I Lost My Job AND My Sense of Self.


    20 Mar, 2017  in Lisa / Plus Size Industry / Self-Care by Lisa Schoenberger 

     Writer: Lisa Schoenberger | This article is the first time I am sharing this experience publicly.  While I know it will be difficult to write and I will probably shed a few tears, I hope that telling my story will provide comfort to someone who may have had a similar experience and also be a way for me to start gaining some closure.

     My followers know me as a successful and independent professional CPA, CA by day. For almost 20 years I was blessed to do what I love (yes I love accounting!), working for only 2 firms and moving progressively through the ranks, reaching a level that I thought was my permanent role where I would continue serving my clients, growing my practice and being a leader.  But at the end of October I had the rug pulled out from underneath me when I was “downsized” because due to restructuring my position was eliminated.

     I was left feeling completely shell shocked and I experienced all of the emotions you would expect in the situation.  But what rocked me to my very core is that it made me question my sense of self, it made me feel inadequate and embarrassed.  You see being plus size basically all of my life I really wasn’t great at sports, I had a hard time making friends, and I never really developed any hobbies or interests growing up.  But the thing I was good at was school.  I was smart, it came easy to me and it made my family proud.

     My success in school translated into success at work and my career became my focus because I felt like a failure at everything else. I pushed myself and achieved many things despite some setbacks along the way because I persevered and as someone once told me I was resilient.  Did I sometimes feel overlooked or that I had to work that much harder because I was fat?  You’re damn right I did!  But I wasn’t a quitter and I always wanted to prove them wrong.

     So who was I now that I had lost the one thing that I was great at?  What did that say about me as a person?  Sure I have come a long way in the last few years on my road to self love and acceptance and I know that I am not defined solely by my career just like I am not solely defined by my weight but this loss weighed heavily on me and I fell into a deep depression and I am still trying to find my way out.  I was so ashamed that I couldn’t even tell my parents.  My father found out because he called my office and they told him I no longer worked there.

     As I spent time trying to make sense of it all, figuring out what I wanted to do next and doing the interview circuit I realized that I still care too much about what other people might think, that I am still looking for self-validation from others.  But the reality is I have nothing to be ashamed of, I am damn good at what I do and it’s their loss.  And thankfully I had some good friends who reminded me how awesome I really am.  I honestly don’t know where I would be without them.

     And while I still am looking for a full time position (if you need a good accountant, I’m available!), I am doing some contract work and in the short month I have been there I have already regained so much of the sense of self I had lost.

     Many women have contacted me for advice about how to be successful in their careers, particularly when you are fat.  And well it is not easy at times, I believe progress is being made in changing public perceptions and we need strong women who are willing to fight the good fight.  I want the next generation to not have to go through what I have gone through.  So I will continue to be resilient because when one door closes another one opens.

     And while I am still in the process of healing, I remind myself the one thing I always tell women who ask where my confidence comes from – you are worthy of self-love exactly as you are, you deserve to be happy, you deserve to take up space and we are all beautiful in our own unique way.  So here’s to seeing where the next chapter will take me…



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    Tennessee restricts use of Monsanto pesticide as problems spread.

    A Monsanto logo is pictured in the company headquarters in Morges, Switzerland. Reuters/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

     Tennessee on last Thursday 13.07.2017 imposed restrictions on the use of dicamba, a flagship pesticide for Monsanto Co, becoming the fourth state to take action as problems spread over damage the weed killer causes to crops not genetically modified to withstand it.

     Dicamba is sprayed by farmers on crops genetically modified to resist it but it has drifted, damaging vulnerable soybeans, cotton and other crops across the southern United States. Farmers have fought with neighbors over lost crops and brought lawsuits against dicamba producers.

     Arkansas banned its use last week and Missouri, which initially halted dicamba spraying, has joined Tennessee with tight restrictions on when and in what weather spraying can be done. Kansas is investigating complaints.

     "We've had damage across just about every acre of soybeans we farm in southeast Missouri," said Hunter Raffety, a farmer in Wyatt, Missouri. "In our small town, the azaleas, the ornamentals, people have lost their vegetable gardens. It's a big problem."

     He suspects between 3,000 and 4,000 acres of soybeans on the 6,000 acres he and his family farm have sustained damage, evidenced by the leaves of plants constricting into cup-like shapes.

     Monsanto, which said it has spent years working to make dicamba stickier and limit drift when it is sprayed, is campaigning to overturn the bans. It blames early-adoption headaches similar to wind drift and cross-contaminated farm equipment problems the company faced when it launched its popular Roundup Ready glyphosate-resistant crops two decades ago.

     "In almost every technology in that first year there are kinks that you need to work out," Robb Fraley, Monsanto's chief technology officer, said on a news media call.

     He said many of the dicamba issues are caused by farmers not following application labels, using contaminated equipment or buying older formulations of dicamba that are cheaper but more prone to drift.

     The company, together with BASF SE and DuPont, which also produce dicamba-based weed killers, has agreed to additional safeguards for product use, Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn said in a statement.

     The dicamba problem is the latest regulatory woe for Monsanto after California last month announced it would list glyphosate as a probable carcinogen in the state.

     "It's not good for Monsanto - if anything, this is more likely to lead to lawsuits rather than additional sales," Jonas Oxgaard, an analyst with asset management firm Bernstein, said regarding the dicamba launch woes.

     Dicamba is key to Monsanto's biggest-ever biotech seed launch, which occurred last year. Its Xtend line of soybeans and cotton are designed to tolerate the weed killer, which replaces earlier products that contained only glyphosate.

     Some weeds have developed resistance to glyphosate, which Monsanto introduced in the 1970s. Crop seeds such as corn, soybeans and cotton are genetically modified to survive the pesticide while yield-sapping weeds die.

     Dicamba has long been used to kill weeds before crops are planted, but its use has spiked this season across the United States after regulators last year approved it for crops that are already growing.

     Monsanto sells a new dicamba formulation under the name Xtendimax. The company says that Xtendimax drifts less than older versions. BASF and DuPont also sell less drift-prone formulations.

     New restrictions in Tennessee include allowing application only from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to limit potential pesticide drift and banning use of older dicamba formulations.

     "I'm confident that we can address this issue as we have in other cases to ensure the safe and effective use of these tools," Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton said in a statement.

     In Monsanto's home state of Missouri, state Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst commended the quick action to update guidelines on dicamba use, which are similar to those in Tennessee.

     "The Special Local Need label is designed to provide additional protection for neighboring landowners and still allow the application of Dicamba to control weed problems," he said in a statement.

     (Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago; editing by Riham Alkousaa. (By Karl Plume | CHICAGO).



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    Catholic Church Continues to Advocate Sunday “Sabbath”.

     NB: the real Sabbath start on Friday evening.

     Pope Francis has voiced support for the re-emergence of Sunday as an official day of rest. In the book Pope Francis: His Life in His Own Words, he advocated the need for working people to “take the time to relax.”

     The New York Times quoted Pope Francis: “‘Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport. But this is being destroyed, in large part, by the elimination of the Sabbath rest day. More and more people work on Sundays as a consequence of the competitiveness imposed by a consumer society.’ In such cases, he concludes, ‘work ends up dehumanizing people.’”

     This comment continues a precedent set by Francis’ predecessors.

     Pope Benedict XVI often spoke of the importance of resting on Sunday, such as during his 2012 visit to the archdiocese of Milan, Italy. A transcript of the event posted on the Vatican’s website states: “…despite the relentless rhythms of the modern world, do not lose a sense of the Lord’s Day! It is like an oasis in which to pause, so as to taste the joy of encounter and to quench our thirst for God.”

     Pope John Paul II also focused on Sunday worship by issuing an Apostolic Letter in 1998, which stated, “I would strongly urge everyone to rediscover Sunday.”

     Secular sources have also recognized the need for a day of rest during the week, a point with which top Vatican officials appear to agree.

     Archbishop of Panama City Ulloa Mendieta was quoted by Catholic News Agency in 2010: “Not just for Christians, but for all men and women (this day) has great importance and significance, and this recognition should not only be formal but also real, allowing the Sunday rest for all workers.”



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