Ep #213: Body Image with Dominique Vandal

Kim has a special guest on the More Than Mindset podcast today: Feminine Embodiment Coach, Dominque Vandal. For the longest time, she focused on trying to fix her body, treating it like a project always in disrepair. It wasn’t until she learned how to be in her body, to embody all the sensations and feelings, did she discover true acceptance.

Listen in to this great conversation about thought work, mindset, and some fascinating embodiment practices you can incorporate today.

 

Join us HERE for Belief Bootcamp LIVE​ in Austin, TX April 14-16. We’ll help you overcome limiting beliefs to create the life and business you WANT!

 

What You’ll Learn From This Episode:

  • The path Dominque took to accepting and loving her body
  • How “just changing your thoughts” might not work for you
  • What an embodiment practice looks like
  • How much you’re missing out on by not connecting with and being in your body

 

Listen to the Full Episode:

 

Featured on the Show:

 

Full Episode Transcript:

Ep #213: Body Image with Dominique Vandal

 Welcome to More Than Mindset, the only podcast that bridges the gap between spirituality and success. Go beyond the mind with clarity and confidence coach, Kim Guillory, and learn how to integrate your passion to serve with your skills and experience to create a business you love. Let’s get started.

Kim: Welcome back to the More Than Mindset show. I have a guest today. I’m always excited when I have a guest. Dom is my guest. We are going to talk about E-School. You’ve been, have you been in for a year yet? Or it’s close to, probably.

Dominique: February. February, yeah. February is a year. 

Kim: So, we’re going to talk about all the fun stuff that we’re doing in E-School and things that Dom has going on that I’m really excited about, um, and wanted to share with my audience. So, welcome. 

Dominique: Thank you. Thank you, thank you. 

Kim: So, tell us, let’s just start a little bit with, um, where are you? What is your story? How did you get here? 

Dominique: Oh, my goodness. Um, in general? 

Kim: Just like, how did you get to—because you’re already like a master coach. You’ve been doing life coaching; you’ve changed your niche.

You came from one world and entered another world. All of that’s fun stuff. So, I want to get into the personal part of that, and then we’ll talk about the work that we’ve been doing in E-School and then we’ll move right into what you are offering, um, now. 

Dominique: Awesome. So, it all started, honestly, like the world of coaching for me opened up because I was so hard on myself.

I didn’t like my life, but on the outside, it looked like I had the light that everybody wanted, right? Like everything. And I didn’t like it. There was very little that I enjoyed on my day to day, and I was beating up on myself constantly. I was telling myself how no good I was. And then I stumbled upon mindset coaching. 

And it changed everything in that it was my first introduction, and I finally understood what was going on in my brain. I finally understood that there was a difference between what I made things mean and what they actually were or are like. It just, that was just like a whoa, okay? Here’s how your brain’s working.

It’s really just feeding you a bunch of programming that you may or may not have consented to, but it’s in there and so it’s just going to keep feeding it to you because it’s easier to feed you all the stuff over and over again, right? To make you re-experience what it knows to experience because it sees that as safe.

So that was liberating. That was the first like, oh, nothing’s really super wrong with me and I can fix on the thing… I can fix the things I think are still wrong like that. I am like, oh, I could be better at time management. I could do this better, those things. But then I didn’t understand why so many people in the mindset world were able to get the results that they wanted. Because I still wasn’t getting those results.

And that was understanding not just how the brain works, but how my brain works. And so, that was the Enneagram. That was learning what my habitual thinking is. Because I used to think I was being discerning. I thought—I see your reaction. Right? I thought I’m being really, really smart and onto myself so I can do my thought work so I can dah- dah- dah- dah- dah.

That wasn’t true until I found out—so I’m at one. So, for anybody who knows the Enneagram, I’m a one. That’s the perfectionist. Another way to look at it; the one who’s constantly trying to improve. So, even with mindset, I’m always wanting to improve. I look at my driveway. I can tell you where all the weeds are in my pavement.

You know, like in the, between the stones, I look at my office and I can see all the things that could be improved constantly. And so, if I don’t know that, that’s my biggest habit in my brain, then I’m always going to think I’m being really objective when I see these things around me. Even if you tell me a million times that my thinking about something doesn’t make it true necessarily.

Right? It’s not a fact, but my brain goes there right away. It’s almost like my, um, survival mechanism is just always on. Right? Especially, and that’s the stuff that came later with embodiment, that I now know, especially if my nervous system is activated. So, if, right? If I’m in any kind of state of survival, then those thoughts are, they’re immediate.

They feel like they’re instinct. They’re like, I don’t even see them coming. And so, I went through mindset. Then I went through the Enneagram, and then I learned through the Enneagram that I had been disconnected from my body. Because I didn’t like it, right? I didn’t like it. I was always looking for things to improve on my body.

How could I possibly like it? And it was always, always, always, always. And then I discovered the world of embodiment. I discovered tapping into the body, and so that’s where I am now, but it needed to happen in stages. I’m so glad it did. I needed to first understand how the brain works. Then I needed to understand how my brain works, and then to see that I had made a separation between my brain and my body and that there’s so much intelligence that I can honestly trust so much more in my being. 

And so, now I’m open to all the different levels of the body, whether we’re talking about energetics and the spiritual stuff, because that’s part of that too. Sensing that, feeling that. But the mental body, the physical body, the emotional body, all of that.

I’m not afraid of it anymore. I can be with my body, but it had to happen in stages. And the last bit was noticing that until I could get rid of what I thought was all the little things I thought were given about my body, I couldn’t ever fully be in my body. And that was that last step. And that’s been… that changed everything.

Kim: I’m like unmuting. Tell me more. Yeah, let’s. This is exactly the part that I wanted to dive into, so thank you for the background. I’m tracking. I’m with you. I get it. I agree. Um, and that must have been, um, a bit painful. Like thinking that it was actually your thoughts that were not really understanding the way that your brain worked, you know. 

That knowing how it works, but then how you specifically do and the time you’ve, I’m assuming, judged and compared. 

Dominique: Yeah. Yeah. I, I, and I didn’t understand how come everybody else is able to really make that separation and I’m not. And then I made myself wrong and I used the tools against myself. 

Kim: Exactly. 

Dominique: Right. 

Kim: So, that was… How long did you stay in that? Like, what were you spinning in? What was the error, the thought error, which you thought was going on? 

Dominique: Yeah, so, um, probably—so I got introduced in 2018, April 2018. Well, summer actually of 2018. Um, no, I’m getting my dates wrong. 2017. Started April 2018.

That’s what it was. Um, and I must have been in the mindset world and thinking something was terribly wrong with me and like repointing it at, at me. Um, and always telling myself, well, I know the tools. So, so I need to get better. I need to be better at this. I need to, you know, do it more often.

Deeper questions, which, you know, there’s some truth in all of this. It’s just, it was not for me. It’s not that there’s no truth there, but it wasn’t for me in—I needed more. Um, but to answer your question…

Kim: Just, just to, for you to have direction for it. I’m just curious about the person who’s exactly in that position as we were where we just, we take the information, or the self-doubt and we just keep; we use all the tools toward it.

I call it addiction to healing. So, it’s like as soon as you have somewhat of a relief, which mindset gives you, because that awareness gives you some release and you’re like, “oh, oh my God, I’m so glad, like now I can fix it.” And then it’s like an addiction to that. And so, people get caught up in thought work. 

They get caught up in mindset. It’s all about your thoughts. I’m like, thoughts? Thoughts are just like sentences that release from the head, like why are they the problem? Why do they get the bad rap? So, I’m curious about the person who’s listening to this who has followed or is tracking with us. And is still with the, “I’m not getting it. What am I not getting? I keep self-coaching; I keep like doing these downloads. I keep doing the healing work.” Like, what was, what would you say for to them, to that person right now? 

Dominique: Yeah. I was in there for years and sometimes it comes back up if I’m not careful. It does like kind of pop back up and I go, “ah, it’s my fault again.”

Right? So, um, I really think it’s a question because it can present in very different ways for each of us, right? And I think something like the Enneagram, and it doesn’t have to be that, but something like that where it can really highlight for you what the habit is. 

Kim: For me, it was human design, and birth charts, and astrology, and like, so it’s, it’s just something that brings that personal awareness. Right? I call it like a holistic approach to self-discovery, whatever that is. For some people, it’s Myers-Brigg, or it’s, right? Is that what you’re saying? Like a, a personal development tool or assessment? 

Dominique: Some kind of assessment that can tell it to you, right? Human design is a great one as well, right? Because it’ll show you what—I don’t know if I can go into all this—but like what your “not self” is, and it’ll show you your traps that you could fall into. 

Kim: It just gives you information to, to confirm about yourself so that you have a better understanding that it’s mechanism and mechanics. It’s not necessarily personal defect and fault.

Dominique: Yes. Yes. And you said that and that clicked something for me. It’s that, but what about the mechanics that I’m born with? Can we agree that there are mechanics that exist, and they’re so deeply programmed, whether you want to believe that it’s, you came in with, in the world with a blueprint, or if you want to believe that it happened at such a young age, that it’s super programmed, whatever your belief is, can somebody put it to paper for me so that I can start, like I can stop blaming myself for that part so I can—whatever your habit is, right? For me, it was blaming myself. So that I can stop saying, like, “it’s just your thought. Just change your thought,” as if it was like the easiest thing in the world to stop.

I call them… I call them a reactionary thoughts, right? Something happens and your brain has a reaction. It’s the first thought you have. It’s a reaction. That’s all it is, right? So, that if you can find out, whatever you want to call it, the blueprint, uh, your Enneagram, your Myers-Briggs, whatever it is, so that you can have a little bit more distance from… right? I think that distance from is important. 

Kim: Yeah. I love that. Um, because like in all of, like when I was in the weeds where you are right now, it was, and I was like trying to like finger point. It’s like what? I couldn’t like put, like, what was it? And for me it was like, Louise Hay, with just change your thoughts, change your thoughts, change your thoughts.

And I was just like, “I changed my flipping thoughts. Doesn’t work.” Right. I was so annoyed. And the other part of recognizing the suffering, I narrowed it down to, it was just judgment. It was like so much judgment and comparison. Self-judgment, and then using other people’s success to validate it even more.

To prove it even more. So the judgment and comparison, which later I saw as competition, like need to be as good as, or need to be better, or need to be what, you know, whatever it was. That that’s where the suffering was coming from. So, I’m hearing you say the same thing. So, it’s not just that you wanted it to be perfect, you were actually using the evidence of other people’s success to prove that you weren’t perfect.

And then caught in the spin of mindset, which I love the name of this show is More Than Mindset because that’s what we are here to talk about. Okay, beautiful. I think we’re on the same page with that. If you didn’t want to add anything to it, I really want to hear the embodiment part and what you came to after.

Dominique: Yeah, so it’s a, it’s a fun story because—I think it’s a fun story because so much changed when I started the embodiment, right? So, embodiment, for those who don’t know, is actually experiencing your body. That’s embodiment. It’s like being in your body and actually taking notice of the things happening in your body, around your body, was touching your body.

It’s, it’s all of it. Okay? That’s the umbrella of embodiment. And the course that I did, they were very big on having personal mastery, so they made you go through, or invited you to do all of these exercises, and boy, did they feel silly and weird. And just… I’m somebody who used to love to dance. I still do now, like I, I found that joy again, but just to say, I’ve used my body before in ways that I enjoyed, but this felt bizarre because there’s no map.

There’s just—and then experience your body and move based on how your body’s directing you to move. What are you talking about? It’s not a step. And then this other step and then this other step? My brain does not compute. And that was the whole point. It was get out of your brain and get into your body. And the more I was able to go deeper, I noticed things that I thought were so hokey before, like things like energetics. I’m going to say it. I was like, yeah; I don’t feel nothing.

I don’t know what y’all are talking about. And then you do these things. And for me, my experience was suddenly I was feeling all these tingles. I was feeling energy around me. I was feeling things that could not be explained by the brain. And so, I had to open up to that. I had to be like, there’s more, there’s something else.

And it was another layer that kind of disappeared. It was really like, uh, coming home, like I’d never felt before. That’s what it was. 

Kim: Can I, can I ask a question here? Yeah. But you didn’t know you were checked out. 

Dominique: I had no clue. 

Kim: You weren’t in your body. So, what, for someone who’s listening to this who, because we see this in coaching all the time when we’re like, so how did you feel when you think, you know, when this came on?

They were like; they give you an example rather than a feeling. And that’s when I realized, whoa, holy smoke. These people actually don’t feel, and I remember a time where I didn’t feel, and I would use examples, you know? It’s like, I feel like, and then they’ll say something. But it’s like, no, how do you like, how does it feel in your body?

How does it feel? And it feels like almost like a stupid question, like you’re saying about the embodiment stuff. So, for you in particular, you didn’t know it was the problem. How did it appear? How would you describe what life was like, not knowing that you weren’t feeling, I guess is the word, so that’s someone can identify themselves?

Dominique: I was really good at answering what people wanted me to answer. How are you feeling? Sad. How are you feeling? Like the word would come out because I, I had vocabulary at this point because I was already, if I’m thinking about after becoming a coach, I had a vocabulary for it, but I didn’t experience it in my body. 

In fact, here’s what I would do. I would notice something and then go, oh, it’s just my thought, and I wouldn’t continue with it. I wouldn’t go and see and feel what that thought created. If we’re talking about the times where it comes from a thought, right? I was not in—I was easy to dismiss any bodily sensation.

Sometimes I would notice the butterflies. You know what I would do? Why am I feeling butterflies? I know it’s just coming from my thoughts. This is useless, useless butterflies. What’s happening? 

Kim: Yeah. Well, because part of our training is about throwing the body away and ignoring the body. And it’s not hungry. It doesn’t matter.

You just need like, and just like completely keep that same scenario going. It was so validating. Like, and I, I see it more of like a, almost like a masculine energy, you know? It’s like that, that dismissive-ness of being inside so you can go get shit done. 

Dominique: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It’s telling yourself

Kim: Make the money, you know? Win the, the challenge, whatever it is. What were you missing out on that you didn’t know you were missing out on, but now that you are in, you realize that, oh my God, I’ve been missing this all this time and didn’t even know it. 

Dominique: So, I’ll say it in a, in a broad way, and then I’ll say exactly what I mean.

Um, so, I was missing the pleasures, right? So, I was missing out on—I’d say things felt good. I didn’t actually know they felt good, right? I didn’t know. Um, you know, they tell you to go take a walk outside and it’s, it’ll make you feel better. I was like, okay, I’m outside. I feel better. Kind of. But I didn’t feel better.

I didn’t feel the wind on my skin. I didn’t feel like, you know, when you close your eyes and you can still feel the brightness of the sun? And there’s a, a sensation that happens there? No clue that was happening. In fact, I was going, eh, let me block it out. Let me make sure it doesn’t affect me. That’s what I, that’s what I was missing. And I was missing the little things as well. 

Like, um, picking up one of my kids. You can pick up your kid. You can pick up your kid, and you can actually feel them on your fingertips. You can actually feel the closeness to your body and not think, oh no, they’re getting close to my chub. They’re going to notice that my belly is this, this, or that.

I was missing the connection to things, to the people. That’s what I was missing. 

Kim: You just said something that’s so important. When you don’t have the body confidence, or the self-confidence, or the embodiment, your mind never flipping shuts up.

Dominique: Yes. Yes. 

Kim: About the defects that it believes. That like you, like you never stop thinking about… they’re going to see my role, they’re going to touch my loose skin.

They’re going like it’s, it’s like you said with your kids. You didn’t even know that that was the thought that was happening, right? Until you thought something different, or until experienced your husband, or with your, like, your friends or… That’s so important. 

Dominique: And you know, some of those things are messages and some of those things, they’re just happening.

And you get to learn the difference as you learn what it’s like to be in your body and what some things mean. Like the butterflies before I do something new, right? All those things. Well, I’m wondering how much mental real estate is being taken up when you’re trying to live in the perfect body. And you’re trying, like you’re so busy trying to lose the weight, make, build the bus, you know, wear the size, whatever, have it. Like so preoccupied with hiding.

Dominique: Yeah. 

Kim: Or making it something it’s not and missing out on all of this that you’re talking about now. 

Dominique: The part where you’re actually living your life. That’s the part you’re missing on. You’re missing… It’s not about, I mean, it can be, but it’s, it’s not just about being able to wear the bikini. For me, it’s about, okay, I’m actually going to wear something comfortable so that I can experience that laughter with my kids.

Kim: Mm-hmm. 

Dominique: What? You can actually laugh at the beach? No, you can. You don’t have to just hide underneath everything and make sure that no part of your body shows and all of that. You can actually just wear something comfortable and have fun. How much of your time was being preoccupied by your thoughts about your body?

Kim: Hmmm.

Dominique: I can tell you that I have distinct memories of being six years old and making sure I wear a t-shirt over my bathing. Right? So, I know that it’s been forming my entire life. Uh, it’s generational. It’s been like that in my family for as long as I can go back when I ask anybody, right? 

Kim: Mm-hmm. 

Dominique: And so, it’s really in there and it, it almost felt at some point, like I wouldn’t ever get rid of. That would be the piece I would never get rid of in a way, because I felt like it was in my genes. I felt like it was in my DNA. 

Kim: Both ways, right? 

Dominique: And both ways. 

Kim: Genes and my jeans. 

Dominique: Yep. Yep. Um, but it turns out now I have freedom. Like I actually have—what do I want to spend my time and energy on? Right? Right now it’s really helping other people not be stuck in this, right?

I can’t think of a better way to spend my time. I wouldn’t have had that time because I’d be worried about what? I’d be worried about what I’m eating, making sure I have my food plan, making sure that I, um, making sure that I beat myself up when I don’t follow my food plan. Um, there would be what am I physically doing for my body?

It would be a lot of, to my body, not in my body, if that’s, if that makes sense. 

Kim: Mm-hmm. And I remember you sharing a story in E-School about Shania Twain. And how it was in the past, like all of the drama and the time consumption and the all the things. And then in this particular trip is when you had that awareness that how easy life is when you just—it’s just you and your body. And the packing. Like I’m curious with the audience how much—this is a big thing for me—how much time is spent with like packing the right thing, you know, in order to hide according to if you have the extra two pounds or twenty pounds on, and how much consumption.

Dominique: Mm-hmm. So, that story is that in the past, it would take me weeks to pack for any kind of a trip. Because I would be thinking about, um, everything from, am I going to be bloated around that time? Uh, are my favorite jeans going to fit if they’re not going to fit? What else am I going to wear? And constantly, constantly thinking about it, right?

Oh, and if I follow the, um, no flour, no sugar for this amount of time before, da, da, da, da, okay? All of those things would come into play weeks before. And then it would be trying the clothes and feeling really disappointed. Down. This time it was a surprise, and I was put in a situation that I’d never experienced before.

My husband said, “I’m taking you on a trip. I’m going to be home in about half an hour, forty-five minutes. And we’re going.” And there was no drama, nothing. I went upstairs, and I thought, “okay, we’re likely to have dinner and a show, because that makes sense to me, the kind of people we are.” So, I just went into my closet, and I said, here are the things that feel comfortable.

Put them in a bag. And that was it. There was none of this. I didn’t, yes. I didn’t have the opportunity to prep for weeks. Sure. But I don’t think it would’ve mattered. It was just, here are the things that I am comfortable in and that allow me to be present with my husband. With myself, and with my husband.

That’s what was important to me. It was no longer, “how am I going to hide this part of my body?” It was just, “oh, what is going to allow me to have the experience I want?”

Kim: Mm-hmm. 

Dominique: Because now I want to have experiences in my body, whereas I didn’t want to before. 

Kim: Yeah. The, the freedom that comes from the confidence. From acceptance. It’s, I would say, it’s more body acceptance than body love, right? Because when you’re not accepting it, you’re spending so much time preoccupied with how to hide it, how to prevent it, how to change it, how to, and so you’re not actually, you know, present with or in, um, and then missing out on the joy and the luxuries and the sensations and the, the pleasures.

Dominique: Yeah. And I love what you—we’ve had that conversation about the difference between love and acceptance. Right? And it’s really, really difficult for some, for somebody to go from: I hate my body, or there’s very little I can stand about my body to I love my body. It’s just… there’s too much space in between and then you feel like a, a complete fraud, complete impostor.

Kim: Yeah. 

Dominique: In the first step, you have to go through acceptance. Right. Even, even for me, the idea of always needing to improve something about my body meant I was not accepting it. So, that’s always the first step. Move toward accepting your body. 

Kim: What does that, what does that look like, Dom, for someone who’s listening? Who is relating to, oh my God, there’s so much time I spend fighting against what is and so preoccupied and I dread packing and going, and I’m missing out on so much.

Like, you remember, I remember. I still, I still experience it. Um, what would, what could you tell them? Because you know, until they have the awareness that, I mean, we don’t change anything until we have the awareness. What would be a question? What would be something, um, something to consider, to bring awareness or to shine a light on it?

Dominique: So, I start with a very small exercise if you want me to share that. 

Kim: Yeah. Yeah. 

Dominique: It feels like it’s kind of like you don’t have animosity toward it. Whatever. Find something. For a while, it was one strand of hair that really twirled beautifully. It does. You just pick. And whatever it is that you pick, experience that.

So, let’s just say it’s your forearm, right? I don’t know. Can you see my forearm? Okay. Say it’s your forearm. Okay. This just the only, it’s the only thing I’m okay with. I want you to experience what it’s like to accept one part of your body. Even if it’s the forearm. It can be touching it. It can be looking at it.

It could be trying to just sense what it’s like in that part of your body. Now this, I’m giving you so many questions and it would depend what, it would depend on what part of the body you’re choosing, but it’s showing you that you can have acceptance for the tiniest part of your body. And then the more you focus on that, the more you can grow acceptance for the rest of your body.

And you just have to start with one little part. And like I said, it can be a system. You can love your nervous system if that’s what it is. It doesn’t have to be a physical. My hair, my, my legs, you know. It doesn’t have to be that, but it can be that as well. So, that’s what I do. 

Kim: Yeah. I’m just, it just brought to mind like someone who, like, I remember being so checked out, and you said this earlier, um, since we’re talking, that they’re preoccupied with kids or like, you know, busy, just busy running the house and working and all the things, and the first thought was like, “so stupid, like ridiculous.”

Like, that’s a telltale sign. 

Dominique: No. Yes, 100 percent. We are sold that. We’re told that all the time. That is the message that you get about your body, period. That is the message that you’re getting. And really, what it is, is, um, when it comes to embodiment, it’s three things. It’s always three things. And so, you can do it in different ways.

It doesn’t have to be what I just described. It can be anything that has to do with breath, movement, or sound. Basically. So, if for you, the exercise I mentioned is too much or, ugh, sounds so silly, I don’t want to do that. Hum for a moment. And see that reverberation that’s happening in your body.

That is experiencing your body in that moment without judgment. Just experiencing it. And that is something about your body that you’ve just accepted. 

Kim: It’s really fun to do when you’re in the tub. 

Dominique: Yes. 

Kim: That’s where I just start, right? Because you feel stupid everywhere else. And you know, and so it started like in yoga and it was like, you know, bringing—because when I remember when we’d first do the aum, or like anything in yoga, I was like, oh my God, this is ridiculous.

Dominique: Yep. 

Kim: Right? And then before I know it, like I realize the beauty of calming my nervous system. And I’m in the tub and like the water is vibrating, and the body is vibrating. It’s so, I don’t even know what the word is. Um, yeah, I don’t have a word for it. Just try it. Just try it. 

Dominique: It’s one of those things you not only feel seen, but you’re seeing yourself. It’s, it’s connected. That’s the feeling. It’s a deep connection. 

Kim: You know what else came to my awareness in, in the early days that I noticed? And I noticed it again this morning, which brought my attention back to it, is drinking water and feeling it go all the way down the body to the—I was just like, whoa.

Yes. I’m sure that’s been going on all my life. 

Dominique: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. I often say start with the external senses, because you’re probably a little bit more comfortable with them. And something like music. Music does it for me. Right? And so, how far in can you pay attention to that vibration? Yeah, because the music doesn’t just stop here.

It goes in. How far can you feel that? Now that’s where I get into a little bit of: it’s a step-by-step process a little bit. You can’t force it. You can’t go from, “I hate being in my body” to “let me see how far I can sense these things.” You need to feel safe to be able to do that first. Right? And that’s part of “let’s accept the body so that you can feel safe in their body.”

Otherwise, you’re not going to be able to experience being in that body. 

Kim: And most of my audience loves energy and energetics and you know, we’ve kind of got the woo thing going on. So, I think, I think most of them can get that. But let’s talk about what happens. So, you do one-on-one client, uh, coaching.

And so, because I do think this is an intimate thing. It’s not. It probably is not very easy to do in a group because there’s so much awkwardness when someone’s like first starting to tap in. So, what does it look like? Like what are the pain points of not embodiment, or un-embodiment, or detachment? What is, what is the, like, what do they suffer with?

What’s, what are the results of being? 

Dominique: Yeah. And I think it’s more that—

Kim: What are the pain points? 

Dominique: Yeah. I think it’s, it’s a lot of stopping yourself from doing the things that you want to do. Like you may want to go and hug somebody, and you don’t. And so, you prevent yourself from having that experience of really being hugged.

Really being hugged. Right? It’s in the things like, and I think this is common for a lot of us moms. It’s the, um, and women just in general, right? The oh, I am going to take the picture. And the result is that you’re in no picture whatsoever. Why? Because you prefer to take the photo, because if you took it, then you wouldn’t be in it.

And, and that one is like… this one is a tricky one because it touches on a lot of things. All of a sudden you are being the people pleaser, right? You’re like, I will do it for them. And so, you’re being the people pleaser. You’re fulfilling these roles that you’ve put on yourself. So, it’s, it’s giving you a lot of dopamine, right?

You, it’s like, it’s like a good thing, what I’m doing. But at the end of the day, you look back on the vacation photos and you’re in none of them. You, um, you look back at the Christmas and you weren’t there. Maybe eventually I pro—this is what’s happened for me, is I know like not only do I like taking pictures now, I insist on being in them. And I like looking at them.

Kim: Nice. 

Dominique: It’s not even like I can’t wait to see what it, what did that look like? What did that moment look like? Because I know what it felt like. What did it also look like? This is so fun. 

Kim: Because you’re able to look at it. It’s like when someone’s having money issues and they won’t look at their bank account. Or relationship issues and they won’t have the conversation.

And I’m thinking of how many trips, and events, social events did I miss? Uh, so many. So, I have shame about how, just how much, how hard it was. And getting on stage. Walking in front of people. I had something this past year. Again, it’s because it’s still there. I am not; it has not resolved for me personally.

It is my last big thing to overcome. And I saved the best for last. I mean, there’s so many other things, but I actually positioned myself in a way that I can focus time and attention on it now because I’ve gotten so many other things that are solid now. You know, that are flowing and running well.

But before it was too big to tackle. It was, it was too big to overcome because there were the kids and the business and just so many other things. Does that make sense? And, and it’s easy, it’s so easy to check out from it being a priority. 

Dominique: Yes. I would imagine that I, I mean, I know this for myself. It’s like it was also, oh, but I, you know what?

I’m just going to put it to the side because I know I’m not getting the results that I want there. And so I’m just going to put it to the side and I’m going to focus on something that I know I can produce the results, because then that’ll feel good. And which it does. 

Kim: And, and it’s easier because we grew the muscle for it. Like, I know how to go make some money, help some people, do some, like I know how to do all of that. I do that easily. I have a very well-built muscle for that. But this part? And I, I’m transparent by all means, you know that already. So, like, I actually think it’s helpful for me to exploit, you know, myself on it because, If I can look in the mirror and say it to an audience, I can still put the mic in my hand and I can still go where before it was stopping me. 

Stopping me from going to the events. I told you this earlier this year is like, the thing I hate the most is going to the beach where you have to wear less clothes. I much rather the wintertime—although I hate being cold—because of the layers. Like it’s still, it, it, it affects and impacts so much about us meeting our potential. Or, or just becoming all that we want. 

Dominique: Yeah. Yeah. And, and it goes, I know we’ve been talking a lot about how the body looks, but there’s another layer that I want to make sure everybody knows about body image that sometimes we don’t think about. It’s also about what you think of what happens in your body.

Isn’t that interesting? Yeah, like me and my butterflies and my nervousness, for example. Right? But it’s also about, um, I don’t know if you have any digestive issues and that keeps you home. It’s not necessarily, well, sometimes it could be the digestive issues and you decide to stay home, but it’s also what you think of what’s happening inside your body. How your body is treating you. And yet your body is, is doing its job. 

Kim: It’s what’s all connected. And I mean, the body is the subconscious mind. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s the metaphysical. It’s the response. It’s the response. We create that. 

Dominique: Yeah. And sometimes we get mad at what we create, you know. And sometimes we don’t accept what we create and that doesn’t serve us. That is, that’s just another way for you to experience life entirely up here. 

Kim: Yeah. So, I want to dial it in. 

Dominique: Yeah. 

Kim: As we’re coming, we’re coming to an end about you making that transition. What is your life like now compared to what it was then? 

Dominique: Yeah. So, the way it was then was spending probably thirty minutes retouching everything before coming on this kind of call or before doing anything where I was on video. I retouched for five minutes.

It’s not like I didn’t, right? But it was five minutes. That’s the amount of time that I’m happy to put into that because I do care. That’s it. Right? I was so much more focused on, “I wonder what kind of questions she’s going to ask me?” I’m super excited to just have this back and forth. That’s going to be fun. I was focused on that anticipation.

I wasn’t focused on the rest. I noticed the anticipation inside, and it felt good and giddy. 

Kim: Mm, right? Mm. I love that. Because there was a time where anticipation did not feel butterfly-ish. 

Dominique: Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It really felt like an assault, almost. 

Kim: Yeah. Would it shut you down? 

Dominique: Entirely. Entirely. And then I’m somebody I, I don’t know if people know me who are listening, or maybe just from today, you’ll notice I’m somebody who’s actually kind of bubbly. And like I gesture and I smile and I have all kinds of expressions.

And I would just kind of sit there and be like, “hmm.” That’s it. And I wouldn’t really—it wouldn’t be me. I wouldn’t express being me and I wouldn’t experience being me in the conversations we’d be having. 

Kim: So, interesting. So, Dom, we’re goin to… where can people find you? 

Dominique: Yeah, so, um, the place that I hang out with the most is on Instagram and that’s @DominiqueVandal. So, I’ll, I’ll spell it out because I know it’s different. 

Kim: So, we’ll have a link. We’ll have a link to it too, for that exact reason. 

Dominique: Perfect. And the best place to know anything of what’s going on is either there or the website, which is very simple. DominicVandal.com. Keep it simple. 

Kim: keep it simple. Um, and what is it that you do? Who do you help? 

Dominique: Yeah, so I help women. And I think mostly I help women who are, whose bodies are changing, right? Where our hair is turning gray. Um, things are changing in our bodies, our abilities and all those things. And so, I, I help those women and I help you transform your body image so that you can then go ahead and have all the fun I’m having, right?

You can not only just accept your body, but go and have fun with that body and experience life’s pleasures. And that’s what I do. 

Kim: I love that. So, you can feel the butterflies. 

Dominique: So, you can feel the butterflies and love it. 

Kim: In, in the best kind of way. Yeah. So, so I’m, uh, Dominique is in, well—I say, I say the whole name and sometimes I call you Dom. Is that okay? 

Dominique: Dom is fine. Most people just call me Dom,. 

Kim: Dom, um, has been in E-School all year, so we have been helping her create her brand and grow her business. Business and her life to a whole ‘nother level and actually be that generational breaker, right? Where she’s not passing these patterns. Because like you said, it was in the genes.

It came before you; it happened when you’re a very young age. And once you get through this, you realize that you actually don’t want to pass these traits and qualities onto your children. That, that, for me, it’s way more painful for me to see what I inflicted upon my children because of my presence, or lack of presence, compared to me suffering it myself.

That’s when I started to awaken to this, when I started noticing in my kids and my grandkids, and it’s so much easier to see in someone else. We’re just so damn used to suffering, wouldn’t you say? 

Dominique: Yes. And finding something to fix because then, for me, that dopamine. Every time, oh, there’s that thing I can improve, and I have these tools, da, da da.

It was a dopamine hit every time. 

Kim: Yes, our brain is so focused on looking for the problem. But this happens even in school, and you know, our lives as children at home. It’s like, it’s the things we don’t do well are always pointed out. Mm-hmm. we don’t get attention for the A’s and B’s. We get attention for the C’s, D’s, and F’s.

Right? And so, it’s like there, that’s it’s habitual focus. And that’s really what I love about, especially in the mind-body world, is we can create so much impact from first understanding it. Like for ourself. That’s where the work is at. And once you understand it for yourself, then you’re just a magnet to other people who want it for themselves because the joy and ease can be seen through you.

Dominique: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. And then people around you start to use it. That’s fun. Uh, it’s interesting, but it’s fun. 

Kim: Yeah. So, is there anything that I did not ask you that you would like to contribute? Any topic I didn’t touch on? 

Dominique: Just, just one thing because I think as, as women, we’re told that our bodies are for everyone else. That our bodies, um, have worth only based on what other people think of the body, and that’s a disservice. That is a huge disservice because at the end of the day, you have every right to, in the body that you have without changing it one bit. The body that you have, you have every right to experience life fully. And I, I think everybody needs to hear that. 

Kim: Did you, let me ask you a question that I didn’t ask earlier. You said that this was something noted when you, as early as being six years old and you’ve had babies, did you have weight issues? 

Dominique: Yes, I was extremely harsh with myself. Um, and it’s not uncommon, of course. If you have body image issues that then you also either under or over emphasize your body. Right?

Um, and so I definitely had some body issues growing up and, um, before the embodiment and all of that, the time that I felt most liberated was when I was pregnant. Because it was okay for me to gain weight. It was okay. Right? It was, it was good. That was the first time that I had a taste of liking my body. Just like a taste. Because it was okay to gain the weigh.

Kim: Because it was being used as a woman. 

Dominique: Yeah. And it meant I was doing it right. 

Kim: Say more. This is, this is, so you went the direction of trying to make it perfect instead of like, they’re just checking it out and letting it go. That would be the two extremes. 

Dominique: Well, let me clarify. I was still checked out of my body. I was, I was like controlling it and manipulating it a ton, right? But I wasn’t, I was ignoring all of my body signs, though. I was ignoring all of its messages. 

Kim: Were you controlling and manipulating the number on the scale, the size of the jeans? Like, what were you controlling and manipulating? Like I get the part you’re saying about the body. So, how is it, how is it manifesting or looking for you or? 

Dominique: Yeah. Well, and I want to be careful here because when it comes to body, there are some things that are well beyond coach, you know, what I can help people with in coaching. So, I will be completely transparent because I know it’s going to help people.

But take it as: if you identify these things that you actually seek the help that is appropriate for what you need. And so, I really went through high school with, uh, pretty much a good touch of anorexia where I did not eat. I’d have supper, and that was it. And I’d always tell my parents how, oh, I’m full. And so, I wouldn’t really eat and the identity that I had, um—I don’t know if you can tell, I’m only four-eleven, and so I was always the petite one.

I was always the little one. And I thought that if I lost that, I got bigger in any way, and people wouldn’t like me anymore. I wouldn’t get the boys’ attention anymore. And so, I held that like very, very, very tightly. And at the same time, if somebody else looked at me, they’d be like, I don’t; I don’t get it.

Yeah, you’re tiny, you’re a cutie. I hated everything about my body. My boobs were too small. My waist was too big. Even though I was in a size like zero-zero. I, I kept seeing all the things I needed to improve. Needed to improve. So, yeah, I totally went through that. I wasn’t accepting my body. And so, this is also a big example of why the number on the scale has nothing to do with whether or not you can accept your body, the way you look.

You don’t know what somebody else’s experience. Because most people would’ve thought, “she must be really happy with that body,” and I wasn’t. 

Kim: Well, that’s the interesting thing. Is anyone who looks like they have it all together and then the person who’s looking has the judgment and comparison. They’re always going to find that.

And recognizing that we all suffer in our own kind of way of unworthiness, we just do. It’s like part of the human condition. And then your upbringing, your environment, your conditioning, the messages, um, what you saw someone else got attention from that you suddenly start to seek. It’s really interesting.

I love that you’re really clear about the lines, by the way, and the boundaries and setting that straight. Because we’ve had that conversation before. Um, and. Which to me is saying you’ve been through an experience where you knew that that’s what you needed, and you’re like, “I’m super clean about that, and this is not what coaching is.”

So, I do love and respect that. Um, all right, so you didn’t think there was anything else, but you know, I’m going to go there. I’m just like, it’s always, I just love human behavior. Yeah, it, because I can see it separate from the person. It’s fascinating that we’ve got this, this organ in our head. This, that our brain, that we have. It’s the most powerful thing that controls everything and we don’t have a user’s manual.

Dominique: Yep. 

Kim: And then our mind does all this judgmental stuff, you know, and comparing us to everyone else. And we have this underlying belief of being unworthy. And there are so many people who just think it’s them that has that going on in their head. And you’re like, no, actually you can be in a size too and feel that way.

Or you can be like the richest, have $2 million in your bank account and feel that way. Have the hottest husband who opens the door for you and feel that way.

Dominique: Mm-hmm. 100 percent. And I think that was a little bit of a, a reason why I was not, for a long time, stepping into the body image coaching world, right? Because I thought people are going to look at me and be like, what do you know? What do you know? Cause I recognize now. 

Kim: They will. But the person who’s in the position of having gotten the perfect body will know otherwise. So, there’s that too. But when, when we don’t talk about it and we don’t put ourselves in a position, you know, then you help no one. So, there’s that too. 

But this is a, a big conversation that we have, um, we, you know, within the coaching community is impostor syndrome. You know, for whatever reason, I remember having the gym and when I wasn’t overweight, people didn’t want to come to exercise because they didn’t fit in, because they thought I didn’t understand.

And I’m like, I weighed 232 pounds when I delivered my first baby. I completely understand. And then on the other side, when I put on weight, then, you know, I have the thought, “they don’t want to come because I don’t look like I have my shit together.” So, who’s going to follow me if, you know, I’ve got all this extra weight on me?

Or who’s going to—no. So, wait, it’s a, that’s what I came to realize. It’s victim and martyr. You’re caught in between the two and you’re going to have the judgment, regardless. 

Dominique: Yes. And you’re going to lose either way. You’re going to lose either way. You’re putting yourself in a position where you will not ever be the winner.

Kim: There’s always going to be a reason why your mind doesn’t think you’re good enough, because it’s an underlying issue of unworthiness, you know? I think back then I was like, I was way thinner. I wish I’d have had the nerve to grab the, the microphone and the stage, and I wouldn’t have put the weight on like that.

I mean, that story still plays. It’s like it’s part of our neural pathway. It’s part of our human experience, you know? And I think being transparent and vulnerable and being able to speak about it is what makes us relatable and is what helps us help other people. 

Dominique: I think so. I think so. 

Kim: Thank you. 

Dominique: Thank you.

Kim: All right guys, that’s what I have for you this week. Go check out Dom, find her own Instagram. Go give her a thumbs up. Follow her. Tell her you heard. Help us out here, because that is a big part of us creating an impact and helping other people. You know, social media is such a big part of that. So, if you appreciate listening to this episode, share it with a friend. Whether it’s on YouTube or the podcast, and, um, go check out Dom and see if you want to do some work with her. 

Dominique: Awesome. Thanks for having me.

Thanks for listening to this episode of More Than Mindset.

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