Jodene Shaer 

My TedX talk and the huge response it got – project me post 1018

Project Me has been a roller coaster ride of achievements and failures, sorting out my life and finding more things broken. It’s been about some successes that put me in a league of my own and struggles that put me in the same scary space as many others.

None of these is as great as my weight loss … and gain! I admit that I scroll through blogs and pictures of my friends on Facebook, just to feel not so alone in the world with my struggle with my weight. It’s one of the toughest battles that many of us face and it doesn’t help when ex-fatties or never been fatties say that it’s so easy … it’s not!

I’ve picked up 13kg since I called off my engagement in December 2012.
I have woken up every day promising myself that, just for today, I will get healthy and I will get moving. It hasn’t been that easy … it hasn’t been easy at all.

Project Me is about figuring this out and after nearly a decade, I still don’t have the answers. I do know that I battle with my weight every day.
Then I watched the Ted video by Brene Brown, where she posted her video and the comments that came flying through were that she was fat. I didn’t care what size people thought she was … he knowledge and the lessons she gives the world are invaluable.

Then it was my turn.
TedX has been a dream of mine. Ted is a bigger dream and I will get there.
I stood in front of the mirror on the morning and I knew that I was carrying a lot more weight than I ever intended to. I also stood, staring at my reflection and knew that I had a message to share with the world and that was more important, in the moment.

I did the talk. People applauded when it was done. The organisers were thrilled and thanked me sincerely. Some of the audience came running up to me afterwards just to shake my hand and say thank you … my message was a powerful one.

Then the email arrived … The video as out there … I remembered how horrible the world is and that if Brene got a comment like she did, I had better prepare myself for the nasty world.
I told my best friend. I told my special friend Cam who lives thousands of miles from me. I told my assistant … they all told me not to worry. I did …

Then it happened. It took me a few days to pluck up the courage to post the link. How sad … it had nothing to do with my Project Me story and everything to do with the anticipation of someone calling me on my weight. Which didn’t take long at all!

“She’s huge” …

I’m a little zoned out … mainly by the shame that I feel at having to share this planet with blindly insensitive human beings, but then I would be judging too.

I’m fucking proud of my talk and of being brave enough to stand on that stage, knowing I would be filmed and know that I would be judged for my looks and not for my talk.

So, this huge chick is on a mission to get a special Project Me message out. DON’T stop yourself from doing something because you are worried you will be judged. YOU WILL BE JUDGED … for the very shame that you carry! Do it anyway …

I’m not going to wake up depressed (okay I might) and determined to only drink water and eat salad until I can stand up in front of the camera and not have the world judge me, because I know I will only be critisised for something else. It’s what the world has become …

But … I am going to watch all the Brene Brown videos again, turn to someone for help (maybe more than one person) and try to get to the bottom of the shame that is stopping me from losing this weight. I might eat more, because my shame has been fueled, but I know that something has to change. Everything has it’s gift and the very dread that I carried onto that stage slapped my reality. I’m far too aware to ignore this moment …

The world is cruel … but there’s truth in the too … I’m fat!
My talk was still fucking good and I will forever be proud that I didn’t let my shame stop me!



With courage, consciousness & a sense of humour