Done with Dieting Episode #145: Discovering What You Want with Stacey Oliver-Knappe

Discovering What You Want with Stacey Oliver Knappe

Are you ready to join Stacey on her remarkable journey of self-discovery and personal transformation? This episode is a candid exploration of Stacey’s battle with weight, societal expectations, and her relationship with food. Starting from a young age, Stacey found herself on the exhausting roller coaster of dieting, a ride many of us know all too well. She’s generously sharing her raw and relatable experiences with us, hoping to inspire others to break free from the chains of societal pressures.

Stacey’s transformation was not just about changing her diet; it also involved shifting her mindset and behaviors. She learned to listen to her body, becoming curious about her patterns and habits. This process propelled her to set personal goals which led to monumental shifts in her life, including leaving her corporate job to begin a consulting gig. We dive into the power of curiosity and how it can spur personal development and change. It’s a liberating discussion that shatters the illusion that weight loss can solve all our problems.

A crucial component of Stacey’s journey was the impact it had on her relationships. As her confidence boosted, she found the courage to assert herself more, leading to healthier and more balanced relationships. Feminism and literature played a significant role in shaping her journey, and she speaks passionately about an empowering women’s retreat that solidified her bond with a community of supportive women. 

Join us for an enriching discussion as Stacey navigates her transformation journey, overcoming negative mindsets, and finally finding peace and contentment within herself. This episode is not just about losing weight – it’s about gaining a whole new perspective on life.

Chapter Summaries:

Stacey’s Journey (0:00:03)

Stacey’s journey of transformation included gaining 20 pounds, finding feminism, and being supported by her partner.

Weight and Food Choices (0:08:40) 

Stacey discussed her weight struggles, and comparison to others, and changed her relationship with food.

Exploring Curiosity, Behavior, and Personal Goals (0:18:25) 

Stacey shares her journey of transformation, exploring her relationship with food, going deeper, and leaving her corporate job.

Discovering Self-Value and Assertiveness in Relationships (0:24:50) 

Stacey’s transformation has increased her confidence, autonomy, and communication, impacting her relationships.

Empowering Women’s Retreat Experience (0:39:56) 

Stacey found sisterhood, real-life struggles, and transformation through a retreat, leading to increased confidence.

Overcoming Negative Mindsets and Finding Peace (0:45:38) 

Stacey has learned to accept and take responsibility for her negative emotions, become more confident in presenting herself, and gained the power of sisterhood through a retreat.

Are you loving the podcast, but arent sure where to start? click here to get your copy of the Done with Dieting Podcast Roadmap Its a fantastic listening guide that pulls out the exact episodes that will get you moving towards optimal health.

If you want to take the work we’re doing here on the podcast and go even deeper, you need to join the Feel Good Sisterhood - my group coaching program for women in midlife who are done with dieting, but still want to feel good! The Feel Good Sisterhood is open for enrollment, so click here to discover if group coaching is a right fit for you and your goals.

I am so excited to hear what you all think about the podcast – if you have any feedback, please let me know! You can leave me a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, which helps me create an excellent show and helps other women who want to get off the diet roller coaster find it, too.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode

  • The importance of prioritizing mental well-being and contentment over fixating on size and weight, recognizing that one can be happy and healthy at any size.
  • Avoid constant comparisons about weight and diet choices and promote more supportive conversations.
  • The pursuit of weight loss is often driven by discomfort or dissatisfaction, highlighting the misconception that weight loss alone will solve all associated problems, underscoring the need for a deeper understanding of the issue.
  • Stacey’s journey from leaving a corporate job to starting a consulting gig highlights her increased self-value and confidence in offering expertise in HR and finance, particularly for women.
  • The significance of open communication in relationships, challenging the tendency to prioritize a partner’s happiness and emphasizing the importance of confidently expressing one’s desires autonomously.
  • Learn about Stacey’s journey towards gaining confidence and feeling liberated, embracing her true self, and shedding negative mindsets and overanalysis.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Episode Transcript:

I was to a point in my life really, I was done with dieting. I feel I’ve been on a diet since I was 10 years old. I was a heavy child. There was a divorce in my family when I was young. And that seemed to trigger a weight gain from being kind of a normal sized child to always being the biggest girl in my class, not being very athletic. It’s not like it affected my life in other ways. I still feel I had a good social life.

But it was always on my mind what I weighed, and it didn’t really matter what I weighed. If I weighed something a small number to me, if I weighed a big number to me, it was just an obsession. And I was just done with being obsessed about this number and what I thought it made, what it said about me.

Welcome to the Done With Dieting Podcast, where it’s all about designing the life, you want in midlife. I’m your host, Elizabeth Sherman, a master certified life and health coach, personal trainer, nutritionist, feminist coach, and specialist in women’s hormones.

Are you tired of scales, food logs, and strict diets? Struggling with hormonal symptoms and the challenges of aging, changing relationships, and entering the next phase of your life? You have come to the right place.

Here, we talk about food freedom, nurturing a better relationship with your body, and feeling great again. All without the weight of traditional dieting methods.

Through a mix of solo podcasts and conversations with industry experts, I’m here to guide you towards a healthier, happier you.

Join me as we explore ways to look and feel better and strive for optimal health regardless of where you are in your journey. But more importantly, to reclaim control, confidence, and joy in this beautiful stage of life.

This is the Done With Dieting podcast. Let’s dive in.

Hey there, welcome back to another episode of the Done With Dieting Podcast. I’m your host, Elizabeth Sherman. And today, we have an incredibly inspiring episode for you. I cannot wait to introduce you to someone who has transformed her life in the most incredible ways over the past year.

But before we dive in, I want to ask you, have you ever found yourself stuck in a constant struggle with weight, self-perception, and societal expectations? If you’re nodding your head, today’s episode will definitely resonate with you. I have a former client of mine, Stacy, a brave woman who has dared to redefine her relationship with food and herself.

From being a 10 year old on Weight Watchers, she has embarked on an empowering journey to love herself unconditionally, a journey that has brought her from corporate stress to consulting confidence. In today’s episode, Stacey shares the liberating journey that she undertook, not just with her body, but also her mindset. Her transformational story is raw and relatable.

And she’s here to share her insights, her learnings, her experiences, and all of it with all of us. We’ll also be exploring how changing behaviors and setting personal goals can play an instrumental role in your transformation. Trust me, you do not want to miss this enriching conversation and stay to the end because we talk about so many amazing things.

So, if you’re ready to be inspired and uplifted, let’s jump right in. Welcome Stacey to the Done With Dieting Podcast.

Elizabeth: All right, everyone, welcome Stacey to our podcast today. I am so excited for you to hear about Stacey’s journey and her transformation because she has done some incredible things over the past year. So, Stacey, welcome.

Stacey: Well, thank you so much, Elizabeth, for having me. I mean, your podcast has done so much for me as a sister. And I want to say welcome to all of my sisters out there, because I know you’re all out there if you’re listening. And truly the happy circumstance that found me to you has changed my life. And I’m excited to talk to everyone about it today and share with Elizabeth things that happened while we were talking that she may not even know happened.

And then, things that have happened since, I wouldn’t say we stopped because I always feel Elizabeth in my head and in my heart. And not quite what would Elizabeth do, but I have her little sayings in my head. I call them, “Elizabeth’isms.” And they’re kind of helping me still and I don’t think it’ll ever go away. So, I’m really excited to be here and to share my journey. And if it helps anyone, amazing. Let’s do this.

Elizabeth: Fantastic. Thank you for being here. So, let’s start at the beginning. Well, we met about a year ago, right?

Stacey: Yes. Yes.

Elizabeth: And you found me on one of my coaches podcasts. So, let’s talk about that and then what your circumstance was that you were like, I think that Elizabeth might be able to help me.

Stacey: Yeah. So, I heard you on like you said, one of our coaches, and I’d followed her before, Kara, and I always say her name wrong. And she was interviewing you and two other coaches that were working with women who are in midlife. And you were coaches working with midlife’s in different ways.

Frankly, I was 51 at the time, I’d already had a hysterectomy, I’d gained some weight rapidly, I’d gained like 20 pounds in six months. And I was just at my mental capacity end of my dieting years. I really was just done with dieting.

And when I was in my head, done with dieting, and I hear this chick’s got in a podcast called done with dieting. I kind of put two and two together. And I started listening to your podcast, I would say last summer, maybe after you did the podcast.

Listen to it for a couple of months and just the more you talked and more the topics in the podcast were just resonating with me, like I go on my walk, put the podcast on and hear the music and just whatever the topic was seemed like, oh my gosh, I need to talk to this woman.

And because I was to a point in my life really, I was done with dieting. I feel I’ve been on a diet since I was 10 years old. I was a heavy child. There was a divorce in my family when I was young. And that seemed to trigger a weight gain from being kind of a normal sized child to always being the biggest girl in my class, not being very athletic. It’s not like it affected my life in other ways. I still feel I had a good social life.

But it was always on my mind what I weighed, and it didn’t really matter what I weighed. If I weighed something a small number to me, if I weighed a big number to me, It was just an obsession. And I was just done with being obsessed about this number and what I thought it made, what it said about me.

And when I listened to your podcast, it really spoke to me about, there was another way to live and I was intrigued and then we talked. And when we talked, we connected, I still think you’re amazing, a total disclaimer here, I’m a total Elizabeth fan.

But we connected from your experience in corporate life, I’ve done that kind of stuff too. And just your approach, and something in the background too that I realized after we started working together. When I was in college, I almost went to graduate school for women’s studies.

So, I realized like, after we worked together, there was a strong feminist element in me, but I couldn’t name it at the time. And now, I’m realizing that that part resonated with me. That I had always been sensitive to the structure that we live in is maybe not all we should think it is. And that didn’t really come out till after we started, stopped working together.

But that’s how we found each other. I wanted to get off the roller coaster. That’s exactly what the entrance to the podcast said at the time, I believe. And I was just done. And the other thing is I gained about 20 pounds in six months. And it’s not so much I wanted to lose weight anymore. It’s just if I was going to be what I considered bigger, I would be happy with it.

Because I do believe people can be happy at any size, they can be content, they can be physically fit, but I wasn’t mentally there. And I just kind of wanted a black and white, and Elizabeth called me out on this all the time about my black and white thinking. But I just wanted to be happy. I wanted to stop thinking about food, stop being beating myself up daily about it, and just be happy whatever size I was going to be.

Elizabeth: Yeah. That is so good. And like, that’s probably the point that I was at when I went through my journey that I was like, look, I cannot beat myself up about my weights and not do this diet thing perfectly. Like, something’s got to give. I don’t want to be doing what I’m doing when I’m 70 years old. And it sounds like that was the same mindset that you had too.

Stacey: Yeah. Very similar. It’s just I was feeling so bad about myself and talking to my partner, he always said, I don’t care what you weigh, but I am so sad it makes you so unhappy. And that’s more why he always supported whatever trick, or program, or book, or whatever I read over the years is because he could see what a mental toll it was taking on me. And I knew it was a mental toll.

Like you said, I didn’t want to be an elderly person or whatever time I have left on this earth to be obsessed about points, calories. When I go to a restaurant, I need to order like, I’m dissecting, you know, I don’t know what. But like, I’m dissecting the menu and I’ve got to find out four days ahead of time where I’m going, so I make good choices.

I had no faith in myself that I could do it by myself. And your methodology, you were so confident the whole time that I would find my way. And honestly, I didn’t believe you at first, maybe I did it. I don’t know. Maybe I didn’t hide it. But you were so confident very early on that you will find your way and being on somewhat the other side and you know we’re always going to be learning about ourselves.

I did and I don’t think about food constantly and I know whatever situation I find myself in, I will be okay. And I will make adjustments and some days are food fest and some days are not. And it’s a part of the journey and yeah, I was just wanting to be done with the mental gymnastics is the word I used with you.

I just wanted to be done with all of that. And for the most part, I am. It still creeps up, but for the most part, it is.

Elizabeth: Great. Let’s come back to that because what I want to do first though, you glossed over it in your introduction is when your parents divorced, you gained weight and then you started dieting and you have a rich background of dieting.

You were a Weight Watchers leader, you were in Weight Watchers for years, you and your family bond over diets. So, talk a little bit about that experience.

Stacey: Well, you know, as a child, I knew I was overweight and I do believe everything that my family did to support me was with the right intent to help me, you know, kind of blend in with other children to not be concerned about that because back then in the 80s and 90s, we didn’t talk about it from a health perspective. It was very much from a, Oh, she’s big. I got told a lot I have a pretty face. You know, if you have such a pretty face, if only. I think I heard that so many times and something I really ingrained in my head that something was wrong with me because I was bigger than the other girls in my class.

And I didn’t really realize how big until as an adult with the beauty of social media, somebody’s put up pictures from when we were kids, and I can see I’m clearly the biggest girl. If I’m not the biggest, I’m kind of next to the biggest. And that really weighed on my conscious as a child that there was something wrong with me.

I mean, academically, I did fine. I excelled academically. I had friends, I had boyfriends. But this one thing seemed like if I could just get this taken care of, life would be perfect. And we’ve discussed with a lot of comparison myself with other women or girls at the time.

And yes, it’s been something that I can see in my family and with other girls too, but especially me, like I was on probably Weight Watchers my entire life in some way up until about 45. So, that’s a pretty long time from about 10 years old to 45, where I finally said, I don’t think so, something’s not resonating.

So, yeah, it’s a bonding thing. I find it with other people too, not just my family, but you know, girlfriends, everyone, it’s what are you eating? What are you drinking? Oh, that the passive aggressiveness. Oh, I wish I could eat that. Oh, or you’re so good and that the more I have consciousness about it, about how much we comment on each other’s behavior. Instead of just, Hey, Elizabeth, you do you, Stacey, I’ll do me. And let’s talk about something else.

So, yes, it’s always been a part of my social life. It’s always been a real part of my childhood up until it was from like 10 until I was about 30. That’s when I kind of lost a big chunk of weight and kept it off for a really long time. But even then, I was not small enough in my head. I could never be small enough. Even when I was smaller, I was not small enough.

And yeah, I don’t know if I quite answered your question there, but it’s always been like, if you take the four chambers of your heart, I think it was like 25 percent of my heart. The entire time I’ve been alive until like six months ago.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Well, and I remember going back to, it was never enough. I remember at one point; we were talking about you getting down to 150 pounds. And I don’t remember the question I asked you, but we were talking about the inner critic. We were talking about self-trust. And I asked you, what would you think, or would 150 pounds be enough?

And I think that that was one of the turning points where you realized, Oh my God, you know what? If I get down to my goal weight, it’s not going to be enough.

Stacey: Yeah. No, I remember it clearly cause I always think my perfect number, if I just reach 135, the angels are going to come, and life will be perfect. And you asked me, cause there has been a point that I was 135 and you asked me, what was I thinking when I was 135? And I said, I’m not small enough. I need to be smaller.

And that was very eye opening that moment of, Oh my gosh, because I’m not that right now. But even when I was that it wasn’t enough. So, that really opened my eyes to, it was my thinking, not so much my physiology, but what was going on in my head.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Because diets are neither good nor bad. Like diets work, right? The reason that they stop working is because we feel deprived on the diet. And so, we stop doing the things. And so, like finding a way of eating that’s right for you, which it sounds like you’ve done, really changes your relationship with food. Yeah?

Stacey: Yes, I mean, and it’s something else I read recently. Yes, my relationship with food is much different as far as I don’t feel it’s reward. It’s not I don’t do the deprivation. We had cupcakes in the house last week and I ate them, I ate one every day. Because I know they’re not a whole, it’s just a cupcake, just a cupcake.

So, yeah, definitely there’s not the deprivation feeling anymore if I really want something, I want something. And then, if I eat it, you really taught me how to pay attention, how do I feel. And so, I think kind of in our process, we talked about how did I feel after I ate it. And then, the kind of magic that ended up happening is that how me thinking that before I ate it.

So, there’s a cupcake in front of me, how am I going to feel after I eat it? And do I want to kind of take those consequences? And that’s where like we slow and that was a process, that was not like honestly, my sister’s out there. I thought she was going to tell me exactly what to do. In 2 months, I was going to be losing all the weight I wanted to and I would did not know what we’re going to talk about the rest of the time.

But really what happened is that you just introduced techniques to slowly start peeling away back that culture of, you can have it, but you own the choice. And I do own the choice now, I even hear myself if I eat something that maybe I wasn’t planning on eating. This is my choice for right now, I might make a different. And then, just leave the future out of it. Where before I was in diet culture, I really had like a schematic of how my day was going to go. Like, you know, eat a little bit here, because I’m going to go out to dinner, so I’m going to eat too much.

That thinking has gone away. I really kind of do it meal by meal and there’s peace to it. There’s peace where I just did not have peace before.

Elizabeth: Yeah, that is so good. I love that. So, let’s talk a little bit about the time commitment because there were a few times when we met throughout the process where you were like, Oh, now I understand why we work together for a period of six months. So, explain that in your words to why I don’t give you the rules of what to do and in two months you’re fixed.

Stacey: Yeah, and I have to say I was disappointed by that. I was disappointed about anything. Really, and yes, that’s what I thought it was going to be like, she was going to give me a plan and you did quasi give me a plan, and I was so wanting to do good on it because I’m such an A plus student at everything I do.

And then, it kind of wasn’t working and she’s like, well, just use it as a guide. And I almost freaked out. I mean, I really had some anxiety. Like, what are you talking about? I can listen to myself. And so, the first couple of months we did talk a lot about what I ate. But not in a diet kind of way of, I would present to you a situation and you’re just such an expert about picking out the one little thing that, like you just did, where I would kind of gloss over it.

And then, you would pick up on it as the expert coach you are saying, well, let’s go back and talk about that. And those usually were the most insightful things about my behavior related to food, especially. And with one great example is we tend to eat a lot of fast food. We don’t go out to sit down restaurants as much, but we do tend to eat out fast food a lot.

And before menopause, I would say I didn’t have a problem with that. I usually could, you know. I didn’t do the, Oh, I’m going to run five miles and eat a Whopper. I wasn’t quite like that, but I could regulate basically fast food based on my activity and my other food. It was never an issue. But I find after menopause that fast food does kind of affect me a little bit differently.

So, I kind of glossed over that, Michael, we ate out again. And she said, well, let’s talk about that. And we would explore, okay, what happened before? Why did I go to fast food? Why did I go off my plan? And it was never an accusatory, I did something wrong. It was more curiosity. And that’s a word that I kind of keep really close to me these days. It’s curiosity, like, Hmm, interesting. Tell me what happened before.

And that’s a great example of the mind shift that happened of the food part is because now when we talked about it, I realized, we went out to eat when I did not leave my house all day because I worked from home. So, now, I have a tool instead of eating out, I probably will go get a coffee somewhere. And then, come home and then I don’t need the fast food because I don’t need this, that activity around it.

So, those are the kinds of things we talked about, I would say the first two months. And then, it went deeper and that’s really where the magic started happening for me. Like really the changing from Oh, there’s something wrong with me. Why can’t I just stick to a program, blah, blah, blah. Let’s find out why do I have these patterns?

What am I thinking? What am I making my food choices mean about myself? What do I think about the number? Like we just said, what does that number mean to me? You asked me one time, what if I first came to you too, because I was having some issues with my legs seemed to swell, when I sit too long.

And you asked me one time, what if that never changes regardless of your weight? And that was a powerful question. Because I was so focused on the result, and I think the last part of it was really talking about the behaviors disconnecting from me being a good or bad person because I didn’t get some result that maybe I didn’t even think about that I just thought would get me to a goal because I’m a goal oriented person.

But that was really the secret sauce of the last four months, I would say. Like the first two months were really more the mechanics, a little bit for me and I’m sure every client’s different. But the last four was really digging into my behaviors. What did I want? And I don’t think I really ever had asked myself that before. What did I want? It was always just wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.

Instead of what do I want my life to look like? How do I want to be able to eat? And what was I willing to do? And we just dug through that. And I learned so much about myself that I never took the time to listen to before. Because I was so focused on, oh, I don’t fit into my clothes, that I never went deeper. And the deep dive is really what has got me to sense of peace. That took totally, worth it. Totally, worth it. .

Elizabeth: Well, and I think that you bring up a really good point, which is like when we decide to lose weight, we do it because of some sort of, I’m going to use the word pain, right? So, something that like stings or we’re like, okay, my knees hurt or my legs are swelling, or I saw a picture of myself that was not flattering that I looked fat.

And so, therefore, I need to lose weight. And something that you just touched on there is we expect that the weight loss is going to solve those problems and sometimes it might. Well, actually no. We don’t know that weight loss is actually going to solve the problem of the knee pain or the swelling. It’s possible that changing the way that you eat will reduce that, but you might not get weight loss along with it.

But as far as the photo goes, right? I still get pictures taken of me that are unflattering.

Stacey: Yeah. Yeah. I do have something funny to say about this. Also, during the time that I started working with Elizabeth, I became a trainer at the gym that I work at. And it’s a circuit training, and a couple of weeks ago, I was doing something with dumbbells. And it was in front of the mirror and like, oh, my God, I look amazing. I could see my biceps popping out. Oh, yeah, I look great.

And then, I turned to the side. And then, I didn’t like that view because I could see the chicken wings a little bit and I could almost hear you talking to me and I said, you know what I’m going to do? I’m just going to go back to the way I liked it. So, I just moved myself and went back to the way that I liked how I looked. I was like, and then that’s all it is, right? It’s perspective and some angles are amazing, and some angles are like, meh, not so much, but it’s all perception.

Elizabeth: Yeah. So, when we started working together, one of the things that was going on in your life is you had just stopped working a corporate job and you were kind of in between positions, and now, you’ve actually started a consulting gig. Is that right?

Stacey: Yeah, that’s absolutely right. I’d say like, when I first came to YouTube, beyond the other reasons we said, I thought I was a hot flash mess. I had left a corporate role and I was a little lost and a little like, what am I going to do with my professional life? And yes, now I’m consulting again and very much in the same, similar vein as what we did together as I do from an HR perspective. Kind of like help people figure out.

It’s probably not the surface issue. Let’s go deeper. And let’s make sure that we’re solving all the issues and all the layers with care and kindness cause I do believe like right now, employment in America is nuts, unemployment rates are really low. So, it’s important that companies do take care of their employees and have good things in place.

But like with our work, it’s like, but there’s choices and you have to do what’s right for you as a company. But yeah, so that is absolutely, yeah, I went back to the consulting world. And then, I also have my training gig, my exercise gig. And that’s been interesting too, watching that process of people exercising.

Elizabeth: But what’s really interesting about your creating this consulting gig is that I don’t know that you were really able to appreciate the value that you bring to the HR world. Because you specifically talked about, and feminism worked within this relationship because you were like, women are historically heads of HR, and I am really strong in HR finance.

And so, I have something a value to give to the world. And I think that that’s something that so few women explore, right?

Stacey: I think so too. And I think the more we worked together and some other books I’ve read since then. My confidence has grown so much about what value I can offer people. And I did have this silly linkage about what I physically looked like.

How did I show up at meetings? Was I doing something stupid? I am hard of hearing, I wear hearing aids. So, sometimes meetings can be a challenge and I would get all beat up myself about that. Like, Oh, I didn’t hear something. I look stupid.

Now, I have much more confidence about it is that that’s just me. That’s the beauty that is me. I am amazing at what I do. I offer high value. And how I show up is how I show up because I’m authentic. and I’m not trying to be anybody else, and I do know my stuff.

And yeah, you’re absolutely right that getting back in touch with that was also a part of this process. And that’s something I didn’t expect. I thought you were going to just check off that one little box, and that’s why I’m so glad that your practice is really going in a different direction because it did help me 360. It wasn’t just one part of my life, it affected all of my life and in a very positive way.

Elizabeth: Well, and I think that that’s actually really important because we think that the problem is the food and exercise, right? That if I just find the right diet and exercise, then I’m going to be thin. But it’s all the other areas of our life that impact why we choose the different food and whether we exercise or not. And it’s also a self-referencing thing that our health then impacts the other areas of our life.

Stacey: Yeah, it’s really interesting too, because I would not have put all of that together before that my confidence and power and value at work was related to what I was trying to do physically with my body. And through this process, I realized how it does all fit together. The power that I have autonomously as Stacey comes through everything.

The autonomy over my body, the autonomy over my work, the autonomy over what I say. And being comfortable that this works for me and not everybody, and that’s okay. And I don’t need to be somebody else because we’ve discussed it many times, and I’ve seen it very many places, is that there’s only one you.

There’s only one you, and you only have one life, how are you going to live it? And this has really gotten me to the place that I do know there’s going to be some changes as go along in this journey, but I’m very more confident where I am at this point than I was a year ago about the choices that I’m making all the way around in my life.

Elizabeth: So, let me ask you, how has this affected your relationship?

Stacey: Well, funny thing that happened with my husband and I find other people in my life is I’m much more specific about what I want. I realized, like, I really let life happen to me a lot. And didn’t really take in, I didn’t just express like anything, anything. Like, where do we want to go to eat? I kind of always would say, well, where do you want to go?

And now, I’m more direct. And that’s not a word I would have ever used to describe myself before this, that I’m direct. Like, I want Chinese food tonight. If he doesn’t want Chinese food, he can tell me, we can talk about it. I would be more passive in almost everything in my life.

I also didn’t ask for help at all. And I got into a lot of that patriarchy roles about who took care of the house and who didn’t. And now, I’ve asked him for more help and he’s amazing. I mean, he’s great. I find it too with my other relationships as well of being more direct about what I want. Just being an active person in my life, and that was really missing.

I think before I just let everything happen to me. If I got a job offer, I would kind of play with it. What are they going to give me? I almost never asked for compensation, talent, or negotiations. And now, I know this is my value and let’s talk. I think I’m more comfortable with the talking before and that’s what’s changed is that I’m okay if somebody disagrees with me.

And I was not like that before. If you disagreed with me, I would just cave in immediately. Because I didn’t like the discomfort, instead of, hey, I have a right to also be heard and you do too. Let’s try to find a compromise.

Elizabeth: Well, and I think that what’s really important about you talking about this is that historically, women lose themselves, which is I think what you’re talking about. When they have children, when they have families, neither of us have children. And yet, we both went through this whole process of silencing ourselves and becoming passive and becoming the best supporting actress in our lives, not the main star because of the way that we’ve been socialized as women.

Stacey: Yeah. On this side of it, total insanity because it’s not like we ever discussed this. It’s how we fell into a pattern over the years, and we’ve been together a long time. It’s just we didn’t even negotiate anything. It’s just what we did, and more me than him. I just assumed these things, responsibilities on myself and not realizing everything was up for talking about. And instead of regretting or resenting, that’s the word. Resenting actions, I would be cleaning, and I’d be saying some really interesting talk to my head. About why am I doing this, blah, blah, blah.

But not talking it out of just the assumption, and you’re right. And I thought not having children would have solved all of that, or not solved it, but that wouldn’t have been an issue. But it seemed like it still rolled over. We still went into traditional gender roles without even thinking about it. And now, I’m thinking about it.

And we still kind of lean more towards the gender roles traditionally, but I see they are changing as I’m expressing myself more. And in a conversational way, when I got home from the retreat, we went to lunch, I won’t say too much. But I just had a talk and I just said I went to the retreat, I learned so much about myself, I do think things are going to change.

And not in a mean way or not like, an ultimatum and he was amazing, and of course, he listened. But it was really like, I felt like I had to just tell him instead of just start doing things or share my experience, not even telling, just sharing the experience. I felt a life changing experience for me, and I felt I was going to change.

And for me to change, he would almost have to change as well. And maybe he didn’t sign up for that. But that was what was probably going to happen. That wasn’t something I would have done before either, being so direct about that. About I’ve had this experience and he knew working with you too, that I was changing along the way.

But when I got home, I really just made it a point to say change that because as an HR person, I know change is hard. Even good change is hard. So, yeah, having that advocacy for myself is something I think is very different.

Elizabeth: Yeah. So, I want to talk about the retreat, but before I talk about that, before you talk about that, I want to ask you, was that scary?

Stacey: Yes.

Elizabeth: But you survived.

Stacey: Right. And this is why this stuff is so full circle and I thought it was so isolated as I see this in sales conversations myself. Because I’ve never seen myself as a salesperson and I know that’s a critical part of my business is to do sales and I kind of had my first kind of sales call the other day. And I got done with it. I’m like, that wasn’t so bad.

And it was kind of the same thing when I had this talk with, I was really scared, what’s he going to do? But then afterwards, it’s like he was exactly why I married him, and it was not as scary. And that is a partnership as you both say to each other, what you thought. But before, I was more open to hearing his side of it instead of expressing my side.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Yeah. I think that so many of us get into this thing when we’re talking about our partners, where first, we think that we know our partners so well that we don’t even want to ask the question because we think we know how they’re going to respond.

But then, the second piece is really like our partners do love us, they want the best for us. And so, why wouldn’t we be honest and straightforward about what it is that makes us happy? They want to make us happy, right?

Stacey: Yeah. I do think that some of the programming we get is that our partner’s happiness is more important than ours. At least I feel that was some of the programming I got is that my job was to make sure he was taken care of. For me to do something where I thought might upset him, which I don’t even know why because like you said, when I succeed, he succeeds and he only wants what’s best for me.

But I think there was some deprogramming in with me is that if he had to do something I thought might upset him, then I wasn’t being a good wife.

Elizabeth: Well, of course. Sorry, I interrupted you. even when we’re talking about pleasure. You know, the act of intimacy between a husband and a wife or two people. The man’s pleasure is prioritized. And so, of course you had that thought that his emotional state is more important than mine.

Stacey: Yes. Yes. And it was like again, nothing I ever analyzed until we through all of this journey and then the retreat itself, because we did talk about this at the retreat too, is what does make a good partnership? And what do I want? And how do I talk about it? And how do I confidently express it and be fine with whatever his response is.

Because he’s an autonomous human being. And like you said, we think we know everybody so well, like anybody in your life who’s a friend or a family member. We think we know them so well, but we don’t. We only see a slice of whoever we’re talking to.

Elizabeth: Yeah. Ugh, so good. Okay. Let’s talk about the retreat. So, I hosted a retreat, my first retreat, and it was in my house, and Stacey came with five other women. And tell me about your learnings in the retreat.

Stacey: Well, I’ll go back a little bit. So, Elizabeth has several different programs, and I knew where I was at my life at that time, I needed to do one on one. I really did not I’ve been a part of many groups and I know my behavior in groups. I tend to not talk a lot. I tend to do a lot of comparison of like, oh, my problems are as bad as theirs or I want to make sure the other person’s getting their value of their time.

So, that’s why I didn’t do the group coaching that you had. I knew I needed one on one and that worked beautifully for me. And then, when you opened up the retreat, I was like, Oh my gosh, she’s so the amazing over zoom. I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like in person.

And just this idea of getting together, like minded women away from our daily responsibilities and away from kind of the noise of life that we have to talk about us and our futures. I think I signed up the first email you sent, like, yeah, give me that, give me that.

Elizabeth: I only sent two emails.

Stacey: I know. I know. I don’t know if my other sisters were feeling the same thing. So, a little different I didn’t know anybody else. I know they were a part of the sisterhood, but I thought if they were involved with Elizabeth, they were women I wanted to meet.

So, yeah, I went to the retreat, really just a fantastic event from start to finish. It went off flawlessly, you created such a community. By the time it ended, we were all, I think I was a little sad. I was like, what am I going to do when I go home, and I don’t have all these amazing women to talk to every day.

But it was just so impressive to be with that group, that high caliber of women who are talking about real life, real struggles, but so supportive of each other. I’ve loved it. You were such an expert facilitator of getting us to talk, but we really got to a point we were helping each other too.

So, it was truly a sisterhood. It wasn’t like Elizabeth got us together and all of us were watching her do something on a dry whiteboard. It was really rich conversations about our lives, what we were hoping for, and how we were going to get there. While I was there, I bought a ring from a jeweler, and I wear it because it reminds me of all of you. And when I look at it, it makes me think of all five, well, I think it was six of us at the end of it, six or seven.

And I think of all of you and I’ve kind of got that power of the sisterhood behind me when I do something like, oh, my sisters are with me. Kind of like my green lantern ring. But that’s how powerful of an event it was for me that just being, it made me realize how much I missed having women in my life as I did not, I have a few friends, but we don’t see each other nearly often enough.

So, it changed that too, that I’ve made more effort to get the friends back in my life, that sisterhood. So, it really was orchestrated wonderfully, everybody that was on the team to make it happen was wonderful.

And funny thing, a hindsight, I couldn’t believe we never talked about food. Never. Whether it was by design or not, I thought like you were at some point, not that you were going to put us on a plan or anything like a spa event, but we never talked about it. Because it was just provided, we ate, we enjoyed but it wasn’t like, you’re only going to get a lettuce leaf today.

Elizabeth: Well, and it’s interesting that you say that I was an expert facilitator because I realized that, well, not that I’m an expert facilitator, but rather that I am on this journey as well. Like when I was putting the retreat together, I was like, these are my issues as well.

And so, I was doing the retreat along with you. I had advanced notice of the topics that we were going to be covering. And I had done the workbooks and the work beforehand, but all of what was fascinating about the retreat I think was that everyone was completely different. Different ages from 65 down to 40. I forget and from different socioeconomic backgrounds and religions. And yet, we all had the same experience. And what the retreat was about was reclaiming authority over your life but doing it through the lens of health. Right?

And so, really seeing that like you were talking about before with assuming the secondary roles in our life, and then asking ourselves, what do I want? My time is now.

Stacey: Yeah. And when I say expert facilitator, it’s because you were expert about bringing this out in us. It took a little while, it took a little couple of hours, at least before we really started opening up.

But there was definitely some magic happening at one point where you could just see this shift in everyone. You could see the shift in our body language. We were really not that anyone truly had a facade when we first got there, but by the end of it, you could just see the comfort level that we were feeling in our bodies.

It was very visual and just the flow of how we talked was just so rich and I just had not ever experienced something like that before with other women. Well, maybe ever. Maybe ever, because usually when I’m a part of a group, we’re doing something, we’re not talking about ourselves, we’re doing work, putting on shows, putting on programs. There’s a purpose for the group, it has nothing to do with what’s going on our inside work. And that was really just, it was just phenomenal, phenomenal.

Elizabeth: So, let’s talk a little bit about your life today. It’s been a while since we’ve been working together. It’s been a while since the retreat ended. What’s going on? How are you? How are you feeling? What are you experiencing on a daily basis?

Stacey: On a daily basis, most days are fantastic. I mean, it’s really, life is 50 50, so not everything is like all my problems went away. I would say, how I view my problems has changed. If something comes up, it’s a bump in the road. It’s that’s what it is, a bump in the road. I can tell too; I deal with negative emotions better. I used to eat my negative emotions a lot.

And now, when I’m sad, I even realized that the other day something happened, and I was very sad. Something made me cry and I was in bed, and I said to myself, I am sad and that’s okay. It’s okay that I am sad. I don’t need to do anything about it. I don’t need to fix it. I can just be sad.

And that was like mind blowing to me that I would have that slowdown of a thought of it’s okay, I just can be sad. So, I’d say, that has definitely evened out a lot in my life of whatever comes, I know I’ve got the tools for it. Like I said earlier in my consultancy, I’m much more confident. I’m much more confident about going out there and being myself.

And I will attract the right clients. Not everybody will like me, but I don’t like everybody. It’s kind of funny with before I thought everybody needed to like me, but realistically, I don’t like everybody. So, why did I feel this had to be the other way around? I don’t know.

So, I’m much more confident about presenting myself as I am. I even changed my hairstyle and I know that may seem superficial, but my hair has been waving my whole life and I stopped blowing it dry straight. And it’s been so freeing and that’s kind of like how the whole process has been day to day. I just feel freer. Liberated. That’s the word I used before to a friend when I was talking about my work with you. I feel liberated.

It’s not that everything got fixed, but I feel liberated from a lot of negative mindsets I had and just over, over analyzing, overworking. And one thing I wrote down in my journal a couple of weeks ago was I realized I don’t need to fix every situation, every person, every problem, and this includes me.

And just that statement was so soothing for me. I don’t have to be on this hamster wheel. I have the tools; I have the knowledge. Some days are going to be great, some days are not, and that’s okay. And that’s really what I wanted from all of this was just peace.

Elizabeth: I don’t have to fix me. Like how beautiful is that? Because there’s nothing wrong with you.

Stacey: Exactly. Exactly. But if you’d asked me a year ago, if I would have ever said that I don’t do this, I don’t have enough of this. Not even just physically, I don’t have this, I don’t have that. But now it’s just, there’s nothing to fix. I’m great. I’m great the way I am. Tweaks, maybe. Maybe not, my choice.

Elizabeth: Well, and I think that that’s actually really strong and powerful. And I think this is probably where we’re probably going to end. Which is we think that we need to fix something in order for us to feel good about ourselves. But the truth is, that there’s nothing wrong with us and there’s nothing to be fixed. And when we can accept ourselves, warts, and all, that’s when it all goes away.

Stacey: Yeah. And that’s been exactly my experience. Having that thought of, I don’t need to fix anything. I wouldn’t say everything went away every day. But 95 percent of it is gone, and that I would have never ever thought after a lifetime of beating myself up that I would be like this.

Elizabeth: Ugh, my heart.

Stacey: Right? I know. You’ve truly have changed my life and the sisters as well. And that I’m forever grateful that I’m grateful to myself that I did it, that I invested in it. I’m grateful to you for your expertise and not just your expertise all the way around that you are a trainer as well, like a professional fitness trainer. All of your knowledge, just with so many things that I needed. And I wouldn’t got the just from somebody who has been to us.

The inside, the outside, as I was transitioning to a job that was a little physical, helping me with that. It was just that classic thing, when the student’s ready, the teacher appears. And that’s how I feel our experience is because it still is, it’s ongoing.

Elizabeth: Yeah. So, is there anything that we missed? Anything else you want to add?

Stacey: Ah, let me look at my notes. I don’t think so. Because I know you and I can talk forever.

Elizabeth: We could talk for a while.

Stacey: But no, just to say that happy to answer any questions if anybody ever wants to ask me or just reach out to me. The easiest way to find me is on LinkedIn. And my name is Stacey Oliver-Knappe. My first name has an E, S T A C E Y. And my last name is O L I V E R hyphen K N A P P E. I’m the only one on LinkedIn, go figure.

So, I’m really easy to find. Happy to help all of you. But my last word would be just reach out to Elizabeth. If you’re thinking about it, reach out to Elizabeth. Reach out to me. You will not be sorry because I’m not. Every day I’m grateful for it.

Elizabeth: Thank you for being here.

Stacey: Thank you.

Well, we have come to the end of this powerful and inspiring episode. I truly hope that Stacey’s journey has resonated with you in some way. Whether you’ve struggled with weight, food, relationships, or self-perception. There is a lot to take away from this conversation. We have discussed the reality of societal pressures that women face on our self-image, the importance of personal transformation, and the power of setting goals.

Stacey shared her liberating journey of redefining her relationship with herself and food, from struggling with weight to finding her inner peace and confidence. Her story of moving away from a corporate job and starting a consulting gig and the incredible retreat experience that we shared, truly showed the power of change and courage.

It’s proof that transformation is not only possible. but it’s within your reach if you want it. If you know someone who’s in a similar struggle with dieting or figuring out what she wants in life, I encourage you to share this episode with her. It could be the spark that she needs to start her own empowering journey.

And if you’re ready to get your eating under control and step into your own journey of self-transformation, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m here to support you and to help you realize your potential, just like Stacey did. Coaching can be an invaluable tool on your journey to self-love and contentment.

To inquire about coaching, you can schedule a consult call with me. Just go to, and the link will be in the show notes along with Stacey’s contact information. And if you’re interested in the upcoming retreat, which can be a transformative experience like it was for Stacey, go to, and that link will also be in the show notes.

Remember, this journey is all about self-discovery, self-love, and empowerment. It’s about changing your mindset and your life for the better. You deserve happiness and contentment, and you have the power to make it happen.

Thank you for tuning in to this episode. Here’s to your journey of self-love and transformation. Until next time, keep moving forward and embracing the power of change.

Have a great week, everyone. See you next time. Bye-bye.

Hey there, I am so glad that you spent this time with me today.

Are you feeling inspired to take control of your health, but not quite sure where to start? Or maybe you’re ready for that next step towards food freedom, body neutrality, and consistent eating habits. Either way, I’ve got something just for you.

If you’re a woman in midlife who’s done with dieting and ready to embrace a healthier relationship with food, your body, and self, let’s connect. Whether you’re interested in private coaching with me or my amazing group coaching program, we’ll discover what’s perfect for your unique journey.

So, why not book a consult? It’s a chance for us to chat one on one, explore your needs, and find the path that’s meant for you. Just head to and let’s get started.

I truly believe that transformation is within your reach and I’m here to guide you every step of the way. It’s your time to shine and I can’t wait to support you in this amazing journey.

Thank you again for listening and remember, I’m always here for you. Take care and I’ll see you soon.

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