Two stone is a lot of weight. It may not sound like it at first but when you consider that two stone is about the same weight as 60 small bottles of water or a whole 2-year old person, it begins to sound more like a huge weight loss achievement. Weight loss may feel like a goal that sits alongside all the other things, but actually it’s likely to play into nearly every other aspect of life. Weight loss impacts many other things, such as in this case, your career. How?
1. Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
“The only way to separate mind from body is with an axe.”
Our mental and physical health are inextricably linked. Just look at how much our muscles tighten up when we get stressed – or how effective placebo drugs have shown to be in alleviating pain. Whilst we don’t fully understand this innate connection between body and mind, we do know that working towards a physical goal like losing weight is a fantastic way to enhance wellbeing. Feeling physically better, as well as feeling aesthetically more attractive, will have an overall positive effect that far out-weighs weight loss alone.
The benefits of exercising and eating healthily may reduce sick days caused by things like stress and back pain too. In fact, according to studies, the two biggest reasons for taking time off work are mental health issues (like stress, anxiety or depression) and lower back pain. Working healthily towards a weight loss goal through eating better and exercising more may reduce your chances of either of these things taking hold.
And as much as we might secretly relish in phoning in sick, less time off work due to injury or stress means improved productivity, greater job satisfaction – and maybe even increased chances of actual success or promotion.
2. Your Own Self Confidence
The effort involved in working towards weight loss and fitness goals have shown to increase mental stamina, assertiveness and self-belief – several of the building blocks in feeling more confident and in control. By engaging with the challenge of weight loss, overcoming obstacles can have a surprising effect on our overall sense of inner confidence, which may be most evident in the workplace.
Being able to interact with colleagues with a quiet sense of confidence enhances our sense of contribution and efficacy, making us more effective employees – and might make us nicer people to work with too.
Feeling better, looking better and being more confident might sound like a shampoo advert slogan – but it can be genuinely transformative in your everyday working life.
3. How You Appear to Others
Yes – people will see that you’ve lost weight – and that’s brilliant. But there are so many other ways your weight loss will contribute to others’ perception. Reaching the top of the stairs and gasping for breath or shying away from work-organised charity runs probably isn’t exactly the image you’re trying to portray… On the contrary, there’s real benefit in looking healthy, presenting yourself well and having the self-belief to engage in activities previously outside of your comfort zone.
Whilst I don’t think it’s healthy to be solely driven by what other people think, losing weight and taking care of your body often conveys confidence, because it shows that you value yourself. Demonstrating that you are physically in charge of your body shows your inner strength and authority to other employees, and may enhance your ability to create positive working relationships.
4. Non-Work Goals & A Work-Life Balance
Investing in a goal outside of your career can be highly beneficial for your mental health, because it creates a roundedness that pays into every aspect of your life. This is why many companies, when recruiting, look at extra-curricular activities that their would-be employees engage in outside of their specialist area. Our careers tend to take up a lot of our time, and our efforts are spent making sure our work goals are on track. But by taking ownership of a part of your life outside work, you’ll become able to see your time away from work as important too – which is vital for establishing a healthier work-life balance.
We don’t really need reminding about the obvious benefits of losing weight like looking better, being able to fit into old clothes and having a good view of our toes… But we shouldn’t forget how significant losing weight can be to our working lives too. Greater productivity, fewer sick days, feeling better, an improved sense of confidence, stronger relatability at work, as well as an overall improvement in well-being and mental health are but some of the benefits to be taken. Losing two stone might just make a whole lot more of a difference than we realised.