So one thing I have enjoyed about suddenly being in the media, is all the interviews. I have taken them on with my usual gusto and used them as an opportunity, not only to gain PR for me and The Link App but as a self-evaluating development exercise. I’m learning a lot about myself, most of which is good, so I am happy.
In response to me discussing my passion for fitness, health and nutrition, during a recent magazine interview I was asked the question “Whether someone needed to be in shape to be successful?” My immediate answer was no. I was thinking with my usual ‘I don’t want to upset anyone attitude’ and then when I added the meat to the bone of my simple “no” answer I realised I was departing from it.
I am absolutely passionate about fitness, I have been going to the gym since I was 15 but I wasn’t always this slim. It took me till my late 20s to educate myself about health and fitness enough to make a real difference, I got to my ideal body weight and never looked back. Anybody following me on Twitter or Instagram will know I regularly share tips and my progress as part of the ‘fitfam’ generation spurring each other on, one selfie at a time. So I am in shape and proud of it, what has this got to do with being successful? Short answer….everything!
I want it all, no compromises. I sweat it out, get up earlier, work harder, longer, later, than others in the pursuit of success. It’s the grit and sheer determination that drives me forward. It is in my core. It is the same unwavering motivation that gets me results in the gym, as it is in my career. If after a hard day at work I just came home and sat on my butt, where would my motivation be? To me there’s no logic in the fact I could carry a kick-ass proactive attitude one part of the day and have it hibernate for the remainder.
I know someone is going to say well what about Mr X or Mrs Y they are out of shape but are millionaires through their business endeavours. Then it all depends on your definition of success, if all you want in life is money then you may well be a successful 50 something who dies of a heart attack with millions in the bank. Is that success? I argue not. Equally if you are as toned as an Olympic athlete but your dream career is slipping further and further away from you. Is that success? I would say no.
Recently the hateful Katie Hopkins made a splash with her documentary My Fat Story. There was one scene where she said that she would not employ a fat person. While I am loathed to agree with her on anything she says, she made some good points during this documentary and perhaps there is something we could agree on. I say perhaps because she didn’t expand upon the reason, so we will never truly know. To discriminate against anyone based on a physical attribute alone I don’t agree with, however knowing how much of my physical appearance I attribute to my attitude and determination I would have to question whether or not I would want to employ someone without this underlying determination.
When I am looking for a partner I am quite clear that a toned body is right up there in things I want in a guy. Am I superficial? Not at all. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy looking at a hunky physique but the most attractive part of that is the mental strength it took to get there. It’s the same reasons I admire Millie Mackintosh or the beauties that walk for Victoria’s Secret.
Of course, it’s entirely possible that someone’s determination could be channelled elsewhere, for example extreme stamp collecting. From the moment they leave my office to going to bed they beaver away at creating the perfect collection, whatever that might look like. Or the less flippant example of someone with dependants. The body beautiful is a passion of mine but general health needs to be a priority for everyone.
So the question I would ask of a potential partner or even future employee is, if you’re not fit, why are you not fit? If there isn’t a very good reason or an alternative all consuming passion you just couldn’t put to one side, then I’m afraid you’re not going to cut it with this go getter. What is on the outside says more about what is on the inside than you realise!
Lauren Riley is a former Apprentice star and founder of the new age legal app ‘The Link App.’ Follow her on twitter @misslaurenriley and http://laurenriley.co.uk/
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