The Parenting Coach Podcast with Crystal

S06|18 - Gentle Parenting and Weight-loss with Laura Conley

Jun 12, 2023

What do gentle parenting and permanent weight loss have to do with each other? More than you’d think! Weight-loss is the by-product of self-love and true discipline (not what you might think discipline is). Through this process of simplifying, listening to my body more, learning and loving my body more… I’ve lost weight SO much easier and simpler than before, in a sustainable and permanent way. Dropping diet culture, shame, and the focus on “skinny” and leaning into LOVE, connection and relationship with ME. My friend Laura Conley joins us for this conversation and shares her story and insights with us. 

Laura Conley is a Certified Life + Weight Loss Coach. Laura helps mamas who have been painfully struggling with diet drama (who have tried EVERYTHING) to lose weight for the last time and free themselves from food forever. She is on a maniacal mission to do this so that her clients can pass down a beautiful legacy to their children around food and bodies, weigh what they want, and live the life they have always dreamed of without the weight in the way. She does this through coaching her clients on how to balance their hunger hormones, rewire their brains, handle emotions, accountability and becoming their own bestie.

What we talk about: 

  • what the diet culture/industry has wrong
  • why beating yourself up doesn’t actually work
  • teaching our own kids to love their own body’s and accept themselves
  • the role of acceptance, love and discipline in both parenting and weight loss 

Connect with Laura here: 

IG: @lauraconleycoaching

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Episode Transcript

Crystal The Parenting Coach: Hi, I'm Crystal The Parenting Coach. Parenting is the thing that some of us just expected to know how to do. It's not like other areas of your life where you go to school and get taught, get on the job training, or have mentors to help you, but now you can get that help here.

I believe that your relationship with your children is one of the most important aspects of your life, and the best way that you can make a positive impact on the world and on the future. I've made parental relationships my life study, and I use life coaching tools, emotional wellness tools, and connection-based parenting to build amazing relationships between parents and their children.

If you want an even better relationship with your child, this podcast will help you. Take my Parenting Quiz, the link is in the show notes. Once we know what your parenting style is, we will send some tips tailored to you and a roadmap to help you get the most out of my podcast. I invite you to help me spread the word by sharing your favorite episode on social media or with a friend.


Don't forget to check out my new mindset journal for parents at, which will help you to parent calm, confident children that you love to be around. 


Hey everybody, welcome to today's podcast episode, Gentle Parenting and Weight-loss


What Laura Conley does, and how she got started

Crystal The Parenting Coach: It might seem like those two things don't go together and you are in for a treat because we're going to be talking about this today with my friend; and I'm going to actually have her introduce herself instead of reading her bio because I think that that's going to be more fun. 

So, Laura, tell us a little bit about you, and also tell us kind of how you got into what you're doing.


Laura Conley: Okay. So, thank you, Crystal, for having me on the podcast, so fun.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: So fun.


Laura Conley: I'm so appreciative, and I just love connecting like this. So, my name is Laura Conley. I am a Life & Weight Loss coach; and I live just outside of Boulder, Colorado with my two kiddos and my husband. 

I got into this work like 10 or 12 years ago. Left corporate America to become a yoga teacher and coach; and about five or six years ago, decided to really niche down and really exclusively help moms with weight loss and becoming free from food because of my own personal journey – and battling diet mentality and diet culture and really not wanting to pass it down to my daughter. 

So, when I had her – let's see – almost six years ago now, I was about six, eight weeks postpartum and I got out of the shower, and was just like butt-naked toweling off, and I heard the old familiar rhetoric inside my brain of me beating myself up for not looking the way our culture thinks I should look, which is crazy because it was six to eight weeks postpartum. 

And I was like, something came over me. It was like-- It gives me the chills, even, to talk about. Something came over me and was like, "This is it…this is the-- this is the last day we do that because if you don't clean this up, Laura, this is what Luna's going to get – this is what your daughter's going to get." 

Because I've come to now believe that like…yes, our children's inner voices are the way that we speak to them, but our children's and our voices are also the way that we speak to ourselves. Like our children are so smart, they know what we are thinking when we look in the mirror, when we're getting dressed; they know, we don't even have to say it out loud. 

So, I was like, on a root level, I have to clean this up for her because I don't want her, 15 years old, sitting in the cafeteria eating only an apple for lunch because, God forbid, she can pinch an inch or whatever – like my friends and I thought was like, you know, the bar.

And so, I went on a mission to heal my diet drama and heal my diet mentality and really love myself unconditionally so that I could pass it down to her. And once I did that-- And I don't want to say once I did that, because there's no end date, right? 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. 


Laura Conley: There's no stop date because this is a lifelong practice that I've chosen to be on and in. But once I really got a handle of it and had the skill of loving myself unconditionally, I was like, "I have to pass this on to other moms that are struggling with this so that they can pass down to their children the legacy that they want to pass down to their children." Right? 

So, it was almost like I had that same level of conviction that I had that morning getting out of the shower. I don't know, maybe it was like six months or a year later where I was like, "I have to help the other moms, this has to be it." 

Because prior to that I was more of like a General Life Coach, Vision Coach, Goal Coach, which was amazing. But I was like, I really want to specialize in this. And so, that's kind of the CliffNotes version of it.


What the diet culture/industry has wrong

Crystal The Parenting Coach: There's already so many things to talk about in that. Like, I think even the idea, like when we start talking about weight loss; we immediately think of diets, we immediately think of hating our body, we immediately think of objectification, we immediately think of like how culture thinks that we should look. 

And I hate all of that; like, I hate that side of it. And I'm like, 'No, it comes from loving ourselves.' And I know that, but it's so hard to speak about because I feel like it is a tricky balance between, I want to lose weight because I love my body and I don't care what size it is, I just love it anyways. Versus this other side of like caring so much about what people think and what culture tells us is like acceptable and what we should look like. 


Laura Conley: Yeah. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: And I just think it's so tricky to even speak about. Like even when I'm trying to tell my friends about it, I'm like, I don't even know what wording to use or how to speak about it because it is so different than traditional weight loss in like that it's all about diets and it's all about losing weight. Like it really isn't about losing weight. So, can you speak to that?


Laura Conley: Yeah, I agree with you. It's a such a funky juxtaposition. And I think I kind of went back-and-forth from one side to the other. On one hand, you could've talked to me 10 years ago and I would've been like crazy psycho diet mentality person. 

Like getting all my friends to do juice cleanses with me because I hated my body, and I had to like stuff myself into these tiny Lululemons. I was like, you know, a yoga teacher at the time. Right? 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. 


Laura Conley: And so, you could have seen that side of me. Or eight years ago, you could have seen me like totally all in the throttles of like the body positivity movement. Right? 

And so, what I finally found, finally after 20 years, is this middle path, which is what you're asking about, which is, hey, can we love our bodies unconditionally? Can we love our bodies and the way that they look unconditionally? Can we love ourselves unconditionally and want to weigh what we want to weigh? 

Like I think that we are allowed to weigh what we want to weigh, and I think we're allowed to want to lose weight. I know that I put myself through so much pain by denying this fact that I did want to lose weight, but I beat myself up because I didn't know if it was coming from like a clean place or not. 

Because some of it, some of my desire to want to lose weight – some of that desire – was coming from diet culture, was because coming from like objectification and was coming from the societal standards and advertising and good-enoughness. So, some of that desire was like impure, right? 

But then I had this other desire to weigh what I wanted to weigh or to lose weight or to be at my natural weight, whatever you want to call it, from a real true clean desire of me wanting to be healthy and vibrant and light and alive and experience what my body has to offer. So, I had to clean up where it was coming from. 

So, I think we can all want to lose weight if it's coming from a clean place; and that's a process. That is a process because if you decide, 'Hey, I want to lose weight…I want to weigh what I want to weigh, I want to be at my natural weight, whatever,' most likely some of that desire, just because we have been living in the cultures that we've been living in, we're literally, it's like breathing air, right? 

It's like breathing this air that tells you, "You have to weigh this amount to be worthy, you have to weigh this amount to have worth, you have to look this way to be good enough…" fill in the blank – good-enough yoga teacher, good-enough pharmaceutical salesperson-- these were my life things-- good-enough, whatever. 

So, I think that that is a process and like an untangling. But I think we are allowed, and that's one of my missions is to like give women permission to stop and become aware and to like listen to their own inner voice. 

Like, do I want to lose weight because I will feel better in my body at a lower weight and then show up differently in my life? 

Like for me, I know I'm so much more present because I weigh what I want and I've let go of diet drama and diet mentality. And that's all-- That's like the point of life to me is like being present or really like, it's not even being present; it's like hanging out with my family and my friends without so much internal chatter. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. 


Laura Conley: And so, I do think it's a funky, tricky juxtaposition – but if you can really shut out the outside voices and tune into what it is that you want, there may be a desire to lose weight and then you may want to make yourself wrong for wanting to lose weight, even if that is a true clean desire of yours because there is the--  

I think the body positivity movement is amazing, but sometimes I think their messaging can get misinterpreted by us; and we're like, 'Oh, this must mean I don't love my body…if I want to lose weight, that means I don't love myself.' 

And I'm like…no, if you have a clean, pure desire to want to lose weight and you ignore that, that's not loving yourself. If you have that desire and you do feel like it is clean, go do it. Go listen to that.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. Coming from a space of worth, not a space of lack.


Laura Conley: Yes.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: And I think that we're so used to seeing people on social media and in magazines and all of these things and we're like, 'This is how bodies should look,' which is not true. Everybody is different, and everybody's natural weight is going to be different; and everybody's version of like what's healthy and what's not healthy is different. 

And so, I think it's so much more about, first; healing that relationship with the self and loving the self – and then being like, 'Okay, I love myself and I love my body and what feels good to me, and how can I treat myself?' 

And I feel like for years, I've had this struggle of like…I'm anti-objectification and I don't want to go into like anti-body-positivity – like I do love my body, I really do. But also, when I eat a lot of junk food, I feel really crummy. And it makes it harder for me to parent and it makes me harder to be the really impactful coach that I want to be. 

It makes it harder for me to tap into my own intuition, when my brain and my body feel groggy. Like they have this past weekend where I was just like kind of eating whatever because I was off on a girls' weekend. 

And I knew I was going to, and I felt no shame, no guilt afterwards because I was like, I know this is what this weekend is going to be like. And I actually made much healthier choices than I typically do--  


Laura Conley: Yes.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: -when I go away for girls' weekends because I was intentionally like, 'Yeah, I know this is what is going to be like this weekend and this is how I'm going to eat and whatever.' 

So, I still ate lots of healthy food choices in between like the potato chips and chocolate. But I know like after feeling that way, I'm like…oh yeah, my stomach kind of felt yucky, felt a little bit more groggy. Like my head felt a little bit out of it. Like it isn't just our physical body, like, what we want to look like; it's also so much more than that. 


Laura Conley: Yeah. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: And so, yeah, I felt myself over the last few years, even the last few months in this tricky position of, how do I know that I want to lose weight from a clean place? How can I still love my body and accept my body? And like you said, 'unconditionally, means like, as it is.


Laura Conley: Without conditions. Yeah.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Right? And then, still have this desire to lose weight? 


Laura Conley: Yeah. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: And for me, like as I've been going on this journey, that's actually how Laura and I connected because I was in someone's program for this. The biggest thing that changed for me is that as I started to eat a little bit more healthy and just kind of be more--  

And by 'healthy', I even hate that word, healthy, but it's like, make choices that made me feel better. Like, what is this food going to help me feel nourished? Right? 


Laura Conley: Yeah. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: That I started to notice how different foods impacted me more because I wasn't just like eating all the time all day without really even being aware of what I was eating.


Laura Conley: Yeah.


Teaching our own kids to love their own body’s and accept themselves

Crystal The Parenting Coach: Another thing that you brought up when you were talking, in your intro, was your child. And I think our kids are just like the best beacons for our own growth and learning, right? 

Like, there's nothing harder, I think, in life than parenting because it shows us so much of our work. I feel the same way about my daughter. I had these three boys and like never even really occurred to me. 

And like, I'm sure boys still have some of the same issues also – but as soon as I had a girl, I was like, how do I think about myself? How do I feel about myself? Because like you said, I think it's more about our energy that we're passing down. 


Laura Conley: Yeah. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: And I've always had a pretty healthy relationship with my body and always been pretty positive about my body. And my sisters and I were chatting about it one day, and they were like, 'But I don't ever remember our mom complaining about her body.' 

I don't remember it being an issue. She didn't diet; she didn't go on-and-off diets. She just, like, didn't care. And none of us did-- Like, it just didn't-- I mean, we still had little things here and there, but it wasn't like this--  


Laura Conley: Of course. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: -huge thing that she passed down to us because we saw how she thought about herself; and even if she didn't like ever overtly say it, we felt that way.

So, for somebody that's listening right now and is like, Yeah, I don't want to pass this down to my daughters – I want to give them something different than what social media is going to blaringly give them, what school is going to give them, what community is going to give them, what culture's saying – what can they do? Like, how do-- Where do they start?


Laura Conley: Yeah. Well, I think, first and foremost, they need to start with the knowing that they are the perfect mother for that child, for that daughter or son or whatever because I do think it's important to pass down what we want to pass down on purpose to, you know, our sons and our daughters. 

But just knowing that like you are the absolute perfect mom for your children right now as is; and anything that you've done in the past, it was supposed to unfold that way because it goes back to like; where are we creating from? Do we want to create from worth and abundance, or do we want to create from lack and not good-enoughness? Right? 

And so, I think that these mamas out there that are listening will have a such an easier time with their parenting and with them loving themselves so they can pass it down to their kiddos… if they believe in their heart of hearts that they're the perfect person, that there's a reason why they are their children's mother. 

And anything that's led up to this moment right now when you're listening, has unfolded perfectly and perfect exactly the way that it was supposed to. Because when you believe that, it's easier actually to start to shift – to start to think more loving thoughts to yourself so that you can then pass it down to your kids. 

So, that's like step one; is really practicing believing that you are, you are their perfect mother. Like, are you going to mother them perfectly? Like, I don't know, probably not. Maybe if you listen to Crystal's podcast enough--  


Crystal The Parenting Coach: No, no, no. No, we're anti perfection on this podcast. 


Laura Conley: I'm kidding. But like, you know what I mean?


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah.


Laura Conley: Like, so you are that perfect mother. Then moving forward, once you practice believing that – or you just like take me up on the offer of like, this is available to you could just decide that right now – then the next step is just awareness and being willing for this to be like a lifelong practice because…do I think all loving thoughts about myself, about my body, about the way my body looks all the time-- 100% of the time? No. 

But am I way better than I ever was because I've decided that it's a practice? Yes. And I'm not, so I'm not-- I'm not perfect at it, and I'm just willing to let it be a practice and to be aware. And I think one way that we can really be aware is, how do you feel in your body? 

A lot of us are actually really good at knowing, like, how do we feel even if we can't get super specific-- do you feel light and alive and vibrant? Do you feel zesty – like, you're ready for the day? Do you feel energetic? Do you feel--  

And most of the time, that'll be an indicator. That's why I love feelings because it's like a, it's just like a check engine light. 


How gently shifting what you think about yourself can help you become your own best version

Laura Conley: So, if you don't feel good, there's probably some thoughts you're thinking about yourself or about your body that you could gently shift. 

And I'm sure you teach about this all the time, but it's like, really-- I would say like if I had to make a process, it'd be Step 1; believe that you are the perfect mother and up until this point, everything has unfolded just as it should. 

And then Step 2; decide that this is going to be a lifelong practice. You're not going to do it perfect. That's okay. You're not supposed to, you're a human. 

And then Step 3; just creating the awareness of like, where might there be a little room for opportunity? Where might there be like a thought that I could gently swap out? Like, think about like your-- I would love to like use like a Marie Kondo analogy, if you guys know her. She's like that organizing queen.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yes. Yes, yes. Yeah. We talk about Minimalism a lot on this podcast too.


Laura Conley: Oh, okay. Amazing. Yeah. So, she talks a lot about like; if you're cleaning out a closet, hold up the old pair of overalls and ask yourself, "Hey, like, do these overalls serve me? Are these useful for me?" 

And so, when you're feeling a feeling in your body that maybe you don't like – maybe it's frustration, maybe it's annoyance…irritation, shame, guilt – when you're feeling a feeling like that, see if you can find the thought of, I'm not good enough. Or like, why can't I get it together? I should know better by now. 

And can you gently massage it? Can you hold that thought up like those overalls and be like, "Hey, is this thought like useful to me? What could I-- What could I think instead? What could I put in my closet that's better going to serve me of like, you know what, I'm doing the best I can and this is pretty freaking good?" Right?


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah.


Laura Conley: So, it's like, how can you just really start to massage some of the thoughts that are making you feel not so great? Because then you will just automatically pass down what you want to pass down to your kids. 

I don't want it to have to be like this. I don't want this have to be like an hour project that you have to do every day in order to like pass down the legacy or be the role model you want. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Right. 


Laura Conley: It's just-- It's really-- It really just goes back to your thoughts. Like, what are you thinking about yourself and how can you upgrade those? How can you talk to yourself like you would your best friend? Like the one that you really like, that one--  

Not the best friend that you're kind of annoyed about sometimes, but like the best friend that you just, she's your soulmate best friend. Like, do not talk to yourself if you wouldn't speak to your soulmate best friend that way or you as a little kid. 

Like I have a lot of my clients put like a picture of themselves as a little kid right near their scale because I do act-- I actually do teach my clients to weigh themselves because, of course, the scale is neutral, and it doesn't mean anything about you. And in fact, it can be a great teacher because it can show you what you're thinking about yourself, and then you can swap those thoughts out. 

You know, you can put it through the filter of your soulmate BFF, or your younger self or your kid. So, don't talk to yourself like you, if you wouldn't-- My point is if you wouldn't talk to your best friend or your younger self or your daughter this way, then don't you dare talk to yourself that way because that's what people pass down inadvertently.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: It's so fascinating that like, this is weight loss, right? Like that's why I'm like, I don't even know what to name this episode because…yes, the result is that you lose weight – but it's like not actually in the way that you think that it is. Like the most crucial point--  


Laura Conley: Oh, my god. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: The Step 1 point is like, love yourself no matter where you're at – no matter what your body looks like, no matter what kind of parent you are. And like, that's exactly what we teach in parenting as well. And like that the end result can still be weight loss; and that's cool. But like, really, this is why it's like not diet culture. 


Laura Conley: Yeah. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: We're not like talking about like, now you have to go off this food and then you have to do this, and then you have to like – anyways – do all the things that people talk about. 

It's really so much more about treating yourself well because you can't shame and beat yourself up into any sustainable change, whether it's weight loss or parenting change. 


The convergence of gentle parenting and weight loss

Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, what I want to dive into, before we end, is the convergence of gentle parenting and weight loss because you know about gentle parenting; and I know we were talking on Instagram about how like really like being your own gentle parent is how weight loss comes to be. So, tell us a little bit more about that.


Laura Conley: Well, it just goes back to what you were just saying, like if you want to create any result-- Oh, and to your point too, I always tell my clients, I'm like-- They're like, 'Wait, what's all-- why do I love myself so much? Wait, I didn't know we were going to be learning unconditional love.' 

I'm like, 'Oh yeah, I tricked you.' 

Like, I joke that I trick all my clients. I'm like, 'Oh, you want to lose weight? Come over here.'

But really, I teach them how to love themselves; and then the byproduct is weight loss. And then, they give me these testimonials and they don't talk about weight loss, even though they've lost all their weight. 

They're like-- I'm like, 'No, talk about the--' 

Yeah. Anyways. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. 


Laura Conley: But I think you said it perfectly; like if you want a specific result, you can't beat yourself up into that result…it will not work in the long term. Right? Maybe the short term, maybe you could do a green juice cleanse and lose three pounds or five pounds or like whatever. Maybe you can yell at your kid and get them-- and like, you know, scare the crap out of them, and then get them to change.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. What you won't, like, immediately, but not in the long term.


Laura Conley: Yes, exactly. So, I call this practice look back with love. So, I have my clients decide exactly-- They get to decide. They get to decide what they want to eat, what they don't want to eat, what's going to serve them. Right? 

And to your point about like the weekends away and just feeling good physically in their body, it's not just about weight. It's also about like, how can I feel my most energetic, my most-- I always love the adjectives and the feelings of like light alive, zesty, vibrant, radiant. So, how can I feel that physically? 

And I think you and I, we talk a lot about emotions and feeling emotions; and yes, that comes from your thought. But energetically, the way you feel in your body can come from the food that you choose to eat as well; it's not always just a thought when it's your physiology at play.


Why beating yourself up doesn’t actually work

Laura Conley: So, I really think it's important to talk to yourself, like you talk to your kiddos. So, like, let's say my three-year-old hits my-- And I'm sure Crystal teaches about this like ad nauseum because this is like the crux of it. 

But, say, my three-year-old, Phoenix – my little boy – hits my daughter who's five, which is a common occurrence in this house, right? Say, she-- I wish it wasn't, but it is. Say he hits my daughter Luna because she took the toy or whatever, right? 

She took-- She took his stuffed animal – he walks over, pulls her hair, slaps her, whatever. I have three options in that moment. I can ignore the situation and turn the other way, and kind of like just put my head in the sand. You know? 

I can beat him up verbally. I mean, I would not ever beat him up physically, but I guess that could be an option too. So, I could beat them up verbally, "Phoenix, what's wrong with you? I told you not to hit your sister. Don't you know better than this? Like, come on, get it together. Like you are three-and-a-half now, act like a big boy." Or like, whatever, I don't know. 

Option 3, which is what I'm sure you teach. And Option 3, which we don't even know is available as an option when it comes to losing weight, which is what I call looking back with love, which I think it's discipline. 

Discipline means to teach, right? And that's what we want to do with our kiddos. And that's what we want to do with our brains when it comes to the way that we fuel our bodies. And so, it's this-- This is the analogy, right? 

Let's say it's, you had your big girls' weekend, right? And last night you ate three cupcakes at the girls' weekend, even though you planned to eat one cupcake, right? Because you know if you eat one cupcake once a week, you're going to be able to weigh what you want to weigh and feel the way you want to feel in your body. 

So, you decide that ahead of time, then you eat three cupcakes; you have Option 1, put your head in the sand and ignore it. My clients do this all the time – or before they become my clients, right? They put their head in the sand. And they call-- They call it this – tell me if you guys are with me – 'Oh, I'm just going to give myself a little grace.' 

I'm like, 'That's not grace, that's ignoring yourself.' 

Like I'm all for giving us grace, right? But if I ignore Phoenix when he hits Luna, that is me-- That is not me loving him. That is me ignoring him and not teaching, not guiding. Yeah, exactly. 

Then I have with myself with the three cupcakes from the girls' weekend, I have-- So, I have the option of just totally putting my head in the sand, totally ignoring; and I don't learn anything, I don't grow, like you're saying. 

Then I have Option 2, beat the crap out of myself and speak really meanly to myself. We said, are we ever going to do this? "And now, we're doing The Yummy Mummy…we paid whatever amount of money, you really got to get it together." 

"You know what, Laura, there really is something wrong with you. I knew it. There's definitely something. There's like, I think that there's a misfiring in your brain."

"No. You know what? Maybe it's a thyroid; it's broken, you are broken."

"Come on, get it together. I know we'll do a juice cleanse and then we'll do two-a-days, that's the solution."

So, that's what it sounds like for me to beat myself up verbally. Neither of those two options work; Option 3 works. So, Phoenix hits Luna. Option 3 is to teach, is to discipline. So, I go over to Phoenix and I say, "Phoenix, what's up dude? What's going on?" I get down on his level, I look at him with love. Now, do I have to take a couple deep breaths before I go over there? Yes.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah, absolutely.


Laura Conley: Yes, I do. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Every time. 


Laura Conley: I do. I'm like, oh my God. I'm like, 'Who decided to make me a parent? I'm like the least patient person I know.' 

So, I go over there, couple deep breaths, I look him in the eye; I'm like, 'What's going on here? I saw that she took your toy.'

And he's like-- You know, he's all up in arms, right? He's crying, he's frustrated, he's pissed. 

And I'm like, 'What's going on? You see really mad. You seem really frustrated.' 

And he's like, 'Yeah, she took my toy.' 

And I'm like, 'Hey, let's calm our bodies down. Let's take some--' 

We always do like lion's roar, like lion's breath, 'Let's do some lion's breath.' 

Luna's now on this, at this point, she's like over on the other side of the room. So, it's me and Phoenix, we're on the couch together. He starts to calm down. I can start to give him some words, "You know what, it's okay to be frustrated…she took your toy, I would probably be frustrated too – this happened to me when I was three." 

And then-- That one always works for me when I tell them it happened to me when I was their age. I don't know what-- I don't know what that is, but it works for me.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Or if you're like, 'Hey, I'm feeling-- like I feel anger too…sometimes I want to hit people too.' 

And they're like, 'What? You do?' 

And I'm like, 'Yeah, that's what anger feels like in my body. I don't hit people now, but that's how it feels. When I was little, I probably did.'


Laura Conley: That's so good. Yeah, exactly. And so, it's like, it's okay to be frustrated, but it's-- And this is a normal emotion in your body, but it's not okay to hit. So, like, what are some things that we could do next time? 

And he's like, I could-- He's still little; like he's still like, really? He's not--


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. He's not really going to get that.


Laura Conley: He's not really there yet. But my daughter, when I have this conversation, she's there. She can come up with solutions. But my point is, can you do that with yourself when you have three cupcakes when you said you weren't going to have three cupcakes? Don't. Don't beat yourself up. Don't ignore yourself. 

But instead, 'Hey, what went on there?' 

'Oh, you were feeling really stressed out. You felt like you really wanted some comfort.' That makes perfect sense. We've been taught that if we eat cupcakes, that we're going to relieve the stress or that we're going to have comfort, or the girls' weekend's going to be more fun if we have more cupcakes. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah.


Laura Conley: 'I wonder if that's true; I wonder what could be more true.'

So, it's just talking yourself, 'Hey, next time there's three cupcakes that are presenting themselves as a girls' weekend, what do we want to do if our plan was to have one?' 

'Oh, next time I want to think the thought…one was plenty, I really enjoyed it, I want to say no, thank you because I have goals or whatever.' 

I like to teach my clients to plan for the next round; and basically, pre-scripted it in their brains. Like pre-program their brain with what they're going to say next time. Will they do it perfectly next time? Yes, they will. They're my clients. No, I'm just kidding.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah.


Laura Conley: No, not necessarily – but again, this is a skill…this is a practice that we're going to be doing for the rest of our lives. Just like kids, they're interacting with each other. They're going to be humans on the planet doing human things. And you know, Phoenix is going to be two steps forward, one step back for a while. Like he's still going to hit.


The role of acceptance, love and discipline in both parenting and weight loss

Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. And he might be also, like at five, still. And I love that you said-- I talked about discipline because people are like, 'Yeah, kids need more discipline.' 

And I'm like, 'Oh, do they ever, but not what you're thinking of.'


Laura Conley: Yeah. Not punishment.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Not punishment, but discipline is teaching – is guidance. Right? 


Laura Conley: Yeah.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: It's not like I'm just going to turn around and pretend like this isn't happening, I'm not going to go all-- swing all the way from authoritarian, all the way over to permissive; I'm going to like teach, and I'm going to guide.

And maybe in that moment, like I don't say anything except like, "Hands aren't for hitting" or like-- You can say whatever you want to say in that moment, but discipline isn't punishment. 

And so, for yourself, it's the same thing; I'm not going to punish myself because I made that choice, I'm not going to punish myself because I did emotional eating because my day was really stressful. 


Laura Conley: Yes. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: I'm going to love myself and I'm going to accept where I'm at and I'm going to accept – like you said in the beginning – accept exactly where I'm at. And like that was meant to be, even that third cupcake was meant to be. 

So, now that I've like met myself with love and connection, now what am I going to do going forward? 


Laura Conley: Yeah. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: And like before I went into this girls' weekend, I totally was like, 'I'm going to go to bed early…like even if everybody else is talking until three in the morning, I'm going to go to bed.' 

And I was the first one to bed every night. And it was so hard to do it, but I was like, 'I'm going to do it; I'm going to wake up in the morning…and I'm going to meditate, I'm going to journal, I'm going to listen to music, I'm going to pray, I'm going to do out on the lake.' And I would do that every morning.


Laura Conley: Oh, that's so dreamy.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: And I was like, 'Yeah, I'm going to eat junk food – but also like, I'm going to make sure that I'm eating healthy options too…I'm going to take lots of fruits and vegetables and salads and whatever.' 


Laura Conley: So good. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: All of that, it really does work. So, I met Laura through a program that I was in for a month. And I, through this way of just like loving myself and just being more intentional and more aware and guiding myself, have lost seven pounds. 


Laura Conley: So amazing. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: And it felt easy.


Laura Conley: Ah.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Like, literally, easy. I was like, is it supposed to be this easy?


Laura Conley: Right?


Crystal The Parenting Coach: I'm like, all you have to do was love myself. Wow. Yeah.


Laura Conley: Yeah. Oh my God. That is-- I mean, that's what all my clients say. They're like, 'Oh my God, this is so-- this is the easiest diet I've ever done.' 

I'm like, it's diet, diet. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: 'It's not, I know it.'


Laura Conley: They're like, 'I know, I know. But it's just the easiest thing I've ever done because it's like we forget that we have this option of loving ourselves. It's like we forget that we can have the results we want and we can love ourselves while doing it; and it's actually the only way to do it.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Totally. And I did like a women's retreat, and I've been on like two trips over the last month. Like, there was a lot of things that I had going on; and I still was able to make that happen.


Laura Conley: That's so amazing. Good job. That's so fun.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Right? It's so fun. Just know that it can be simple. It can be just as simple as; I'm going to be intentional and aware of what's going in my body and how it feels…I'm going to love myself no matter what, I'm going to love myself even after.

And the discipline means teaching and guidance to myself; it doesn't mean like beating myself up. 

And I'm just going to keep committed to this practice of like, how am I going to treat myself well? How am I going to be my own gentle parent? And when I'm my own gentle parent, weight loss will happen.


Laura Conley: Exactly, 100%.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: I love it. Thank you, Laura. This has been so fun. Like, I love that I got to--   


Laura Conley: So fun.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: -ask you all the questions that I want to know.


Laura Conley: I know, I know. I'm obsessed with you. I can't-- You guys, she's coming on my podcast next; I cannot wait to interview you, I cannot wait.


How to connect with Laura Conley

Crystal The Parenting Coach: I know. I cannot, cannot wait. I can't wait either. Okay. Thank you, Laura. And before we hop off, tell people how they can work with you and also how they can connect with you.


Laura Conley: Okay. Yes. Thank you so much for having me on. You guys can find me on Instagram, @lauraconleycoaching. My name is spelled L-A-U-R-A, Conley is C-O-N-L-E-Y. You guys can also listen to The Yummy Mummy Podcast with Laura Conley. Or you could check out my website, And I run Yummy Mummy experience groups every three months, so you can check that out on my website as well.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. And we will have all those links for you in the show notes as well. And if you enjoyed this podcast episode, remember to rate and review and subscribe; and go over and follow her podcast also, and listen to me on it.


Laura Conley: Ah, I love it. 


Crystal The Parenting Coach: It's so fun. 


Laura Conley: Thanks, Crystal. So, good.


Crystal The Parenting Coach: Thanks, Laura. Thanks for coming on. 

Thanks for listening. If you'd like to help spread this work to the world, share this episode on social media and tag me – send it to a friend, or leave a quick rating and review below so more people can find me. If you'd like more guidance on your own parenting journey, reach out.

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