Lose weight to get ahead? ANY "CITY" WORKERS?

(52 Posts)
user1465284888 Fri 01-Jul-16 16:49:42

To cut a long story short, I love my mentor. She has been a lifeline over the past 5 years and has been a motivating factor ever since.

I am a UK size 14/16 and have recently embraced a vegetarian lifestyle due to health complications. I'm about to start work in the city and she is a veteran the field. Fortunately, for her, she WON the genetic lottery, me on the other hand...

She told me to lose weight with the next year (which will be just before my grad training period ends) in order to be more successful at work. I told her she sounds like Katie Hopkins, but I feel like I should take her word for it. After all, she has been in senior position for the past 10 years!

As a newbie at work when would I be able to go to the gym? I would be in the office for 7:30-7:45am (after an hour commute) and would finish after 6/6:30pm (on a good day). City working mums - when do you exercise?

PhloppysFonics Fri 01-Jul-16 17:02:10

If this had been me I would

1) tell her to fuck right off and that my appearance has fuck all to do with my ability to do my job well or to progress in my career.

2) Put in a formal complaint about her appalling advice. It's sexist and has no place in 2016.

3) Make damn well sure that I didn't lose a single pound in order to prove her wrong. I would work hard, succeed by my merit and work ethic not because I had conformed to some outdated and patriarchal bullcrap.

PhloppysFonics Fri 01-Jul-16 17:04:03

I realise that doesn't answer your question.

I am angry on your behalf.

Lose weight if you want to, not because someone else has told you you should.

ErNope Fri 01-Jul-16 17:05:07

Tell her to fuck off and put a formal complaint in IF she is a senior in your workplace? its unclear if she works with you or not, only that she's senior in your field.

QueenOfNowt Fri 01-Jul-16 17:05:53

She's right, but weight loss is 20% exercise and 80% what you put in your gob. Start dieting now.

Flacidunicorn Fri 01-Jul-16 17:07:40

Why would anyone want to succeed in any industry that values dress size over capability?

Sounds pathetic.

wheatchief Fri 01-Jul-16 17:08:05

Leaving aside all comment on whether the advice is solid or not, they say 80% of weight loss comes from the kitchen. So, it may be that you want to focus on making sure your meals are spot on - working long hours it would probably be very easy to succumb to convenience food/takeaways/grab and go options.

I can't help with when working mums exercise as I'm not one but family exercise of some sort at the weekends might help? Otherwise I suppose lunch times.

wheatchief Fri 01-Jul-16 17:08:52

Cross post with Queen.

MyCatIsABiggerBastardThanYours Fri 01-Jul-16 17:09:01

I work in the city in a senior role - Head of Marketing - and I am a size 18. I am surrounded by fit young sporty things, but I don't feel the need to be like them. I was slim when younger but I have never been lower than size 14 when getting promoted and moving up in my career.

I do think you need to think about your appearance in that you do need to look smart, clean and look after yourself (same for a man, that isn't gender specific) but you can manage that as size 18 as well as size 10.

MyCatIsABiggerBastardThanYours Fri 01-Jul-16 17:11:50

Ps I don't particularly like being a size -18 and am losing weight but that is for my own reasons and not for work. I would not work anywhere where my ability to do a job was based on what my weight was.

doesntmatterwhoyouare Fri 01-Jul-16 17:14:23

How tall are you, are you overweight? You could take advantage of how busy you are and eat less it will make the most diff to weight loss. Tbh I think nowadays its the same for men as well, being fat makes people think you are lazy in your personal life so will be lazy at work as well. Of course your performance will matter as well but first impressions and all that.
I'm a size 18 (have been a from a 12-22 with this employer) I work in a caring role being bigger makes me.look older and works to my advantage in my day today job so.it cuts both ways.

user1465284888 Fri 01-Jul-16 17:17:31

@MyCatIsABiggerBastardThanYours Thank you - this is so comforting because I have been thinking "OH crap, I am "fat" and I have under a month or so to lose 50lbs plus..."!

I think I will join a gym as the elliptical machine helps me blow off steam. I think I will need to here and there, and that will definitely help shed some pounds.

But, I don't want any more added anxiety! Just wondered if it was true.

branofthemist Fri 01-Jul-16 17:21:25

There is a theory that the more attractive you are the more successful you are. There are of course exceptions to every rule.

My very corporate career was at its best when I was over weight and then pregnant, so put even more weight on. I don't think it's the be all and end all.

If you want to lose weight for you, then do it. Losing weight is mainly about eating anyway. If you do want to go to the gym it's up to you to fit it in when is best for you. I used to go at 5am and start work at 7.30am. I have 2 kids so couldn't go evenings.

LotsOfShoes Fri 01-Jul-16 17:21:52

City lawyer here - she's talking bollocks, your career will not stall if you're not thin.
However - there is not a single female lawyer in my office above a size 10-12. I think it's to do with the fact that everyone exercises, can afford nice salads for lunch etc. I'm a size 12 (at a height of 5'7") now after I put on a few pounds and am one of the heaviest women in my department. It's just how it is.

Deliaskis Fri 01-Jul-16 17:21:57

I think it depends very much on whether you are happy with your weight. 14-16 doesn't sound big at all (are you even overweight?), but if it is big for you, then does it affect how you feel about yourself?

I lost almost 5 stone a couple of years ago, and it has really helped my career going from strength to strength, not because of how other people perceive me, or because of how I look, but because of how I perceive myself. It has helped me to have the confidence to be far more assertive and 'consciously competent' at what I do.

There is a slightly separate piece around creating a perception that you are 'in control' and that all areas of your life are 'well managed' and that you are in control, which I think can also help, and it's not necessarily about people caring how you look.

So I think this depends on:

a) are you even overweight?
b) does it bother you?

Once you have figured out those two questions, you can decide if you want to do anything about it, and if so what.

But it shouldn't be about what you think someone thinks of your 'looks'.

harshbuttrue1980 Fri 01-Jul-16 17:24:15

I remember when Karl Lagerfeld called Angela Merkel "fat". I do think that people judge women who are not slim (I'm 5 foot and a size 12, so I'm not slim either). However, its up to us non-lettuce leaf eaters to prove them wrong. To succeed in business, you need to be healthy and energetic. You can be healthy at any size though, just as you can dress smartly at any size. Just ignore her and do what is best for you. I doubt that someone trying to starve themselves would have the stamina for a demanding job anyway!

LotsOfShoes Fri 01-Jul-16 17:24:31

Just a note that when you are doing long hours, exercise becomes necessary. I joined a gym and started pilates after I started working because my back was killing me after spending so many hours a day sitting. And if I have to work late I'll have a light lunch an dinner because I don't want to feel all sleepy from heavy food.

hesterton Fri 01-Jul-16 17:27:42

I think some people do correlate slimness with someone who has self discipline and control.

As a calm, controlled fatty with some slim but bonkers colleagues, I know this correlation is not based on anything but supposition.

But I do think the idea is perpetuated.

Also, there is the idea that slim people are less likely to have time off sick than fatter people. This is probably only true if you are talking about older, morbidly obese people who are beginning to develop some oF the many health issues related to chronic high levels of body fat.

So yes it probably is worth losing weight but no, not for her or anyone else. For you as you age.

AyeAmarok Fri 01-Jul-16 17:27:44

It will be more about what you're eating than exercise, most likely.

If you want to lose weight (for yourself) then I'd eat more healthily and get of the tube at an earlier station and walk. Maybe run at lunchtime two days a week. And gym at the weekend.

She's right that some people will think more highly of someone who is not overweight, but they aren't very nice people, frankly. Although they might be the person in charge of your promotion, I suppose.

AyeAmarok Fri 01-Jul-16 17:29:41

However, its up to us non-lettuce leaf eaters to prove them wrong.

Stop being a twat.

StackladysMorphicResonator Fri 01-Jul-16 17:30:25

It's true that the City is very judgemental based on appearances - like a PP said, people think that fat = lazy. Obviously this isn't the case, as you're prepared to put in the long hours, but the City is one of those areas that is terribly sexist and size-ist and I don't see that changing any time soon.

Your mentor is right, although it does suck and is bloody unfair. She's probably just trying to help you.

Like others have said, exercise has very little bearing on weight loss - you can jog for an hour and only use up 500 kcal, so you'd have to run every day to lose just a pound a week. Food choices are much more important. When you're putting in long hours it's easy to reach for sugary, fatty treats to keep your energy levels up, so if you actually want to lose weight (your choice - don't be forced into it) then you should pack snacks and meals for each day and tell people from day one that you don't eat treats in the office as there'll always be cake/biscuits/whatever for someone's birthday around.

Whatever you decide, I hope you kick ass at your job - you're already a minority group as a working mother in the City, bloody well done!

Owllady Fri 01-Jul-16 17:30:26

Who are all these user numbers? Are any of then real or are they all bots?

doesntmatterwhoyouare Fri 01-Jul-16 17:53:56

User numbers are nicknames automatically give to people who join through the app. There's a separate thread asking for this to be changed.

maybeshesawomble Fri 01-Jul-16 18:20:07

I have never thought about it really but I work for the HQ of a high street bank and thinking about it very, very few people are overweight. We have access to a good gym and healthy options for food (and the money to spend on personal trainers, food etc.).

Unfortunately despite the bank's numerous equality campaigns there is still a high degree of sexism and yes appearances are judged more than I've seen working outside of the financial sector.

I have two small children and work out at 6.30am on weekday mornings and with a longer run at some point in the week and tennis, swimming etc at the weekend with my family. I also have a PT who I see once a week to keep me motivated. It helps that I love exercise, it is the only time I have regularly to concentrate on myself.

honeylulu Fri 01-Jul-16 18:36:40

Do you want to lose weight? If not don't take any notice!
However you might find life as a working mum in the city works is own magic at keeping you slim. I work in the city and I'm so busy I eat breakfast and lunch at my desk so I can leave in time for pick up. So I can only eat the healthy boxed stuff I bring in each day, then plenty of sprinting for last minute trains, then running around after children. We typically eat late by which time I'm not so hungry so I only have a small dinner.
The worst pitfalls are the constant supply of cakes and treats that appear in the work kitchen for any occasion. I just try not to look! Also hoovering up kids leftovers when I get home starving!
As others have said food makes the most difference (also restricting booze especially weekdays) but exercise wise I only do proper classes at the weekend (do one Friday lunchtime when I work at home). On weekday evenings I do a short 20 min run or a 20 min Joe wicks HIIT workout in front of the telly. Anything more ambitious is doomed to failure.

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