Sunday, February 08, 2009

Drastic Action...

I am (a) 46 years old, (b) overweight and (c) out of a job. None of this is good, but I am limited in terms of what I can do to change this. The date of birth is fixed - I have to accept this. Applying for a teaching post is not like going on The Apprentice. Sir Alan Sugar may be quite happy to turn a blind eye to certain details on dynamic young things' CVs, but LEAs and CRBs will have no truck with even the smallest porkies. Even if your date of birth is not a requirement, it doesn't take an Einstein to figure out that if you list your O levels which were awarded by the JMB, you are not far short of baby boomer status. Actually, this is just as well as I have not yet met any Einsteins. As for the job applications process, I have had offers from a couple of people to read through my application. One is a primary school governor who has read lots of applications over the years and the other a secondary school headteacher. I may take them up on the offer and suffer the ritual humiliation which will be bound to follow. I also got a phone call from a guy at the college where I did my PGCE, firstly to congratulate me on graduating, secondly to ask me to take part on a little survey to find out what former students were doing. I responded with almost inverse triumphalism that I was unemployed - well, call me old fashioned but, to me, a job is something you do roughly 9 to 5, 5 days per week until you or your employer decide otherwise - supply doesn't cut the mustard being just a couple of days a week (if you are lucky). Sadly this was the closest I got to dinting the armour of the mighty HE establishment. I had obviously bombed out at the first stage on the guys's flowchart and he just gave me a phone number to make an appointment for CV advice. So I might do that.

So, I can't do anything about my age, I'm doing what I can about the job situation, what about the weight problem? I have bitten the bullet and joined my local branch of Slimming World - oh! the indignity! Now I do have a little history with Slimming World. In 1999 I joined for the first time and enjoyed significant success. I lost 2 stones and felt great. Sadly I put 3 stones back on. I have waddled around since with my excess baggage, eating what I want when I want and kidding myself that I am a dress size smaller than I am in reality. I turned up at the local recreation centre and was talked through the 'eating plan' (diet is a 4-letter word!). The 'consultant' opened with, " Now, before I go through the plan with you, I want to say well done for just coming through the door, I know it's hard..." Perhaps it would have been more appropriate for me to be lowered by a crane through the ceiling? No, I'm not that big - I had a good 6 inches of clearance on either side of me as I entered through the door!

I tipped the scales at 12 st 4.5 lbs - eek! I'm only 5'3"! According to the Body Mass Index in the Slimming World books, That puts me just inside the purple zone which places my health at a significant risk. Not quite morbidly obese but definitely time for drastic action. And to ease things along I have invested in Davina's Super Body Workout (did I say 'ease'?). If I can shoehorn myself out of my armchair, I shall aim to do it 3 times a week. I am certainly not shelling out for gym membership.

I am hoping that tackling the weight problem will assist in the other two areas. I will look a bit younger and this in turn will help me get a job. I think I have uncovered an inherent ageism in primary school recruitment panels. And I wouldn't be surprised if they were fatist, too.