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Does Weight Loss Lead to More Job Confidence and More Productivity for Legal Professionals?

( 23 votes, average: 4.7 out of 5)
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According to, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that "six in 10 U.S. adults are overweight or obese." The findings include "nearly a quarter who are obese."

Legal professionals deal with other peoples' issues on a daily basis, but what happens when it's a legal professional who has the issue? One issue that has been impacting many people recently is the epidemic of weight gain. Society's obesity issue has spread across the country, even creeping into some of our nation's legal offices. Weight issues can bring on low confidence and a lack of productivity, which are not positive influences for any legal professional. But thanks to Mark Leventhal's own personal experience, lawyers may have a solution to America's overweight burden, and a way to improve their work-life schedule.

"I lost my weight on Weight Watchers. I was difficult for me, though. There was no daily support and motivation, no personal accountability, and no customized and individualized plan," Leventhal candidly says. "I did it, but I saw that it would have been easier if I had a coach to help me through this difficult process."

So Leventhal, a lawyer himself, decided to create his own coaching program to fit the needs of his colleagues and their work regime. After losing over 50 pounds, he wanted to help others improve their lives like he did. He quit practicing international trade law in a Washington, D.C., law firm and put his efforts into a weight loss program based on his own experience.

"I did Weight Watchers with a friend. While I was losing, my friend was gaining. I saw that Weight Watchers was not for everyone," he says. "So, I went to coaching school, got certified as a personal trainer, quit the practice of law, and launched Leventhal Weight Loss Incorporated."

Leventhal says his motivation for the company was that he "saw a lot of fat, overweight lawyers whose weight-related issues were adversely impacting their health and their ability to practice law effectively." He decided to launch a program geared toward legal members and make it available to lawyers around the country.

"Leventhal Weight Loss Incorporated has clients doing all sorts of weight loss programs — from Weight Watchers to Jenny Craig to South Beach to Atkins. There is no 'best' diet. What is best for one attorney is not necessarily 'best' for the next one," Leventhal explains. "We work with attorneys to help them devise a customized and individualized plan suited to their strengths and particular lifestyle…We monitor their progress and hold them accountable."

Leventhal worked for Weight Watchers himself, so he says he got a firsthand understanding of what was effective versus what wasn't. He also used his law knowledge to work his program around what he felt lawyers would be able to effectively follow.

"We don't tell lawyers what to eat or how much to exercise. Lawyers do not like to be told what to do. I practiced law for 10 years. I never met a lawyer who wants to be told what to do and what to eat. So, we don't do it," he admits. "Yes, we do share information and make suggestions, but ultimately, it is the lawyer's decision about what they are going to do."

Leventhal went to Temple Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude in May 1997. He launched his program last year and hopes to improve the lives of his fellow lawyers with his efforts.

"In the long term, [the program helps with having] a better quality of life. [For example, a lawyer] would feel better and be more productive at their job after they lose the weight. They will feel more energetic, and that will help their work-life balance a lot," Leventhal says about the benefits of weight loss. "Also, losing weight may help their social lives."

Citing his law experience, Leventhal says that he can relate to lawyers who want to better their lives, but stresses that there are no "quick fixes."

"We understand the challenges and hurdles attorneys face going through this process. We understand what it takes to lose weight in spite of business trips, staying up to 3 A.M. writing briefs and preparing for trials and depositions, and having to go to 'bad' restaurants with clients who come in from out of town," he explains.

As for Leventhal's own weight goals, he has kept the weight off and is currently running marathons.

Leventhal and his staff hope that lawyers benefit from losing the extra weight, and that doing so will add to the quality of their lives by giving them more confidence.

"Further, to the extent losing weight helps their confidence, perhaps that can result in more confidence in interviews, and accordingly, a better job!"

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