In her late 30s, Amy Tsai was frustrated she couldn’t achieve what she wanted in her business, which led her to meditation and introspection. Then she learned that her mom had made a conscious decision when she was an infant NOT to pick her up when she was crying. This information helped her unravel the feelings of frustration that had been showing up in her relationships her entire life. After working through these issues, she feels much less stressed - and characterizes stress as a belief system that can be changed.
Amy Tsai has been a health & fitness coach for women for 25 years. She has helped women lose their weight for good, get strong in their bodies and overcome their mental obstacles so they can live an energetic and fulfilling life.
Since turning 40, almost 14 years ago, she has been focusing more on helping women navigate through hormonal and physical changes along with their weight challenges as this can be difficult and sometimes feels like there’s no solution. But there are solutions to stubborn later-in-life weight. Just because women are older doesn’t mean they have to suffer in their bodies. No way! In fact, Amy believes in the opposite, you can reach all your weight-loss goals and live your best life yet.
In this episode of the Forty Drinks Podcast, Stephanie interviews Amy Tsai, who shares her journey of self-discovery and personal growth, which led her to start her own business and overcome deep-rooted limiting beliefs and relationship patterns. She discusses the importance of mindset work and meditation in her transformation, as well as the impact of her earliest childhood experiences on her self-worth and relationships. Amy also talks about the power of emotional freedom and the role of stress in our lives. Throughout the conversation, she emphasizes the importance of believing in oneself and finding joy and happiness in life.
Highlights from the episode:
This episode offers valuable insights and inspiration for anyone going through a midlife transformation. Don't forget to rate, follow, and review the podcast if you enjoyed this episode.
Does your relationship with your parents affect future relationships?
Abso-get-down-lutely! The way we interact with the world and the people in it is based on our experiences with our parents and caregivers in our formative years. We develop securely when our parents and caregivers show that they are paying attention to our basic needs from our first moments all the way through our childhood. Attunement is absolutely critical for us to develop a foundational feeling of safety and an understanding that we can trust the people closest to us. When these needs aren’t met, we are likely to develop what’s called early childhood or developmental trauma. And when these issues are left unresolved, attunement wounds can lead to serious interpersonal issues throughout our lives. When that attunement didn’t happen well, or where we have early or developmental trauma, we can have trouble in our relationships, from becoming a people pleaser to becoming a sex and love addict.
A special free gift from Amy: Master Food Cravings
Download Stephanie’s guide to the Ick to diagnose whether you or someone you love is suffering from this insidious midlife malaise. www.fortydrinks.com/ick
The Forty Drinks Podcast is produced and presented by Savoir Faire Marketing/Communications
Stephanie: Hi, Amy. It's nice to meet you. Welcome to the podcast.
Amy: Hi, Stephanie. Thank you so much for having me.
Stephanie: It's truly my pleasure. Last week I talked to my guest, Rachel, about dad stuff. And I think today we're going to talk about some mom stuff. Am I right?
Amy: Yes, we are. Some really good stuff. Juicy.
Stephanie: Really good stuff, okay. So why don't we start by setting up the story just a little bit. Tell me a little bit about sort of like childhood, early adulthood, get us to where our story starts.
Amy: Right. Well, as I recall being a child, I was always very happy. I never felt like I was lacking in anything. So I seeked attention when I wanted it. I didn't have problems socialize with other children. I always felt like I got what I needed. Until,
Stephanie: until.rted my business in December,:
Stephanie: I also started a business in 2007, kind of went out on my own. And so I know from my experience, and the early years are always tough. So let's just sort of leave that as a baseline. But was it for you kind of like dig, dig, dig, work, work, work harder, harder, harder to just try and like churn what you wanted to churn? Were you doing that and spinning your wheels or were you smart enough to say something's not quite right here, let me figure that out?
Amy: It was both actually. I was like, push harder, work harder, do more, do more, be more, you know, all that stuff, but also for the last 18 years of my life, I also had an energy healer. He was a healer who I've been seeing. And, my stepdaughter had moved in with us and I had always struggled with the, the dynamics of my husband, his daughter, and I, and he once said to me, because your business is not going to do well until you overcome that piece. And I'm like, well, what does that have to do with anything?
Stephanie: Right. Right. I'm smart. I'm a hard worker. I do the right things. Come on. I'm doing all the right things.
Amy: Yeah. right. But what ended up happening was, is the issues I had around the harmony amongst my family was really a reflection. She was a reflection of me. And even though we were talking about mummy stuff, there was also daddy stuff, that he was a reflection of my father. So literally it was like looking in a mirror every time there was conflict in the house.
Amy: So if I can't help myself and figure who I am, how I'm going to help others, even though I had been doing it for 20 years in my fitness business.you started your business in:
Amy: Yeah, so I'm a fitness trainer, so I trained clients in fitness in terms of for strength, weight loss, and you know, the usual stuff that most of my clients were women back then as well.
Stephanie: Okay. So you just had gone from being a trainer somewhere to being out on your own.
Amy: No, I was always a trainer for myself. I'd work for myself and then I went from a trainer to a health coach. Less about fitness and more about mindset stuff, right? Overcoming emotions and emotional eating and that sort of stuff.
Stephanie: Oh. Okay. So how had the fitness business gone though? Was that successful?
Amy: It wasn't bad. It never got to where I wanted it to go and I couldn't understand why either. Cause it was like, I'm a hard worker. I wake up at five, I work till eight PM. And it was like the same kind of thing, but I wasn't thinking how that's going to change in relation to my new business. I just thought, well, I can't train clients forever because it's very physical, I need to transition into more of a coach role. So it's a little bit more sustainable for me and then I also wanted to help women over 40 because of our hormonal issues and weight loss and all the struggles that women have, not just in our forties and fifties, but it starts at a very young age as we all know, right?body. And when you started in:
Stephanie: And so that's where you kind of got a little hung up because you couldn't figure out why the recipe wasn't working, even though you had all the ingredients,
Stephanie: Your special sauce was off.
Amy: Yes, it was so off.
Stephanie: Okay, so you're starting this new business and you know something's off and your husband has told you something that you sort of have no idea how to comprehend. Where do you even go? What do you do? How do you start?
Amy: I know, right? Well, that's a big question. I mean, luckily I had my healer, so he's known me for 18 years. I had also hired three coaches.
Stephanie: Tell me which kinds. What do you got? What do you got?
Amy: It got very expensive at a business coach at a communication coach and had a sales coach and they all kind of overlapped, right? in some way, so they talked about all the practicalities of business, like marketing and sales and what have you, but they also overlapped in the mindset piece. So that's what got me on the train of like, there's something missing, there's something missing. I got to figure it out. Right. So that's kind of how I started searching for answers.
Stephanie: Okay. And what did you find first on your search for answers? After the coaches, of course. Where'd you start?
Amy: Where'd I start? Was a lot of reading, a lot of books, anything on meditation, anything on, you know, goal achieving that's related to mindset work. What's a good one? Psycho-Cybernetics was a great book. Talked about a lot about mindset. There's a whole bunch of books that I read and it was everything had to do with mindset work, it was in the practicalities of it. So it's about belief in yourself. And I'm a happy, jolly person every day. So I never thought that anything was bothering me, clearly something was in my way. And I couldn't figure out why. And I realized, Oh my goodness, it's me, it's my belief system. Even though on the surface, my belief system is this happy, jolly, hardworking person, but it's this inner deep stuff that was getting in my way. And it was through a lot of like time in my mind and in my body. So the pandemic just came at the perfect moment because we couldn't go out, so I went in.
Amy: So it was perfect. I was happy not to go out, I was happy to meditate. I meditated like an hour, two hours, three hours a day, and yeah, and just sat there with myself. So meditation could be, it's just really sitting with yourself and waiting for things to come to the surface. And I just asked a lot of questions. One thing about me is I've always been very inquisitive, inquisitive about the outside world and in some cases always wondered about myself, but a lot of times it took a long time for me to get the answers. And well, and bit by bit, the answers came during the pandemic when I went inward instead of outward. So that was really opportune.
Stephanie: Okay, so we're in the pandemic, we all know what that was like and just sort of everybody being at home with nothing to do. But, how does one meditate for two hours a day or three hours a day? What's even, again, the practicalities of that? What does that look like?
Amy: I know, right. It's mind boggling. Well, I've always dabbled in meditation. 18 years ago, I started dabbling in it and I didn't really have a community of people that I could talk to, just was a girlfriend of mine she was very good with her third eye, which is kind of like the inward eye where she can kind of predict the future and see the past and all that kind of stuff. And I kind of played around with it, but I didn't really know what was happening. So I kind of took a break there for quite a while. Cause when I met my husband, I've always felt like I was being distracted and it was really hard to meditate. And then once I figured out I needed to quiet down. I basically said, this is what I got to do. I'm going upstairs. And, uh, don't bother me until I come out. And, the easiest way to do is to actually follow a guided meditation. If you can find something that's at least 20 minutes or 30 minutes long, or even longer, that's more ideal. However, the marketplace right now, there's a lot of short meditations, which is not bad either. Right? But people feel like they have to complete a meditation for them to feel good about it. But you can, like, do a 30 minute meditation and just come out at 20 minutes or 10 minutes and it'd be okay,
Stephanie: Right. Right. We don't always have to accomplish and finish. As a matter of fact, in meditation, that's probably the opposite of what you're supposed to do. Mm
Amy: But I remember the first time I meditated, I didn't last 10 seconds. I literally didn't last 10 seconds. All of a sudden, these thoughts come flooding in. Then you just push it aside and just keep pushing aside. You just can't get hung up on these thoughts that keep coming in. You just gotta go, Oh, there's another one. And you push it aside. And over time you, learn to create a, like a longer meditation and for a lot of people it's challenging, so what I usually suggest is meditation or deep breathing. Something to focus on might be a little bit easier for some people, I also did do a lot of work with Dr. Joe Dispenza. I'm not sure if you're familiar with him.
Stephanie: I've heard the name. Mm hmm.
Amy: Yeah, so he's big into meditation and I went to a couple of his retreats and basically it's a week long retreat where all you do is meditate.
Stephanie: Oh God. Good for you.
Amy: But the thing is is you know when there's a thousand people doing the meditation the energy and the vibe of everybody meditating, it kind of sucks you in a little bit. So you learn to meditate for long periods of time. And, during that inward period, lots can happen. So it's literally, if you're outside looking into this conference room of a thousand people, you'd like, there's like nothing going on here because people just sitting in a chair, but in your own mind, you're like, wow,
Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So that's helpful. Cause that means that you had some, let's call it training and guidance, you went to meditation school essentially when you went to these retreats. So this was something that you had at least a sense of, quote unquote, how to do it. Right. And, I know there's no wrong way to meditate, but I think for a lot of people, if you don't meditate, the first couple of times you do it, you think, well, I'm doing it wrong. And the monkey brain starts to chatter and you go, well, obviously I can't meditate. I'm one of those people who can't. Right? So I'm just trying to get into how you sort of dove into, and again, the pandemic helped by clearing the slate, but how you dove into some, some pretty significant space and time spent inward.
Amy: Yes. And there's lots of people out there that offer meditations. Wayne Dyer has some online meditations that are good but there's a whole slew of people out there providing longer meditations and guided ones are easier because it allows you to focus on something versus focusing on nothing when to that monkey brain all the time.
Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So here you are investing in this meditation and spending this time and tell me what kinds of questions you started asking? You said you were curious. What kinds of questions did you start asking and looking for answers to?
Amy: Right. So why can't I make six figures? You know, I'm busting my tail like we all are like, why, why is it so hard? Like what's going on? Why can't I break six figures? Why is that? Mechanically, you're doing all the right things, so what's the problem? So you start asking yourself and then you start asking yourself, like, why did I end up with, you know, my husband and all the experience that I've had in my life, and I realized, okay, I broke up with every single man that I dated. Like nobody dumped me, I dumped them all. Why was that? And it was fear of being hurt or not good enough, or, you know just all these other personal issues that you don't realize are happening until after the fact, until you actually sit quiet in your mind and really understand why these things are happening and it's because of my childhood experiences, right? And, I found out from my mother about three months ago, yeah, about three months ago that she didn't pick me up as a baby. She didn't pick me up as a baby, not because she was trying to be a bad mom. She had my brother first, who was 11 months older and every time she put him down, he'd start crying. So she never got a break. So she felt like she had to carry this baby around and now she's got another one. So she thought, okay, you know what? She's fine. She's been fed. She's been changed, she'll quiet down and eventually fall asleep. Well, that changed everything for me when she told me that becauseI remember when I was about three years old, we're in Japan at a zoo and the giraffe thought that she had something in her hand, like food. So the giraffe was coming towards her hand and she's holding me in the other arm and I was like, no, don't, don't get your hand down. I was afraid that this animal was going to take her hand away and she kept teasing me so I could feel the frustration and it came up in meditation and literally what happened was in meditation, I was literally back in my three year old self and I could feel myself wiggling in my mom's arm like as if it was that exact moment 50 years ago.
Amy: So it was that frustration, of trying to get her to listen to me, right? And how that showed up in all my life. And then for her to tell me that she didn't pick me up as an infant, I realized that that frustration started when I was an infant. The moment I was born till probably I could walk, that frustration of calling and crying for your mother that never came,
Amy: You know what I mean? And then that instance at the zoo, and then my frustrations with all my relationships, you know, cause I always felt that same level of frustration. I'm not getting what I need. I'm not getting what I want. So I would break up with them until the next, the next man, until the next man, until the next man, all of sudden I was like, I just, I broke up with every single one of them. Why that's so bizarre.
Amy: Usually at some point, you know, one breaks up with, it's kind of equal or whatever, know, but it's never so one sided,
Stephanie: Yeah. Over the decades, it should even out.
Amy: it should be exactly. And then I was like, Oh my goodness. So all that frustration of an infant showed up through my entire life. Through my work, through my school, through my friends, through my career, through trying to be successful with my business and so on and so on.
Stephanie: So there was not a lot of nurturing in your childhood,
Stephanie: but yet you say it was a happy childhood.
Amy: Yeah. Like, you know, I played right. I had friends. Iplayed with my dad. I played with my mom. When I think about it, I never really played with my mom. It was more like my dad when he came home from work, know, so happy to see him, I'm climbing all over him. And it's like, daddy, daddy, like, every kid does when your dad walks through the door. I realized that my mom raised me, but I never felt like I was cared for or nurtured,
Stephanie: Mm hmm.
Amy: even though in her eyes she did.
Stephanie: Well, that's what was gonna say. Have you mentioned this to her?
Amy: No, I haven't I'm still trying to, you know, go like, wow.
Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah.
Amy: also, and we also have a language barrier. So, you know, we came to Canada, we all went to school. I was six or seven years old. So we went straight to school. And my dad told my mom to take English classes and she refused to, cause she has self confidence issues, self worth issues, right? She was afraid of being in a new culture and having to learn and so she didn't learn English well. So I speak English fluently, as you can tell, but my Chinese is like very broken. I only speak Chinese to my parents and my mom only speaks Chinese and barely speaks any English. So I realized this like literally just during the pandemic, I realized, Oh my goodness, I can't communicate with my mother.
Stephanie: Wow. Had you ever realized that before?
Amy: No, never.
Stephanie: Well, how have you communicated?
Amy: Broken, it's called Chinglish.
Stephanie: okay. And so just day to day stuff is fine. You can get by with,
Amy: We could manage.
Stephanie: again, the mechanics of life. Mm hmm.
Amy: Mechanics, yeah. I mean, you can't really get into deep conversations about anything because there's a, there's a bit of a barrier, you know? And I was like, Oh my goodness, I can't even communicate. The communication is very superficial, you know, very mechanical. So, yeah.
Stephanie: how do you feel about that?it was literally this year in:
Stephanie: Oh my God, hold on. I'm trying to process this.
Stephanie: So it wasn't really until you started doing this internal excavation and finding things and deepening that understanding of yourself that you realized that you couldn't communicate on that level with your mother.
Amy: Yeah. Like we couldn't have a conversation like this.
Amy: It's more like, Hey mom, do you want to come over?
Stephanie: Right. Come have dinner.
Amy: I'll make dinner. Yeah.
Amy: You know?
Stephanie: Oh, wow.
Amy: Yeah. So we don't have that deep connection. And I also realized I was like, wow, I don't really have a close connection with them. It's not deep. It's not close. It's not nurturing. know, I realized she raised me, but she didn't nurture me at all. And perhaps because she didn't get nurtured as a kid, because, she's 82, right, that generation. It's like you have babies and you, you know, they just go and do whatever they have do
Stephanie: Yes. Wow. I'm really kind of blown away by that realization of not even being able to communicate with her. But for the last 50 years, it wasn't issue because you communicated as much as you needed to.
Stephanie: Do you wish you could communicate with her more in a deeper way? Like have this kind of conversation? Do you wish that you could do that?
Amy: Yeah, for sure. I mean, I do now, because now you're like, you know what, I'm 53, she's 82. And she's my mom, I love her to death and she loves me to death, but it just was never developed
Amy: from the moment I came out,
Stephanie: Right. Right.
Amy: it wasn't something that happened just recently, this is my whole entire life.
Stephanie: Do you get a sense of her that in her world, over in the Chinese world, is she a deep person herself, or?
Amy: No. She's a child. She's a child herself.
Amy: She's a child herself.
Stephanie: Why do you say that?
Amy: Like not a deep thinker. Her emotions aren't deep. Yeah, it was never developed herself.
Amy: It was never developed herself.
Stephanie: So, even if there was no language barrier, these conversations would probably not be wildly fruitful between the two of you.
Amy: Perhaps not, probably not. You know, I just think of what is and what isn't versus what could be, you don't really know what could be.
Stephanie: Right. Right. We're always dreaming when we say that, yeah.
Amy: So now I just make the best that I can with the relationship that I do have with her, and I could see that she wants more, but she can't express herself. Yeah. So I know better, but maybe she doesn't know better.
Stephanie: And how are you interpreting that she's wanting more? What does that look like?
Amy: I just hug her. I hug her more. When we sit on the sofa, I sit right up next to her. Like as if I was, you know, six,
Amy: My inner child, you know, yeah. I touch her more. I kiss her.
Amy: I do more that way. I just show her as opposed to expressing it verbally.
Stephanie: Got it
Amy: And I could see that she's receptive to that.
Stephanie: So now that you've learned some of this about yourself, tell me how you have reconciled that with your experiences through your adulthood, you know, in your twenties and your thirties and your forties, how does that change the flavor of your experiences or your memories.
Amy: Well, you realize that you are good enough, right? Because a lot of times people in general or women, especially as we have challenges in terms of achieving, in my world, in the health and wellness world is to get to their ideal body weight and to be happy in their bodies, regardless of their weight and size. Right? So it's really that internal belief and that we actually are good enough. These are just experiences that happen to us in life. It doesn't put a stamp on us and say that we are good or bad, these are just experiences. So that was probably the biggest lesson. Even though you know it in your brain and in your mind, your body is still feeling that pain,
Stephanie: Mm hmm.
Amy: so it's reconciling that piece. It's not so much in the brain world, but in the body world because in the body, for humans, is that our body stores all their experiences, good or bad, and it does put a stamp on there, right? And that was a bad experience, so therefore it shows up in your entire life, like it did for me. It showed up in terms of not feeling good enough in school, so therefore I don't feel good enough to have the relationship that I want. Not feeling good enough to earn the money that I wanted and not feel good enough to have the things that I want, you know, like, material things or what have you, right. So that's where it all stems from what happened in my infant. So I didn't even have a chance
Stephanie: Right. Right. Yeah. Right at the starting gate.
Amy: Right at the starting gate!
Stephanie: Ha ha ha ha ha. Oh my goodness. goodness.
Amy: So it's reconciling that and go, you know what? I am good enough. These are just experiences. That's all they are. That's all they are. You can call them good. You can call them bad, but you can just call them experiences and they're neither good or bad. It just was. It just is and that is it.
Stephanie: You said something about having the mental concept of the experiences and then the body concept where these experiences leave a mark or leave footprints. How is it that you have started to work through some of that piece where, as the book title is, The Body Keeps The Score?
Amy: Yeah, that's a great book to read. That's my book. haven't read it yet. body keep the score.
Stephanie: Yeah, it does, it does.
Amy: It does! Absolutely does, right, wrong, good, or bad, right? It does keep the score and it's really about reliving those moments because what tends to happen is that we don't allow ourselves to feel. Right. So therefore, it's like emotional eating. It's like you're feeling stress, but you don't want to feel stress. So what do you do instead? You put food in your mouth, for a lot of women, right? So instead, you got to allow yourself to feel those emotions. So it's literally layers and layers and layers of this stuff, and it's all interconnected with other emotions. So let's say, for example, for me, it was frustration. It could be frustration, not feeling good enough, it could feel anger, even resentment. So if you had one was frustration times 10 other emotions and you multiply that, that's 50 layers that you got to get rid of. Just giving you a hypothetical, but essentially that's kind of what it looks like. So bit by bit by bit by bit, I'll allow myself to feel those emotions and it does diminish. It actually does diminish. I'm actually in a course right now where I teach women to basically get rid of their progra programs and conditioning, because that's what these experiences are, they're programs and conditioning.
These moments keep repeating itself, right? Just like it did for me in school and work and how I earn my income and friends and so on, it keeps repeating itself. So that frustration that I experienced when I was an infant, it kept happening through my whole entire life until I deprogram myself from that and that's how we overcome these types of things.
Stephanie: And how do you know that you have deprogrammed? And I know you said you've got a tool you're working with and that's fine, we don't need to talk about the tool itself. I just want to talk about the outcome of the before and the after. How do you know that it's different?
Amy: Yes. That's a great question. You don't feel triggered anymore. Because for a lot of women, we know when we're getting triggered for the most part, the general stuff, right? We know when we get triggered. We know what it is. We know what the triggers are. So when we do this work, all of a sudden you can even just think about that moment, reliving that moment, it doesn't trigger you. And you're like, Oh yeah, it was just a moment. It just like passes you by. It's almost like it belongs to somebody else, like somebody telling you that story. And then it feels like nothing.
Amy: Literally you can feel it. So when you feel, then you know for sure. That's what's great about it is that you can deprogram yourself and then you have, then it's like emotional freedom,
Amy: right? That's what we all want is emotional freedom,
Amy: right? Because these triggers gets us upset, gets us feeling guilt or shame or discomfort of some sort, or stress, or loneliness, whatever the feelings
Stephanie: Mm hmm.
Amy: Exactly. And it's that emotional freedom that we're all seeking. Cause it feels like jail.
Stephanie: Sure. Sure. Okay.
Amy: Especially if it keeps happening over and over again. And what tends to happen is women start beating themselves over the head. It's my fault. I can't do, I have no willpower. I'm not strong enough. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But it's really not their fault because we haven't been taught the right things. We've been taught to believe that it's our fault. It's not our fault. It's just what happened.
Amy: It's not our fault.
Stephanie: Interesting. Yeah, I remember this in my 20s, I used to say, I have zero willpower. Like, I couldn't even buy willpower at the store. So it's, it's funny to hear you say willpower issue.
Amy: Yeah, it's not a willpower issue
Stephanie: It's not a willpower issue interesting. Interesting.
Amy: And motivation is another misunderstood one as well. We're not, we don't understand motivation and therefore we're not using it to our advantage and therefore we beat ourselves up for not having the motivation. But when we don't understand how motivation comes about, then we feel like it's our own fault, right? It's like, I'm not motivated, it must be me.
Stephanie: Right. yeah.
Amy: But it's actually action precedes motivation. So, let's say you're sitting on the sofa, you come home from work and you know you should go to the gym. Your brain is going, I should go to the gym, your body's sitting on the sofa going, Oh, it's so comfortable here.
Stephanie: Mm hmm.
Amy: And it's this battle, I should go to the gym, but it's so comfortable. I should go to the gym. It's so comfortable. So your brain's telling you one thing, your body's telling you another brain, body, brain, body. It's like World War Three happening right there on the sofa. But if I said, stand up right now and walk to the door. You'd stand up, you walk to the door, next thing you know, you grab your bag and you're out the door, you go. So the moment you start moving, that battle is just gone.
Amy: So the trick that I tell my clients is three, two, one, go. It's like my husband would be like, don't get up. It's 5am. I got to go. Right. I got clients to train and people to see, and he's yanking at me. I'm like, uh, uh. I go three, two, one, I get up off the bed.
Stephanie: Yeah. Yeah.
Amy: because of course I want to lie in bed. It's five in the morning.
Stephanie: Right. Right. Oh my goodness. So you've been working on this now for a couple of years. Tell me how things have changed for you.
Amy: Oh yeah, that's a great question. Well, I'm definitely way less stressed because we both work from home. And unfortunately my desk, the worst thing you could do, but I don't have a choice at this moment, my desk is in our bedroom. So you could just imagine, right? Bad, bad, bad, bad. And I know it. So every time we go on vacation, I would feel completely de stressed. The moment I come home, I could feel the stress go up and nothing's even happened. It's just the idea of work being at home and so on. And I started recognizing the difference between stress and no stress, stress and no stress. Then through all this work, I started like just taking that stress down and just working on myself. Because stress is really a belief, right? It's a belief system. If you're stressed, basically your belief that things aren't going to work out. If you're worrying and stressing about something, that's your belief system. Right. Why do you believe that things aren't going to work out? Well, maybe then it goes back to the feeling of worthiness, self esteem. If I don't feel good enough, you're going to stress and worry, then you're going to feel it in your body. Like they say, stress is the new smoking. Women are so stressed that they don't even know that they're stressed anymore. I didn't even know it.
Stephanie: Right. It's just a baseline.
Amy: Yeah, I would only go on vacation, I would feel the difference come back and so I kept going away and coming back just to see what the difference was, see if I can kind of taken it down and really tackling that belief system is really how you de stress like to truly de stress yourself from whatever's going on because there's nothing you can do, but whatever's going on, we all got to work, we all have responsibilities, we all got stuff to do. Right? So how do you get rid of stress? It's not about doing less, it's about tackling that belief system.
Stephanie: Yeah. Another way I've heard stress described that I really like is stress is the difference between how things are and how you wish they were.
Stephanie: Right? So, if you can just get comfortable with how things actually are, even if they're not how you would like them, then that will reduce your stress. And even if that means you now know or need to work towards changing how things are. But even just the wishing that things were different, that's what causes stress.
Amy: Yes. And there's a great book. It's such a great book. The guy's name is David A. Singer, like singer, singing singer, and it's called The Surrender Experiment. And he's a yogi, someone that went down that yogic path and he decided to do an experiment and just allow things to unfold, his life to unfold however, it may be. So it's all about letting go. His story is quite remarkable. Because I've been asking myself for 18 years, how do you let go?Even my energy healer would be like, Amy, you need to learn how to let go. I'm like, what does that even mean? does that look like? How do you about it?
Amy: What's the mechanics of it?
Stephanie: Exactly. And tell me what wisdom he shared with you because those are all my questions.
Amy: You have to see yourself as you and the rest of the world. Right. The rest of the world is moving about whether you're there or not. So if I'm at an intersection, that intersection, cars going by, people go crossing there, whether you're there or not, it's happening. So if you put yourself in that corner, trying to cross the street, those cars and those people are still going. They're not happening to you. They're happening in front of you, you don't have to take it on, so just allowing things to be and you're just there in that moment. So you have to be able to separate yourself from the world out there and you yourself and not be affected by it.
Stephanie: Right. My friend April, who was on a bunch of episodes ago, she talked about when she started getting a handle on some of her stuff, her baggage, the first way she saw it showing up in her world was patience when she was in the car, because it's exactly what you're saying, right? If you're at that intersection and you want to take a right, but there's all this traffic coming so now you're getting pissed off and you're yelling at the traffic because you can't take a right. And it's like, it's got nothing to do with you. And it's like, look down the street and watch the traffic signal down the street, cause when that turns red, you're going to get a break and you'll be able to take your right. So it's like, looking further, looking outward, realizing that none of that has anything to do with you.
Amy: That's exactly right. And if you can overcome traffic and weather, you're on the right path.
Stephanie: Oh, nice. All right, couple of hints. I feel good about both traffic and weather, so couple of checks in my column today. Hahahaha
Amy: All right, Stephanie. Right. Weather is another one. Oh, it's just so crummy out. Well, it's, it's not crummy out. It's raining.
Stephanie: right. right. The ducks love it.
Amy: Yeah. You know, you decided to add crummy on there, but you don't have to. Psycho Cybernetics talks about like detachment. Sticking to the facts, is it raining? Yes, it is. That's it. Is it raining harder or softer? Okay, we can talk about that, but if it's crummy or not crummy, that has nothing to do with the rain. This something that you've decided to describe the, the rainy weather, right? So if you can overcome rain and traffic, you're good.
Stephanie: All right. I'm glad to hear that. We're on our way then. So tell me about your business. Has your business flourished since you've been doing this work? Have you seen indications that this work is having an impact in the place that you initially identified it and wanted to have the impact?
Amy: Yes, it's slowly changing. I use how my business is going as a reflection of myself. So do I need to do more work? Do I need to do less work? It's always more work,
Amy: But yes, because there's always layers. There's always layers you can take off. So it's slowly changing, for sure. And I'm starting to see a difference because here's the thing is I only want to help women because women understand women and women know what women go through and women know what it feels like to not be happy in their own bodies, whether it's because you're unhappy with your body or because your weight or your size or your shape or whatever it may be, right? It doesn't have to be that way. We're not put on this earth to suffer, we're on this earth to enjoy life and to experience joy and happiness. Right.
Stephanie: Mm hmm.
Amy: And that's my true calling in terms of like, yeah, we don't have to suffer. Suffering is not part of the equation here. And that's what I love to do.
Stephanie: One of the things, so you were just saying about how women understand women and some of the experiences and you had shared a story with me about when you were in school as a small child, you said you were the smallest one in the class.
Stephanie: Tell me about gym class.
Amy: Oh yeah. Okay. Hopefully all the kids that I went to school aren't listening to this, but I know they didn't mean anything by it, but yeah, I was a smallest kid in my class. So, in the school picture, I was at the front row at the very corner so couldn't get any smaller. So, gym class, because I was a smallest, weakest kid, I wasn't very athletic at all. So in gym class, the teacher would say, okay, we'll pick two strongest athletes in class and make them team captains and then they would pick their teams. Well, I was picked last or second last every single time. This is every week at school year for 10 years, from grade two to grade 12, 10 years times, I don't know how many weeks of school year, but you get picture a lot, a lot. I would stand there and just cringe cause I knew that I was going to get picked last and not only I knew I was going to pick last, everybody in the classroom knew I was going to, and I realized it didn't matter who was team captain. I was going to be picked last cause I'm the smallest. I was the least athletic, I couldn't catch a ball. And I remember it would be volleyball or something, the other team always wants to hit it to me because knew I, Right. And the moment the ball's coming to me, I'd be like, ah, just be like the sweat that come over me because of the fear of not being able to get that ball over the net. Right. And that affected my self worth and my self esteem for my whole entire life. I didn't go to university right out of high school. I took about three years off. I dated a man that was 16 years older than me when I was 18. I went to university when I was, uh, 26, did it part time and worked full time to get me through. I couldn't find something that I loved to do, so I changed careers every two, three years. I never lasted anywhere. And every time I quit my job and got another one and quit my job, I end up at my healer and be crying. And one day he goes, Amy, what makes you happy? I'm like, I love going to the gym, and right then and now I was like, Oh, meanwhile, all my friends have told me that I didn't listen.
Amy: And then that's when I quit everything and I started my training business. And that's all I've done since then. And I was probably about 30, I was probably about 36, maybe
Stephanie: Mm. So, for crying out loud, Amy, we talked to see whether you had a transition around 40, and there it is! There is.
Amy: You were going to get it out of me sooner or later,
Stephanie: I knew there was going to be something. You had a career change in late thirties to finally decide to do the thing that you loved.
Amy: Yes. And the thing was, is I was already doing it part-time. It was really that transition into full-time, and that's what it was. And the moment I did that, I was like, yeah, I'm so happy I could spend 12 hours at a gym.
Stephanie: Right. So it was something you were doing part time because you knew you loved it, but you probably, and I'm totally projecting here, but again, going back to the worthiness issue, you probably didn't feel like you could make a business out of it or right? Who am I to decide, who am I to be a trainer?
Amy: Yeah. Exactly right. Meanwhile, all my friends, Amy, you should be a trainer. I'm like, nah.
Stephanie: Right? Right?
Amy: In the end. Oh, yeah. I should be a trainer.
Yeah. Right. Right. Well, that's like when I started my business, I love this. I left my last full time job and not well, I was escorted to the front door, if you catch my drift, and I ended up working with a career coach at the time. It was a woman I knew and she sat me down and she said, this is it, it's time, we're working together and you will find the money. And so we worked together for a number of months and we did all these assessments and I was about the same age as you, I I think I was like 36 and, um, and, you know, a bunch of them I rolled my eyes at, I was like, I'm 36. I know what I'm good at. But some of the assessments were helpful and useful. So, you know, yes, Sheila. You were right. But, it was like five or six months. So I was doing that and I had decided to do some freelance work because I needed to just pay some bills. So I said, let me do some freelance work. Well, I had a really strong network at the time, and so I was being hired by friends and people I knew and people I had met along the way. And five or six months in, I kind of looked up at my coach one day and I said. Well, what if I did this? Like, what if I actually did this? And, and she kind of basically was like, welcome to your future. I thought we were working together to find me a new job. And there was none of that. So once I finally decided to do it, I went around telling people and to a one, not one single person in my life was surprised, except me. Except me, I had no idea I was going to start my own business. And I love this. There was a guy who, I've told him this recently, actually, I was on his podcast recently. A guy who used to work for me, I was hired as the associate publisher of the statewide business magazine and he was the editor of the magazine. And,shortly after I started the business, I saw him at an event and I was like, Matt, I started my own business. And his response was, and I quote, yeah, and? And I told him that recently and he was like, I didn't say it to be a jerk. And I was like, Oh my God, I know exactly how you said it. He said it as if it was inevitable, that it was going to happen, so why should he be surprised? And I was like, Hey, look at my new surprise. This is what I'm doing now. And to a one, everybody in my life was like, Uh huh, Steph we were all waiting for, we all knew, We all knew. Yeah. No, sure. I totally get it. Well, congratulations.
Stephanie: Thanks. Thanks. So I like to say my baby is 16 this year. My little marketing business is 16. And I should check my language, she's not little at all. My beautiful marketing business turned 16 this year. And then my infant, my podcast, turned one this year. So.
Amy: Oh, wow. That's so awesome.
Stephanie: I'm a proud mama of two little businesses. Oh, rambunctious cat who drives me nuts. So, but I have my hands full with all my babies.
Amy: I get it. Mine's only four. Four. Four.
Stephanie: You know what? That's a great age. That is a great age for a business. And frankly, you know, you're continuing to do it. So that means it's a success already.
Amy: Well, thank you. Yes. It's all about like never giving up. Right. no. Yeah. Like that, that perseverance is the key.
Amy: Just believing. Believing.
Stephanie: Yeah. Even when you're the only one who believes.
Stephanie: Or even when it feels like you're the only one who believes. Yeah. There's a little bit of that in the back of my head with my podcast, cause of course we do this and we want to get our message out and we want to share it with the world. And it's been a little over a year and it's like, Oh man, I wish it had grown. I wish it was bigger. I wish I was reaching more people but you just have to keep going.
Amy: Just got to going.
Stephanie: One foot in front of the other one episode after another you just keep
Amy: Just have fun. Right? And this stuff is fun. Podcasting is fun.
Stephanie: Well, you know, I get to have these amazing conversations with people like you, where, we're strangers to each other at the beginning of the episode. And, but we do not have the like, how are you doing? How's the weather conversations? We get to have like really juicy, fun, cool conversations. And so to me, like I could do that and it's like they say, I would do that if nobody paid me and I would do that anyway, cause it's just cool and fun and kind of lights me up. So anyway, that's my story. Amy, I just want to say thank you so much for being here with me today. This has been wonderful. In all the episodes I've done so far, I hadn't really touched on any mom stuff yet. So it's really interesting to start, investigating that angle of these midlife transitions. So I appreciate you being so generous with your story.
Amy: Well, thank you very much for having me. It's a pleasure for me as well.