Satisfaction Factor

#35 - Fitting In & Fat Visibility in Online Business & Beyond with Melanie Knights

May 25, 2022 Naomi Katz & Sadie Simpson
Satisfaction Factor
#35 - Fitting In & Fat Visibility in Online Business & Beyond with Melanie Knights
Show Notes Transcript

This week we’re talking to Melanie Knights, a self-published author, fat positive artist, and host of the Entrepreneurial Outlaws Podcast. She supports creative entrepreneurs in building successful, fulfilling, soul-aligned and inclusive businesses.

Melanie describes her work as being the entrepreneurial intersection of strategy + spirituality + self-inquiry. She advocates for slow business, one that serves your lifestyle on your own terms, and encourages folks to re-write the usual marketing rules while challenging the status quo of modern entrepreneurship.

We had an amazing conversation with Melanie about business and entrepreneurship, and also about fat visibility & fitting into spaces where we might not typically belong – not just with the size & shapes of our bodies, but also with our personality types, preferences, and values.

Melanie also shares her inspiration and a sneak peak at her brand new sticker collection: Fat Gurl Stickers – stickers and stationery designed to represent diverse bodies eating, walking, sunbathing, playing, and living.

Here's where you can find Melanie:
Website
Instagram
Tik Tok
Pintrest

You can stay up to date on all things Satisfaction Factor by following us on IG @satisfactionfactorpod!

Here's where to find us:
Sadie Simpson: www.sadiesimpson.com or IG @thesadiesimpson
Naomi Katz: www.happyshapes.co or IG @happyshapesnaomi

For this episode's transcript, visit: www.satisfactionfactorpod.com

Naomi Katz:

Welcome to Satisfaction Factor, the podcast where we explore how ditching diet culture makes our whole lives more satisfying. Welcome back to Satisfaction Factor. I'm Naomi Katz, an Intuitive Eating, body image, and self trust coach.

Sadie Simpson:

I'm Sadie Simpson, an anti diet group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and Intuitive Eating counselor. Today on the podcast, we are talking to Melanie Knights. Melanie is a self published author, afat positive artist, and host of the Entrepreneurial Outlaws podcast. She supports creative entrepreneurs to build successful, fulfilling, soul aligned, and inclusive businesses. Melanie describes her work as being the entrepreneurial intersection of strategy, spirituality, and self inquiry. She advocates for slow business- which we love- ones that serve your lifestyle on your own terms, and encourages you to rewrite the usual marketing rules rather than trying to fit yourself into a box. Ever inspired by her deep love for the storytelling found in country, Americana, and folk music, Melanie continues to pave new and exciting paths for businesses while challenging the status quo of modern entrepreneurship. We had a great conversation with Melanie, not just about business and entrepreneurship, but also about fat visibility and fitting in into spaces where we might not typically belong, not just with the size and shape of our bodies, but with our personality types, and our preferences, and our values. And we just had a really, really, really great conversation with Melanie, and I can't wait for y'all to listen to it. I'm excited about this, because Melanie is someone I have known via the Internet since 2016, but we've never gotten to have an actual face to face conversation like this before. And fun fact, Melanie, you are our first international guest ever to appear on this podcast.

Melanie Knights:

Well, I'm very, very happy to be here. And I'm grateful for that title. I will- I will wear the hat.

Sadie Simpson:

Well, thank you for joining us today.

Melanie Knights:

Thank you for having me. I'm so excited to be on here, and to be a part of this conversation as well, because it's so needed.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah, we are really excited to have you here, and to chat with you about all things online business, diet culture, the intersection of how these things can be intertwined, and some of the problems with both of these things. So yeah, I think this is gonna be really fun and much needed conversation.

Melanie Knights:

Yes. I'll try not to talk for too long.

Naomi Katz:

Talk for all the- talk as long as you want. We're so excited to have this conversation because we, on the podcast in the past, have sort of touched on the ways that diet culture and like business marketing, and especially fitness marketing, really overlap so much. And so we're so excited to have you here to elaborate on that for us.

Melanie Knights:

Yes. So much to talk about, so much to dig into. It's so expansive. Unfortunately, it's expansive. I feel like that's- that's a thing. It's unfortunate that there is so much of it prevalent in the online business world.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes. Well, to jump right in, the first thing we like to ask folks is what has been your experience with diet culture? Kind of tell us a little bit about your story- how you got to where you are now.

Melanie Knights:

Yeah. Just going in with the big question. So I was thinking about this, and to be Okay.

Sadie Simpson:

Yep. honest, this started out before I was in double digits. Like my entry into diet culture was like pre pubescent. I was a child. And it's really sad, as a 35 year old, to look back at that. And so, as a child, diet culture wasn't even- I didn't see it as diet culture. It was just my life. It was just an ongoing narrative and conversation in my house, on TV, around me. And from a very young age, I was told in some way that my body wasn't going to be okay. It wasn't so much that it wasn't okay at that point. It was like everything I had to do was going to be preventative. And so that kind of created, I guess, my teen years and into my 20s- probably even into my early 30s- it's only been the last few years that I've really been able to detach from diet culture. I thought that I had detached. I had not. And unfortunately, as I said, it always felt like a lot of the time it was this preventative method, yet everything that I was supposed to be trying to prevent was already happening. And, you know, at a very young age, there were conversations in my house about dieting, there were conversations in my house about weight, and all of the things associated with diet culture, specifically around my body. Then entering into my teens, being in high school, difficult time at the best of times. And that was when it really, for me- I became a little bit more independent, I started to make my own meals- that then shifted the whole thing again, because now I wanted to really fit in, and didn't realize until probably the last couple of years, was never going to fit in, because that's not my personality. I know that both of you aren't very woo. I'm very woo. Very, very woo. And I am an Aquarius through and through. And so for me, fitting in just isn't part of who I am. It's- it's- you know, when everyone else zigs, I'm zagging. Like, that's kind of how I've always been. But I always shut that down, I made it smaller. And for me, diet, culture really has seeped into every area of my life. You know, my career, again, trying to fit in. I think, in its essence, that was probably the biggest restriction on my life, and living my life, was always trying to fit in. And that came from this narrative that I wasn't okay as I was, that I needed to be different, but I needed to be the same. I needed to be not what I was. And it's no coincidence- I know we're going to talk about business, or online business, as well- but it's no coincidence to me that when I left some incredibly toxic online business coaching situations, that was when I actually started to detach from diet culture as well. But those two things were feeding off of each other at the same time, for a good few years. And so my experience has been really shrouded in numbers. And it's always about maths. Like, that's the thing I still can't get over now, it was always about maths. It was never about like- I just didn't have basic understanding of knowing to trust myself. And that, again, that- that in itself bled into all the other areas of my life. And I think when I started a business, because I was doing something I was really passionate about, but I still felt like I needed to fit in, and I still felt like I needed to make myself feel smaller, I didn't see people in fat bodies, like myself, running businesses and talking about it in that way, it felt like it was this mystery, and I didn't know where to go. And so, as I said, when I left some really toxic business coaching situations- didn't know they were toxic at the time- left those, and really found myself. I know, it sounds such a cliche, but I really figured out who I wanted to be as a business owner, and also who I wanted to be as a human being. And a lot changed in a very short space of time. And that is- has been my experience in the last few years of really starting to detach from diet culture and shift away from my body being the most important thing in my life. Because for as long as I can remember it always has been.

Naomi Katz:

Wow, that is so powerful. And I love the

Sadie Simpson:

It's interesting hearing references about leaving language you keep using about fitting in. Because I feel like- especially when we're talking in the context of diet culture- some toxic online business programs and situations and that has multiple meanings, when we're talking about how do our body sizes fit, in addition to how do we fit in personality-wise? So yeah, that's really powerful. Thank things like that. And I know Naomi and I have shared some you for sharing that with us. common experiences, and you and I have shared some common experiences, in some of these circles of online business and that sort of thing. It's interesting to see how things have evolved. Like I know, for me personally, over the last five or six years, I've witnessed your business and life evolution over the last couple of years. Was there a turning point in your experience in online business that kind of was a lightbulb moment, or a, oh crap, this is does not feel aligned for me, or something like that?

Melanie Knights:

Yes, there was. When I started my online business, I didn't trust myself. I didn't think I had a clue what I was doing. And maybe to a certain degree, that was right. I didn't know, and I did learn a lot of like the very basic information. But what I didn't realize until I left was that I'd actually outgrown a lot of that very quickly. But it was- it was a cult, and it was very toxic. And the idea was to just keep on throwing money into these people, and stay there for as long as you could, because you can't do it on your own. And that was kind of, you know, part of that narrative that I couldn't trust myself, I didn't know what was right for me, I didn't know what was good for me, I didn't know what I really wanted. And that was- that was said to me a number of times, as well. It wasn't just a subtle sales page and marketing. It was- I was told, you know, you don't know what you- what you really want. Your people don't really know what they want. I was like, no, they actually told me, this is what they want. And what happened was, I actually fell out with my business coach, at that time. I was accused of something that I did not do, and essentially attacked me in a way that is so against my values and the way I behave. And I realized very quickly that I was not being treated the same way as anyone else in that program. I was the only person at that point had left health and fitness business. So I had moved away from that, and I was not getting the coaching that I was paying for. I was paying a lot of money for that coaching. And I realized at that point, as well, that- you know, it became very petty, very kind of clique-y and high school-y. I- you know, my comment wouldn't get any responses, I wouldn't get any likes in the group situation. You know, I was basically being ignored and like outed, and I couldn't afford to carry on. Like that was- that was the biggest thing, was I could not afford to carry on coaching. I was terrified, though, because I didn't know that I could do it on my own, because I hadn't done it on my own. And then the next year- I left at the end of 2018, and the next year, I suddenly realized that there were all these different ways of doing things. There were all these people doing things and doing business in all these different ways. And it was like- the way I describe it is I was in this business coaching bubble. And it was like, just these circles of indoctrination, where everyone was kind of working together, and everyone- you know, come and meet my best friend over here, they've got this great program that you need, meet my best- and it just went around in circles. When I left, and couldn't physically afford to invest in any of these best friends, I had to completely strip my business back, you know, back to basics- probably something I hadn't even done in the early days, because I couldn't spend that money anymore. And my business grew. And I figured out what I wanted to do. And I ended up, you know, moving into this new way of delivering my work, and I moved into a service based business- so I was doing- delivering marketing services at that point. And it had never even occurred to me that I could do that. It just was like- it was like seeing the light. It was like this moment of clarity. But it was- you know, previous to that, it had been three years of just going through these- these circles, and- you know, not investing money, that a lot of times I was just spending money, because I was being told there was a problem, because my business wasn't where it's supposed to be. I'm using air quotes. You can see me. You know, I wasn't successful on their terms. But I didn't even know what I wanted success to be like for myself.

Naomi Katz:

Oh my god, the parallels to diet culture in that are just like, so, so strong. And I have to ask, like, in some ways, do you feel like your experience in diet culture almost groomed you for having that experience in the online business space- like you were- it's almost like it prepares you to accept that same treatment in the- in business coaching?

Melanie Knights:

Absolutely. Because from a young age, if I'm being told that I can't trust my own thoughts- I'm a big ideas person. I- you know, my parents used to be like, she's full of ideas. And you know, I couldn't necessarily make them all happen. Well, then I became an adult, and I was like, okay, now I can actually make a lot of these things happen. You know, realistically, but what do I want to do? And how do I want to run a business? And being told that I can't trust my ideas, and I can't trust the things I want to do, when I'm being shown marketing in the online business world, when I was being shown these people who fitted in, who looked the part- you know, it didn't matter that actually it was all fake, and it was all smoke and mirrors- but at the time, I'm seeing these people promising me these things that I'm supposed to want. And I think that's the other thing. When I first started, I was working with people whose lifestyles were very different to mine. You know, I was I felt like I was completely numb to that and oblivious to the fact that actually I live in a different country, and I have a different lifestyle, and different- different experiences and different responsibilities. And it was like I was chasing what they had, even though that was never going to be what I could have- actually, it wasn't what I wanted or needed. But I didn't know that, because that was the the promise, that- because everywhere I looked, it was the same messaging. And I think at that time, it really was at some of its worst. I think those first couple of years, it was really bad. Now we're starting to see more and more people challenging that. But seeing the constant conversation of fitting in, and being with, you know, quote, like minded people, and, you know, in these safe spaces, which are not safe at all, and these environments that people have built, and they- and realizing now, that 90% of the time they're just slapping up words they think you want to hear, or that they've been told work. They don't believe in it, they don't actually build those spaces, they're not available for those spaces. And unfortunately, that led me into this place where I was creating the same thing. I was just regurgitating the same thing. And that's where we've ended up in the online business space is coaches coaching coaches, to coach coaches, to coach coaches, and they're all just regurgitating the same thing. Rather than being those nuances, actually, we all have.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh my gosh. Well, first and foremost, I have to give a quick disclaimer. I don't know if y'all can hear my cat screaming outside the door. But if you can, that's just going to appear on the podcast, I guess. But, gosh, yes, it's just really interesting, like the words that I hear coming out of your mouth, these parallels, the indoctrination, and that there's only one way of doing things, and that we're all constantly chasing what other people are doing, but it may or may not be aligned with our values, and our lifestyle. And just how, in the online business space, it's just a big echo chamber of people saying the same crap over and over and over again. And that is the same within diet culture, the same messaging being spoken over and over and over again. It's just really interesting, some of the overlap that is like coming out here already. So we've talked a little bit about your kind of personal experience, and then how that's kind of woven into your experience with diet culture and with online business. Can you talk to us a little bit about some experiences maybe you have had in regards to things like weight stigma, or anti fat bias, fatphobia, specifically within the online business space, and how that's impacted you and your business?

Melanie Knights:

So I don't think I mentioned this earlier, but I started in- as you know, Sadie- I started in the health and fitness industry. And I had- my first iteration of my online business was in health and fitness coaching. And at the time, I was also working in person in a gym, and I was always, you know, labeled as the plus size coach, which I didn't like, because I wanted to fit in, and I wanted to be just like everybody else. And I was like, you know, yes, I know that this potentially helps me like, quote, stand out, but I also am in this somewhat toxic environment, where it's all about my body, and how I look, and I just want to be able to do my job, which I did very well. And I felt- I definitely felt that impact working in a gym. People would ignore me, people would assume that I was the receptionist, people would be like, you know, I want to work with a trainer. Yes, I am the trainer. There was a lot of people coming to my classes, and you know, they would perhaps assume that I was going to be like, really, I think gentle, and like, not going to, you know, perform a workout that was going to maybe help them build muscle, or whatever it might be in that- that specific class. I felt like I had to prove myself a lot of the time in that environment. I would always make sure people left feeling like, oh, no, she can do her job. And in the online space, I think for a certain time I was fairly- I guess- I don't wanna say lucky- but fortunate that I didn't experience too much hate, I would say, because I know that that is so common. I did have people, you know, take my Instagram photos and like then say horrible things about me once or twice. But for the most part, when- interestingly, when I was in that industry, for the most part, I kind of avoided it. But at the same time, I know that it's because I made myself smaller in terms of how I put myself out into the world. You know, not necessarily physically, but more how I would speak, and the things that I believed in, the values that I had- have- and the things that I would stand up for. And that kind of made me stay in this- my own like kind of comfort zone. And I mean, I love a comfort zone. But at the same time, it didn't allow me to really express myself as a person. And what started to happen is, as I left the business coaching drama behind me, and I moved into this kind of new phase of my business, really figuring out who I wanted to be, I started to notice how much of my day to day and how much of my energy was still being consumed by my body and what I looked like. I noticed that I would only share certain images, and share certain photos, and the way I would position myself on my social media channels. And the more that I separated myself from diet culture, and also this kind of toxic business coaching culture, even little things like looking for stock images to use in my business- I couldn't find people that looked like me. I couldn't people- find people that even really remotely looked like me. And if I started to search for different terms in stock image websites, we're always being used as the before photo, we're always looking really sad, you know, eating food, and it's- we're looking miserable. And we aren't ever- and by we, I'm saying fat people- are never being put out in images, we're not being marketed, we're not being shown as happy, as successful, as living our lives. And for me, that became more and more obvious. And a friend of mine sent me a podcast episode many years ago, and it was a whole entire episode talking- well, it started off talking about Lindy West. And she was the first person I'd ever heard talk about looking for fat bodies in art, looking for fat bodies in marketing, in images. And the way she talked about it and shared that, you know, when you start to see yourself in art, in imagery, in photos, you see yourself, or a body that's like yours, you start to look at yourself differently. And I was like, okay, let's try that. And eventually- it took me a while- but eventually, I started to find, you know, these- these images, and people, and other, you know, entrepreneurs, and influencers, and people who were actively speaking from that perspective. I'm fat. And I'm also happy, successful, a parent, a wife, a business owner, living my life, you know, whatever it might be. It wasn't like everything was about how to change themselves, or to make themselves small. It was all about building other people and themselves up, and talking about what they were doing, and not what they couldn't do, or not what they would do one day when. And that was a huge shift for me. And I don't think I truly noticed how impactful that was in the beginning, until it started to become for me my norm. You know, I would open up my social media channel, and it was normal for me to see another fat person traveling, a fat person wearing a bikini, moving their body because the only transaction is actually joy, and love. And that really helped me start to heal from this stigma. Because I had been treated differently my entire life, even when I didn't really understand why. It was the reason I was bullied in primary school. It was the reason I was bullied in high school. And then as I got older, it was the comments. You know, it was the comments from strangers when I was running. It was comments from people at the gym. It was comments in my career. It was being treated differently by business coaches, because I wasn't- you know, being told that I wasn't going to be successful until I quote sorted my health out. Like that's not within anybody's- nobody should be saying that, full stop. It's nobody's business. But certainly to be told that in a setting where you're, A, trusting a person, and also investing a huge amount of money. And it just continued to feed into this idea that whatever was wrong with my business and life was because of my size. And no, and as I said, once I started to- I started to create this kind of safety, this environment where I felt seen and safe. And I created that for myself. And it's now my norm. And it's amazing to be able to feel that way.

Naomi Katz:

I just love that so much. And it's- it's so interesting. So I think- I feel like, within the business space, we hear a lot about like visibility, and how important it is to be visible in the business space, and stuff like that. But there's not a lot of nuance to talking about for some people, visibility is very different. Where it's a much more loaded thing, being visible. And maybe you can be visible physically, but you have to keep your opinions to yourself about certain things so that you're acceptably visible. And how important visibility is to our acceptance of ourselves, and our understanding that we're not alone, and all of that. And so, yeah, I feel like when we talk about visibility in the business space, like this is actually a much bigger conversation than a lot of business coaches make it out to be.

Melanie Knights:

Yeah, and I think half the time- I mean, probably not- I don't have- that's not an exact number, probably more than that- I think a lot of the time, what they don't realize is that visibility is a privilege. Like it's not- it's not even just- you know, not even just for fat people, but for so many people, being visible, and being, quote, authentic is not safe. And it is a privilege.

Naomi Katz:

Yeah.

Melanie Knights:

And for so many people- fat creators and marginalized folks who I see creating and building their own businesses- the amount they have to go through- you know, they have a video that goes viral, for example, and reaches people who really need it, but at the same time, they're gonna get 1000s of people saying really hurtful things. And that scares me a lot. And that's one of the reasons why I've been so reluctant to be more visible, because I don't want that to happen. But I'm now at this point in my business where I'm like, okay, let's- you know, let's just really lean into this, and keep challenging it, and doing it in these kinds of- in these steps, and seeing. And if I don't like it, then I can always change it. But I'm- I don't know, I feel very powerful now, in a way where I'm- like, I'm not going to stay quiet. Because there are other people who I know need to hear this or need to also feel affirmed within this space. It's not just about me. And if I have the ability, and I have the privilege to be able to do that, I'm willing to do that, and see

Naomi Katz:

The conversation that I actually feel like I have where it goes with clients pretty regularly about how, when they start doing this work of like divesting from diet culture, they go through this period where they're in this- like, there's this dichotomy inside of them, where they want to be seen, and they're also afraid to be seen. And I feel like, you know, what you were talking about, how you've created a space where you feel safe and seen, is what people are really looking for. And so I think it's just so beautiful that you've gotten to a place where you feel safe enough to be seen, and now you're helping other people find that safe seen place.

Melanie Knights:

Yeah, I think- I think a lot of the time, I feel safe, and I want to be seen by the people who want to see me. You know, I don't need to be- I have no interest in being seen by millions of people on Tik Tok. Like, that's not- you know, that's not of interest to me. I want to be seen- you know, I'm somebody who likes to work in smaller communities, and I've kind of accepted that about myself. I've seen that now as that's my strength. That's fine. That's where I'm at. But I also am not willing to hide from the fact, you know, this is my body. And I'm not willing to hide who I am. Because I always think to myself, you know, if you saw me at an airport- well, probably not an airport the moment- but if you saw me in public at some point in the future, I don't want people to be like, oh. And even if- I want to just be able to be who I am. Because I'm the one living this life, and I'm the one like living in my body, and I shouldn't have to hide that. I shouldn't have to deny myself those experiences.

Sadie Simpson:

So can you tell us a little bit about the evolution of your business? I know we talked a little bit about you started off in the health and fitness coaching, and you've dabbled into some different areas of business. Tell us what you're doing now, and what is on the horizon for Melanie Knights.

Melanie Knights:

It's definitely been a journey. Yes, I started out in the health and fitness space in 2016. And I don't exactly know what happened. I just was like, you know what, I'm done, I've had a good run, I now need to move away. And for- for a number of years, I kind of- I think I was just going in circles, not really knowing what I wanted to do, or not really knowing what my strengths were, or like which pieces to pull on. And the last couple of years, my business has, again, evolved and continued to evolve. But more recently, last year, I published- I self published my first book. It's a journal that goes alongside my podcast, Entrepreneurial Outlaws. And this journal was a kind of a combination of everything that I wanted to basically give a middle finger to in the online business space. And it is a way of advocating for ethical marketing, and a way of advocating for the people who want to do business on their terms. But it's a journal, so it's designed to be a business journal. And that was my first kind of creative project as an entrepreneur. And, yeah, I looked back, I was like, this is the most fun I've had in my entire experience of being a business owner. And I published three books last year- two journals, a lunar journal, and the outlaw journal, and then I also published a planner at the end of last year. And just, as I was going through this creative process, and allowing myself to kind of recover from burnout, recover-ish from the pandemic, and allow myself to continue listening to my intuition, and continue finding who I am as a business owner, I started to rekindle a lot of the things that I had left behind in high school. So I'm very creative, but I'd kind of left all that behind me, because, you know, you get told- or I got told at least- that that would never make me any money. And I always felt like I wasn't good enough as an artist. And I kind of found this place where I both became an artist, in the sense of labeling myself- I mean, I just told myself, you know, you're an artist. But at the same time, I found where my strengths were. And I started to share more of my artwork. And people started to like, oh, that's- I didn't know you could do that. And it was just a conversation that started to happen in the online space with people who were already kind of engaging with my work. And it seems like a very natural extension from my books and my planners. And so this month, at the time of recording this in May, I'm launching a shop. My business is changing. It's always been- my website's always been focused on coaching and services, and we're now moving into this kind of e-commerce space. And the most exciting part about all of this is that I am launching a sticker collection called the Fat Girl Sticker Collection. Because, for anyone listening who doesn't know, there are these stickers in the- in- in the online space, there are these stickers, they get used a lot in journaling spaces, and they're of girls, women, but they all look the same, and they're all the same size. And I was like, you know, I love these stickers, but they're just not really speaking to me. They're not- again, I'm not seeing myself in this artwork. I'm not seeing myself in these spaces. And I started to draw some like fat anime, and just draw some fat girls, basically. And my friends were like, I want this as a sticker. And so the Fat Girl Sticker Collection was born. And basically the sticker sheets that we're launching, each one features a fat girl, and then kind of her badass accessories. So we have like fat girls travel too, making myself a priority. I create a witchy one- she's a summer solstice witch. And the idea is that these are fat girls in poses that we typically see on straight size folks or thinner bodies. Because as we talked about earlier, if you look for- for example, one of my images is of- it's actually of myself, because I had to draw me, because I couldn't find the image I wanted of a fat person wearing a towel. I was like, well, it's no surprise, because a lot of towels cover like one- I have choose which side of my body I want covered.

Naomi Katz:

Oh yeah.

Melanie Knights:

So I was like in the bathroom taking this photo so that I could actually, you know, reference it and draw this image. And so this is the kind of narrative that I want to create, is that, you know, although we all can have times when we're not happy, the idea is that in this artwork, these fat girls are happy. They're smiling, they're doing all this stuff that people only see thin people doing, that we only see thinner bodies doing. They are going to be in poses that you don't typically see fat people in. You know, there's going to be- there's going to be skin, there's going to be bikinis, ther's going to be- it's a body, and it's- the idea is to challenge that narrative, to show other people who also need to see- you know, people who want to see themselves, or see a body type like theirs in art, because I know how powerful it has been for me. But because I work with a lot of business owners, a lot of my existing communities, it's also for them to be able to share their values through their creative projects, to be able to, if they want to decorate their planner, or a journal- my journal or someone else's- they've got these stickers that are not just fat positive, but they're diverse, they're inclusive. And that is- the goal is to- you know, the collection will grow. At the moment it's focused on my lived experience of being a fat person, but I will be expanding the collection in the future because I want to make sure that we are seeing these- these bodies, and these people, and seeing them in a really positive way. I don't think single handedly I'm going to change the world with stickers. It'd be great if I could. But I think it's just a way of kind of sharing my experience, and being able to welcome people into that- that affirming community. And we have some fun vinyl stickers as well. There's a vinyl sticker of me eating, and it says weight loss is not small talk. So that's like- yeah- like this one's gonna make a statement.

Naomi Katz:

Oh my God, yes. I will be ordering all of your stickers.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes. For sure. And we will be sharing them with the world.

Naomi Katz:

Absolutely.

Melanie Knights:

Thank you.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes, I've seen some of the sneak peeks of what you're doing on your Instagram stories over the last couple of weeks, and I'm excited to see what is yet to come too. So yeah, we will definitely be sure to link to Fat Girl Stickers in the show notes. We'll share about it on our Instagram stories, if you follow us on Instagram. And be sure to follow Melanie on Instagram. Speaking of, how can our listeners find you an social media, Instagram, all the other places?

Melanie Knights:

Yeah, so unfortunately, I'm probably on Instagram the most. My Instagram is @melanie_knights87. I will say, my podcast is also on Instagram, we have a separate feed, and that's @entrepreneurial_outlaws. And I always spell entrepreneurial wrong, as well.

Sadie Simpson:

Oh my gosh, me too.

Melanie Knights:

Yeah, just like the moment I did it, I was like, that was a bad idea.

Naomi Katz:

I'm gonna have to spell this all the time now.

Melanie Knights:

Exactly. I just write EO, that's like how I refer to it. And my new shop, which will be open shortly, hopefully, fingers crossed- you can find it under my name. It's the same name- so it's melanieknights.com. I am on Tik Tok. I don't know how I feel about Tik Tok. But that's also the same handle- @melanie_knights87 for ease. But you can see me having fun with voiceovers over there, and I do share a lot of the sticker videos and things, as well, as I've been kind of designing them. And of course, it's just beginning. So there's more to come.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah. That's awesome.

Naomi Katz:

Melanie, are you still also doing business coaching and things like that?

Melanie Knights:

I'm not doing business coaching any more. Really my focus has been on- I describe myself as a slow business mentor, or somebody that advocates for slow businesses. As my business has evolved into more creative paths, I've wanted to focus my work on- on creating and designing. So a lot of that mentoring comes in the form of the books, journals, planners, things like that. One of the things I will be- I'm saying this now, knowing I have not started this- but we will be starting a Patreon for the podcast in the autumn, and that Patreon is going to have some bonus episodes, and that will be a bit more of that kind of mentoring experience. But it won't be mentoring as such, because I won't be doing any kind of one on one or group coaching, or anything like that. But it will be just a way of being able to be part of a community. And I think that's more of- probably when I talk about mentoring, it's more like, I'll facilitate the community, and I just want to see everyone kind of share their experiences.

Naomi Katz:

That's a cool way to approach that. I like that.

Melanie Knights:

Yeah, it allows me to kind of take a step back.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes, that's awesome. So two final questions to sort of wrap things up. One, I know you are a fan of the Asheville area where we live, when are you coming to visit Asheville?

Melanie Knights:

Well, you know we were supposed- I think I told you- we were supposed to come last Christmas.

Sadie Simpson:

Yeah.

Melanie Knights:

Yeah. Well, that didn't happen. That trip got canceled. I don't know. We keep saying we need to come back because yeah, I did. That was one of the great things about that business coaching experience. I did fall in love with Asheville very deeply, and I really do want to come back.

Sadie Simpson:

Whenever the time comes, let us know.

Melanie Knights:

Obviously.

Sadie Simpson:

We'll plan a meet up and hang out.

Naomi Katz:

Definitely.

Melanie Knights:

Absolutely.

Sadie Simpson:

Yes. Awesome. So we always like to wrap up with asking everyone the same question. So, now it's your turn. What is satisfying for you right now?

Melanie Knights:

Ah, that's a great question. You know, it's interesting because I wrote about this today in my email newsletter, the more I've detached from diet culture, the more I have detached myself from business coaching culture, and kind of found who I am, what I found is that it's allowed me to really welcome in these other areas of my life, like my creativity, and being able to find joy in those things. And I think the things that are satisfying me at the moment, I've noticed this, like, pure joy that I'm getting from walking my son to school. You know, that has been a battle in itself because of that transactional relationship with movement. And I've- you know, I've got to the point where like the transaction is that I get to experience joy on those walk-, like, that's the only transaction I'm here for in that moment. And I'm getting so much joy, and I guess I'm finding it really satisfying to be outside. I'm noticing like all the colors of the flowers, like- I'm like- it takes me like an hour to walk home instead of- you know, so twice as long- because I'm stopping to look at the flowers, and take photos, and experiencing that joy, that I don't think I've really noticed those details previously. And I feel so inspired by a lot of that around me. And live country music, actually, as well. Being able to go to live country music, again, is very satisfying.

Sadie Simpson:

That is awesome. And that honestly really just ties together perfectly. We didn't plan that. But the whole theme of our podcast is how ditching diet culture can make our whole lives more satisfying, and being able to kind of let go of some of the BS from not only diet culture, but some of this toxic online business culture, and to be able to experience life in a way that is enjoyable, and that is more in alignment with what you value, and even tapping in to some creativity that gets covered up by all the BS, all the diet culture, all the hustle culture, all the other stuff- like that's just really beautiful to hear that. So thank you for sharing that

Naomi Katz:

Mm-hmm. Yeah. with us.

Melanie Knights:

Yeah, it's been- it's been very enjoyable. There's no going back off of that. I want to thank you both for having me on. Thank you for letting me be a part of this conversation. I have enjoyed so much listening to your show. And every time I listen, I'm like, oh, yeah, like, I hadn't thought about that. And it's- it's- yeah, it's really, really powerful. And I've been recommending it to everybody. I'm like, I'm going on this podcast, and you need to listen. It's- I just think realizing how much of an impact it has beyond just even just your body and like how you feel about it- like realizing the impact it has on everything is really powerful. And I know you've said this before, but like once you see it, you can't unsee it.

Naomi Katz:

Thank you so much for that. That means so much. And we just- we're so grateful that you were able to come and talk to us about this today. This has just been really great. So that's all for us this week. Be sure to go and follow us over on Instagram @satisfactionfactorpod. And another thing that you can do to support the show and help other people find it is, if you're listening on Apple podcasts or Spotify, you can leave us a rating and a review, and we always really appreciate hearing from you.

Sadie Simpson:

That's all for us this week. We'll see you next time.