In today’s episode, I’m interviewing my good friend Dana Welfare. Dana went through MACROS 101 and Coaching Academy before she built her own business coaching women. She’s fantastic, and I’m super excited that you’re going to get to know a little about her story. We’ll talk about mental freedom and unloading the burden of restriction. So without further ado, let's jump into the interview with Dana Welfare.
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/226
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- Valuable lessons in Macros 101 (8:13, 23:32)
- Amber’s Coaching and what a coach good coach must be (8:49, 24:28)
- Take action, trust the process and learn to grow (10:43)
- Mental freedom (12:30)
- Taking off the load off your back analogy (14:17)
- Maintenance (17:49)
- Be open, be open to being coached (20:14, 21:47)
- Success is inevitable and so is your failure (25:57)
You're listening to Biceps After Babies Radio episode number 226.
Hello and welcome to Biceps After Babies Radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Amber B 0:47
Hey, hey, hey, welcome back to another episode of Biceps After Babies Radio, I'm your host Amber Brueseke. And on the podcast today I am interviewing my good friend Dana Welfare. I've known Dana for about two years now. She first joined MACROS 101 and then joined Coaching Academy and now is building her own business coaching women. She is fantastic, and I'm super excited that you're gonna get to know a little bit about her and her story, and her journey, and the things that she's learned over that time period. In this episode, we talk a lot about mental freedom. And I love one of the analogies that Dana gave and I kind of ran with this idea of unloading the restriction creating this burden that is on your back. And many of you may be able to relate to that feeling of this weight, this burden on your back. And Dana talks about how macro counting helped to get that off and to feel lighter and to feel freer. And to really clear out her mind from all this conflicting information that she had been hearing from various sources. And I really wanted her to come on the podcast and talk about this idea of mental freedom and give you some ideas if that's something that you feel like you're in that place of restriction, you're in that place of feeling, just like a weight is on you all the time, knowing that there is a possibility in the future, to feel lighter, to feel like you can get rid of some of those burdens, and to be able to get the results that you want. So without further ado, let's jump into the interview with Dana Welfare.
Amber B 2:27
All right, I am so excited to be able to welcome Dana Welfare onto the podcast. Dana, thanks for being here.
Oh, my goodness, thank you for having me.
Amber B 2:37
It's gonna be such a fun conversation because Dana is such a fun person. And I'm so proud of her and all that she's done in the last I don't know, what's it been like two years? It's crazy. So we're going to talk all about that. But let's start off with just like a general introduction for my audience. Who are you? And what do you do?
All right. Well, I am Dana Welfare. And I am a wife, a mom of four. I am a grandma. I don't know if you knew that?
Amber B 3:08
I didn't know though.
Yes, I have a one-year-old grandson. Can you believe that I'm a grandma?
Amber B 3:14
No, I can't believe that. You're a young grandma.
Thank you. And I'm also a Bible teacher. But I love helping women. I actually offer a 16-week coaching program designed to help busy moms lose fat and keep it off so that they can feel better in their clothes and love the body that they see in the mirror.
Amber B 3:36
I love it. Okay. But that's been really recent. Right? So you say that now and like I want to talk about the process to getting there because I know, a little windy, a little windy for you. So let's go back in time a little bit and talk about when you first found macro counting. What was that like at that point? What were you struggling with? What were you needing help with? And what appealed to macro counting?
Yes, I will give you the cliff notes version because this was a really windy road. Okay. So, growing up, I didn't really struggle with my weight because I was in sports. I was very active and you know, I ate whatever it just really wasn't so much of an issue. And then I got married and I had a baby. And I literally gained 75 pounds and enjoyed every bite of it. And between each pregnancy, it became harder and harder to lose the weight. And then suddenly you have a five-year-old, no longer baby, and you're like oh my goodness, I need to do something here. And so I started trying to do just different things. I found you know when Weight Watchers and I ran a marathon.
Amber B 5:03
One marathon like me? Did you gain weight running a marathon? I gained weight running a marathon.
Yeah, I gained 8 pounds. Yeah, it was all said and done. The reason why I ran it was because I thought, oh, running, they say run to lose weight. Yeah, so I'm gonna run a lot because I want to lose a lot of weight.
Amber B 5:25
I remember like going through like you do, you're like, 17 milers, what, right? And I'm like, Oh my gosh, I burned like 1700 calories, like, let's go. I was like, the heaviest I've ever been like when I ran my marathon, it did not work. So I'm with you on that.
No, It didn't. And so I decided, actually, a doctor told me this is what happened. He said that I was healthy-obese. And I thought, oh, okay, I'm healthy-obese and that means I'm fine. I'm just gonna accept myself the way I am until I'm when I'm unhealthy and obese. I didn't know how to handle that before a minute, I kind of stood still. And then that's when I actually got on the scale. And I was the same weight that I was when I gained 75 pounds. And I just was like, wow, I don't even have a baby. I'm not pregnant, like what is this? I need to do something seriously until I'm like, unhealthy obese. And that's the direction I was headed. I wasn't comfortable in my skin. And so I went back to Weight Watchers which didn't work. I tried keto and because I thought, Okay, well, I have to like, you know, restrict, that's the way you got to restrict. And I had some initial success, but I could not imagine life without pizza, and all the other things. I'm a foodie at heart. And that's when I kind of came across macros. That's when it came into the picture. I got a food plan from somewhere off the internet. And it started as I maybe two weeks in, it started working, let's just say working I started losing weight. And I thought what is this thing called macros? What am I doing? I have no clue. I'm eating these foods, why is it working? And so I started doing the research and I found you. And it was I wouldn't say it was like the last day before MACROS 101 closed. I never heard from you before. And I struggled so I wouldn't spend the money to do this. I don't know this woman. You know what's going to happen here, but I really wanted to learn and so that's where it started. Last two summers ago.
Amber B 7:33
I would say was it summer? Summer of 2020. Was that you? That's so crazy. Yeah. Okay, so you came into MACROS 101, what surprised you most about the process? What did you not expect?
Oh, well, I wasn't expecting to leave with a business. I'll tell you that was.
Amber B 7:52
That's my favorite. What you recorded in your transformation video you said like, what did you say something about like I didn't, I thought it was coming to like lose weight and I left with like a business or something like that.
Hey, I came to lose weight. I left with the business. What did Amber do to me?
Amber B 8:09
What the heck? What’s going on?
But we'll get there. Okay. I wanted to learn what macros was about and mindset. That was the most shocking. I did not realize how much what was going on within my head was affecting what was going on outwards in my body.
Amber B 8:33
Yeah, for sure. So during that process as you were learning and as you were going through, you said you ended up coming out with a business but it wasn't so simple of just like jumping on MACROS 101 to a business. So fill us a little bit on those steps in between.
So I found the information and the science behind why this was working so amazing. But not just that. I thought you were amazing, Amber. I thought the way that you coached, you know, was just really fantastic. And I thought why do we not know this? I've been to so many places, I've spent so much money, why is this not out there? And I just thought I could do this. I could teach people, I could help people because they need to know this. Everybody needs to know this. And that was kind of like the birth of moving into coaching.
Amber B 9:32
Okay, I'm gonna ask you a question. This question might seem weird, but there's a purpose behind it and it's not a pointed question at you. What is, and the reason I'm asking is that a lot of women feel the same way when they go through MACROS 101, or they have their own transformation. And part of them is like, Why does not everybody know this? It's like when you go see a great movie, you just want to like tell everybody about the great movie so that they can go see the movie too. And a lot of women have this drive and this desire, but they get held back by I this who am I to do it? So did you have any of that of like, this desire to like go and like teach other women, but how did you get past that? Maybe you didn't have the fear, but that fear of like, who am I to be doing this?
Oh, yeah, I definitely had the feeling.
Amber B 10:17
I think most people do. And that's why I think, I really want you to speak to that, because there are women out there who are listening who have had that very same experience, but they're holding themselves back because they're like, I'm not good enough. Who am I to like, teach all this stuff? Like, why would I? Why would anybody come to me instead of going to Amber, I get that a lot not because I'm great, but because people start doing the comparison thing and thinking they're not good enough. So how did you get past that?
I think that the path of like the business, and the coaching mimics the fat loss journey in so many ways. And with my fat loss journey, I thought there were all these rules, then, you know, I had to do it all and I had to be perfect. And part of the process was learning that that just wasn't true. And that I was going to either, you know, get the result I wanted or the lesson that I needed. And I had to apply that same philosophy with coaching. And I remember, you said, you don't need to know everything, you just need to be a few steps ahead, you need to just be a few steps ahead of the people that you are teaching, and that you have something to give, you have something to offer. And I thought Yeah, that's true, I can really help people with what I have. And so much that I learned with my weight loss journey and learning macros, again, I just applied to my business, I took my feet action, I was willing to like mess it up and not know it all. And so learn to grow.
Amber B 11:59
That's so good. Okay, so one of the things that I know we wanted to talk a lot about was mental freedom. And that's something that I know that you experienced through macro counting, and it's something that I hear a lot of clients echo that same sentiment. So I'm wondering if you can first define what mental freedom is for you, and maybe compare and contrast it with what life or what your brain used to look like, versus what it looks like, on a day-to-day basis now?
Well, like I said, coming to MACROS 101, I had this restriction mentality, okay. And when we think about like lifting that, and having this mental freedom, the best way I can describe it is as if you were taking a test, and if it was timed, and closed book versus if it was an untimed and open book. Like, you could just do the thing, you know, you don't have all that pressure on you as if it was timed. And so for me, that mental freedom was like a weight lifted, you know, I went into this with all these ideas and rules about food. And this all-or-nothing mentality of either I was going to do it all 100% or I was going to fail. And some of this came from physicians, I have a great physician, but not so great in nutrition advice. And so you trust your doctor, and they tell you what to do. And that really kind of stood at the front line. And it was this idea that I had to run, hit the treadmill, and that I have to do Whole 30 that I didn't last for like two days, I tried maybe five times and just could not last. So I have these rules and these bags of just diet culture that I was carrying around, and it was the freedom was like letting it all go, realizing I didn't need that, and then seeing progress. You know, after I took action to let it go and just focus on the process. And I found that consistency trumps perfection every time. It just does and it was just been a beautiful thing that I will just have with me forever.
Amber B 14:17
I love the analogy that you talked about like taking off the backpack or taking off the load on your back and how you mentioned that by doing that you were able to make more progress. And I think about you know what, when you were speaking this analogy of like a backpack came to mind. Like if you have a backpack and you're carrying around all these weights and you're trying to hike a mountain it's going to be hard and arduous and take a lot of effort. And one of the best ways to climb faster or to reach the top faster is like take off the freakin backpack with all of the rocks on the back. And so that's kind of what I was thinking as you were speaking is a lot of you know, coming into this process of having all those rocks of like, this is the way it has to happen. I have to do Whole 30, I can't eat carbs, I can't eat after 7 pm. I have to like, drink all this water and I have to be a runner. And like all of these rocks that you were carrying around and over time you were able to like, slowly remove some of those rocks. And yeah, how much lighter do you feel going up the mountain now without all this crap on your back?
Yeah, I could finally make progress, I can finally move and also just kind of taking that finish line away, like moving it?
Amber B 15:26
Well, I like the open book concept, right? It's like, if the test isn't timed, and you have an open book, how much less pressure Do you feel than if it's like, you know, close book, you only have a timeframe to be able to finish it. It's such a great analogy.
Yeah, it is that pressure release is what women need. And when you get it because it's like, you don't just come in and you get. Everybody gets it in their own time. But when you get it, it's like, wow, it's like the boulder is completely off of your back and now you can just run with it. And it's a beautiful thing.
Amber B 16:06
Do you feel like for you, that was a moment that you have identified of like, Oh, yes, I remember that, like breakthrough moment when I really felt that weight, or do you feel like it was more like you chipped away at it over time?
I believe in my process. There were chip, chip, chip, and then-
Amber B 16:23
Explode. I like that. Yeah.
It was like I had to trust a little bit here and trust a little bit there. Before I realized, hey, I don't need any of that, like I am fully in the process, and being fully in the process means that you don't have to be fully in the process.
Amber B 16:44
Oh, that's so good. Yeah, yes. So good.
It's funny like that.
Amber B 16:48
Because when I went through MACROS 101, I mean, we had COVID, we had my son having surgery, my mom went into the hospital, I mean, life was happening. And it just proved to me that I don't need all those rules, because I still was able to do some of the things consistently and make progress.
Amber B 17:14
That's so good. So, you know, often when people are starting a journey, they are looking at it, like a test that has a time limit. Looking at it, like a sprint, I gotta get through this, I gotta like, get through all the questions. And I, you know, I gotta sprint through this whole entire thing. When did you start to slow down and realize, hey, this test doesn't have a time limit, you know, I can kind of take the time that it takes and I could just kind of relax into the experience?. Do you remember when that point was or what prompted that for you?
What prompted it was that MACROS 101 was ending. And maybe also some of the things that were happening with the surgeries and the hospital stays that I knew I couldn't execute the way I want it to. But I realized, hold on, like, No, this thing keeps going like this is-. I don't have to live in a deficit, let's just say that, you know, part of the process is being in maintenance. And I went to maintenance, which, after 101 is when that happened at MACROS 101 and is when that happened. I just couldn't believe it. I'm like, I can eat this food. And not, like hurt my body in the sense of going backward. And, oh, the scale can change, but I can still look good. I don't know, there were just so many lessons in maintenance, I loved maintenance, I am now in maintenance again and I am loving it. And I think that was just something that I had never known had an idea. And I realized, Oh, I'm going through these phases of fat loss. And but I'm supposed to, this is where I live, not in that other phase. That's like, you can be miserable. I'm trying to make it you know, enjoyable as best as possible. But this is like a total game changer. And that's when I realized, okay, there is no end, there's only better, like, this is a continuum that we're on. And that lesson did come later on as I was still sort of going through the process and the models but not far after just as soon because I was in maintenance.
Amber B 19:43
Yeah. So how do you help, you know, having to experience this load off of your back, how do you now help your clients to be able to have the same experience? If somebody is listening to this and they're like, oh my gosh, I relate so much to that load that Dana is talking about. And I want to start to get rid of that load and feel this mental freedom like she's talking about, what are some of the advice or tips or, you know, pieces of wisdom that you can share with that person?
Well, here's one thing I would say to be open, to be open to being coached. And I've seen it two ways I've seen where people are closed to coaching and I've seen when they're open. And I was open, I was open to learning the lessons, I was open to failure, I was open to seeing or allowing those things to be brought to my attention by the coach. And that's why I wanted to learn your style of coaching, because I thought, having gone through sports, that a good coach is someone who just tells you what to do, and you execute. And what I found, or what I learned is that a really good coach listens. Not only that, but they reflect the blind spots, they help you uncover. They don't tell you, they help you uncover some of the things that are deeper, some of those, like the roots that are sort of holding you back. And if you're open to that, and you're open to going through that process of getting questions, asked and answering them and helping to sort of unrooting that in such an honest way, then yeah, that weight can be lifted, and you can have the same thing happened for you. And that's different for different people. It's not the same thing. And that's what's so important about why you want to have a good coach.
Amber B 21:47
Yeah. And continuing not to beat this analogy to death. But to continue on the analogy, I think the thing that you pointed out that's so important is you may have this backpack with some rocks, and you're back. And a lot of times we feel like, oh, I should be able to get those rocks out, I should just be able to let go reach back and just like get those rocks and take them out. And why can I do that, and I should be better. And like, I'm a failure, because I can't get these rocks out of my backpack. And you know, what Dana is saying is so important, because that is what a really good coach can help you to do is like, help you to access and reach those rocks and figure out where they are in your back and be able to get them off. And it does take a willingness and an openness to that process, which sometimes can be like, well, this isn't what I want. I don't want someone to talk me through getting the rocks on my back. I just want to climb faster. And you're like, Yes, I know. And I'm helping you to climb faster, just trust me, I'm telling you to get the rocks off of your back so that you can climb faster. So I think that's a smart thing to relate to people. I'm curious, since you have been a client, and then now are coaching other clients, what is the biggest difference that you see in those roles or those experiences?
I think that I am shocked at how much there isn't a difference. I am shocked at how much it parallels, sort of that experience of being a client because as a coach, you're also learning lessons. Like just because we're a coach doesn't mean we know it all.
Amber B 23:30
Yeah, we're still learning. We're still soaking in information though. Science is getting better and better. And we're open to adapting things that we used to feel like one way is now a different way based on having better data. And so I think that you're just embracing this idea of just being the scientists, that's the word you like to use, you know, trying things out, seeing what works, seeing what you like seeing what you don't like, it is a process as well in coaching. What do I want to offer my clients? How do I want to help them? How do I want to work with them? It's just one of those things that again, I am so surprised how much value there was in MACROS 101 just because of its like, do you think the same lessons I was learning? I'm just learning it in a new way. And I love that. I love that. I really do.
Amber B 24:28
Yeah, it's so funny that so that you talk about and I think you're 100% right is like I think the mark of a good coach is somebody who is willing to admit that maybe they didn't get it right and they're gonna do different in the future or, you know, try something and it doesn't really work and so they're gonna fix it and they're gonna do something different in the future. And I remember there was this was like years ago, in politics I was hearing somebody was called a flip flop flopper. And it really drove me nuts because I think on some level we should all be flip floppers that when presented with new information, new good information, we should move to it. And I think that's what scientists do is scientists don't say, Oh, this is always the way it is. They say this is the way it is until they're presented with new information, and then they change and they adapt to the new information that's being presented. So, you know, I really appreciate you saying that. I think a good coach is willing to grow, who's willing to get started and do it messy and get better, and who is willing to adapt and grow over time. Because none of us are perfect and none of us know at all. None of us.
None of us, none of us here, we are still on a journey, it's a continuum even for us.
Amber B 25:41
Right, right. Yeah, exactly. What about the difference between being a, is there a difference between a successful client and a successful coach? Or does it just go back to what you're talking about of just like the same principles kind of apply to both?
Yes, the same principles apply to both because it is scary being a vulnerable client. It is, a weight loss journey for a woman is just so emotional. It really is very emotional. And when you're coaching, when you're working in a business, this is emotional too. You're putting yourself out on social media if you're an online coach, and that's scary. I mean, I didn't know, one of my coach friends had to teach me how to do a story. I had no idea what am I doing online. And so that's scary to put yourself out there. And then to do it again, and then to mess up to and to do it again. And so you'd like to say something you'd like to say, you know, your success is inevitable. And I love that. And I actually had to see that my failure was inevitable, before I could see that my success was inevitable. And that was just such a mind-blowing thing for me because we try not to fail, right, we avoid doing something so that we don't fail. But failing is part of the process. It's part of growing, it's like we don't expect a child, a baby, to just get up and start walking. We expect them to fall. And we expect them to take one step and fall to take two steps and fall like we celebrate. And so it's the same way in fat loss. It's the same way in business or coaching. You take a step, and you fall you celebrate because you took the step and you're gonna keep taking steps and your success is going to be inevitable.
Amber B 27:53
I love that, your success is inevitable, and so is your failure, because your failure leads to your success. And so if you aren't willing to fail, you ain't gonna get there. And that's so so good.
And that may be the thing that also separates those people who have the success and who don't, that they're not willing to step.
Amber B 28:11
100%. Yeah, can you imagine? How would a baby ever learn to walk if they refuse to fall? They wouldn't. They just wouldn't ever be successful. They would never learn to walk. And it's the same thing as are you trying to be successful without failing? And have you realized, now that what is preventing your success is just that unwillingness to get it wrong to fail a little bit along the way. I really, really love it. What are you currently working on? What are some of your current health and fitness goals? I know you're in maintenance. Is there anything else you're working on?
I had attempted to do a cut, but life was getting in the way. And that's why I decided okay, this is not the right season for me to do this. And I decided to get back to trying to do a pull-up again, on like a great path and momentum. And so I decided to focus on another area. So just trying to get a few PRs and get a pull-up going is my current focus. And it's fun. Yeah.
Amber B 29:15
Yeah, that's super fun. Oh, that's awesome. So if somebody wanted to connect with you, or they wanted to work with you, how can they find you?
I am on Instagram @train_to_sustain. And I am on Facebook, under Dana Welfare. And yeah, that's where you can find me.
Amber B 29:37
Yeah, and we will link all of that up in the show notes. Definitely go and follow Dana on Instagram. She has some fantastic content and yeah, I've been really impressed with you learning social media and getting out there and putting out solid content. So definitely recommend you go in and follow her and reach out to her if you're interested in doing some coaching or in her program. Anything else as we wrap up data that you're like, oh, I want to make sure that this comes out in the podcast and that people hear this.
I just want you to try, I just want you to be willing to take messy action, to understand that is part of the process to be scared and do it anyway. And to really try to find a coach that is willing to coach you, and not just tell you what to do. And know that your success is inevitable–
Amber B 30:36
and also your failure.
Your failure is so inevitable.
Amber B 30:41
That's my favorite thing that you said, I love that I'm going to steal it now and use it as well. I'll give you credit, of course. That's awesome. Thanks so much for being here, Dana. You are fantastic and I highly recommend those of you guys who really connected with her to connect with Instagram and check out her stuff. She's a fantastic coach. I can vouch for her. Having gone through Coaching Academy and seen her in action. She's fantastic. So thanks for being here.
Thank you so much for having me.
Amber B 31:10
I hope you found value in that episode. I loved what Dana said about your success being inevitable, and you're failure being inevitable as well. Because it is inevitably, that failure that leads to success. I'm totally gonna steal that. I will credit you, Dana. But I love that sentiment and I think it is 110% true that if you want to be successful, you have to go through the path of having failures. And in MACROS 101, we talk a lot about how it isn't, you know, kind of reframe it. It's not really a failure, it's a lesson. And you have to go through those lessons if you want to get the results that you want. So, so good. Dana's amazing. I highly recommend connecting with her if you found value in this episode, let her know that you listen, let her know what you took away from what she said. She's a fantastic person.
Amber B 31:57
If you are a new listener to Biceps After Babies Radio, go ahead and hit follow if you're on iTunes or whatever it is on the platform that you're listening to so that you can be notified every time we upload a new episode.
Amber B 32:11
Thanks for being here. I'm Amber, now go on and be strong because remember my friend you can do anything.
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