In this episode, Stephanie interviews Shaela Daugherty, a health and fitness professional who integrates the Gospel with health journeys. Shaela shares her background and how she transitioned from working in ministry to starting her own health and fitness company. She discusses the importance of consistency and building skills in both spiritual and physical disciplines. Shaela also emphasizes the need to start small and celebrate wins along the way. In this conversation, she shares insights on embracing small improvements, her SD Fitwell app, starting small in busy seasons, and her experience as a homemaker in business.
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All right, welcome back to the Homemakers in Business podcast. Today I have a new friend, Shaela with me. So Shaela, would you like to introduce yourself?
Yes, I’d love to. I am so excited to be here, Stephanie. My name, like you said, is Shaela Daugherty. So my last name has a lot of unnecessary letters, but we just tell people it rhymes with party. And so my name is Shaela Daugherty, like party, and I am married to my husband as of we’re going on seven years, I think.
As of the time of this recording since 2017, and we have three little ones in our family, and I am also a health and fitness professional and work with women to help them really see that their health and their fitness is an inside out change. And so that is what I get to do for a living and do it from home. So I’m excited.
Love that you do such good work. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a while now and listen to a few of your podcast episodes and you do such a good job of integrating the gospel with our health journeys and I think that is such a unique perspective for what you do, because there’s not very many fitness professionals that are in that realm. So could you kind of explain how you got into what you’re doing now? What did you do before? Just give us the whole story.
Yeah, I would love to. So I was not athletic at all growing up. So it’s kind of, it feels kind of like a joke that I’m in the fitness world now. But when I graduated from college, I had got my bachelor’s in elementary education and I was like, I’m going to be a teacher. But then my last year of college, I ended up interning and for my children’s director at our church.
And with that, he kept like kind of saying some things. He was like, do you think this is something you might want to do? And I was like, no, like definitely not. You’re probably poor. Like you’re in ministry. This is not going to be like I’m going to be poor too as a teacher, but at least I’ll be married to someone who’s like making more money, hopefully. Right. And so but during that last year, my senior year, the Lord did actually end up calling me to full time vocational ministry and children’s ministry. And so I went from immediately from my bachelor’s into my master’s at Southwestern Seminary to get a master’s in Christian education and theology because I didn’t feel like I had a good grasp on a lot of concepts theology wise. And so when I started in 2013 at Southwestern, they had a CrossFit class on campus and I was like dating a guy at the time who was super big into CrossFit.
And genuinely, it was all surface level shallow reasoning, but I was like, I’m gonna go and I’m gonna get like crossfit ripped and then I’m gonna come home and he’s gonna be like, wow, you look really great. And so I did, I started going to this class and I loved it, I absolutely loved it. It was so hard, but it was really the first time in my life I felt challenged in a way that felt freeing in that I didn’t feel like a failure even though I couldn’t get a barbell squat or I couldn’t do things, like I was using five pound weights to begin with, and which felt really small compared to the other people in that class who were doing like 150 pounds or whatever. But it felt freeing and that I knew I could grow, like I could do this and I could, I could get better at it and I could work towards this and it just that mentality began to grow in me. But at the same time, like while I was there, the Lord really started solidifying in my mind while studying theology. It just so crazy. Of course the Lord knew where I would be now, but like how he was just bridging that gap little by little, like creating this bridge of why I needed health and fitness even in ministry and why it was important for me. And for me, it really built a lot of boldness and confidence like walking into a church and being able to direct.
I was in a preschool ministry while I was in seminary. And so being able to take charge over volunteers and do these things, it really helped build this boldness and this confidence. And so I finished my degree. I went and I was serving full-time on staff at a church in Tampa. But right before, right, literally a week and a half before I moved and graduated, graduated and moved to Tampa, my now husband asked me out on a date. And I was like I’m moving right? And he was like yes but I would really regret it if we didn’t go. And I was like okay well like free coffee okay sure. So we went out and we had a really great time anyways we ended up keeping in touch. I moved we still kept in touch. He ended up moving graduating the next semester with his masters to do student ministry and he moved 45 minutes away from where I was in Florida and he’s from Tennessee. So the fact that he like all the Lord orchestrated this.
And he moved 45 minutes away and I was like, snap. Like this is, like he’s the one. And so in that season, we were dating, that was 2016. We got engaged, we got married 2017, early 2017. And at that point I was still working full-time on staff at my church in Tampa and he was in Lakeland. And so I was living in Lakeland, commuting to Tampa. I do not recommend working and serving at two different churches.
It wasn’t necessarily healthy, but we were doing what we had to do at the time because I couldn’t find someone to take my position. And it was in that time too that there was a lot of staff changes at my husband’s church and they were thinking about asking me if I’d be interested in a preschool position. And the more I prayed over it, the more the Lord was like, no, I want you to serve alongside your husband. And mind you, again, never thought I’d marry a pastor. And so I was like, well, we can’t both be in ministry, then we’re both going to be broke for the rest of our lives and our kids. And so he just, I didn’t know what I was going to do that first year, 2017. And then I was like, why don’t I just get my CrossFit level one? Why not just teach? I can be super flexible. I can work at a box, early hours, like teach the early classes and then be able to help my husband in ministry, those kinds of things. And just from there, it really just progressed into the Lord creating this opportunity for me in the health and the fitness space, especially for Christian women and as faith-based. And I never actually ended up working in a box or a gym. All of 2018, I really just sought the Lord. I didn’t work. I worked a little bit here and there, like contracting with some people, doing some work for fitness. And I had some one-on-one personal clients where I would go in-home.
But…really 2018 I spent just in prayer of, Lord, what do you want me to do? And it was in July of 2018. I actually have a video. I recorded it because I wanted to make sure I could remember it for the rest of my life and be reminded of it every year of the Lord really solidifying this is where I want you to go and I want you to be able to serve with your husband. I want you to be able to stay at home with your kids, but I also want you to be a light in this space, in this very, very dark space.
So it was then that the idea for my company, which I launched in 2019, it’s called the SD Fitness and Wellness Company, was born. And from there, I’ve just been working on learning business and teaching women and all of those things. So long story short, the Lord just interweaved it together so beautifully. And I cannot believe where I am today from where I was over 10 years ago.
Yeah, that’s amazing. That is such a beautiful story. I love that. So what has it been like running a business from home? Like as a kid, obviously you probably didn’t think that this is what you would be doing. So what does that look, look like compared to what your expectations were is like becoming an adult and getting into the workforce and all that.
Yes. So I also was, like I said, not athletic growing up. I also was not the entrepreneurial type growing up. Like kids have lemonade stands and they’re like trying to make money by building, making bracelets and selling them and doing all these things. That was not me at all. I was like, if I can just hide in a space and not be the star or not even be the star, just like not even I don’t even want people to look at me. I would cry when people would look at me when I was like five. And so just not at all my mindset growing up, I just wanted to work in a job and just go to work and then come home. And I for sure thought even in college, I was like, oh, I’ll work full time. My kids will go in daycare, that kind of thing. And just the more the Lord worked in my heart and I grew in my relationship with him and also learned more in the Bible and how what a role I could play in my kids lives one day. That’s really where the shift began to happen of like, okay, if I feel like the Lord is calling me to serve with my husband in ministry, but then also be with my kids, which I know, like at the time we didn’t have kids when I was building this company, but I knew that’s what the Lord wanted. And like wanted me to be able to be home. And so it was really a roller coaster, still kind of is. This is probably, I probably should admit this, but the year 2023 is probably the best year I’ve had business wise, meaning, mindset and understanding more of the inner workings of business because I don’t have a business background. I have a teaching background, which is very helpful in what I do because I’m teaching women how to have healthy and fit lifestyles, but and then theology background. So I’m interweaving that faith, but all of the websites and email automations and systems and all the things that you need, just little piece by piece, the word like gave me the right resources to be able to learn at the right time to, even though I wish like, oh yeah, in 2020 when COVID happened, really my business did boom a little bit, but I wish it could have grown a huge like this huge amount, but it couldn’t have because I didn’t know what I know now to be able to have made that successful and made it sustainable. And so it really has been a journey and a roller coaster of what in the world am I doing?
And like, how am I going to get to where I’m going? And I will say two of the things that I’ve done, this year in particular of 2023, has I hired a marketing person to help me just, and I met with her once a month, maybe every other week sometimes, to help me figure out some like backend things. And then I also ended up hiring a business coach to help me figure out big picture, where do I want to go? And also what do I need to do to get there?
And those have been the most clarifying things that I have done for my business to really help me understand the business side of things in the business world when coming from, oh, I’m gonna be a children’s director and teach Jesus to little kids which is not a bad thing, but business that’s a whole different ball game, which I’m sure you know, even podcasting. I’m like, what is a podcast? I don’t know. How do you do this?
I’m so glad that you mentioned that you had no business background because I think so many people like in my audience, that’s them. They don’t have a business background, but they want to be at home. They want to be with their babies. They want to be with their families and be able to take care of the home, but they also want to be able to contribute. A lot of people like myself included, we can’t live on one income. It’s just not a possibility. And I knew for myself that I didn’t want to be commuting an hour away, which I’ve done that before. It’s terrible. And I knew from a young age, about 15, that I wanted to work from home. Back when we were around that age, that wasn’t really a thing that people were doing. So that was something that I knew the Lord put on my heart was, but I didn’t know it at the time. I just wanted to like, I was, I was kind of like you had said, I didn’t want people looking at me. I was very shy. I did not want to like put myself out, be the center of attention even though I was an only child. So that was kind of like something that was thrust upon me a lot. But you just get to this point where you feel called to do something like run a business from home. Even if you don’t have the resources at the time that you have that desire, those resources are out there for you to find. There are people out there with other giftings that can support you and what you’re doing or what you want to do. Even if you don’t know what exactly it is that you want to do, you just want to work from home and build a business, but you don’t know what kind of business you want to do. There are people out there that can help you figure that out.
So I think that’s just a really, really important thing to point out is that you don’t have to have the background. You can find the resources along the way. Glad you pointed that out.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well, and even just for your audience. For anyone who is in that state of like they know they want to build a business but they don’t really know what it is. So my business coach is Allie Worthington and she has a course I think it is it’s called passion to profit and it’s like that’s exactly what it does is it’s like hey you want to work from home you want to have your own business but you don’t know what you want to do in your business so let’s figure it out together and so like the whole thing is just about let’s figure out what you want to do and let’s turn that into a business. And so I think I’ve never gone through that. I didn’t know she even existed back in the day. I wish I had known that, but now I do know that. So for anyone listening, Passion to Profit, Allie Worthington, little course they can take, which honestly for a starter course, I think it’s only $97. That’s worth the investment to figure out, okay, this is what I wanna do. And then from there, she gives you stepping stones. I’m like.
Okay, here’s what you can do next now that you know what you want to do and how you’re going to do it. And so just some encouragement. There are things out there, like you said, resources.
That’s awesome. Yeah. And that’s great to have a resource like that is so affordable because even if you had to save like $20 a month for a couple of months to be able to save up to buy that, that’s totally doable. Like we can all do that. I kind of got my, yeah, yeah. It’s definitely an investment. And I’ve learned that our investments grow as our businesses grow and that’s kind of scary.
The first large investment that I made in my business was a group coaching program and it was, if I remember correctly, it was around a thousand dollars and that just seemed like astronomical to me at the time, but I knew that I everything that was in that course was what I needed. It was telling me exactly how to run a business, all the steps that I needed to take, it had like all the resources and stuff. And so that seemed worth it to me because I knew what I wanted to do. I knew that I wanted to do branding website design for years. And I started freelancing long before I ever thought of calling it a business, even though it kind of technically was already a business, at least from the government’s perspective. But, investing in those types of resources are so, so helpful and really help you get off, get off the ground and start running. So, love that.
HOLY Health Habits
Let’s get into your holy health habits now. I think this is such a fun topic and I just want, I want, I’m not even going to attempt to explain it. I want you to do all that. So go ahead.
Yes, yes, I am so excited. Yes. So when I like already shared my story, the Lord really knitted fitness and health with my theology, my belief in God when I was in seminary. And it was during that time, I remember specifically, I came home for a break or something and I was at my church and I was talking with the pastors, I guess, admin assistant.
She was his admin assistant and we were talking about fitness and she’s a big runner. And I remember making the statement, I was like, her name is Beth. I was like, Beth, like honestly, like health and fitness is really just a platform for your spiritual disciplines. And she was like, what do you mean by that? And I was like, I’m not really sure, but I know that they are. And she was like, okay, dig into that a little bit because that sounds good. And I was like, okay.
And so as I began, that was probably in 20 years before I started my company, probably 2014, 2015 era. And as I started my company and started growing the Lord, I continued to wrestle with that because I was like, I know this is, they are intertwined. They are inexplicably intertwined somehow, some way. The more that we have spiritual disciplines in our faith, the more that we can have these health habits in our health and our fitness journey. And really in the year of 2023 is when I’ve been able to hone in on that. And I actually have a whole series on my podcast about that on all the, all my holy health habits. But what I began to really like over the last few years that I wrestled with was we have to have these skills in our health and our fitness journeys to help us feel and have a lifestyle, a successful lifestyle, healthy and fit lifestyle lifelong. But these skills, like we, I feel like so often we disassociate our spiritual lives with our health and our fitness.
And that’s where I’m there to help bridge that gap and be like, oh, it’s all interconnected. But specifically when it comes to our spiritual disciplines. And one of the things that the Lord really began working in my heart was when we’re, spiritual disciplines really are just spiritual habits, things that we’re doing to help us grow in our belief with the Lord and with others reading the Bible, prayer, evangelism, worship, serving, there’s a lot of different, different people also will have different spiritual disciplines. There’s a lot of different things. And so, but they’re really just spiritual habits. And so the more I wrestled with it and like also learned the habits we need and our health and our fitness for, for a lifestyle of it, I was like, oh my word. I was like, when we’re building our spiritual disciplines.
The habits and the skills we are creating there are the exact same skills we need, one, everywhere in life, but like particularly for our health and our fitness. And so just to give an example of that was even just reading our Bible. Like that’s when we become believers, we believe in Jesus, we want to get to know Him, we want to understand Him, we build this habit of reading our Bible. Now is it perfect? No, absolutely not.
But our goal is always to plan. Our goal is always to plan and prepare for a time where we can read our Bible, whether that’s in the morning, the afternoon, evening, whatever works in your lifestyle. You’re building this skill of planning and preparing for that time in your word with the Lord. Now it ebbs and flows with seasons. At the time of this recording I’m about to have a third kid. And so in that, like I know when baby number three comes, like that’s gonna look a little different and that my planning isn’t, I’m not gonna be able to spend 20 to 30 minutes every morning in the Word. I’m gonna probably be spending five minutes or maybe none. But like planning for that, I’m already planning, I’m preparing. So we’re building this skill. We have to plan and prepare in order to read our Bible. Otherwise, like it’s just gonna sit on our shelf.
We have to build that skill. That same skill is the exact skill we need in our health and our fitness journey. We have to plan and prepare times to work out, or we have to plan and prepare times to eat certain types of foods. Like, this is the example I give my clients a lot with planning and preparing in our health and our fitness journey is I can tell my clients, hey, you need to eat 120 grams of protein. And they’re like, awesome. That’s okay, my body needs that. I’m like, yeah, that’s exactly what it needs. I just need you to eat 120 grams of protein. But if they don’t know what protein is, if they don’t know how to build meals with protein in them, if they don’t know how to grocery shop for the protein, then me telling them, hey, you need 120 grams of protein means absolutely nothing because they have no skill to be able to help them eat the protein. And so it’s like this behind skill and that’s where this holy health habit was born of like, oh, everything, everything we do in our spiritual lives with our disciplines and those habits that we have are all skills that we’re building. And we can build both simultaneously, both spiritual skills and health and fitness skills. We don’t just have to build the spiritual disciplines first, but all of the skills we have in our health and in our spiritual lives really can transfer into every other area of our lives, particularly in health and fitness, but even in other areas as well.
But we have to be aware of it. And also even in prayer asking the Lord, hey, okay Lord, I know I’m using this skill to read my Bible every day. How can I now use this skill to help me get two workouts in this week? What do I need to do? Well, you need to plan and prepare for it. And then you just stick with it. We always feel this guilt if we’re not reading our Bible at a certain time every day, not that we should have that guilt at all.
Even that in that instance of, okay, like what is going to help keep us accountable in our fitness too? What holds us accountable in our spiritual lives can also hold us accountable in our health and our fitness as well. And so that’s where the background, the birth, I guess so to speak, of a holy health habits came from was just, oh my word, like we already have these skills. Like ladies, we already have these skills. If we’re building this relationship with the Lord, we’re building these skills and all we have to do is just utilize them in other areas of our life. And it sounds really simple. I realize I’m making it sound really simple. It doesn’t mean that it is, but it doesn’t mean that we have to be intentional with it. And so that, as you can tell, I’m very passionate about it, but I think it’s just so eye-opening when we’re like, oh, yeah, I already do this every day. Why don’t I do this in my health and fitness again? It’s like, great question. Why don’t we?
Oh yeah. Exactly. I love that you refer to it as a skill too, because I don’t think many people would think of like knowing how to shop for a protein or cook a protein and stuff like that. Most people I don’t think would think of that as a skill. They’re just like, oh, this is just something that I don’t do or don’t know how to do. So how do you address that with your clients? Like how do you convince them to start building these skills if it’s something they’re not actively doing already.
Yeah, so that’s really what we do in our coaching is where we build these skills. And so they know going like I have certain curriculum, so to speak, that I have them move through that helps teach that skill and then we help practice it together. And so we the biggest thing that we start with is just awareness and knowledge of okay, what is it that we even need to know using nutrition, for an example.
What do we really even need to know about nutrition for a lifelong health? Well, we do need to know what protein, carbs, and fats are. So we start there. Like, let’s build knowledge. That’s what we do the first few weeks. Let’s just build our awareness of what these things are. And then from there, it’s like, okay, now practically, what does that mean? Now, practically, it means we have to plan and prepare for these things. And so that’s when we get into the skill of practicing. Okay, let’s practice. Looking at your plate, can you name what your protein is on your plate? Like for every meal, what type of protein do you have? And that’s where we talk about it being a skill is it is the skill. It really is. And I think also skill makes it sound encouraging because when we just think of it like, oh, this is something I have to do that I’m not doing. It makes us feel like failures because we’re like, well, I’m not doing this and I should be, but it’s like, well, no, you have to knowing that it is much harder than just turning your brain on like, oh, I’m going to activate preparation mode. It doesn’t work that way. Like you have to build it into your lifestyle. And it is something that we have to build and cultivate in our lives. And I think that’s really, it often ends up being very encouraging for my clients because they’re like, oh, okay, this isn’t just something that like I’m failing at. It’s not because I can’t do it. It’s really just I’ve never taken the time to focus on building this. And that’s really where it comes down to let’s take the time together and let’s do it together. You have the accountability of me as your coach and let’s do this together and I will give you all the tools you need and we will practice together and we will build this skill over time so that by the time we’re done coaching together or if they’re in my app.
Usually people who are in my SD Fit Well app, which is like a monthly membership, at that point, they’ve kind of built a lot of these skills. By the time they move into the membership, they’ve built a lot of those skills, but by the time they’re done working with me, it’s like, Hey, you have all these skills now. Like now, little mama bird, you can jump out of the nest and you can do this, but it does take time and it sometimes just takes the accountability and the extra touch of someone saying let’s practice this together.
And it’s hard, and it’s okay that it’s hard, and you’re not meant to just like switch it on and off, like we so often do as moms or as entrepreneurs. We switch on our business brain, we switch it off when we’re home with our spouse. We switch on our mom brain, or we switch it off when the kids are away from the house, whatever. And so it’s not something you just switch on and off, it’s something that you just end up living and building and becoming.
Yeah, love that. So a lot of people struggle with consistency in a lot of areas of life. So their spiritual life, their health and fitness, business, motherhood, all of that. What advice do you have to people to maintain like dedication to the goals that they’re wanting to pursue?
Yeah, so first of all, just to encourage everyone, it’s hard. It really is. It is hard doing, trying to remain consistent. And I appreciate that you use that word consistency because that really is key to everything in our lives, our spiritual lives, our health and our fitness, our emotional, our mental well-being, all the areas of our lives. Consistency really is key, but the key to consistency… simplicity and so reminding ourselves that small is okay and I think for women we have a hard time doing small because we want to be perfect and we want or we want to do it really well which is honorable it really is like we want to make sure we’re giving the best of ourselves and everything that we do and that so often happens in our spiritual but mostly I see it a lot in our health and our fitness of like I want to be all in. I want to be able to give everything. But then when life happens it’s like well I can’t give everything so I’m gonna take a pause because then that makes us feel better because we’re like okay well I’m in control of the situation. I’m deciding to press pause so that I don’t get overwhelmed and it feels like okay I’m making the right choice. I’m pausing. I’m saying no to this. You know the best yes whatever like this is I’m saying no to right now.
I’m not going to do that. I’m gonna wait until I have a better time. But the lie in that is that there is never a better time. Like we are only going to get busier. When we get married, now we’re with a spouse, we’re going to get busier. When we have children, now we have kids to take care of, we’re going to get busier. Throwing a pet in there.
Now you’re going to be training a little puppy. Your life is only an as your kids grow and your lifestyle grows, you’re only going to continue to get busier. And so reflecting, being able to reflect and say, okay, what is something small I can do that will help me feel accomplished? But it’s also in that reminding ourselves to celebrate the small things and to celebrate the wins. Like I…on one of the podcast episodes about the holy health habits, I talk about celebrating the little things because it’s just really a lost art in our in our womanhood culture right now of celebrating the small things because it’s got to be big. Like when you hit seven figures in your business, it’s like, or even six figures or five figures maybe it’s just four figures your first year and it’s like, oh, that’s big stuff we’ve got to celebrate. But like, there were so many things that we did.
Like simply day in and day out that helped us get to that goal. And it’s learning to celebrate not just the big goal, but also all of these small little steps that we’re doing day in and day out to help us cultivate and build that lifestyle. And I think that’s where it’s just this big mindset shift of pressing pause is not going to be helpful. And it’s really in any area of our life, but particularly with health and fitness.
Like pressing pause because you don’t want it to be overwhelming or you’ve added on too much to your plate or whatever, or it’s a busy season or you’re sick or your kids are sick, that’s not going to be helpful long term. What it’s doing, so it’s the opposite of what we wanna do, what it’s actually doing is building the skill and habit of pausing well, which is like, okay, I know how to pause when I need to pause, I know how to say no when I need to say no, which can be very useful in some areas.
But when we’re trying to build a business or we’re trying to build a healthy and fit lifestyle, that is not going to be helpful for us to be able to reach those goals in the timeframe that we wanna reach them. But if we can remind ourselves and be okay, starting small, like, okay, I’m just going to do, this is an example I give most people because this is really, really hard for women. I’m going to do a two minute workout today. That’s it. Like, but it’s not that’s it. That’s amazing. I had someone in the app the other day say something about how they did. I have a program called Relentless Grace, which has like 10 phases to it. It’s a very, very comprehensive program, but it starts out with like one minute workouts. Then it moves into two to three minute workouts, four minute workouts, those kind of things. And she was like, well, all I did today was a four minute workout. And I was like, let’s reframe that.
That’s not all you did today. You got to do a four minute workout and it felt really great. Giving ourselves the time to reframe our thoughts too on what is helpful. Is that four minute workout going to be helpful longterm? Yes, if she keeps doing them, as long as she doesn’t press pause, that will absolutely be helpful longterm. And so as long as we are reflecting and thinking, okay, what are these small things I can do? Maybe it’s just drinking more water. day, starting there, building that into a habit and celebrating that at the end of the week, even if it wasn’t perfect, because it’s not gonna be perfect, never will be, but even if it’s not perfect, it’s like hey I worked on that, like I got to work on that this week. And most days I got my 64 ounces of water and that’s awesome. One day maybe I only got 20 ounces, but that’s okay. I’m gonna continue working on this skill and I’m gonna continue building this over time, but celebrating that and not making ourselves feel guilty or bad or feeling not enough when we don’t get it perfect. And so just continuing to remind ourselves that small things are worth it. And we wanna celebrate those and celebrating. And I think you have a whole podcast, I listened to it on the celebrations you had, was it this year or last year? And I loved it. Yes, yeah, I loved it because you were just like, these may not seem like big things, but these were really big to me.
And that’s where we all have to get into that mindset of, yeah, maybe to that fitness professional over there, it may not seem like a big thing because they’ve had this lifestyle for 15 years. But to me, who have just now begun building this lifestyle, this is a really big deal and I wanna celebrate it and I wanna feel good about it. And I want to thank the Lord that I am where I am. And so just all of that to say, just remind yourself the small things are good.
And to celebrate those wins and also bring in accountability too to help you celebrate. People want to celebrate anything. Hey, I drank my water this week. Wahoo, like, oh you, that’s awesome.
Oh yeah. Yep. I love all of that. Starting small, simplicity. All of that is so important because that’s what builds all of the bigger things. Like nobody like room wasn’t built in the day is cliche as that saying is that is so like that’s so true. Do you have any tips for someone that is starting at the very beginning. Let’s say that they already have a business, they’re a mother, but they neglect their health. Maybe it’s their nutrition, maybe they don’t move much, they’re sitting at their computer eight hours a day or whatever. Where is the smallest place that they could start to start to feel like they’re actually getting started?
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So I want to encourage them too, as well, to begin with, this is a make-believe person, but still good for you for starting somewhere. Because you do often see with entrepreneurs that they want to get their business right first and they want to succeed there. And they’re like, afterwards I’ll work on my health or I’ll work on my fitness. And they find, and then once they succeed, then they begin working on their health and their fitness, but they do often reflect back and wish they would have taken the time to really even just start small because they spent so many years either undernourished or overworked or stressed or on medication for anxiety, depression, all of those things because they weren’t actively pursuing mental, physical, emotional health because they were so focused on their business. And so starting somewhere to start small, whether you’re mom or not, or just beginning in your business is just the consistency of a workout. I find that often with my clients, like early on in those stages, the easiest thing that they can do is a workout.
Because that it’s specific timeframe, you don’t have to think about it every day. Like even with water, you have to think about that every day, like filling up your water cup, drinking the ounces, those kinds of things. But with a workout, it’s, hey, okay, just start with a five minute workout or two minute workout. Whatever feels good for you, no matter how busy you are, or maybe it’s not even a workout, but if you’re working eight hours a day at your computer, maybe take the last one minute of every hour, set a timer.
One minute of every hour to stand up from your desk and do some squats or just stretch it out a little bit or just move your body because when you move your body your mind also renews and so like mentally you’re getting refreshed when your body is moving and so even just moving in that way one minute at every hour by the end of that day you will have moved for at least eight minutes that’s a big deal if you’re going from sitting all day and only getting up to go to the bathroom to now, okay, wow, I just spent two weeks moving eight minutes a day. Now it was spread out across the day, but that’s totally fine. That’s really encouraging and that feels like a really quick win of, and even if it’s not every hour, again, we give ourselves grace. We’re not gonna do it perfectly. Now some people will strive to do it perfectly, but even if it’s like, oh, I got four out of the eight hours today.
That’s exciting. That’s four minutes that you moved today that you weren’t moving last week. Like that’s a little bit better than last week. And so that’s where that mindset of, how can I just be a little bit better this week? Cause every week is gonna change, especially in business, especially with the seasons, depending on the type of business you’re in, you’re gonna have sales seasons like for health and fitness professionals, January is a huge month, right? So December is a huge prepping month for that.
And so there’s a lot less freedom in those months because we’re like on the ball, trying to get these things going, but then come February, March, we slow down and then summer’s a huge season, but then fall’s less. And so we go through different seasons in our business. And so even just reflecting, taking time to reflect in your quiet time, if you already have that built in, say you’re having quiet time a couple of days a week, building that question into one of your first quiet times of the week. What can I just do a little bit better this week for my health and my fitness? Last week I did nothing. This week I could move at least four minutes or take a walk up my street and back.
Early in this third pregnancy, that was all I could do was just cause I was so sick and so nauseated, like walk up my street and back. Was it far? Not at all. Was I walking away less than I was normally? Absolutely. Like I was used to getting over 10,000 steps a day and now I’m like 2,000 steps because I was so sick. But…knowing, okay, this is something little I can do with my dog. Just walk him up the street, walk him down the street. That felt good and that will give you, also give you like a dopamine hit of, oh, that was good, like I did something, and then that’s going to help motivate and encourage you to keep going too. So just asking that question of what can I do that would just be a little bit better this week. Not a lot, not perfect, just a little bit, and start there.
That’s great. I resonate so much with that because I’m getting over a really bad cold. And there was a week where I was just laying on the couch, just trying to breathe and it was a horrible time. Wasn’t moving my body. Didn’t feel like moving when I did it hurt. So coming out of that sickness, it’s been really important for me to start very small because before I was doing like a 30 minute treadmill workout a day taking other extra walks and then doing strength training and all this stuff and now I’m like I can barely walk for 10 minutes right now but that is 10 minutes that I am moving my body that I wasn’t doing last week so I’ll get back to where I was and even if I don’t that’s fine I’m still getting back into the routine of moving my body daily.
Yeah, and that’s why habits are so important and that pause instead of like for you, like you weren’t just like, oh, I’m gonna give up on walking in my workouts. It’s like, no, I know this is just a phase right now, a couple of weeks, I need to give my body the rest it needs and I will slowly begin back. So often we’re just like, nah, like I’m just not gonna start back, life hit, I had a sickness, my kids were sick, whatever, like, I’m just too tired now, I just can’t even get back into it. And but it’s because so often our mentality is, I have to get back to all of it. But I love that you were like, I may not get back to all of that right now, because like, I’m still recovering, but it was like, but I can do a 10 minute walk. And that felt really good. And so I think having that mindset is so key to, to really helping continue to have that lifestyle lifelong because you’re not just giving up or throwing it out the window. It’s like, okay, it’s okay for me to start back small and to like rebuild that to where it needs to go. Of course we’re in the holidays now, so it’s going to be a little bit less and then the new year and then goals for businesses and all of those things. And so it just life ebbs and flows and they are different rhythms that we just have to ebb and flow with it.
Yeah. Do you find with your clients that they struggle with wanting to start something like a new goal or whatever that they want to wait until Monday or they want to wait till the beginning of the month or they want to wait till new years? Like, is that something that you find people struggle with a lot?
I’ve not seen that as much where in the general public I have seen that with my clients in particular usually when they’re coming to me or they’re doing something it’s more often it’s more often I need to wait until I have time for it And it’s not so much like I need to, I’ll start again on Monday or I’ll start in the new year. It’s more, well, right now I’m just really, really busy and like I need to wait until I’m less busy. And I’m like, sister, you’re not gonna get less busy. When you are in the most busy season of your life, that is the absolute best time to start your health and your fitness because you’re in the busiest season or you feel like you’re in the busiest season of your life. And imagine if you currently feel like you’re in the busiest season of your life and it’s only going to get busier.
Now when you reflect back, if it’s like a year later and you’re more busy than you were a year ago, you’ll say, wow, I should have started then. And now it’s a lot harder because now I’m even busier than I was before. And so it’s oftentimes busyness that they say, I’m too busy right now. I can’t do it all. I can’t focus the time or the energy on it.
You can if you start small all is so key in those busy seasons. When we learn to accept starting small and we learn to be okay with it and satisfied and confident in it, that’s what really builds the lifestyle lifelong to where a year from now, even if you’re way busier than you were today, you can reflect back and be like, wow, but I still like remained pretty consistent. Even if they were only three minute workouts, that’s more than I did the year before. Or, wow, yeah, I was pretty good about my water intake this last year, or focusing on protein intake or whatever it was, you’ll be able to reflect back and see those small wins more easily. But in the moment, it feels overwhelming and it’s like, oh no, I’ll wait till I’m less busy, but harsh truth, not gonna get less busy.
I love that. That’s such a good point. All right. Now, as we’re starting to wrap up a little bit, I want to get into some rapid fire questions. So these are just some fun questions I like to ask for people to get to know you a little bit better. So the first one is tell us about your app. Like first off, that’s so cool that you have an app. Tell us about that.
Yes, yes. So my SD Fitwell app, it’s I mean you can find it in app stores. You can only get you can only get the membership through my website though which is shayla.dardy.com but the app was really born out of a desire to build something faith-based for women who are who feel like they’re in a good place with their health and their fitness, or they’ve been in the all or nothing mentality and they’re coming out of that, they’re building that bridge with the Lord, understanding how their health and their fitness relates to their spiritual lives and I wanted them to have a safe place and a place that’s not focused on results or now we do talk about results and how can you measure and see that you’re making progress in different ways but we focus on non-skill victories and like what does this look like strength wise how can you know what are some wins that you’re experiencing and this is really my app is really where I build my own friends too like we just I become
And it’s really the, even I have one-on-one clients who are also, I’m very close with, I work with them very closely. And it’s those one-on-one clients in the app that those are, that’s where I’m giving like 200% of everything because they are in a state of life where like we’re building, we’re in this healthy lifestyle, let’s continue to maintain it and keep a Christ focus. And so all of my workouts, all the programs in the app have some type of faith-based theme where in the beginning of the workout, I’m like, hey, here’s our theme that we’re focusing on through the workout.
And they’re self-paced workouts, so it’s videos of me doing it, but I’m not talking through the video. But they’re just like clicking through, watching the videos as they go. But during every rest period, there is a scripture to remind them to think on scripture and their faith. And all of those scriptures go back to what that program theme is and like helping remind them of…
I have a program in there called lean. It’s the lean program. And so the theme I think for that one is something about like just cutting out the noise, like of culture and just really focusing more on the Lord and what that looks like. I also have podcast resources and other things that go along with the themes.
We also do nutrition. We have habit coaching every month where I give them something to work on, like some type of habit challenge. We have other challenges. There’s out of the day which changes periodically. Like every Sunday they get five new workouts every week. So there’s a variety of programs in there for people who are different places and stages of their life. There’s a pregnancy program in there and then like some because I’m prenatal and postpartum certified as well and I was like well I want I use my own app so I’m like I want to make sure I’m working out well through my pregnancy and so I built this program and put it in there so I could do it too and also we have several pregnant members right now.
And so they’re able to utilize it too, but it’s just really the best way that I felt the Lord could build this community and really just continue to keep our minds focused on Him and keep health and fitness in its rightful place, but also making sure we’re still continuing to work on that lifestyle lifelong.
Amazing. I love that. All right so yeah that’s amazing. All right so what is your favorite non work related thing to do?
Yeah, it’s my favorite. It’s one of all the things I do are my favorite. I’ll say that but it’s still my favorite. I was trying to think about this because I have kids. And so you just get to a point in life where you’re like, is there, do I have hobbies? Of course, and I love to exercise. And so, but now that’s my job too. And so it’s still exercising when like, just doing fun workouts. Like even in the app, I’ll just go sometimes when I’m like, I don’t really feel like doing a programmed workout today. I’ll just go find one of the workouts in one of the other programs that just appeals to me. And I’m like,bI really want a quad burn today. Okay, I’m gonna go to my strength program, find the accessory workout on quads, and just do that workout. And so just doing something fun that feels fun for me, although quad workouts aren’t really that fun, but they’re helpful longterm. But other than that, reading, I really love to read, and that is something that I don’t get a lot of time for, because usually I’m reading business books, or trying to build, or faith-based books. Trying to cultivate spiritual habits and those kind of things. But I do love reading fiction when I can and especially for my kids. I love books for them. We have books all over our house. Literally my husband’s like do we need more books? I’m like absolutely we need more books. Like it is my favorite thing that we have books in every single like we have books in our kitchen. We have books in our dining room we have books where they play in each of their bedrooms and then in my office and in my bedroom. There are books everywhere in our house so that they can always be learning and we can be reading together and enjoying some type of adventure. So reading would probably be outside of exercising. Reading would definitely be when I get the time for it. It’s fun for me.
I feel the same way. I love reading too. And I used to like when I was younger, I used to read a lot of fiction books like outside of the Bible. That was the number one thing that I was reading. But now that I’m a business owner, I’m reading all the self-improvement and business books and marketing and finance and all this. So it is hard to find time for that stuff that is just fun and kind of lets you shut your brain off from all the things you feel like you need to be doing and need to be learning and stuff. So I totally get that.
On that topic, what is a book or a podcast or another resource that has helped you like in your faith or your business, your motherhood, any, any subject that you want to go with?
I’ve read a lot for all of those things, motherhood, business, podcasts, but I would have to say honestly, the biggest game changer for me in my business and even personal life has been using the Cultivate What Matters power sheets.
I love them. I have used them since I started my business in 2019. I still have them all. They’re on my bookshelf over there. And I love to periodically go back and look at where I was and then where I am now, like the different goals that I had. And I had no idea when I started my company what an email automation was. But just being able to reflect back. But with the PowerSheets, it just helps you walk through your goals, like who you want to be when you’re 70, why that matters, reflecting back to today, like what are you doing that matters today? It just really helps bring awareness and reflection. And I think so often we forget to take the time to do that. And also visioncast and dream. I love dreaming. I’m a dreamer. I’m a visioncaster, but I, I don’t get to do it often because I’m a solopreneur. I work my business by myself for the most part.
But with going through the power sheets, it’s really helpful because it gives me the time and the space to just dream and dream with the Lord. I love dreaming with the Lord and sometimes even with my husband, I’m like, can we just go get coffee? Like see if thankfully we live in a place now where we have both sets of grants, like grandparents.
And whereas before we didn’t have any and then my husband’s mom, she actually ended up retiring and moving down and then We were in Lakeland, Florida at the time and then we moved to Pensacola, Florida in 2021 which is where my parents are and where I grew up and my husband is serving on staff at the church I grew up at with the same pastor. I grew up at Grew up with. It’s super fun, but now and then she moved up here, his mom moved up here. So now we have his mom and my parents. So I’ll be like, hey, what if we just go go get coffee? He knows that if he gets caffeine in me after 7 PM, I am like chatty McChats and he’s like, all right, you’re going to be giving me ideas, not only for your business, but also for my business, for like his ministry. And we’re going to just be like laying out our life plan here and just dreaming. And I just think that the power sheets really helped me cultivate that in a healthy way too, not of, oh, if we get so much money or name it, claim it kind of thing. It’s more of how can we pray through these things and what can we do to help build this lifestyle or, or cultivate this in our home or cultivate this in my business or how do I need to pull back from business right now and focus more on ministry or kids or maternity leave or whatever it is.
Laura Casey, if I could ever meet her, she changed my life. Just I never even read her books, but just even her like just the Power Sheets in general, the questions really helped help me understand how to reflect and become aware of things and just cast vision and dream, which is so fun for me.
I love that. Now, I’m such a vision cast here and dreamer too. Like I have so many just composition notebooks that I’ve filled up because I have to get my thoughts out of my head. Like it drives my husband crazy how many lists and things I just write down all the time and there’s notes and like pieces of paper all over the place. I’ve got all kinds of whiteboards and stuff. So I think it’s just so much fun to think about what all is possible and what you can do and I think owning your own business really opens up all of those possibilities because you start to see like the only glass ceiling is what I build for myself. And if I look at what other people are doing, see that that’s possible for me too. Then you just bust past that.
And also I love that you live in Pensacola because that is like our home away from home. That is our favorite place to vacation to.
No way! What? Stop! Where do you go?
Yes. We usually stay in Pensacola City. We like to go out to Pensacola Beach and like that’s where we go swimming and everything. But we’ve stayed at like the Victorian bed and breakfast a couple of times. We love that place. The Pensacola Grand Hotel. We stayed at a few Airbnbs and stuff like we’ve tried different places at different times, but we usually go once or twice a year. So next time we’re down there, we may have to meet up.
Yes, absolutely. That’s so fun. Oh, see Pensacola. Pensacola is such a special place. It really like one it has great beaches, but then also, it is a really interesting dynamic where a lot of even a lot of my friends that I grew up with went to college here with, like we all a lot of us moved away, but then most of us have come back. And it’s just like it’s a
Yeah, it’s a place where people want to come back to. And especially even being a military town there’s a lot of people in and out with our Navy and our Air Force. But even with the military families that come through here, oftentimes, I say often, I mean I don’t know what the percentage would be, but a lot of our families, even the ones who are in our student ministry right now, who were former military or still military, when they can choose to live somewhere, when they get to the place or ranking or whatever, where they can choose to live anywhere and still work, they choose to come back to Pensacola. There’s just something about Pensacola and its people.
Yeah. It’s so great because it has such a small town feel, but it’s not. It’s kind of a larger place. Compared to where I live anyway, it’s a larger place. Like where I live, we have a couple of gas stations and like a Dollar General and that’s it. So it feels big to me, but it still has that really friendly vibe. Like you could talk to just about anybody there and they’re going to be really friendly to you and help you out or whatever. I love that about that place. It’s just so wonderful. And we’ve been going there literally since I was like, I think my first trip was when I was like two or three years old. So been going there literally my whole life.
Yeah, that’s so awesome. Yes. So next time you come, if you’ll come on a Sunday too, you’ll have to come to our church.
Yes, absolutely. That sounds like so much fun. All right. So the last question that I love to ask before we let everyone know where they can find you is what does being a homemaker in business mean to you?
Hmm, that is a really good question. And I feel like it depends on the day. Answer to that. But in reality, it changes over the years. When I started building my company was before I had my first child and I knew the premise was to be able to stay at home.
But then when I actually launched my company in 2019, that’s when we found out I was pregnant with my first. And then he actually ended up coming early, a little bit early, and I was launching an entire like challenge fitness challenge group the week that he came. And so I’m like in the hospital like still promoting this I didn’t have great email automations at the time, didn’t know all these things. And so at that point it was like, is this my life? Like, am I gonna have to be in labor and like running my business in labor kind of thing? But it’s not, it’s not forever, but it’s like in every season and as you grow in business, I think this changes.
This was always the goal, but it took a while to get here and still sometimes there are seasons where I have to be a little bit busier like in January and February and December because of preparing for those busy seasons. Being a homemaker in business means that I get to prioritize my family and my husband and my home and cultivating what I want to cultivate here with them over anything in my business. And while it may mean that my goals are slower in my business and they grow slower because I’m having to lessen the load on some things, that’s okay for me. Because for me, being home with them has always been the goal. And being able to be present, not just physically, but mentally be present and play with them. They’re at an age where they just want me to play with them.
I’m nine months pregnant right now and I can’t creatively think about anything right now. I can read you a book. Let’s spend time together that way, but being able to take the time and even on, not necessarily with podcasts, but even with sometimes with my client calls, my kids will come in and my clients meet my kids and I just say, “Hey, I’m so sorry.” Usually they’re taken care of, but sometimes when they’re sick, you need to cancel work things or you want to be home. And that’s what the freedom to be able to do that. And still like, make money for our family and help bring in an income for our family is huge. And like I said sometimes that means you’re you. And for me, that does mean I often will choose my family over my business. And so even if things have to be slower in my business because I’m choosing my family, that’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make, because that’s the whole reason why I built my business to begin with was so when my kids were sick and couldn’t go to school, I could stay with them.
That’s where I think that right now in this season, like that was always the goal. When you’re building though, it’s really hard to see that goal because you’re having to do a lot of front end work and trying to get things done. And then when you when you get to a place where you’re like, no matter what, even contentment in the Lord, like with your business and being at home is huge.
Because when we’re content in the Lord and who he is and what he has called us to do, and reminding us of what he’s called us to do, that contentment and being home with your kids when they’re sick or when the babysitter calls out or whatever and you’re having to put your business on the backseat, you’re still gonna feel fine. Like you’re gonna be okay. And that’s, I feel like that’s probably the goal for all of us, but getting to that point is really, really hard. And just knowing that’s the reason why I do what I do and reminding myself of that and also the Lord bringing that the Holy Spirit bringing that back to mind I think is really big so right now that’s where I am ask me tomorrow and we’ll see
I love that. That’s wonderful. All right, Shaela. So the last thing, would you please tell everyone where they can find you, connect with you? We’ve already talked about your app a little bit, your podcast. So just we’ll put all the links to these things in the show notes, obviously. But if you want to just tell everyone where they can find you.
Yes, absolutely. So on Instagram, you can find me at SD fit well. That is pretty present on social media for the most part, even if I’m not posting, I’m like on there replying to messages, those kind of things. My app, of course, SD fit well, you can go to Google or Apple store and download it. But in order to be a member, you do have to go through my website, which is shayla darty.com. Obviously, helpful connecting with that. But my podcast, Move Your Body Differently, is where I get to speak more of the theological side of things and truth and have guests on and that talk about health and fitness from a faith-based perspective and just really meet new friends like you, Stephanie, like through podcasting and getting to introduce that to my community and my people. And so those are the biggest places, podcast, website, Instagram, and the
Awesome. All right. Well, like I said, all of those links will be in the show notes. So Shaela, thank you so much for being on today. This has been so much fun.
Yes, thank you so much for having me.
Simply put, I’m a graphic designer that specializes in brand identity design and Showit website design - arguably the most important aspects of your business! I live in central Alabama with my high school band directing hubby, Thomas, on our modest homestead in the country.