One of the greatest gifts of my life was being obese for most of it.

Seriously. It’s true. It was a gift. It was also a tremendous burden and the source of some of my deepest pain, but now I can see legitimate ways in which it was a powerful gift.

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It’s a gift because it gives me great empathy & understanding. It gives me genuine respect for the struggles people share with me every day.

Since I’ve lived the frustration and hypocrisy of desperating wanting to change while simultaneously choosing the behaviors that keep me from it, I understand.

Because I’ve eaten food out of the trash, binged, purged & eaten in secret, I never judge other people’s struggles.

My own pain has given me compassion and patience. It has made me a better teacher, mentor, coach & podcaster.

That’s why I’m writing this open letter. If you consider yourself a coach or if you’re a personal trainer, nutritionist, therapist, podcaster or anything in between, I hope you’ll read (or listen) to this with an open mind.

This open letter isn’t about you, it’s about your clients. Your clients, who, while you complain about them or their questions/struggles, make it possible for you to do what you do.

It’s about your clients who deserve to come to you without being judged.

They aren’t a burden; they are a blessing. And, if I hear you talking about them as if they are a burden or as if you are somehow better than them, I’m going to gently remind you:

They are, probably, more of a gift to you than you are to them.

Please don’t get it twisted.

Yes, I know you’ve heard the question they are asking 1000 times. But this person who asked you, they haven’t heard the answer 1000 times.

If you don’t want to answer the same question 1,000 times, don’t be a coach. Don’t be a trainer. Hang up your hat. It’s not for you.

Because that’s part of the job. If you’re tired, take a break. Your fatigue isn’t your client’s fault.

Answer their question as if it’s your first time answering because it’s very likely their first time asking.

And if it’s not their first time asking, you have an opportunity to do your job and answer in a different way so that perhaps it resonates with them this time.

Answering the question 1,000 times in 1,000 ways is a gift to you because it makes you better at what you do. It allows you to help more people. It keeps you in business. Don’t get it twisted.

They could have gone to anyone for the answer, but they came to you. That’s a gift. To you.

Be grateful. Show your gratitude in your response.

Don’t judge them by their struggle.

You might not share their struggle but you certainly have your own and wouldn’t care to be judged by it.

They might not have this area of their life figured out but you can at least respect the fact that they are coming to you because they are trying.

If you are going to joke about them behind their back or do anything other than patiently and eagerly help them, send them my way.

Their questions & struggles are welcome here.