I was lucky enough to be part of the beta group of Jessi Kneeland’s Authentic Body Confidence course, which started over the summer of 2017.
Here’s what’s included in this review:
Let’s get to it!
What Is ABC?
Jessi describes Authentic Body Confidence as
12 weeks to feel safe, free, and sexy AF in your own skin. This 12 week coaching program is the ultimate culmination of everything I know about forgiving, accepting, and befriending your body.
Practically-speaking, it’s a series of coaching calls, tools, and exercises to help you change how you feel about yourself for the better. There were also bonus videos and worksheets from other experts in the industry, and also a private Facebook group which immediately became a safe space for all of us to discuss not just the course, but whatever else came up along the journey.
Why I Joined The Course
I’ve gone through abusive relationships, eating disorders, and fifteen years of depression during my life. I’d come a hell of a long way in accepting myself and healing through all of that. Then, in 2016, I suffered a chronic leg injury. I lost my identity, not just as an athlete, but as an able-bodied person. I was learning deep lessons from this injury, which was slowly healing, but I knew I needed to go further in forgiving myself, and recognizing why I was pushing myself so hard in the first place.
Alongside this, my belly was (slowly) growing, and I couldn’t run off the additional weight. I kept feeling like my stomach was this big block I was carrying. It felt like it was holding me down, holding me back. I was becoming conscious of it every moment of the day, and I knew that I had to explore that deeper. Why was I so focussed on having a six pack? I needed to know.
I had been very impressed with Jessi’s work in the past, so when the opportunity came up to take the course, I signed myself up.
How Is Life Different Now?
As someone who already “had their shit together” (after about seven years of doing this kind of work myself), I was genuinely, and pleasantly, surprised at how much I learnt from this course, and how much depth it went into.
We explored and uncovered things I didn’t even realize needed to be explored and uncovered. So, yes, I now have even more tools to deal with emotional experiences – such as grief – and, yes, I am even kinder, and more in love with my body than ever before. But I also unearthed some old beliefs about myself that I didn’t realize were still there. By becoming aware of these subconscious beliefs, I was able to choose if they still had any value to me. (Whereas, if I’m unaware of them, they are impacting my life without my knowledge.)
Which is all to say that I’m happier and more joyful in my body (and my life) than ever before. And I have more tools for the future, whenever life next punches me in the face. Win.
Results From One Week Of The Course
After just the first few days, I had a deep, and totally unexpected, insight about my body. I even posted this message to the private Facebook group:
So after just a couple of days I could see that what I thought was just “this thing about my belly” was a whole lot more. Needless to say, Jessi knows this already, and this course is about diving deep to find the real, underlying issues of your hangups.
It’s also worth emphasising that one of the brilliant things about the course were the amazing, supportive group of people I got to do the course with. Here’s another message I left the Facebook group in the first week:
Connecting with a group of people who “get you” is invaluable, not just in a course, but in life in general. Jessi’s work attracts the “right crowd”, so I have no doubt if you’re reading this that you’ll definitely feel welcome.
In fact, one of the first things Jessi said to us was, “You couldn’t put too much on this table.” As in, no matter what, don’t be afraid to be yourself. You are not “too much”, and none of your “issues and problems” are “too much”. This community has got your back, big time.
Results From Two Weeks
Two weeks in and two things were on my mind.
My body, and the word “sensual”.
Language is a funny thing. I hadn’t really thought about the word “sensual” for years, but I realized — even after doing lots of mindfulness, and practicing being more in touch with my sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing every day — that the actual word “sensual” was still a loaded term for me.
I began to consciously realize that being sensual wasn’t “dirty”. That’s just a label I put on the word when I was kid. Sensual means being in tune with your senses, it’s what it means to be a human being; it is life itself.
Alongside this insight, during week two, I also had an extremely powerful, liberating experience with “tapping” my body. (The idea of tapping is basically to get back in touch with your body by physically tapping it with your hands. We also did the additional step of “reclaiming” your body parts as your own, see the FB post below.) For someone like me, who has previously been in an abusive relationship, this was an incredibly powerful moment.
So in just two weeks, I knew this course was going to be life-changing. Again, I was surprised by this because I had already changed my life so much from the person I was. But I was seeing that this course would challenge me and make me dig even deeper. I was game.
Results From Six Weeks
I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed with all the information we’d been given, even with an additional week in between to catch up. But I realised that I didn’t need to be doing every single thing right now. I could pick and choose my own way through this course, and I could also leave stuff now and do it once the course was over.
We have this material for life, so even if I don’t quite get it all now, I can look over it in the future. It’s not going anywhere.
During this time, we were taught about grief, and how to grieve “consciously”. Again, I had another very powerful experience with this one, and it’s also a tool I’ll have for when I need to grieve in the future.
Here’s the Facebook message I posted to the group:
We were also learning to really tune into how desires and emotions manifest in our body, on a deep level.
I was struggling a bit with feeling exactly how my emotions manifest in my own body. This is something I intend to do more of; in fact I believe tuning into your body like this is something people should practice every day.
Results From Twelve Weeks
As I’ve already said, I was impressed with the course, and I’d had a lot of powerful experiences, but I was still hung up on my belly for quite a long time throughout the course.
Together Jessi and I cracked that I was identifying very, very strongly as an athlete. And I had the belief that, as an athlete, I needed a six pack. I decided to do a little writing exercise that I knew of:
Once I identified this, things started to shift, and eventually my belly felt lighter. Physically it was the same, but I was more at peace because I had internalized that our bodies change as we live life. They mirror our internal and external experiences, both of which are in constant flux. So it is natural and normal to expect our bodies to change every moment of the day (and totally unrealistic to expect them to look like a fitness photoshoot).
This sounds like a simple thing to say on paper, but truly internalizing this — especially with the constant bombardment of images we see in the media, and when we’ve had leaner bodies in the past — is more difficult.
And, of course, some days are not as good as others. Some days it’s more difficult to accept how your body looks and feels. That is just the way life goes, and that is what Jessi teaches.
A cool experience I had while taking the course
Lastly, I also want to mention that I had a really cool experience in the gym, which wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been doing the course:
Is ABC right for you?
I truly believe this is a life-changing course, no matter what stage you’re at. Whether you’re already a fairly confident person, who isn’t afraid to be authentic, or not. Whether you’re pretty much OK with your body, except for a few body parts, or if you dislike or hate your entire self.
I believe there are huge lessons to be learnt here, and Jessi is a knowledgeable, compassionate guide on the journey.
Personally, I’ve already revisited some of the material, and I intend to revisit this material again as problems in my life arise. I’ve come to think of Jessi’s ABC course as a toolbox for life.
Authentic Body Confidence is NOT right for you if…
- You want a super structured course, which micro-manages every action step. In Jessi’s own words, this is more of a “choose your own adventure” course. There is a lot of information, and a lot of tools. Some of them will work for you, some of them won’t. You have to find, pick and choose what works for you. So, if this style doesn’t suit you, then this may not be the course for you.
- You’re looking for a quick fix. This isn’t a “30-day ab blast”. This is real, emotional work, which is often more difficult and can take more time (but the results will definitely last longer).
- You’re taking lots of other online courses. You’re going to need some time and emotional energy to deal with this course. Now, everyone is always super busy all the time, and I was no different, but do be aware that this is a deep-ass emotional shit you’ll be diving into. If you’re super swamped, or not ready for change just yet, then it might be worth waiting until you have at least a bit of space to deal with this.
Authentic Body Confidence IS right for you if…
- You don’t like certain parts, or all of, your body. Or if you’ve ever wondered what “listen to your body” really means, and how that can guide you into making positive decisions in your life.
- You feel you have to act a certain way around others – that you’re covering up something, for someone. That you aren’t being true to your real self.
- You aren’t afraid of doing the emotional work now, so you can reap the benefits later. This course does require you to dive in deep, which can be hard, but it’s always worth it to uncover the layers.
If you’re binge eating, I can help you.
I know what it’s like to use binge eating to cope with difficult emotions. To hate your own body. To feel like you can’t trust yourself.
That’s why I wrote the 65-page, illustrated Ultimate Guide To Stop Binge Eating.
Jessi’s Authentic Body Confidence course is comprehensive, but I want to give you this guide FREE, so you can learn to trust yourself, and your body, even faster.
Just put your details in the box below, and I’ll send the guide straight over.