Working for women but managed by men

When I was hired by a large weight loss franchise five years ago, to “empower women through body transformation”, I was desperate. My oldest daughter was about to start college and we needed the regular income. I was 40 pounds heavier than I am today, but the commute was convenient.  Who knew that this one job would change the trajectory of my life and health.

Corporate orientation should have made me pack my bags and call Gloria Steinman, but instead, I sat for a week trying to memorize a sales script that made me want to wash my mouth out with soap and relinquish my ovaries.

Make them cry.

Remind them how their clothes don’t fit.

Show them a BMI chart and point to obese.

Don’t accept everyone into the program.

The best part of orientation was the final day. I sat for HOURS waiting for the CEO/Founder to come in and repeat the mission statement about “empowering” women.  While I sat waiting, I unexpectedly got my period.  This is a company designed for women, yet in their corporate office (run only by men), there was not one tampon in sight or out of sight. Trust me, I looked but there was no one to ask.

After being coached on how to speak to my sisters about body image and women’s health, by men with no degree in health or psychology, I had to march across corporate headquarters with my period and get a picture for their internal marketing.  I will give all corporate men a little heads up: when a woman gets her period unexpectedly, don’t take a photo.  My advice is to politely end the meeting and send people on their way.

And so my job began. I tried their sales pitch and it worked. Ladies handed me their credit card and I charged it up to $4,000 with that script.  After a few weeks, I did notice a trend and not a positive one. They regretted their choice and wanted their money back, but we had to force them to sign a “no money back” guarantee.

It felt wrong and I finally dumped the sales script and started to find my own voice and tweaked their program.  I worked hard to find the perfect plan for my sisters and followed it with my own results. I did like the weigh-ins and focus on results but dumped their product pushing and focused on real food with their family. I dropped weight with my clients.  I continually adjusted the program after LISTENING to my sisters, hearing their requests, and ignoring the corporate plan.

I was constantly in trouble for not following the corporate script or selling their nutrition and weight loss products.

Secret shoppers sent from the franchise were randomly checking in to grade my performance.  I failed when it came to following their strict rules, but was managing to exceed their revenue goals.

My loyalty went to my new sisters, my clients, and there was no way I would offend them by following that script or peddling unnecessary products. My plan worked, and women wanted to stay with the program and started sending their friends our way.

I never asked my clients to do something that I was unwilling to embrace personally. Why should they do it if I wouldn’t? So, when corporate forced managers to recruit clients for “transformation” pictures, I stepped in front of the lens. It was so hard to be naked with my story and let those men use my image.  They continue to use my image, words, and life with misleading information, even after they stopped signing my paycheck.

First, I would like to thank the founder for empowering me with their current advertising. I am feeling so empowered that I would like to share the sales script I currently use that helps so many of my clients maintain their healthiest, happiest weight.

First, I would like to thank the founder for empowering my transformation.

You are beautiful! 

Don’t do this to look better, just go spend your money on a new wardrobe if it is about appearance. 

Take the first step because you want to live longer and feel better. 

Eat real food and do safe workouts. 

Don’t allow anyone to body shame you, because we are all gorgeous at any shape or size.

I thought I was beautiful when I weighed 40 more pounds.

Our value is not determined by the size of our jeans, however, we need to listen to our body.

Do this because you want a front seat as a spectator in your families lives. 

Don’t do this for any man!

 

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