Wednesday, October 7, 2009

10,000 Steps to Relapsing

Currently at [company where I work], Corporate is sponsoring a competition called 10,000 Steps. M_____ Healthcare(s) from every state are participating in this competition to lose weight and get healthy. It’s a month long competition, and it consists of wearing a pedometer all day, every day, to track your steps walked (and thus miles walked throughout the day). The goal is to get 10,000 steps a day, which is roughly the equivalent of 5 miles walked daily.

I decided I didn’t want to participate in this competition. 1) I’m pregnant. That’s an excuse (and a damn good one!) right there. 2) Having a former/recovering anorexic wear a pedometer and get obsessed with miles walked and calories burned isn’t exactly conducive to recovery. 3) I know my treatment team wouldn’t really approve of my getting in 10,000 steps a day. Pretty sure they’re unhappy if I get in more than, like, 10ish. (There are about 13 from the sofa to the fridge, which, really, is pushing it.)

We’re split into teams according to our department. I’m on the Finance Team, even though my job requires nothing finance-related at all. (Which is good because even long division is pretty tough for me.) There is a community spreadsheet that everybody logs their steps onto, and I got an email from a chick in my department yesterday asking me to log my steps. I emailed back, telling her that I wasn’t participating in the competition, and she responded by telling me she was glad I had let her know.

So I leave work for the day.

I get in this morning, and have an email from her. She said that HR had said that if I wasn’t going to participate, then I needed a frigging DOCTOR’S NOTE stating whether or not I could or could not participate - and why. What? Since when is it mandatory to participate in stuff like this? I can imagine my doctor’s note going something like this:

To Whom It May Concern:

I, Dr. C_____, hereby give my permission for Brie to become absorbed in needless calorie burning. Brie used to have an OCD problem with numbers and exercising and losing weight, nearly died from it, but REALLY I think it’s fantastic she is being pressured at work to wear a pedometer that will broadcast to herself and the rest of her co-workers how many calories she’s burning and miles she is walking - and getting competitive over it. We look forward to your insurance paying for her inpatient hospital bill.


Dr C_____


And then, I got an email from someone in HR a couple hours later, telling me that they’d talked it over, and instead of a doctor’s note telling me I couldn’t (or could) participate, that, well, I just needed to. Pariticpate. So would I kindly stop by his office and pick up a free (UGLY) t-shirt and pedometer? I don’t need to walk the 10,000 steps daily, but I do need to keep track of and log the steps I do take.

How many steps will it take you to walk over to my desk and kiss my big, fat, pregnancy-induced growing butt? Oh, just 17? BRING IT.


frankie said...

Hi so this is my first comment and sorry but its going to be a long one.
My work has this program where you have to lose atleast 10% of your body weight. Everyone must participate and you have to pay $5 a paycheck. So in the end the "biggest loser" gets to have a party, which means booze and food and that 10% goes back on much quicker than its taken off. I had to send multiple emails on how i could not participate because:
1. i'm poor and want to spend my money on other things.
2. Losing 10% of my body weight would make me a skeleton. I pulled out the bmi calculator to show them that it would make me very unhealthy, which is the opposite of what the program is trying to do

Why does work want to be involved with our weight and health!

I'm A. said...

That is LUDICROUS!!! Please, for me, a complete stranger, chuck that fugly little silver piece of shat at Mr. HR's head. F word.

Hmm. I'm feeling angry today. Clearly.

Stacy said...

I have the intense urge to kick the stupid A** who is forcing you to do this in his/her big FAT head.

UGH! I know it is mean to call people fat but if your head is big enough to think you have the right to tell a super skinny hot pregnant lady to track walking and calories... well it definitely wouldn't fit through any door I have ever seen...

the end.

can you give me their number so I can yell at them, I am in a confrontational mood ya think.

pss. have a nice day you ROCK!

ghost girl said...

this sucks. I say get a note anyway - from as many health professionals as you can...and turn them into as many people as necessary.

I hate forced group participation things..esp things involving food and weight.

Nobody ever wants to have a forced "hug spider day" or "get over your fear of heights day" or what have you. I Wish i could poke them in a vulnerable spot!

Keirelle said...

That's just insane. I would get a doctor's note just to prove a point to them. You shouldn't have to detail every little health problem you have when it has nothing to do with your actual JOB. Do they know anything at all about your ED? f they do, then they are truly complete morons. If they don't, well they still shouldn't force a pregnant woman to do anything-- especially not early on. I could barely keep my eyes open in the first trimester, let alone walk 10,000 steps a day, lol.

Telstaar said...


this is not okay, this is not okay, this is NOT OKAY!

*I* will write them a doctors letter! Blah! Stupid. Grrr... NOT HAPPY! (Can you tell?) :(

Not conjusive to Miss B's recovery...

I say, get the doctors note! Then see what they want to do? Surely they don't want someone bringing down the team unfairly because medically they can't participate?? Like wouldn't that demonstrate inequality and unfairness?


Sorry. Rant over :(.

It's not my job and I would COMPLETELY understand if you didn't want to fight the system, but goodness, makes me worried on lotsa fronts.

*hugs* and *sits down to think of conspiracy plans to make the person who thought of making this mandatory nightmares about numbers and pedometers coming to get them and not being able to stop walking even when they want to* (seems reasonable to me!)


Shannon said...

How about instead of a Dr's note you give them one from a lawyer?

Teresa said...

HAHAHA!!!! I love this. Because I work with you. And because I think I should copy and paste this post and send it to all fellow employees in this state as well as others. They would feel very bad if something were to happen to you. I think if they are going to FORCE you to do it they should be responsible for providing your Quiznos and cheetos daily. Good plan.

Arielle Bair (Becker) said...

That's ridiculous and they honestly have no right to make you participate. If you know it's not conducive to recovery, you need to speak up and speak up now. Give them a reason (and you have a damn good one) and they should get off your back. I can't understand why people get these crazy ideas in their heads sometimes. Just wow.

Give them a note from your therapist or nutritionist if you feel you have to do, but I think simply explaining yourself to them would be a good enough answer that they'd accept.

I am in utter disbelief right now!!!

Good luck, Brie!

kristin said...

SO stupid!! I can't believe it!

Ellie said...

WTF, dude. Even if they don't know about the ED, presumably they've notice that you're underweight & pregnant.

Perhaps you could tell them that you have medical issues - the lung stuff - that make it hard for you to gain weight (which is true) and that it's essential that you gain enough to have a healthy baby (true), and thus you can't participate (true). And you have better things to do than go to the doctor and get a note (true), since walking has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR JOB. It's not like you're taking medical leave or something that would ACTUALLY justify a doctor's note.

Fuck them.

Laur said...

we had to do that at the church ofice building too, it wasn't exactly required but you know, just pressured into it.
Hope you are good, can't wait to find out if you are having a boy or a girl!

Heather Lindquist said...

Woah!!! How appalling. Just don't do it. They probably think they have the authority to make you do it, but legally, they don't. I have such bad authority problems that I'd probably start yelling at them. Actually, why don't you give me their # and I will!!!!!!

Keely said...

What?? That is crazy!

Kara said...

This is screaming ILLEGAL to me loud and clear!

Lisa said...

I'm with Shannon. FTS. Where the hell do they get off?

Standing in the Rain said...

entirely illegal. and it's an insurance company, they should be concerned with legalities such as this.

DON'T DO IT. if anything on principle. it's ridiculous. return it tomorrow. with a big f you.

alriggells said...

Ok so I am not trying to push you to cheat or anything, but here is what you do. Shake it and what not. The movement counts as steps. I haven't read the other comments so I don't know if they gave you this idea already, but you can shake it. Just a thought.

Alexandra Rising said...

That is REALLY ridiculous. Upsetting ridiculous. I think it's a good idea in GENERAL, but a) It should be optional, b) This isn't high shouldn't need a "doctor's note" if you have legit reasons not to take part in it, c) If I were you, for real, I would definitely get a note from whomever [therapist/doctor/ob] stating the reasons that this isnt in your best interest.
I think people being active and aware of their health is a wonderful thing...but I think it should be a choice. Further more, for people who have been sick with an eating disorder, this SCREAMS relapse.
I'm upset FOR you :(

Cammy said...

Bullshit alert, bullshit alert! That is way over the line and I am waaay angry on your behalf. I think the idea above is good, sit on the couch and shake the damn gadget as much as you want. I just read a study on kids and exercise, and it turned out that some of them actually put the pedometers on their dogs.

I can't believe this, hang in there and do not be self-conscious about standing up for yourself!

rachel ramsay said...

1: have them sign a legal agreement to pay any and all health & mental care costs incurred from the start of your participation in this program. then let them start paying for your therapist, dietitian, dr's apts, high risk ob, meds, groups etc etc and etc.

B: Find anyway you can walk as few steps as possible each day. shock them with your sheer lack of movement. get piggy back rides, use the jazzy cart at the store...
or numbers like 500,000 steps a day and see if anyone notices you are walking a marathon every day.


refuse and let them fire you. you won't have to work ever again and you can get caught up on your much needed nappie times, which will be paid for and not to work Lil C and the new Lil one will have college paid for already!

bastards. rat bastards.

Telstaar said...

Oooh I like the shaking the pedometer concept!

And I'm loving the concept of them paying all your medical and related treatment costs for ALL health needs from, well, today! I'm quite sure that would solve a few problems :)


rachel ramsay said...

word. Telstaar. teach them to mess with a recovering ed chick.....and all her crazy friends.

LGL said...

This is so unbelievable. this is like a TV show or something. Wow. WOW.

sona said...

Thats the most ridiculous thing ive heard off. Id say get ur doctors note, and get them to make it crazily angry and appaled sounding and shuv it in their power tripping faces!

Who do they think they are???

alana.rachelle said...

is it okay that i find the intensity of your comment posts to be almost as entertaining as the blog post itself? for realssss. and that's saying a lot because i adored this post. haha

sorry they're being retarded at work. frigtards???? indeed.

call me later. i need some retail therapy and some quality breezy time!


Sheryl said...

rachel ramsay - I COMPLETELY AGREE!!!

Sheryl said...

I could use some retail therapy as well - and a starbucks - let's head out!