I understand that I am terribly interesting. I have so many unique and wonderful attributes, that many wish they could bottle my charm to spritz on themselves. I get it - - I am lovely.
When I received my acceptance call from DDFC (Duke Diet & Fitness Center), they mentioned a packet was being mailed to me. I assumed it would contain a packing list, possibly a schedule of my activities, general program information, etc. What showed up in my mailbox, you ask? One welcome letter outlining the additional paperwork items I would need to collect prior to "check in" - and not one, not 2, but THREE packets of questions for me to complete prior to arrival. The first packet masqueraded itself as an informational packet - with the expected packing list, a nice note listing the items to complete, some additional testing information, General policy info (changing your leaving date, canceling or not showing up), Code of conduct information (my favorite: I may not make threats, fight or engage in any inappropriate or unwanted physical contact with another person while on the premises), doctor release, directions, etc. This first packet also includes a "Food Journal" that specifically states not to change your food intake prior to arriving at the center. They are going to be super-impressed with my healthy eating, I am certain.
Onto the Medical questionnaire. This should be fun. First Question: how would you describe your health. Crap. Then there were a few essay style questions - what do you want to get out of the program, and the like. Then it got into a lot of check boxes. Yes/No questions, where you have to check a box - so they go pretty quickly. The problem - there are 10 pages!! From lifestyle habits - like do you smoke cigarettes, to endocrine questions, to skin, respiratory and cardiovascular questions. This packet was pretty straight-forward - it just took forever!
The Behavioral Health packet was another story. It had a couple of pages of repeating questions. Then some questions on motivation, eating patterns. It asked if members of my household, friends and coworkers knew I was starting this program (Check!!). Then it got interesting. One of my favorite questions was "have you ever seen, heard, or smelled things that others could not?" Really? Oh boy. I wonder how hard it will be for some of these people to lift weights with their straight jackets on? There were lots of other questions about my mental well-being. There was an entire page about anxiety and depression - - can you laugh and see the funny side of things? (I think so...) Can I enjoy a good book, radio program or TV program? (hello! I love TV!! Finally - it has paid off!!) Can I sit at ease and feel relaxed (I am so good at sitting at ease!!! My problem is NOT sitting). Then it got to the Always/Sometimes/Never pages. These basically listed scenarios and asked how impacted my daily life. There was a question in this packet that asked "As a child, were you teased about your weight". Saddest. Any kid who grew up chunky/heavy did, and I guarantee they still remember it. I emailed a friend about it, and she remembered one time for her, too. At least adults usually aren't so mean. Usually.
The good news is that the packets are done. I answered the questions as honestly (which was really unpleasant at times) as I could. I figured if I am going to lie to them, they aren't going to be able to help. The people at Duke are going to know me better than anyone! Lucky them!