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AMY PORTERFIELD: Well, hello there, my dear Online Marketing Made Easy listener. Today I have something new and exciting that I want to tell you about, something near and dear to my heart. I've been hard at work creating a brand–new podcast. It's a limited-time, twelve-episode series, and it has nothing to do with online marketing specifically, but everything to do with showing up just as you are in business and in life. In addition to continuing to bring you Online Marketing Made Easy episodes every single week, I’m also taking on a new challenge, one that's pretty different from the business content I'm known for. I want to talk to you about our bodies.
I don't exactly love talking about my body publicly, but that's exactly why I've pushed myself to have the conversation out loud. The idea of this podcast started when I was on a road trip with Rachel Hollis and I shared with her some of my insecurities about my weight and about being so public in videos and images and just putting it out on display. And then that conversation moved to us talking about weight issues and body–image challenges on her stage at RISE, in front of 4,000 women. Yeah, that's how Rachel rolls. And I thought I might die, but I didn't. And then that conversation led me here, telling you about a new podcast that I'm hosting in partnership with Rachel Hollis's production company, 3% Chance Production. The podcast is called Talking Body.
Now, I know you might be thinking, “Whoa, that's out of left field, coming from an online–marketing expert.” But what I found over the years is that while I've experienced personal and professional success, I’ve always had this nagging feeling that I wasn't living up to the standard of how I should look. And—I've shared this before—to compensate for my ongoing battle with my body, which I always see as my weakness, I've always sought approval in other ways, like overachieving, especially as an entrepreneur.
And while this is the most vulnerable I've ever been, in this series I'm on a mission. I'm on a mission to get some clarity and understanding around the ever–evolving journey of body image and self–acceptance. And this is not just about me. So many of you have told me that you don't want to be on video. You don't want to take pictures for your website. You don't feel comfortable taking up space even in your own businesses. And I know that if we tackle this hard, important subject together, many of you, my dear listeners, will find the courage to stop hiding and start playing a bigger game. I know this to my core. When it comes to business, I've always been the teacher, but when it comes to body image and self–acceptance, I have to be the student. And I'm hoping you'll come along on this journey with me.
I'll be speaking with body–image experts and thought leaders as well as women from all walks of life, and I’ll venture way outside of my comfort zone in the hopes that somewhere out there is someone who can help us sort out all of the complicated feelings about our bodies. Ultimately, because I am the student, I personally want to find the answer to a few questions that have been nagging at me for a while now, one being, Can I love my body and still want to change it? I do still want to lose weight. And also, Do I own my self-image, or is it just another product that I post online? And, How does my experience as a white woman differ from those experienced by women of color? So these are just a few of the many personal questions I want to explore.
This is a podcast that will bring you real, raw conversations around body image and how it affects our personal and professional opinion of ourselves. This all relates to the work you're doing, building your online business.
I can't promise you that at the end of these twelve weeks we'll have all the answers. But I can promise you that I'll be right there by your side for the whole thing.
So, my friend, while this is a big, bold leap for me, I want to invite you along with me for this eye–opening and transformational journey over the course of these twelve episodes. And I wanted to give you a little glimpse of what this will look like. So enjoy this clip from my interview with Rachel Hollis, where we announce Talking Body.
AMY: But sometimes it's just really hard to get out of your own way when I've never experienced, no one has ever experienced, something like we did in 2020.
RACHEL HOLLIS: Right.
AMY: So it's kind of led us to today, where we're doing this podcast Talking Body all about, you know, what it looks like to love yourself and want to change, or what it looks like to accept yourself but also have all these issues around it. I mean, the conversation, I appreciate you inviting me to have this conversation on your platform, because I feel as though you have so many women in your audience that it's going to resonate with, it has hit home with, right?
RACHEL: Well, the reason that we started talking about this is that I was—I mean, this was, it's got to be a year and a half ago—
AMY: I think so.
RACHEL: —that we really started to dig into this. And I just kept seeing all of these women I know. And in my instance, it was professionals who were killing it, like building incredible businesses, had incredible careers, were, like, killing it in their personal life, just awesome. But we'd sit down and we'd talk, and then it would be like, yes, all of these things, but why don't I have six–pack abs?
RACHEL: All of these things, but I should be a size four.
RACHEL: All of these—like, they had done so many great things, but they couldn't even be present in the successes because they felt like they were a failure because of something going on with the way they looked. And that to me just felt wild. Like, how could we possibly—this is not a standard that exists for men, right?
RACHEL: Like, look at CEOs and leaders, and you're just like, okay, that's what you look like, and you're also wildly successful, and the only thing you're owning is the success piece. But for women, it's like, no, no, you have to have it all perfect, and perfect based on someone else's narrative may be not even your own, or you’re failing completely.
AMY: Oh, a million percent. I have always had this thought in the back of my head—even though I've proved it wrong, it doesn't even go away—that I cannot be successful in my business overweight. I cannot be successful as a bigger girl. I cannot be successful if I don't look a certain way. And then in my head, Rachel—this is where it gets really scary—I'll be successful, and I'm like, yeah, but I bet I could have done better, I bet I could have made a bigger impact, I bet people would have listened to me more, really trusted me more, if I didn't wear my weakness so visibly.
RACHEL: Oh my gosh.
AMY: Right? These are thoughts that have gone through my head.
AMY: And this is the part of the podcast I hate. I hate telling you this. I'm embarrassed to tell you this, but I know I'm not alone.
RACHEL: Oh my gosh, no, but that’s so real. That is so real. Just the idea of wearing your weakness, like just that word weak, because what, you wanted a glass of wine or a fucking cupcake? Like, this is so—I'm not saying it's stupid. Like, you shouldn't think that. What I think is stupid is that we both grew up in a world and millions of women grew up in a world that taught us this. You didn't make this up in your own head. This is learned behavior. And of course, in times of stress like we've had this year, of course, you're going to sort of go back to coping mechanisms from the past because that's what you know, and you have way more experience doing that than you have about making great choices in times—
AMY: So true.
RACHEL: You know what I'm saying? So it is a process. It really is. It's not something I think that anybody is going to figure out, you know, oh, I'm going to make a decision and suddenly my life is going to change. I feel like my health journey over the last decade has been like two steps forward, one step back; two steps forward, one step back. But I'm still moving forward, just not quite as fast as I wish that I was.
And I mean, just the fact that you're willing to, number one, go on this journey, and number two, do it in a way where you're sharing it with other people feels like a huge deal.
AMY: It feels like a really big deal.
RACHEL: Here's my question. What is your true, no B.S., what is your intention? Like, what do you want on the other side of this journey? Because it can't just be that you want to help other people and sort of take them. It also has to be what you want for you.
AMY: So if I had, like, a wave of a magic wand, and at the end of the twelve episodes, like, boom, this were to happen, this is grandiose. So I don't actually think this is going to happen, but I'm going to go big first, and then I'm going to back up a little bit. What I would love is I would love to understand how to love myself, accept myself, be super confident in my body as it is today, right now, while also understanding it's okay and healthy to want to make myself better, to change my body in any way that feels right to me. Who cares what anyone else thinks? I want to stand in confidence of that as well. And the reason why that feels very big to me is right now I want to lose weight. I want to hit a goal weight. I want to look good in a bathing suit. And you know me, I will never go publicly in a bathing suit. Like, I want to have all those things. But I don't understand if I—here's where I get stuck—if I love myself, if I accept myself, then what if I never change, because I'm okay with who I am?
AMY: Like, it’s so—I don’t know if this even makes sense!
RACHEL: No, it does make sense to me because I thought this before when it comes to my ambition or my drive. Like, for the longest time I thought if I'm not this hard on myself, if I let myself feel successful, if I let myself have those things, then I'll lose the thing that really makes me me. And I find that that could not be further from the truth.
RACHEL: And it took me a while to really understand this, that when I allow myself to be present, when I allow myself to rest, when I allow myself to slow down, it recharges me and reenergizes the dream. It gives me what I need to actually go harder. And so I've learned, like, oh, you can go out there and you can chase this goal, but you have to have sort of this place of rest to come back to. And I think, you know, I'm talking about that in terms of ambition, but even when you're talking about your health, that place to come back to, that sort of touchstone, is this love and celebration of your body, because most women are taught to live in opposition with their body.
RACHEL: Our body is our enemy. Our body never does what we want it to. It's always letting us down. And it's like, well, shit, everything in you is wired to believe that you're wrong. Do you know what I mean? Like, there's something fundamentally wrong with you instead of accepting, like, look at this thing that it's doing, and not—here’s an interesting thing too. Like—okay, this is going to sound woo woo. Just go of me—every part of you is you. So the part of you, your brain and your spirit and your energy and your ambition that made you successful in business, that built this incredible life you have, is the same part of you that rocks those exact thighs, that booty, those boobs, those arms; they're all connected. But it feels like, and I'm sure there's that—I know you're going to talk to all sorts of different people—but I feel like what we most struggle with as women is the disconnection—
AMY: Oh, yeah.
RACHEL: —is the I'm going to love the parts of me that work in the way I think they should and disconnect, disassociate from the parts that I think don't.
AMY: Oh, one million percent. Which is why, like in business, so many of my photos and videos, at least in many, first ten years of my business, maybe not as most recently because I've been working on this, are, like, boobs up. Don't show the rest of me. I'm going to kind of disconnect from that. I'm not going to think about how I feel about my body in all the different ways, so just don't take any pictures of me below the waist kind of thing. That's the kind of stuff that I think is really sad, because although there are some men that feel this way, the majority, because I've spoken to many of them about this, they have never said boobs–up photos or—right?
RACHEL: Right. Right.
AMY: It’s not even a thing.
RACHEL: Yeah. It's a you thing.
AMY: It is. It's a me thing.
RACHEL: What’s interesting, too, is that I think—like, not that this shouldn't matter in the grand scheme of life, but it does—let's just be honest—when it comes to, like you said, that's sort of what men think. Well, what women think like, honestly what women think is like, you're so stylish. You always look good. Your hair is always good. You got makeup on. Your outfit’s cute. You're always pulled together. And that's, I think, what women notice. So it's like the men are like, yeah, slamming. Look at that ass. Girls are like, oh, her hair, like, oh yeah, with that outfit and that pencil skirt. Truly, it's the perception that we have of ourselves. Absolutely.
AMY: Yes. It comes back to the perception we have of ourselves. And I think that's where we really want to get honest with in this series and talk about that.
It's going to be awesome, and I think what I'm most excited about is, obviously, I'm the student. We're going to look to other people to teach us. We're going to have women of different races, different sizes, different backgrounds, different experiences. It's definitely not all about just me and what I think and feel. I want to explore what other women are thinking and feeling. We have this great segment where you'll hear throughout the entire twelve episodes of we're asking women questions, like women in your office, my office, around the world, What do you think of this or that? And to hear their answers, it‘s like, oh, my gosh, we're all so similar, even though we're all so different in many ways.
RACHEL: So good.
AMY: So it's going to be a journey, for sure. And I'm here for it. I can’t wait.
RACHEL: Well, the podcast is called Talking Body, with Amy Porterfield.
AMY: Talking Body. Yeah.
RACHEL: Yeah. And it comes out this week.
AMY: Yep. January 11.
RACHEL: Yep. We’re so excited to work on this project with you.