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My 9-5 job is doing communications work in the healthcare field, and I’m daily grateful to (a) have amazing colleagues and (b) be employed at a living wage. So this is not a complaint about my job, for which I have nothing but gratitude.
That being said, there was some discussion in my work group about an employee wellness newsletter article on weight loss, which led to me being assigned to re-write it. The original article was just fine, in my opinion. It was the usual stuff about eating healthy foods, and “throwing unhealthy food in the trash.” Nothing earth-shattering, and way too simplistic, but certainly the standard kind of “advice” you get in a newsletter.
(Also: people in marketing communications know this fact — NO ONE reads newsletters. No one)
When I met with my boss about it, however, turns out he wanted me to change the piece into an article about “dieting.” As in, commercial diet programs that are usually featured on late night TV and supermarket checkout stands.
Sadly, he included WeightWatchers in this category!
Now, I should mention that as a matter of personal professional policy, I never discuss WeightWatchers at my job, I never mention a word about healthy eating, weight loss, or anything remotely connected to the subject. People in my office know I lead meetings, but that’s it. If they ask me a question, I say the bare minimum and ask them to talk to someone who’s following the plan for more details.
Still, I guess in my heart I expect everyone to know that I’m not following some kind of weird “special diet” right now. It shocks me that there are people who imagine us eating only WW-branded frozen foods, or perhaps noshing exclusively on carrots and soda water. It’s said ad-nauseum in our materials and our commercials and our meeting rooms that you “eat whatever you want” by controlling portions.
But the public doesn’t get it.
The whole concept of weight control in our society is so crazy. Nightly on the news I hear about pills and procedures and hormones and secret foods and chemicals that promise a panacea! No work needed!
Because why would we want to stop supersizing our food and eat an apple instead of a candy bar. Right?
Anyway, I just wrote the diet article. Because that’s what pays my mortgage. (At least I got to include WeightWatchers in it.)