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The price of 'free' wellness screenings

My work offers annual "Wellness" screenings. There are several incentives to participate in this program, such as having your blood pressure taken by a handsome man at 9 in the morning, fasting for 12 hours and being rewarded with free juice afterwards. Getting your finger pricked in the hallway alongside your bosses and co-workers, and receiving a discount on your insurance for the upcoming year are also pluses.

As you can probably imagine, I mostly came for the free orange juice; I'm a sucker for anything free — the handsome man was just a bonus.

The screening mostly consisted of having my cholesterol and blood pressure checked and gauging my reaction to stressful situations, such as being weighed in public. In case you're worried about me, my health is all within desirable levels, or to use a rather confusing medical term, my cholesterol is supercalifragilisticexpiali-docious!

My secret is restricting daily vegetable consumption, constant snacking on bacon-flavored cheese and ... well I can't give away all my secrets; I may decide to write a book one day.

While willing to sit through my personal cholesterol celebration, the wellness screeners were less impressed with my waistline. In a private, windowless room I was informed that my weight made me eligible for two free life-coaching sessions, administered via 10-minute telephone conversations.

Since I had already been lured to this scary room by the free orange juice, my ears perked right up at the mention of more free stuff. In the course of my indiscriminate search for freeness I have attended football games, explored the fire station with a group of toddlers, ice skated, and once tried jalapeno-infused tequila. The latter taught me a very important life lesson, to always look a free, jalapeno-infused gift horse in the mouth.

Telephonic life coaching may not be as bad as alcoholic liquid fire, but it sounded at least as bad as ice skating. Unless the life coach is also a trained distance hypnotist I didn't see a big chance of me trimming my waistline based on two 10-minute phone conversations. After all, I talk a lot more than that to my mother, and that usually triggers a scone-eating binge followed by a long nap rather than exercise followed by an organic snack.

I turned down the free coaching sessions. The fact that I usually leave my phone on silent and rarely check my messages trumped my love of being a cheapskate. Of course I didn't turn their amazing offer down for any other reason. Who doesn't love getting barely solicited advice from strangers that you'll never meet in person? I imagine the phone conversations would go something like this: "Well, someone peed on my shoe, but I was so happy that my leg stayed dry that I decided the best course of action would be to sit at my desk in the corner and eat nine mini Hershey bars and a bowl of mashed potatoes."

At this point I imagine my life coach would simply hang up the phone, go sit in a corner desk, and eat chocolate and carbs (the secret to life).

My only hope for being thin is for the average American weight to increase faster than my own weight does. This actually doesn't seem unrealistic, and once my diet book comes out you'll all be nothing but putty in hands, except my hands will be too busy feeding me my cheese snacks.

Zoe Abel is doing supercalifragilisticexpialidociously, but her LDL cholesterol is getting dangerously lonely. Does bacon want to come to the party in my arteries? You can contact her at dailyzoe@gmail.com