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Humanities Libertexts

10.4: Sample Student Essay

  • Page ID
  • Student Name

    Professor Polliard

    English 101

    20 July 2009

    How Did These Jeans Shrink?

    Like a slap across the cheek, the arrival of extra weight squeezing its way into a favorite pair of jeans appears as a shock for some people. Thinking the washing machine has shrunk the jeans, another pair is recruited. The same thing happens, the zipper won’t budge and the seams are barely hanging together across the derriere. How did this happen so suddenly? Let’s examine the situation, maybe the fifth slice of pizza every Friday night for the last year has something to do with the attitude problem of these pesky jeans. Perhaps the extra handfuls of mixed nuts or afternoon stacks of Oreos have finally found a home. Starting to see the clear picture the revelation occurs, the revelation to change and to lose weight. For many people, keeping fit and lean is a daily battle. Genetics, lifestyles, busy schedules and family obligations all contribute to reasons why many throw up the white flag and surrender, feeling they have no choice but to be overweight. However, there are two popular and successful weight loss programs available to help us fight and ultimately win that battle: Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers. While both programs offer tips and tools for losing weight and living a healthy, active lifestyle, each program has vastly different methods, including cost and support factors.

    Between the two programs, Jenny Craig is the more expensive option. First, there is the onetime membership fee which varies anywhere from $59.00 to $200.00. After the initial one-time fee is established, the fundamental method of their weight loss program is buying their meals, Jenny Cuisine. The average cost is around $150.00 per week for Jenny Cuisine and Jenny Vitamins. In addition to the cost of the Jenny Craig food, there is also the cost of buying extra foods needed each week from the market, like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and low-calorie beverages. The upside of the program is that there is no cooking involved and everything is proportioned correctly and nutritionally balanced. There is virtually no thinking involved and no decisions to be made. A detailed menu spelling out what to eat and when is given to every Jenny Craig client. Being on the Jenny Craig program is as simple as opening a box and flipping on the microwave for three minutes. Voila! Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for each day of the week are handled. As the client achieves success with Jenny Craig, he or she will then have the option of making meals on his or her own for part of the week, which is a weaning technique used to boost the confidence of the client to eat smaller portions and healthier foods from his or her own kitchen. Therefore, the cost for Jenny Craig initially is quite steep, especially when considering it is for only one member of the household, the costs do eventually come down based on success in losing weight.

    The Weight Watchers approach is quite different. There are no required foods or vitamins to purchase, only meeting fees are required. The cost to attend meetings is $12.00 per week. If a person has achieved his or her weight loss goals in the past with Weight Watchers and he or she has reached a Lifetime status, the cost for attending the meetings is free. Weight Watchers is essentially about calorie counting, which they refer to as Points. Based on a person’s age, sex, weight, height, and activity level a certain number of Points are suggested to consume each day. Every member is encouraged to choose healthy foods to spend his or her Points on to ensure a balanced diet. Guidelines for what to eat and portion sizes are discussed frequently which help each member in his or her daily choices. Ultimately, the decision of what to eat is left to the client. A client can choose to cook all or some of their meals at home from scratch, eat frozen meals or even dine out; the program is all about choice and accountability to one’s self. As a result, there is no set food cost involved in the Weight Watchers program. Consider the cost of a normal grocery bill when comparing Jenny Craig to Weight Watchers programs. Chances are the amount of money spent on groceries will remain the same if Weight Watchers is chosen. The Grand Canyon-like cost comparison is clear; being on the Weight Watchers program is cheaper.

    Although both Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers are hugely successful weight loss programs throughout the world, each approaches the task of transforming their client’s attitudes and bodies with different tools of support and guidance. At Jenny Craig, a client makes an appointment to meet with a weight loss representative for a fifteen minute weekly meeting to track weight, measure inches, discuss any food obstacles, and finally to purchase the upcoming week’s food. Although the representative is not a clinical nutrition counselor, the atmosphere is similar to a doctor/patient setting. Jenny Craig’s one on one approach may make many feel comfortable to face their weight issues head on, with the private support of their personal Jenny Craig representative.

    Weight Watchers, meanwhile, views support in an entirely opposite way. As a member, a Weight Watchers client is invited to the weight loss center any time during the week to attend a group meeting and to have his or her weight privately logged. Free weight loss guides and Points tracking journals are given out for the upcoming week and the atmosphere is party-like. The thirty minute meetings offer discussions on a variety of topics to promote success, make better food choices, become more active, and deal with obstacles that might stand in the way. The camaraderie among members is what keeps members coming back. Members are encouraged to speak up and ask questions, applaud other members’ success, or offer suggestions to other members. The Weight Watchers approach is not a do it alone program. Their motto is, “If you don’t need the meeting, the meeting needs you.” Meaning, if you are successfully losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight, your insight might help someone at the meeting, so come!

    With centers and meeting facilities all over the world, both Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers have proven to be healthy and successful programs for people wanting to lose weight and change their lifestyles permanently. The variation in each program’s approach appeals to many different types of personalities. Jenny Craig offers a private hand-holding type support which also requires a bigger investment. Weight Watchers offers a discounted group therapy approach that encourages individual responsibility and success. Depending on needs and budget, either program is certain to help almost anyone on his or her journey to not only get healthy and lean but feel great from the inside out.

    Grader’s comments:
    • Apostrophe use and comma use rules are not applied consistently.
    • Sentence variety is good, but be aware of comma splices.
    • Some repetitive wordiness
    • Well-organized and well-developed details to support the thesis.

    Questions for Discussion and Analysis

    Answer the following questions regarding the essay. Be complete in your explanations, and cite examples or quotes in support of your answer. Use complete sentences with proper grammar, spelling and punctuation.

    1. Which organizational pattern was used to develop this essay?
    2. What were the organizing content traits or “major comparison points” for this essay?
    3. What writing strategies were used to enhance the writer’s voice?
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