Who loves receiving cold emails? Not me. But as a business owner I tend to get a few sometimes.
One of the most recent ones gave me something to chuckle about while simultaneously triggering the mind gremlins telling me bad things.
Join me as I rant my way through this little story about how words matter, willful misunderstanding, and the power of finding things to laugh about.
Freedom From Fat?
Freedom From Fat? Episode Transcript
Hello. It’s Tiana, your friendly fat body liberation coach and facilitator.
I am here with you today with a positive case of Covid.
So you’re going to get me with my scratchy voice which is a side effect of my positivity. #Puns
However, yeah, I will be interrupted many times by lots of people in my household right now because I have Covid, so we have family members here helping out.
In addition I’ve got a fan going because it’s blazing hot because it’s not yet summer officially, but you know, climate change is real. And also because of that, I also have the window open, which means that you’re going to hear the road noise. So I apologize for all of that in advance.
And I hope that if you’ve listened to any other episodes of this podcast, you know that I am low tech, low fuss. And just sort of you know, it’s about the message and not about the quality. So I won’t apologize for that because these are deliberate choices that I make as someone who is a one person show with low capacity. There are limits to things and I prefer to put my energy and attention in other places.
So if you don’t like the audio quality, I am sorry, but that’s not going to change unless you want to volunteer your time to the worthy cause of a multiply marginalized person’s small business. Then hit me up.
Yeah, so anyway, I’m coming to you today to talk about something that is making me giggle internally but also really activating my “oh shit” experience of things. Which is about trauma and all that good stuff.
So I, as a small business owner, sometimes, I can’t even say often or regularly, but sometimes people contact me, they send me these cold emails and they’re like, “hey I have a thing to offer you.” And I think that’s fine because it’s hard out here for a pimp and a small business owner to you know, get new people into your business, your products, and services. To get new clients and customers you’re fighting an uphill battle every day, because the world is very noisy as well as kind of horrible right now.
So I have no shade for people who are sending out cold emails because I think it’s a real skill, you need to be really skilled to be able to send one out and have it be effective. And that’s somehow where I have a problem. Because most people who are sending out cold emails are not very skilled at it. Their emails are awkward, and they’re sort of horrible, and borderline insulting.
So fun thing happened in this vein. I’m receiving these emails from this person who is wow just really insistent, I’ve gotten three of them, no maybe two. But basically they’re just, “hey, I sent an email and I followed up” and I think that that’s good. I’m bad at following up, so, you know, plus points for this person following up.
But what I really love is that they introduced themselves, said where they’re from, you know why they’re mailing me out of the blue, and then they asked me this question which is, “are you in charge of organizing ‘Freedom from Fat Book Club Conference’? I heard of your event, but I’m not sure if you’re the right person to speak with…” and I’m like, okay, this is, this is rich, I love this.
Because ‘Freedom from Fat Book Club Conference,’ what is that? I’m not organizing that. You’re definitely in the wrong, wrong place for sure.
But also like the second part, which is like, I heard of it, but I don’t know who’s organizing it.
Hey babe, if you heard about my conference, you didn’t Google search it a little bit or something? I mean clearly you must have done something because you have my email address, which means you found that somewhere on these here internets. So yeah, I’m confused by many things in this thing.
But I also. this is the part that is amusing but also activating for me, is the fact that they say “freedom from fat” and if you know anything about what I do as part of my business, I suppose part of my thing, part of my branding is Fat Freedom.
When I came up with the idea to start using the phrase Fat Freedom, it was just a knee jerk reaction. It was just a decision plucked out of the sky because I was looking for an interesting title for my online support group.
And Fat Freedom is essentially just a lovely alliteration, you know, all those f’s and then it’s just essentially using the synonym for liberation because I am all about fat liberation, and body liberation in general.
So let’s get free, right? That’s what liberation’s about. Liberation, abolition, freedom, all of that together. They might have different stigmas, they might have different meanings to certain people, but in the end they are all going the same direction is more freedom for everyone.
So Fat Freedom is what I landed on. And after maybe a year in, I started looking into possibly registering the trademark under my name for Fat Freedom. So I started looking in the databases of the trademarks and things to see if this is something because this is part of the process of trademarking something or registering a trademark: do the research and find out if anybody else is using that the phrasing or using the words or is the font the same or you know, all kinds of things.
You need to do that research and be sure that you’re not trying to trademark something that belongs to someone else or that if you are trying to trademark something that’s maybe similar to somebody else’s thing, that it’s different enough in enough ways that you can’t get sued or be sent those nasty cease and desist letters where you now have to change your whole thing for risk of legal action.
So I’m doing the research into fat freedom and boy, is it fun! What I find and, dear listener, I’m sure you can guess what I was finding. But essentially I found a company, some years ago, maybe in the 90s or the early 2000s who had went into this process trying to use fat freedom as a branding for like an ice cream bar and I just thought that was great. You know, I mean what is more diet-y than, “hey, here’s the fat freedom ice cream bar.”
And that’s when it clicked for me when it was like, “oh shit fat freedom is the same or very similarly to debt freedom.”
And I was oh no, oh no, because when I say fat freedom, I don’t mean “freedom from fat,” I mean to be able to be free with your fatness and in your fatness, that’s a completely opposite end of the spectrum meaning from “freedom from fat.” Because “freedom from fat” is very much ‘get thin, don’t be fat, fat is bad’ and I’m not about that in any way, shape or form.
When I say fat freedom, I don’t mean “freedom from fat,” I mean to be able to be free with your fatness and in your fatness.
But crap! Because “debt freedom” actually is a phrase that is generally used in the United States to mean ‘freedom from debt,’ so let’s achieve debt freedom and that means that you’ve paid off all your credit cards and your mortgage and your car note and you’re living off of cash or you’re using your credit card but you’re able to pay the balance in full every month, you know that kind of thing.
Enter a moment of panic because I’m out here thinking maybe that’s the reason why I’m having trouble filling my program or getting my message across or getting more people interested in my work and helping people understand that dieting and becoming thinner, or performing ‘good fattyness’ are not the only choices you have. You can actually be a fat person and be perfectly fucking fine and live your best fat life out here as a fat person. You can do that right now. You don’t have to wait until you’ve lost 50, 100, or 150 pounds. You can do it now and then fuck that weight loss thing.
And so I was like, oh no, but then I had a look at the people that were in my support group. And I had a look at our Discord server. And I had a look at the responses that I get in my emails from people who are on my newsletter list.
And I looked at my Instagram. And I looked at who’s following me and who’s reposting and who’s DMing me.
And I was like, “you know what? If you’re choosing to believe that my use of Fat Freedom means ‘freedom from fat’ then you are clearly not my people.”
If you’re choosing to believe that my use of Fat Freedom means ‘freedom from fat,’ you are not my people.
Because if you understand anything about what I do, if you spend any time whatsoever reading my website or my Instagram posts, or just anything I write, or listen to anything that I’ve ever said, you understand because I don’t beat around the bush. I’m not soft and squishy about the fact that I believe in fat freedom or that I believe in fat liberation or body liberation. I’m not mincing words here.
And so yeah, I just wanted to share that with you all today because this email has me chuckling and that chuckle is the thing that’s keeping me from falling into the, you know, the the gremlins, the back of my mind thoughts of I’m failing and I’m doing this badly and there’s so much of that in the world, right?
There are so many messages, they’re telling me simply because I look the way that I do that I am bad and that I am failing and then I have no power.
So that chuckle at this cold email is helping me remind myself that I am good because I’m alive.
My work is important and it’s not for everybody, but for those who get it, it is wonderful. It is freeing. And it is empowering.
And by the way, speaking of, you know, hits and misses and the gremlin voices in the back of your head… I made a deliberate choice a couple of weeks ago to delay the start of my Fat Freedom Group Read Membership From May 16 to October 24.
So that’s when we’re actually going to get started because I’m moving. For those of you who don’t know I’m moving to Munich at the end of the summer.
Right now I’m in Central France and we’ll be moving to Munich because my husband has a new job there. And the chaos that is moving is multiplied by the fact that it is an international move and I have a child in tow. So having to manage all of that is a lot.
And so I realized that in order to make sure that what I’m delivering, that people are getting the value and the experience that I have promised them and that they also deserve, that I need to give myself some space and some grace to deal with the fires burning in front of me and come back and really be able to focus on delivering my program.
So if you were hesitant about joining me for the Fat Freedom Group Read Membership because of time, because of money, because of whatever… you’ve got more time to make a decision.
You’ve got more time to check it out and you’ve got more time to ask me questions if you have them.
So, you can check out the Fat Freedom Group Read Membership by going to www.FatFreedomGroupRead.com or on my website. And there’s a nice little link in the menu that’ll take you right there. And you’ll also find a link in the show notes if you want to check those out.
So again, thank you so much for being here. Thanks so much for listening. And let’s get back to it.
I guess, you know, I’m not super good at wrapping things up all the time because I’m a Rambler and a verbal processor.
However, in the end I just want you to know that yes, absolutely: Words are important. Language really matters.
But also it doesn’t matter how clear, how concise, how good your word choice is. People who are choosing not to understand you will misunderstand you regardless of what you do.
Because that’s not about you. That’s about them.
So find that place that you can find a chuckle.
Find that chuckle for yourself and keep it moving. Keep it moving in the direction that you want to go.
So yeah, that’s what I got for you today. Thank you for listening.
I have been Tiana Dodson, body liberation coach and facilitator. I hope to see you soon. Bye!