Monday, February 4, 2008

Biggest Loser in the workplace

So, a group of coworkers are having a challenge. Who can lose the biggest percentage of body weight in six weeks. Winner (or "loser") gets the pot o' money.

Needless to say, I have major issues with this whole thing.

Aside from the fact that hearing about people losing weight (or trying to lose weight) is as difficult for me as a recovering heroin addict sitting around watching friends shoot up, I have major issues with people competing to change their outsides.

Of all the problems in our world, it annoys me to see people focus on a physical attribute. Think about it this way - has anyone heard of a tanning contest? Who ever gets the darkest tan wins? Or has anyone heard of a whitest smile contest? Or the longest hair challenge? (Who will cave first and chop their hair???)

No. Of course not.

So why the focus on weight???

We know why. Our society's obsessions.

I'd like to see a different kind of challenge. How about "the biggest giver" where volunteering is rewarded?

But a contest like that wouldn't even get off the ground. Not in the United States of America. Not in 2008.

Does that mean that change can't happen?

Absolutely not. Every change starts with one person. Just one person with an idea who talks to one person at a time.

So how will I change the world today?

First, I'm taking care of myself by working hard to make sure that I get the nutrients that my body needs to function (and not letting the constant chatter of losing weight throw me off balance.)

And I'll continue to focus on using my voice (not my body) to express my thoughts and feelings. So while my eating disorder screams at me to show these numb-nuts the dangers of focusing on body size and weight, I will ask them not to talk about discuss the challenge in my presence and I will tell them why. I will keep opening up, keep talking about my struggles to anyone who'll listen.

I will lead by example to the best of my ability.