139: Life & Business Update – Pregnancy, Summer Plans, Maternity Leave, What I’m Working On

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In this episode of The Dietitian Success Podcast, I chat casually about what life has been looking like lately – including pregnancy ups and downs,  what I’m planning for parental leave, how I’m spending my time this summer, what I’m...

In this episode of The Dietitian Success Podcast, I chat casually about what life has been looking like lately – including pregnancy ups and downs,  what I’m planning for parental leave, how I’m spending my time this summer, what I’m working on and what I’m reading. 


Episode Transcript:

Hey there. Welcome to a new episode of the Dietitian Success Podcast. I hope you’re doing well. This is a solo episode. I haven’t published a solo episode in a couple of weeks. But I like to have a little mix of both. I thought it was a good time to do since it’s the start of that summer season. I thought it was a good time to do a little bit.

Have a life and business update. One of my good business friends, Stephanie Long was mentioning. She just did a life update podcast. And I was like, you know what? I need to do one of those two. I haven’t done one of those in a while. There’s been a lot going on in my life. A lot of changes personally, in terms of the business. So many things going on.

And I thought. Hey, let’s just put it all out there. Let’s talk about some of these things that are happening, because I’m sure some of you are dealing with similar situations. Or maybe we’ll be dealing with similar situations sometime in the future. And so I thought, Hey, let’s talk a little bit about

What I’ve been going through with regards to pregnancy, what I’m thinking about with regards to. Maternity leave and business. And this one, I know I’ve actually gotten questions from people before on this topic, because I know some of you are in a similar situation and you’re wondering, how am I planning this out? But I think this is also going to be relevant for anybody who is thinking about taking extended time off from their business, for whatever reason, whether it’s for.

Parental leave or not. What I’m working on. I wanted to chat a little bit about, so what is happening in the business? And then I thought, what. Let’s throw in a little what I’m reading, because this has been really funny on my, at Krista co dot R D Instagram account. So right now I have two Instagram accounts. I have.

The at dietitian success center. And then I have at Krista code dot R D. So at dietitian success centers, that Instagram account is very much for DSC specifically. So I’m not sharing any personal content on that channel because it’s really intended to be about the business in isolation. And that’s really so that the business can stand on its own two feet and it doesn’t need me as the brand. It doesn’t require me to be the center of that brand and nor should it, it’s

If we think about dietitian success center, it is its own living, being. Entity. Whereas if I had, for example, like my own previously when I used to do more exclusively just business coaching, that was me as the brand. I’m essentially selling myself as the service provider. So it made more sense for.

Me to have an Instagram account. That was a little bit more of my personal. Experience and sharing personal stuff, but also sharing business stuff. So that’s the at Krista co. No dot RD account. So since then it turned into more, just my personal account. So anyways, if you’re interested in following me personally, go and get me a follow over there.

But funny enough I find. I’m getting the most engagement. When I share about books.

I am a huge, I am such a bookworm have always been. That was my very first email address. When I was a kid, it was book underscore worm underscore 5, 5, 5. I remember actually having back pain because I would get so many books out from the library. And put them in my backpack. I would have these massive stacks of books that I would be always working through. So I am an avid reader. I love reading. I also love listening to audio books. I’m like constantly listening to something.

When I’m driving, when I’m doing the dishes, when I’m cooking. When I’m at walking, et cetera. So I’ve been sharing a little bit about books and about what I’ve been reading. It’s just so funny because when I talk about it on Instagram stories, I get so many comments. People being like, oh great. I was looking for a new summer read or like I read this dude. It was we love to talk about books and I think there’s more and more people.

That are wanting to read. Bright and I felt myself in that place to where I was like, you know what, when I get off the computer at the end of the day, and I have had a solid six to eight hours of staring at a screen, is it really beneficial for me to go and then watch Grey’s anatomy for another three or four hours.

Probably not. I maybe want to do it. And sometimes of course I do. But also sometimes. You need a different activity to do that is not so screen heavy. And honestly, books, they just have a way of really transporting you to a different place. That sounds really cheesy, but it is true.

Aye. I love books for that reason. We also are in a pretty good routine of every night before bed. We just read for 10 to 20 minutes and that really helps with the whole sleepiness process. That’s besides what I was, what I’m saying with all of that is that I’m going to finish off by talking a little bit about what I’m reading, because.

I think that might be interesting for some of you. Okay, so let’s dive into it. I want to talk first about. Pregnancy and what that has been like for me.

So first off, I just want to acknowledge that I feel incredibly lucky to be able to sit here and talk about this and have this conversation. Fertility is such a privilege and I think we just can never lose sight of that. We can never forget that. And so I just wanted to start off by acknowledging that before I share.

My own experience. Okay. So my own experience. Let me tell you what a wild ride.

It’s one of those things that you just don’t know what it’s going to be like for you until you’re in it. But what a wild ride. I just want to say that right off the bat. It’s so I think it’s so fascinating because. Never has there been, and as I’m reflecting on this myself, like never, has there been a time of life where I feel like your body changes just so quickly.

I feel like there were times there have been times where like you wake up in the morning and you’re like, oh my gosh, I don’t even recognize my body. I don’t recognize. It from yesterday, I look different. That’s been. Just such a crazy experience. Now I would say first trimester was definitely a challenging one.

I don’t think I really was prepared for how much it would throw me off. I think just, I dealt with pretty intense nausea. Like all day nausea, I think morning, the term morning sickness is really such a misnomer because it’s really not. In fact the mornings was when I would feel the best. And so I was really lucky because I would wake up and I would feel pretty good. And so I’d be able to do some sort of physical activity in the morning.

And then around 11:00 AM was really one thing started to deteriorate for me. And would end up feeling just progressively worse throughout the course of the day. And so that was definitely challenging. I also had a lot of days where I just woke up feeling really sad for no reason, so that I found really difficult as well. Just the hormonal shifts and not feeling like yourself mentally or emotionally.

I just remember, I remember one specific morning of just getting out of bed and being like, why am I so just melancholy? It was just this overwhelming feeling of melancholy. And for no reason, there was no trigger to it. It was just how my brain was reacting to all of the hormones that were happening.

That was such an interesting experience. So happy to have come out of that. And I don’t, thankfully I’m not experiencing that anymore. But that’s something that I remember as being one of the most difficult parts just generally feeling tired. For sure. I wouldn’t say that. That was my biggest symptom. I think my biggest symptom was the nausea.

But definitely that fatigue was there. And then I also found too, just to be totally transparent and totally honest. The body image stuff was really challenging to deal with in that first trimester. Again, I. Luckily have come to a good place where I feel fine about everything and I’m, I’ve embraced what just this new and different body looks like. And this idea that.

My body is my home, but it’s also somebody else’s home too. And that’s fine. I’m fine with it. I’m fine with those changes, but That first trimester was challenging when things were changed, changing so quickly. I also. Feel like my first trimester. I dunno. It was really interesting because and this has changed my, I think, philosophy and thoughts about.

Just prenatal nutrition recommendations. Because I actually, when I was in internship, I did two back-to-back placements in prenatal nutrition. So I loved that area and I loved working with pregnant women. One in a hospital setting and one in a public health setting. And I remember just this.

This narrative. And this was something that I was reading about too. And all the apps, like it’s just this narrative that happens a lot, or that comes up a lot, which is this idea that, oh, most people. Don’t find that their body changes very much at all in their first trimester. And most people, don’t gain any weight in the first trimester. And that was challenging for me because that was not my experience at all.

I actually found that my body changed the most in the first trimester.

So it was one of those things where all of these messages that I feel like I had been saying as a dietitian. Really made me feel, not so good as a person on the other side of things. And so it’s just, one of those reflections where like we just can’t generalize public health recommendations to individuals, it’s everybody’s situation is so different. And I think we have to be cautious of our language sometimes because I.

You got that firsthand experience. How sometimes that language can make you feel other and can make you feel different and can make you feel. Not so good about yourself, so that. That is something I was thinking about a lot, for sure. I actually found I was more. Ravenously hungry during the first trimester that I have been in the second. And so my body changed really fast and that, so that mentally and emotionally was hard too. Come to terms with and be okay with.

It was really interesting because there was like body image stuff that I was like, I have not felt this way since I was in my twenties. And I felt like I thought I had dealt with this stuff. Like I just didn’t think that this was something that would come up for me.

But it certainly did. Absolutely did. And it’s one of those things where I feel like two, two feelings can exist at the same time. It’s We can absolutely be. Grateful for what’s happening. Because it is such a privilege. And we can also feel like, oh, wow, this is really hard.

And I didn’t expect this. So anyways, that’s just sharing a little bit about my own experience. And then when we start to bring in the work piece I honestly have never been more grateful to have the business that I have and to have the team that I have. There were definitely some days where, I just felt like, oh my gosh. And I think it took me well. So looking back on the first trimester, I definitely was in no way, nearly as productive.

As I have been since that 12 weeks is over. But, and it took me honestly like a month or two to catch up. Because on one hand, yeah, like it’s wonderful to have your own business and it’s wonderful to feel like you, to not have to go into an office when you’re not feeling well or whatever, but then on the other hand,

this is your business, right? This is your livelihood. If you are not working in your business, then what happens to your income? And so it’s definitely challenging to feel like you’re not falling behind and also to try not to have that productivity, guilt. I felt that a lot when I would just have tougher days that.

I just couldn’t. Function in the same way and feeling that. You know that productivity guilt, when you’re like sitting on the couch, watching TV and you’re like, oh gosh, I just feel like I should be doing something else. And I feel so guilty. That was tough for sure. So that was that. And in hindsight, I think, if I go through this process again, at some point in my life,

I think I will be able to just have a lot more. Okay, ness. Yes with that because I was also then able to see on the other side, oh, Hey, not everything came crashing down because I think a lot of times that productivity guilt comes from a place of. Oh, no, but what’s going to happen to my business when I’m not in it at the same level as I was in it before.

And. When you then can step away and look back and realize actually nothing changed.

Then that gives you clarity that you need. That gives you clarity that you need. Hindsight’s always 2020, but then also too, like for me, I. I’ve just never been, never felt more gratitude towards having the team of people that I have that work with me who were able to pick up the slack on things when I couldn’t or who were just like, so understanding.

When I wasn’t as present as I normally am. So much gratitude for that. You guys are the absolute best. I’m going to talk a little bit more about just team when I talk about maternity leave, but anyways, that’s my reflection on what pregnancy has been like. And now just, feel good, honestly, feeling good, feeling like myself again.

I yeah, just it’s been really great. That second trimester of just being, feeling more like yourself, feeling emotionally. Mentally. More like yourself and just getting to a place where you feel like you’re able to embrace the process. And embrace the new body that you’re living in is pretty awesome.

That’s been pretty great. So super thankful for that. Super grateful for that. So we’ll see what happens next. I am over halfway, which is. Wild. I can’t believe how fast it goes by. But we’ll keep you in the loop as things change as things progress. I’ll do another one of these episodes closer to when the baby actually comes and talk more about.

Sort of actual plans and what that looks like and just reflections on. The rest of the. Pregnancy experience. But now I want to talk a little bit about leave and maternity leave and preparing your business for taking time off what that looks like, what it’s going to look like for me, what my plans are at this point. i’m going to dive into all of that

Okay. So starting off, we as Canadians are incredibly lucky. A government system that supports parents who are taking time off to raise children and raise babies. It’s pretty amazing. The maternity and paternity leave the parental leave benefits that we have available to us as Canadians. It’s pretty awesome.

However, this is not necessarily the case, if you are self-employed. So I won’t get into the nitty gritty details of the. The accounting piece. But essentially when you’re, self-employed typically you’re not. Eligible for the same. Parental leave benefits as you would be otherwise. And at the end of the day, too, like you can’t necessarily, depending on your business, you can’t necessarily take extended time off because who’s going to run your business.

And I always think of particularly service providers, right? Which a lot of people who are listening to this podcast, are you your income, your livelihood depends on you showing up and having. A session with a paying client or paying customer. And so that really. That impacts your. Your plans a lot, right? That impacts your plans a lot.

And so I have I for me and what our plans are I will not. I’m not planning on taking extended time away from the business. Just because partially I just don’t. Necessarily want that. I love my business so much. I love the work that I do so much. And I know that changes when there’s. A baby in the picture, but.

Honestly, this business is something that I care about a lot. I’ve. Put so much time and effort and love into it. And it’s such a form of just It’s such a form of self care for me. I really like showing up at creating. I love to do the work that I do, and I just don’t necessarily, I want to be able to do both things.

So my partner, he is going to be taking. Leave paternity leave. For a more extended period of time. So that. I can continue to do my work, not in a full-time capacity, but I can continue to do my work and we can tag team and really. Really. Tackle parenthood and raising a baby together.

And yeah, and so that’s our plan at this point. I follow somebody on Instagram. Who her and her husband are in a similar situation where they both work for they’re both self-employed and they both work for their fitness and nutrition company. And they talk about this thing called shift parenting.

Which I feel like has been something that’s really resonated with. My husband and I, and it’s just this idea where, you essentially take shifts. In terms of in terms of baby stuff, you take shifts and then when it’s not your shift, you are able to do things like work or whatever.

So that’s our current plan. That’s our tentative plan. I’ve talked to other business owners who have done a similar strategy and have really enjoyed it. And so I’m excited about it. It feels good. It feels like something. That we are both very much aligned on Yeah. So I’m excited about it. I think it’s going to be great. We’ll see. It’s a flexible plan.

We’ll see what happens cause we’ve never done this before. That’s where we’re at. And so this is something in terms of planning this time off in terms of planning this parental leave, or, just reduced capacity rather. That’s probably how I should refer to it. Something that I’ve definitely been thinking about and planning for. So this is one thing to think about if you’re considering taking extended time off from your business.

It’s just, are there things that need to be done? Cause I think. One of the things like bigger projects can often be put on the back burner for a little bit. But are there day to day? Aspects of your business that you can outsource to somebody else. Those are typically the things that can’t wait, right? Something like customer service. This is something that can’t be held off. We can’t just not check our emails for a month.

What if there’s somebody that needs a receipt, what if there’s. That you know is having a tech issue. Those are the types of things that have to be dealt with. And but those are also things that are very easy to outsource, to a virtual assistant or somebody else. One of the things that I added to DSC earlier this year was so Maria has been working with us for a little while. If you’ve been in touch with.

DSC customer service. You’ve probably chatted with Maria. She’s the best. She’s really just so great to talk to, but she started taking on a bit more of an expanded capacity as an operations manager. And so by operations. That refers to day-to-day running of the business. So things like customer service, tech issues, website updates email marketing, those things all fall under Maria scope now. And those are really all the things that.

Are things that have to be done day to day. And then that allows me to be able to work more on some of those bigger, higher level projects and strategic plans for the business. That have a little bit more flexibility in terms of timeline, in terms of when they need to be done in terms of deadlines, et cetera.

And so this is a great place to start. If you were thinking about. Taking extended time off and you don’t necessarily want to have that. Pressure or that stress of having to deal with those customer service things or having to check in on your emails every day. This could just mean bringing somebody on for one hour every two days, just to deal with anything that comes up.

So this is going to be a really cost effective. Hire that can save you so much, or just give you so much peace of mind while also not necessarily breaking the bank. If this is something that you you know if your business is new or if your business is just starting out Yeah. And so that’s a suggestion that I would have, if you are somebody who’s thinking about taking time off.

Or if you’re a dietitian who’s actually actively working with clients one-on-one and you want to continue have that, having that continuity with clients. Can you bring on a contractor RD to be able to. Pass your clients off to, and, have them continue to work with this RD. And then when you decide to come back, they can continue to work with you. That’s always an option as well. It can be a good.

A good option to give people that choice whether they want to work with this new person or whether they want to work with you.

 Yeah, so overall, if you are going to be taking extended time off, thinking about who is going to be responsible for those tasks that can’t wait, those timely tasks that have to be dealt with in a timely manner. And then continuity as well. Is it fine for you to take a step back for a few months and sort of put your clients on hold or is that continuity of care going to be more important?

You know, having them be able to work with another professional for a little bit and then come back and work with you. And I think that’s very much an individualized decision. Just depending on your niche, depending on the types of clients that you work with. That’s really, Up to you. So I’ll do a little bit more of an in-depth episode on this and taking extended time off from your business.

Once I’ve gone through the experience and I’ve really learned from what worked and what didn’t work and the pros and cons and the process and all of that good stuff, I’ll do that in the fall. But for now, just sharing sort of our preliminary plans. Okay. So that’s it with regards to all of the pregnancy related stuff.

In terms of me personally and our summer plans, we’ve got a lot of fun stuff in the works. This is another huge reason why I’m just, I love being self-employed because you have so much freedom when it comes to travel, when it comes to working remotely, when it comes to going places and doing things and taking a little bit of time off and all of those, all of those factors.

So this summer first off doing a trip to Seattle with my mom towards the end of the month. We’ve just never been and have always wanted to go, so we’re just gonna go for a few days. Currently my husband is training and my dad actually, they’re both training for a hundred Mile Ultra Marathon, and so that’s happening in July.

And so my mom and I are gonna go and do support for them, which essentially means you are there at the end of each leg of the race to like help them and feed them and do all the things that need to be done when you are running a hundred miles. We are going to visit my brother and his wife in California towards the end of the summer, which I’m so excited about.

We have a couple of camping weekends planned. We’re going back to Ontario to visit family. And friends as well. So we’ve got a lot going on and I’m just so, so excited about it. It’s gonna be an awesome summer. What am I working on with regards to the business? So this has been a really awesome change as well.

I had mentioned earlier in this episode bringing Maria on in the operations manager role, which has freed up a lot of. Time for me to be able to spend on some of those bigger, more strategic projects. That’s a really tough part, right about running a business is balancing the day-to-day with the, okay.

But there’s this other project that I really wanna launch in order to add an additional income stream to the business. And so how do we manage that time? How do we balance that time? And so that’s been really helpful to shift away from doing some of that day-to-day stuff and really focus on some of those bigger, higher level projects.

And so one of the things that I’ve been working on, which I’ve mentioned in the last couple of podcast episodes is a, is programming around counseling and coaching skills. So this is something that has continuously come up as a need from our members. Wanting more exposure, more education, more practice when it comes to feeling confident in building confidence in counseling skills. And so I’m not going to share too much about it yet because we’re still very much in the planning stages.

But that’s a big focus area for me this summer, for sure. We’ve also been doing a lot of work on optimizing the site too. So. When we first launched the website, one of the things that we really didn’t once we first launched the new website. So for those who haven’t been following for ever. We switched over from the website platform, Kajabi to a custom WordPress site earlier this year.

And I think we made the switch over in February. If I’m not mistaken. And so one of the, so a big piece of that obviously was having every component of the site was just a custom. Built by web developers. And so one of the things that we didn’t love right off the bat was the community function that was built in.

Honestly, it was just really simple. It was really rudimentary. It wasn’t that easy to use. It was just, it felt really old. It felt like you were on like some old chat board. And we really didn’t like that, but at the time it was like, okay, this does not, not every component of this needs to be perfect. We really just needed to make the switch over.

And so we decided to just go ahead and launch with it and then okay. We’ll address the community factor after. So anyways, we did about a few weeks ago. We had the developers come up with something new for the community and it’s. Much better. I can’t even stress how much better it is. It’s just so much more user-friendly there’s so many more fun things you can do with it. You can do polls. You can.

Post gifts, you can like people’s comments. You can. Just do all sorts of things that we couldn’t do on the old community so that’s been a really positive change and update that we’ve made to the site

Another really awesome change or update that Maria has been working on is actually enhancing the search feature of our website. Interestingly search functions on websites are difficult to create. No, it seems like such a simple idea. You have a search bar, somebody can search for a piece of content and the right content will pull up.

That’s just not necessarily the case from what we’ve learned. And so one of the biggest learnings for us has been, you know, what do we label content as versus what do people typically search for it as? Like, what are the keywords they use versus the keywords we use? Because that makes it a big difference. If we label something one way,

And somebody searches for it in a different way, or intuitively dieticians tend to think of it in a different way. Then we need to make sure and fix that so that people can actually find our content. Otherwise, if they search for it in the search bar, it’s not going to pull up. Even if it’s there, we’ve just used a different keyword to label it. So anyways, we’ve worked on that. We have just now launched a brand new search bar.

Which just has added search capability. You can now search by category. So you could just look up digestive or PCLs or prenatal or whatever, and it will populate with all of the content on the site that has that word in it. It’s just better. It’s more intuitive. It’s more. User-friendly. So that’s been really awesome. That’s been something that Maria has been working hard on. And you know, it’s just one of those reminders that, especially when it comes to a website, done really is better than perfect right off the bat. You always have time to be able to update and tweak and change and fix and make things better.

It doesn’t need to be perfect, right. For the launch. So just get your website out there into the world. You have a ton of time to be able to fix it and change things. Moving forward. It doesn’t all need to be done at the launch point. And then the other thing we’ve been working on a lot too, is our group memberships. So that’s a new feature that we’ve been able to offer with our new site is offering group licenses. So essentially, you know, group of practitioners can all have access.

To dietician success center under the same account and they get a discounted annual rate. Because there’s a group of them joining. So they essentially benefit from a bulk discount. So that’s something we’ve been working on. We created a new sales page. We created a group memberships guide for people that are interested.

So that’s been a really positive change that we’ve been working on. So. Those are the biggest projects. Of course, there’s always stuff happening in the background. There’s always the podcast. There’s And there’s content creation and there’s new courses that we’ve created. There’s all sorts of things, but these are some of the, not necessarily business as usual projects that have been in the works.

All right, so let’s finish off with books. If you have no interest in hearing about my books, that’s fine. You can end this podcast now. But if you are interested in what I’ve been reading and what has been really good, then I will. Just pop into my good reads right now. I’m pulling out my, my good reads. If you are interested in following me on good reads.

I’ll post a link for my good reads profile in the description of this episode. So. A couple of great books that I’ve read recently, which I would highly recommend checking out for the summer. If you’re looking for some summer reads. I just finished before we were yours by Lisa Wingate. Amazing, amazing, amazing story.

The reading list by Sarah Nisha Adams. Check that one out for sure. That’s just like a really heartfelt, warm, lovely story. If you’re looking for more of that, like summer romance kind of chiclet type of a book Every summer after by Kelly Ford. Sorry, Carly fourtune is one of my favorites. She has a second book now called meet me at the lake.

But start with every summer after for sure. Emily Henry has a ton of great. Books like summer read books. Her newest one is called happy place, which I just finished. It was great. There’s also people we meet on vacation. That one was actually my favorite and book lovers as well was really good. What else? Let me just scroll down on my list here.

And let me see, what did I read in 2020? To oh, Daisy Jones and the six love that book. They made it a Amazon prime reenactment of it. So definitely check that out. And otherwise. I also recommend Jennifer Wiener books too, for the summer. Jennifer Wiener, Jennifer, w E I N E R a amazing, I love her books for the summer. She has a few that are really good that summer, the summer place.

Really, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of her hers. Ellen Hildebrand as well. I really like for summer reads. The hotel Nantucket was absolutely my favorite. I loved that book. It’s such a great. Summaried so definitely check that out. All right. So I hope that that was a fun episode for you. It was fun for me. I, for some reason, I’m sorry for those of you that are listening to it. And you’re like, this came out a little bit later than normal podcasts come out.

Yes, it did because for some reason, my podcast. Recording platform. Descript just kept crashing as I was recording this. So I ended up recording this episode in a whole bunch of little. Snippets. So my apologies for that, I’m sorry that it was a little bit late for those of you that like to listen on your morning commute. I’m so sorry.

But hopefully you can tune in tomorrow for your morning commute. All right so that’s it for me i hope you have an amazing week and I will see you next Thursday.