No Wonder It All Feels So Hard with Teddey Hicks
Your whole life, you've been told be more quiet.
You're too much. TOO LOUD. To opinionated.
No one wants to hear it...shhhhhh. STOP IT.
You've never looked "quite right", haven't really fit in, & didn't sound like everyone else.
But now - you have a business and you're SUPPOSED TO SHOW UP in public?
With a persona and a brand and an opinion?
"Create a platform!" they said. "Start your own show!" they said.
Um. After a life of being told to pipe down, how are we supposed to do this? Especially if we don't look, sound, or feel like "everyone else"?
That's what we're talkin' about today with Food & Body Love coach, Teddey Hicks.
Seriously real talk: how are we supposed to be visible in a world that's told us repeatedly to step aside?
Connect with Teddey here: https://www.foodandbodylove.com/
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Hey, welcome to today's episode of Content Creation Made Easy. I've been talking about how to do marketing that feels more human and more authentic to us so that it feels more like us.
I'm bringing on one of my friends, colleagues, and former client Teddey Hicks, who is a food and body love coach. Now, I've had Teddey on talking about stuff before, and she and I talk almost every other week about life and business and all of the things.
When she said something to me recently about the way she grew up and the messages she got about showing up, and how she was supposed to show up versus what it looks like in the real online world. I was like, "Oh, we need to talk about this!"
So Teddey, thanks for talking to me today. It was like an epic battle for us to schedule.
Let's start by telling people who you are and what you do, and then I would love for you to tell your story about this whole thing about showing up authentically.
Well, as you said, I'm a food and body love coach. I started as an intuitive eating counselor after having my own journey of recovery from an eating disorder. I really just got passionate about wanting to help other people get away from dieting, learn to love themselves, make peace with food, that whole thing, because many women struggle with that.
It's just an ongoing battle. I have an online membership, where my goal is to make it as easy as possible because when I went through my own therapy, it was like, six months of every night, hours of meetings.
My goal has been to make this process of making peace with food and not dieting anymore and learning to accept yourself feel easy and make consistent progress with that.
I use a lot of mindset and energetic techniques in my business, tapping, reiki, meditation, hypnosis. I feel like I've got a really good handle on how to reprogram when you have limiting beliefs keeping you from showing up in your business, reprogram those beliefs, and really do the things you want to do in your life.
You do a great job, and you do make it really easy!
I've done a lot of work with you and come a long way in terms of how I view myself, how to stop fighting with food and stop dieting, dieting culture. I've learned so much!
I also know that no matter how much you do this work, there's still all these old stories: maybe it's your parents or your friends or society or whatever it is about how you should look, which holds us back from marketing ourselves in an authentic way.
Even if it's not necessarily the way you look that's holding you back, you can just have this whole set of beliefs about not being smart enough, not being educated enough, not having enough certifications, not being the professional who knows everything and can answer every single question immediately.
The point is no matter what that thing is holding you back from showing up super authentically and really being yourself; you can fix it!
It doesn't have to just be a limitation - like a hurdle you have to jump over every single time you decide to show up online or wanting to post some content or do anything like that. Do you want me to tell you my story?
I totally do, but I just want to pick out something that you said.
You said you can fix it - your limiting beliefs.
What I know about you is "fixing it" doesn't mean looking like everybody else; it doesn't mean having to get that certification; it doesn't mean going from a size 14 to a size 10 or a size zero!
Fixing it does not mean getting in line to do what everybody else is doing. And I can't wait for you to talk about what fixing it actually means.
Yeah, in my mind fixing it is changing that belief because it's just an idea, right?
It's an idea that you have to do X, Y, and Z in order to be successful or that you can't show up for certain reasons. Fixing it in my mind means reprogramming that idea so that you can - regardless of whatever hurdle you think you have to jump over - you can still show up and be yourself and know that that's okay. It's okay to just be however you are in this moment.
I really wanted to make that clear to people because we're not talking about looking like everybody else being like everybody else.
We're actually talking about stepping into who you are - more of that.
My clients come to me, and they have this idea:
I don't look right.
My body is not acceptable.
And it's not okay!
I don't have permission.
I'm not allowed to have all the money.
I want to show up online, but nobody would love me.
All this stuff.
Fixing it means getting to the point where you love yourself, regardless of the shape that your body happens to be taking today.
You can show up and do what you want to do, even though you're not…whatever idea you have about what it means to be perfect or successful.
So can we hear your story?
So I am a classic: I grew up a little bit chubby, and my family was not okay with that.
From a very early age, I got consistent messages about not being okay about needing to change.
It was such a normal part of my life that I didn't even like to question it. I just felt like, yeah, you're right.
I'm inherently flawed. There's something wrong with me. I am not allowed to be myself because my body doesn't look the way you think it should be.
You drink the Kool-Aid.
I mean, it started when I was three - you grow up thinking a certain set of beliefs about yourself. Then all of a sudden, you get to be an adult, you're like, wait a minute, I can't do anything until I can get my body under control, or till I look the way people think I should look.
But I can't do that either because dieting doesn't work, and my body isn't supposed to be that size or look that way.
I'm stuck, right? You're facing this critical point: this is what happened to me where I just thought, "I don't know what the answer is to this problem. But I know I cannot do this to myself anymore. I cannot continue to abuse myself, starve myself, hate myself, and try to get to some size."
I'm never going to be happy coming at it from that angle.
I ended up going into treatment for a binge eating disorder. That was the culminating event in my whole life of eating disorders: I had to run the whole gamut!
I don't know if that was exactly what I needed, but it was the thing that kind of got me to go, okay, it's okay for you to be how you are.
I was in a group with a bunch of other women who were all different sizes and shapes and all struggling with the same stuff. It was the first time I was allowed to really go, "You know what? There's nothing wrong with you! These messages you got your whole life about needing to look different, needing to be different, was BS! It's okay for you to live your life the way that you are right now!"
It really started this journey of me really wanting to dig deep into the idea of just accepting yourself no matter what.
A lot of that means just making peace with the things in your life, like not battling food anymore, not battling yourself anymore. Just waking up every day and going, "This is who I am. And it's okay for me to be this way. It's okay for me to speak and be seen in this body."
That is a huge challenge, but I think the key point is, seeing that set of beliefs for what it is, which is just ideas that you've been given that you chose to continue thinking.
The idea that my body was not acceptable was just a thought I kept thinking until I started to believe it myself. And when you can identify the limitation for what it is, then there's work to do around it, right?
Then you can go okay, what am I gonna do with this?
I want to change this! How do I do that?
For me, that looked a lot like daily reminders, which I use in the form of affirmations every day, deliberately thinking different thoughts than the ones I've been thinking.
I do a lot of mindset work with tapping, and that's the kind of stuff where you can just vent out the uncomfortable stuff and absorb a new way of thinking. Then the deep subconscious reprogramming that I do with guided meditation and hypnosis - those 3 things have been a total game-changer for me!
You can use it with anything. It's not just about body image! Whatever limiting belief you have, you can work on it.
I want to just talk about the fact that all of this sounds kind of hard.
I remember listening to you before I became a client of yours. I'm like, wait, what?
I'm just supposed to accept myself?
That goes against everything I've ever done!
Because I'm supposed to beat myself up and look like everybody else and sound like everybody else and do all the right things?
That sounds too hard.
You and I have had many, many conversations about the times we've successfully lost weight in our lives, and you feel good in those moments. Then comes the fear of am I going to eat something that's going to put the weight on, and you're obsessed in a different way, right?
Like you're obsessed with beating yourself up to get it off, and now you're obsessed with making sure it doesn't change because if it changes, then you're a failure.
This is the kind of stuff that takes up our brain space, and you and I have also had many conversations about what the hell could we have accomplished already in our lives if our energy wasn't spent on this kind of garbage?
I remember driving in my car one day - I was driving to work, and I just had this epiphany. I was like, "Holy shit - I have wasted so much of my time and energy just trying to be skinny."
I literally changed my college major and did all kinds of stuff just because I was so insecure about my body.
What could I have? Where could I be right now if I'd just done the things that I wanted to do without thinking, Oh, God, you can't do any of that until you're skinny. I mean, that was like, a rule for me!
This is such a huge conversation in the online space because there are so many gurus out there who look a certain way - it's usually white women.
And here we are, two white women having this conversation, right? If we had a woman of color in this conversation, there would be even more depth to it.
Because you have two daughters who are black, and I'm sure you guys have rich conversations about what it is to love yourself and be yourself in this society.
So many people online look a certain way to the point where they're like, this is the way you launch.
This is the way you market.
This is the way you create a course.
People have been sopping it up with a biscuit for a long time, but I'm wanting to have these conversations about how to make marketing more human because there is no one right way.
We all know this intellectually, but to really get this on a deep level, showing up as yourself, like really being authentic and being unapologetic for who you are just like right now without needing to change anything, is what makes people be attracted to you.
That is how you pull in your ideal clients and the people who really resonate with you and go, "I love the fact that you're showing up and you're fat, and you're not trying to change who you are!"
You're not wearing a white suit in a perfect studio with this like picture and just really being yourself and knowing this is who I am.
I have something to help people with. I have something important to share, and I have nothing to apologize for. It's okay for me to exist in the world like this, and it's okay for you to exist in the world like this!
You're really showing that.
I know that we're saying words right now, and I know that to us, it means a lot.
But to people who have not done this work yet, it's very confusing to make it all come together. Can you talk a little bit about the journey of going through this stuff?
What does it honestly take to step into yourself and be authentically yourself? Even if you don't look like, sound like, don't have the same clothes, all of those things? What is the journey really like?
What it looked like for me was just doing the really scary stuff consistently over and over again.
And I mean, it can be as small as this is something I always talk to my clients about. I really harp in my membership that if you hate the way you look in pictures, I mean, that's a really good starting point. I can't show up online because look at me like I'm hideous, and obviously, I can't be in videos or do whatever.
I mean, that's what everybody thinks! That's what I thought.
Take a million pictures of yourself and continue looking at them over and over again.
I knew that I needed videos for my business. My membership has a lot of videos, but I hated doing them. I hated looking at myself. I just like I was like, I'm recording a video every single day, even if it's just me and myself and I in a Zoom meeting, watching it and just looking at the way the shapes that my face makes when I'm talking, the way my voice sounds, and just it really is just like exposure therapy. You have to get used to the way you look, and you have to get used to the way you sound and know that it's okay for you to be that way. It doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to look like everyone else that is real is gonna look at you being real and go, "You know what? I love her, and I want to work with her."
And that's how you get the right people.
Yes, and this desensitization of looking at yourself over and over, listening to yourself over and over. It's kind of like when people come to me, and they're like, "I want to write better content, I want to create better content."
Great! What are you currently doing? "Oh, nothing. I can't put anything out there." I'm like, how do you think you're gonna get better if you don't get stuff out there? If you don't practice? The only way to get better is by doing it, and this work is really that.
One of the first challenges I had actually from Patty Lennon, she said, was to go live on your Facebook page every day for 30 days, and when she said that to me, I was like, "Are you joking?"
I don't even have anything to say every day for 30 days, but I did it. I just even if it was just like, hey, I don't know what I'm saying today, but I'm here because I said I was going to do this. I got it was such a good experience for me just to get used to looking at myself on video to showing up live every day thinking I don't have to be perfect and I don't have to have all the words and all the answers to everything. I'm just here, and you can get to know me, and that's good enough some days. It doesn't always have to be a thing.
I also want to talk about an aspect of being authentic because authenticity, I think, has kind of gotten a bad rap because there are people out there who are, quote-unquote, being authentic, and it feels either bullshitty or it feels like they're having a meltdown on camera.
We're not talking about being a hot mess and bleeding out on the internet when we're talking about this stuff.
Yeah, being authentic doesn't mean sitting around and complaining about how shitty your life is.
That's all a hard line to walk; obviously, you want to show up some days. I don't want my clients to see me struggling and looking awful, but at the same time, I can make a post that says, Hey, I'm not having the greatest week. I'm really struggling with this or that, and I'm still okay. I'm still here. I'm still doing the work.
That's really the message like, and you don't always have to feel great and be perfect, either.
Yeah, you and I actually had a conversation, remember?
I called you up that Friday night, and I was enraged about this thing about authenticity that I saw online and that I had listened to a podcast from Amy Porterfield. It was a podcast where she was really being authentic and vulnerable.
And I'm all for that! More of that, please, but the tone of it was, I'm embarrassed to tell you this, I'm embarrassed to tell you this. And I'm embarrassed to tell you this.
But when I was reading it, I felt like I had; I wanted to give Amy a hug and say, "It's okay! You're just as human as the rest of us, and I felt like I had to take care of her."
And I think that's the difference because what you just said is, like, I'm having a crappy day, or crappy week or whatever.
And I'm okay. I just wanted you to know; it's very normal to have a crappy week, and showing up authentically means we're telling the truth, but without bleeding all over the internet or making our audience feel sorry for us or not trust us.
I think the other thing about that Amy Porterfield thing that really bothered you, it was like, I'm so embarrassed to be experiencing these things that every normal person experiences all the time! There's nothing to be ashamed about - we all have crappy days, we all have crappy weeks, and that's fine!
Sometimes I'm able to show up and be my best self. Like, I nailed that, and then some days, I'm like, "I don't have it today, and that's okay."
When our leaders are able to say things for us and mirror to us, it's very powerful, and what I was angry about was if the 3 things she was upset about were real, and I got them, and I would have felt the same way.
She was like, I'm embarrassed that I had this experience. Should I be shameful that I have that experience?
What you did recently in your group I loved because you said sometimes I look at a picture of myself, or I see a video of myself dancing, and I hate the way I look. And this is what I do when that happens, and this is how I maneuver through it.
I loved it because it was kind of a one-two punch. It was like, "Hey, I'm not over here saying I'm fat, and I love it all the time." You say, "I still have diet thoughts. I still have negative thoughts, and here's how I'm working through it."
To me, that is the epitome of authenticity.
Yeah. Yeah, it's, I mean, the point is not to show up every day and be like, I'm the best, I love myself so much. Everything about me is perfect. There's nothing I would change. I mean, nobody is ever going to get to that point.
I think subconsciously, that's kind of a goal for a lot of women: thinking, you can't be who you want to be until you've solved all of your problems.
You're right: my whole jam is like, you might not ever look in the mirror and be like, "Oh, my God, I love my body, like, I am happy I look this way!"
I don't like being this fat, and I'm really open about that, and I'm still going to live my life, I'm still going to do the things that I want to do, just to not let those flaws hold you back because you've got stuff to do.
It's much better to live with those bumps than it is to live literally fighting against food every single day and waking up hating myself every single day and going to the closet and hating myself every single day.
It's not like I'm in Nirvana - I'm not 100% loving myself all the time, but I love myself much more than I ever did when I was fighting against who I really am.
You're not letting it hold you back from doing the things you want to do. You're challenging that thought you might still have it, but you're challenging that thought that tells you you really can't show up, you really can't make the money you want to make, you can't do the things that you want to do just because you're not super happy with the way you look.
What you just said reminded me: the thoughts are still there, but they're not running the show anymore.
For example, this month, my whole theme is how to do marketing more humanely for yourself because frankly, even as a content creator who loves creating content, but sometimes I'm tired sometimes and need a break.
I took the whole summer off from creating, and if I didn't, if I was just like cheering people on all time, "GO GO GO!"
How unfreaking realistic is that?
Yeah, nobody has that level of energy, and then you do a great job of showing people how to repurpose content so that when you're having one of those weeks, you don't have to come up with something brilliant.
I've been stuck in this place for a long time, thinking I always have to be creating brilliant, insightful things to share with my audience.
Sometimes that feels easy, and some days that feels absolutely impossible.
And that's okay.
That was a journey to get to that point where you go like, "Yep, I'm not having one of the greatest days. I'm just going to find an old blog post that I liked and share that again."
Yeah, it's normal to have the ups and downs and nobody; if you think you have to get to that point where you're perfect, and you're gonna always say the exact right thing and look perfect on camera, it's just gonna hold you back.
We cannot possibly live up to it!
One of the things we really wanted to talk about in this conversation is how everybody tells you to create a platform, create your own channel, create your own TV show if you want.
But how do you do that?
If you have been told your whole life over and over again: you're not good enough, you don't look like everybody else, nobody wants to look at you, nobody wants to hear you, [lease be quiet, you're too much, you're too extra, we're tired of you!
I got told all the time, "We're just tired of all your opinions, Jenny."
I have many opinions, haha!
I had forgotten to mention that, but that was a big part of my story growing up too!
It was just like, no one has time for you right now. It wasn't like overt, but it was just like, we're busy, the adults are busy doing things like just go sit over there,
So it's hard to be like, Oh yeah - anybody wants to hear what I have to say? Why is anybody listening to me? I'm the one I'm supposed to be quiet.
Right? You come into the room, and somebody would kind of roll their eyes and go, What do you want now?
Now you're supposed to show up online? I mean, it all contributes to not only the way we look but the way we sound and all the beliefs we have. But then, like you've been told over and over, "BE QUIET!"
Now, yeah - go create your own channel and market yourself. Okay.
No, no, get online and talk all the time about whatever you feel like talking about!
It is hard. I mean, it's a journey of baby steps.
I didn't just show up one day and start doing lives and making videos and talking on my podcast and feel great about that!
I can remember the first YouTube video I made. It's still on my YouTube channel, but I spent like two hours doing my hair and made sure that the camera was perfect. Everything was exactly right, and it's, it's lame, I'm stiff, and scared to death.
You have to do a lot of that crap before you get to the point where you feel comfortable with it. Just keep doing it, keep doing it, keep doing it.
Another piece of advice I would add is to do the thing, whatever the thing is for you at this point, with some low-level risks - pluck off the low-hanging fruit.
For marketing, find the right channel for you, the right platform for you that feels good. Maybe it's just an email! Maybe you like feeling really safe sending an email, or maybe you feel really safe being like a podcast guest on other people's shows. Do it in a way until you get your muscles!
I definitely agree with that.
I don't do a whole lot on YouTube anymore. I park my videos there for my membership, but yeah, I feel very comfortable on Facebook: I have a community that is supportive, sp I'm on Facebook all the time.
I hate Instagram, I just don't want to do it, and it's okay. For a long time, I was stuck in that place, too, of "Oh my god, I have to be doing this!"
Now, I like being on Facebook, and I'm gonna do that!
Pick the thing that feels comfortable for you and works for you, then do as much of that as you can until you can do more.
The other thing I'm sure you've noticed is when you start having the conversations that you want to have, and you want to start showing up the way you want to show up, you're able to get outside of your own brain.
Right? Because when we're living in that anxiety, we're so self-focused.
When we pick our noses up and see, "Oh look! There's other people having conversations about body love and body acceptance and self-love and self-care."
And look, not everybody looks like a size two, blonde, white woman out in this space.
All of a sudden, you start to see, "Oh, there are my people out there!"
Yeah, yeah, exactly. You become a magnet! People magnetized to you who are aligned with the things that you're talking about.
You think there's somebody who needs to hear me today, right? Like, this isn't all about me!
Stop being fucking selfish! There's a woman out there who is way more insecure than I am who really needs help with the thing that I can help them with and who needs to hear me talk today!
Get over yourself. Just hit play on the video and just do it because you have a message to share, and that's way more important than whether your hair is perfect or whatever.
You just said something that I want to leave people with, which is remembering that there's somebody out there who has never heard this message before or never been able to hear it and absorb it in the way you have to share it.
If we talk too far down the line for our people and always assume nobody needs those really foundational messages, we're missing out on attracting those people.
Going back to those foundations: I remember when I first heard about this Health at Every Size, it felt like nonsense. Like, that's ridiculous.
I had a perfect example of that: a couple of months ago, I sent out an email to my list: I do a body image tip every Tuesday. I sent one out and thought, Oh, this is basic! Everybody's gonna be rolling their eyes at this, like, "Oh, everybody knows this"
And I got like, 3 replies that were like, "MIND BLOWN! I never thought about it that way!"
It's important to remember even though you're the expert at something, people don't know, and you always have to come back to basics and review that foundational stuff!
Every time I want to teach something that I'm like, they're gonna roll their eyes at this, then it's always like that.
Thank you for having this conversation with me today. I really appreciate it. Tell everybody how they can follow you online, listen to your podcast, and talk about your membership.
The starting point for everything is my website, https://www.foodandbodylove.com/
I'm most active in my Facebook group, which is called the Body Positive Club with Teddey Hicks.
You can subscribe to my podcast from the website and sign up for my daily affirmations, which I think are really great, and learn more about my membership there, too.
Yeah, and I will say Teddey's stuff is so accessible, relatable, realistic, and I mean, as you can tell, just from listening to her, she's no bullshit. She's really putting it all out there, and it has helped me personally a lot!
Thank you so much.
Yeah, you've helped me a lot, too, Jen. We have a very symbiotic relationship!
Whether you're listening on the replay or you're listening on the podcast, I really hope there's something you can take away from our conversation. Remember, the journey is long, and it's not easy, but honestly, on the other side of the work that you're doing, it's so much easier than the place you're sitting right now, which is beating yourself up and not showing up and not creating the business that you really want!
I hope we encouraged you to do that.