Gaining fat and learning publicly

Stephanie Buttermore Journey with “All in” and Austin Kleon approach to learning is mind-blowing and here’s why.

Let’s use Stephanie Buttermore “All in” to address whether or not learning publicly rather than doing in silence and showing the end product is a better approach. Concepts courtesy of Austin Kleon.

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A caption from Stephanie Buttermore’s Instagram

In order to give you some context, you can either watch Stephanie’s video or bare with me in the next paragraph.

She was into fitness and bodybuilding, she got really thin for a period in her life, mainly when she competed in bikini competitions. She starting having issues, mainly two: lost her period and was in an infinite state of hunger (among others: being cold, having a lower libido, being tired). As she puts it, she wasn’t healthy, she wasn’t feeling good and she had had enough with it.

Her approach, going on hand with Nicola Rinaldi, was called “All in”, she basically fed herself a minimum of 2500 kcal per day (with no maximum) until she felt full. This would go one until her body felt safe enough, believed that she would continue eating as much as she needed, and stopped feeling threatened for a lack of food. And she got there.

She voiced how afraid she was of losing a lot of her following by mixing “gaining (fat) weight” and “bodybuilding”. Because, if you are in the fitness industry you’ve got to be thin and hot, right? Wrong. What she did was absolutely mind-blowing, she basically created a genre of her own: Getting healthy by gaining fat.

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Screenshot of her physique in a recent YouTube video

Beyond the obvious fact that right now, at her “set weight” (a weight where her body is comfortable and she is supposed to keep stable) she is absolutely stunning, what’s mindblowing about her is the courage it took her to do a quite simple thing (in theory): learning in public.

Austin Kleon, on his book, Show Your Work! shares a dichotomy found in the realm of hustling and creation.

You can either do in silence and show the end product

OR show the process and progress publicly

Stephanie Buttermore chose the latter and damn is that scary, but here is why you should do this too.

Even though it might have been extremely scary to gain such huge amount of weight publicly there are a few things that she gained that she wouldn't have had if she hadn’t shared her experience -something she considered doing when she decided she would go “All in”-.

  1. She got feedback and encouragement (and likes) and a shitload of support from the internet.
  2. She shared a more intimate personality that followers were keener to fall in love with (Guaranteed, she reached 1M on YouTube after her 1 year “All in” birthday).
  3. She got to make a beautiful follow up of her journey and she will be able to have these memories for life.
  4. She helped people struggling with weight gain and eating disorders. She did what most women are most afraid of: gaining weight. And she KILLED IT
  5. She made money with it and grew her brand. Damn!
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Stories of the All In Journey that can be found on her Instagram

As Austin Kleon puts it;

“By letting go of our egos and sharing our process, we allow for the possibility of people having an ongoing connection with us and our work, which helps us move more.”

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Post by @stephanie_buttermore

Of course not! Was it hard and sometimes would it be way easier to work the other way around? Sure! She made extensive posts about the struggles, videos, and Insta stories. But. She came up with tools on how to handle it. Tools she shared with her community and can be now used for people in a similar -probably less nerve-racking- situation.

Among the struggles let me point out the following:

  1. Dealing with self-esteem due to the body changes
  2. Handling criticism (which was hipped due to her public transformation)
  3. Having to buy a full new closet and having to throw away all your clothes ’cause you are expecting them never to fit again.
  4. Making a huge decision in order to save your physical and mental health that could potentially impact your career and your earnings stream. What if she had lost a huge following? What if she had lost “credibility” (quite hard due to her detailed explanation of what and why she was doing what she was doing).

But, if it doesn’t hurt it ain’t worth it. Real change, real improvement, real growth is scary as hell and that's how you know it is working. And if you learn publicly, it will get scarier which probably means you are growing at an exponential rate, keep it going.

-Love, North

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A chopped caption from Stephanie Buttermore’s Instagram so it looks good in the preview image.

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If I become likable it will be a huge failure, it will mean I no longer shake you in any way, shape, or form. Pic courtesy of Christopher Campbell.

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