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How to Feel More Confident About Your Body with Stephenie Farrell, Body Confidence Coach

Guest: Stephenie Farrell, Body Confidence Coach

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Hayley Stanton: Hello there and welcome to the Quiet Connections Podcast. My name is Hayley and, in this episode, I am joined by Body Confidence Coach, Stephenie Farrell. We’ll be exploring an issue that affects a real majority of people today: feeling dissatisfied with our bodies. So many of us believe that we need to change the way that we look in order to feel happy and be accepted. Throughout our lives, we can give an enormous amount of time, money and attention to our desire to change our appearance, sometimes even taking massive health risks. 

So Stephenie is here to help us understand why this phenomenon occurs, and how you can begin to feel more confident about your body just the way it is.

Welcome Stephenie. I’m really excited to talk with you today about body confidence. Would you like to start by introducing yourself and tell us a little about the work that you’re doing?

Stephenie Farrell: Sure. Sure. Well, thank you, Hayley for having me on the show, I’m really excited to speak with you today too. My name is Stephanie Farrell and I’m here in Canada. I’m a body confidence coach. So basically I help other women accept their bodies, end emotional eating and make peace with food.

 I have a background in various different things. Recently I’ve been studying intuitive eating, so I’ll be finished with that soon and a certified, intuitive eating counselor. I come from a background in homeopathy. I do a lot of somatic work, so emotional freedom techniques. Also, I have a trauma sensitive or trauma trained background in trauma sensitive yoga.

I had issues myself for over 30 years, in terms of disordered eating and body image, dissatisfaction –  body shame, really. And , it wasn’t until I really learned some of these techniques that I utilize with my clients, and kicked that self-critic to the curb and began to heal myself, that I found the confidence to really, really work on the things that mattered most to me, instead of being distracted by my body and the food I was eating and so distracted by those things in my life.

Hayley Stanton: I’m really looking forward to hearing more about kicking the self-critic to the curb. I was thinking about my own response to my body image. And it’s just so interesting that I felt like I needed to be and look a certain way. I felt like I needed to be taller and slimmer and I needed to be blonde with straight hair. And I really tried to create this look for myself. I came to the conclusion when I was looking at it, that is just like I was rejecting who I really am. And that felt really upsetting. I’d really love to get into this conversation and encourage people to really love who they are just as they are, because everybody is worthy and valuable. 

Stephenie Farrell: Absolutely. Just like they are. And, unfortunately, society basically tells us lies about what we need to look like or how we need to be, or how we need to dress or what our body needs to be like in order to be happy to be successful, and to deserve love. There’s so many lies. It’s just terrible. If you look at your social media every day, the advertisements and Instagram and Facebook and all of these different messages are coming through them, even now. It’s even worse now with the pandemic, right? People are stuck inside and they’re on these devices all the time just to communicate.

So it hits us and now it’s a new year. So it’s hitting us again. The diet industry and beauty and fitness industry are really sending all these messages and all this advertising is strong, strong, strong. That’s one thing that I usually tell people the first step they can do is just to unplug themselves if they can. But if they can’t -and right now, like I said, in the pandemic we’re just using these devices to really communicate-  I tell them  just to unfollow. Unfollow, these influencers, unfollow these people or these pages or whatever it is, groups that make them feel bad about themselves, just to sort of unplug from those.

And then maybe in terms of the body confidence or the body acceptance, piece is to find groups that are supportive for that. I have a group on Facebook myself. So, finding groups or finding pages with different influencers of different body types and sizes. that can be very helpful when you’re looking at images of people that are in different body sizes or different types, and larger bodies, then you’re going to get more used to it and make you feel better in yourself. 

Hayley Stanton: Yeah. That’s a really useful tip. Be mindful about what you’re actually taking in. 

Stephenie Farrell: Even magazines and television. I mean, we choose what we watch, right? I mean, for the most part. So, so really choosing mindfully.

Hayley Stanton: Yeah. There’s so many messages out there telling us how we should be and what we should look like, then it must be so common that people are affected and feeling dissatisfied and shamed with their body image. 

Stephenie Farrell: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Men and women and all different gender types experience this.

Hayley Stanton: When I asked the community, they have worries around their weights. They have worries around spots. Spots was a huge one – people feeling like teenagers because they felt like they still had acne. And I thought, wow, I’ve not even noticed this in this person. So let’s talk a little bit about what’s going on there when our self image is like “there’s something wrong with me”. 

Stephenie Farrell: Oh yeah. I mean, well, that it’s very much like a trauma in a sense. When we’re feeling that kind of shame or when we’re feeling that way about ourselves, it’s putting us into this mode of fight flight, freeze. That kind of response. So, we’re really speeding up, usually I would say it’s a flight response where our mind keeps going and keeps snowballing, and then we keep feeling worse about ourselves. All those stress hormones that are created, actually they mess with our whole hormonal system. All of it messes with our hormones system. So of course, things like, spots and all kinds of things; adrenals are not happy, and then even that raises cortisol levels, which can lead  having us put weight on where we don’t want to, or when we don’t want to. And we’re striving so hard.

Hayley Stanton: The other thing that I find really interesting about the self image is that once you’ve got this idea about how you look and you believe that you come across a certain way, you’re always looking for evidence for this to be true. That’s just how your mind works. We filter out everything that tells us that something different could be going on. And we just collect all these little pieces that say, “Oh, look, there’s another spot. Now my whole appearance is ruined” 

Stephenie Farrell: Yeah, yeah. We’re our own self critics. Right. And in terms of comparing with other people around us, looking at the other people comparison is really the thief of joy. So we’re comparing, and then we’re looking at ourselves and comparing, again, but, we really have this negativity bias. So, one mean thing that someone has said to us really sticks with us. And particularly from childhood. I find children are like little sponges, just like little sponges. They take in everything. Even if it’s not said, a look, a feeling and emotion from a parent. Unfortunately, these things are generational. Body image and food issues are generally generational.  I’ve seen it span back three generations with a woman not feeling confident or not being able to accept her body and, having all these ideas about what we should use and what we shouldn’t eat. Negative comments that stick with people for like 30, 40, 50 years. 

And part of that is actually the self-critic when you listen. When you pick up on those thoughts that you have and that are telling you that there’s something wrong with me or whatever. It’s that self-critic, it’s not really you, but who is it? Listen to it. Really tune in. Is that someone from your past? Who is that? What do they look like? Do they have spots on their face? 

Hayley Stanton: Yeah, that’s a good question. 

Stephenie Farrell: How old are they? What is their age? So we really want to identify that and really identifying it as much as we can to separate ourself from it. Because when you place your hands over your heart and you take a deep breath, And, you know that’s not you; you can separate it, listen to your true self and really, really ask yourself, what do I need, what is going on right now to trigger this?

Hayley Stanton: Can you talk to us a little bit more about what’s getting in the way of body confidence? 

Stephenie Farrell: Well, I mean accepting our body. To be confident in our body, we need to accept our body and self-image and body image is part of self-image. So what’s getting in the way of that? 

Fear. It’s very scary actually, to start something new, but if I were to tell you to pick up a pen and a piece of paper. So maybe our listeners out there, if you have a pen or a piece of paper, try this out now, if not, maybe try it later. So take your pen and your dominant hand and write out your first name on your paper. It doesn’t take much time to do that. And then I want you to switch hands with that pen. Take that pen and your non-dominant hand. And write your first name on that paper. And I’m going to give you a little bit longer because it takes a little bit longer to write with your non-dominant hand. 

Hayley Stanton: Yeah. It looks like I’ve just written Hayby.

Stephenie Farrell: So look at that and compare. How does that make you feel to look at that a signature, the bottom signature? 

Hayley Stanton: It’s interesting. Cause there’s almost like a sense of shame with how messy it looks with having written with my left hand, even though I know that I don’t have to be able to write neatly with my left hand.

Stephenie Farrell: Yeah. So you can see even what it looks like it can be shameful, it can be frustrating to write with your left hand or your right hand. Whichever is the non-dominant hand. It could look like a child’s writing. I know mine does. You know, when we’re a child or when we’re starting something really new, it’s hard. It’s frustrating. There might be some shame there because it might be something we’ve never, ever wanted to think of or to work on or to look at. But when you practice this, I can tell you,  really coming to that self-acceptance,  it’s the best work that you can really do for yourself.

Weight stigma and body shame. I mean, they cause more health issues than what you eat or anything else I think combined. All these messages from society. Unfortunately I see that, not just the diet and fitness and beauty industries, but also the medical community, linking a body size or a weight to illness.  there’s really no causation there; what really causes a lot of these chronic diseases that they say are linked with weight or body size, is  actually weight cycling. People who diet up and down with the yo-yo diets, they’re going up and down and up and down. And those things are more causative to these chronic diseases than a body weight or size.

Hayley Stanton: That’s really interesting. So it’s very much about the way that we are trying to cope with the body image dissatisfaction that we’ve got. 

Stephenie Farrell: Yeah. What happens is that we feel dissatisfied with our body and it’s a whole awful cycle. We go on a diet and we deprive ourselves of certain foods. We deprive ourselves of the pleasure of certain foods. You know, having a pleasurable eating experience is so important for us. And we just give ourselves sort of eating rabbit food I guess. Or even going on the “wellness diet”  that is obviously spread by social, spread by society.

So we deprive ourselves physically and we deprive ourselves, mentally and psychologically of these certain foods. And we’re not getting enough. We’re not taking enough food. We’re not getting enough energy from the food we’re taking in. And people think this is about willpower. It’s not a willpower. It has nothing to do with that. It has nothing to do with the person. It has to do with how diets don’t work because after a point of time of depriving yourself and restricting your food intake, you can’t handle it. Your body feels like it’s a famine, you know?

And so we’re driven to eat and, you might call it a binge. I mean, that’s relative. I don’t mean binge eating disorder, but I mean, we’re restricting bread or carbohydrates, and  our body can’t handle it anymore and we go for the pasta. We go for the bread. We go for the sweets and the carbohydrates. Quick uptake carbohydrates like sweets or baked goods and that kind of thing. There’s nothing wrong with eating them, but it’s just that we’ve restricted so much that we ended up bingeing on them and then comes the guilt and then comes the despair and then comes on Monday “I’m going to start over again”. So it starts and it just goes around. It’s like a wheel, a feedback. And just feeling dissatisfaction in your body leads to the diet and leads to eventually breaking the diet, feeling guilt and shame, and people think they’re a failure. They think that they have no willpower. Like I said, it’s nothing to do with willpower. It’s nothing to do with being a failure at all. It’s the diet and the diet industry that is the failure. That’s failing them, you know? It’s terrible. It’s really destructive to your self-confidence and it’s destructive to not only that, but to your body in terms of medically and it’s destructive, emotionally, just erodes that confidence and self image.

Hayley Stanton: So, this is just not how our bodies are designed to work and we’re designed for that variety in food. And when we tell ourselves we’re not allowed something, of course our brains go “I want it”. 

Stephenie Farrell: Yes, exactly. I mean, famine has been around for centuries, right? Every civilization, every, century there has been famine. So we are designed to, when there is a famine, conserve. So that’s another thing with the diets is that conserving that energy. So actually our metabolism slows down when we’re on a diet. You know, in terms of the famine, that makes sense.

But then when there’s abundant food, we tend to eat abundantly. So then again, with the dieting, restricting feels like we’re on a famine; metabolism slows, and we break the diet and then we feel the shame and the guilt, and we go back to dieting and then we wonder why we’re not losing weight like we were before. And then people feel even worse, but it’s the metabolism, you know? 

Hayley Stanton: Yeah. Well, I hope just hearing that is going to reduce some of that shame for anyone who’s already broken their new year’s resolutions around dieting and I know there’s a better way and you’ll be sharing that with us later. 

Stephenie Farrell: Yeah. I don’t even like to say the word resolution. I always say to  if you’re going to make any kind of a resolution in the beginning of the year then make a different kind. For years for me, it was once a year, every year, resolving to diet and change my body and transform it and lose weight somehow. Maybe create a new one? Acceptance for the body, making peace with food, maybe more self compassion. 

Hayley Stanton: Yeah. You were talking earlier about where these beliefs come from, our parents and their own self images, they might come from advertising, come from bullying in the playground and this is something that I’ve had a lot of from our community. And actually, I shaved all my arm hair off when I was like 12 years old beause I was bullied about it and I’ve been waxing my face since I would like. 13 or 14 too, there was a particular guy in the class that always picked up on it. 

Stephenie Farrell: Yeah. Unfortunately that’s a huge thing, bullying in the school playground and in class. As a child, I was bullied quite a bit. A lot actually, because, when I was young, I was actually in a larger body. So I was bullied about my weight all the time. I was made fun of, I was kind of ostracized and left out. And that’s another thing that erodes our self-confidence and in those formative years, too, it can really send us a message that there is something wrong with us; that we’re not acceptable.

And then again, it does show up in our self critic, that inner voice it shows up and it stays with us. Stuff from childhood really sticks to us. All those little, traumatic experiences. There are things that we need to look at too, when dealing with this to help clear up those issues.

Hayley Stanton: I was also a larger child. And then at some point, as I got to be the age of 16, the way that I ate completely changed and it all dropped off and, I still thought that I was really fat and we can have such a distorted image of ourselves. 

Stephenie Farrell: Absolutely. Yeah, I know. And I suffered with that as well. I actually, from childhood, I was a larger child. And then in my teen teen years, I developed lots of disordered patterns and disordered  severe restriction. And, of course, I became quite small. I was in a smaller body and could look in the mirror and I would look at myself and I would think critically. You know, I would look at a particular part of my body. For me, it was my, my hips, my legs, my thighs – and, and it always was when I was a little girl, too, a very young girl. So I would look and I would think, “Oh my goodness, I need to lose more weight. I need to change more. I need to change on the outside, then I’ll be happy.”

So yeah, that sort of body dysmorphic disorder can come up and, and that’s not necessarily a part of disordered eating or eating disorders, but it can be, it is prevalent with eating disorders and disordered eating. 

But, another thing too, is that shame. If you think about it, emotions live in our body. There’s a real mental and emotional, body connection. And that’s why I do so much somatic work. Working from the body up. So, because that emotion, that shame, lives in our body and from working with women who have eating issues, food issues, body image issues, and have varying degrees of disordered eating in a sense, they’ll look in the mirror and they will look specifically a part of their body; it  might be their abdomen. It might be like for me, it was my thighs and my legs. And that shames sits in the body. It might not be the whole body that we’re looking at, it could be part of the body. And all that shame from the bullying and the messages, that’s where it sits. So we need to release that and clear that up. 

Hayley Stanton: One thing that I’ve come to understand is how much we disconnect from our own bodies. And I think in our Western cultures, we’re taught to spend so much time in our heads and still trust what we think or trust external forces over our own intuition that we we’ve lost that sense of connection with those signals that our body is sending us. Can you talk to us a little bit about that? 

Stephenie Farrell: Oh, absolutely. And it’s so true. I mean, society values busy-ness and all that kind of stuff too, that we’re taught to look at externals and compare to, but that connection is lost. Particularly when you’re getting those messages right from society and women are to look or be a certain way. And in terms of feeling shame about our bodies, we disconnect again, it’s safer to live in our head. rIght? Yeah. So that’s one of the things that is so, so, so I cannot stress how important, connecting, reconnecting with yourself with your body and feeling those messages from the inside.

So that’s a huge part of the work that I do: intraceptive  awareness. Particularly if you’ve been saying, dieting up and down for years or restricting your food intake or on the opposite side of things, if you, if you’ve suffered binge eating. 

Hayley Stanton: Yeah, I’m more of an emotional eater.

Stephenie Farrell: Yeah. And you know what, there’s nothing wrong with emotionally eating, but it’s,  do you have other coping skills? So it’s fine to have ice cream when you’re feeling sad. I don’t care if I need a brownie when I’m sad, it’s fine. But it’s just how much cheer you’re attaching to that food. And do you have other coping mechanisms? But that interoceptive, when we’ve been restricting or dieting up and down, and living in our head for years. 

We, like I said, disconnect from the body, but, also we lose our hunger and fullness cues. So that’s really difficult, you know?  Not knowing what to eat, when to eat it. How much do you need? Not feeling that, not sensing that. So it’s like your hunger meter is broken, but that’s okay because we can fix  that with intraceptive awareness. even as something as simple as a breath . 

One woman said to me, it’s the first time I felt my breath. Forever. Like it’s the first time I’ve ever, ever felt my breath. I’ve never noticed it. Right. But it’s so, so important to really be in your body. Would you like to do an exercise on that? 

Hayley Stanton: That sounds really good. Yeah. Okay. 

Stephenie Farrell: So this is a very short exercise. I’m going to make it short.

I actually have to, can you time this Hayley, to say it’s going to be some blank air, but that’s okay. 30 seconds. So we’ll put a timer on for 30 seconds. So I what I want to do out there, is basically, we’re going to take our pulse. So everyone knows that we can take our fingers up to our carotid artery or take our fingers and place them on the wrist. And then give you a few seconds here just to find that pulse, and then I’m going to say one, two, three, and then we’ll start the timer and you can let them know when to stop. So we’re going to take our pulse, count your heartbeat. And it’s three, two, one go.

Hayley Stanton: And that’s your 30 seconds. 

Stephenie Farrell: Perfect. So take the number and keep it in mind or write it down and you have your pen and your pencil. So we’re going to also count the number of heartbeats, but we’re going to keep our hands away from our carotid artery and we’re going to keep our hands away from our wrists.

We’re just going to place our hands, maybe in our lap or on the table or. Desk in front of you. And then we’re going to count down another 30 seconds and count your heartbeats and that 30 seconds. 

Hayley Stanton: Okay. Go. 

Stephenie Farrell: Just try the best you can.

Hayley Stanton: and that’s it. 

Stephenie Farrell: Excellent. So that gives you an idea. If you keep that number in mind and compare it to the first number, when you actually had your hand on your carotid artery or taking your pulse by the usual method. If you compare those numbers, the closer those two numbers are, the more intraceptive awareness you have.

Some people actually feel their heartbeat in their hands. They can feel it in their chest. Maybe they feel it, in their legs. But, the point is both of it is intraceptive awareness we’re in. So some people might not even be able to feel or detect their pulse in the second part of the exercise and that’s okay.

If you’re starting just taking your pulse, you’re connecting with your body. So, it really helps to build interoceptive awareness. That’s where we start. It’s kind of where we start and wherever you are know that this is something that takes some patience and self-compassion, and it takes some practice too.

Hayley Stanton: Yeah. So after our last conversation, a few weeks ago, I went away and I was really excited about what we were talking about. And I think I’d said to you something like, “I’m just feeling really undernourished right now”. And I was like, Oh, that’s, that’s interesting. And it’s not about what I’m eating. It’s about the other things that I’m bringing into my system and that I’m compensating by actually eating more than I need. So I started reading a little bit from, Shirley Billigmeier and she had a little exercise that was, you draw a little circle representing every time that you eat. And so I’d been doing that and I was absolutely fascinated at how many circles I was drawing and like how often I was having a little nibble unconsciously. And I’ve been practicing going,  “I’m gonna eat this thing, but am I actually hungry?” And often the answer is no. 

Stephenie Farrell: Yeah. So I mean, thinking about first of all, what do I need? You said undernourished, so maybe you needed some other nourishment. And what would that look like? Maybe you had a lack of sleep. Maybe you felt emotionally, somehow undernourished, maybe not so connected. but if our listeners can think back to a time when they reached for food and they weren’t hungry thinking about what could they have done, otherwise, to nourish ourselves.

Hayley Stanton: What are you really hungry for?

Stephenie Farrell: Exactly. What do you really need right now? Yeah. And that’s part of, part of  emotional eating too. Like I said, emotional eating is not always bad if I’m going to have a brownie and I’m sad, that’s fine. But I know that I have other coping mechanisms, so it’s developing them, developing them in your way. Like everyone says, take a bath, but taking a bath might not be the best thing for you. Maybe you want to take a walk, maybe you want to draw or write or curl up with a whatever that is for you  find those ways to cope; or call a friend. 

Hayley Stanton: Yeah. I like what you’re saying about the kind of intention behind what you’re choosing to do. Like if I’m eating because it feels good is very different than if I’m eating, because I’m trying to numb something and that I could be dealing with that in a different way. 

Stephenie Farrell: Yes. Yeah. Numbing out. A lot of people do use food to numb out,  and again, looking at that and figuring out what emotions are under there and how we can create coping mechanisms to create a new pattern, because it’s all about pattering too. Once we’re in a pattern. It’s like that yo-yo diet pattern right up and down, and then despair and guilt and shame. And then again, dieting. So it’s like that pattern our system, our nervous system , creates a pattern reaching for food and you know what, there probably was a time in life when it served a purpose.

I mean, for me, when I was a child, food served a purpose. It was, the only way I knew how to cope with feeling unsafe or fearful growing up. And the food was safety and the food was nourishment and the food kept me safe. But after a while of doing that, I created this pattern so that every time something came up that disrupted me, that was triggering. I would reach for the food. So that’s where emotional eating becomes this pattern and we don’t have other coping mechanisms. So when we can look at that, find the emotions, find what you need and then create different coping mechanisms. We can change that pattern. Yeah. It’s all about that. Repatterning. 

Hayley Stanton: What other strategies would you suggest people try for connecting with themselves, silencing their inner critic? What’s the first step that you would suggest someone take? 

Stephenie Farrell: Wow, there’s so many things. I think one, one thing is to be very careful, like I said, with what messages you’re taking on a daily basis, You may have a lot of inner work to do from childhood. You may have a lot of different things going on, but to just filter those messages that you’re getting, and reframe that in a more positive way, follow Instagram accounts that are body positive or follow different types of people; different body sizes and such. So that’s one thing. That’s a very simple thing we can all do. We can control what we look at, what we watch and what we read. 

Number two, I think, being aware. Like awareness is the first key to change something. And I think, as I said earlier, we are our own worst critics. So being aware when the self critic comes up and trying to separate ourselves from it. So, that’s part of what I teach in my body confidence reboot. It’s a lot of self-critic stuff, so really trying to reject that or let go of that. That’s a huge part. Notice how you’re talking to yourself. 

Hayley Stanton: Yeah, definitely. The words that you use really important.

Stephenie Farrell: This is another thing. Be very aware of the people in your life, who you’re connected with when you want to change something. You know, you can have friends where you used to run or talk about exercise or talk about what diet you’re on. And that’s a very bonding experience, right? It’s part of bonding. But you know, it’s always like competition too, right?

Who makes you feel good about yourself? About other aspects of yourself? Who focuses on those things, right? Who makes you feel good about your body? Who doesn’t? And you might have to change things or change the way you relate to those people. They’ll get it after a while. They’ll understand. 

Yeah. So those are the things that I would really start with noticing your inner self-talk, that critic, looking at what you’re taking in on a daily basis and definitely looking at who you’re around or who you’re connected with, who you chat with, who you talk to, or do zoom coffee with.

And  even in your family and creating those boundaries, right? We do a lot of self silencing. And, that can be very harmful for ourselves. 

Hayley Stanton: Yeah. We often minimize ourselves to please people and avoid conflict. And we put up with a lot in doing that. 

Stephenie Farrell: Absolutely self silencing is one of those things, too. We need to be able to express ourselves, building confidence from the inside out is what I say, because we have to learn how to create those boundaries and to maintain them too. That’s a huge part too. So that we’re doing things good for us and that we’re nourishing ourselves properly with food and whatever else we need.

Hayley Stanton: Yeah. I think that a lot of us are under the impression that if we looked different then we would be more happy, we would be more confident, we’d be more lovable. 

Stephenie Farrell: Oh, absolutely. And it’s not our fault. It’s like, we’ve been brainwashed. From a very early age to look and to see, “Oh, well, that’s what I need to look like”. That’s, what I need to have in my life. Or  I need to have -whatever you were mentioning- the straight blonde hair and tall sort of look that you were looking for. 

Hayley Stanton: Yeah. Perfect skin and slightly tanned. There’s a really specific look that I had in my head that I thought I should be in order to be lovable and worthy and accepted. And until I looked like that, I wasn’t gonna be good enough, but you know, I’m not that person;  I’m a short, slightly  overweight redhead with freckles and spots. 

Stephenie Farrell: And you’re perfect. Just the way you are. You wouldn’t be Hayley if you looked  any other way, you wouldn’t be who you are

Hayley Stanton: It’s so interesting that I actually shared that image that I had in my head about the person that I thought I needed to be in order to be worthy and somebody commented on my post and said “it sounds like you’re describing me and I’m no supermodel by any stretch of the imagination. And I also feel the same way”.  There’s always something else that we think we could be. And, I feel like even if I did look that way, I still wouldn’t have been happy and there would have been another thing to aspire to. And then another thing and another thing and more messages coming in. 

Stephenie Farrell: True. And this is another thing too: you don’t know when someone has that -in terms of body shape or has that look to them- you don’t know how they got that look. You don’t know if they have an eating disorder or disordered eating, or if they’re feeling shameful about their body or their spots or you don’t know, right? So that’s another thing. And for me, like I said, I restricted so severely, I went down, I was very, very small and very unwell in my, in my teenage years and into my early twenties and  I really saw it. I really thought if I get to that perfect weight, whatever that weight was, when I get to that size and that perfect weight, then I’ll be happy. I can tell you, no, it does not make you happy. It doesn’t make you happy. 

What is happiness? You have to find the happiness on the inside. You really have to find that happiness on the inside and feel those internal cues instead of looking to the external and we’re human beings, we compare, right? We always compare and we always feel this need to better ourselves in some way. But learning to accept who you are means really being able to let go of all those things that distract us from who we are and from what our talents are and what we want in life and our goals and how we can better things.

And that’s it really, don’t put your life on hold to be a certain something that’s not attainable in some ways, right? 

Hayley Stanton: Yeah. That’s beautiful. I think everybody has so much potential within themselves, but as long as we’re busy rejecting ourselves and wishing we were somebody else and trying to be somebody else then we’re not allowing that to grow and to be expressed into the world.

Stephenie Farrell: Exactly and I mean, this is on a huge level too. It’s worldwide. If you think of it in terms of like  how are women globally, the big picture, I believe women work two thirds of the working hours out there and they only own 10% of the property in the world. So that gives you a kind of perspective, right?

And I think a lot of it is that we’re we’re so hyper-focused; we’re brainwashed and being hyper-focused on more superficial things like our body and all of those things, instead of really going deep into ourselves and bringing in our gifts and changing things with our talents.

 it’s just, it’s unfathomable. I can’t say how much that makes me angry. Wow. Two thirds of the work hours and 10% of the property.  That’s another thing too, it’s micro and macro. 

Hayley Stanton: That’s incredible. Just permission to go deep and allow yourself to be expressed just as you are 

Stephenie Farrell: Permission. Do. Yeah. Like giving yourself permission to really dig deep and find out who you are and just, yeah. Go for it. Go for your goals. Go for your big dreams and attain them. 

Hayley Stanton: So lovely. I’m feeling really inspired now. Okay, so where can people find you and what have you got on offer right now?

Stephenie Farrell: Yeah, so people can find me on Instagram at @yourcoachstephenie. My website is www.stepheniefarrell.com. Right now, actually on the front page of my website, you’ll find the, body image challenge to give you five steps to help you to feel better in your body right away and affirmations for each of those steps. So that’s my, a free offering. 

And then if people are interested to dip more of a toe into the work, I have something called the body confidence reboot self study program. And that one actually dives pretty deep into that self critic, that inner critic, and comparison and all of those things that we talked about. So that one dives pretty deep. You can find that at my website or on my Instagram link tree and that’s on special right now. So in honor of the new year, I thought, what better way to change in the new year is to really get rid of that self-critic and start accepting and loving yourself.

Hayley Stanton: Yeah, that’s lovely. And instead of signing up for a diet, you can sign up to create some real lasting change 

Stephenie Farrell: My way of pushing back against the diet industry.

Hayley Stanton: So thank you so much for coming on and chatting with us, Stephanie, and I think this has been really helpful. 

Stephenie Farrell: Thank you so much. It’s been such an honor and I enjoyed so much speaking with you, Hayley and, yeah. Thank you.

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