Episode 1: Who I am and What I Do

Listen to Episode 1 of the Confidence From The Ground Up Podcast

Oh my goodness, y’all! I’m so excited right now you have no idea.

This is my very first podcast and I am so nervous yet absolutely pumped.

My name is Karleigh Saunders, I’m 26 years old, and I’m a single mom to an almost 6 year old little boy named Axel. We live in the Pacific Northwest in a little town called Mount Vernon, Washington.

I’m a Confidence Coach. What does that actually mean? I help women dig up and become aware of their insecurities and limiting beliefs. I then help them push past them so they can step into their most confident selves.

I am so passionate about women seeing their worth.

I am so passionate about women stepping into their own and realizing just how capable they really are.

I am so passionate about this that my life did a complete 180. I’ve turned my career around so I can help women get there.

Well that’s really cool, Karleigh, but what does that even mean?

I promise I’ll get there, but before I do, I’m going to give you some background into how I got here.

I was very overweight as a kid growing up, and very bullied. This lead me to a very distructive cycle of bingeing, purging, and starving myself. It became an eating disorder that threatened to disrupt my life.

I reached a point where I was eating maybe once a day and working out for 5-8 hours a day.

The gym opened at 5am and I didn’t have to be to school until 7:15 AM. So I’d go to the gym at 5, work out until 6:45, then walk across the street to school. Sometimes I would skip class to workout. I’d even tell my mom I was going to a friend’s house after school and go to the gym until 7 or 8 at night. The rest of the night was spent attempting to finish homework.

At this point, I felt like I had nothing. The only worth I had was in the physical. I had no worth except what men and women saw in men.

I wanted women to look up to me and be someone they wanted to be like. Since I didn’t feel I as good enough, I had no worth.

I wanted men to point to me and say “I want her.” If they didn’t, I wasn’t good enough.

My grades began to slip. I was a straight A student, so this hit me especially hard. Instead of doing the smart thing and spending less time on working out, I assumed that if I was good enough I’d be able to do it all. So I worked out harder and I ate less. It was many sleepless nights, deteriorating grades and my self worth slipped lower and lower.

When I was 17 I met my first real boyfriend. This became the first abusive relationship I walked into. It was physically and mentally abusive. We were together for about 9 months. Turns out he cheated on me near the end of the relationship.

I convinced myself it was because I wasn’t attractive enough, not thin enough, not pretty enough. I dove even deeper into this cycle of depression and self hate.

Fast forward to when I was 18 and a half and met my would be husband. When I was in high school in that unhealthy cycle, I lost about 70 pounds. I kept it off for a little over a year, and I continually lost weight at an unhealthy rate. When I met him, I went in the opposite direction. Within about a year from meeting him, I gained over a hundred pounds.

When you go from one extreme to another, your brain doesn’t know how to handle it. I lost a lot of weight really fast, which my mind was still trying to cope with. On top of that, I had a very broken relationship with food and I ended up bingeing all the time. I hated that I needed food, I hated that I couldn’t stop myself. I continued down this path of self hate.

After a few months of getting married, we got pregnant. The process was really difficult. I have fibromyalgia and arthritis. So physically, it was really hard. But also, my constantly changing body had my mind reeling. I hated how my body was changing, and I couldn’t get it under control.

After I had my son, I realized if it wasn’t for my body I wouldn’t have my son. Even though I was struggling, and even though I wasn’t taking care of myself my body took care of my baby. So clearly my body had some magic left. It gave me a glimpse of hope.

I rode that high for a couple of days, but then it got really hard. My ex wasn’t super involved in the newborn process. I was breastfeeding, hardly sleeping, trying to take care of all of the household stuff. I felt like I wasn’t enough.

If I was more, my son’s dad would try harder. If I was thinner, if I was prettier, if I was more, he would’ve done it. If I was enough, he would’ve done more. Even though I was angry at him, I blamed myself.

Fast forward about 5 years. We split up.

He came home from his friend’s house one day and said we were done.

The next day I was out of the house.

I was so broken. I couldn’t figure out what happened. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out what I did wrong and how I could fix it.

I spent 6 months trying to fix it, which embarrases me to admit.

However, that six months taught me so much.

In that 6 months, I took the entire weight of our failed marriage on my shoulders. I apologized for quite literally everything. I owned all of it. I read the books, I took the courses, I did everything I could to try and fix it.

After that 6 months, I realized something. I realized that there wasn’t anything else for me to apologize for. I even apologized for his part in it and it still wasn’t enough.

I remember sitting on the edge of my bed, in my parents house because I had nowhere else to go, with my son sleeping next to me and I thought,

“You’re done.You’ve apologized for everything and the blame is still on you. So girl, get up off of this bed. Go take a shower. And you’re going to start your new life without him.”

That moment really hit me and it was really hard to accept. It took me about a week to accept it.

When I say accept, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t cry about it. It doesn’t mean it didn’t nag me – that took about a year. But it took a week for me to stop the constant tears.

This started me on a journey I never thought I would take.

I joined a network marketing business and they talked about how important personal development was. Honestly, I didn’t buy it. I fought it for a long time. My teammates and leaders would recommend books but I just rolled my eyes. I thought I didn’t need it – I thought it was just hippie stuff.

But after awhile, I finally got one of the books they talked about. I believe it was You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero. I started to understand why they kept talking about it. I didn’t believe it was necessary, but it felt good. So I kept going on my journey. Slowly but surely I believed in the power of it.

I bought book after book, I shared post after post on Facebook and Instagram.

What’s Mark Zuckerberg gonna do? He’s going to show me all the ads for all the big gurus on Instagram.

After seeing an ad daily for about 2 months for a book by one of the big leaders, I finally caved and bought it just to get the ad to go away.

What I didn’t realize by getting this book, which was High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard, that it would catapult me on this completely new journey.

When the book came, it sat on my desk for about 2 weeks. Finally, I talked myself into reading it, since I spent the money. So about a year ago, I started reading it for the first time. I couldn’t put it down.

What I loved about it, it wasn’t woo woo stuff. I understand there’s a place for that, but I wasn’t open to it at the time. This was all science. Since it was science, I realized I could get behind it.

I started applying that habits that I was learning. I read it multiple times, taking notes.

I got the book to make the ad go away, but what I didn’t realize is that it would lead to me getting even more ads for Brendon and other thought leaders. I ended up hopping onto his email list because he got me. More ads showed up and I kept learning.

This isn’t a negative – I’m so grateful for those ads. I was supposed to read that book, I was supposed to see the ads. How do I know this? Because once I picked up that book, my life did a 180.

I realized I didn’t have to continue living the life of negativity that I had always taught myself. I realized I didn’t have to continue feeling sorry for myself and not making progress. I realized that I could take my life back.

After reading that book, I got myself back in the gym. I had a tumultuous journey with the gym growing up. But I’d always wanted to be a bodybuilder, and I realized I couldn’t do the unhealthy things and reach that goal. That book taught me how to look for a mentor to guide me, which I did. I found a mentor on Instagram and I fell in love.

I got my butt back in the gym and I found myself again. This time, it was for me. Not for anyone else, but for me. That book taught me to step out of my comfort zone and do the thing that I enjoy.

I’m not gonna lie, it was hard for me to be the overweight one in the weight room. It’s really hard being the girl in the weight room. If you haven’t seen me, I have blue hair and an undercut, so I’m always getting attention.

I told myself, “You’re the fat chick with blue hair walking up into the weight room – are you crazy?!”

I 100% believe that I was. Because if I wasn’t crazy, I wouldn’t have done it. I’ve never been so thankful for being crazy.

The more that I got into the gym, the more I dug into they psychology of the gym and Brendon’s High Performance Habits.

Through that, I learned about other speakers, coaches, and psychologists. I started finding so many people, business owners, leaders. I started to learn so much and I finally started applying it.

I got so excited and learned so much that I wanted everyone to know about all of this. I wanted them to see the change in me so they could go after their best selves. So that they would know that it’s possible.

People started getting really annoyed with me. They were like me in the beginning, they weren’t open to it. So I realized this wasn’t working.

After about 6 months, I started to learn about coaching and what they do. I realized with everything that I’ve learned that I could help people.

I started sharing my journey on Instagram and suddenly my DMs were full of women telling me that I had helped them. I saw that if I could help these women, I could help even more. That’s when I made the big decision to start my coaching business.

That’s where Confidence Coaching came into play.

I called it The [Your Name Here] Project.

On Instagram, @theyournamehereproject is where you can find me.

I chose that because my fitness journey is documented on my other Instagram, @thekarleighproject. I did this because I knew that I was a project worth working on, that taking my body back was the main project in my life.

With The [Your Name Here] project, I wanted other women to input their name. I wanted it to be The Judy Project, The Kerri Project, The Gemma Project. I wanted women to see their own name there and see that they were a project worth working on.

That they were a project worth growing, worth making a priority, because I wanted women to realize that if they could see their worth, they could impact the world in whole new ways instead of hiding behind thinking they’re not enough.

That’s why I do what I do. All of that is why I decided I wanted to become a Confidence Coach.

When the idea first popped into my mind, I didn’t think anyone needed it. But the more I shared, the more I saw that women connected with me. The more I shared, the more women said that I had helped. 

If I never would’ve had the confidence to do that, I would’ve never helped all those women. I wouldn’t be here recording this podcast.

Thank you so much for listening and taking time out of your day to listen.

Episode 2 is all about how big of an impact confidence has in your life.

I can’t wait to talk to you again soon.

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