Recently, I decided I wanted to lose some weight. Not a lot of weight — that would require an entire lifestyle change and result in me eating a lawn or a salad or something. I just wanted to take off the weight I gained from quitting smoking. I asked erstwhile advice columnist Marin what to do, and she simply suggested that I stop drinking soft drinks. I probably go through five Cokes a workday, and that doesn’t include however much I pour into my rum at night. And I don’t drink Diet Coke because it doesn’t taste like Coke so much as it tastes like carbonated liquid s**t.
I ignored Marin and went online. There I found a true cacophony of the dumbest advice ever collected. Searching for porn on the internet results in a more grounded reality than searching for weight loss advice. From magic pills to magic frozen foods and magic workout tapes that can allegedly turn you into an elite kickboxer on steroids in 20 minutes a day, the internet is replete with products that do not work and faulty advice. If I had some venture capital, I’d design an app that comes out of the computer screen and smacks the food out of your mouth every time you search for “weight loss” on Google. It would work.
Not surprisingly, weight loss advice tailored for “professionals” or “lawyers” is equally dumb and unhelpful. Lawyers, especially Biglaw lawyers, have some unique challenges when battling to stay physically respectable. One of those challenges is being too smart for stupid weight loss tips….
Over on FindLaw, Greedy Associates threw together three tips for people looking to stay in shape while grinding away Biglaw hours. Each tip was dumber than the last. If you are a fat person and these tips are groundbreaking for you, your problem isn’t that you are fat, it’s that you are incredibly simpleminded.
1. Move as much as you can. Walk around while looking over documents. Keep a stretching band or five pound weights in a desk drawer for impromptu workouts.
Sure, you’re being paid for your ability to critically look at documents and understand them or edit them or spot minute details in them that could have large consequences, but, by all means, do try to squeeze in a workout while you perform critical job functions.
Look, the problem with being a lawyer when it comes to your weight is that you have a sedentary job. Trying to be some kind of “action lawyer” isn’t the answer. It’s like those people with the workout desks. Have some goddamn focus — do your work, then work out. Otherwise, your multitasking skills probably just mean you’re doing half-assed legal work in the middle of your low-impact workout.
2. Avoid the junk food. Most of the causes of work-related weight gain are from bad eating habits according to a recent survey. Stock your desk with healthy snacks like dried fruit and nuts and drink plenty of water.
Oh, is that all we have to do? Avoid the junk food! And here I was all this time thinking that inhaling an entire Frito-Lay grab bag so that I can keep my hands free for working was the way to maintain a svelte figure.
There’s not an overweight person in America who doesn’t know that “junk food” is no good for them. The problem is that junk foods like chips and Twinkies are more readily available than edamame beans and a V8. And that’s a world where fat people even want to eat a trail mix of wheat grass and cardboard instead of a Snickers bar.
3. Chill out. Stress is a big factor in weight gain and can lead to all sorts of bad habits. If deep breathing isn’t enough for you, there are other ways to relax that won’t cut into your busy schedule.
Biglaw is stressful. There’s no way around that. None. It’s stressing me out just thinking about how to describe how stressful Biglaw is. What really stresses me out is people telling me to RELAX because it draws attention to how totally on edge I am every second I’m working. I can feel myself gaining weight as I type, such is the fat-making stress.
If being chill was the key to losing weight, cokeheads would weigh 500 pounds and Buddha would need a sandwich.
To recap: if you want to lose weight while in Biglaw, you have to avoid stress, stop eating junk food, and be active while at work. Man, doesn’t that sound a lot like getting another freaking job? How about that for a weight loss “tip” — avoid putting on weight while in Biglaw by getting the hell out of Biglaw.
It’s no wonder that people don’t lose weight when they keep hearing ridiculous and unworkable advice like “move around” and “chill out.” If most lawyers could exercise on the job and manage their anxiety hormones, then the profession would be thinner, and lawyers wouldn’t need stupid internet weight loss advice. It’s the inability of lawyers (writ large) to do these things that makes them overweight in the first place. Telling them to avoid junk food is like saying “the best way to not be fat is to be a thin person.” THANKS FOR THE TIP!
Now if somebody actually had some tips on a firm that keeps their vending machines full of Jamba Juice and granola bars, while allowing extended lunch hours at the gym, that would be actually useful to the overweight lawyers out there.
Of course, you shouldn’t take my internet advice — Mike Bloomberg will have to take my 16-gallon Coca-Cola out of my cold, dead hands.
Does This Legal Job Make Me Look Fat? [Greedy Associates / FindLaw]