Weight loss helps leaders level up, some attest

The aesthetic achieved by weight loss — and the confidence gained from time in the gym — may lead to more success in the workplace, The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 4. 

The Journal spoke with multiple businesspeople who claim reaching their fitness goals has helped propel their careers. Some say they have more energy and are "mentally sharper" as a result of better habits around food, exercise and sleep. Some report an increase in self-confidence and time-management skills. Some say that colleagues respect them more after witnessing their discipline surge. 

Yet, a slim-down can be a double-edged sword, the sources say. Although they find it easier to land deals after weight loss, they recognize that weight bias might explain their newfound magnetism. Susan Albers, PsyD, a psychologist at Cleveland Clinic, notes that people who look physically fit sport a "health halo"; outsiders might assume that they are more competent or have a better work ethic based on appearances alone. 

Of course, these assumptions are not always accurate — and as drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy become more accessible, fewer weight loss cases can be attributed to discipline alone. But whether or not it's fair, first impressions are influential, as Maria Malik, a public speaking coach, told the Journal.

"As much as we don't want to admit it, people do judge you when they see you for the first time," Ms. Malik said. "The more I'm working out, the more my business is succeeding."

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