Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in the health & wellness space, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stel Coombe-Heath founder at Wholesome Lifestyle Project. Stel helps people suffering from binge or emotional eating.
Tell us all about your business...
I help busy career women stop binge and emotional eating, feel radiant and confident, while freeing their mind of food & body thoughts.
What's your background and motivation to grow as a solopreneur?
Having overcome two eating disorders, emotional eating and body dysmorphia myself, I know how lonely it can be to struggle with a disordered relationship with food and your body.
It all started three years ago, on a Thursday night.I had just finished eating almost everything in my pantry after bingeing on drive-through food as well. I was in tears. In fact, I was ugly crying on the floor, hugging my dog, and just wishing that I could be free of the hold food had on me.
I've been to many professionals and according to the statistical diagnostics there was no diagnosis for what I had, so for over 13 years, I struggled with a disordered relationship with food resulting in two eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and emotional eating.
I had a successful career, supporting friends and a loving husband but I could not get a grip on my binge eating. I felt helpless. I felt ashamed. I felt out of control.
And it was at that moment where I knew I needed to help myself heal.
Eventually, I found a coach who specializes in eating disorder recovery. 3 months into my recovery, I realised I no longer reached for food when having a bad day. I could have some chocolate without finishing the entire block and at that moment, I knew I needed to help others out there struggling like me.
No one should suffer in shame or guilt for what their bodies look like. Unfortunately, society (a.k.a the diet industry) tells us we need to look a certain way to be "acceptable", we need to judge ourselves and others for our food choices and we need to starve our bodies to get there.
As human beings, it's not what life is about, we should be able to accept ourselves and others without feeling ashamed about our bodies.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
In late 2019 I decided that it was time to step into my business full time. I resigned and my last day in corporate was 28 February 2020. Only three weeks full time in my business and I was facing lockdowns and a pandemic.
People were not thinking about their eating behaviors or health, they only worried about survival, and it only made them feel more out of control with food. I pivoted by offering small community programs online; I launched my podcast and co-hosted a weekly support program for our communities. This way I was able to help more people feel supported and get the help they needed regardless of their uncertainty.
Personally, I had to overcome many limiting beliefs about my offerings and myself (as we all do), I had to let go of taking things personally because I knew if I had to survive the pandemic as an entrepreneur and seeing my mission through, then I would have to become resilient. I implemented mindset and personal growth strategies that would keep me on track of where I needed to go.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a solopreneur?
Trusting the process.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a small business today?
- Don't get distracted by shiny objects
- Stay grounded no matter what
- Be consistent with the mundane tasks, they do pay off
If there was one thing you could do repeatedly to help grow your business, what would it be?
Stepping out of my comfort zone every day.
What are some of the things you put in place to maintain a healthy work/life balance and to keep it all together?
My business culture is based on acceptance of all bodies no matter the size, shape, race or gender preference.
I emphasize physical and mental health. I worked myself to the bone in my corporate career and it led to illness and aggravated my disordered relationship with food.
Even though I don’t have employees yet, I provide a calm tranquil environment where I can be at my optimum physical and emotional health to help my clients heal.
This is the exact same environment I look for when engaging with service providers and contractors.
Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs and best business resources/books?
Gabby Bernstein - she's a powerhouse in spiritual and mental development and resilience
Anything else you'd like to share?
Success is to inspire and make an impact in women’s lives so that we can shape a future without body shame and food bias.
Success is not about the income or the number of followers on social media, it’s about showing up daily with the vision to make a difference in the world
Success is showing up even if you have been beaten down and have no idea how to move forward. I show up fearless every day, my mission is bigger than me and I won’t allow myself to stand in my own way.
Success is about mastering the mundane, doing the little tasks day in and day out, no matter how boring knowing that the result will be bigger than you can ever imagine.
My mission is to inspire a million women to have a better relationship with food and their bodies so that we have a future without body shame. I have a vision of a future where women are no longer ashamed of their bodies, where young girls don't feel guilty about what they eat and draw their self-worth from within, not from what they look like on the outside.
Where can people find you online?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share then email firstname.lastname@example.org, we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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