It was a bittersweet experience. The CBC called me to asking if they could interview me an possibly a client or two at my studio for a piece called The Obesity Myth. Regardless of the fact that they gave me 40 minutes notice on one of my busiest days of the week, of course I said yes.
They interviewed myself, a client and Karla, one of my yoga and zumba instructors. Relevent questions were asked, excellent answers were given. We even staged a mini yoga class for the camera.
The next day, I got a call from the producer asking if she could come to my home to film footage of me riding my bike. (I has said in the interview that I regularly bike 30K’s) I dropped everything again and made room in my schedule. Anything to benefit FitZonePLUS!
The piece was picked up for the 6pm nightly news in all markets across Canada, The National (canada’s biggest news program), radio and print. I was elated; I stayed up all night making my website more presentable for the thousands of people who would learn about FitZonePLUS. Imagine my surprise when I was introduced as Suzanne Gracan, not Suzanne Gracan, Owner of FitZonePLUS. My client was featured for a few seconds too. FitZonePLUS was never even mentioned. It seems all they wanted was a ‘fit fat person’ to be featured in the piece. The only question that actually made it into the piece was ‘Can you be overweight and fit?’. They used the footage of me biking and the mini yoga class, but didn’t say where we were, who we were or why we were being interviewed. In fact, I appear in the piece longer than the Doctor who wrote the study! By not explaining why they were interviewing me, I had no credibility, zero. To say that I was disappointed is putting it lightly.
I have no advertising budget; FitZonePLUS has grown from 2 – 26 classes per week stricyly by referral and social media. The words, Suzanne Gracan, Owner of FitZonePLUS, would have made all the difference! The people watching the piece, feeling even more desperate about their health, would have known there is a safe, non judgmental place they can come to get healthier. FitZonePLUS is the only business of it’s kind I know of in North America. A supportive, non judgemental, NO attitude studio, where everyone will always be treated with respect and doesn’t have to worry about humiliation or harrassment of any kind.
Sadly, CBC used me. What can I do about this…nothing, but learn from the experience. (well there is an investigation in progress to determine whether the producer breached policy, but all that is likely to bring is an apology)
Click below to view the piece that appeared on CBC, The National on December 3, 2013. (you can fast forward through the commercials)