Episode #20: How to Feel Confidently Expressive in Your Body with Ali Sempek

Written by: Karenna Soto
The Fully Expressed Podcast
The Fully Expressed Podcast
Episode #20: How to Feel Confidently Expressive in Your Body with Ali Sempek
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Welcome back to another episode of The Fully Expressed Podcast with Karenna. Today, we’re thrilled to have Ali Sempek, a remarkable women’s wellness coach and empowerment speaker, join us. In this episode, Ali shares her transformative journey from struggling with body image to finding empowerment and teaching others to do the same.

Ali opens up about her personal struggles with body image and how it impacted her life from a young age. Her story is a testament to the power of self-reflection, resilience, and the journey towards self-love. Through her experiences, Ali discovered the importance of breaking free from societal expectations and embracing her authentic self.

This conversation is more than just about overcoming body image issues; it’s about a deeper understanding of self-worth and confidence. Ali’s insights into the challenges women face in today’s society, and how she navigated these waters, are both inspiring and relatable.

You can read the full podcast transcript for this episode below:

0:00
Welcome to the fully expressed podcast with Karenna, where we talk and have conversations all about what it means to live a life, fully expressed.
0:08
Every conversation that we have on this podcast is truly an invitation for you to live more express in your life relation and business.
0:17
So thank you so much for tuning in today.
0:19
I’m really stoked because I have Ali Sempek.
0:24
Is that how I pronounce your last name?
0:25
I might have meant that I might have messed that up.
0:28
I’m really bad with that part, but with lie and lie, I’m going to let her introduce herself, but I want to share with you how Ali and I met.
0:37
I think we met through Instagram.
0:39
And this was kind of even early on in my coaching journey.
0:43
Like I know you were early on in your coaching journey.
0:45
I was early on in my coaching journey.
0:47
And we got on the conversation.
0:49
I just loved your energy and you were exploring the idea of wanting to become a coach and what that actually looked like and what it was going to be like to empower women in the way that you felt called to at the time.
1:00
And it’s so fun to have Ali here now.
1:03
Like I think literally four years later to catch up on what she is doing and how she is supporting women.
1:10
And honestly, just to witness your growth, Ali, I think it’s really, really beautiful what you’re doing for women, how you’re showing up on Instagram.
1:18
And I just cannot wait to dive into the details of your story truly from what it was like to fall in love with your body again.
1:28
You know what it was like to step into the confidence that you literally like like vibrate all the time and now you help women doing that.
1:38
And so with that being said, I’m going to pass it over to you ali.
1:41
So go ahead and just introduce yourselves for me.
1:43
Absolutely.
1:44
Well, I’m so glad I’m here.
1:46
I’m Ali or more commonly known as coach Ali.
1:49
I’m a women’s wellness coach and empowerment speaker.
1:52
So what I do is I help women break up with dieting with food rules with bad body image days in order to feel happier and healthier and more confident.
2:02
So much of what I coach on, like you said, has to do with my own story, really lacking the self-confidence, struggling with my body since I was younger and never really being able to find someone or the resources to help me get out of it.
2:18
Dive into that a little bit further.
2:20
But like you mentioned, you and I met, yeah, it would have been four years ago on Instagram.
2:25
I actually was living in Austin, Texas at the time.
2:29
I’m from Nebraska, so I was in a new city.
2:32
Hated my job.
2:33
I was working a 9 to 5 event and marketing job at the time was taking different courses, online, different certifications and had a friend in Austin that actually said, you know, you need to follow crea, she’s in California.
2:49
you like would absolutely click with her vibe so well and she does what you’re kind of thinking of doing.
2:56
So, knowing me, I like to just slide on in and make my presence known.
3:02
And I just remember reaching out to you and just asking like, how are you doing what you’re doing?
3:06
Like, does this even really exist?
3:09
Right?
3:09
And almost being so intimidated.
3:11
I remember this is so silly, but I remember your Instagram being like so aesthetically pleasing and like so light and airy and you’re on the beach.
3:21
And I was over here thinking, OK, I live in a new city, a pandemic is about to happen.
3:28
I’m going to most likely move back to the Midwest.
3:31
How can you even start this business?
3:33
Let alone something that people are going to be gravitated towards wild, wild.
3:38
I think that’s so important.
3:40
I mean, well, I could just peel back the latest one.
3:41
Thank you so much for sharing all of that.
3:43
And it’s so funny to talk about the brand and the Instagram when I first started, I was, I was trying to be like on brand and so beautiful.
3:50
Now you look at my, my Instagram.
3:52
It is all over the place because I’ve, you know, I think I started from a place of like, I want things to look a certain way.
3:57
I want things to show off a certain way image matters.
4:00
And then to me now recently, like in the more common years, I’m like, I’m going to show up the most raw, real vulnerable version of myself.
4:07
And I don’t necessarily have a run.
4:10
I have a brand but there’s no like concurrency, I’d say in my Instagram feed.
4:15
So I love that feedback.
4:16
And then I also, I think it’s important for others to hear just that like, wow, this one person has this, that I admire so much.
4:25
Is it actually possible for me?
4:26
And it sounds like you made it possible for yourself.
4:30
And I’d love to hear what was that like, you know, really taking it from this place of like, oh, I admire what this person is doing because one, I also believe when we admire something in someone, usually it means that we also have that special gift within ourselves and you did and you do.
4:45
And so I’d love to hear what it was like to take this desire of like, oh this is something I like, I feel called to do and actually take the first couple of steps in that direction.
4:54
And I love what you just said because a quote that I say to my clients a lot is if it’s on your heart, then it’s possible to achieve it.
5:01
I truly believe that you are never given a dream or the strong inclination to do something or experience something without it being possible for you to do, no matter how impossible it feels at the time.
5:16
Right.
5:17
And to your point, that’s exactly where I was at.
5:19
The pandemic hit.
5:20
I actually moved back to Nebraska, moved in with my parents at 26 years old, I lost my full time job.
5:27
So had no health insurance, had no government assistance and basically said, ok, this is the time to do it.
5:35
And if it doesn’t work, ok, I can always go back to what I was doing, but I was miserable and it wasn’t, it wasn’t who I was.
5:43
So what I need to do to get to where I want to be.
5:47
And I think I love that.
5:48
You mentioned like, oh, we have this idea of what it’s supposed to look like, right?
5:55
We love to shoot ourselves to death literally.
5:57
And instead of following the aesthetic or following what all these other coaches were doing, I really just started showing up.
6:05
I just started sharing my story and seeing how one could relate to it, just putting it out there and trying to see, you know, ok, I know, I’ve been through it.
6:15
Someone else has to have been through it too.
6:17
It can’t just be me.
6:18
That feels this way.
6:19
And now four years later it’s definitely not just me that feels this way.
6:24
I think it’s a big piece of our society as women that we don’t talk about.
6:29
We’ve almost normalized wanting to be healthy, but in an aesthetic way.
6:34
Right.
6:35
And so every woman is on a diet and that’s normal.
6:38
We’re supposed to talk about that every woman is supposed to want to be smaller or look different and that’s to talk about.
6:46
And so it’s almost more uncomfortable to call it out and say, hey, this is not normal.
6:50
What would it look like if you actually just genuinely liked yourself and you like your life, what would that look like?
6:57
And most women that I talk to have no idea, they’ve never felt that.
7:00
Wow.
7:01
Yeah, I love what you’re talking to and just to clarify, you know, we’re really going to be talking about dieting body image and all the things that you’ve gone through.
7:09
But it is so funny to witness how, how someone looks is quote unquote healthy, what I have experienced personally.
7:20
And maybe you can relate to this.
7:21
Like, honestly, like if you, one of my smallest days when I was the tiniest or when quote uno everyone was like, you’re so skinny, you look so small, blah, blah, blah.
7:31
I wasn’t, I didn’t feel my best.
7:34
I actually felt miserable inside my energy levels were all over the place.
7:39
My mind didn’t feel good.
7:41
And so I truly started to think more of like, ok, if health doesn’t look a certain way, what does health actually feel like?
7:49
What does healthy feel like that is so drastically different from what I feel like people are shooting for or striving for when it comes to.
7:59
Oh, health looks a certain way.
8:01
And it’s funny to what you were just saying.
8:03
It’s like everyone celebrates that too.
8:06
It’s insane.
8:07
It’s like, oh well, let’s celebrate the fact that people look a certain way but they’re dieting, they can’t sleep well, their energy levels are all over the place.
8:16
We’re not looking at the, you know, the root cause of all the whole thing.
8:22
Yeah, at all.
8:24
Not, not to go down a rabbit hole, but I I always challenge my clients to look at where’s the money coming from?
8:30
Because realistically, right, our society is not going to look at OK.
8:35
What is healthy feel like?
8:36
Right.
8:37
Because they make more money based off of what healthy quote unquote looks like, right?
8:42
If we’re constantly changing what the expected beauty standards are of women, especially, right?
8:49
Body image, what size you are, what aesthetics are in, right?
8:54
It’s just constantly going to be making more money because we’re feeding off of women’s insecurities.
9:00
A healthy and confident woman doesn’t cost a lot of money, right?
9:04
So why would we want them?
9:05
And that’s almost where I joke that I did not go into this business to become a millionaire.
9:11
I didn’t because the women that I help, I hope they never come back to me because I hope that in their heart, they know who they are, what their worthiness is and what actually works for them so that they can kind of tune out all of the noise and something I know you’ve talked a lot about in your own story.
9:30
But I was actually reflecting on this after the last time you and I chatted was again, just even how our own journey kind of evolves as we coach because I first started coaching, I was still counting macros, which I told my clients not to do.
9:45
But I was so scared that if I fully leaned into intuitive eating into the wellness practices that I was coaching, that my body would change.
9:54
And if I gained weight, what kind of wellness coach would I be if my body was?
9:58
Can we peel that back a little bit?
10:02
What do you?
10:02
So I’d love to hear a little bit more about what that was like, you know, like really leaning in and saying, hey, I help you in this way.
10:10
But I’m also scared that I look like this, maybe, I don’t know if that’s the right way to say it, but I think it was, it’s always been very contradictory for me.
10:19
I’ve never been in a body that was big enough to be plus sized.
10:22
And I’ve never been in a body small enough to be seen as small or skinny or petite like our society.
10:30
So I’ve always lived in this middle space where I feel like again, we’ve always talked about, you must get authority based upon what someone looks like rather than their education or their story or, you know, their own experience.
10:45
And so it was, it was a lot of self reflection.
10:48
It was a lot of like honest conversation with myself of saying, ok, if you’re going to do this, a lot of your own triggers and trauma is going to show up that you’re going to have to work through as you help these women work through it, right?
11:02
And a lot of that for me and I’m an open book, you’re welcome to ask whatever.
11:06
But a lot of that for me was growing up.
11:08
I always knew I was beautiful.
11:10
I was always told I had a beautiful face or I had beautiful hair, but I was also always told, oh, well, maybe you should drink water instead of eat that.
11:18
Oh, you’d be perfect if you just lost x amount of weight, right?
11:23
It was always you have such a pretty face but right?
11:27
So so much of the mixed messaging caused my my own narrative to become, oh, I’m beautiful.
11:35
However, there are pieces of me that are not, there are pieces of me that do not match and it’s my body.
11:41
So if I can just change my body, if I can just fix this piece and everything else about me already fits what they want it to fit.
11:49
So as I went into coaching, I had to truly say, ok, if this is the body I have for the rest of my life, this is where we’re at.
11:57
Can I be happy in it?
11:58
And I always laugh that the one thing I said to my mom that actually changed a lot for me was saying, if I can’t have chocolate, what’s the point?
12:08
Right?
12:08
If I can’t go out to eat with friends and actually enjoy their presence, what’s the point?
12:14
Right?
12:15
And that’s, you know, that’s I never lied to anybody that’s a constant battle, right?
12:19
We will always have to work on this piece of us, but it was really that kind of come to Jesus moment with myself of OK, if I’m going to be the face of this, yeah, my body is going to be a constant conversation topic.
12:32
I’m gonna have to be really strong in how I feel about who I am and what my purpose is not necessarily how my body might fluctuate.
12:39
I think just that thank you so much for sharing that.
12:42
But just that is like the one of the most bravest and most courageous things that you could do.
12:46
No one really talks about, especially being a coach.
12:49
Or being on social media and you quote unquote, being a representation of what people want.
12:55
And it’s also like, it takes a lot to be like, hey, I want this for you and I have to practice this too and I’m going to constantly work through my own thing.
13:06
It’s almost like it’s like the journey is just like, it’s on hyper alert.
13:11
I don’t know how to say it.
13:12
Like everything is intense and high intensity because one, you’re putting yourself out there and talking about these very triggering topics rather, rather, you know, they’re not necessarily going to go away like we’re so wounded, we have our things, right?
13:25
These very triggering topics, we’re putting ourselves in situations that are very freaking uncomfortable and we’re actively, you’re actively choosing to be uncomfortable in that.
13:35
So you’re actively choosing to be like, I have to show up confidently and expressive and myself in these moments and share these very vulnerable things about myself and tackle my internal dialogue about that like, oh yeah, it’s so fun.
13:55
It’s a lot.
13:55
And so I love to hear what was like something that really helped you step into that, like knowing that this was your calling, right?
14:02
Because one thing is I feel like we always get called to do, but December, our callings are never necessarily going to be the most comfortable ride.
14:09
It’s not like you’re getting on a road trip.
14:10
It’s like, oh, I’m gonna go see the scenery the entire time.
14:12
And it’s like, no, actually, the thing you feel called to do is probably gonna be one of the most hardest things that you’re gonna face in some ways.
14:19
And so I’d love to know like, what was like your North Star or what was your anchor and, like, constantly showing up while you’re still navigating your own body, image relationship with your body conversations and showing people that there’s another way.
14:35
You know, and to your point, I think with our doves being so much on social media, right?
14:41
It is seen as, oh, well, it must be so fun.
14:44
It’s so easy to do your job.
14:46
It’s so enjoyable and it is don’t get me wrong.
14:49
I love what I do but holy smokes.
14:52
Is it hard to show up when you are going through those triggers?
14:56
You’re going through different life battles?
14:58
Because one thing I do want to note for anyone listening is this journey is not a I’m going to do this action, get this result and never have to work on it again.
15:07
There is not an end.
15:09
There just isn’t no matter how much society leads you to believe if you do this and you’ll get this.
15:14
It’s not how it works.
15:15
It’s constant growth and evolution and, and change, not only with clients but within myself, right?
15:23
And so I do have to hold a lot of space for myself.
15:26
So to your to your question my north star was really always my, why my, why was I doing this?
15:33
Right.
15:33
When I could easily get another 9 to 5 job, I could be in, in sales or I could be in marketing again and I could probably make a lot more money doing a lot less work.
15:42
Right.
15:43
For me, it was, I knew that I was put on this earth to leave an impact even if that was with one person.
15:50
And I knew that the way I would put it is that there is only one of you that will ever be created ever, right?
15:58
There is only one of you.
15:59
And so you are also the only one that has the gifts you have to give.
16:03
And so if my gift, if my reasoning for going through a decade of body dysmorphia and eating disorders and you know, self insecurity, if the reason I went through all of that was so that I could help women get out of it so that I could help women teach their daughters to not go through that.
16:23
OK?
16:23
Then I just need to show up, I need to find ways to pivot.
16:27
So that’s kind of always held true of like that is why I do what I do because I in the place where I felt, I mean, severe anxiety.
16:37
So such a dark depression to a point where I, I could not get out of it.
16:42
I literally remember telling my parents, I’m like, I don’t know what’s wrong with me.
16:47
Like I, I feel crazy and it seems like no one can relate to it.
16:51
And so being able to be that person that says I get it.
16:54
You’re not crazy.
16:55
There’s nothing wrong with you, right?
16:57
We’ve just normalized something that is not normal.
17:00
And then in order to continue that why I’ve learned that I do need to pour into myself in a lot of ways, right?
17:07
In order to pour into others, you have to make sure your cup is filled and that’s easier said than done a lot of the time, right?
17:15
You and I were talking about this before.
17:17
Even recording.
17:18
Big thing for me is being in like creative energetic spaces, being with like minded women or purposely giving myself some self care and self care is not just like, oh, I’m gonna go get a facial every week.
17:32
I wish it was, that would be great, right?
17:35
But being intentional about like my non negotiables.
17:39
So for me that’s going to the gym that’s moving my body in some way for me that’s spending time with people who do really pour into me that’s reading, right?
17:48
Like shutting off the world, shutting off the phone and being in a completely different like creative space.
17:54
So that’s kind of a long, a long winded answer to your question.
17:58
Yeah.
17:59
There’s so many facets to it.
18:00
How did you figure that out though?
18:02
Like, I’m so curious because like, I think, you know, we can say all those things, you know, everyone can tell you like, hey, these are the ways that would be the most supportive to you.
18:14
Don’t forget to fill you up your own cup.
18:16
Don’t forget, you know, you’re really leaning into your why.
18:18
Like, I love all of that and I kind of want to peel back a little bit more of like, how did you actually figure that out?
18:25
Like, did you, did you run into a situation where you’re like, holy shit?
18:28
I have nothing left within me.
18:30
I need to like, look back and see like, how do I give back to myself?
18:33
Like, did you run into these walls or challenges or like almost like pauses that the universe was like, hey, all you got to step back a little bit and evaluate, was it something like that or was it different because I want to appeal that back a little bit of like, how did you figure that out for yourself?
18:50
Yeah, I think it wasn’t as apparent.
18:53
I would love, I would love if God was just like here, Ali, I want to just drop this download real quick for it.
18:59
This is what you need to do and this is why you need to do it.
19:03
I think it was like little instances along the way.
19:05
And one that I remember is I was severely depressed.
19:09
I had like anxiety attack that was last seen.
19:12
Multiple days in a row.
19:14
And I was living in my college town at the time, working my 9 to 5 account management position.
19:20
And I was driving the 45 minutes every night back to my parents’ house in Omaha because I just couldn’t, I couldn’t go to bed alone.
19:29
And my dad said doing the same thing every single different day and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.
19:39
And I had, I had heard that before, but it wasn’t until that point that I realized every single thing I kept trying was basically the same thing just in different wrapping, right?
19:50
And so that, I mean, that was four or five years before I even started coaching.
19:55
That was the very first pivotal point of saying, OK, something has to give here.
20:00
What about my current situation?
20:02
Am I constantly trying to change in order to be happy?
20:06
Well, for me, it was, oh, I’m going to control food.
20:08
I’m going to control my body because once I can control that, then I’ll be happy.
20:13
But you have to go steps deeper to your point of saying, OK, why do I think that that’s gonna make me happy?
20:19
What do I actually want?
20:21
And for me it was OK, I want connection.
20:24
I want community.
20:25
I wanna be accepted.
20:27
OK.
20:28
So at that point, I didn’t quite know how to make that change.
20:31
So all I did was I changed my environment.
20:33
I moved to a different city in my state.
20:37
Right.
20:37
And then I realized, ok, this job that I just took something off here, I’m still not quite, it doesn’t quite feel right.
20:45
And I kept journaling on it of like, what are the commonalities?
20:48
What do I keep doing?
20:50
Thinking?
20:51
It’s going to be different while I kept taking marketing positions where I was sitting at a desk all day thinking, oh, this job will let me talk to people.
20:58
I never talk to people.
21:00
I talk to myself most of the time, right?
21:02
So I, I tried something different.
21:05
And I think, you know, honestly, the biggest piece of my past that I take like reflection and feedback from is that if, if you can just try one different thing, take it in the sense of it’s not failure, it’s not success.
21:18
It’s truly OK.
21:19
How am I going to get feedback from this?
21:20
Do I like it or do I not like it?
21:22
And most of my feedback was from things I didn’t like, but it led me to understand myself better.
21:28
And now I think as a coach to get into that space of saying, OK, I need to pour into my own cup.
21:34
I need to take steps away, right?
21:36
I need to be involved in community.
21:39
A lot of that has been writing down and journaling of what’s valuable to me.
21:44
Where do I feel energy and where do I feel energy depleted?
21:49
Right.
21:49
Sometimes that’s the easiest way to look at it is OK?
21:52
Does this thing action person give you energy?
21:56
Do you feel just like lit up after you’re with them or after you’re there?
22:00
Or is your energy depleted?
22:02
Do you start to notice?
22:03
OK, I’m sleeping more.
22:05
I don’t really want to take care of myself.
22:07
Right?
22:07
There’s a commonality of how your energy ebbs and flows.
22:11
So, so much of that for me was just being more intuitive and being honest with myself of OK, this is not, this is not allowing me to be who I am.
22:21
What is the one thing I can do right now?
22:23
That’s gonna shift that so good.
22:25
Thank you for walking us through all of that.
22:27
I think to add to that, you know, I think the way I think about it sometimes we do get a to a breaking point.
22:33
We’re like, all right, something has to freaking shift and it’s insane that we don’t even recognize it in the moment, you know.
22:39
So for anyone that’s listening a it’s OK if you, you’re at your edge, right?
22:44
You’re at the the brink of like, OK, something really needs to change.
22:48
Like, don’t get hard on yourself for not realizing that something needed to change way earlier because I think sometimes we can run into that of like holy cow.
22:55
I’ve been sitting in this pattern in this experience for weeks, for months, for years and I haven’t shifted anything.
23:02
And a that’s OK.
23:03
Now you’re listening to this now and maybe that’s like sparking something and saying, oh OK.
23:08
I can easily start to peel back the layers.
23:11
I think too to add to this.
23:12
Like I love all that.
23:13
I know this is the same, but the more that you practice becoming aware of right before you meet your edge, you’ll catch it way earlier, right?
23:21
And I think a lot of the work, at least I’ve learned as a trauma informed somatic practitioner is like our bodies will speak to us.
23:29
They will tell us like, hey, this is too much.
23:33
You are crossing a boundary, you’re at capacity, things have to shift, things have to change.
23:38
And the more that we tune into how our body is speaking to us or how our internal dialogue is speaking to us, we’ll catch on, but we have to start listening so we can start trusting it and being like, ok, I listen, I did I trust.
23:53
Wow, result, validating.
23:55
OK.
23:55
And then we get this feedback loop of like I’m doing the thing, it’s working.
24:00
I should do this more.
24:01
And it sounds like you’ve implemented that alley like directly into your life continuously.
24:06
As like now you have it as a practice in these new areas of life and the new days and the new years to come that Yeah, absolutely.
24:14
I think, you know, to be transparent, it’s still happening.
24:20
Jake, I’ve been coaching now for four years.
24:23
I have a very successful coaching business.
24:25
I’ve hoped hundreds of women and you and I were talking, I’m now at another kind of catalyst in my life of OK, I want to move.
24:33
I want to take the next step with my business.
24:35
I have no idea what that looks like.
24:36
No clue.
24:37
Right.
24:38
But rather than trying to constantly control it being more open to receding, I think I’ve seen that in the past, all I did was try to hold it so tightly and there’s no room for that to breathe.
24:50
Rather than allowing it to expand, allowing conversations and connections and opportunities to come to you because truly believe like energy attracts, right?
25:01
When we talk about like manifestation, I always joke with people that you can manifest until you’re blue in the face.
25:07
But unless you’re doing actions to allow that manifestation to happen, nothing’s going to change, right?
25:15
And so I look at it as like energy attracts.
25:17
Who are you being in order to get where you want to be?
25:21
Not?
25:21
What are you doing?
25:23
Yeah, so beautifully said, I love that, you know, and one thing I just want to call out too, like we’re just so similar in a lot of ways like, and I love hearing that because I’m also in a transition and a pivot and I’ve shared that with people, I think where you’re coming from is like really being adaptable and flexible to that.
25:39
And I think we get so like, I don’t know what this is going to look like or I’m going to try and control it, whether we’re aware of it or not.
25:46
Like our subconscious is just going to be like, well, you know, this very well, let’s just stay here.
25:52
It’s safe.
25:53
Why not?
25:53
Even if safety is more painful.
25:56
Right.
25:56
That’s where the ego is.
25:57
Like, well, even though this is still hurting you or maybe this is something that doesn’t feel in alignment, but we know it, you know how to show up every day in it.
26:07
So you’re somewhat comfortable and your system’s like, I want to stay, why can’t I stay?
26:12
And you’re like, no, I’m being called to something different and, and that takes so much.
26:18
Yeah, like flexibility, openness and adaptability.
26:21
And so I think that’s so beautiful that you mention that and it’s an ongoing practice.
26:26
Oh, absolutely.
26:27
And I literally say this in my coaching that as humans, the only three things that we look for are love safety and belonging.
26:35
And the hard part is a lot of times we’re finding those in places that we’ve outgrown, right?
26:40
Because our body loves security.
26:43
It loves to feel like, ok, I know what’s going to happen, right?
26:46
We don’t, we don’t love change.
26:48
That’s not how we were built, right?
26:50
We’re fearful of that because it’s unknown.
26:52
And I had a coach say this to me once that the difference, you know, between where you are now and where you want to be is just knowledge.
27:00
We’re scared of it because we don’t know what it is yet.
27:03
But how powerful is that?
27:04
We just don’t know it.
27:06
So that means we can go out and look for it.
27:08
You know, we don’t experience it until we know it.
27:10
So we have to experience it in order to know it.
27:13
And by like Cusco snoring, I’m like, can you hear him?
27:16
I can’t, but I put honey in her bed too.
27:19
Oh I’m like, dude, wake up just kidding.
27:22
It’s fine.
27:24
But yeah, we don’t know until we experience it.
27:26
I think that’s the most beautiful thing.
27:27
And so I really do wanna get back a little bit to like body image and feeling confident just a little bit as to like, you know, if there is someone out there that’s listening to like, well, I don’t feel comfortable in my body.
27:39
I don’t feel confident.
27:40
I feel like I’m gonna be insecure for the rest of my life.
27:43
I don’t know if this can change.
27:45
I don’t know even know how to change.
27:46
It even looks like to start.
27:48
Where can someone start?
27:50
Oh, a big question with so many different answers.
27:54
I think honestly the first place to start is being honest with yourself around.
27:59
Why do you feel this way in your body?
28:02
Right?
28:02
For, for me, I was always questioning that of saying, well, I feel disconnected to my body because I’m heavier because I’m not this size because I’m not this weight and I always blamed it on my outward appearance.
28:16
But to what you and I have been talking about is it’s taking a step deeper and saying, hey, but why, why do you feel disconnected in your body?
28:25
Who or what experience taught you that?
28:28
What about that?
28:29
Makes you feel unsafe or unloved or unworthy?
28:33
Right?
28:33
Because it’s rarely a topic.
28:35
Ok.
28:36
I, I want to be in a smaller body.
28:37
It’s usually the why?
28:38
Under the why?
28:39
Well, I watched my mom struggle with her body and her appearance, her whole life.
28:45
I watched my parents get divorced and I was, you know, going through this at a young age, it’s, I had a boy break up with me because I didn’t look like the girl in the magazine, right?
28:57
It’s always a reason or an experience or a person.
29:01
And it could just be society’s expectations too that you’ve been through.
29:05
But I think the first step is really articulating.
29:08
Like, why do I feel this way?
29:09
Who, what experience taught me this?
29:12
Because once we can establish that we can recognize that it wasn’t us in the first place.
29:18
It wasn’t our thoughts, it wasn’t our feelings.
29:20
We were not born feeling this way about ourselves.
29:24
One of my favorite things.
29:25
And it’s just like a little fun fact that I ask people is there are two things that we are born being fearful of.
29:32
Ok, only two things.
29:34
And when I asked that most people say being alone or not being loved or, you know, being hurt in some way and the two things that we’re born being fearful of are falling and loud noises, that’s it.
29:48
Everything else is a learned experience.
29:51
So if it’s been earned, you can unlearn it drop.
29:56
Let me just walk away from that for a second.
29:58
But truly, I think, you know, we always want to start with the action and the result.
30:02
But the biggest piece of advice that I ever took from my own journey and what I teach all my clients to do is we have to do the mental and emotional first.
30:11
Your thoughts and your feelings drastically make a bigger impact on your results than any action ever could.
30:17
100% totally.
30:19
I really love that.
30:19
You said that I think it’s so beautiful and so powerful to recognize that nothing that we are scared of today was something that we were born with.
30:27
Everything was learned and it’s so powerful to say like everything that we’ve learned is also ability, you can unlearn it, you can go through the undoing, you can go through the the shedding of the layers, which is so beautiful.
30:39
And so how does someone go from that to like actually what is, I guess what does it feel like to be like really confident in your body?
30:49
Like really expressive in your body and not just like in your like, I think I’m using the word body, but I almost just want to be like your essence, right?
30:57
Because I like your soul.
30:59
Like, how do you, I think you do this very well just as a human being.
31:03
And I think you really embody this in general and I think, you know, the body image is a thing for sure.
31:09
And you feel a relationship with your body.
31:11
But I’d love to hear your perspective on how do you step into that really confident, expressive boldness that comes from your essence, from your soul, from just who you be not what you look like, I guess.
31:25
Yeah.
31:25
No, that totally makes sense.
31:27
I think we use body or body image almost as like a wall or a construct if you will because it’s something that we can tangibly see so we can change it, we can manipulate it, right?
31:38
Versus your soul, your essence like your spirit, right?
31:42
I always kind of say like my energy that is where confidence truly lies.
31:48
Like confidence cannot be bought, borrowed or stolen.
31:51
You can’t take it from someone else.
31:53
You can’t copy what someone else looks like or what they wear or how they act.
31:58
And magically become confident.
32:00
Confidence is when you are being authentically you, right?
32:03
It’s when your worthiness comes from who you are rather than what you do or what you look like.
32:08
So I think in order to ask the question of like how to get that right?
32:12
There’s so many different ways and so many different steps.
32:15
But I think the biggest piece there is asking, OK, how do I respect myself so that I am capable of being the most authentic version of me?
32:24
Right?
32:24
And for a lot of us, we’re not realizing that most of the actions we’re taking on a daily basis are actually disrespectful to who we are, right?
32:33
So when we say yes, but we really want to say no, but we’re not sure how to put up boundaries, right?
32:38
When we pour into others and don’t make time to pour into ourselves, or we put our own needs on the back burner because we believe they’re not worthy enough or, or a burden if we ask someone to take care of our needs.
32:52
You know, I think a big piece is like self sabotage.
32:54
We love to say, ok, well, I have this to do list first and then I have to do this for everyone else.
33:01
Right?
33:02
Again, we’re ignoring ourselves.
33:04
And I love to use the analogy of like if you’re reading a story, right?
33:08
And you’re the main character, ok?
33:09
You have all these supplemental characters that are gonna come in throughout the course of your life, you’re going to have the best friend and maybe the spouse and like the weird person down the street that bothers you when you order coffee.
33:21
I don’t know.
33:22
Right.
33:22
You’re gonna have all these supplemental characters.
33:24
But if one leaves the story, if you’re no longer friends with them, if someone passes away, the story continues.
33:32
But if the main character, if you do not show up in the story, it doesn’t exist.
33:37
Right?
33:38
And so it is, it’s truly looking at your life and saying, ok, in what areas am I maybe not showing up as myself or I don’t feel connected to who I am or what I’m doing in that space.
33:50
OK.
33:51
Well, then we maybe need to look at, is it the environment?
33:54
Is it the people?
33:55
Is it the the action?
33:56
Let’s investigate a little bit.
33:58
What about that?
33:59
Do you not feel authentic in?
34:01
And I think sometimes the bigger question for women is, you know, I don’t, I don’t even know who I am.
34:06
I don’t know the authentic part of me in order to be confident.
34:09
I don’t even know who that is.
34:11
Ok.
34:11
I would say the first step is talking to someone because for so many of us, we’ve been taught in order to be a strong woman, we have to do it on our own.
34:20
We’re not supposed to be emotional, we’re not supposed to be expressive, we’re not supposed to be indecisive, right?
34:27
Because then you’re seen as weak or, you know, so many other words that it can use that women have had to challenge forever.
34:35
But I think the biggest piece is have someone else hold space for you.
34:39
That’s the first thing that I did when I finally got to that breaking point.
34:43
I didn’t even, I didn’t even tell my parents, I was struggling before I reached out to someone and said, here you go.
34:48
Here’s all my crap.
34:50
I don’t know who I am or what I want to do or what’s wrong with me.
34:53
But can you tell me?
34:55
But right.
34:57
And, and to your point, it’s the unraveling that gets you to the point where you’re like, holy crap.
35:02
This person existed underneath all of that the whole time.
35:06
I just couldn’t see her.
35:07
Yeah, so well said and so beautiful.
35:10
And I think, yeah, if we just start talking, I think, you know, a lot of parts of ourselves, but you’re kind of talking to, they want to be heard, they want to be seen, they want to be loved.
35:19
And it’s so funny how ironically the world is like, no, you can’t show these parts but the parts within us, they’re like, no, please.
35:26
I’d love to be loved on, I’d love to be seen.
35:28
I’d love to be heard.
35:30
And you just tackle that with just, just step one talking to someone because when you let someone else into your world, those parts are getting the opportunity to just share and be and it’s the journey ends up leading you to that inner respect that you talk to, which is it truly I love that you took that route with sharing this because the confidence does come from an inner respect that you have for yourself.
35:54
And the more that you give these different parts of yourself, the opportunity to share, be be honest, be authentic.
36:01
You are respecting those parts.
36:03
You are loving those parts.
36:05
You are saying, hey, you are more than welcome to be in the room with me.
36:09
Come on in and be a part of me because then all of that comes through your confidence, all of that comes to your expression, all of that comes through your embodiment.
36:18
All of that comes to your essence.
36:20
It’s the shunning of the parts that are like, that’s what keeps us insecure or scared or shy or small.
36:29
This is, I don’t really think there’s, you can choose if you want to be small or big whatever your authentic essence is.
36:35
But by giving those parts of you’re giving yourself a chance to choose that love what you just said of, of shunning the pieces of you that you don’t want other people to see.
36:45
And we see that so much more even now it’s so much more prevalent because of social media because we only see the high, the highlight reels, we only or show what we want people to see and the vulnerability, the dark parts of us, the messy parts we hide in this back closet and we think it’s never going to open again.
37:07
But we keep stacking it so full that, that door is going to fling wide open and all that crap is going to come out and you’re going to wonder what the hell do I do with it now?
37:17
Right.
37:17
Yeah.
37:17
You know what I think is so funny.
37:19
I’ve told Nick this a million times.
37:21
I was like, we’re all trying to connect and we talk about all these surface level things all trying to resonate.
37:28
And the number one thing that we all as human beings have in common are these insecurities.
37:34
Are these things that we’re hiding?
37:36
Like are these parts of ourselves?
37:38
And it’s the last thing that we feel safe enough to bring up in conversation.
37:42
I’m like, what, please tell me how the world was turned upside down and been like, OK, so there’s one thing that we all have in common that we truly all navigate fear and security, lack of confidence.
37:57
All these things that are coming up is the last thing that we share with someone and it is the most common thing that we have worldwide.
38:04
And I wonder even will ask you this question, why do you think we do that?
38:09
Do you think it comes from pride?
38:10
Do you think it comes from, it’s what’s normalized or that people don’t want to be a burden?
38:15
Like, why do you think we do that?
38:17
I think, well, I think biologically we are all like, there’s definitely parts within us that want to keep us safe and protected and that is just such a scary thing.
38:24
But even societally, right?
38:26
As a culture, as community, we want to be included, right?
38:30
We want to be like, oh I want to be like you, we automatically start to shift and change because we’re like, I want to be accepted in community.
38:38
And I think because of a lot of our community and our culture is like social media, any culture you dive into anything, you know, there’s something that looks accepted and then our internal sides are like that’s accepted.
38:51
So I’m just going to do that.
38:52
No one’s talking about this over here.
38:53
So I’m not going to bring it up.
38:55
So I think there’s just multiple different angles.
38:57
There’s our own internal dialogue of like I want to stay safe biologically speaking, we have this part of us that want to keep, that wants to protective.
39:05
It’s also the same part of us that keeps us out of harm.
39:09
I just don’t know, we know how to leverage it, right?
39:10
So that keeps us out of harm.
39:11
So like what keeps us from running in front of a car?
39:14
What keeps us aware when you’re running down a black alley?
39:17
And you’re like, this is really dark and scary.
39:19
I should be on alert that the primal part of us is being used as in any other ways.
39:25
And I think to the talking of someone to like being aware of someone of our things and doing the unraveling.
39:32
We get to choose when we want that protection to be there, right?
39:36
When we want to listen to the parts of us and be like, ok, I need to be on alert right now.
39:41
I need to be aware of like I don’t feel safe and I need to listen to that, but I don’t think we know the spectrum or I don’t want to say battery life or like what that actually looks like in our day to day lives because we overuse that internal skill in ways that are keeping us back.
39:58
I hope that answers your question and I sure you believe the same exact thing.
40:02
But I think we just have, we have to learn those things so we can choose something different.
40:06
Yeah, I completely agree and not to go down a completely different path.
40:10
But no, let’s go for it where you want to go.
40:13
It literally makes me think of even just the outside of the body image conversation, the confidence conversation.
40:19
I always tell women that that drips into the rest of our lives, right?
40:23
Our confidence in work, our confidence in dating and relationships.
40:28
And I think what you said holds so much truth to that as well of we’ve almost biologically created these defense mechanisms because we want to be accepted, right?
40:37
The love, the safety of belonging.
40:39
And so I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but I even think that’s transitioned, our relationships where we are less likely to let people in.
40:48
We do hold up such higher walls to the point where we don’t understand.
40:53
How do I let someone in?
40:54
How am I vulnerable?
40:55
How do I do this and potentially get hurt?
40:58
But you always get the greater reward in the end.
41:01
And I think I see that even more and more in my clients right now.
41:04
120%.
41:05
I mean, this is a lot of what we talk about on the podcast.
41:07
I’m so glad you’re bringing it up because I think one, it’s interesting, vulnerability is a catalyst of connection.
41:13
Renee Brown literally says that vulnerability is everything, it is everything, but you’re so right.
41:21
We almost are like we want literally brings us closer in relationships.
41:25
It creates the kind of like soul fire relationships that we’re all craving, but we’re so scared and I think that ends up taking there’s so much there one is like you learning to be responsible for your own feelings and other people are being responsible for themselves.
41:40
This is why it’s so beautiful for both people in relationship to do the work.
41:44
Because when you start to realize like I’m holding my back myself back because of a past experience that I experience and I’m not opening up oh, vulnerably.
41:54
And so I’m not even giving you the opportunity to hold me to see me to love me.
41:58
And I’m taking that away from you.
42:00
But all I want is for you to love me, see me.
42:02
Do you get it?
42:03
And so I think that a way to do that is truly through communication, like feeling safe enough to communicate these things.
42:10
But there’s so much skill set that comes into that, that we just haven’t learned.
42:14
But it starts with ourselves, like us becoming safe with the parts of ourselves.
42:18
So then we can let someone in and then knowingly if we let someone in and it’s not received, well, it doesn’t mean anything about you.
42:25
It doesn’t change your experience.
42:27
It does not affect your worthiness.
42:29
It does not say that you are not lovable.
42:31
It shows that maybe that person doesn’t have the skills to support you in that way or maybe they just haven’t loved any.
42:38
They just know how to respond to that and you cannot control or change that about them.
42:42
But we can’t keep ourselves from sharing.
42:45
We can’t keep ourselves from putting up a wall because if we do, then we’re never going to receive the thing that we want so badly and what we’re all meant to receive, right?
42:54
Deep, deep connection.
42:56
I love that.
42:56
And I think that can be said just about so many, so many other aspects of our lives 100%.
43:02
And I see that, you know, to bring it back to food and body image and the coaching that I do.
43:08
I see that in even just the control mechanisms that we have, right?
43:12
We put up walls with our relationships because we don’t want to be vulnerable.
43:15
We don’t want to show, hey, I am, I’m struggling in this way.
43:19
I need, it’s so hard for us to ask for help, right?
43:23
We even do that with, you know, I look at like food and dieting for instance, we say, ok, well, I’m going to restrict this because it’s control when in reality, what we want comes from fueling our bodies and from treating them with respect and yet we are doing the exact opposite expecting that result.
43:39
Yeah.
43:39
Something that I just thought about when you said that was like, the restriction is such rigid that at least we feel like, oh, I have these two lanes that I can follow like this feels safe.
43:50
I know what direction I’m going in.
43:52
I’m supposed to eat this way.
43:53
I’m supposed to count this many calories, whatever we want to do.
43:56
This is what this looked like and like what intuitive eating has taught me and what you’re talking to.
44:01
It’s a lot more gray.
44:03
There’s no definite like, hey, you’re supposed to eat like this or this is what the lanes look like.
44:09
And I think we, so as human beings love to hold on to that control of clarity, that control of direction of like this is what it’s supposed to look like.
44:18
But we lack the intuitive sense and the ability to be fluid to be dynamic to be like, I feel like I’m on a burger today or, you know, I’m really craving meat today or I know I need some greens and like allowing us to choose those thoughts versus letting the standards, not the rules around eating, right?
44:38
That we all subconsciously construct and so on.
44:41
So it’s so interesting to hear you say that because it’s so true, like in the rigidity in the control that is like, oh, I know where I’m going.
44:50
What we’re asking people to do is to be like a little bit more go where we’re going, right.
44:56
That’s the other thing is like there’s so much assumption and that we know, but do we, I and I think it all ties back to that authenticity piece, right?
45:06
We, we love to, it would be wonderful if we had our entire life planned out and we could see every single step and we knew exactly what was going to happen with every single choice and you never had to question what was going to happen next or what scary thing might be around the next corner, right?
45:23
And so as humans, it’s human nature to hold tightly to control, to like you’re saying, the rigidity gives us almost that false sense of security rather than recognizing that, that security, that control might be the exact thing that’s keeping us from a life of confidence, of freedom of this just energetic vibrancy, right?
45:45
And I love that, you know, tying all the way back to what we were saying at the beginning, you said like that’s, that’s just the energy that I bring out when I talk.
45:53
That’s how I feel.
45:54
And I think the more you lean into it, you more you lean into the gray space, you start to ask the question, why and how a lot more than what you start to ask, ask those questions.
46:07
And you become more intuitive to where the control or where those walls in your life are showing up.
46:14
Yeah, but they still show up.
46:15
They definitely do, but you’re more aware of them and now you have the tools to move past them and to the authenticity before we like wrap up here, it’s like what it is for you, right?
46:27
Because what it is for me is so different than what it is for you, which not trying to make this more complicated, but it really comes down to like you cracking your own code on like what that y looks like?
46:38
How is my wall showing up?
46:40
Where does this look like in my life?
46:42
And because when you crack your own code, then you’re, you’re good, you’re good.
46:47
Doesn’t matter how someone else is doing it.
46:49
Like as long as they’re doing it in the way that supports them and they’ve cracked their own code.
46:53
I think a lot of what we’re talking about here too is like you feeling empowered be like, OK, what does this, how does is apply to me?
47:02
What does my wife look like to me?
47:04
Where is this pattern coming from in my life?
47:07
To me?
47:08
Not what it looks like to all these other people on social media, CNN or like the people down the street.
47:16
Because to be honest, I think we’re all here in our world to go figure that out.
47:19
Like what is my own?
47:21
How do I crack my own code?
47:22
What is my own evolution look like?
47:24
What does my journey look like?
47:26
What if I want to make a right instead of a left?
47:28
Like you can, you don’t have to choose one or the other.
47:31
You’re not stuck in the narrative that someone wrote for you.
47:37
I mean, that’s a, that’s a topic for a different day of generational trauma.
47:41
And you know, we’ll go down that route soon, I think to wrap up into your point, it’s, we all have had different experiences that have created who we are.
47:51
But your past does not define who you become jumping in here to remind you that we do have an online virtual community called the fully expressed Community for women.
48:02
If you are craving to have these conversations to see, talk more about in detail, what it actually means to live a life fully expressed, to have access to other women that are also wanting to optimize our life, wanting to be regulated and wanting to fully express themselves in their relationships and their business and just in life and attract those kinds of opportunities.
48:26
I want to invite you into the fully expressed community where we meet every second Wednesday of every single month, we’re only $27 a month.
48:35
So go check it out, send me ad m if you’re interested and I’ll get you right in there.
48:41
I love that.
48:42
So I’m going to ask you one question or maybe two.
48:46
But, you know, as you’re on this path of like, really leaning into like you’re on evolution, like being open to like what your next pivot is, what your career is, you know, really, really unlocking your fullest expression in your life and in your business.
48:58
Where do you feel called to go in this next step of life?
49:03
That’s such a good question.
49:05
I really, it’s interesting.
49:07
I felt like 2023 was very much a year of growth and self discovery and hardship for myself, but for a lot of people and I feel like this new year just has so much like opportunity and I feel so hopeful and optimistic for it.
49:24
But where I see it taking me is so much bigger picture.
49:28
I don’t have any of the fine tuned steps and I think that’s the beauty of it.
49:31
I, I see myself speaking to women on a larger platform, whatever that might be, whether that’s in person or podcasting or, you know, connecting at events, but actually getting to be face to face with people again in that kind of connection.
49:47
I think a lot of it for me, my own personal journey, the self growth is going to be still challenging the shoulds.
49:55
I turned 30 this year.
49:56
I’m from the Midwest.
49:58
Right.
49:58
The shoulds are, I should be married with kids and have a home and be settled down.
50:03
And so much of my spirit is telling me, go, go and see the world, go and explore, go and connect, get out of your comfort zone.
50:12
And I have no idea what that looks like.
50:14
But I think that’s really exciting.
50:15
Yeah, I think that’s absolutely beautiful and I love that.
50:18
It’s almost like 2023 years of the year of like, ok, I know you’re growing a lot, like 2024 is like, well, let me show you why.
50:25
Yeah.
50:26
And I really do think you’re an amazing speaker.
50:29
Like it was so beautiful.
50:30
Thank you so much for coming out of the podcast.
50:32
And I’m so excited for you to like, get on those stages, you know, find the right stages, find the right rooms where you feel like you’re seen and heard as well and connected and so so beautiful.
50:42
So, thank you so much for coming on and bless you all ask or share.
50:45
Can you share with everyone?
50:46
How can someone find you?
50:48
How can someone connect?
50:49
You kind of just follow along with your journey or if someone wants to hire you as a speaker, you know, where can they reach out to you?
50:54
Yeah.
50:54
Come hang out.
50:55
You can find me on all social media at Ask coach Ali just Ali, my website is also ask coachali.com slide in my DM i have never met a stranger.
51:07
I am always open to talking to anyone about anything if you need the support.
51:11
That’s why I’m here.
51:12
I mean, saying, well, thank you so much for being here.
51:15
I love you so much and yeah, I just can’t wait for us to continue to stick along with each other’s journeys and see what’s coming for you.
51:22
Thank you so much for having me.

Episode Highlights:

  • Ali’s personal struggle with body image and self-confidence.
  • The role of societal expectations in shaping self-perception.
  • Transformative moments that led Ali to wellness coaching.
  • Strategies for developing a positive body image and self-love.
  • Empowering women to embrace their authentic selves.

About Ali:

Ali Sempek, “Coach Ali”, is an Internationally Certified Wellness Coach and Founder/CEO of her own women’s empowerment company, Ask Coach Ali. After a decade of disordered eating and failing to hate her body skinny, Ali craved more from her life than a smaller jean size. Today, she’s changing the narrative of what healthy looks like by helping women transform their relationships with food and who they see in the mirror.

Connect with Ali:

Instagram: @askcoachali
Website: https://askcoachali.com/

Join The Fully Expressed Community, where you can be surrounded by other women who are also on the same path of personal growth, healing, and uncovering their authentic expression. Being in a community surrounded by others can truly be one of the most supporting and healing containers to support your personal invitation.

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Contact Karenna: hello@karennasoto.com 

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Karenna Soto

I’m an expert in communication, creating healthy professional and personal relaitonships, and in managing and overcoming anxiety with a knack for navigating difficult conversations both in personal and professional atmospheres. I am here to invite you into your fullest authentic expression and personal evolution.

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More About Karenna

I know how debilitating it can feel to be stuck on the perpetual hamster wheel of a life that you don’t enjoy living. Sure, externally you’ve got it all together, but internally, it likely feels like you’re questioning E V E R Y T H I N G.

Can you relate?

It was when I felt disconnect with what I was doing, and with how I was showing up in my life that I realized the answers lied in how I was doing what I was doing that I decided I no longer wanted to keep living within the box of what I was told to be and decided to boldly express myself and stand for what truly mattered to me.

I have seen the power of fully expressing myself in my personal and professional life. Now I want to bring it to the masses, which is why I’ve created this podcast.

This podcast is my invitation to all people struggling to be fully expressed in life, relationships, and business. It’s for those who are wanting to feel A L I V E, connected, and in love with their life, relationships, and business.

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