Did I Really Just Come Out as a Fat Life Coach in Front of Thousands of People?

 

I've got to tell you about the most liberating moment of my professional life.

I was attending a live workshop by the incomparable Mel Robbins (author of “The 5 Second Rule” and “Stop Saying You’re Fine”) at CreativeLive in San Francisco. The workshop was on “How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence,” a topic that is right in my lane of nerdery by one of my favorite personal development teachers on the planet. To get into this audience, I had to apply for a seat and be hand selected by Mel and the CreativeLive team. So I was thrilled to just be there as she taught this workshop for the first time ever, and I could never have predicted what would happen once I was in my seat. 

After the first of four live segments of the daylong workshop, Mel told the producer that she wanted me mic’d up for the second segment. She came back to discuss and demonstrate the four traps of self-doubt she had outlined: Hesitation, Hiding, Hypercritical, and Helplessness. As she started illustrating her point on Hiding, I remembered what I had put in that application form and held my breath. I knew what was coming. Right on cue, she called me up for some on-the-spot coaching.

*gulp*

Now I could attempt to tell you what happened next, but it’s better to just see if for yourself. (I get called onto stage just after the 4 minute mark in case you wish to jump to that part.)

In case you don’t have time to watch this video, here are the cliff’s notes:

  • I admitted to myself (and everyone watching) that I sabotage myself by staying hidden behind a 13” screen that only shows me from the shoulder up.
  • I have been holding myself back by creating false standards of what Hilda thinks a person in the personal development field needs to look like in order to be taken seriously. 
  • I’m starting a new chapter that I’ve been resisting. A chapter where I not only let myself be seen, but shine the light on my body image insecurities so I can fully show up and make an even bigger impact. 
  • At one point, Mel drags me onto my feet - literally - to stand in front of the cameras.
  • I announce that “Diary of a Fat Life Coach“ is an idea that I’ve been tinkering with and Mel not only validated the idea, she told me that is what I need to do in my business. 
  • We discussed what to do when someone attacks us for doing work like this. 
    I “came out” as a fat life coach, and as work in progress. 
  • Mel challenged me to make the next phase of my business to be about demonstrating - to make it about me. *double-gulp* 
  • And the quote of the experience from Mel that I will take with me forever... 

“Wouldn’t it be liberating to be able to just show up and be exactly who you are and exactly who you’re not?!” 

Yep. This was a major moment for me - made even more impactful because of the audience. In addition to all the people who watched from the CreativeLive platform (which is who-knows-how-many-thousands-of-humans), this livestream from Mel’s team has over 10,000 views. Since returning home from this experience, I’ve been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the community, both hers and mine.

"Saw you on creative live and loved, looooved, LOVED you! I just wanted to reaffirm that you are valid, your feelings are so valid.”

“Amazing Jennie!!! You have no idea how much I needed that!”

“I am so inspired by you. Diary of a Fat Life Coach? We want more!”

“When you got up there I wanted to jump up and down and scream yes! It was the segment that spoke to me the most. Everything you said resonated with me!”

“Jennie, you were really brave today. And you can be that brave tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after. Remember that.”

“Thanks Jennie, for being authentically you. I have a feeling you helped as many people as Mel yesterday.”

These words of support go on and on in a way that I’ve never experienced before. It’s so heartwarming. (Unfortunately, for every one of these quotes, I’m also getting a half dozen pitches of weight loss products and services, which tells me this moment definitely hit a nerve.) Overall, this has been the most liberating experience I’ve had since coming out of the closet in the 90s and I know it will be just as pivotal. 

So what?

So what does all this mean? Well, for one, it means I’m coming out of hiding. No longer will I be waiting until I lose an acceptable amount of weight before becoming visible - it’s time to get super visible! It also means it’s time to take “Diary of a Fat Life Coach” from an idea to a reality. 

It does NOT mean I’m gonna stop coaching. A few of my clients freaked out thinking that this new direction would mean I’m going to stop coaching, but not to worry. Coaching is always going to be at the center of all I do. But I am going to take Mel’s advice and demonstrate a helluva lot more through my own personal experiences.

And it also means it’s time to get visible. I’ve been hiding out in my Facebook group and not reaching out to the masses. No more. It’s time to go all in!

It’s time to make “Hilda“ a household name.

It’s time to ask for more opportunities.

It’s time to grow my community.

It’s time to stop hiding. 

Here goes!

*gulp*

Who's Your Hilda?

She's crafty. She's sneaky. She’s your awful inner critic. (I call her Hilda.)

She’s the one with the disempowering messages who cunningly chips away at your confidence. While you’re eager to shake the world by its shoulders, Hilda’s in your head, spewing nonsense to trigger self-doubt, self-consciousness, second guessing, and defeat.

And if you buy into her nonsense for too long, you will end up squandering your potential.

You’re sick of her sabotaging ways, But, you can outsmart her once you understand her.

Let's do that. Right now. 

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