Wellness Can Be Contagious

>> Monday, August 3, 2009

Valerie Bugtai-Elias is a killer account person here at the agency. She leads her team to great heights - creatively, strategically, and apparently physically. Here she proves that wellness can indeed be contagious. Hope this finds you well -- Jim.

Take it away, Valerie:

"Don't Let the Fat-Rat Race Kill You"

According to the CDC, "American society has become 'obesogenic,' characterized by environments that promote increased food intake, non-healthful foods, and physical inactivity".

Well, not here at Saatchi Wellness and certainly not with my team.

After one of our weekly status meetings, we were all talking about our fun summer plans for the 4th of July holiday weekend, when our discussion became a downer --- filled with complaints of aches, pains, and looking fat in a bathing suit. It was apparent we were resigned to this state of being with so many excuses like having no time.

We realized that we were stuck in the RAT race. In listening to all of this, winning the FAT Race was not an option either.

Then we remembered Brandon doing push ups in his cube a couple of months ago and we created a team challenge.

We coined it - Don't Be a Fat A*s!

Brandon, Fred, me and a couple of others on the team each pledged we would run a certain number of days a week for a month. With this sarcastic bunch, the penalty for not running your number of days a week was tricky . But nobody wants to be called a Fat A*s. So there it was -- run your pledged days or be called a Fat A*s, all day.

In celebration of everyone's commitment, team drinks were scheduled for the end of the month. And by close to month's end, we had collectively run over 200 miles and lost 7 lbs.

Coincidentally, the CDC held their inaugural conference last week on obesity and weight control - "Weight of the Nation". The conference is designed to provide a forum to highlight progress in the prevention and control of obesity through policy and environmental strategies with framers around four intervention settings: community, medical care, school and workplace.

Well, even without an intervention, we took control over our own health and state of mind, or at least got a good start.

Overall, we gained the momentum we needed to live well, feel better and try our best, everyday for ourselves and maybe others.

Who knew this would gain momentum outside the office - my husband dusted off the weights and lost 10 lbs. I also happened to have lunch with someone from another agency who said they would start this same challenge with their team.

And if you're wondering, so far no one actually got called a Fat A*s. Although, the "Don't Let the Fat-Rat Race Kill You" poster does hang in our hallway as continued motivation.

Here's to being well. Gotta run, now.

- Valerie Bugtai-Elias, Account Director at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness


JnJ August 4, 2009 at 10:21 AM  

This is great, makes me want to run :)

aepbettychloe August 11, 2009 at 10:54 PM  

i love how you "ran" to both ends of the spectrum: adding the laugh-factor with identifiable complaints and a hilarious slogan and punishment, but grounding it by actually providing actionable solutions! i don't wanna be a fat a*s either... where are my sneakers?!

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