Tuesday, February 9, 2010

does anyone really need to know this much about me?

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!

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