For as long as I can remember, I have been fat. I remember in first grade being called a “fat jigaboo” by a boy I had a huge crush on. That was hard. And it began the pervasive thought process where weight loss was the answer: the solution to all my problems.
The problem of the boy I like doesn’t like me.
The problem of only being able to find clothes that had a “W” after the number.
The problem of people saying, “But you have a pretty face.”
The problem of feeling unconfident when I walk into a room of strangers.
The problem of always feeling less. Unworthy. Unimportant. Insignificant.
But any time I made the decision to lose weight, and actually lost it, I didn’t feel any better.
That boy still didn’t like me. My clothes were still marked with Ws. The prettiness of my face alone was still remarked upon. I was no more confident… especially since my clothes all fit strangely. And I still felt less.
But let me return to what I intended to write in the first place.
As a Health Coach, one should have a Target Market. It’s a way to help you from being a crazy person specializing in everything… which is just not possible. When a HC has a Target Market they can become a real expert in the challenges faced by said group of folks. So as a Health Coach, I had to find myself a Target Market.
But I had so much trouble with this.
Because, in training, they tell us that our Target Market is made up of the group of folks we, ourselves, have been a member of. Of course, I gravitated toward the idea that those desiring weight loss were my Target Market.
But as I worked on my marketing materials I felt so stuck. I had so much trouble putting the words on the page. They all felt forced, inauthentic.
And then I realized why: though I have had success with weight loss in the past, it has never been something I’ve truly succeeded at. So of course it didn’t fit well!
But I was at a loss. How was I supposed to narrow down a market for myself and my practice?
After some self pity and many days spent playing around on Twitter, I found something. A little spark of found inspiration on the Web. It started with LFP, the lovely lady behind the blog “Living ~400lbs”. Reading her blog introduced me to the book “Healthy at Every Size” by Dr. Linda Bacon. Immediately, I ordered the book and devoured. every. page.
Everything I read just felt right. It was exactly what I had been searching for: permission to be both fat and healthier.
Yes! It’s true!
And my Target Market started coming clear for me. And I started to feel better about myself. More able to be comfortable calling myself a Health Coach in real life to actual people who could see that my waist size wasn’t a single digit. I had already begun the work of learning to really love myself, but finding the Fat Acceptance movement through reading the works of Ragen Chastain really helped me to embrace what I was doing and embrace myself.
I’ve always been shooting for the wrong target. Weight loss, as it is defined by society in general, is not for me. It never was. And it’s why I never succeeded at it anyway.
The right target is much simpler: self love, self acceptance, self care.
And with my sights set on the right target, I feel so much more and significant and worthy. I feel good about being me.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have my challenges and bad days. But I now start from a better place and getting back up is a much shorter climb. I didn’t give up, I found a fight worth fighting.
Tell me, is your target the right one?