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Beauty of Reinvention With Jo Ann Kobuke


Meet Jo Ann Kobuke, a certified hypnotist and life coach specializing in empowering women aged 40 and above to achieve weight loss success.

Her approach focuses on hypnosis and coaching, guiding women to identify and eliminate limiting beliefs that hinder their success. Beyond weight loss, she unveils the power of this work to catalyze positive changes in all facets of life.

Jo Ann's story is a testament to the beauty of reinvention. After a successful 35-year career as a certified public accountant in the nonprofit sector, she embraced change as an empty nester. Fueled by a lifelong interest in personal development and hypnosis, she embarked on a second career, now dedicated to helping others transform their lives.

Today, Jo Ann stands as a beacon of authenticity, ready to guide others to shed societal expectations and embrace their true selves. To connect with Jo Ann, visit her website


Watch Jo Ann's Story




Welcome to the I Don’t Give a Should Show – a podcast exploring ALL the ways that women SHOULD all over themselves. How many times do you find yourself acting out of obligation or doing what everyone ELSE expects from you without stopping to consider why? Where do all those beliefs that are driving you come from? If you’re tired of feeling resentful, overwhelmed, stuck, exhausted or pissed off you’re in the right place.

Shoulding all over yourself is a real thing, but it doesn’t have to be in the driver’s seat.

I’m your host Jen Sherwood, and I spent waaaaay too many years trying to prove that I was good enough and worrying what other people thought while avoiding conflict at all costs. Today, I don’t give a should – well not as many anyway and neither should you. I’m talking to women like you who figured out how to stop shoulding and start LIVING.

I'm thrilled to bring you today my guest Jo Ann Kobuke. Jo Ann is a certified hypnotist and life coach who helps women 40 and over achieve weight loss success. Jo Ann, my guess is people's ears just perked up right now. 

Using a powerful combination of hypnosis and coaching, Joanne helps women identify and remove the limiting beliefs and misperceptions that block their success. She's excited to share how women can benefit from this work not only in their weight loss efforts, but in all aspects of their life and love that after 35 years as a certified public accountant working in the nonprofit sector, Joanne decided it was time for a change once she became an empty nester. 

Following a lifelong interest in personal development and hypnosis. She started a second career as a life coach and certified hypnotist. She's the mother of two adult daughters and lives with her husband and their two dogs in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. 

Welcome, Jo Ann - I am just thrilled to have you here!

Jo Ann:

Thank you, Jennifer. 

I'm excited to be here because this is gonna be fun.


I feel like we're kindred spirits a little bit. 

I have two daughters who are basically on the cusp of adulthood, 18 and 22. I have two dogs - I don't know about you and anybody listening but the dogs and they are the comic relief in our lives.

Jo Ann:

Yes, yes, they are. 

Yeah, I have an older dog and a puppy. So you know, having a puppy is like having a child in the house again so it's been very interesting. 


Okay, this is just weird, because we have a nine and a half year old and a puppy. Was it the pandemic, the quintessential or the stereotypical pandemic puppy?

Jo Ann:

Yeah, yeah. 

For us, it was that we've always had dogs. We've sometimes had lots of dogs, and our dog is, you know, getting older. We have the sense that, you know, she's not going to be with us forever. 

So my husband says, okay, if I'm gonna have to train a new dog, I want to do it before I'm too old. We're not spring chickens here and so he says, I don't want to be doing this, you know, too far out. I said, okay. I said, Well, you realize if you do it now, you know, this may be the last dog we have.


Like having a puppy is like having a baby around and that takes a lot of energy. 

Yeah, I love it, it's fun. So Jo Ann, my question for you, my friend, was, let's get to it. What was it like for you when you were living under the shoulds?

Jo Ann:

Oh, you know, you learn to be or I learned to be a chameleon. 

That's the way I talk about it. I was that person who could? I had like my antenna out all the time. Okay, what was expected of me? What was I supposed to be doing? How can I do that and kind of fly under the radar so that I meet everyone's expectations? 

That's what it was like, for me, and it was exhausting.


More about that because well, having personal experience is funny that you call it the chameleon. I call it the shapeshifter - that's how I felt like I was constantly shaped and it fit into what people thought I should be. 

So I get, I really get what you're saying, but for people who are listening I can imagine your radars up. One, you're constantly on alert, and then you're reading the situation, the room, whatever, and then figuring out how to do this thing and so why is that? Why is it important to kind of fit into what was going to happen if you didn't do the thing? 

Jo Ann:

You know, it's different for different people.

 For me, it really stemmed from a lack of self-confidence, which is, I think, something that a lot of women have to deal with. So as a young girl I lived in Mississippi and look at this face. All those years ago, it wasn't a very common face, and so I never felt like I fit in.

I was kind of an introverted person, I would just kind of tiptoe around and, you know, what do you say to that? Okay, so I had to figure out, okay, how was I supposed to add? How are people going to respond to me? What did they expect of me? And, you know, when you're doing that, you, you never get a chance to really develop into who you are? 

You're so focused on what you need to be for your environment to be able to survive. You know, however, that means, however, that plays out for you. That's where I learned to do the dance and yeah, even when I moved up to the Pacific Northwest, where, you know, there's a large Asian community and all these kinds of things, I still didn't feel like I fit in. 

I wasn't socialized in the Japanese community and I was taller than the average Japanese girl, I moved up in high school and so I was taller. I didn't speak the language, I didn't know any of those customs, and I was just totally out of it. I thought, well, well, this is just great - here I am among my people, and I still feel like an outsider. 

So where do I find my spot? You know, so now I'm tiptoeing around under a different set of circumstances, and I don't know, you just get good at doing that.



You know, it's interesting, I was listening to you and I was thinking, if you're constantly the chameleon, who's constantly changing, and you said, that prevents you from developing into yourself. You're navigating this one environment, and then you move to the other one, but you're not really developed into yourself. You're still trying to navigate even though there was this probably hope in your mind that you're going to be among people who are more like you. 

It would just be easy, but it's not and I'm just imagining this teenage version of you, that's like, okay, this is gonna be great and then you get there, and you're like, well, shoot. I love that you use the metaphor of doing the dance. 

A really good friend of mine says this all the time that when we're trying to be what we think other people want, it's like tap dancing. I love that you said that, because I feel that same way that you're like, on the stage, like, here's all my glitter and shiny, and, you know, I'm gonna be what you. 

Jo Ann:

This is why you should love me - I'm like, It's not me.


It's not me and it's exhausting.

You land up there, you're still in the chameleon mode. Where do we go from here?

Jo Ann:

Well, you know, you try to fit in, and you do all the things that you're supposed to do. 

I left high school, graduated from high school, went to college, and did all of those things. Although I took a little hiatus, I went to college for the first year, and I looked around. So those people who don't may be surprised to know that I was actually enrolled in the Interior Design Program at the University of Washington when I first started. 

That was because I wanted to go into architecture, because I love houses, and I love space planning but the counselor said, well, you know, there's a lot of math involved in architecture. I don't know if you know, I don't see a lot of math in your high school background. Maybe that wouldn't be the best choice for you and so you know, as a young, naive girl, I'm nodding and listening to okay, this is so weird. So what about interior design? Don't you think that that would be a better choice? And I'm like, okay, I have no artistic skill, capability. I have no hand coordination. My handwriting is a mess and my signature people say, oh, you could have been a doctor with that. So, there I am, again, not fitting in. I am at the art school at the University of Washington. We're all of these people who have all this artistic talent.

Here I am in this drawing class and I'm like, oh, this is really bad. I remember once particularly having to go on this class assignment to go out and draw sculptures in the city. I resorted to rubbing and drawing survival mode at that point. You're like how do I turn something it really was.

I ended up leaving and getting a job making some money, you know, doing all those kinds of things. And I finally realized, okay, I don't really want to be on this side of the desk as the secretary, the office manager or whatever. Yeah, I now figure out, okay, I am business oriented, my mind thinks that way. Let's go back to school now where I know what I want to do and get a degree so that I'm not stuck over here behind the typewriter all the time.


Can we just note for those of you listening along, in the introduction, that she used to be a certified public accountant. I find it hilarious that the counselor was saying to you, I don't know about all the math, and then you write numbered focus professions. Just a little sidebar that I find funny.

Jo Ann:

Well, there's math and there's math, right? 

In accounting, it's more what I call simple math and certainly not, you know, trigonometry, and calculus and all those kinds of things. 


Good point.

So you went out to the world, and you got some experience, and which is, which is really great. Because then you were like, okay, I know, I don't want this. I know, I do want this. 

So you're not shoulding - you're following what feels right for you at that point

Jo Ann:

Yeah, you know, you finally kind of branch out, and as you grow older and a little more mature, you start to question. Well, do I really have to do that? Isn't there some better way? Can't I do something a little differently? But it takes a long time? 

Yeah, I think too, you know, it's a lot of one step forward, two steps back, right, because you try something new and it doesn't quite happen and because you don't have a lot of support for that, you know, okay, that must not be for me. So I'm stepping back over here in my little safe spot. We'll just hang out here but, you know, eventually you get fed up being in that safe spot. And you think, well, maybe I'll try again, you know, so Yeah, stick your head out there. And if you're lucky, you don't get chopped off.

Like a turtle, you know, out of the shell.


It doesn't sound like there was a single event per set that started to turn the tide for you. Was there one thing? Or was it, you know, experience after experience that helped you shift?,

Jo Ann:

I was really good at playing this game. 

For 35 years, I was, you know, in the accounting world, doing all my spreadsheets and reports and things like that. But all during that time, I kept thinking, you know, this is fun and all, but I'm not really doing it. I'm not really doing what feeds my soul. You put it off, you think, okay, fine, you know, when, you know, we spend most of our life waiting for the next thing to happen. 

When I turned 16 and I could drive a car, when I graduated from high school, I thought I can do this, when I get out of college, I'll be able to do this. For me, it was, well, when I have run my course in this career, I'll be able to do something different. Then one day, I talked about this in a chapter of a book that I participated in one day, I read this blog post online. It was a woman who wrote about the Five Regrets of the Dying and she was a hospice nurse in Australia. She spent time with her clients in the last months of her life. They talked a lot about what they were experiencing. She wrote about what the typical things that she heard people say, and there were five regrets. I always, I always get to the fourth one, and I forget the last one. 

The biggest one was, I regret not living the life I wanted and living the life I was supposed to I was expected to live. I regret that I didn't keep in touch with my friends. I regret that I didn't allow myself to be happier. There were a couple more but the thing is, they just all struck a chord in me, I mean that the hair on the back of my arms kind of stood up.

I've always been a very optimistic person, in spite of all the other things that have happened in my life. I still believe that there's always time when things get better. You just have to kind of put your mind to it. So it really just kind of hit me like a ton of bricks. There is a hard stop - if we don't think about that, we still have time. There's always time until there's not. I got that physical sensation of what it would be like to be there on my last breath, and regretting all the things that I didn't do because now there's no no chance it's done. There's no rain check, there's no you know, second chance. At least not that we know of in this life, and it scared me so much. I thought, okay, I need to be doing something here, and then shortly after that, my daughter made this birthday cake for me. She loves to cook, she doesn't like to bake so much but she made this cake for me and she put on it those little kids candles. The colorful numbered candles because she says, okay, mom, don't get mad but you know, you got a lot of candles that have to go on there and that doesn't leave a lot of room for the cake. 

It's hilarious. Oh, thank you, honey - thanks for the reminder.

She puts it on a cake, only it's not a four and a six - it's a six and a four. We all know how old we are to forget but suddenly seeing those candles on that cake. Reading that stuff before about regrets. It just hit me like a ton of bricks and it's like, okay, I need to make a change. This is the universe telling me. It's now or never honey, you don't have forever and if you want to do stuff, you better get on with it so that was really the impetus. 

Things that happened at work conspired to make it time for me to retire. It's like, okay, this is the other signal. Yeah, you know, and nature has a way of encouraging you, right? 

It gives you nudges and typically, we ignore the first few nuts. I was just gonna say it gives you nudges. If you listen and then one day, it's a, you know, you aren't paying attention.


What did that look like? Literally, what was happening?

Jo Ann:

Yeah, exactly. 

It was the series of things that I described to you. If you really ignore it, it gives you a knock upside the head. A lot of times that comes by way of some kind of catastrophe, whether it's a health problem or financial problem, you know, something else happens, because it needs to get your attention. I thought, Well, okay, I'm not gonna wait for the big blowout, or whatever that might be, I'm gonna take my cue now, even though I've ignored them in the past. And so, I left. And I spent about a year and a half of what I call wandering in the desert. trying this, and by that time, I had really been really isolated from the greater world. 

I lived in my little world of spreadsheets, and you know, working with nonprofit organizations and doing these things, and I had it down. And I had a lot of confidence about my work, and my abilities. I thought, okay, that's great, well, that doesn't always translate into the real world, outside of the office room I'm out there and I'm thinking, okay, I've always wanted to have a business but I don't want an accounting business. I want to find something else and I don't quite know what that is so I started searching on the internet, looking around for online businesses looking for one thing leading to another, and I started joining some networking groups and this was when you could actually go out and meet people in person. 

I found that I was terrified because I'm not talking about a company, you know, some nameless, faceless company - I'm talking about me. Providing services to someone else and it was terrifying because, you know, you feel it's all about me. What if they don't like me? You know, your whole brain goes into that protection mode. Oh, what if they don't like me? What if you're not good enough? It's a whole different level of shoulds - I should get some accreditation, you know, I came from the CPA world so you get, you know, your professional credentials and blah, blah, blah. 

Obviously, I need to go to do you know, I need to do that, whatever that is. And I love learning, I'm a perpetual learner. So I go down the rabbit hole for all kinds of technical things, because I do like technical things. And so I spent, you know, a large amount of money, learning this program and that program and all about online this and online that and then try, but it still didn't solve the problem of, I have to be able to be visible and open my mouth and speak competence about the work that I'm going to do. So I thought, Okay, what else do I need to do? I started working on personal development, which is one thing that I had always wanted to spend more time with. One of my sisters is a bank executive, but she's retired now I watched her have to do all those hard things. 

She worked in the corporate world and she had to learn the politics, she had to learn how to deal with people doing things I, that was not for me, I loved being in the nonprofit world, because the hierarchy is very flat, you get to deal directly with the people involved in the focus is all is different. I never learned how to do those things and I let her kind of toughened up a little bit, I had pretty thin skin when it came to getting hurt or feeling that, you know, maybe I wasn't doing what I was supposed to. 

I had always thought, well, I kind of missed the boat, because I didn't put myself into that environment and I didn't learn those lessons. Now I need them and I don't have them so you know, I pushed myself out, I have a funny story about power in the very beginning, I had met some people online that were really interesting to me in the world of coaching. And this one woman in particular, she lived in Dubai. I thought, oh, well, I'll never get to meet her because I have cancer, but my goals in Dubai are pretty slim. 

Then she turns out that she was going to speak at an event, about five hours from here and I thought, well, oh, maybe I could go to that event. I look up the event and it turns out to be this. A woman entrepreneur whose business was helping people learn how to speak on stage.


Here we go, universe, another little nudge.

Jo Ann:

That's right. 

You can drive five hours - I love road trips so I did and it was such a foreign thing to me because I didn't have a business yet. I had to like to scramble and make some kind of card because I was sure they were going to be exchanging cards.

I thought, well, I'm gonna try a new experience so I saw something in the Facebook group there that said, looking for a roommate and I said, well, okay, oh, raise my hand. My kids are like, you're gonna do what mom? You don't even know, and you're gonna stay with somebody that you don't even know. I don't know, so I did. 

I go and she sends out this little thing before the event. She's okay, and here's the choreography for the dance that we're going to do for our little flash mob thing. She sends out, you know, the next installment, there's like three or four of these. I'm like, I don't think so like to stop now. I have to go but I go anyway and I have my first photoshoot for my business up there. 

One of the things they offered was that I forgot all my clothes. You know, this is a Freudian thing, right? I left the clothes that I had put together at home on the bed as I was driving, and I got about two and a half hours out. I had to turn back because I'd spent this money on this photographer. So I have to drive all the way back. 

Now I'm really driving in traffic to get up there and all those things so yeah, and I get there and they're all these women. In my mind, they're all superstars - they must be all seven entrepreneurs, all these things, and here I screw up my courage. I march right in, and I sit right at one of the front tables. Have my back towards this huge group of women as I can pretend that, you know, it's not as overwhelming as it would be if I were sitting at the back but it was really an amazing band. I got to meet a lot of women, I ended up signing up with this woman to do speaker training and yeah, so that was, that was one of the early things.


Jo Ann, tell us how you came to find coaching and hypnotism and so you've gone to this event, you've put yourself out there things are starting to shift for you. 

Tell us how you got into where you are now?

Jo Ann:

I became introduced to the world of coaching because there are a lot of coaches there and I'm like, well, what is this? How does this work?

I followed the breadcrumbs and eventually I signed up to for a coaching program here in Seattle. I always laugh because it disabused me of the idea that coaches just tell people what to do.


Exactly - that’s not our jobs!

Jo Ann:

Like, what? What am I supposed to do if I don't tell them?


Aren't I just supposed to hand out advice? Isn't that it?

By the way, anyone who's listening, if you think that's what coaches do, that's not what we do. 

Jo Ann:

That's not what we do. 

It was all revealed to me and the fact that coaches are your job as a coach is to help people discover what's inside of them. Everyone has their own answers and thoughts, you just can't get to them.

I got certified and, you know, I'm trying to figure out, okay, well, what direction do I want to go? I knew I wanted to help women like myself, who had spent their lives doing all the things they were supposed to do and they were stuck. They're looking down the road and they're thinking, okay, well, one day, you know, but going back to that, the Five Regrets of the Dying. 

One of the clients that was highlighted in her book, because she did write a book about these things, was a woman who had done all the things that she was supposed to do, she had, she had not a great marriage. Society doesn't condone divorce, at least not when she was, you know, in that stage so she stayed with it, stayed with it, stayed with it and, you know, the idea was always kind of, well, he was older than her eventually, you know, she would be free. 

He ended up going into a nursing home, she was very healthy, although she was in her 70s. She was healthy and he goes, okay, now it's my turn so you know where this is going?


I can imagine. 

Jo Ann:

In a matter of months, she was diagnosed with terminal illness. It really brings home that sense that there is no guarantee of tomorrow. I mean, you know, a split second of not paying attention when you're driving your car, all of those kinds of things. 

That was another thing that made me realize that I gotta get to it.


Okay, so you've, you've done this program, you're gonna start working with the women who are like you who feel stuck, help them through. 

What takes you, what takes you into where it is now?

Jo Ann:

When I was a kid, I must have been interested in hypnosis - I must have been because I ended up hypnotizing my little sister. 

You know, one of those, you know, I was like, I read about it in something. I'm like, Oh, well, that looks kind of interesting. Let me see if I can do that so I corralled one of my younger sisters, and I hypnotized her, although to this day, she will tell you that she was not hypnotized but she was, you know, she was six.


I'm a little sister. I know what it's like to deny that sort of thing.

Jo Ann:

The thing is, what convinced me was that I wanted to show my mom and so I hypnotized my Mom and look at this. I hypnotized my sister, and I told her to hold up her arm, you know, make it like a barstool. Hold up your arm so her arm goes out like this. My mom's like, what are you doing? And my mom was a very formidable person but so she said to my sister, you stop that stuff right now and my mother's voice gets louder, louder and louder. Until she's just like, really? You know, I'm like, okay.


You were a powerful person.

Jo Ann:

I guess so, but I tell you, my mom scared me so badly that I never did that. I can imagine, at this stage in life, I thought, okay, because I had learned, I had been involved in a program that used elements of hypnosis along with other kinds of things like EMT, tapping, emotional tap, happy, emotional freedom, tapping and things like that. 

I thought, oh, I want to know more about this hypnosis, I remember this. Again, the universe is always in your best interest. I started researching hypnosis classes and I wanted an in person, one, I didn't want an online one. We were at the tail end of you know what we were still like dead in the middle of pandemic and all of that. 

I found a really great center, about an hour and a half for me and they were having an in person session that was going to start next week, Tuesday, or something that you and these in person events that grab you.


Let me just ask this so you do the hypnosis because this is supposed to happen. Talk to me a little bit now about who you work with and how hypnosis is important. 

I don't even know if adjunct is the right thing to say with coaching but talk to me about how, who you work with and how that all comes together?

Jo Ann:


Well, in coaching, you deal with the conscious mind. Typical coaching is about helping a client to see, you know, what's going on in their brain, and your conscious mind is designed to be kind of the gatekeeper. Typically will throw up objections when you're asking it to change or consider something new and different. 

A lot of coaching, yes, is trying to help your client step over that threshold. Frankly, I found it kind of frustrating because, you know, there's part of me that goes, this is how it should be, you know, again, wanting to give advice, right? 

What I discovered about hypnosis was that hypnosis allows you to bypass all of that conscious thinking and those conscious objections, so that you can get right down to the meat of things.


It's like you said, it puts the wall up, so hypnosis allows either to get over the wall or to the wall stays down. 

Am I understanding that correctly?

Jo Ann:


It allows you to access your subconscious mind, which is extremely powerful, much more powerful than your conscious mind. It is where all of your emotions and experiences are stored. Its job has been over the course of time to try to make sense out of all the things that have happened to you in your life. 

It creates a belief system for you, well, the problem is that a lot of that work is done between ages of zero and seven. What's happening for most people is that your five-year-old brain is governing your life today. All of those beliefs were created in that timeframe, and a lot of them are erroneous beliefs. Misperceptions about actual events, but the thing is, you never go back and review those things and say, let me do a little reality check on those things.


We don't know they're there.

You're combining coaching and hypnosis to get into the subconscious. Tell us about your work today, and I know you have an upcoming workshop as well. 

Please tell us a little bit about what you're doing and what you're offering.

Jo Ann:

I decided that focusing on weight loss, especially in that over 40 category, is an important aspect of helping women develop their self confidence, regain their sense of who they used to be and it's a source of great frustration. 

When you get to that stage and everything, it seems like everything is conspiring against you. At that stage, we're often less physically active so we lose muscle mass, that means our metabolism starts to slow. It's not because we're getting older it's just because we're doing less, we always kind of tend to think that oh, it's because I'm getting older. 

I've learned how to use hypnosis to help women explore those feelings and emotions and belief systems that they have about food. About eating, about their self image, about who they are as a person, because it's those thoughts that govern your actions and your emotions today and that's what gets us into trouble because we're still operating on those old misperceptions.



I love where you're going with this and sometimes I think people who are unfamiliar with coaching and thoughts and beliefs, really question what we're talking about. The example I love to use with this is, you know, people used to think the world was flat, so don't believe everything that you think.

I imagine women listening like, oh, I need to know about that, so tell me, and we'll put all this information in the post with this, but just give some ways that people could, even if maybe the workshop isn't well, before I, you know, they're gonna want to follow you. 

They're gonna want to hear from you, so where can we find you?

Jo Ann:

Yes, so you can find me at:

It's my website and I’m on Facebook, and on Instagram, those are my primary platforms.


You want to follow her because you want to follow her - she's got great information for you all. 

Jo Ann, this has been such a pleasure to have you here, thank you for coming and sharing, and I have no doubt there are women who are listening that were nodding along and could relate to that experience of what you went through. 

I really love how you shared the way the Five Regrets of the Dying impacted you because I do think that it is so important to look at one day when they may not be there so let's live the life we want now. Thank you for being here!

3 simple steps laid out in 3 bite-sized videos to go from overwhelm to ease (even if you think it's not possible!)



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