It turns out the book I wanted to read/study/review is VERY popular…on hold at the library and sold out in a lot of bookstores. My Amazon copy will be here Tuesday.
In the meantime, because it’s a new year, because I’m female, and because it’s obligatory and cliche’, I’ve been thinking about weight loss. I really do need to lose weight. I am overweight. No, I’m obese. There, I said it, and it’s beyond time I did something about it. In addition to the physical health benefits like warding off heart disease and diabetes, the mental health aspects will also be significant. Exercise is well known as a drug free depression aid (though it does not replace quality care from a physician).
Also, speaking solely for myself, my weight affects my confidence. It does not affect my intelligence, my creativity, or my ambition but it does affect how I present those qualities to the world and to employers. If I know deep down that I deserve a promotion, a raise, a thrilling new assignment – but I am too meek to ask for it or present myself in the most positive light – then it really is holding me back.
The HR part of me wants to rage against weight discrimination in the workplace (and everywhere) and the feminist in me wants to decry unrealistic body image expectations and double standards for men and women, but that seems a bit idealistic and frankly, exhausting. I’d love for the world to be fair but it isn’t, and meanwhile, I have to live in it and do the best I can to thrive in it. For me, this means losing weight and becoming healthier.
The matter is also economic. A quick Google search of “thin people higher salaries” yielded so many results that you’d think within 5 years there will be no more fat ladies because they’ll all be too poor to survive. The situation for very thin men is the same as overweight women: both appear weak and earn less. How much less? From this article on CBS News by Kimberly Weisul: An American woman who is average weight earns $389,000 less across a 25-year career than a woman who is 25 pounds below average weight. Ugh. Assuming these hypothetical women are doing identical jobs at the same company, if you changed the thinner woman to a man, this would be a Lilly Ledbetter situation. Not pretty, not fair, but there it is.
Also, fat clothes cost more money. Professional clothing can cost a bundle regardless of your size. My assistant and student friends out there are often expected to dress to the same standard as the boss (sometimes better if your duties are very reception-based and the boss is behind closed doors) but on a much tighter budget. When those websites tack on an extra few bucks for the XXL version of an outfit, it can add up.
I’m not even going to touch the issue of healthcare costs, insurance and lost productivity. That’s a much bigger issue for another day. Today though, I’m thinking the figure of $389,000 is enough to make me get my butt off the sofa and put down the ice cream.
A friend is doing this “cleanse” this week. He’s having good results so far, so I will be purchasing fresh veggies shortly to begin it myself…am a total copycat that way. (Cleanse is in quotes because I typically think of a cleanse as drinking nothing but peppered lemonade or doing something unpleasant to one’s bum.)
Also, because this isn’t a typical HR blog, here’s a recipe idea that my friends are all going nuts over today. From a page I discovered this morning and really like:
Breakfast muffins. Pour egg into a greased cupcake pan, then add toppings like mushrooms, veggies, meat or cheese. Bake them in the oven at 375-degrees for 30 minutes and let them cool. Pop them into plastic bags so that you can grab them easily in the morning.
So there you have it. My heart and my pocketbook both need me to lose weight. In addition to walking and biking, I’m going to try this cleanse for a week and absolutely try these muffins (with cupcake liners sprayed with Pam because cleanup sounds like a nightmare no matter what she says). I’m going to document my progress and report back here. Accountability will be key, plus I like numbers and hard data. And, I think when I get my book on Tuesday that it will help also.
2013 will be about breaking some habits and putting my best foot forward: professionally, personally and physically!
More articles/blogs if you’d like to read further: