exceptional health insurance coverage. I'm all for helping people, so this can't be a bad thing, right? Right?

I mean, let's face facts -- we newspaper employees tend not to be known for our physical prowess. The only person who gets a workout around here is Little Timmy who rides his bike delivering your paper every week. At least, I assume we have a Little Timmy. (I couldn't tell you what happens to my column after I press the "send" button. For all I know, our newspapers could be delivered by magical pixies. But I bet those pixies are fit and trim.)

The rest of us sit here in the office watching our midsections get fatter and fatter from these wonderful things called "food days," which we have roughly 5.4 times per week.

Food days around here are nothing shy of inspirational -- all of the four major building blocks of unhealthy journalistic living are always represented: crock pot sausages, cheese cubes, things that are salty, and Krispy Kreme. You see, as we newshounds spend most of our days sitting in front of a computer monitor, a steady diet of fat and carbohydrates is thus needed to replenish our posteriors with the fatty cushioning necessary for an 8 hour type-a-thon.

But the times, they are a-changin'. Here's how our new Wellness Program works as I understand it: A nurse comes by the office, studies us, and then vampirically sucks out a vial of our blood for careful analysis -- only to return at a later date to chastise and berate us all for not existing solely on a diet of wheatgrass and seaweed. Well, maybe not seaweed, because I bet it's salty, and salt is bad for you. Just like sugar is bad for you... and carbs are bad for you... and fat... and cholesterol... and pretty much anything that tastes good.

The other day I had my Wellness screening. Little did I know that "wellness" was a term far, far removed from my current condition. The screening process was a blur for me; frankly, I'm trying to block it out. I havent even had my return visit from the nurse yet, but two words from the initial visit have already stuck in my mind.

The first was the word "OBESE." I don't like this word much, especially when it's directed my way. Chubby, chunky, big-boned... these are words I can live with. "Obese," on the other hand, brings to mind people who need to be cut out and lifted from their houses on a crane. "Obese" is the word that makes Richard Simmons cry. There are many, many things I want to experience in my life; having Richard Simmons cry over me is not one of them.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the other word I heard at my screening was "HYPERTENSION." Man, I'm just falling apart.

Shameful truth time: I'm 6'0" and my weight clocked in at 230 pounds. Even for me, that's ridiculous. In fact, it's dead wrong, and I've got the official identification to prove it. My driver's license states in clear terms that I weigh 155 -- and I'm sticking to it. Really, any number of things could have happened during my weigh-in. Perhaps when no one was looking, an 80 pound child climbed onto my back. And hey, I had my keyring in my pocket at the time, that's got to weigh, what, 20 pounds or so? It's simple science.

Sadly, the even simpler science is to look down at my belly and realize that either I'm in my third trimester... or maybe, just maybe, I've become a tad bit overweight.

I just don't understand how this happened. I mean, I'm not an idiot. I only occasionally splurge on a Big Mac -- the rest of the week, I limit myself to burgers that weigh no more than a quarter pound. And just like the doctors advise, I drink my 8-10 glasses of fluid every day; is it a crime that my fluid preference happens to be Coke? I even pay attention to television messages. The Snickers company for years assured me that "those calories help keep you going," and that remains my mantra to this day.

Sigh. Okay, fine, Wellness Program, you did your job. You've officially guilted me into trying to get healthy. Instead of being care-free, thanks to you, I'm now in a state of constant fear for my physical well-being. Bravo. So farewell, Big Macs, it was good to know you. Goodbye, Coca-Cola, I shall miss your glucose drip of confidence. Adieu, mayonnaise, we've had some good burgers together.

Wish me luck, Quad Cities, as I enter the new terrain of Wellness. Here's hoping it ends with "I feel well" rather than "oh well, I tried." More details as they unfold.


Dr Darryl Chew said...

Hello there -shane-, I was out searching for the latest information on health and wellness in the workplaceand found your site. Although COLUMN: Wellness wasn't exactly what I was looking for, it certainly got my interest and attention. I now see why I found your page when I was looking for health and wellness in the workplace, and I'm really glad I stopped by even though this isn't a perfact match. Great post and thanks for the read...keep up the good work!

SEO Expert said...

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SEO Expert said...

Hi -shane-, I was looking over the internet for wellness program information and happen to find your COLUMN: Wellness blog. Interesting stuff you have here. BTW, if you are interested in wellness program just click on it. Ciao.