Ep #214: Undiet Your Coaching with Stephanie Dodier

Just how related is diet culture and online business entrepreneur culture? 

My guest Stephanie Dodier – host of the Undiet Your Coaching Practice Podcast and I dive into these cultures, how they’re similar, how they do damage to both the provider and the client, and what we can do about it.

Plus, a conversation around the role of conformity and confidence that has never been discussed on this podcast that even blew my mind. This is one to savor.

Stephanie Dodier is a Clinical Nutritionist CNP, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, host of two top-ranking podcasts in the non-diet industry and creator of the Going Beyond The Food Method. She founded Undiet Your Life, a global coaching and online training platform focused on helping women make peace with food and their body so that they can live a fulfilling life… right now! She is also the founder of Undiet Your Coaching Practice, a global professional training platform.

The doors to Free to Paid Coach are officially open! If you’re ready to learn the foundational concepts of confidence that get you from being a free coach to a paid coach who makes six figures and beyond, join us right now!

What You’ll Learn:
  • Why diet culture is a belief that is structured to place people in thin bodies in a position of superiority
  • How we’ve been told that beauty and the size of our body and bank account defines worthiness
  • The number one fear of most women
  • How diet culture has been ingrained for about 130 years as a system of belief so deeply connected to patriarchy
Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:
Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to episode 214 of The Confident Coaches Podcast, the one where you’re going to “undiet” your coaching practice. Alright, let’s go.

Welcome to The Confident Coaches Podcast, a place for creating the self-confidence you need to do your best work as a life coach. If you want to bring more boldness, more resilience, and more joy to your work, this is the place for you.

I’m your host. Amy Latta. Let’s dive in.

Okay, coaches, I’m really excited about the interview that I am doing here today with you. I recently met Stephanie Dodier, our paths crossed online. I’m meeting more and more people having new and different conversations than I have been in previous years. And Stephanie is somebody that I can’t remember who reached out to who first, but hey, I like your stuff. I’m picking up what you’re throwing down and I’d love to have more conversations with you. So she interviewed me on her podcast and I had her here. She is a coach. She is a non-diet coach. So we’ll let her explain to you what that means. We’re going to dive into diet culture in this episode, but we really also make that connection of what makes up diet culture and how it relates to how you’re showing up in your business and how the parallels, the parallels between online business, diet, culture and what we can glean from that and what we can learn from that. I invite you to, at first, I was going to say grab a notebook, grab some pen. I actually invite you to just listen first go round and if you have anything that you want to jot down real quick, sure. But I really just invite you to give this a listen, this was a fantastic conversation. We covered lots of areas, but I think even for me, we made some connections, and I was like, yes. So enjoy my interview with Stephanie Dodier.

 

Okay, my friend, I am honored and excited to have this conversation today with my one of my new, but we have fell in hook, line, and sinker right in step. Stephanie Doer, who refuses to tell me if I’m saying her name correctly, so we’re just going to run with Stephanie Doer. She is. We found each other online, right? Yes. Somehow, we did. I think maybe through a fellow mentor, Kelly, am I right? Yep. Kelly. Yeah, Kelly deal. And your platform is around diet and weight loss and yet our conversations that we are having with our audience are incredibly similar. So I’m going to go ahead and let you quickly introduce yourself to my audience, Stephanie, and grab a pen, grab a paper strap in because we’re going to dive into really stuff you’re going to be a hundred percent on board with. And also I’m hoping Stephanie and I are going to address some things that maybe you haven’t considered before, and I just want to invite you to just consider what that does and how you might apply some of what we talk about to how you run your business. All right. So Ms. Stephanie, welcome.

Stephanie:

I’m Stephanie Dodier. I am by training a clinical nutritionist who approach nutrition from what I call a non-diet approach. So if you’re familiar with an anti-diet world, you may recognize this term. I’m a certified intuitive eating counselor and I help women liberate themselves from diet culture beyond the food. So yeah, we talk about food and we talk about body image, but we go much deeper than that. We go and look at how diet culture patriarchy has affected the way we think about ourselves and the way we relate to the world.

Amy:

What are some of the, I don’t know, most common people are like, all right, intuitive eating, help me have a better relationship with my body. What are some of the most common things that first come up when we start diving under the surface?

Stephanie:

I think the number one place I start that conversation is the term diet culture. So to most people when I say diet culture, they think, oh, that’s the culture of people on diet. True and diet culture is a system of belief that is structured to place people in thin body, so regularized body or ably accessible body in a place of superiority. So the value of an individual is assigned by their capacity to achieve the thin body ideal that society is currently under the grip of.

Amy:

Yes.

Stephanie:

And that’s what diet culture is. So it goes deeper than just being on the diet. It’s about how we assign value to ourselves and how society assigns value to us. And diet culture is about 130 years old and it’s a system of belief that’s deeply connected to patriarchy. So patriarchy is not about the man, it’s a system of belief that places people identified as men in a position of power. And in order to uphold men in power, the other gendered female has to be submissive, has to be below. And one of the ways recently over the last 140 years that patriarchy has achieved that is by having women’s focus on the size of their body. So taking all their mental, emotional, physical energy and financial resources and tell them that the most important thing is to achieve beauty through thinness. And that leads us to the whole weight loss industry and that’s what we call diet culture. So it’s much more bigger than just being on a diet. It’s how we value people.

Amy:

And for those of you in the stands who’ve been paying attention, you can see that parallel to a lot of the work that I’ve introduced to my audience this year or in the past couple of years honestly, which is when the only value to being in business is being what we’re going to call it, capitalistic culture. Capitalism culture has defined as the only thing that we should be striving for and that your value is attained by becoming that six-figure earner. And once you’ve become a six-figure earner or seven figure earner, now we’re talking about eight and nine figure earner. That and the parallel between as an individual in both of those cultures, there’s always more to achieve. You’re never there. There’s no finish line.

Stephanie:

And I want to say, so for me the parallel between this business culture about money and about achievement and the diet culture, it’s about very specifically around women is how you are according to society. And that those two system of belief, you’re born on unworthy and you need to achieve externally through your beauty and the size of your body and your bank account in order to be deemed worthy, but you’re never getting there. The dot always move and you end up never feeling good no matter where you are on the scale.

Amy:

And I’ve been in both places because my podcast before this was businesswomen losing weight. There you go. That was one of my coaching endeavors for quite a few years. And even when I achieved the number on the scale, then it was like I wasn’t muscular enough. I was okay, I got this. And I can parallel that to being very well known and a high achieving, high earning member of some of my previous communities and being awarded on a stage and having the award in hand. But it was always, okay, now that you’ve achieved this, what’s the next thing that you’re going to achieve? So there is a moment of happiness and achievement. I want to be, I think it’s really important that people have experience. Yes, I did it, but it’s leading. It doesn’t last. And I think that’s the culture part that you’re talking about.

Stephanie:

Yeah, I think there’s something really interesting I’d like to teach that goes alongside with that is something I kind of acquainted through coaching women on finding their self-esteem. They’re worth linked to their body image. And I had this woman who would come to me and say, I’m super confident, it’s just about my body. As soon as I gain weight, I lose that confidence. Or as soon as you don’t make money, it’s fleeting. What I realized, that’s not confidence, that’s not happiness, it’s the safety of conformity.

This is just like, I’m going to go further than that because it’s one thing to say this, but the safety of conformity in our gender as women, people identified as women, when you are socialized from a tender age like four or five, six years old to be nice, to follow the rules, to do what people tell you, and then you grow up and you’re in your twenties and thirties and what people are telling you to do is to achieve money, career weight, staying young. When you achieve and you meet the standards that are laid out in front of you, you feel safe from rejection, you feel safe from judgment.

Amy:

So those aren’t moments of happiness. Those are moments of safety that I’ve now conformed to the ideal

Stephanie:

Because that’s thinking your business community had set out the bar and you meet it. You’re like, oh, I’m approved, I’m worthy. Finally I’m in the top 10%, which ironically having been sold that the way that you get there is to stop needing people’s approval. That the way that you achieve that ideal is to let go of your need to conform, let go of your need to have external validation. So I don’t even know if bait and switch is quite depicts how almost sinister that is of like, listen, if you want to really achieve, you’re going to have to let go of everybody else’s opinions about yourself. You’re going to have to shed that desire to make anybody else happy so that you can achieve the night deal. That is actually the thing that gives you the external validation and allows you, in this case the money, the money, but also the parallel with the weight is right there.

 

It’s different in the world of weight because it’s never sold under the term of letting go of what people think. It’s actually the opposite. It’s like everybody looks at you, right? If you want people to think that you are good enough, you have to look this way. And then it’s plastered with women who look this way and you’re like, you’re the only one who doesn’t look this way. So clearly there’s something wrong you think with you. So it’s a bit different from that angle.

Amy:

In my world, I can definitely say that I actually experienced that a little bit because my path to losing all of that weight did include being okay that people thought I ate weird being okay that people thought I, so I 100% can’t see that really subtle difference, and yet I still had just a little bit of what I needed to do in order to achieve that looked a little bit different than what you’re supposed to do in order to achieve that. So I did experience a little bit of that having to be kind of different, but it it’s still the same story, still an achievement of an ideal that we have been sold since we’re really little, that this is where is the applauding, this is the thing that we as society will say, she has real value and she has a lot to say. Her opinion is valuable. She’s got it. Figure it out.

 

Stephanie:

But I want to bring another term here for people to understand alongside the diet culture, there’s the oppressive mechanism, which is the term called weight stigma or fat phobia that kind of comes along. Diet culture as a phenomenon in a system of belief would not exist if our society wasn’t structured to stigmatize people who don’t look this way. So it’s so deeply entrenched that we don’t see it, but weight stigma is in the medical world, it’s in the world of nutrition, it’s in the world of, I mean social media trend. People who don’t look a certain way by default will probably not trend as much just because our eyes are not used to seeing body diversity or age diversity or look diversity. So fat phobia, the way that we allow that culture to be is deeply entrenched in each one of us. And unless you excavate it and really look for it, you don’t even see it playing in your life.

 

Amy:

It is really fascinating to see it show up. And I wonder, I think it’s a good question there, is there ever this place that is even achievable where it’s going to be a record that’s playing in the background all of the time because it’s so entrenched and we don’t even realize how entrenched.

Stephanie:

It’s your whole life has been playing, so you think it’s normal.

Amy:

Yes.

Stephanie:

Let me ask you this and ask the people listening to this, if mainly women, what would happen if you gain weight to most women, they qualify that as their worst fear. In some survey it’s even stated that 81% of women would rather have cancer than be fat.

Amy:

Whoa. That’s a showstopper right there. How deeply it’s in our DNA, and that’s the women that I work with or women who’ve lost the weight than regained it and they’ve lost their quote confidence, which was never their confidence. It was just they were safe because they looked normal and they’re now not willing to do what they used to do to lose the weight or they’re incapable of doing it because it’s too demanding and they want to live the rest of their life 40, 50 sixties in the body they’re on now, and now they have to excavate that fat, that internalized fat phobia in order to be happy and live their best life.

 

Yes, and it is funny because there’s a couple things pop culturally that recently Matthew Perry passed away, and so friends has kind of had a bit of a resurgence and it is shocking the fat phobia throughout that entire show, and it’s not just Monica in a fat suit, but throughout that show, which is what I was watching when I was, it came out in 94, I was 20 years old and I watched it every single week, and that’s just one tiny example of all the different ways in books, songs, TV shows, movies, going to the doctor, going to the store, going to what we heard, our mothers and our fathers and our aunts and our uncles say, how pervasive.

Stephanie:

Well think about food. You’re mentioning food. We think that as women, it’s absolutely normal for us to not eat what we like and not feel full because we have to be thin. We just accept it as a normality of life.

Amy:

Life and that you’re letting yourself go, well, you know what I just decided, I’m just going to let myself go because I want to actually, there you go. What?

Stephanie:

That’s due to your self-esteem

Amy:

There’s either conformity or it’s letting yourself go. And one of the, I know you and I have had this conversation because I’ve been talking a lot about it on the business side of things, of the only wins that are worth celebrating in business are the people who come in first, the top 5%, which is not representative of many of the people who are inside these coaching circles or these business programs, but they’re the ones being invited on the podcast. They’re the ones that are being used in the top marketing pieces, et cetera, that it does a couple of things.

 

First of all, and I definitely could have done a better job, but I know that as a business coach who is well confidence coaching as disguised as business coaching, I would have people on my podcast that because they were talking about wins, that they weren’t the top earner or they didn’t actually hit that goal, but I could see the transformation in them and I’d be like, well, I’m running a confidence business. It’s not really business, so I’d have them on the podcast.

 

So let’s be really clear. I was doing it from for the wrong reason, but I was doing the thing that I knew was best. I still needed to unpack that. The reason for it, which now I understand, is when we only promote that it’s harmful in so many ways because it just reinforces the idea that the biggest weight loss and the most money is the only achievement worth celebrating and that the other wins and the other measures of success don’t matter.

 

Whereas there are so many different ways that we can define what successful is and traveling will help. I will tell you that every time I travel, I think coming across engaging with local people who they have none of the modern of labels of success and they are happy, they’re so damn happy, and they have though what we would not consider successful. That’s the simplest form and the way we see it the most often. But I think that, and you had commented on that post around that, celebrating only the top, only the most desirable, not only reinforces that’s the only thing that matters, but we’re totally ignoring all the other ways that women are powerful and successful and empowered and confident. And it doesn’t have to do with the number on the scale or the dollar as you’re saying that.

 

Stephanie:

I want to mention something by us celebrating only the top achiever either for money or weight, what we’re doing effectively without knowing is we are promoting the system of capitalism and we’re promoting the system of diet culture with the big before and after my world. It’s the like before and after. But I want to take it a step further. It’s not like practicing a feminist business is not only about how you’re selling, but it’s also what you’re selling, right? Yes, we need ethical principle and we need feminist value, but if you’re selling weight loss to women, you’re promoting diet culture and you’re promoting the system by which women have oppressed for the last 140 years. I’m just going to say this, and a lot of people listening to your podcast will say, well, if you feel triggered right now, if you feel, oh, she’s crazy, that’s not true. I invite you to connect with your body and look at those sensation and look at this anger that you are feeling because of what I’m saying as a sign.

Amy:

Yeah. I mean, the simplest question is can you be a feminist business if you are selling the idea of weight loss to women?

 

 

Stephanie:

We want to define it as the rules we want to put, we want to go back to this. Tell me the rules, and I’m just going to obey by the rules. I want to do feminist business, so I have to do this, but can’t do this.

Amy:

Yeah.

Stephanie:

There’s no rules.

Amy:

Nope.

Stephanie:

There’s no rules. That’s what a feminist business is. It’s an alignment between your value.

Amy:

Yes.

Stephanie:

So if you value thinness and the only method to achieve thinness, we’re not surgeons. So it’s not surgery, it’s weight loss. Why do you value thinness?

Amy:

And that’s the question that you are inviting. That I’m inviting. Yes. It’s like why is that the value. And I’ve had this question with my business clients of it’s not successful if it’s not the revenue. And I’ve simply asked the higher revenue, the highest revenue, and I’ve simply asked why. And sometimes that question will lead you down a path of, and I think what people fear is if I don’t value weight loss, then I won’t take care of my body. I don’t value revenue, then I won’t sell anything and I won’t go anywhere. And it’s that pendulum swing. And there’s a whole world in between where you’re taking amazing care of your body, you’re loving your body, you’re giving it everything that it needs and it desires and it’s such a tender, loving relationship, and it’s not the weight loss that is the focus. Bingo. There is so many things where you are putting your selling of goods and services is its old as time long before capitalism ever care. This is how humans function live in the world, live the exchange of goods and services is not a thing. Making money not a bad thing.

 

How does that look and feel like where your personal value, your business’s value is not predicated upon, if I’m not hitting X, then it’s not working, it’s not good enough. It’s not serving the world enough. I’m dreaming the biggest thing that I hear, why are you not? You should be dreaming bigger. You’re not dreaming big enough. And I’m like, I don’t know, but what is big to you?

Stephanie:

So if you don’t examine, this is where we go into the world of thought work and mindset and socialization. It’s like if you don’t question the story or the answer to what’s big and you just go by the default thinking you’ve been socialized with, you will say size two pants and a million dollars. It’s just because that’s what you’ve heard a thousand time and your brain as encoded and you’ve been socialized. What I’m talking about is when you go beyond that, why do I want a million dollars in six months or a year? And why do I want a size two pants?

Amy:

Yes.

Stephanie:

Is that really what I want? And I want to say that’s what I wanted for 25 years. I just want to be transparent. For 25 years, I dieted.

Amy:

Yeah

Stephanie:

I spent all my resources. I had this fantastic corporate career, but all my personal life was focused on losing weight, maintaining the weight, then six months of gaining the weight back and then we start again.

Amy:

And I did that 15 cycle of it until I was 39. That’s the thing I do know. Let’s pull out real quick here. And the persons identifying as women in this world listening to this right now, and I want to say yes, I know I got a handful of men in the audience. We are talking to you too. It shows up a little bit differently. The message gets to you through a different doorway. It’s the same message though, but just think about the brain power you were giving to constantly striving and achieving. If you could put a measure on that, the amount of time my brain has focused on, and sometimes it’s competing because it’s trying to achieve the size two and the million dollars at the same time.

Stephanie:

And that’s when you have burnout most of the time, exhaustion.

Amy:

So think about the amount of time your brain is focused on what you’re eating when you’re going to go to the gym. And I want to be really clear, eating good food and moving your body are not negative things. It’s that obsessive thinking about maximizing it. And we’re doing the same. I

Stephanie:

Want to say it’s the why, Amy. It’s why you’re going to the gym. That’s the problem. It’s not going to the gym.

Amy:

Yeah.

Stephanie:

It’s not eating the vegetable. It’s why you’re doing it?

Amy:

It’s the motivation behind you going to the gym.

Stephanie:

You can make a million dollars and not be burnout. It’s the why.

Amy:

Yes.

Stephanie:

It’s the energy behind the million dollars.

Amy:

Yes. I have to hit this so that to be worthy, to be worthy even though we are going, and of course I’m worthy and I’m going to always remember that and that’s gone the second. But I think about the number of times I’ve been sitting with my family and I’ve not been checked in because I’ve been thinking about one of those two things. The number of times I haven’t been present on a vacation, on a holiday, on a family outing because my mind is trying to solve for one of those two things right there.

Stephanie:

And so if you’re describing this at the highest level, we know if you know enough of neuroscience and enough of nervous system regulate session was there is because innate word, self-esteem, wellbeing is one of those basic need of every human being. So anything that threatens your worth will make your nervous system obsessed about finding the solution to solve for the worth. And I want to broaden the scale to say it’s the weight, it’s the million dollar, but it’s looking young, the perfect family. Every time we sell to a woman a program to be more productive, hello. Women don’t need to be more productive. We actually need to do less.

Amy:

I was going to say, you want to know what? I am productive as hell. I don’t need to be more productive. I actually need to let go of the need to do all of the things to prove that I am an empowered, strong feminist woman.

Stephanie:

Exactly.

Amy:

And I know we are of plus or minus similar age. I came up in, I was born in the early seventies, so raised in America in the 70 eighties, there was literally a commercial on TV selling perfume that I can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan and still make, there’s a line. Those of you who know what I’m talking about and still make you believe that there was this thing where I can go to work, I can cook the dinner and I can still have sex with you at night, was literally the jingle.

Stephanie:

That’s why I say as coaches or service provider, whatever you fall into, it’s very important what you sell.

Amy:

Yes.

Stephanie:

It’s not just how, but it’s really looking at what you sell and is it aligned with your value. And some people will say, yeah, I value fitness. Okay, great. And it’s not me saying you can’t do that. Just don’t call it feminists. Don’t call it empowering to women because actually what you’re doing is as a woman, you are supporting patriarchy to oppress women. Go further and look into what you’re selling.

Amy:

Yes. I’ve mentioned it quite a few times on the podcast and for sure if you’re following me on socials talking about that it’s products for women by women, but it’s still just patriarchy and a Chanel dress and high heels. It’s still just patriarchy with a gorgeous red lipstick. And just being aware of, and I’ve said this before, I’m going to continue, I’ll say it again, Stephanie, I’ve said it to you. I for sure was in this stage, this is for sure where I was in that I was using the language of empowerment using the language of that empowered feminist woman, but it was to sell the patriarchal ideal.

Stephanie:

And I’ll go to my industry like weight loss. I can’t speak to business because I only teach business to people in my industry, which is automatically feminist women. So I don’t have the interaction with the other world, but I can tell you that there’s a shit ton, sorry, the word of women selling weight loss that live in a thin body that have what I call thin privilege, not just what I call, but what we know in society to be a privilege existence in this case, to be naturally without effort thin. And so it takes a lot of personal work to admit that and to realize that you’re selling weight loss to people who are not naturally thin because you have privilege.

Amy:

Yeah. This is that weight, privilege, beauty, privilege, and you age privilege that you have talked about so much that understanding the, I’ve used in a separate conversation, my podcast listeners have heard it about the graveyard of life coaches left behind by the only promoting the top earners the same. It’s it, it’s a very similar graveyard of the people left behind who don’t fit into those categories of having weight, beauty, age, privilege, or even money privilege.

Stephanie:

Right. It’s easy. I have, when I teach business, I always talk about that I have earned privilege that I did 15 years in sales incorporation who has taught me the fundamental of business and selling. So for sure, when I came to the world of health and coaching, I have this privilege that I spent 15 years deeply understanding business. So yeah, it’s easier for me. I still have to work at it and I still have to put in effort, but I have to learn business.

Amy:

And that was a huge realization that came to me. Which again, I can’t remember what episode my friends, but I know that I’ve mentioned this before of not understanding. I mean, I started studying business as a senior in high school when I took my first business class. My degree is in business administration with concentration and a focus on marketing. And I spent 10 years in corporate marketing. So while I learned a lot of shit I don’t want to replicate, sure. And those communities, that corporate based culture never worked for me from day one all 10 years where me fighting because it just didn’t, I did not function well in there that a lot of those things came very naturally to me. So in my programs not understanding that I had this innate understanding of business because of my past skills that nobody has to teach me, I’m naturally better at certain things because it’s what I did for all of those years. That right there is a privilege. And I think when it comes to privilege, I hope we have progressed enough for that word to not trigger so many people. It’s not saying that things, and you just said it. It’s not saying that things are super easy. It’s not saying that you never have hardship. It’s not saying that having weight privileged or beauty privilege doesn’t mean that you aren’t still rejected in some ways or whatever. No, it just means that that’s not something hindering you. It’s not something that’s keeping you invisible. It’s not an additional obstacle.

Stephanie:

And it doesn’t stop you from teaching business. And it doesn’t stop you from teaching if you are in the world of weight loss. But don’t go out there and say, well, I’ve done it and I am doing it, and now I’m going to sell it to you because I can do it. This is where privilege goes wrong. So I never used my business to other non-diet practitioner and coaches and say, well, look how easy it was for me. Sure, it was easy for me. I have 15 years of experience, but I still teach business, but I position it differently.

Amy:

Yes, yes, yes, yes. And I think that’s so important for anybody who’s listening who’s felt like business is like, why is it easier for them and me and not for me, besides the whole compare and despair is never helpful per se, but we have no idea. But people are bringing so many different backgrounds, and I think the best thing I say is you are also bringing backgrounds that other people don’t have. And rather than deny those and wish you had something else; how can you use what naturally comes to you? But all the more reason why that it worked for me. So it’ll work for you. Messaging, which I did a feminist marketing swaps episode a couple of weeks ago, and that was one of the top things of, we really got to stop saying it worked for me, so it’ll work for you. And instead we can say, here’s my story. Let’s figure out what your story’s going to look like. We’re not denying our success, but not using it as the, so obviously it’ll work for everybody. I come across because everybody’s coming at this with so many different things. Money, privilege, weight privilege, beauty, privilege, age, privilege,

Stephanie:

Talking privilege. So every system of oppression is privilege. So we could go into the world of gender privilege, like sexual orientation. There’s privilege everywhere based on the various system of oppression.

Amy:

When you fit the mold, when naturally you fit the preferred intersection, you’re privileged and it is simpler and it is easier because there aren’t obstacles in your way. And it’s not a thing to shame or make you feel bad, but understanding the people who aren’t fitting into that, and that’s the intersectionality of feminism at its root is understanding now layer the intersectional of pull some of those privileged layers out. How are you going to speak to that person? How can you help them find what they need to achieve what they want? How can you help them address and those obstacles that are inherently there? And it’s not one person changing the entire social structure, social construct of the entire world, but how can you help that person? And again, I think this comes back to our conversation around what is it that we’re selling?

Stephanie:

Yes.

Amy:

And examine it. Be willing to examine. It doesn’t mean you have to burn down your business. I hate when we talk about business and people have this, they come across diet culture and like, okay, I’ve got to burn down my business and start from scrap. Whoa, word. Is that all or nothing thinking this is the pendulum swing. Can we not go from one end to the other? Can we just take a breath and reflect on it and decide where you want to go without having to burn down everything?

 

Definitely have experienced that myself. And I think a lesser-known conversation, or not a lesser known, but a conversation that I’ve heard a little bit, but I think it’s really important is not only examining what is it that you are selling and why you’re selling it, but when you, and this conversation is a prime example of that, who are you collaborating with? Who are you connecting your business to? It’s a next step. It’s a next layer. I want to really put it out there. We’re not starting there. These things come, if you’ve been following along this conversation, Stephanie and I are having, we’re let’s start and just examining why we sell what we sell and why is that the value, and then how we’re selling it, who we’re selling it to. And then we can start thinking about who we are associating our business with.

And this is something that I have. So a really, really simple thing, a really simple example of this that I realized is I don’t do, I’ve never officially been a part of an affiliate program for somebody else, but I certainly have like, Hey, if there’s an app I really love, I might say, Hey, just so you know, I am going to get 14 days for free when you sign up or whatever. And I’ve suggested a ton of books in my day, and I’ve always given people an Amazon link and like, oh, sure, yeah. Okay, well, if I’m going to give them an Amazon link, I might as well do that. Associates, Amazon Associates link. So I’m going to make 37 cents when you buy that book or whatever, but okay, Amazon. Yeah, Amazon as a business is, this is not a conversation about Amazon. It’s let’s dive into everything that is good and bad about Amazon, but is that a business I want to be promoting?

 

And I’ve had to really think about that of could there be a better place I could send people to purchase things that I recommend? That’s a simple question to just kind of start looking at the association. So if I’m proclaiming that I am a feminist business, who stands for all those things that can be included in feminism, workers’ rights, and elevating communities, where am I sending you to do more business? Let me just pay attention to where I’m sending you. Who am I inviting on my podcast? Who am I going to do trainings with? Who am I going to tag in my photos? And I want to be really clear, this isn’t about policing the activities of others because, and this isn’t about a judgment of others. The last thing I’m going to tell you is you shouldn’t shop at Amazon when there are Amazon packages probably sitting on my front porch right now.

Stephanie:

And not only that, it’s the convenience of it.

Amy:

Yes.

Stephanie:

We have to be realistic in the world where women are being asked to do 10,000 things.

Amy:

Yes. Right? And I mean, this is why there are no rules and there are no simple answers. It’s just putting out there to just consider is there, when we’re talking about promoting our business and we want to promote something that is outside of our business, it’s just that next layer to consider is that business in alignment with the values that I am talking about. And again, convenience. So I’ve found a bookstore.org or something along those lines that helps promote independent bookstores. So slowly I’ll be swapping out all of those links to send people. Here’s another place that’s online that you can easily order from that. So those are just really small ways to pay attention to what you’re selling and who you are collaborating with and who you are associating. Even when I say who you’re associating with, I suddenly have my dad in my head talking about, I don’t want you associating with those people. So again, this isn’t a judgment. We’re not saying, oh, those people are bad. We just want to make sure that we are having conversations with and working with organizations and people that are as close to an alignment with the work that you want to put out in the world as they can be.

Stephanie:

I’ll just add a bit of a coaching to this. That’s kind of the last step. If you want, and I just want to say to people, if you’ve done a personal review of what you sell, how you sell it, of your personal value system, and you’re really clear on how you want to show up into the world from a value standpoint, trust your instinct on collaboration. There’s no rule book to go to trust what your body, your nervous system, if you want, will tell you when you go with that person when you review their Instagram.Oh, don’t collaborate with that person because it’s just like, oh, you don’t need a rule book. The rule book is your inner world.

Amy:

Yes. So simple. Yeah. If you are like, oh, I really like this person’s stuff, and then you start scrolling, you’re like, yeah, there’s

Stephanie:

Something there.

Amy:

Yeah, there’s something there. Maybe hit pause on sending that email to them to ask if you could be on their podcast. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. I think that’s the simplest way of just trust that instinct. I do think, and Stephanie, maybe this is kind of like a full circle. I do think one of the biggest things that comes up for my clients is knowing that they finally understanding how ingrained these patriarchal standards are in our mindset. One of the things that can come up is, so how do I know if I’m really trusting myself or if it’s the part of me that’s been socialized to think this way or if it’s actually this new uncovered version of myself?

Stephanie:

The only way I can answer that is, so two things. Number one, it’s a progression, right? In the sense that if you’re new to the world, I’ll take my world of diet, culture and feminism and accepting if you’re new, there are some things that you will think you’re trusting yourself and you’re just replicating. And that will clean itself up as you go deeper and deeper in yourself. And then there’s the world of classical thought work. If you don’t write down your thoughts as to why you’re making the decision, and then you look at those thoughts, they’re like, okay, thoughts. They’re not facts. Is that really what I want? Is that what I want my decision to be based on? And if you don’t do this work and really look at those thoughts with yourself or with your coach who has the value you want to put out in the world, then it’s going to be longer process to really trust yourself.

Amy:

Yes. And I think that is because I know that my mind wants to, oh, I’ve discovered something new and I want to integrate it immediately and I want to do it right.

Stephanie:

Well, there you go. There’s a whole lot of conversation, which that’s a whole separate conversation because I can now look back and I can go, oh, those moments when I was selling a patriarchal idea, but from an empowered a, I thought it was from this empowered place, I needed to have passed through there to get to here. It has been a progression. And because it’s ingrained in us that a woman must always do the right thing at all times, the idea that we’re going to pass through and evolve and the work you are doing today, and I think this comes back, and Stephanie, I don’t know how you coach this, how you talk about this to me, it’s just like, so we just do it just a little bit better, and I don’t even love the language of a little bit better, but just what’s one thing? What’s one small change? What’s one energetic change that you can bring to your point, you don’t have to burn it all down and rebuild from scratch, but what small shifts can you start making knowing that you’re going to make more after that and then you’re going to make more after that? And there might be shifts that you make that two, three years from now you’ll look back on and be like, oh, yeah, I can see the progression that I made as you were speaking. There’s one thing that came to my mind that’s really simple in itself, but it’s not going to sound simple to people, to women particularly. So what is one thing you can do to know that you’re trusting yourself more? I’m going to go to my world. Do you trust yourself with your eating decision? Do you rely on an app? Do you rely on a meal plan? Do you rely on the calorie counting? Do you rely on macro tracking? Do you not trust yourself and your internal eating cue, hunger full and satisfaction to make your food decision? So I often, when women come into my world, they’re like, I want to trust myself more. And then we go to the world of how are you doing food? How are you doing health? And what I find is I don’t know what to eat.

Stephanie:

Bingo. Because that’s one of the main ways that diet culture and patriarchy has made you feel ashamed is because of what you eat and the weight you have. Let’s trace back and claim back your power with food. And I’m telling you, every goddamn time when a woman reclaims her power around food, she reclaims her power in her career or her business guaranteed.

Amy:

And from the business side of things I’ve talked a lot about on this podcast of it’s not hiring that coach because they’re finally going to be the one that tells you how to do it. They’re going to have the answers. They’re going to, okay, I’m going to hire Amy because she’s going to tell me how to run a feminist business. Nope, nope, nope. Please don’t hire me for that. That’s not the why. It is the, okay, I know that there are some decisions I need to be made here, and I know the decisions are in me, and I just need somebody to help me strip away.

 

You guys, you guys can’t see Stephanie right now, but pull those answers that are already in you and bring them up to the surface, and that’s what we really want to be doing and our businesses. That’s what I want. For those of you who are listening to think about, you’re not bringing mentors and teachers in to, there might be some, sure, there might be some skills you need to learn.

 

For instance, if you want to learn how to use artificial AI to help run your business, you might want to take a class on the best ChatGBT prompts to use. But when we’re talking about the direction you want your business to go, and Stephanie’s case of the people that she works with, your health, your body to go, it’s about that trusting. I think the simplest answer for me has always been, I don’t know if it’s so much that we’ve lost a trust in ourself, it’s just that trust is buried under the obligation and the shoulds in the woods. Socialization. The socialization that’s on top.

Stephanie:

Yeah. No, I’ll take the food. We all are born, this is scientifically proven with hunger, full satisfaction. We have everything to make your decision around food. And in fact, the human being has been making decision without tracking macros and calories and grams for thousands of years. But we as a society, we layer it in, oh calorie. Oh, now there’s a nutrition coach and there’s an app and there’s a biofeedback shirt you can wear. That’s what’s stripping away from your self-confidence in your self-trust. It’s the same thing in business, Amy. It’s like the coach and the program and the

Amy:

Shit.

Stephanie:

The program’s not the problem. It’s how you show up to the program in state of self-trust or not.

Amy:

Yes. So good. And I do, as we wrap up here, I think what you keep reiterating, and I think it’s so important, is the trust is already in you. It’s already there. It’s not something you have to go find. If anything, though, our work, your work, and Stephanie, I don’t want to speak for you, but my continued work, right? Because there’s no finish line.

Stephanie:

Well, I always say to my student, I’m like, I guarantee you right now I’m saying something that somebody’s in 20 years from now will be offended with that I don’t know. I’m oppressing somebody by saying today, you’re right. I’m acknowledging that, but I’m still moving forward.

Amy:

Yes, that we’re always going to continue to evolve. We’re always going to continue to learn, and it’s just about excavating the socialization that we’ve had. The trust is always there, and it’s almost always found in quietest of moments, those gut instincts, those random thoughts that hit you when you’re in the shower, those random thoughts that are floating through your mind when you first wake up in the morning. And that if anything, I think is a great skill to just learn to I trust hand over heart, hand over gut, getting quiet and just even if it’s just for 30 seconds and just I trust myself, the answer is in here. I can’t wait for it to reveal itself. And that right there will create so much empowerment and move forward. Like say that thing. I can’t wait for it to reveal and then go do business. And then go do business, and then go do that and then it’ll reveal itself as you’re doing business.

Amy:

Yes, always. You don’t have to sit and wait for it to reveal. No, Stephanie, so this is our second conversation so far. I’ve love it. So, so much. How can my people find you connect with you? What’s the easiest way to get to know more of Stephanie?

Stephanie:

Since we’re on the podcast, I would say the logical next step is my podcast, going Beyond the Food with Stephanie Dodier. That would be the number one thing. And then my website, I help women excavate, as you said, personally and professionally. So if you’re an example, if you’re a coach, a life coach, and you want to start coaching from that lens people and specifically women, if you coach women on confidence, you got to work with me because we’ve got to clean up this whole fatphobia shit. You don’t stigmatize people in your program. And then I help women unlearn diet culture personally with food and body image and health. Yeah,

Amy:

So good. I’ve loved our conversation so much. I think it’s going to be the second of many more.

Amy:

Yes, I think so. I see long-term goodness here. Stephanie, thank you for being here today. Thank you for sharing your really, truly deep, so much fabulous wisdom. Thank you for being here.

Stephanie:

Thank you, Amy.

Amy:

Okay. Thank you Stephanie, so much for that amazing conversation. I promised you deep insightful conversation, and I’m going to be honest with you in 2024, I want to have more conversations like that in 2024. I want to have more conversations where we’re really thinking about this level of who am I in this space? What matters intrinsically to me? What am I representing out there and showing up as ourselves so unapologetically? And I have to tell you that conversation that we had around conformity and that false sense of confidence, that winning of the thing and oh, I feel so confident, but it actually wasn’t confidence. It was the security and the safety of achieving something that is industry wide approved. Whoa. And when we see that, then we can just decide better of what we’re really looking for, what a connection piece that was there. And I also hope that you noticed, I don’t know that we necessarily called it out per se through our conversations very much, but I think you might always notice that Stephanie and I were not lockstep a hundred percent on every single point.

There were definitely things that she felt more passionately about than maybe necessarily I did. And there were things that I felt more passionately about than necessarily she did. And I think that’s so crucial, and I want that to be a reminder to you, to me, and to anybody who’s having these conversations that there’s no ethical police, there is no set feminist business. This is what feminist business is. There aren’t rules for this. I think this is about you finding what is the least depleting for you, for your audience and your clients while still operating in a capitalist society. Your pursuit of money, your pursuit of success, your pursuit of achievement for what you desire. And not because you’re conforming and not because you’re looking for, we are always looking for external validation, but not because we are seeking that. As much as we are doing that, we are still operating in this capitalist society and we are still setting big goals for ourselves, and it’s not extractive, it’s not off the backs of other people. That right there, those are the conversations that I want to bring to you. Those are the conversations I want to keep having as we move forward of what does that look like for you? And I hope this conversation got you. Just thinking about some things of how that might look like for you as you go into 2024. I truly, honestly cannot wait to see what you create. And until next week.

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Thanks so much for listening to The Confident Coaches Podcast. I invite you to learn more. Come visit me at www.amylatta.com and until next week, let’s go do epic stuff.

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Hi, I’m Amy.

For years, I took a ton of action to sign clients.

I learned to create self-confidence and powerfully believe in myself first, and then built a multiple six-figure coaching business.

And I can help you do it, too.

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