Exercise Day 11: First Impressions are Everything

January 8, 2009 at 2:37 pm 5 comments

Today involved a visit to the upper-scale grocery store to pick up the things my other store didn’t carry.  Among them: wheat germ, whole wheat flour (which SnS DOES carry; I just forgot to grab some), cranberries and edamame.  I also got some Almond Butter, as per Pangie’s suggestion.  Wow, though… it cost $10 for one jar!  Yikes!

So I guess I add to my weekly total, but at last most of what I got was stuff that will take more than one week — or even one month — to consume, unless I really work at it.  I did also break down and get some of those $1.00 reusable grocery bags.  I am still not sure why, as we make use of the plastic ones to line trash cans around the house.  I almost feel like using these is more wasteful in that way, because we’re still going to use SOMETHING to line the trash cans.

I tried the corn pudding today.  I have to say that while I liked it fine, I could see why the kids weren’t thrilled with it.  It was kind of bland compared to what they’re used to and compared to what I expected.  Still, it seems like a good base recipe, ripe for tinkering.   The downside was that the thing that struck me as being lacking was either sugar, or cheese. :/

Tonight we try ‘Roasted Turkey Legs with Cranberry-Onion Relish’.  I have a feeling Turkey Legs will be a hit regardless, but the cranberry-onion relish sounds a little iffy even to ME.  I guess we’ll see how it turns out.  In any case, I’ve prepared a batch of plain quinoa to work into some kind of pilaf, and thanks to a special deal on Dole lettuce blends, we are drowning in salad fixings.  It should be a good meal.

I hope.

This week has been a million times better than last week.  Last night I made the whole meal for my family while my tummy growled, but I didn’t feel deprived, didn’t feel wild to eat any of it.  And today I’ve had all good stuff — whole grain toast with Smart Balance and Polaner’s All Fruit Jam,  and the last of the Corn Pudding,  then a salad with real hand-grated (by me!) parmesan and about half a cup of quinoa (I wanted to see if I liked it as well plain; it was actually not half bad), and probably a teaspoon full of almond butter just to try it.  That sounds like a lot written out, but it wasn’t all that much, and I feel nice and comfortably full.  Now I’m down here walking.

One thing that has been sort of an unhappy spectre in my life is something I created for myself.  I have this idea that involves ad-supported websites for local communities.  I think it’s a good idea, I love working on it, and I even have three subdivisions pulling for me already.  My issue, however, is that to fund the thing I need to sell advertising, and Sales just aren’t my thing.

But there was a time, in college, when I worked as a sales associate for a mall store, and I was actually pretty good at what I did.  I was good at chatting up customers, good at sounding genuinely enthusiastic about what our store sold, and good at suggesting add-ons, which was always the big ‘Do this! Do this!’ thing at our store.  (It was a Nature Store, and the little kitschy add-ons were our big profit-earners).  I was good enough that I started as seasonal sales and was asked to stay on, and within a year I’d been promoted to part-time Sales Manager too.

So it’s not that i can’t do it.  It’s mostly that I’m afraid to do it.  Working in a storefront like I was back then was one thing, because people wouldn’t have walked in the door if they weren’t attracted to what we sold, so it was more natural to approach people there.  Outside of that environment, as I am in the present case, its more of a cold-call situation.  This means that being able to generate a good first impression is crucial to encouraging people to give your product a shot without feeling outright annoyed that you’re bugging them.

Which brings us to an unfortunate, but nonetheless true, facet of the human existence.  People, in general, are not receptive to schmoozing from people who aren’t …attractive.  If you send two people out to sell a product, and one has the sort of looks that are generally appealing while the other does not, regardless of the personalities of either people will receive the attractive one’s attention with more willingness to listen and consider than they will the attention of the unattractive one.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t unattractive, overweight sales people who are successful.  There are.  But in those cases, the people have to bring a lot of charm and charisma to the table to overcome the first impression impact that tends to prevail.  Any advertiser will tell you that the important thing is to get people’s attention, and if possible you want to get their attention in POSITIVE ways, not negative ones.  P.T. Barnum notwithstanding, you want prospective clients to say, “Wow.. check her out.” instead of, “Wow… how did she get to be so huge? Yeesh.”

And let’s face it… charm and charisma tend to be a consequence of self-confidence, which is why attractive people tend to also be charming and charismatic without even really trying.  In addition to whatever favorable opinions they might have of their own talents to begin with, they draw lots of  admiration that will assures them that they will be well-received no matter what they’re trying to do.  Overweight people, on the other hand, generally feel unhappy about themselves to begin with and do not receive the same warm reception from the public. For an overweight person to maintain a high level of self-confidence, they have to really work at it.

Again, I’m speaking in generalities.  I’m sure there are overweight people who totally embody self-love or whatever.  I just haven’t met any yet, and I am not one of them myself.  The prevalence of such shows as ‘How To Look Good Naked’ or whatever suggests I’m more right than I’m wrong.

Aware of this as I am, I am loathe to venture out and really make a go of the sales thing here because I feel like I’m starting out at a serious disadvantage.  I used to be cute enough to get away with flirting up customers at the mall.  I think I could be cute again, but I am definitely NOT cute now.  What I am is chubby and awkward and self-conscious.  I am uncomfortable approaching strangers and terrible at hiding that fact.  I am loathe to bother people and sheepish when I must.  I am not presently built for sales, no question about that.

But I clearly could be.  I once was, even the comfortable segue of the Storefront notwithstanding.  The bottom line was that I was enthusiastic about the product; I loved almost everything Natural Wonders sold, and I wasn’t afraid to tell people why it was awesome.  I feel the same way about this advertising thing, and I just feel that if I could get my legs under me, I could make a real success out of it.

So.. I guess I can either consider hiring someone else to handle the sales (which I can’t afford to do, as I have no money to work with yet), or I can work on my own self-presentation.  Now that I’ve found a couple of diet books that satisfy me for the time being, I’ve returned to a couple of Advertising books so that I can get a better grip on what it is I need to do.  As I get closer to the 200 pound mark and presumably pass it, I am getting closer to the point at which I might be able to start making favorable first impressions again.  And then I think I’ll feel better about stepping out and strutting my stuff with potential clients.

This is going to be one heck of a summer, if so. 😉  Andy will be home.  The kids won’t have school.   It’d be the ideal time, if I can just pull it off.

Oh, and incidentally.. I have figured out why my Treadmill consistently beeps and shuts off at 3.331-3.332 miles of walking at one time.  It’s at that point that I have walked for 100 minutes, and the time display isn’t set up to show three leading digits.  Isn’t that silly?  Oh well..  At least now that I know what it means, I feel better. 😉


Entry filed under: Exercise, Successes. Tags: , , , , , , .

Exercise, Day 10: A Wife of Noble Character Exercise, Day 12: Walking Late Again


  • 1. melalvai  |  January 8, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    That’s exactly the same reason holding me back from buying $1 reusable grocery sacks. That, and I’ll never remember to bring them with me to use them. Every week we have to ask ourselves “Do we need paper sacks to hold the recycling, or plastic for scooping the catbox and to line the trash cans?”

  • 2. Feaelin  |  January 8, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Right now, we’re overstocked on the plastic bags, since Taffin007 brought us his accumulation from various grocery trips.

  • 3. Feaelin  |  January 8, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    That’s terrible interface design (the treadmill). It could at least cycle over, or provide a 100+ indicator of some kind. Reset once an hour, I guess?

    You already have successes under your belt…you’ve brought a few RA’s onboard, you’re lining up the technical, legeal, details etc. It all takes a great deal of time, money…the real revenue and payoffs don’t come until later.

    Remind yourself that in terms of self-improvement, you’re already a success. You can say you’re doing it right, because you’re already working toward goals, met some, set new ones…that’s the way it works.

  • 4. Jennifer  |  January 8, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Yeah… I agree. (Re: Treadmill) But I should probably point out that the only truly annoying part is the fact that it STOPS. I don’t understand the need for that.

    It does preserve my distance and calories burned values, at least. And I guess in the broad scheme of things, the need to push the ‘2’ button to start myself back at 2.0 MPH is a fairly minor nuisance. The biggest frustration before I realized what was going on was trying to figure out how long I’d walked. I didn’t know why it was shutting off, and to record WW points, I needed to know time, not miles. :/ Now I know, which is good.

  • 5. melalvai  |  January 9, 2009 at 7:28 am

    By the way, no matter how you look, you will always be a hundred times more charasmatic and better at sales than I could ever be. Plus even overweight you are naturally way cuter than many thinner people! Some people are lucky that way and can carry extra pounds more charmingly than others.

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