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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Why WLS, part 1

I'm a stress eater & today I was stressed.  Which led to an incident with some biscuits & gravy. 'nuf said.  My daughter was in the hospital today for a procedure under anesthesia.  I hate waiting in the waiting room.  waiting. waiting. waiting. Nothing stresses me out like my daughter - but more on that later.

I know that there will be more stress in the future along with cheats, falling off the wagon, epic fails, lbs gained, lbs lost, plateaus, frustrations, aggravations & disappointments in the months to come.  I know when I'm struggling I will look back through old posts looking for redemption, hope and renewed determination.  To my future self, I want to remind her what this whole journey is about.  Now seems like the right time to delve into the reasons why I finally decided to do weight loss surgery.

My reasons are listed right there in my profile & I'll do a post on each one in that order: my career, my daughter, myself.

So, today, it is my career.
I am a career woman.   I'm proud to say that.  I'm proud of my accomplishments.  I have an undergraduate engineering degree, I have an Ivy League MBA.  I have managed $1B+ businesses, multi-million dollar marketing budgets and large staffs.  I'm very good at what I do & I know how to get results.  I can grow a business.  I can grow YOUR business.  I have the highest of ambitions.  Let me say that again - I am ambitious.  (girls aren't really supposed to say that, are they??!)

But let's take a look around....there are only 12 female CEOs in the Fortune 500.  12 out of 500 - just  2.4%.  This list is here   How many are fat?  0   Even the CEO of Sara Lee, Brenda Barnes, is skinny as a rail.

I remember when Carol Bartz became Yahoo's chief & there was a lot of griping out there.  What did they take pot shots at?  Her weight.  Her appearance.  Does any male CEO get this type of flak?  uh, no

Latest studies show a woman only makes 77cents for every dollar a male co-worker earns.  On top of that, a fat woman makes 6cents less than her thin female co-worker.  Check out a few articles: Earn less if you're fatIt Pays to be Thin.

This is not just some theoretical, economics math.  Its real to me, to my family.  My paycheck does not supplement our family income - it IS our family income.  I am the sole breadwinner in my household - paying the mortgage, putting food on the table, clothes on our backs, vacations, cars, school loans, planning for retirement, etc all come out of my paycheck.   My ability to land big paychecks & negotiate big salaries is material to my loved ones.

Last summer, I was promoted from middle mgmt to jr exec.  I'm lucky enough to work for a great boss who tells me I'm on the VP track & will have his job in 2 years.  Great stuff to hear but, still, the best time to look for a new job is soon after a promotion.  It got me thinking about what's the next step in my career.  Also, I'm now spending a lot of time on the road, seeing customers, traveling internationally, speaking at conferences, etc.  Appearance matters in all these situations & American ideas of "normal weight" are almost always obese elsewhere in the world.  I'm very often one of the fattest people in any given meeting.

I long ago accepted that, as a women, I had to be amazingly better than my male counterparts to succeed.     Is it fair?  shouldn't we all just be judged on what we accomplish rather than superficial looks?  blah, blah, blah.  whatever.  the game is what is it is.  I'm can always bow out but the rules are obvious.

At 225, my weight was starting to hold me back.  Like I said, I have a great boss but my weight made me hesitate to jump on possible interviews.  This hesitation just ties me to my present employer and limits my ability to job shop around.

So, my future-self, remember that this is about your career.  You've worked so hard to get where you are - losing this weight just clears one more obstacle.  That chair in the corner office may be cushy but it only comes in a small.   Now, put down that pastry & get your ass to the gym!


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