In this episode of This Fat Girl Life podcast, I am joined by Planet Mum’s Michelle Hallum and we are discussing the importance of connecting to your inner-woman. All to often, as women, we tend to stray away from ourselves as we take on varying roles…wife, mother, boss. This discussion was a reminder of how important it is to stay connected to yourself.
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This is a transcript of the conversation between myself and Michelle Hallum. At the bottom o the transcript is the video. All parts that are BOLD are my words.
Welcome to this fat girl life, a podcast about self-worth, loving yourself, and body image. My name is Kimberlee I am the host of this fat girl life, and real quick, I just wanted to take moment and thank all of the people that support me in this podcast and my other podcast. So, if you are continuing to support me and you want to keep me caffeinated for more, go to buymeacoffee.com/thisfatgirllife let me bring this up so that we can see all the beautiful people. Today I am joined by the beautiful Michelle Hallam. Thank you for joining me.
Thank you for having me. I lost you, are you here?
I am still here.
Oh, you’re back, I lost you for a moment.
Technology. So, Michelle, why don’t you tell everybody a little bit about yourself?
Yeah, so thank you for having me on, I’m really happy to be here and be able to speak to all your listeners out there about who I am and what I do. So, I’m a coach for moms, I help moms in transitional periods. So, after having kids, I think a lot of us can get lost in motherhood and it’s just try, you know, try to come out the other side of that and when you do come out the other side of that, you’re, kind of like you’ve already gone through this transformation of having kids and it’s like another transformation to become who that woman is after that. Not the mom because your kind of you know, that happens kind of on its own to a certain extent, but like I said that the kind of woman gets lost in all of that sometimes. So, it’s not coming out again as a woman. Sometimes that can be tricky, sometimes you need a bit of help with that of like knowing who you are and what you want to do.
I think you; I definitely agree. I think you definitely do tend to lose your identity because you’ve gone from a woman to being a wife or a significant other, to being a mom, and you have all these roles that you play but where is that original woman?
So, I definitely, I’ve been there, I’ve got a grown daughter who’s now grown and has her own child and I see that with her as well. You know, I think honestly, every woman has dealt with that. You know, when they’ve had children, or a partner, it’s not even motherhood. It’s just in general we lose ourselves.
So, kind of explain why it is so important to keep that connection to that inner-woman.
Well I think, you know, burnout is this thing that we tend to associate well, it can be associated with all sorts of things, but I think I don’t know if we ever connect, really to being a mom and like you say you’re having so many different roles, but I think there are a lot of women out there and you know, a lot of the problems we see with low self-esteem with you know, what you’re connected with as well with body image and all of these kinds of things. We’re so hard on ourselves, we expect, we put ourselves on these pedestals of having to be the best at everything. The best mom, the best wife, the best lover, the best whatever it is that you’re, you know, whatever role you’re playing in that moment. We’ve got this kind of pressure that society puts on us, and we put on ourselves and other women unfortunately put it on us as well. This is something else we need to kind of you know be aware of is women working together with women, kind of rise women up whereas when we’re kind of fighting against each other. We’re just bringing all of us down, so I mean connecting with that inner-woman is I think connecting with that inner-woman with all of us and remembering we’re united you know? And we have to be united so first it begins with you unite with yourself and then you know, unite with all the other women, and let’s help each other, not kind of tear each other down.
And I absolutely love that you brought up two points within that. One, we do all try to become superwoman, we all try to play this superhero role of trying to do it all and I’m even without young kids in my home I see it with myself. I’m working full time, running a business, I’ve been going to school, you know, I’m a wife, I’m trying to take care of you know things around the house, and you hit that burnout. Totally hit that burnout and then the other point that you brought up that I absolutely love and I resonate so highly with is that competing against each other; and unfortunately, we see so much comparison because you know, you see it on social media you know, you see it on television of these women who just seem to be able to do it all and never have a problem. And I don’t think that’s real, I think we’re competing against an image that is not realistic, not obtainable, and it destroys our self-image with that.
Absolutely I mean, I think, social media has got a positive role in society and I think it’s got a negative role in society and I think you know, these themes that we’re talking about have maybe always existed, but with the rise of social media, they’ve just become more apparent in our lives because we’re all so much more interconnected than we used to be. So now you’ve got this platform where people can actually you know, their voice can be heard even if it’s only to a few people, but whereas before it’s like, if you said something that was maybe to one of the girlfriend or to like I don’t know some an intimate group of people whereas now you’ve got people kind of giving their opinions on social media and its getting a wider reach even if it’s not you know, it doesn’t have to be 1000’s of people because it’s like this ripple effect that it just kind of goes out there. And I think that you know, one theory that I’ve heard, I don’t know whether it’s a bit of a conspiracy theory you know, this idea of to keep men in the stronger position in society, then you need to keep women down and one way to do that is sort of like divide and conquer so long as the women are fight amongst themselves. Then the men can keep sort of like you know, rising up if you like and kind of having all these powerful positions because the women are still down here scrambling amongst themselves and there’s this idea that kind of like that the men are kind of feeding into the somehow. I’m not quite sure how it all works but I do feel like the women need to stop fighting amongst themselves and come together as a powerful force for good. Not to kind of bring men down but to restore balance to the world.
Because I feel like it’s very unbalanced at the moment.
And I think we see that not only just you know, against men and women in general, but we’re seeing that in so many areas of life right now. I feel like there’s just this constant battle and it is a struggle for survival. It does not matter what race you are, what gender you are, it’s a constant battle and there’s no balance whatsoever. And everything is just completely off kilter and I’ll be honest I think you know, definitely everything with this pandemic has definitely contributed to it. You know because you have so many people who lost their jobs, who you know had to stay at home to be with the children, so that the children could go to school online. Everything got thrown off balance and I think there is a struggle to try to get that back.
Yeah, but what I think, I know, covid has brought some you know, it’s been a very hard time for people and there’s been a lot of you know, a lot of death and a lot of hurt and upset and heartbreak brought about by it, but I think it has had a positive effect in some ways too, in a sense that it’s made the world slow down, it’s made us take a big long hard look at ourselves and consider what kind of lives we were living, I mean even for preventative sense of you know, maybe we can’t prevent another virus, but just by understanding where this one’s come from and kind of seeing how we’ve been encroaching on the environment for so long. It’s like you know, having this crossover between humans, just kind of keep reaching out and out into the natural world and now we’ve got things from the natural world coming into our world and it’s like well yeah. If we’re not kind of respecting this balance if we’re not respecting the kind of the ecosystems that we live in and understanding it better, then we’re going to have more and more of it. And then I think that kind of can be reflected in the home as well. It’s like if you’re not respecting the balance in the home, you know, I think a lot of women during the pandemic kind of went I’m doing my full-time job and I’m being a teacher, what the hell is going on you know? It’s just a real wakeup call of we knew we were doing a lot anyway, but then when we were put in this new position, it was even a starker contrast between why am I doing so much more than other people and I know in my household, there was that. And I consider my partner you know, reasonably progressive but I still feel that the work, most of the workload has always been mine, especially with the kids, and come the pandemic time, it was like well, how you know, you’re at home working too so we’re going to work out a way to split this 50/50. Because now you don’t have the excuse that you’ve got to go off to work to because you’re here with me. Because I’d always kind of put myself on the back burner to make sure that I was here for the kids after school and all that kind of stuff, but suddenly there was no school, and my partner was here, and this actually gave me the time that I could actually give to myself as a woman. Not as a mom, not as a wife, not as a whatever but as a woman and what’s come out of this has been basically planet mom coaching and the thing that I’m doing now.
I love that you have that. I love that you had that, that you know that’s again that positive that came out of something so negative and I love that you just spoke on you know, even with all of it when you have both parents that are working from home, you can take that time even if it’s you know an hour a week, it’s an intentional time to discover yourself as a woman. And that kind of brings me to the next point of how do you rediscover yourself as a woman?
Well, I think it, it’s a personal quest for each and every woman, but I think you know, the first thing is you’ve got to decide to do it. Thats kind of key you know, because if you don’t then you’re not going to put any time or energy into that. So, there’s plenty of different ways that you can go about discovering yourself and I think, like I said it’s a very personal thing. Some things that some women love to do but other women don’t, you know, we’re all individuals in that sense.
But if you’re never actually even just trying, then you’re never going to rediscover anything. So, I think the first thing is making that conscious decision of I am going to put myself first, for like you say, an hour a week or however much time you can realistically dedicate to yourself. But you know I challenge any woman to say that there is not one single moment a day that they can find to prioritize themselves. It might mean that something else gets pushed down the list but that’s the point. It’s like that needs to be the first decision, a real conscious decision to put yourself first even if it’s for 5 minutes. Even if it’s for two minutes, but it has to be this thing of I am putting myself first in this moment right now.
It has to be a very intentional process.
Yes, very, absolutely
And I actually saw a thing on clubhouse yesterday, about solo dating. Taking yourself out for a date.
I love that
And I thought that was just such a great idea because you know, I go out on dates with my husband, we have date night, but taking yourself on a date kind of struck a chord. What an amazing idea and how many women are not doing that. Even if it’s a spa day at home. You know, you don’t have to go out and spend a whole lot of money to do it; but to take yourself on a date and give yourself that attention and admiration, I think it’s just such an amazing thing like I was kind of blown away by the concept of it. And why in 45 years, I never thought of it is beyond me.
Because we don’t, we’re not encouraged to, I think. You know that comes from part of it. I mean I’ve got two daughters that you know they’re very young, you know, they’re 7 and 4 and I think everything that I’m doing, even if I’m doing it for myself, there’s this kind of element of like I’m doing it for them too; because I think this is where we all come from. I think every generation we kind of like have this mini evolution of sorts and I think for women it’s like we’re definitely in this time now we’re going you need look after yourself. You know, you can be a mom, you can be a partner, you can be a successful business woman, you can be a stay-at-home mom, you can be anything you want to be but you have to look after yourself and I think this is something that previous generations, my mom’s, for sure, didn’t do it, like she spoke to me the other day. She went I don’t think I really understand what it is you’re doing and I went I know you don’t mom and I tried to explain to her and I was like you know it’s about self-care, you got to look after yourself this that and the other because I think there’d a lot of moms out there with burnout etc. And she was just like well you know I’m my days we just got on with it and I went I know you did mom but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was the best thing to do. You know so? No, but she cannot get her head around it because she feels it’s a criticism I think of sorts and I’m not judging you, I’m not criticizing you, I’m just saying maybe there’s a more loving way to be with ourselves and I think that you know, we need to be aware of that rather than thinking we have to do everything and we have to struggle while we’re doing it. That we can’t ever have an off moment you know because there’s this idea that to be all these if we’re demanding all these things then we have to you know stand up and we have to take it all on the chin and all the rest of it and it’s like no, we should be able to have all the things that we want, but also that should include having time to be kind and gentle and compassionate with ourselves. Because how on earth can we do that with other people but not to ourselves?
Well and I think, I mean you were talking about how your mom was talking about you and her day; I think we’ve seen the progression you know, even from the beginning where the role of the woman has slowly evolved. Men have always had this role of head of household, of you know, the man. Women have slowly evolved and we’re seeing the importance of that mental self-care that emotional self-care because women are very complex creatures. And there’s so many different facets. So, we don’t fine tune all of those facets and get that balance within ourselves there’s always going to be that inner turmoil.
And I think women like you say, you know, we’re resident creatures and we can take so much and I think the past previous generations it’s like because we can take so much, we’ve just taken it because we kind of thought that was our role whereas now, we’re kind of like you say because we’re constantly, I think women are in constant Flux, constantly transforming and reinventing themselves and I’ve got a bit of theory on this. I think it has to do with the fact that we have a menstrual cycle, and we have children I mean we our bodies are constantly influx, every single month we’re in Flux. We’re in Flux you know, men don’t necessarily have this adaptation or this flexibility because it’s not demanded of them by their own body. I mean we couldn’t be more in tune with nature in that respect of you know something that happens to us out of our control that has real emotional and physical effects on us and I think in the past women like I said they just they took so much that they just kind of thought well this, because we can take so much then we should take so much but like because we’ve evolve and we keep evolving we’re like well maybe we can take a lot but that doesn’t mean that we should have to take a lot or maybe we can actually add in some positive stuff to that too you know and like you said it’s this constant redefining of what do we want to be what do we want to teach our children our daughters growing up and even our sons you know and I think as a mother you should be teaching your son what a woman is too. You know, and how they need to operate in this world because I don’t think men are stagnant and I don’t think they should remain stagnant and I think both sexes need to keep evolving but like I said I think maybe men haven’t felt the urge so much as women because they’ve been in this position kind of higher position of power for so long that, that necessity hasn’t been there.
Maybe it has been and we just haven’t seen it.
You know because again it comes down to and I think I’ve seen this throughout my entire life of you know men are taught to be “the man’s man” and they internalize whereas women have learned to become more outward.
And women are generally more expressive
Yeah, that is true
Maybe that desire for men has always been there and that’s something that maybe we as women need to try to coax that out a little bit and maybe that can help restore some of that gender barrier
Absolutely, no, I think you’re absolutely right and something that brings to mind is I’m here in Barcelona and the schools are fairly progressive here I mean in terms of gender socialization and some a big push these last few years has been about degenderizing is that the term? Toys so in the nurseries, the kind of public nurseries they have they deliberately try to give boys kind of traditional girl toys and vice versa. You know that they just have, I mean like it’s not like right here have a doll, but they’re just put like dolls out and that’s like you know everyone’s there to play with the dolls. Because what psychologists have been saying is because boys don’t get that or they haven’t up until now been given that opportunity to play with dolls because it’s been kind of been astigmatism like this negative association with it. Then they’ve not been able to learn or work on empathy or compassion or you know caring for others. So, like you said, they’ve actually been stunted psychologically with their growth because they’ve been pushed to be something else. So, I think women are maybe a lot louder in that respect like you know we are expressive.
We want this and we want that and maybe men like you said have that internalization of this and to bring the balance you’re quite right I think you know, both sexes need to be open to that.
Thats good. Thats good. Look at us come up with theories.
I know! You know anyone would think we’re sort of like you know the next top psychologist of the world
You know why not
So, what are two tips that you can give any woman out there to really work on finding her inner-self?
Okay so, like I said, I don’t know if it’s so much as a of a tip but first, I think self-awareness, recognizing that you want to do it, this needs to be kind of step one. Then after that it’s like getting to know yourself. So, I love this idea of like you said going on a date but I think even before that is kind of reconnecting with what do I actually like? What do I like to do, so this is my first tip is, depending on, on your kind of your proffered style of learning so you’ve got kind of visual, auditory, kinesthetic and is there another one? Nope I think that’s it. Those are the three. To try and be creative with it. So, for example, I’m quite a visual person, so I like to brainstorm so getting a piece of paper you can you know, depending on again your resources that you’ve got. I’ve got two young kids, so we’ve got like a classroom, we’ve got loads of magazines and stuff like that and just I sat and I looked through one of the magazines and just anything that caught my eye, anything that attracted me, I was like cutting out and just sticking and making a kind of collage and just by doing this act in itself is something creative which is very positive for you and your mind. But it also just kind of made for what it made me remember that I really like cutting things out and sticking them on paper. You know, that kind of act of doing that was like oh wow that was loads of fun and you start, I start getting very creative with the colors and you know, things like that. Also, then you kind of see what kind of things are coming out of that. So, I reconnected with music because I kind of forgot that I liked music, I used to love listening to music and now I’ve got this whole gap of maybe 10 years or so where I haven’t really focused too much on music because I’ve been focused on my relationship then getting pregnant and having a baby. So, you know, through doing this kind of activity, it awoken these kinds of things in me of remembering what I liked to do sorts almost just you know it wasn’t, it isn’t necessarily that you’ll pick out pictures and stuff of things you’d like but it’s like opening a door to your creative side. Remembering what it is that gives you that sensation you know, that makes you feel like you’re playing basically. So that’s a kind of visual way to do it. Auditory is you could just sort of like you know listen to lots of different podcasts or like yours for example. Or you could listen to different radio stations stuff like that you know just seeing what different ideas are out there, seeing what things are out there, paying attention to what makes you go oh that sounds quite interesting. It’s kind of opening yourself up again to the rest of the world because we tend to shut down and we’re very much in our place, our world, with our family, and but not internally about what we like connected to the rest of the world. So that would be my first tip of sort of becoming more aware of what it is you like and what gives you that sense of playfulness and fun.
And so, my second tip to that would be you know, act on that. To actually start looking for things that you could do connected to that. And again, you don’t have to be like big things like going and joining a tap-dancing class or I don’t know. Joining a rock band or whatever it is but if you remember you like reading for example, then you can start having a little look at what books you might like to read, you know, writing a list of sorts like the top three so go on the internet and find things that you might be interested in. Music, then you could be like okay what kind of music do I like because obviously music’s evolved quite a lot and I found when I kind of went back to music. Then there was all this kind of newish music out there that I liked but I never really you know, it wasn’t from ten years ago, it’s from now.
So, it’s about rediscovering what’s out there and by doing this your kind of you’re redefining who you are. So, you’ve kind of got this old version of who you were, and then it kind of gets lost and forgotten about then you kind of start to remember okay yeah, I used to like all of these things, and then reconnecting that with the kind of modern world that you’re living in here and now. So, you’re not kind of just being the person you were before but you’re remembering the things you were and then letting them kind of blossom again but in this new here and now moment. So, they’re kind of two top types for kind of its an evolution, it’s a process, it’s not kind of a quick fix unfortunately.
It doesn’t happen overnight, we didn’t lose ourselves overnight, we’re not going to find ourselves overnight. And you know, unfortunately we do live in a microwave society where you know, so often we want things instantly. Because we can obtain them instantly. And it doesn’t happen like that. I mean really, I feel like you really have to commit
You know you have to make a commitment; you have to be intentional. This has to be a priority for you.
Exactly and that’s what you know, so taking from tip one and tip two, if you like this kind of beginning part of the process, I mean I think one of your goals could be this idea of going on a date with yourself, but you know what would that date involve? Well, you have to go through that process of discovering what it is you like again to do that. Or even you know, with like some first dates of maybe you go somewhere and you don’t know what to expect. I mean there’s also that element of you could surprise yourself, you could do something that you never normally do. I’m not a big one for art galleries and things like that to be honest but, I think I actually would prefer to do that on my own than with somebody else. I think I would appreciate it more if it was just me and the art. Because I think sometimes if I’m with somebody else I don’t know if I feel that there’s this kind of expectations or there’s some kind of conversation to be had or you know just you have to share that and sometimes you don’t want to share things. I’m not sure to do things on your own and so you might discover that about yourself but actually you know I don’t like going to art galleries with other people but on my own, actually, I really quite enjoy it.
So, you know you could do this kind of surprise things. You could do a combination of things that you know you’d like, going to the park and taking a book, because you’ve rediscovered that you love reading and get yourself a coffee and having that day or maybe taking yourself out to the cinema on your own, just to see how it feels you know? And just treat yourself nice.
I love that. Well Michelle thank you so much for coming on this show and having this discussion, I think it was a very important discussion, people needed to hear, I do have one final question for you. I ask this of every guest, so if you’ve watched any of the previous episodes you know the question, but if you have not then I get to surprise you.
Okay, you’re going to surprise me
What is one thing that you absolutely love about yourself?
This is something that I’ve rediscovered about myself very recently, and the thing I absolutely love about myself is my intuition. That something that I used to that. Maybe a lot of people may think wasn’t real, because I think intuition is something that you can’t measure, you can’t see, so people are very quick to kind of dismiss it and just recently I’ve kind of rediscovered and reconnected with that, but you know I do have intuition and it is very good and I’m learning to trust it again. So definitely that.
Very nice, well again thank you so much for being here, as a reminder tonight guys, we’re going to have a special second episode today, with Bob the drag queen. This is one of my dream people to get to interview and it is happening tonight 7 pacific, 8 mountain time so I will see you here tonight. Michelle thank you so much for being here. I’ve loved having you here.
Thank you, it’s been a pleasure thank you so much.
Of course, make sure to subscribe guys!