I'm an integrative identity coach and resilience expert.
I guide people to rethink who they are, embrace change and transform their approach to life and their daily habits to be more resilient and feel happy more often.
I combine 20+ years of expertise with integrative health & identity development to provide INTEGRATIVE IDENTITY COACHING, guiding people toward more self-awareness for less stress, better well-being and more mindfulness for more happiness and success.
YEARS OF EXPERIENCE.
I began as a classroom teacher and health food store hippie. Several degrees and certifications later, I'm still teaching--outside the classroom and all over the world.
POSSIBILITIES OF PEOPLE TO HELP.
Our current world population. A big goal but I'm off to a good start. And each person I impact changes the lives of many others.
BUCKETS OF EXPERTISE.
panelist at IEEE N3XT Event, Pittsburgh, PA
PODCAST Guest Appearances (click image to listen)
Published or featured in:
Surprising Health Problems that Come from Working Too Hard at New York Daily News
7 Ways to Get Over a Winter Slump at FASTCOMPANY
Do I Say 'I Love You' Too Much for a Guy? at HUFFPOST
guest speaker for CreativeMorningsBOSTON
guest speaker on The Mystery Box Show
Dillan DiGiovanni is an internationally-certified Integrative Nutrition coach, speaker and writer specializing in identity and resilience. Dillan’s inspirational message makes him a teacher every person can learn from as he helps people practice self-care and compassion for themselves and others.
Dillan is a two-time TEDx speaker and has coached leaders at companies like IDEO, Microsoft, General Assembly and WeWork. His B.S. in Education is from The College of New Jersey and his MEd is from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. He now lives back home in New Jersey after living in New England for 12 years. Dillan runs on 80s music, coffee and green smoothies. His favorite movie is The Karate Kid and he would definitely beat you in a lip-syncing contest.
I’ve never done status quo very well. I have always thrived on challenge and adversity and have made a career out of what I’ve learned to help others.
My lifelong journey includes overcoming a teenage eating disorder to change my nutrition and lifestyle habits as well as my career, religious/spiritual and sexual identities. From all this change, I understand what it means to be human and fear change and how to overcome profound adversity. I share my experiences and wisdom with audiences and individuals so they can learn who they are and what they truly need to thrive. I also share how relating to ourselves and others with compassion and kindness is part of true success in life.
I’m lucky to have such a wide variety of clients who are drawn to my message of authenticity and resilience. I’ve coached stay-at-home moms and female business owners and both heterocisgender and gay white men who crave a healthy masculine identity. My clients have struggled with GI issues and business management and sleep disruption and dissolved marriages and religious alienation. I’ve truly seen it all.
I’ve coached the leaders of companies like WeWork, Microsoft, IDEO and General Assembly. My dynamic presentation style is engaging and inspires people of all identities. I’m also a two-time TEDx speaker among other speaking accomplishments. I recently moved back to my home state of New Jersey after living in New England for over a decade. I love 80s music, my favorite movie of all time is The Karate Kid and I would definitely beat you in a lip-syncing contest.
Born and raised in New Jersey in the 80s, I always felt out of place among my family and peers. I spoke up to racist jokes at the dinner table and envied the boys' school uniforms in Catholic school. A middle child in a divorced family, I was often told I was "too much" from an early age but channeled those feelings of rejection and sadness into creative outlets, making art and writing constantly. I spent a lot of time alone and sought out deeply cathartic movies and books to fuel my understanding of the human condition.
I attended an all-female Catholic school on full scholarship due to my lower-middle-class upbringing. When life pressures piled up, I developed an eating disorder as a coping skill and forever changed my relationship to food and my body. I lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time and was so weak, I had to quit the basketball team. It was a rough time full of mood swings from inadequate nutrition, but my academic performance never suffered which led to my acceptance to a dual-major Elementary Education program at The College of New Jersey. My eating disorder faded as I thrived under stellar mentorship.
In 2000, I began my professional career as an 8th grade Social Studies teacher but quit three months shy of earning tenure due to my fear of being out about my sexuality. I shifted to work as an administrative youth advisor for the progressive Unitarian Universalist Church of Princeton while also working full-time at local health food stores. These were my "health food store hippie" years, when I learned about alternative healing modalities like homeopathy, herbs and I consumed a great many organic jelly beans.
In 2005, I broke out in adult-onset acne but healed myself with the help of an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, who is still my coach to this day! That experience, like my eating disorder ten years earlier, profoundly impacted my relationship to my face and self-image. The acne healed up almost immediately --almost like a miracle. Shortly after that, I accepted a full-time position working for the UUA headquarters in Boston. I left behind Home as I knew it in New Jersey and began a decade-long geographical and deeply personal transformational journey.
My work at the UUA included extensive training in multiculturalism and I was able to internalize my identity development and know myself as a white person living in America. I also designed curricula and led trainings and planned events to support adults in nurturing their own identity development.
In 2009, frustrated with organizational dysfunction at the UUA, I sought out a Plan B and enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I immediately realized my true passion and calling and organized a mutual departure from the UUA in December 2009 to start my health coaching practice. I hit the ground running and was immediately successful.
Then in 2012, I took a huge leap of faith and made the decision to physically transition my gender identity. I'd been wearing men's clothing full-time since 2007 but felt it was time to make a grander transformation. My journey through that process is well-documented in my own blog here and my archived writing at GoodMenProject. I had also enrolled in graduate school at the same time to complete my Master's degree, which I had begun in 2001 but had dropped out. Doing the gender transition and self-designed graduate program at the same time was intuitive genius. One process informed the other and helped ground me when my life felt completely destabilized and I felt totally disoriented.
My gender transition was a turning point unlike others in my life. Whereas for most of my life I'd coasted by and even thrived by breaking rules and being different, this decision cost me profound losses and unplanned, difficult changes. I was alienated by my family and then by my live-in partner and friends who were unable to support me through that profound grieving process. My business was impacted due to stigmatization and pigeonholing based on my new expressed identity as a transgender person. My unique circumstances of destabilized home environment, unpredictable career as an entrepreneur and limited relational resources contributed to my depression and anxiety and even ideation of suicide.
But I held fast to my health coach identity and persevered!! For the next four years, living visibly and vulnerably as a middle-aged transgender person, sharing my journey on full display on social media, I overcame daily micro-aggressions while successfully negotiating key client contacts and speaking engagements. I walked my talk and focused on building resilience from within which included impeccable nutrition, more sleep and attending Buddhist retreats for advanced mindfulness study. But I exhausted my internal resources and eventually retreated to the woods of Vermont for extended solitude to heal. It was in Vermont where my grieving process helped deepen my empathy and my awareness of the ways deep trauma impacts each person differently and similarly. I began to form a new approach in my coaching practice.
I began combining all I learned and experienced, personally and professionally, to develop new programs and talks and published articles. I saw the synthesis of identity development, well-being and self-awareness emerge as the path toward nurturing unshakeable resilience. I realized how few people know themselves well enough to engage effectively with others and take care of their minds and bodies to achieve true happiness and success.
And this is my new mission. From the rubble of my own life "falling apart" and putting it back together piece-by-piece, I share my real-world advice for being a healthy, happy person and a helper in ways that actually make people feel heard and seen so their lives work better. This is good for those people and great for the whole world!
My life continues to unfold and is full of daily challenges to navigate but being on the other side of what I've lived and learned, I feel confident that I know what to do.
I share the best of what I know and understand to help others.
Credentials & Education:
Master of Education, Integrative Wellness, Leadership and Change in Individuals and Cultures: Lesley University, Cambridge, MA
Bachelor of Science in Education, Secondary Major in Art: The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ
International Association for Health Coaches (IAHC)
State of New Jersey, Standard Teaching Certificate