Laura Conley

Laura Conley

“I think as moms, we’re so good at keeping our word to other people our kids, our partners but we could use a little upgrade when it comes to ourselves and keeping our word to ourselves around food.” Life and diet coach Laura Conley chatted with Zibby on Instagram Live about how she learned to love her body and quit yo-yo dieting forever. Laura also shared some of her surefire tips for changing mindsets surrounding food to help create a less stressful relationship and more productive eating habits. Learn more about Laura at


Zibby Owens: Hi, everybody. This is my first Live for “Moms Don’t Have Time to Lose Weight.” I haven’t even had time to do a Live. Now here I am. I am so excited because I am going to talk to Laura Conley today who has Laura Conley Coaching and is amazing. She’s just coming in now. I am really excited to talk to her. Hold on, let me invite her in. Here she is. Request sent. Bear with me for a second. I’m excited to talk to her about her coaching. Hi.

Laura Conley: Hi!

Zibby: How are you?

Laura: Oh, my god, you’re doing so good on your first Live just adding me like nobody’s business.

Zibby: Oh, no, I’ve done lots of Lives, just not on “Moms Don’t Have Time to Lose Weight.” I’m excited. I thought this would be fun. We can turn this into a podcast after, but at least it’d be fun to see you.

Laura: I love it.

Zibby: Now these comments are all in the way. I can’t even see anything.

Laura: It’s so good.

Zibby: Welcome, Laura. I’m excited to get to know you. Thanks for coming on “Moms Don’t Have Time to Lose Weight.”

Laura: Of course. Thanks for having me. I know, it’s so funny. Joanna connected us. I was like, you’re the perfect person to talk to about all of this because it’s true, moms don’t have time to lose weight. My husband just left for ten days. I’m like, oh, god, now I really don’t have time to lose weight or read or do any of the things.

Zibby: Ten days, that’s a long time.

Laura: I know.

Zibby: I feel like a lot of moms might be really jealous of you right about now after being stuck at home for the last year with their husbands.

Laura: No, I’m into my husband. I’m like, what do I feed my kids? No, I’m just kidding. I’m like, can you stock the fridge? He’s very involved, especially when it comes to the food.

Zibby: My husband does all our cooking. That’s also very nice. Tell me about starting Laura Conley Coaching and how you got involved in all of this. I want to hear your own journey. PS, I love your website and all of your imagery. I’ve just asked you twenty questions. Where is that amazing backdrop where you took all those pictures?

Laura: Oh, my god, that was totally by accident, that backdrop. The fact that my dress matched that backdrop was totally by accident. That was in Santa Monica. We didn’t just move to Boulder. Although, it feels like we just moved to Boulder, Colorado. When we got here two years ago, I was pregnant. The altitude sickness hit me. Morning sickness hit me. Then as soon as I had that baby, it was a pandemic. It doesn’t really feel like we’ve been here for two years. Previous to being in Boulder, we were in Santa Monica. I just did a photo shoot. That was outside of my co-work space. It was just totally random. It wasn’t part of the plan as to where we were going to shoot. I just wanted to get some me-on-the-computer shoots. Then that beautiful mural just appeared. It ended up being what so many of my pictures came from.

Laura Conley Coaching kind of evolved. Back in 2012, I left corporate America and took off the golden handcuffs, so to speak. I was in pharmaceutical sales in my corporate days and just really felt a calling to teach yoga and meditation and then become a coach. I did that in LA for seven years before we moved here. I was doing a lot of coaching on helping other women to take off the golden handcuffs. If you’re not familiar with that, it’s just what people say when they’re in a corporate job and it’s kind of cushy. Financially, it’s pretty supportive, but it’s not what they ultimately want to do. I started helping a lot of women to take off the proverbial golden handcuffs and do a lot of coaching around vision and goals. What do I even want? How do I go get that? What is my calling? All of that kind of work, which was amazing and fun. I loved it. I was doing that alongside teaching yoga and meditation and doing retreats, which I definitely want to talk to you about. What I found was, in that coaching, there’s a lot of women that have a lot of drama that can’t actually see what they want to do. They can’t see what their calling is. They can’t see what their passion is because there’s shit blocking them.

One of those layers, I’ve found, is weight. Physical weight, yes, of course, but the emotional baggage and the mental baggage that comes along with constantly being on a diet, constantly yo-yoing. What am I going to eat for dinner? How am I going to handle this party? Oh, my god, I just ate too much Easter candy. Should I clean that up? Blah, blah, blah. This was my own struggle too. That’s how come I can talk about it so well. I kind of switched gears three, four years ago to pretty much doing just weight loss coaching. It really is physical weight loss, yes, for sure, but it’s so much more about the emotional weight and the mental weight and even the spiritual weight that’s in the way. For me, you asked me my personal journey, I went to college and I gained the quintessential freshman fifteen. Then I gained and lost that same fifteen pounds probably over the next twenty years like fifteen different times. It was just constant. I was always doing Weight Watchers. I was doing the next keto. Something just popped up on my Facebook, actually. I was laughing. It was like, seven years ago, I’m doing the Whole30. Of course, I wasn’t doing the Whole30 to be healthy. I was doing the Whole30 to lose fifteen pounds. Then of course, inevitably, I’d gain it back.

Three and a half years ago, I had my daughter. Something came over me. I’m getting the chills even thinking about it. Something came over me that I was like, I will not pass this onto her. I won’t. It’s just too much energy out that’s not serving me nor the world. I will solve this. I will solve this for the last time. It became my mission. I knew I could say the right things. I knew I could say the right things and watch my behavior around her. I knew if I didn’t really heal it at the core, that I would pass it down to her. Inevitably, she would get pieces of my diet drama and my off-again, on-again relationship with my body. I feel like on one hand, I lucked out. On the other hand, I don’t because it was twenty years of dealing with this. I feel like I lucked out because once I had had my daughter, I was getting a new certification or another certification under The Life Coach School through Brooke Castillo. She’s the founder of it. She became my coach. She’s wonderful. If you haven’t heard of her, check her out. Her podcast is so good. She had kind of a weight loss arm to her coaching umbrella. I was like, you know what, everything else that she teaches me and everything else that I use from her works, so let me do her system. Let me just eat it all up. I had so many of the tools already that I was applying to my life that then I just could apply to weight loss. I used her methodology.

It really worked. I’m still flabbergasted. I still sit here and don’t really believe that I’ve really healed this and it’s really over. I can’t believe it. It was the holy grail. It was that thing that I thought for sure — before I had my daughter, I was like, this is just going to be my thing. This is just going to be my thing that I deal with. I shouldn’t complain about it so much because it’s not that bad of a thing. Then when I had my daughter, I was like, no way. What Brooke, my coach, teaches is a lot of hunger hormonal balance, a lot of mindset stuff, a lot of emotional management, a lot of work on desire. A lot of us in our culture have a little bit of an over-desire for food. I didn’t even know you could lower desire. Apparently, you can lower desire. Then I think a huge part, which comes from coaching tools, is just learning inner accountability, learning that I can keep my word to myself. I think as moms, we’re so good at keeping our word to other people, our kids, our partners, but we could use a little upgrade when it comes to ourselves and keeping our word to ourselves around food. This isn’t about over-restriction at all. I didn’t know you could become somebody that had inner accountability.

I’d watch my husband. He would set a New Year’s resolution, and then just do it. He wouldn’t even tell me about it. I’m like, “How do you just keep your word to yourself? What is going on? I didn’t even know you set this goal.” He’s like, “Yeah, it’s totally possible.” I was like, “I hate you.” I always thought I had to have a buddy system or a diet bet going on or something external. I do think that that helps, but I think ultimately to make it permanent, I had to learn the skill of inner accountability, had to learn the skill of being able to follow through on what I said I was going to do. That’s been huge, and then also just being able to have fun doing it. It doesn’t have to be that hard and that arduous. That just comes from me. I’m not doing it unless it’s fun. It’s just not worth it. That’s a little bit. That is a long-winded answer to your questions. You’re like, I’m going to ask you seven questions. I was like, I will answer all of them very thoroughly.

Zibby: It’s perfect. That was great. How did you do it? What did you teach yourself? What did you learn? How can other people learn it? I had two daughters. I have four kids. Like you, I didn’t want to pass down anything. I’ve made such a huge effort just to do what they say in all the magazines. Don’t go in front of the mirror and be like, I look fat. Don’t freak out about in front of your kids. I’ve been pretty good about that. Now, of course, I’m doing “Moms Don’t Have Time to Lose Weight” and posting about everything. They’re reading it. I’m like, oh, I just ruined thirteen years of that.

Laura: I think it’s okay to want to lose weight, though. I think that there is this weird kind of pendulum. It’s almost swung too far to the other side. There’s no shame in wanting to lose weight if you’re doing it for reasons that you love and feel true to you. I really think it’s okay to want to lose weight. I think it’s okay to show our kids that as long as we’re talking about it and telling them, you know what, I feel better in my body when I’m at this weight or I’m at my natural weight or whatever. I think it’s totally fine as long as we’re having the conversation about it, versus, I’m just doing it because I want to be really skinny or whatever.

Zibby: When you got to that moment in your life and you were like, I’m changing, end of story, I’m going to do it, what shifted in your mind that then you didn’t have to do the fad diets? What can you tell other people? Through all your coaching — I know this is your life’s work. What is the secret sauce? How did you do it?

Laura: I really think that it is that combo of balancing your hunger hormones, which isn’t this ethereal thing out there. All I do in order to balance my hunger hormones is stay away, most of the time, not all of the time, from processed sugar and processed flour. I’m not saying all whole foods all the time, but that’s what I’ve done, is basically removed the processed crap and eat more whole food based. That’s one piece of it. When your hunger hormones are balanced, it’s so much easier to — you don’t get the cravings. If you’re eating whole foods most of the time, you won’t have so many cravings. That was one piece of it. Another piece of it was mindset. I never forget — I had this nutritionist at one point. She was like, “You just eat before you go to the party.” I was like, F that. I’m not eating before I go to the party. The point of the party is to eat. For me, changing my mindset around what food is for — I now believe that food is for fuel. It used to be that food was for fun and entertainment and was at the top of my priority list. If you’re hearing this or your followers are hearing this, there may still be a part of your brain that’s kind of with my old self, which is like, no, what’s the point of the party? I would invite you to slowly try on this new mindset of, hey, let’s just see. As an experiment, let’s try eating before the party for a month and going to the party and letting the party be about the people. That’s really what it’s about. Let’s go there and be present with who we want to be present with. It’s hard because we’ve been programmed to think that, no, the party’s about the amazing SusieCakes cupcakes that they’re going to have or fill in the blank. What? I know.

Zibby: Love. Okay, sorry, had to say. Go on.

Laura: It doesn’t mean that there’s not room for that either. There’s totally room for it, but when it’s all the time, it’s so consuming. I noticed for me that when I just tried it on as an experiment — okay, for the next month, all the parties or the weekends away, I’m going to have it be about the people. Am I going to have to be willing to be just a little bit uncomfortable because I’m used to eating all the food? Yes, but when I really sat down and thought about it, I’m not enjoying the party as much as I wanted to be because I’m thinking about, is that on my plan? Is it not on my plan? How many points is this? Oh, no, I overate too much. Is she watching me eat? There’s just none of that. Then I’m actually having such a good time. For a lot of us who are attached to using food as entertainment or fun because everybody else is doing it whatever, it’s not an easy shift. That’s why I say just try it on as an experiment. You might be really surprised at how much better it is in the long run when you focus on the people and in being present. When we sit down and ask ourselves what we really want, it usually is that. I want to be present. I want to be with my friends and family. I want to be engaged. I want to have fun.

We think food is fun. It is in that one little moment, but it’s not before and after. It’s a false pleasure. It is pleasurable. It gives us that dopamine hit, but in the long run, it’s a false pleasure because it leaves us with so much drama. Then it leaves us with so much extra weight and all that comes with that. It’s just one example, the mindset stuff. Also, lowering my desire. We’re literally like Pavlovian dogs. We go to the party. We see the SusieCakes cupcakes. We start salivating. You really can lower your desire for food so that it’s easy to use food for fuel and not for entertainment or not as a comfort or not as an escape. It really is easy to lower your desire. We can totally go into that. It’s a longer discussion. That’s what I teach my clients to do. They never believe me. I’m like, look, one day you’re going to walk into the party and there’s going to be the crudités and there’s going to be the SusieCakes cupcakes, and neither of them are going to matter. Neither of them are going to have a hold on you or a grip on you. They’re just going to be food that’s sitting there. They’re going to be equal. They’re like, I don’t believe you. I’m like, all right, fine, you don’t have to believe me, but let’s just experiment for the next month and see what happens.

Basically, when you lower your desire for food and bring it down to a normal, natural amount, then you eat a normal, natural amount. Then you weigh a normal, natural amount. Most diets out there just lower the amount of food that they give you. They don’t work on your desire, so it feels like this crazy fight that you’re having with yourself constantly. I help all my clients to lower their desire so the cookie or nachos, whatever the thing is just doesn’t have a hold on you anymore. That’s a huge part of it. I mentioned emotions. Emotions is a huge part of it too because even if you don’t think you’re an emotional eater, there are emotions that come up when we’re changing habits. If you’re like, you know what, in the grand scheme of things, cupcakes don’t serve me or the three chocolate chip cookies don’t serve me in terms of having them every single night at nine PM, so you decide, okay, I’m not going to have three chocolate chip cookies at nine, nine thirty PM every single day. The first couple days when you are not having the chocolate chip cookie, there will be discomfort. There will be restlessness. There will be maybe some angst or some boredom. Boredom, I teach you how to deal with that. I teach you that those feelings are, and I’m teaching you guys now too, they’re not a problem. It’s okay. You are equipped to handle discomfort and to handle a little angst or whatever comes up for you, or a little stress or a little anxiety. All that is, is just a vibration in your body. I can teach you how to process that through instead of eat it, instead of escape it. Our feelings are really not a problem to be solved. There’s a lot of work on that which I think is really profound. Then of course, it’s super transferrable to all other areas of our lives. We all want to over-scroll on our phones. We want to over-Amazon or over-fill in the blank.

Zibby: I didn’t even know that was a thing, to over-Amazon as a verb. I like it. I have tried to coin that myself.

Laura: There’s over-Amazon-ing happening. There’s over-Hulu-ing happening. There’s over-Netflix happening. There’s lots of overing happening. If we can develop the skill of being able to feel our emotions and process them through, then we don’t have to use all these false pleasures and we can really get what we want out of life instead of wasting our time. I’m not saying Netflix or Hulu or Amazon or cookies are bad in and of themselves. It’s just when we’re overusing them and not getting the results that we really want that we have to look at that and learn how to process our emotions. For me, I had to be willing to maybe not have as much fun at a party because I wasn’t having the cupcakes. Then of course, it ended up being more fun, like I was talking about before, because then I’m more engaged or I’m more present.

Lily’s asking this good question. She’s saying, replace discomfort with another activity, i.e., read or clean? Yes and no is my answer to this. I do want you guys to develop the skill of being with that discomfort and noticing it’s not a problem and watching, oh, wow, I’m saying no to the cookie. I kind of teach my clients, if you have kids, to talk to yourself like you would talk to your three-year-old or your five-year-old. I know you want a cookie. I get it. Cookies taste really good. We’re not having a cookie right now. It doesn’t serve us. It’s okay that you feel uncomfortable. It’s okay that you are a little restless right now. It’s okay that you’re disappointed. Let’s take a deep breath. Then let’s move on. When I’m being the mom I want to be, let’s be honest, that’s how I talk to my kids most of the time, not all the time. You’re disappointed. It would taste good. I’m sorry, but the answer is no. Versus, why do I want this cookie? What is wrong with me? It’s changing the talk track inside your head. That is how it kind of sounds, at least in my brain, to process through the discomfort of saying no. Then once you’ve processed through and given it some time and space, yeah, then go clean. Then go take a bath. Then go do another activity. I don’t want you to ignore the feeling, though, or push it down or try to escape it by then using something else because then you’ve just transferred. Maybe cleaning is better and giving you a better outcome.

I really want you and I really want my clients developing the skills of processing through their emotions versus escaping them, if that makes sense. It’s kind of a yes and no. Yes, let yourself that have moment. I’m feeling…whatever you’re feeling. It’s uncomfortable. Let’s take a few deep breaths. Once you’ve moved through it, then go do another activity like read or clean or whatever, but don’t clean as a way to — I call it buffering, when you put something in between yourself and your feelings like food or cleaning. Cleaning can be a buffering activity. It can be an escape. It can be an avoidance technique. Make sure you’ve processed. Then, yeah, totally go clean. Let yourself be in practice. Let yourself practice all the stuff that we’re talking about. I have a piece of paper. It’s literally just a piece of paper that reminds me every day that it’s a practice, really. This whole feeling our feelings, this whole rewiring our brain, this whole allowing ourselves to be in discomfort, losing weight for the last time, it’s a practice. This comes from my yoga background and my meditation background. It’s not a perfect. It’s a practice. Let yourself experiment. You don’t have to do it right. I think that’s huge. Practice makes perfect, or perfectly imperfect.

Zibby: Lily was also asking earlier, do you only eat at mealtimes? Do you snack? What’s your actual food like?

Laura: Every single one of my clients is completely different. I’ll tell you about me and what I do. I think that’s important. I think that there is a lot of bio-individuality. There isn’t a diet out there that can be a one-size-fits-all because we all have different lifestyles and because we all have different needs physiologically. There’s a couple things I want to say about this. The first thing is, notice if your brain’s like, it’s time to eat, and then you go eat. What about checking in with our bodies versus checking in with the clock? I’m not saying don’t eat with your family at dinnertime. I’m just saying use your body as something that ques you versus the clock. You can really use your body as a guide, obviously, once your hunger hormones are balanced. When your hunger hormones aren’t balanced, it’s harder to use your body as a guide because if you have the SusieCakes cupcake, you will spike your blood sugar and your insulin. Then you’ll crash. Then you’ll have cravings from that crash. That’s hormonal hunger. It’s not true physical hunger. A day in the life for me and what I eat is, I do intermittent fast. Some of my clients do intermittent fast. Some of my clients don’t intermittent fast. I personally just love intermittent fasting. I’ll fast for twelve to sixteen hours, depending. Then my coffee, it’s almost like a shake. I put so much stuff in it. My coffee’s got MCT oil. Sometimes I put collagen in there. Sometimes there’s some cream in there. There’s some stevia in there. I have a big cup of coffee. Then I’ll have lunch.

I’m super simple. I do not teach meal prep. I do not teach you need to have — no. You heard me say at the beginning, what are we going to do for the next ten days because my husband’s not here to cook for us? Even when he’s not, it’s not a problem because I have so many things ready to go that are so simple. For today, I know for lunch I’m going to have the same thing I had yesterday, which is just a bunch of tuna with some avocado on the little seaweed sheets. I’ve been deprived of sushi for the past two years now that we live in Colorado and we’re landlocked. It makes me feel like I’m eating this almost-sushi situation. I just do a plop of tuna, a sliver of avocado on a seaweed. I roll it up. I do ten of them. They’re these ten little mini-sushi plops. That’s what I’ll have for lunch. Then I’ll have something at four because that’s just the way my body is. It always wants something at four. Today, I’ll probably have a handful of pecans. I love pecans. Then tonight, I just happen to know we’re having fish tacos. We’re having a giant salad situation, pineapple situation, and then fish tacos. I personally, like I said before, don’t eat processed sugar and processed flour. I may offer my kids tortillas. If my husband was here, he would have a tortilla. I’m not going to have the tortilla. That’s just me. My plate will be this giant vegetable and fish situation. Then tonight probably after that, I may do a tea. I may do a cup of Cacao Bliss, which is basically this cacao mushroom thing that’s really delicious. I might have a glass of wine. That’s what the day in the life looks like for me. I also have on my desk — now you’re getting a tour of my desk. I also have the easy button my desk because it should be easy. It should be fun and easy. Will there be times where I’m uncomfortable? Yes, but for the most part, I want it to be as easy as possible. That’s why it’s like, tuna plop, pecans, fish tacos. So easy.

Zibby: Laura, this has been so interesting. The time flew by. Thank you so much for your wisdom with “Moms Don’t Have Time to Lose Weight” and with me because, really, I just do all these things that I’m trying to help myself. No, I’m sort of kidding, but sort of not. Anyway, super helpful. It’s such a good reminder that we don’t have to be perfect. We don’t have to be so self-punitive. Choosing foods doesn’t have to elicit every single emotion in our bodies. It’s just a decision. It’s just something to get us through the day.

Laura: Oh, my god, I know. It’s so true. I know we’re wrapping up, but I really do love to teach my clients — this is something that I had to learn myself too. Stop it with the beating ourselves up. We cannot live like that, going down the shame spiral. I always have my clients, and I always do this work on my myself, with any goal that I’m working towards, you never get to beat yourself up if you make a mistake or you fall down. You also don’t get to let yourself off the hook. You have to look back with love. What happened there? You really have to muster up the compassion because we’re so trained to want to beat ourselves up and to make eating a freaking Reese’s egg mean something about who we are and our worth and our value as a person. I think that’s huge. Thank you. It was fun to connect. I just was a little chatterbox.

Zibby: No, I loved it.

Laura: I feel like I should’ve made you talk more.

Zibby: Oh, my god, it’s the whole point. If people want to find you, how can they find you?

Laura: We can just be friends on Instagram. If you want to stalk me a little bit more, you can totally do that, Then I have a podcast as well. That’s just called “The Yummy Mummy: Lose weight for the last time.” Everything is on my website. Everything’s also on my Instagram profile in the links. You can totally find me there. Then if you ever are interested in taking this work deeper, you can sign up for my waitlist on my website. I think I’m opening in May for the next round of the Yummy Mummy Experience, which is three months to lost weight for the last time. That’s my group coaching and course program which is super fun.

Zibby: Awesome. Excellent. Thank you again, Laura.

Laura: Thanks, Zibby. So nice to see you.

Zibby: Good luck with the meal prep this week.

Laura: Thank you so much. Have a good one. Bye.

Zibby: Bye.

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