Weight Loss Support - Weight loss and the economy




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nods
11-25-2008, 12:19 PM
Is anyone else motivated by economic reasons for weight loss? I was talking to my husband last night and the company we work for is going through tough times. He has a lot more seniority there than I do, and even though I have more seniority than a lot of people and more training than some people with more seniority than me...it looks bad. I'm thinking I will probably be on the job market by June of this year.

I was telling my husband that thinking about that prospect really gets me motivated when I'm thinking about having that slice of pizza or taking the day off my exercise program. I'm finishing a masters and have done some research for some faculty members in my graduate program, so a PhD and post doc work may be a fall back plan...but I don't know if I can leave my industry for teaching. No offense obviously to anyone who teaches. I've done student teaching and I love it, it would just be a major career switch for me.

I was on the elliptical last night and feeling tired and I started thinking about having to go through the interview process. I started thinking to myself I have to LOOK GOOD for that. I know it sounds really stupid. But as much as there shouldn't be these unwritten rules for women in the workplace, I can't help but think if it came down to me at 210 pounds and another candidate with similar qualifications (female or male) at 140 or 180 lbs., that I wouldn't get the job and I'd be back to the unenjoyment line. I know only the state of Michigan does not allow forbids employment discrimination based on weight but it seems like a problem everywhere. Does anyone else have these thoughts? Does anyone have any experience with job hunting as overweight versus thin? I can't help but think that living in the world is easier for thin people, not just in an emotional sense but in the economic one as well.


Petunia418
11-25-2008, 12:50 PM
Hi Nods! I live in MI but I totally understand the prospect of the interviews. For me, it's more because there are so many people looking for jobs right now I feel like first impressions are even more important!

The sucky economy has helped my weight loss efforts in other ways, too. I used to go out to lunch all of the time! Now I pack healthy lunches to save on money AND calories!!! :)

RangerChic
11-25-2008, 01:19 PM
Sure, I think about that. Especially now since I may not have a job by the end of the year. Things are up in the air right now for me.
As far as pushing myself, I think that just wanting to be a better person and look good as well as be healthy are more motivators for me. The economy and financial stuff just stresses me out, so I try my best to not think about it, even though it's almost impossible to not.


Tomato
11-25-2008, 01:54 PM
I can't comment since I have had my current job for 12 years, but my company hired two overweight ladies last year. One is, so to speak, Big, Bold & Beautiful (tall, obese but very attractive) while the other one is morbidly obese and not exactly attractive, so perhaps there are companies that really do hire "the best person for the job" regardless of the outer packaging. Then again, I have no idea how many applicants applied for either position, etc. Over the years, the hiring process here became quite complex - first, the applicants are previewed and preselected by a third party (headhunters) which also conducts the initial interview. Then the applicant has a second interview (conducted by his/her potential future manager), then a third interview and I know of cases where it took 4 interviews to hire the person (that seems a bit of an overkill to me). So I don't know really how the physical appearance affects the final selection but on the other hand, it also would not surprise me if it were a factor.

So I guess anything that you can do make yourself more appealing is worth trying. Even if you don't end up getting the job, you will reap the benefits. :-)

kaplods
11-25-2008, 04:46 PM
All of my adult life I've been hugely obese. I know that appearances make a strong first impression, and that I had to go further in the interview to make a good impression. That meant my clothing, hair and makeup had to be not just appropriate, but impeccable. I had read in BBW magazine (a magazine for larger women) that in many cases, BBW's could and shoud break the interview suit rule, dressing in what looked best on them, not necessarily the penguin look of the dark suit and white blouse.

In interviews, I strove to be open, intelligent, and show off my qualifications. I also learned to bring up the issue of my weight. I often felt that I did lose jobs because I hadn't made a good enough impression (and my weight might have been part of it). Bringing up my weight, was at first a defensive move. I wanted to know in the interview if my suspicions were correct. But later, I realized that bringing up my weight actually was helping me get jobs. When I asked "do you have any concerns about my ability to do the job because of my weight," bringing it out in the open seemed to improve my ability to get the job. Compared to thinner and beautiful friends with similar qualifications, I had a higher rate of hire than they did - and comparing notes, I think I was making the better interviewer impression.

So, I think the interview is always more about first impressions and communicating your qualifications rather than the qualifications themselves. Being overweight can contribute to a poor impression - but so can being generally physically unattractive or having a nervous tick, or being shy in the interview....

At any weight, "being beautiful" has advantages. The first impression is that beautiful people (especially if they're tall) are just nicer and more competent than shorter, uglier folks, but no matter what you look like, you can't wait until you diet or have plastic surgery to job hunt. You make the best impression you can, and deal with it in the meantime.

PhotoChick
11-25-2008, 04:56 PM
Does anyone have any experience with job hunting as overweight versus thin?Yeah, I've interviewed for contracting jobs at my highest weight. Not to mention that I am "interviewed" by every client who hires me. I get to go through around 100 interviews a year in order to get to my 30 or so clients. :)

I do admit that there are times that I feel that being thinner is an advantage - especially when meeting with clients. I think there's an element of being artistic and having *style* that people equate with being thin. And factually someone who is in shape is better able to handle long events better.

OTOH, I've never felt that my weight was an issue at any of the contracts I've interviewed for. I think my qualifications there are quite strong, and as kaplods said, I've always taken pains to present myself impeccably so that there would be no question of whether or not my weight would make me inappropriate.

I also have a dear friend who is about 100 lbs heavier than I was at my heaviest (she's 5'6" and about 340 lbs) and she is widely regarded (in my consulting firm anyway) as one of the best project managers out there. If her weight has ever been an issue in her hiring, she's never known about it (we've discussed it before, especially as I began losing weight). Of course she's in demand enough that if someone rejected her for her weight, there's always another client to pick right up.

I dunno. It's an interesting question. I think how you present yourself has a lot more to do with it, IMO. Be confident in how you present yourself and often people will quickly move past the surface fact of your size.

.

raw23
11-25-2008, 05:20 PM
When I asked "do you have any concerns about my ability to do the job because of my weight," bringing it out in the open seemed to improve my ability to get the job.

You've got guts, girl! I'd be so scared to ask that!

As one who has been casually looking (and got a kick a** offer just TODAY) for a couple months, I have often thought my weight might be an issue. I've thought if someone looks at me they might think "lazy" and not hire me.

yoyonomoreinvegas
11-25-2008, 05:54 PM
but my company hired two overweight ladies last year. One is, so to speak, Big, Bold & Beautiful (tall, obese but very attractive) while the other one is morbidly obese and not exactly attractive, so perhaps there are companies that really do hire "the best person for the job" regardless of the outer packaging. So I guess anything that you can do make yourself more appealing is worth trying. Even if you don't end up getting the job, you will reap the benefits. :-)


I know that appearances make a strong first impression, and that I had to go further in the interview to make a good impression. .... In interviews, I strove to be open, intelligent, and show off my qualifications....... I also learned to bring up the issue of my weight.... But later, I realized that bringing up my weight actually was helping me get jobs. When I asked "do you have any concerns about my ability to do the job because of my weight," bringing it out in the open seemed to improve my ability to get the job. Compared to thinner and beautiful friends with similar qualifications, I had a higher rate of hire than they did - and comparing notes, I think I was making the better interviewer impression.

So, I think the interview is always more about first impressions and communicating your qualifications rather than the qualifications themselves. Being overweight can contribute to a poor impression - but so can being generally physically unattractive or having a nervous tick, or being shy in the interview....

Sorry for the snip job Kaplods - hope I didn't change the context of anything important but these were the points that illustrated the comment I wanted to make. :)

So often it's the image you project more than your actual appearance. With Kaplods just tossing that question out there like that she came across as a confident woman who was going to focus on getting the job done rather than worrying about what others thought of her appearance, and she wasn't going to run crying to the ladies room if she overheard a comment about her weight. As Tomato said, there are companies who are looking at qualifications more so than appearance - but it still has to do with how you present those qualifications.

I'm one of those who, quite honestly, can't project a lot of confidence when I'm feeling overweight. But give me a couple of months of staying OP and regular exercise and, even if I'm not at goal, I feel like I'm so "in charge" of my life that I'll do a much better job of standing up and being noticed. So, if keeping the pizza monster in a cage and sticking with your exercise program makes you feel confident and in control - then use what ever you got! These days we all need whatever advantage we can get.

Ufi
11-27-2008, 04:27 PM
It has been on my mind. I know I'm capable, but I worry people might not give me a chance. I'm glad my job is fairly secure, although there have been rumblings.

I'm also finding that the economy has been a barrier because it makes me feel insecure, like when I was young and we were poor, and I get this urge to eat, store fat I guess.

looloo86
11-29-2008, 07:14 AM
well you have a point there and you know its always the first impression that counts and you dont get a second chance at that.
i sometimes think that the economy helps me with my dieting in other ways as i stoped overeating cuz i think of how much everthing costs so i try to save money i spend on junk food and instead buy some nice accessories or food with them.i also stopped eating at resturants and sticked to my mums cooking which i hate lol.

Pandora123a
11-29-2008, 10:23 AM
I've gotten jobs at every weight, and am now the employer. First impressions do matter. I hire lots of overweight folks, but I probably do discriminate without even being aware. I look for someone who presents impeccably (which means the clothes have to fit and not be too tight) and who can move and present well. My staff work with teenage girls.

As I think about this, I look for the same things in slender folks, but it is easier for them to pull it off. (I've never had a "normal weight" come in wearing tennis shoes because it was more comfortable, or have a blouse with a button popping open, although they have worn way too tight stuff.) They don't generally have problems moving which some of the very overweight folks have.

(I do discriminate against smokers, if you smell of nicotine during your interview you won't be hired by me...and that is perfectly legal! Smokers take longer breaks, are sick more, present a poor role model, and smell.)

kaplods
11-29-2008, 01:52 PM
I do have to say that I felt like peeing my pants AND puking the first time I asked the question about my weight in the interviewer, but the world did not implode - and it (I think) got me the job. Confidence DOES matter.

As much as it's controversial, fat acceptance literature really was responsible for much of my confidence. Reading that I had a RIGHT to be confident and expect respect, well it changed my life. I think I've always been a mostly confident person, but especially regarding weight I felt like I was supposed to be more ashamed of it than I was, and maybe was a little crazy for not feeling like I deserved to be treated like crap. Fat acceptance lit was finally someone agreeing with me that I didn't have to like being fat, but I also didn't have to think that I deserved to be spit and stepped on by the world until or unless I could manage to become normal.