Alex and Avril are a husband and wife team and founders of Diamond Body Image and creators of The Get Started Losing Weight Program. They quit their 6 figure corporate jobs to pursue their passion in helping women lose weight realistically and improve their health to live the successful happy life that they desire.
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(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
[01:01] – Avril is a mom to 2 children, wife to Alex, and they have their own podcast
[01:16] – She and her husband are both fortunate to have left their corporate jobs and do something they’re passionate about
[01:40] – Her area of expertise is helping women lose weight and keep it off for life
[03:05] – Share something we don’t know about your area of expertise that as Entrepreneurs, we probably should: It’s your eating habits that you have to change
[03:53] – Avril’s changed belief is what impacted her weight loss journey the most
[03:58] – She didn’t believe in herself growing up
[04:20] – Take the time to invest 15-20 minutes to think or journal in the morning
[05:00] – Worst Entrepreneurial Moment: When Avril left her job, she tried different things. She decided she needed to have a business coach, but it turned out her coach wasn’t really a ‘coach’. She went through an 8-week class for $600 and also got a $2500 one-on-one coaching session that she didn’t get anything out of. To get started on the weight loss program, they hired a videographer, but he disappeared with all of Avril’s videos. She and her husband had to threaten the guy saying they’d expose him on Facebook. They met up with the guy in a cafe on the bad side of town to transfer the files.
[07:05] – “Life is different as an entrepreneur”
[08:03] – Have a screening process in place before hiring
[09:10] – Entrepreneurial AH-HA Moment: While driving to Indianapolis for a meeting, Avril suddenly could not breathe. She got out of the car and questioned what was happening. A couple of days past and it happened again. She knew she had to do something about it. When she got home one day, she looked back at her weight loss journey and it hit her – she could actually help people and she could leave her job
[11:19] – The brown meal prep
- Portion out your food; control your snacks using sandwich bags
[13:58] – What is the one thing you are most FIRED up about today? “I’m really excited about the gain that our program has had for the last couple of weeks”
[18:04] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur? – “The fear of the unknown”
- What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Stop doubting yourself and just try it”
- What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success? – “Every morning: my mindset work, my prayer for 5 minutes, and my workouts”
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation – Text Panther
- If you could recommend one book to our listeners, what would it be and why? – As A Man Thinketh – “your circumstances are created by what you think”
[19:58] – Believe in yourself
Avril Baxter: I am blazing!
John Lee Dumas: Yes! Avril is an expert in helping women lose weight and keep it off for good. From her own personal 100-pound weight-loss journey, she developed a program that focuses on a simple and realistic approach that simply works.
Avril, take a minute, fill in some gaps from that intro, and give us a little glimpse of your personal life.
Avril Baxter: Well, you did a very good job there, so obviously that says pretty much everything that I do. But I am a mom to two children. I’m also a wife to Alex, and we have our own podcast, so you can hear some of our humor and how we just make everything fun about our life. We really enjoy what we do, and we were fortunate enough to both – both me and my husband – leave our corporate jobs where we made over six figures and be able to do something that we feel passionate about.
John Lee Dumas: And what’s the name of that podcast?
Avril Baxter: Diamond Body Image.
John Lee Dumas: Diamond Body Image. Check it out, Fire Nation. Now, what I want to talk about before we dive into your journey, Avril, is what you consider, today, your area of expertise. What is that? What do you specialize in?
Avril Baxter: Well, I definitely work closely with women in helping them lose weight, not just another diet, but lose it for life, because that’s really the most important thing. My expertise came in, like I said, from my own personal 100-pound weight-loss journey. It was just so hard, and I spent so much money and wasted so much time on these fad things, these fix-it quick, and then, the problem is they never help you change your habits.
And so, therefore, that’s what I’ve been able to do is really know where to focus at and help these women learn that it’s not just about what you eat or how much you exercise. It’s really about your mindset, and that you believe that you can do it, and changing the habits, and the right habits to change.
John Lee Dumas: Yeah, I have this habit of eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s right before I go to bed at night. Is that a good thing?
Avril Baxter: No, that’s a really bad thing.
John Lee Dumas: But it’s so good. I look forward to it all day long.
Avril Baxter: What’s your favorite flavor?
John Lee Dumas: Oh, my god, I could go on and on about this. Cherry Garcia was always my go-to, but right now, I’m doing the Coconut Caramel Core.
Avril Baxter: That sounds good. I just don’t buy the stuff because then I’ll eat it.
John Lee Dumas: I’m the same way. I actually have to make a special trip to the store, so it’s a treat for me every now and then, probably twice a month, but that’s still two times too many.
But, Avril, what don’t we know about losing weight for life, about keeping it off, that, as entrepreneurs, we probably should?
Avril Baxter: Well, and not just entrepreneurs but everybody, but especially entrepreneurs, it is about the habit-changing things. Just like I have to have the discipline to write a blog, or edit my podcast, or record the podcast, or anything like that, it is something that you have to learn how to do that’s realistic in your life. If you focus on something that is not realistic in your life whatsoever, you’re never gonna stick to it because it’s not gonna be easy. It has to be in your life doable.
John Lee Dumas: I like concrete examples, so reach back. This could be a personal example. This could be maybe one of your clients. But what’s a specific habit that you or one of your clients changed in their life, or in your life, that just made a profound impact on their weight-loss goals?
Avril Baxter: The belief, the belief in myself. I will share my own personal story. I never believed. I was never raised with this whole mindset kind of thing, or the believe in yourself, and meditate, and work on your own personal values. I was never raised that way, so I never did it. And when I heard people talk about this, I thought they were crazy. Meditation? What?
And so, that is one habit that anybody can change, the belief in yourself, and just taking the time to invest 15 or 20 minutes to just think in the morning or journal in the morning, and that is one habit that is going to, obviously, grow you because visualization is so much.
John Lee Dumas: Avril, you have quite the journey. 100 pounds later, I’m seeing on your Skype image right now what you were and what you are now. It is literally night and day. So, you’ve had the ups. You’ve had the downs. You’ve been on those yoyo diets. You’ve been on the yoyo rollercoaster of being an entrepreneur as well. What is your worst entrepreneurial moment to date? Take us to that moment, Avril. Tell us that story.
Avril Baxter: So, I listen to a lot of your podcasts, and I’ve never heard anything like this. So, this is a story that really still makes me really upset.
John Lee Dumas: Cool.
Avril Baxter: I left my Corporate America job first, and I started getting on some different things and different journeys and all of this stuff, and finally, I decided I needed a business coach. And I hired a business coach that didn’t really turn out to be a business coach. I went through a eight-week class or something. I think it was $600.00. And then, that was pretty good. Then, I decided to hire her one on one, and I ended up spending $2,500.00 on her. I got nothing out of it.
On top of that, when I went to film the program that I developed, the Get Started Losing Weight program, we had a videographer come over to our home and film, and he just ended up disappearing with all of my videos. He was editing them. I didn’t have anything. It ended up, to get them back, my husband and I had to stake him out, threaten him to expose him on Facebook, and we ended up sitting at a restaurant at 9:00 at night with a gun in my purse because he lived in such a bad part of town, and he had these big guys with him, his artists, like rappers. And he had to transfer them over onto my hard drive. That was my worst entrepreneurial moment.
John Lee Dumas: Wow! Fire Nation, that’s pretty intense, but again, sometimes we don’t even know how we get to these certain places in our lives. We kind of look around, and we’re like, “How am I in this restaurant? Why is there a gun in my purse? Why am I having to do this right now? How did I get here?” and it’s just these small little tiny decisions, these small little bad tiny decisions that can add up to a huge looming disaster.
Now, Avril, that’s kind of my big takeaway from your worst moment, but what do you wanna make sure our listeners get? What is your big lesson learned from all of this?
Avril Baxter: My big lesson learned is life is different as an entrepreneur. You have to get used to doing things differently than what you did when you worked for Corporate America. And it’s not always easy, just like weight loss is not always easy. Of course, we all know that. But if you’re on the right path, you’re gonna figure it out. You have to just be able to accept the difference, embrace the difference, learn how to do something different, and then you have to make sure that you’re doing it. You have to make sure that you’re just continually doing it.
John Lee Dumas: So, you obviously learned a couple things about hiring the wrong mentor. What’s maybe a piece of advice you can give there for our listeners? Because one thing that I share all the time that I think is the most important thing when hiring a mentor is to hire somebody who is currently where you want to be because that person has got to that place, so they know the journey. Honestly, that doesn’t make them a great mentor, but that’s a good starting place. But there’s obviously some other things that maybe you found out in finding a really bad mentor. What’s something you wanna pass along?
Avril Baxter: I think you just have to have your own screening process because it wasn’t that, too. It’s happened to me with somebody that ran Facebook ads for me. You have to have your own screening process and your own expectations. Have a little checklist or something that exactly you want, and if they don’t fill all those checklists, then don’t hire them because you can waste a lot of money and a lot of time.
John Lee Dumas: And you can’t get that back, Fire Nation. You can’t get that back, and that’s one thing that I’ve definitely learned is it’s worth taking the extra day or week or even, if it’s a big enough position, the extra month to hire the right person because the time, energy, money wasted that goes into having the wrong person on your team is astronomical.
So, Avril, let’s talk now about another story in your journey. This one’s gonna be your aha moment, one of the greatest ideas you’ve had to date. Obviously, having the idea to lose 100 pounds was a great one. Now, there’s a lot of difference between having the idea and execution, so you executed on that as well. But what’s one of those ideas that you wanna share with Fire Nation today? And really, Avril, take us to that moment. Tell us that story.
Avril Baxter: My biggest aha moment is just knowing that everyone has the same questions. So, there was a time that I was driving to – we live here in Indiana, so I was driving to downtown Indianapolis, going to a meeting for my Corporate America job, and I literally could not breathe. My vision started getting black, and I couldn’t breathe, and I was like, “Oh, my gosh.” And so, I got out of the car, and I was shaky, and I’m, “What just happened to me?”
Well, this happened to me again a couple days later, and I was seriously having an anxiety attack, and I knew that I had to do something about it. I hated going in to work. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to actually make a difference, and I didn’t feel like I was making a difference at all.
So, when I got home, I thought about this, and I looked back at my weight-loss journey, and I went downstairs, and I looked at all of my DVDs that I have, my workout DVDs that I used to do and still sometimes do, and it hit me that I can actually help people and also leave my job because there are no beginner weight-loss programs. If you look at it, there’s a P90X, there’s all of these Beachbody things, these Jillian Michaels. And I looked back to my journey, and the very first one that I did was a Jillian Michaels DVD, and I was so intimidated I actually shut it off halfway in between because I couldn’t do what she wanted me to do.
John Lee Dumas: I’m intimidated by that. Holy crap, she’s intense.
Avril Baxter: Exactly. And so, that’s when it hit me. Hello, Avril, you need to do this. You need to come up with a way to incorporate – we call it the three E’s of weight loss – exercise, eating, and the emotions or the motivation part, and you need to put them into a beginner state. And so, that’s when we developed the Get Started Losing Weight program.
John Lee Dumas: So, besides the obvious, because we all know the obvious, like drink more water, don’t eat as much sugar, just whatever it might be, what are a couple eating tactics that really worked for you and that you’re finding work for other women? And again, not the obvious, Avril. Dig a little deeper here.
Avril Baxter: I find the tips and tricks that I do are around meal prep. It is so easy to grab a bag of chips or grab a whole thing of something out of the refrigerator. We’ll use your Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. And you just lose track of how much you’re eating because you’ve got this whole bag.
John Lee Dumas: Yeah, I never have any ice cream left over when I open up that pint.
Avril Baxter: That’s really bad.
John Lee Dumas: It’s gone. It’s gone by the end.
Avril Baxter: As long as you’re not doing it every day. But if you take the bag, and you buy the little sandwich baggies, and you just pre-portion control your snacks. Put them inside of a box or something that you can’t see through because if they’re out of sight, they’re out of mind. And put them in the pantry. They’re right there for you, ready to go. No guessing.
John Lee Dumas: Something that I read – I can’t remember what the book was, but it was definitely a book on exercise, nutrition, health, and wellness. Maybe it’ll come to me. But something that really stuck out to me was that this guy was telling a story about how he went home. He was in his mid-50s or whatever. And so, he went home to visit his parents, and he hadn’t been there in a while.
And his mother’s taking out dinner plates to set the table and stuff, and he looks at those dinner plates, and he’s like, “Mom, why are you putting out salad plates, these little small plates for dinner? Why is this? Where are your real plates?” She’s like, “Honey, these are and always have been our dinner plates since you were a kid.” And he looked at these things, and he was like, “Oh, my god, where have we gone, to where now everything is like this massive saucer of a plate, this ginormous bowl? Of course our portion control is out of control. Of course we’re overeating.” Because we’re putting a regular amount on a plate that’s a massive plate, and we’re like, “That looks like nothing.”
And so, it was just so fascinating to see how over the top we are now as a society, where back in the ‘50s and ‘60s, they weren’t perfect back then by any stretch – smoking, etc. – but they had these plates that were normal-sized plates, which to us now seem like salad plates. Where have we come?
So, think about that, Fire Nation. Portion control, make it happen. I love that actual piece of content you gave, Avril, about not being see-through because that just really hit me. I’m like, “Oh, when I open up the fridge and I can see through the clear plastic, like the food, it makes me just want it right away,” but if I didn’t, and I was just going in there to grab a soda – not a soda because, of course, that’s horrible, but like a club soda or something along those lines – and I didn’t see that food, maybe I’m not actually gonna be going for that food or be triggered by that food.
Now, Avril, you have a lot of things to be excited about right now, but what would you say, today, is the one thing you’re most fired up about?
Avril Baxter: Well, I’m really excited about the gain that our program has had over the last couple weeks, and the one thing that everybody has said is, “Wow, thank you.” I’m just so excited about hearing all the thank-you’s that I’m gonna get. They basically tell me like, “I never realized how different my entire life would be,” because when they make the decision to get healthy, lose the extra weight, even if it’s just five or ten pounds, their whole life ends up changing. Their confidence level goes up, which allows them to maybe do something at work, or ask for a raise, or have the confidence to maybe go out, meet people, whatever it might be. It’s just the thank-you’s.
And we actually, now, have teamed up with The Cure Cancer Foundation, and it’s called One 4 One, and I’m really excited about taking it to a bigger purpose because for every pound that somebody loses on the Get Started Losing Weight Program, we actually donate $1.00 to The Cure Cancer Foundation.
John Lee Dumas: Fire Nation, what I love about what we’re sharing here is this is relevant for health, for nutrition, for fitness, but also for entrepreneurship in general and just overall because it’s that momentum. If you look in the mirror one day and you’re like, “Oh, wow, I’m looking a little bit better,” or if you go outside and somebody gives you a quick comment like, “Hey, JLD, dropping a couple LBs?” and I’m like, “Yeah,” taking that momentum. And then, maybe you say, “You know what? Maybe it’s time for me to go buy a new shirt because I’m feeling good. I wanna look good,” and that new shirt leads to that new confidence, leads you to that new job or the new opportunity or whatever it might be.
It’s a snowball, and it starts simple, Fire Nation, and it starts with one. Now, Fire Nation, we have some more value bombs that are gonna be dropped in the Lightning Rounds when we get back from thanking our sponsors.
Avril, are you prepared to rock the Lightning Rounds?
Avril Baxter: I absolutely am.
John Lee Dumas: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Avril Baxter: The fear of the unknown, maybe not believing in myself as much as what I should have been.
John Lee Dumas: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Avril Baxter: Stop doubting yourself and just try it.
John Lee Dumas: What is a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Avril Baxter: Every morning, my mindset work, my prayer for five minutes, ten minutes, and then my workouts.
John Lee Dumas: What are your workouts?
Avril Baxter: Oh, it changes – cardio, strength – but my best ideas and clarity always comes in a workout.
John Lee Dumas: How many minutes, typically, would you say you average for those workouts?
Avril Baxter: I usually do 45 minutes to 60 minutes every day.
John Lee Dumas: Cool. Recommend one Internet resource.
Avril Baxter: Actually, mine is an app for your phone. It’s called Text Panther. Basically, it allows you to schedule messages, like text messages, to be sent out. And so, I’m gonna give away a little secret here. In my Facebook group that I have, I allow people to sign up for text message motivation, just, “Hey, you can do this,” just something positive a couple times a week, and I use Text Panther because it allows you to send group text messages out to 5 or 500 people, and it looks like it only just came to them.
John Lee Dumas: That’s awesome, Text Panther. Recommend one book and share why.
Avril Baxter: As a Man Thinketh, and that’s by James Allen. And it’s basically about your circumstances are created by what you think about, and they’re not just there. It’s all about what you think about, and if you want something, you’re gonna think about it, think positive, and things are gonna change.
John Lee Dumas: Avril, let’s end today on fire with you first giving us a parting piece of guidance. Then, we’ll connect with you, and give us the best way to do that, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Avril Baxter: Well, the parting piece of guidance is you have to believe in yourself because if you don’t believe in your weight-loss journey or your entrepreneur journey or your business – anything in your life, really – it’s not gonna happen, and you have to positively think. It’s not just think about all the negatives. You have to positively think, believe that you can do it, and then take action.
And then, where to find me, you can find me over at DiamondBodyImage.com, and our podcast is Diamond Body Image, and we come out every Friday.
John Lee Dumas: Fire Nation, you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with AB and JLD today. So, keep up the heat and head over to EOFire.com. Just type “Avril” – that’s A-V-R-I-L – in the search bar, and her Show Notes page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about today. These are the best show notes in the biz – timestamps, links galore. And of course, head directly over to DiamondBodyImage.com to check out Avril’s website, and also go over to Diamond Body Image in iTunes or your favorite podcast directory because she’s got a podcast rocking that comes out every Friday.
Avril, thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute, and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
Avril Baxter: Hey, John, I totally forgot. I created something for Fire Nation because I want to help everybody feel the best and have the energy to continue on that entrepreneur journey, and if they go over to DiamondBodyImage.com/Fire, there is a 15-minute free weight-loss consultation call with me. The link’s all in there. They can call, ask any questions that they want, and maybe we can even get them started on a plan to lose the first pound.
John Lee Dumas: Free 15-minute call, Fire Nation. Those don’t come cheaply, so take advantage of it. If you have 1 or 100 LBs to lose, make that call. Make it happen. That’s DiamondBodyImage.com/Fire. Catch you on the flipside, Avril.
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