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Exclusive Interview

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Exclusive Interview

I had the opportunity to talk with a friend of a friend about an experience she had, and I'd like to share it with all of you.

Tell me a bit about yourself:

Nifty fact: I can cross one eye at will, and that isn't supposed to be medically possible. I am a student, a Chemistry and English Major.
I'm a little bit weird, and really ok with that.

You told me a story once about a place called L.A. Weight Loss and your experience working for them. Can you tell that story again?

Well, it was an interesting experience to say the least. There was a week of training involved, and you didn't get paid until you worked a week on the floor: the interesting thing is there was a test you had to pass before they would let you work. So I went into get my test results and passed. Then the regional manager, told me that there was not a job for me there if i didn't go on program. Looking back I now realize that she manipulated me into saying what she wanted to hear; admittedly, I told her what she wanted to hear too. I needed the job.

So I started. I didn't go on program right away, because I didn't have money to go and buy the food to do the rapid start part of the program. By the end of the week someone in my family put some money in my account so I could get some groceries and go on program.

It was AWFUL! The all green veg, high protein diet made me sick. The point is to limit your carbs and get your body to go into fat burn, or that's my guess. Anyway, the extreme diet change gave me the runs, and the second day, at my other job, I nearly passed out because my blood sugar dipped too low. I assure you this is not a healthy diet.

Anyway, it turns out I put on weight during the rapid start, and "no one gains weight [on this part of the program]". Really? I was drinking enough water; OMG! I wasn't dehydrated. I got scolded at because I didn't weigh all my food. Really? No one told me!

Anyway, to make a long story short the center manager asked me, "Do you love yourself being 30 lbs above where you want to be?" I thought she was joking; why wouldn't I love myself. Frankly, I'm fabulous. Also, at this time in my life, I was thinner than I had ever been in my adult life, so what wasn't to love. I started to laugh and said, "Well yeah!" Long story short I essentially got fired because I had too much body confidence.

Two weeks of my life I sort of hate, yet I'm sure for which I will be eternally grateful. And, oh the other things I learned. In the training the do for the consultations, (the point when they sign you up but don't tell you about the program) one of the exact lines is "Bring them down, then raise them up." They are trained to be emotionally abusive. They make you feel like $h*t, then take your money; who is thinking straight when you feel like crap. Of course you are going to buy.

What else. They are all about the diet pop there. Taking the biochemistry courses I chose in university, I know that aspartame, unless you are diabetic, is really hard on your metabolism. The nitrogen in the sweetener causes you to urinate more, and therefore you lose water weight. *headsmack*headsmack*headsmack*

The program is not about health, it's about making money. In fact, if you've had an organ transplant of any kind, you can't go on program. WHAT!?!?!?!? Organ recipients need to eat too; if this program is so healthy why is it so bad for this group of people?

All and all, it was not a great bout in my life. Over and done, and I couldn't be happier.

How do you feel about how this story relates to our society, and in particular, how we treat people with eating disorders?

Everyone thinks there is a magic number. According to them my ideal weight is 142. One of my best friends little sisters is about 4 inches shorter than I, she has a small bone structure and mine is large, and she is a very healthy weight; wanna guess? Yup, 142. Not good for me.

What can I say; I gain and lose weight. I have been as small as, oh about 175 or 180, and as large as 245. I'm fortunate though. I carry weight well. Even at 245, people would usually guess about 180, 190, MAX. Am I happier when I am thinner? In some ways. Am I healthier when I'm thinner, though? No. Not always. Either way, people treat you differently when you weigh more or less. Heck, I see myself differently when I weigh less.

At my thinnest, I was strong, physically. I also wasn't eating properly; I had three panic attacks the day of a huge presentation, I was in a mild depression. Is that healthy? No. Did I have an eating disorder? I dunno, maybe. What did I hear from people though? You look so good; keep it up; way to go. Oh if these people only knew what they were saying at the time. Keep it up? In other words, way to go for not eating and living on lattes and caffeinated tea.

I don't know how we treat people with eating disorders, but this is how I was treated when I had some of the biggest food issues, that I couldn't even see myself.

I think sometimes people don't actually know on what they are commenting. I think ideals are overrated; normal doesn't exist. Healthy, both physically and spiritually, emotionally and mentally, does! Society needs to focus on health and say goodbye to the focusing on the number and size.
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