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In this episode, Megan is joined by a very special guest, Diane. Today, Megan and Diane talk about a short story of transformation and how when someone believes and knows in their heart they want something different and that they can have something better and how to make it happen. In today’s episode, Diane also shares her amazing story of transformation and the process she went through to get to where she is today.

Listen to this podcast episode as Megan and Diane chat about her experience with our Health Accelerator Program and her experience with winning our challenge.

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Megan Blacksmith 00:02
Hey there, everybody, Megan here. Welcome to the zesty ginger podcast. So happy to have you back I have a special, special guest today, Diane. Hi, Diane.

Diane 00:12
Hi, Megan.

Megan Blacksmith 00:13
I’m so happy to have you here. Diane and I were just chatting as we were discussing recording this episode, and the journey we’d like to take you on. And the short stories we’d like to share is the story of transformation and how when someone believes and knows in their heart, I want something different, and I can have something better and I’m going to make it happen. They do it. And Diane has been such an amazing example of that in our community. So I wanted to bring Diane on to just kind of share her story and her journey through the process of transformation. And when we find people in our life, who you look at, and you say, hey, they clearly have something going on. They clearly have made a decision in life like, things are hard, and I’m still going to do it, I’m going to find a way. When we find people like that. Our goal is to model them. Our goal is to ask them more deeper stories of what was going on. What were you actually thinking? So Diane and I are going to chat about that today. She has such an amazing story. And she has really gone through the process. What Dr. Alex and I want for women is compassionate transformation. So we’re, we’re educating to start or empowering women to then go do what they wanted to do and then enjoy, right. So we get to educate, empower and joy. And then we have women take that model on. So once they’ve freed up the energy and focusing on just the good old physical body and the health concerns that may be where they’re freeing up this energy to then go do something in the world they’re really passionate about. And Diane is a perfect example. So thank you so much, Diane, for having this conversation with me.

Diane 01:51
Absolutely. It’s so exciting. I can’t wait to share and chat with you through this morning. It’s going to be wonderful.

Megan Blacksmith 01:58
Awesome. Okay, so I’d love for you to paint a picture of back. Not only did Diane do our Health Transformation accelerator, but she actually came into it in an interesting way by winning a challenge. So I would love for you to take us back to when you I mean, I guess where are you where you were when you were searching for help on the internet? Right? How did you come across just our work and other people’s work to transform what was going on in your life? And what were you looking to have happen?

Diane 02:28
So I had been on a several year health journey. I have two daughters who are teenagers, young adults. And I was concerned about my own my own health and my children’s health, particularly my daughter’s there’s just not a lot of good information about female hormones, female body, female biology and the things that my three children were learning in school and their health and wellness classes were just not meeting the mark. And I had a lot of questions myself. So I started looking into functional medicine. I started listening to podcasts, I found Zesty Ginger on Instagram, and on the podcast. And I started listening to the four phase cycle podcast first, and then started following the stories and the posts on Instagram. And it was just enough to help me understand that I was not alone in seeking these answers that there was good information out there. I just had to find the right resource and and dig into it. And there was an evening masterclass that you all did early in January of one year. And I gathered my daughter’s around me because it was all about female health hormones. And I remember laying on the carpet in my bedroom just kind of like oh my gosh, rolling their eyes moms and make us listen to this wellness thing. And, and we actually all learned something from it. And I wanted right then to join the HTA healthy hormones, whichever program was running at the time. But it just wasn’t feasible in terms of our commitment at the time for family activities and involvement. So fast forward about six months, and life had changed a lot for me. I lost my teenage son to suicide during that time. Terrible, terrible experience. But I still felt that at the root of all of this stuff I was feeling it was not just my hormones, not just my health journey, but also my mindset. So there was a 4 day, 5 day habit challenge that you all were offering and I thought I didn’t do this the beginning of the year when I wanted to because life got in the way. And then death literally got in the way. And I was just at a point where, life needed to change. It just needed to change and needed to change for me, I needed to change for my surviving children and my husband. And I thought, Where else do you start when your habits? So I joined the habit challenge and oh my gosh, it blew my mind every single lesson that you and Dr. Alex presented and that habit challenge just blew my mind. I thought, That’s me. That’s me. That’s me. And I was selected for a hot seat call. And that was the start of the transformation. And you asked me, “What is it that you want to change?”, “What’s going on in your life right now?”, “What is frustrating you?”, “What’s holding you back?” And I had been in the caregiver role for so long. And it goes all the way back to when I was a teenager, I lost my dad when I was 17, my mother was very ill. And I was suddenly thrust into caregiving for a parent, which is a crazy thing at that age. And here I was in my 40s. And I had never stopped, I had 30 years of caregiving. And I remember saying to you, Megan, “I don’t have time to pee.” Like, I literally come into my house at the end, and you’re laughing because you remember that.

Megan Blacksmith 06:37
Yes I do. I wrote it down on my list here. Glad you brought it up.

Diane 06:42
I said I don’t have time to pee. I get up in the morning, I take care of all the kids, I get everyone where they need to go, I do all the things, all the things, all the things. And I go to my professional career, and I run errands on the way home and I come peeling into the driveway, I scan into the house, I kick off my shoes, and I go straight into the next thing. And at some point, in the evening, I realized that I’m doing the peepee dance in my kitchen because I’ve done all the things for all the people and I have not even taken care of my own singular basic need, that my body requires me to do. And that’s got to change because if I’m not taking care of myself, if I’m not changing these habits and learning about boundaries, I’m not doing anyone any good. So that was what I worked on in the habit class. And once we had that hotseat call, and I realized that I needed to work on boundaries, I needed to have new things and new tools and new resources in my life to help me with those boundaries. And boundaries are healthy. Boundaries are not bad, boundaries are not good, boundaries are neutral, and they help us to live our best lives. And once I figured that out, I was like, all in on that habit challenge. And part of the challenge to win the prize was to do the workbook and turn the workbook in. And I don’t know if you even know this. But the weekend that it was due, was Parents’ Weekend. I had just sent my first child off to college, my husband and I flew to Chicago. And I had my workbook. I had the lessons on replay. And I was in the airport and I was on the airplane and I was in our Airbnb. And my husband was like, What are you, I have homework, I have homework, I was dedicated to doing that workbook. Because I wanted to win the challenge. And I did. It was crazy.

Megan Blacksmith 08:46
And you did? I I want everybody to hear that part of it. Because I took a poll recently on Instagram saying like, you know, what’s the biggest thing stopping you and improving your health? And there, you know, there’s all sorts of things time, money, right? There’s all the things that we believe are stopping us. And so let’s let’s give an example of money. I think when we can open up to the idea that when we really want something, we don’t really know how it’s going to come in. But when we really, really want something and we go all for it, magic does happen, right? You don’t think you didn’t know you’re gonna win the challenge, right? You had no idea and you were like, all in, you’re gonna win the challenge. I could argue, Diane could have easily said, “Oh, I don’t have time. This is Parents Weekend, you know, I’m going to be flying. I don’t have time to do it.” We hear that I don’t have money. And obviously, we are all about people spending, you know, putting in some money to get a transaction, right? Like you show up differently. And there’s all these free things out there. Not just us. There are many practitioners, providers, people who guides coaches who put out free content that honestly if someone actually did it could change their life. So when we think of it that way, we may say, you know, I don’t have enough money for it. Are you also then showing up like Diane to that free challenge? Because just in that workbook if you actually do it, and so few people do it, it’s amazing. So few. We have 1000 people will sign up for the challenge, and maybe 30 do the workbook, right? Like a very small percentage. So the people who do it, though, they’re going through their own process of transformation, and things are shifting, just filling it out. And I think we forget that sometimes, just the statement of like, I’m gonna take the time, like, you were on the plane, I’m gonna do the thing. You’re sending that energy out to the universe. And it’s like, okay, Diane, I see. You’re serious. Right? You win the challenge.

Diane 10:47
Yeah, absolutely.

Megan Blacksmith 10:48
You were enjoying the program. Yeah.

Diane 10:51
And that’s what I wanted, I had wanted to join the program before. And it just wasn’t feasible time or money. And so I had been saving, so that I could join HTA. And I won the challenge. So I was able to not only join HTA, and go through around, but because I had been proactive in saving for that goal of doing an HTA class, I had the means already set aside, so that when the first round of HTA ended, I was able to join the HTA family and continue this journey and continue to have the support. And that’s been incredible. It’s been incredible. It was so cool to win the challenge. And, and it absolutely was me digging in deep, doing the hard work, it was not easy. It’s not easy to look at yourself in the mirror, and figure out where you’re sabotaging yourself, and how to change. And that’s really what it’s about. It’s recognizing your own behaviors, the things that you’re doing well, and the things that you’re not doing well, and really digging in deep to make brain changes and the geeky part of it really appealed to me too. I love when Dr. Alex gets on her like Geek Squad, and I’m jumping right on the wagon with her there because I love that this is not just someone saying, “Do this and it will make you feel this way.”, “Do this, and it will help you change.” The affirmations are wonderful. But if you’re not wiring that into your brain, so that your brain believes them, it’s just empty words. And that’s the difference between the things that I had experienced before finding Zesty Ginger and functional wellness is that it was just sort of empty, it was the here go out and do this, but not really understanding how to implement it, and how to make it be a lasting change. And that’s what was in the habit class. And that’s what is in the HTA program.

Megan Blacksmith 13:02
Diane, I’m curious what came up for you if you go from a person who didn’t have time to pee to a person who is now totally different identity, and we will get into a year like actually starting your own business and right going for things that support you. Do you remember what came up for you in that belief, and in that shift of learning to be a person who did things for yourself like was there with our real push back at first?

Diane 13:30
there was a huge push back. Because I had been in a caregiving role for so long. The majority of my life. And I felt like if I don’t do it, it won’t get done. And that’s not the reality. I have able bodied teenagers. I don’t have babies anymore. My husband is healthy and well and perfectly capable and competent. Why not allow him to be the husband that he wants to be by allowing him to do and asking and expecting him to do the things that husbands want and need to do? It was it was a real mind shift. That I’m not responsible for how everyone else behaves and reacts and goes through their life. I’m responsible for how I behave, react and go through my life. And quite often the frustration that I was feeling was a reflection of what was going on around like me showing up in the world for my family and for myself. So it’s a completely different way of living when what I’m getting kickback from my 15 year old to say okay, is this really her? Or is this me projecting out onto her how I’m feeling in some other area of my life where what can I learn here and how can I be more gracious and merciful. It’s not easy being 15 is definitely not easy being a teenager. So I definitely have a lot more patience and grace for, for the people in my life and for myself. And that’s huge. I was really hard on myself for a really long time.

Megan Blacksmith 15:18
Yeah, that’s such a common theme for the women we work with, we’re just really hard on ourselves. That we go from maybe starting to recognize, like, our emotions and our whatever. And we’re like, okay, I shouldn’t be angry about things. And then we’re angry at ourselves for being angry, right? Not allowing ourselves to feel. Diane, has your family noticed a shift? I mean, are those teenagers noticing anything different?

Diane 15:43
Yeah, yeah. And they trust me more. It’s really interesting. Because, you know, like, kids, especially teenagers, get to a point where they believe they know a lot more than their parents. And, and now, the kids really kind of lean into me, and they see that I’m different, my husband sees that I’m different. I’m more relaxed. I was always on the edge of what’s the next disaster going to be? What’s the next thing that has to get done? What’s the next thing I couldn’t tell you the last time that I sat down and relaxed, without some secondary activity going on. Like, I would sit down and watch a movie with the kids in the family, but I would have like the bills out and I would be paying bills online, or I would, I would kind of, I’m gonna watch a movie with you guys in the living room. But I was in the other side of the great room, cleaning the kitchen, or dusting or something, I never could sit still, and allow myself to have the space to relax and enjoy my life. And, and I do that now. And I don’t feel any guilt, or shame, or any kind of negative emotion about taking the time for myself. If I wanted to take a bath at 6:30 on a Thursday night, heck, you know what I’m gonna go out, and I’m going to pick roses from my garden. And I’m going to sprinkle them in the bathwater, and I’m going to dump in a bunch of salt. And I’m going to put on some quiet music. And my family can eat leftovers, or they can cook dinner for me. And I would never have done that two years ago.

Megan Blacksmith 17:23
Beautiful. I love it. And one of the reasons I was so excited, and I am so excited to interview you, Diane is because I’ve watched this pattern with you of like, you’re like, “Okay, I’m may and may not have the money for this right now, I may not have the time, I may not have whatever, but like, I am ready. And I’m going to make this happen.” And you have found that. So tell us a little bit of what’s going on inside what you’re thinking, what you’re thinking when you’re gonna just make the next thing happen and how you see that process working out for you.

Diane 18:03
Right, so it’s interesting, I had this conversation with my 15 year old daughter just yesterday, and we were talking about choices. And I have a lot of life behind me. And a lot of tough decisions to make. I was a single parent for quite some time. I had to make tough choices on how I was going to supplement my suddenly single income and how I would support myself and my children. I went back to school full time I was working full time I was raising the kids by myself, I had a very long commute for work, because the job that I had was good. And it had good benefits. And my daughter knows all of these things because she lives through them. And I told her I thought for a long time, people would ask me, “How do you do it all?” And for a long time, I truly believed I didn’t have a choice. I thought I have to do this, I have to work because I need an income because I have to pay for the things that keep us healthy and well and safe. And the truth is, is I always had a choice. And I chose to do hard things to support myself and my family in the ways that we needed. It got to a point where I was making those choices for everyone around me and I wasn’t really making any choices for myself. The boundaries became blurred. And so now when I look at my choices I look at am I really feeling joyful about it? Or am I just powering through it? There are a lot of things I’ve just powered through because I felt they needed to get done and those were the choices that I was making. I’m really proud of myself for having been through that phase of life and ending up where I am now where I can look at my choices. Sometimes it’s scary. And sometimes it’s easy. And I still support myself, as I moved through them. I had always wanted a career that really helps people, and really pours into a community. I’ve always done volunteer work, I’ve always had a human related job. And I didn’t ever have a lot of confidence in myself for starting a business as a business woman. And that is changed. I know that it’s going to be a big learning curve. And I’m also certain that I have the tools and the resources. And if I don’t have them right now, I know that I can find them to help me be successful. And it’s so stinking cool.

Megan Blacksmith 20:51
It’s so cool. And, and you’re gonna come join us for our practitioner training in October. And that’s another thing I saw you you’re like, I’m gonna make this happen.

Diane 21:03
Yeah, absolutely. And it was one of those things where it’s like, okay, so I, I’m looking at facing tuition costs, how, how do I do this. And part of my transformation has been really digging deep and allowing myself to feel my emotions for a long time, I was so busy taking care of everyone else, and helping them process their emotions, that I didn’t really work on that myself. So when I decided that I wanted to do the practitioners training, and start my own business, and pour love and warmth and acceptance out on the world and other women, I really had to dig deep and figure out how I was going to do that. So I started researching scholarships. I processed my feelings by writing a very vulnerable essay about why I wanted the scholarship and what my intention was to change my career. And then I became a semifinalist, like, Whoa, this is actually happening, which led to a short video saying who I am and what I want to do in the world, which is just to help people become more comfortable with themselves and live more confidently in their lives. And lo and behold, I won a scholarship to put towards my practitioner training. And it’s, it’s amazing. The things that have come to fruition in my life, because I’ve just believed that I’m on the right path that I am deserving of it. And that it will be returned to the world 10 fold when I have the capability and the tools to share with people to change their own lives.

Megan Blacksmith 22:51
Oh, thank you, because I a lot of people look out and they’re like, it’s easier for everybody else. And so do you really hear this the backstory of what you did, I was so excited to hear like, I’m going to make this happen. I’m going to sell some stuff, I’m going to win this, you know, right? Like you I’m gonna enter the competitions and you did, and you won and you keep winning. And I feel like it’s because your energy is so clear. Of this is where I’m going, this is what I’m doing. And I just this popped in my head as a caveat, just because I’ve also done things I was really clear on and I didn’t win in that moment, right, and other things happen. And so just because you don’t win the first competition also doesn’t mean you stop. And they start to magically line up. It feels and it seems. So thank you. Thank you for sharing that. Love it. I know, I know, Diane, you’ve done a lot of work and awareness and support around suicide and with everything you’ve gone through Is there is there anywhere you resources you’d like to share or anything that you kind of wish people knew that they could go look into. Just I know this is a really big topic for you. I want to make sure you have a moment to share anything.

Diane 24:03
Thanks. I really appreciate that September is suicide awareness month. And the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is an incredible resource. They have links on their page, to other resources and they can help you find resources in your local area. Every October, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention sponsors out of the darkness community walks. So if you are struggling, if you know someone who’s struggling if you lost a family member or a loved one or a friend, this is a wonderful way to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the programs that they run and also to be in a community of people who understand every aspect of the Suicide Prevention and Lost Cause. It’s been to me such a great resource. I think the other thing to remember when it comes to suicide loss and prevention is there is a stigma around mental health. There’s a stigma, so many people don’t feel comfortable talking about it. And it’s sometimes difficult to find the resources that you’re looking for, or resources that you think you need. And there are people who are willing to help the, the community of survivors wants nothing more than to prevent other families from experiencing suicide loss. So there are people out there who who will and do all sorts of things to support you, whether you’re considering ending your life there, or you are dealing with someone who has attempted, there are people who care, and they don’t care on the surface, they care very deeply. And I will say that the things that I’ve learned through the Zesty Ginger programs, the mindset transformation, is critical to helping people move through the mental health care crisis. It is huge, when you understand that it is your brain, and the way that your brain developed and formed, and that you do have the power to change that it’s not an empty conversation with affirmations and resources. It is real work, it is valuable, it makes a difference. And it is possible to change your life. And life is definitely worth living. It sometimes can be overwhelming. And I think the thing that people need to hear the most is that there is hope. And there is a possibility for a beautiful future, when you dig in, and just match on to that tiniest glimmer of hope. So that’s what I have to say on that. I really appreciate you giving me the opportunity to speak on it.

Megan Blacksmith 27:03
Yeah, thank you. And this, this will be coming back for another time where we can actually dig into the topic, I just wanted to at least make sure you could share some resources. And I know And now, you know, you’ve had your personal journey, and now you’re taking that and all the tools you’ve learned and that’s the idea, right? That’s why we’re doing practitioner training. That’s why we’re doing the training so that you’re opening up the space. They say that caretakers that I don’t know if you know this them but caretakers are the people that they study when they want to look at cortisol dysregulation because caretakers have often in the process you know completely just dysregulated their hormone system because it hasn’t been about them. So to now for you to be getting back a little you know, getting back even a little bit of time for yourself and doing those things for yourself. And now I just cannot wait to see what you go out there and do so thank you so much for sharing today.

Diane 27:59
Thank you for having me. It’s been a pleasure. I am so incredibly grateful for the work that you and Dr. Alex do. You are changing lives and you’re bringing hope to the world. It’s so exciting. I’m I am beyond thrilled to be able to walk on this journey of life with you all.

Megan Blacksmith 28:16
Thank you so much. Bone agrees Okay, thanks everybody for being here. And please reach out to us as always, you can always email us Please share on Instagram if you have any questions Diane and I are both happy to check.