Listen to Your Body Podcast 343 - Exploring Your Fitness Gains through Health at Every Size (HAES) w_ Stacey Sorgen

Fitness & Health at Every Size (HAES) w/ Stacey Sorgen

Have you felt like there is a misalignment between your strength goals and what society tells you your goals should be? So often the fitness industry is focused on shrinking your body, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The Health at Every Size movement is a prime example of your ability to work with what you have to be the best possible version of yourself each and every day.

Listen to Your Body Podcast 343 - Exploring Your Fitness Gains through Health at Every Size (HAES) w_ Stacey Sorgen

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Key Takeaways

If You Want to Embrace Health at Every Size, You Should:

  1. Create fitness goals that have nothing to do with your size
  2. Find a form of fitness that you enjoy and brings you happiness
  3. Focus on what you are gaining, not what you are losing

Becoming The Best Version of Yourself

Stacey Sorgen felt that misalignment first hand. When working to become a personal trainer, Stacey felt like she had to shrink herself to be taken seriously in the industry. Finally, Stacey said enough is enough and has found great success helping people of every size and shape work towards their goals that have nothing to do with the number on the scale.

Making Fitness Accessible

Society tells us that being a larger person is the worst thing that can be done to you. Stacey is here to tell you that that is absolutely not true. The Health at Every Size movement is all about making fitness more approachable and accessible for as many people as possible.

Because the truth is, there is nothing wrong with the size of your body, and you can become the healthiest version of yourself without focusing on becoming smaller.

It’s Not About Shrinking Your Body

When you use fitness as a tool to expand your strength, confidence, and ability, instead of contracting our bodies to fit a certain mold, you gain the ability to advocate for your needs. Instead of using fitness as a means to an end, Stacey wants you to enjoy what you are doing and focus on what you are gaining, not what you are losing.

Fitness is about so much more than shrinking your body, and with the right perspective, you too can find health at any size.

Are you ready to set some fitness goals that have nothing to do with the number on the scale? Share how you are embracing Health at Every Size with me in the comments below.

In This Episode

  • Learn what Health at Every Size means and the main core values of the philosophy (5:41)
  • How to maintain a sense of independence in an all-consuming diet-culture industry (13:32)
  • Addressing the concern troll mentality and the misconception of Healthy at Every Size (17:18)
  • Tips for reframing the narrative around fitness and movement (23:08)
  • What to do if you are ready to do something different but are reluctant to put yourself back out there (32:26)


“It’s kind of a revolution of discovering that we can learn to respect or accept our bodies where they are at and do the best that we can with what we have in this moment now.” (7:16)

“We can be larger people, and still be strong, still be active, still be fit, still be any of the things you want to be at the size that you are in your body today.” (10:50)

“If we do not support and love all people, how can all people support and love themselves?”  (18:41)

“As soon as you hit a plateau, if you are focused on contraction, there is only so far you can go. But the other direction, it’s like the sky is the limit, you can really do anything.” (27:52)

“We are always focused on everyone else. But that hour or that hour and a half or that fifteen minutes, focus on yourself and get out of it what you need out of it.” (35:22)

Featured on the Show

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Related Episodes

LTYB 335: Breaking the Body Stereotype with Amanda LaCount

LTYB 314: How To Set Health Goals Beyond the Scale with Steph Dodier

LTYB 273: Opting Out Of Diet Culture with Naomi Katz

Exploring Your Fitness Gains through Health at Every Size (HAES) w/ Stacey Sorgen FULL TRANSCRIPT

Steph Gaudreau
What would happen if you shifted your perspective of movement from one where you focused on losing to one where you focused on what you could gain? On this episode of the podcast? My very special guest is helping you to answer this question. And she’s also sharing how the fitness industry can be more inclusive and adopt some of the principles of the Health at Every Size movement. Let’s do it. The listen to your body podcast is all about helping women who lift weights get stronger, fuel themselves without counting every bite of food, perform better in and out of the gym, and take up space. I’m strength coach, nutritional therapy practitioner and certified intuitive eating counselor Steph Gaudreau. This weekly show brings you discussion about building strength, without obsessing about food and exercise, lifting weights, food, psychology, and more. You’ll learn how to eat, train, recover, listen to your body, and step into your strength. Hit subscribe on your favorite podcast app. And let’s dive in.

Steph Gaudreau
All righty, welcome back to the show. Thanks so much for hanging out with us today. I really glad that you’re here. Before I introduce my very special guest, I want to give you a reminder, if you are lifting weights, and you want to understand how to fuel your body so that you build muscle, get stronger, have more energy and improve your performance both in and out of the gym. Pretty soon I’m going to be launching a new group coaching program online and I want to invite you to join the waitlist. To do that you can go to So that’s group with a capital G waitlist with a capital W. Okay, let’s go ahead and introduce today’s guest. My guest today is Stacey Sorgen. She is a personal trainer, a strength coach and a Health at Every Size health coach. This is really important, Stacey is on a mission to help you see how fitness can really be inclusive of so much more than just the old shrink your body routine that we all have grown up with. And on today’s podcast, Stacey is going to be sharing with you a couple really important things. First, her interpretation of how fitness can do better with incorporating a Health at Every Size perspective. She’s also breaking down what Health at Every Size means because frankly, there’s a lot of misconception flying around out there on the internet, especially on Instagram. So she’s breaking it down for you on this episode. And she’s also sharing a really powerful perspective shift. If you are working out you’re getting in the gym, you’re learning to lift weights, she’s sharing one of her key mindset shifts that you can incorporate to make lifting weights be so much more than this long time pursuit that we’re all used to, which is how do we just shrink our bodies and twist ourselves into a pretzel. And lastly, Stacey’s sharing some of her personal perspective about being a personal trainer in a larger body. Alright, let’s go ahead and dive in. Hey, Stacey, welcome to the show.

Stacey Sorgen
Hey, Steph, thank you so much for having me here. I’m really excited to talk to you today.

Steph Gaudreau
I’m really thrilled to talk with you, gosh, we’ve connected over the last seems like couple of years. And I really love what you do in the world. And I’m always down for inviting folks on the podcast who are speaking to the nuances of how do we how do we encourage people to move in a way that feels really good to them. I know you talk a lot about being an entrepreneur and you’re really open about anxiety and there’s just so much stuff that I would love to dig into with you. And I’m so glad that you’re here sharing your brilliance with us on the show today.

Stacey Sorgen
I am here for it. I’m ready to dig in. I’m really an open book. So any of these topics that you want to talk about? I’m totally fair game. Let’s do it.

Steph Gaudreau
I love it. Let’s do it. Okay, so the first thing I think we’re just gonna dive right in and then we’ll we’ll get into some of your your backstory as we go. But if somebody were to go to your Instagram profile, which I hope they do after this go to go to Stacey’s Instagram. One of the things that you have in your bio, is that you are Hayes aligned wellness coach, and we talk a lot on this podcast about things like eating more intuitively and, you know, moving for the joy of movement sake and things like that. But when it comes to this concept of Health at Every Size, there’s a lot of a lot of misconception about what that even means. And how possibly someone like yourself could be a coach who’s helping people with this approach. So can you maybe give us a little bit of an overview, from your perspective? what that means in the world? What is Health at Every Size? What are some of the major, I guess the pillars or tenets of that and I think that’ll help frame the discussion as we go.

Stacey Sorgen
Sure. So I’ll talk a little bit about it from from my perspective, and then how I apply it to what I do as a coach. So I first got involved kind of with this movement, or this idea several years ago, and it was when I was feeling really not in alignment with a lot of the messages that I felt like I had to send out into like the the fitness world, right, or what I call like, the fitness industrial complex, or the diet industrial complex, I just felt really not in alignment, I was doing all the things that I think other people do. And they first start as personal trainers, and I was posting before and after pictures and hosting challenges, and it felt gross, it just felt gross. And I thought there’s got to be another way. And it was like, you know, the universe sometimes just hears you. And all of a sudden clientele started coming in to see me and they said, I’m here to get strong, I am here, not to focus on anything that I want to fix about my body, but I want growth, I want to be the best that I can as the person I am standing in front of you today. And something clicked. And I like to reach down into the depths of the internet.

Stacey Sorgen
And I was like, This is what I want, this is what I need. This is what I this is who I am personally, I just never knew what to call it or what this was. And so it’s kind of a revolution of discovering that we can learn to respect or accept our bodies where they are at, and do the best that we can with what we have in this moment now. So not looking towards shrinking ourselves. But what can I do right now in the body that I have to be the strongest or the most balanced, or the most flexible that I can be right now without viewing exercise and movement as a whole for the only purpose of of shrinking? Right. So that is what I work with so many people on now. And it has opened up like an entirely new world to me. How about you?

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, I mean, you know, I respect a lot what you’re saying about feeling like there was a misalignment. And this is something I have received so many message direct messages from so many people, whether they’re in the nutrition space, the fitness space, or both, because sometimes there’s some overlap. I’ve received so many messages from other coaches, other practitioners, other people out trainers who are working with clients are there out there in the space educating who are having, they’re having a change of not maybe not a change of heart, but they’re at least starting to question. Yeah, does this feel aligned? Does this feel good to me? And if not, like, what else? How do I turn this Titanic? You know, how do I? How do I shift my own business even? And so I really appreciate you saying that, because I had a similar kind of series of moments. It wasn’t an overnight thing where I just started to really question like, how am I? How am I adding to this, too, I want to choose to help people focus on something else. And so I just really appreciate that, that candor and that honesty from you. What were some of the things because you said earlier mentioned you know, you were doing things like before and after pictures and challenges and things like that. What were some of the reasons why maybe you started to feel in your words gross on I totally relate to that, that you were starting to feel gross about things or starting to feel out of alignment for you.

Stacey Sorgen
What were you oh my gosh, I’m gonna be really honest with you today stuff. I think that the people who are listening, like deserve that and hopefully this will resonate for them. But I have always been a larger person. And when I began as a personal trainer, I really felt like I needed to shrink myself in order to fit the image. And that did not feel in alignment. And then trying to coach other people to do the horrible thing. that I did in order to try to shrink themselves did not feel in alignment. I am a larger person, this is like my, this is my set place, you know, I always come back to the same place. And I started to realize that this is just how how sometimes it is. And also, I want to say this, that, I think that society teaches us that to be a larger person or to be a fat person, is the worst thing that could ever possibly happen to you. I humbly submit that it is not that it is not that we can be larger people and still be strong, still be active, still be fit, still be any of the things that you want to be as the size that you are in your body today. And that’s what you know, being hazed aligned is about is working with what we have to be the best possible versions of ourselves each day. And, yeah, so it was these these things that I was doing, and I was like, This is not in alignment. What I want to take part in this No, but it seems like people like this, but I feel like we’re all just drinking the same damn Kool-Aid, you know, we were all just taught the same things, from the times that we were itty bitty. This really anybody? So I think, you know, moving forward with these people and going through this discovery of, hey, let’s explore together, what could this look like? What do you want this to look like? If we could scrap everything about whatever you’ve learned about fitness, like air quotes, fitness, what would you want it to be? And I was hearing from people like they wanted to be able to go into a space where they felt really comfortable and not judged for their size. They wanted to be able to wear whatever they wanted, instead of wearing what might be traditional for a gym. They wanted to escape the male gaze, they wanted to there all sorts of things. And when I started listening to that is really when I started to something, something snapped. And I started to change the way that I approached fitness, the way that I talked to clientele. And the way that I engage on places like Instagram.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, I love that. Do you ever feel like you’re swimming upstream? Bit of a, it’s a bit of a selfish question on my part, because I feel like sometimes, you know, you made this really concerted effort to make a change in how you’re communicating what you do you just like you said on Instagram, how do you don’t even talk about fitness? I don’t even talk about movement. And at the same time, I don’t know at least I get this sensation sometimes where I feel like David versus Goliath, or I feel like that little that salmon swimming upstream is just trying to get back to its, you know, home, its home stream, so it can spawn. you know, it feels so like, it feels so big. The industry feels so huge. It feels so powerful and consuming. How do you maintain that sense of like, you know what, like, I’m doing my thing here. And I know, this is what’s right for me. And this is the way I want to approach it. Like without getting, I guess consumed by the almighty industry. How do you personally deal with that?

Stacey Sorgen
Oh, that is such a good question. Um, well, okay, so a couple different things, if that’s okay, I’ll give you a couple different examples. One is always checking back in with my own experience. And I’m not like a big blogger. I’m not an awesome writer, like you stuff, I have core four, I love it. But on my website, I have a couple of blog posts. And one of them is where I talk about my experience ever going into a big box gym for the very first time. And just to condense that for you really quick. I was talking about how other people made assumptions about what my goals were. And so whenever I start to feel like I’m getting swept up in that current, I go back to how did I feel? And who did I need to teach me to do better? How did I learn? And how can I teach other people who might be sitting in their home thinking, I can’t, you know, I’m afraid to move gym class sucked for me or the first time I went to a big box gym sucked for me, what it’s not for me, and I want them to know that there’s a place for them. So that’s why I continue to show up. Another thing is, there are currents and this upstream where there are lots of fish going and sometimes it feels really good to kind of get it into a grouping with them and all go together. You know, sometimes it’s not all by myself, there are pockets of the internet that are. It’s like rainbows and unicorns and magical, like Hazel and stuff, and I love it. And so I just continued to learn from those people and I continue to grow, and I continue to network with them. And I’m going through training right now with being nourished. And that is amazing. And so I just continue to learn about how to talk about it. And I think it’s just like, any sort of fitness, it is a muscle that I continue to flex continue to work and continue to strengthen.

Steph Gaudreau
Yes, I love that. And I I agree with you so much on finding other people who are, I’m thank you for indulging my analogy by using that inner answer. But for serious for on a serious note, it is really awesome to connect with people like you. And in case other folks who have been on on the podcast and folks who are doing this work, it’s really easy to feel like sometimes, you know, in a world like toxic fitness stuff, and gymshark and all this other shit. Like, it’s really comforting to know that there are other people who are doing this sort of thing and who are aligned. And there’s a there is a community and even if we can’t be together physically in person, like we’re working towards, in our own way, you know, towards this goal of making fitness more approachable for as many people as we can. One of the things that concern trolls like to fight about on the Instagrams is this I you know, when it comes to Health at Every Size, they will come in and say things like, well, healthy at Every Size isn’t a real thing. Like how do you how can you be healthy at any size? And how do you how do you address that? Like, if you were going to address that? I’m not saying we’re feeding the trolls, that that’s a good use of our time. But how? How do you define that for people when they’re confused about what that really means? Like, what is the what is the goal of Health at Every Size? How do we like move past that old definition or that misconception?

Stacey Sorgen
Yeah, so I got concerned trolled so hard the other day, maybe you saw it and that’s why you’re bringing this up. I don’t know, though you didn’t see it, or it was bad. So because of my alignment with this, because I believe that people can do what they can with what they have when they have it. Someone told me ‘awesome job murdering people, awesome job murdering people,’ and just, like, spewed so much at me. And honestly, this was another trainer. And I went and I looked in my advice on the gym he worked at and I said hey, how would Link Gym feel about you approaching somebody randomly on the internet and bullying them? And he said, What do you mean bullying, I’m just trying to help you. This is like everything that’s bad. Like everything that’s bad in the world. And so my response to him and my response to you is similar. And it is that if we do not support and love all people how can also people support and love themselves. As we grow in size, you know, I’ve been a range of different sizes, there are a lot of things that to me feel like they become more and more out of reach, like seeking medical care and knowing that I’m getting the best possible standard of care that not everything in my diagnosis will somehow be related back to the number on the scale or the number inside of my pants, right? So when people walk into a gym and they say I want to become healthy, the go-to is not okay, well let’s shrink your body because everything bad about you is just, you know, it’s just your size. You’re just too big. That’s what’s wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong. There’s nothing wrong friends, and we can achieve the healthiest version of ourselves at whatever size we are right now. becoming smaller does not become mean that we become inherently healthier or inherently better. It’s just different. It’s just different. So we can at so many different levels achieve bodily autonomy. We can See you’ve respect and support for ourselves, we can achieve a level where we are going to seek the physicians who are going to treat us in the way that we deserve to be treated as everyone deserves to be treated. And I think that that’s what I would say to that. And so if we have trainers had gyms who are trolling other trainers online, imagine what they do and what they say to the clientele who is in front of them, his disgust for me, and my physical body led him to this vitriol, like online in a public space. What does it do when he’s talking to a client one on one? What is the message that he’s given to the woman in front of him that disgusts him? And I think that that’s what we need to get away from, we need to get away from this messaging. So I hope that answers your question.

Steph Gaudreau
Yes, it does. And I didn’t see this interaction yet, it’s something that if you talk about what you talk about is almost like universally expected that some random Gymbo is going to come on your account and start making a fuss. And somebody sent me a DM last week or the week before, and it was her daughter who’s this like a badass power lifter, you know, just doing her thing. And she’s in the slightly larger body, and the trolling that happened on her video of like, her lifting and all this stuff. And it was a guy, certified personal trainer, you know, like, he had his thing. And I was just like, what are you hoping to achieve here? And absolutely, to your point, you know, if I were a prospective client, how would I feel about that? Yeah, I feel absolutely mortified about, you know, if I was working with this person, or, you know, I was thinking about working with them. I mean, absolutely, just, it’s unacceptable. And I feel like, honestly, I mean, I don’t know what, what personal training certification this person had, but I was like, you know, ethically speaking, a lot of certifying bodies have ethical standards, and to just be so incredibly rude and short-sighted and, wow, I mean, I’m sorry, you had to deal with that. And at the same time, I really appreciate your, your thoughts and your answers to that. And you’re sort of call to make fitness more, more welcoming, and more accessible and to redefine it for people or help them redefine it for themselves. So with that in mind, I know we are talking off-air, about one of the ways that you sort of help people reframe. Yeah, reframe fitness and movement. And like, you know, we tend to focus on one aspect of things, and you’re really passionate about helping people change that narrative. So I would love to ask you to walk through, you know, what that change is, and how you help people to implement it.

Stacey Sorgen
Absolutely, sir, thank you so much for bringing it back up. Again, this is something I love to talk about. So I think what most people that I’ve worked with most of the clientele if I was to ask them, What do you lose when you exercise or when you move your body around on a regular basis, there’s, there are very few things that they can name. But when I asked them about what they gain, it’s endless, you know, it’s like improved blood pressure, you know, better mental health, better mood, better sleep, like all the all these things that we can gain when we move our bodies regularly. And one of the biggest things that I love about movement is gaining strength. And so I started a program it’s a 10-week program called strength camp, where we focus on nothing but what we gain. Like, what did you gain this week? What did you and it’s a complete flip? And I think initially, it’s uncomfortable for people to even say I gained, I gained strength, I gained better sleep, I gained a better mood. This week, I gained more friends, I gained confidence. But I love how when we gained strength that bleeds into so many different parts of our lives. You know, I there’s nothing stuff like when someone’s going through a strength program. And they’re like, I feel so strong. I’ve gained strength. And then they’re like, I also gained a promotion because yesterday I had the bravery and the strength to ask for it at work. Like that’s the best when it bleeds into all portions of their life. So gaining confidence is a huge part too. And I think that if we’re trying to stack these things next to each other, what do I have to lose? What do I have to gain that Just the reframe of thinking about what you gain when you move is huge? And I truly think that thinking about things this way is helped to rewire my thought process around movements. And what I stand to, like, gain. What is standing again, removing myself. So, yeah, we focus on what we gain, not on what we lose.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, I hear what I hear you saying is like, there’s such a difference between focusing on expansion. Versus Yeah, you know, this idea of like contracting, and I was thinking about this on my walk today, as I was thinking about this podcast and the things that you do, and kind of mentally going through some of my thoughts on it. And there’s just such a difference in feeling propelled by this sort of curiosity and what, how can things expand and grow and, and change for me in that way, versus always focusing on what we’re trying to lose, and how that just feels so different. And at the first stumbling block, or the first sign of you know, quote, proc, quote, unquote, progress, like slowing down or stopping or reversing, or whatever it is, if we have that mentality of, I’m only in it for what I can lose, it’s, it’s no wonder why we feel like, we just, it’s not worth keeping going, you know, it feels so hard to continue on when we have the life doing life things. And so I think that’s such a powerful way to define it. And yet, not something that the industry as a whole, really talks about.

Stacey Sorgen
Yeah, you know, to nerd out for just a quick second, I think, for any other trainers who are listening, you know, one is very, like, externally motivated. And I think that that is, when we think about losing, it’s like, losing for the sake of other people seeing it, somehow, it’s very external. The other things are internal, people may not be able to see that we are stronger, or that we are more confident, or that our mental health is better. But those are intrinsically motivated goals. And intrinsically motivation, you know, intrinsically, that sort of motivation sticks with us so much longer. You know, that just like you were saying, you know, as soon as you hit a plateau or something if you’re focused on what was the word that you use? expanding contraction? Yes, if you’re, if you’re focused on contraction, there’s only so far you can go but the other direction, it’s like, the sky’s the limit, you know, like, you can really do anything.

Steph Gaudreau
I love that. And I love hearing your idea of your camp, your, you know, getting people together and just focusing on, you know, what are we gaining? And I’m sure like you said at the beginning, it’s like, even just the concept of gaining is uncomfortable for a lot of people because we’re constantly surrounded with messages that unless we’re doing the opposite, then not only are we doing something wrong, but we’re bad people.

Stacey Sorgen
Yeah. There’s like that weird moral thing about it, right? Same with food, good foods, bad foods, good movement, bad movement, good weight, bad weight, these things are not. Not that way. But the industry really leads us to these things, you know, of advertisements with the weather that we talk about food with recipes as being good or bad or light or heavy. So I think it’s awesome to dig into you. But there’s really cool conversations that come out of strength camp, like, for instance, we talk about what we gain as people gain strength, you know, they start out with, for example, dumbbells that they think are the dumbbells that they need. And then I always ask them, like, well, how heavy is your backpack? And like, do you like to carry all the groceries in on your arms at the same time? Like, are you like me? Do you like to make one trip from the car? Well, yeah, well, how much do you think that those weigh on your arms? You know, is it five pounds? I don’t think it’s five pounds. So it’s awesome as people gain confidence in their bodies and their abilities, as they see that they’re gaining strength, the conversations around, yeah, I need to pick up some 20s next time, I’m like, I need to get some 25. Like I’m thinking about getting a barbell. The conversations that open up when we think about expansion and what we gain are just so much better. It’s so much better than the conversations that I’ve seen, you know, earlier in my career about people trying to become smaller and smaller. And smell.

Steph Gaudreau
Absolutely, yeah, there and there’s something infectious about it. And, and also kind of paradigm-shifting because our culture is so focused on, you know, even in random situations. Naomi Katz was posting about this the other day on Instagram about how she went on vacation and was talking to the bartender when she was getting a drink. And the bartender just wanted to start talking about diets. And so it just reminded me that that is such a prevalent, you know, you’re talking about finding the current, and kind of, we’re all going together these little, yeah, pop pockets of Instagram and the internet and things like that. And then you kind of expose yourself to the larger stream, if you will. And there are like, it’s like talking about dieting and, and losing, right, like, all those things are, so they’re just a part of the cultural narrative. That’s like, what we bond over. And so to create that space where people are, you know, excited about the opposite is, it just sounds It sounds so lovely, and probably really different from what people are used to.

Stacey Sorgen
Yeah, and I think that it’s exciting. It has definitely had a different energy, right? Like when you’re like, Oh, my gosh, like, what, again, like, look what I can do, because, you know, or they’re like, posting pictures of them, like lifting up their 20 fives, or, like, hey, look at what I’m bringing to my workout today feels so different than like people sitting over Thanksgiving dinner. Oh, well, that smells. So that smells so good. But I can’t eat that, you know, there’s a different kind of energy there. That’s about allowing yourself to kind of just go wild really just like letting loose and like letting yourself do the thing that you thought you couldn’t do or you shouldn’t do or you wouldn’t do. But it’s really powerful.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah. Let’s suppose somebody is listening to this now. And they’re thinking, you know what, she’s right. I’m ready to, you know, I’m ready to do something different. But I haven’t always felt welcome. In you know, maybe maybe I went to that gym with that guy. And that’s the person I interacted with. Or I walked into a gym setting. And the first question the person the trainer asked me was, how much weight Do you want to lose? Or something like that? And so there are these sometimes past experiences that keep people from wanting to, you know, put themselves back out there because it was painful or anxiety-inducing, or, you know, whatever happened? What advice do you have for somebody who wants to dip their toes back in? But they’re reluctant, they don’t know how to take that first step. And they need help to bridge that and to get the momentum going, what would you say?

Stacey Sorgen
There are so many things. One is to do something with a buddy, you know, start something with a friend, not at a competition, just how to support and love. Another is, you know, I think back on the people who said stupid stuff to me like that. douchebag. You know, and like, I think about it and like dude probably had a script, this is probably their method, make people feel like crap, and then get them to sign up for a program while they are in their most vulnerable spot. Yeah, Steph has like your face in her hands right now, talking about this, this is a thing, this is a thing. So think about the experience. You were set up perhaps to fail. And that trainer was set up to fail in that particular instance? Where do you feel comfortable? Or what do you want to do? What would be joyful to you what would be fun to you at that’s a whole class and you’ve always wanted to do it, do it. If you have been watching all the tick talkers, rollerskate like being you are now really obsessed with roller skating and you want to bring it back. Those third-grade memories of the roller rink are like whoa, fresh, right? Do it like find someone who’s going to stay with you or teach you how to skate. If you want to learn how to swim find someone who can teach you to swim, but do things that you want to do for the benefit of your mind and your body if you’re balanced if your strength and I think that now I just go into places like New doctors and then like, Don’t talk to me about my weight. Don’t talk that is off the table. That is not something that we’re going to discuss. Cool or No. Because if no I’m out of here, and I think that it’s okay to have these various I mean, it feels strange The first time you do it, but I think it’s okay to have these conversations with people like that is not My focus, can we make sure it’s not your focus either. Because, really, I’m here about me, I’m here about me. And so you get to be a little bit. I don’t know, you get to focus on yourself, we’re always focused on everyone else. But that hour or that hour and a half, or that 15 minutes, focus on yourself and get out of it, what you need out of it, you should always feel comfortable in the gym or working with a coach or an instructor or a friend.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, I think that’s so important. You know, advocating for your needs and being clear. And yeah, as you said, if that person’s like, not cool, then, you know, you know, you’re gonna keep looking. Yeah, I have to be stuck with that person, you know, if they’re, if they’re not willing to work with you on, on modifying and helping you achieve what you want to achieve.

Stacey Sorgen
Yeah, I also, I also want to say this, that just as much as someone on the internet could troll me, and say, You can’t teach people how to be more fit or to be healthy. Because of your the size that you are. Like, let’s not do that thing to any trainer. Let’s not do that thing to any trainer, the odds of you walking into a gym and looking like the person that’s training you is is very rare, right? Like, we want to help you reach your personal goals. Or to help you feel better in your body, the one that you’re in right now, you don’t have to be more fit. Before you go see a trainer, you don’t have to practice at home before you go see someone you just show up, and we’ll meet you exactly where you’re at. But just as much as I’m saying, I’m a size 1618 personal trainer, and I can lift some heavy shit, I know that people coming in to see me are going to be all different sizes, all different abilities with all different goals. And I’m going to meet you exactly where their goals are just as any like respectable fitness professional would whether that person is a size zero or a size 28 that person is going to help you to get the goals that you want. So as much as I’m saying like, someone was trolling me, let’s not troll-like the size zero people either. They can also help you get to where do you want to be?

Steph Gaudreau
Oh, gosh, I can’t believe how fast this time has flown by. In a blink? Oh my gosh, we’re gonna have to we’re gonna have to do a part two of this at some point and continue the conversation. So I have so many other things I want to ask you. This is totally been really fun. And I just think your perspectives really important. There are lots of people who can relate. There are lots of people who are looking for something different. And so I really appreciate your time and your thoughts.

Stacey Sorgen
thank you so much. Thanks for being one of those weird fish with me one of those weird fish.

Steph Gaudreau
You’re part of that weird fish club? For sure. tell everybody where can they connect with you? How can they find out more about working with you? What’s your podcast, all that good stuff.

Stacey Sorgen
Um, so On Instagram, I’m StaceySorgenCoaching. My podcast is actually called The AnxiousEntrepreneurs. I am one. And I’m so excited that Steph has agreed to be on my podcast as well. So please stay tuned for that episode. We’ll be recording it next week. So excited to have you on. And I’m starting a new podcast as well with a very good friend. It’ll be based on all things, strength, bravery, and kindness. That’s the name of it Strength, Bravery, and Kindness. Moving your body doing things that are scary, that is scary to you, and just being kind to people and creating in the world what you want to see. Yeah, but you can find me at all these places online. I’d love to follow you back.

Steph Gaudreau
Awesome. Gosh, I just love that feeling I got when you were talking about strength, bravery, and kindness is like yes, we need more of that for sure. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for saying yes to being on the podcast. I look forward to you know, being a guest on yours and chit-chatting more and hopefully having you back some time to continue the conversation here.

Stacey Sorgen
And I love it. Thank you so much. Thank you staff for all that you put out in the world. You are such a phenomenal person and such a light. I look forward to seeing your posts on Instagram and I hope that you feel the support and love from behind my keyboard. As soon as your book came out, I purchased it and as if you’re working on another one, I’ll purchase that one too. But I’m just such a super fan of yours and I’m so appreciative for the opportunity to be here with you today. Thank you

Steph Gaudreau
Thank you, I feel really fortunate to be doing what I’m doing. So it’s a great joy. Thanks. All right, that’s a wrap on this episode of the podcast and my very special guest, Stacey Sorgen. She’s just incredibly lovely. And I’m so glad that she was able to come on the show today and share her very unique and interesting perspective about fitness, Health at Every Size, what it’s like to be a trainer in a plus size body, and everything that she shared on the show today, couple of calls to action. So first, if you want the show notes for this episode, including a full transcript, go to That’s my website, you will see the show notes for this episode there. Also make sure if you like this episode, share it out on Instagram Stories tag both Stacey and myself, we would love to see what you took from the show and what you thought about it. So go ahead and tag us up. Make sure you subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast app as well.

Steph Gaudreau
And very lastly, I know I’ve said this at the top of the show. But make sure if you are interested in lifting weights, getting stronger, fueling your body, and performing better in and out of the gym, without having to count every single piece of food that goes into your mouth, then definitely hop on the waiting list for my new group program which is coming this summer. And you can do that at Make sure you stay tuned to the podcast in the coming weeks. I have some incredible guests in the lineup for you as well. Alright, until we meet again next week. Have an amazing week. Stay badass, stay strong and we’ll talk soon.


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2 Responses

  1. We all.need to hear this and embrace it. Strength gives us so much and there are too many wrong messages out there about women’s fitness. I feel so empowered just by listening to Stacey and Steph . Thank you .

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Hi, I'm Steph!

Lord of the Rings nerd, cold brew drinker, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more, not less: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.


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