Participation ribbons

At my weigh-in yesterday, they told me I’ve lost more than 10 pounds since I’ve started, and did I want the meeting leader to publicly acknowledge that?

I said no. And I realized that this program has turned into a modern-day kiddie sporting event.

Last I did the program five years ago, you got a keyring when you lost 10% of your body weight, you got a charm to put on that keyring at 16 weeks to show you’d committed for a full fiscal quarter, and you got charms at 25 pounds and 50 pounds. I’m sure there were more charms, but I stopped at 65.

I think they still do that. But now they celebrate you at 10 pounds lost. They celebrate you when you’ve lost 5% of your body weight. They pretty much break out the damn kazoos if you raise your hand and share something during the meeting. (OK, maybe not kazoos. But they do hand out stickers.)

I get it. They want people to feel like they’re getting their money’s worth. And that their journey matters. And that if you encourage one good behavior, more good behaviors will follow.

And believe me, I never won a blue ribbon for anything other than academics in my life. I never ran the fastest in gym class or climbed a rope; if anything, my ribbon for physical exertion should have been for “Came Closest to Dropping Dead.” But I didn’t get a gold star just for showing up.

Of course, maybe I’m just bitter because I didn’t. Because, really, it’s easy to earn a star and to feel included. I just choose not to. I figure I’m basically losing a pound a week on average; nothing to sniff at, but nothing spectacular, either.

Those who lose five pounds a week get stickers; not the people like me who are just happy to be able to have beer and wine because we were on good behavior and ate 20 salads in a week.

Beer and wine ARE my rewards! Not spending an hour a day in a gym …

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