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Listen To Your Body & Heal From Digestive Disease with Stephanie A. Wynn

Stephanie A Wynn, Podcaster, Author, Entrepreneur & Crohn’s Disease Survivor

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In this episode Corinna connects with Stephanie A. Wynn, an author, podcaster, and business coach. Stephanie was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease 3 years ago, and her life was turned upside down as a result. They connect about the importance of listening to your body, especially when you have a food sensitivity or a more extreme condition like celiac disease or Crohn’s disease. You’ll learn what to do when you are diagnosed with a food sensitivity and you’ll hear about the importance of balancing your life while claiming your value as they dive into a discussion about reaching for your dreams and living your best life.

4:00 Dropping weight FAST is not always good — 180 lbs to 112 lbs

8:42 Eating right for your blood type can be a supportive tool

11:00 The power of healthy rituals / habits to reward ourselves and promote health

14:00 Naming the goal: transforming the health of 7 million people

15:20 Stephanie’s podcast, book, and business

20:00 Put your health first (no, it’s not selfish!)

22:15 The Great Resignation – what we can learn from it

25:22 Closing thoughts

Connect with Stephanie A. Wynn:

website: https://stephanieawynn.com/

podcast: https://letstalkbusinesswithstephanie.com/

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Listen To Your Body & Heal From Digestive Disease with Stephanie A. Wynn

Hello, fellow do-gooders and friends. I’m your host, Corinna Bellizzi, a climate and social activist who is passionate about storytelling. My goal with this podcast is to invite you to care a little more so that together we can create a better society. Reverse global warming.

And regenerate earth today. We’re going to talk about healing from your body, healing, your body from the inside out and the basic need for medical advocacy and support. When we encounter physical challenges, we’ll talk about community and the power of emotional support to actually help us connect with ourselves and heal to you.

Have this discussion today, I am joined by Stephanie A. Wynn. Stephanie was personally impacted by Crohn’s disease. She has a very specific impact goal of reaching and supporting 7 million people who are impacted with diseases of the gut. And this isn’t her day job. It’s her passion. So let’s get to know Stephanie, Stephanie, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much Corinna for having me, I am super excited to be here.

I always love interviewing fellow podcasters because you get the setup. we have, um, audio pretty dialed and I, I know the conversation will be great today. So as we get to started, I would just love for you to tell us a little bit about your story when it goes from.

Being diagnosed with something like Crohn’s disease, having to work through and ultimately heal yourself. Yes. To get to a space where you could be healthy.

Yes. Well, definitely. This is just something that like, I, you, you just can’t forget. Right? So I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease about three years ago and.

I didn’t know that I had Crohn’s disease because I thought that every time I would eat something, oh, well maybe, maybe that just doesn’t settle with my stomach. I’m not gonna eat that again. So I started off with like process of eliminating foods. So if it was milk, I would get sick. Like my stomach would cramp really bad, or I would take off to the bathroom.

And so the urgency started to become more and more. Like I could try to drink some water. and before I could even swallow, I’m taking off to the bathroom. So. I knew something was wrong, but more importantly, I, I knew there was definitely an issue when I started to see blood in the toilet. And so what I decided to do was go and get checked out, get diagnosed, went to get a colonoscopy.

And that there is where my life changed. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. I was instructed to stay away from, from anything, with a drive through window. And so I went on this journey of. Healing trying to understand, like, what is Crohn’s disease? And let me tell you. It has been a journey to say the least, but why I’m so passionate about helping individuals, uh, specifically women deal and heal with chronic this issue, because we don’t know when we have Crohn’s disease, it’s a silent condition.

And so, although you may look normal on the outside in internally, body is really, really ly specifically when you’re highly inflamed. And so I had to go through nutritionist. Dieticians. Uh, I had to really learn how to pair my foods because you shouldn’t be eating certain foods with certain foods, some foods cause more inflammation than others.

And so I had to really, really learn what to stay away from. I had to learn that. This journey was bigger than me and although going through it, um, I lost, I went from 180 pounds. Then I got all the way down to 112 pounds and it was really debilitating. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t talk. I stopped TA I mean, I just shut down and I couldn’t drive.

My parents had to literally take care of me. I was laid off of my corporate job. I don’t look at it as a bad thing. I just look at it as like, God was truly saving me. He saved me from that stressful corporate job, because you know, when you go to a job and you literally not mentally, but when you’re physically sick, when you drive up to this job, There’s something wrong.

So my journey started with the diagnosis, but what I did not do, I did not let this diagnosis define who I am. And so my goal is to truly make an impact on women, women who are in underserved communities, who don’t have maybe they, they have insurance, but they don’t have enough to cover their infusions. I know cuz I was there, although I have insurance, but it wasn’t enough.

I still needed 20%. To cover the, the cost of the infusions. And if you don’t have that 20%, the doctors will not allow you to get that infusions. And I think there needs to be a change. I wanna change the narrative on that. I truly am passionate about helping people who are diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, whether it’s Crohn’s disease, whether it’s co light, I’m truly passionate about helping them heal from the inside out.

One for helping them provide them with the money to pay for their medical expenses or, and also provid them with nutritionist where they can teach them how to eat the correct way. Because although some food, the healthy food, it does, no, it’s not gonna taste good. But if you learn how to pair them, your body will thank you later.

So. That’s that’s me in a nutshell, right? Yeah. That’s me in a nutshell.

Well, Stephanie, I mean, I’ve worked for a lifetime in the natural health and supplements industry. Mm-hmm and there are entire companies that have formed on the foundation of supporting people with IBS. But, you know, I think what’s important to note is that, you know, just because a food is healthy doesn’t mean it’s healthy for, for you.

People have all sorts of concerns around specific foods. Mm-hmm and food allergies are incredibly difficult to diagnose mm-hmm the blood tests that they offer are pretty much only to find out if you will have anaphylactic reaction to a food. Yes mm-hmm which doesn’t mean that that food is gonna be good for you.

Like I physically can’t eat broccoli. Broccoli is not a healthy food for me. Yes mm-hmm I can’t eat even quinoa, which I used to love eating. I used to love eating broccoli. I used to love eating quinoa. Those things aggravate my system. My body wants to reject them. Mm-hmm and so I’ve been on my own little journey there.

I also have a four year old who had some digestive issues. And for a while, when he was around two, we had to stop feeding him anything with soy, anything with mango, overly acidic foods. Mm-hmm we took him off milk. We took him off grains just to let everything calm down. Yes. And then reintroduced the foods because for a while there, he started to react to.

Almost every food he ate. Mm-hmm mm-hmm there was blood in the stool. I mean, this is not fun to talk about, but you know, we don’t talk about it enough, which is I think part of the problem, right? Mm-hmm he would go from being Uber constipated and having bowel movements that looked like it came out of an adult man to having really, really runny poop, and just being very uncomfortable, waking up screaming in the middle of the night because his tummy hurt he’s my tummy hurts.

I’m sick. So. We’ve had to address this on a personal level. I don’t know if it’s IBS, neither do doctors, right? Mm-hmm we don’t know if he has other issues. Just mm-hmm cut out the dairy added back grain slowly. He seems okay with those. Now we can give him some soy now, but I’ve not given him any like EDI Mae.

Let’s put it that way. Mm-hmm mm-hmm really just trying to pay attention to what does his body respond well to? And what does it not respond well to? Yes, that’s just something we’re not taught. We’re talking, this is healthy food. You eat this, go ahead and eat that bag of kale chips. It’s good for you, but somebody might not do well with that.

So, yes. And, and I, I definitely can relate to your baby man, cuz I was there. Like I. I, I don’t even eat broccoli, like on my, I got a chart. That’s the one thing that I appreciate from, I thought, oh, I spent all this money on this nutritionist. One thing I learned, I have a chart from my blood type.

I mean, I got really specific about this thing because I needed to know for me, I tried vegan, vegetarian POEO plant based keto, all of these things. I tried them all. Yeah. And I will say that you are right. Your body is different. My body’s different from yours. Yours is different from mine. So what I didn’t understand is that my body needs to be more alkaline to remove this inflammation.

So when your body is more acidic, there’s where the sickness lies. I do it every day. I try it with all my heart to stay a on the Aline side mm-hmm , but you know, and yeah. Do I crave things? Absolutely. , but that’s when I know that, okay, I need to put I’m, I’m lacking something. When you start craving sugar and you start, you know, craving chocolate, which I love and I’m allergic to, but ,

I mean, it just made my tummy grumble. I’m like — mmmm — chocolate.

So I definitely couldn’t relate. And like you said, this is not, this topic is not talked about enough. There’s a lot of people that are suffering in silence because I did for so long. Because of pride. Right. And my mom was like, well, I didn’t know you were this ill.

Yes. You’re like, yes, I’m this ill. Food literally makes me sick.

Yes. And so I couldn’t even stay in the smell of food. That’s how, that’s how bad it had gotten. Like my hormones were all over the place. Now, what I had to do was get really comfortable, like. in my space, eliminate the things that were causing me frustration. So you definitely want to make sure your environment is like calming and peaceful.

So I just pretend every night when I take a bath that I’m at the spa

Well, rituals are important, right? So especially if you have to limit yourself in some way, mm-hmm, like, I will go to a moment in my life. I, I quit smoking after 16 years of being a smoker. And this is not something that I often talk about, but, you know, addiction.

Is mm-hmm , it’s a social problem. Mm-hmm we live in a world where people become addicted to all sorts of things. You can become addicted to nicotine. You can become addicted to sugar, you can become addicted to alcohol. Guess what? Alcohol and sugar addiction are very closely related. Yes. And giving up on these things can be really, really challenging.

Mm-hmm so when I quit smoking, I did something to reward myself. I bought myself this really nice. Metal teapot that had been handmade that I really liked. And I, I started a ritual because I had this. hand mouth fixation. Mm-hmm . That was really, really strong. Still, really, really strong. Okay. from like the years of smoking.

Yes. So I almost always have a cup. And so I had these nice little tea cups. I would make myself in this kind of ritual, some really nice loose leaf tea. And so now it’s like, I’ve gone from the cigarette addiction to probably a caffeine addiction. Let’s be Frank, but I, I tend to have like a cup with me all the time.

It gives me something to do. With my hands mm-hmm . And so I think it’s like, we need to acknowledge the things, the tools that will help us to succeed. And sometimes that’s scratching the edge with something like a bath reward or a spa spa day, or, you know, even just choosing certain foods that you know, your body does well with that are like a treat mm-hmm and just figuring out what, what works best for you.

You have to get really clear with listening to your body. Yes.

Yes. Yes. Oh my God. That is so true. That is so true. But that is good that you have those tools in place because I used to love gourmet food. Like that was my deal. I used to make it, I used to have friends over. I would cook for them. Mm-hmm they love my dip, my signature dip.

They love my it that I would prepare, but yeah, I had to learn how in my mind. Okay. This is gourmet. And I’ll make it in a way that it looks pretty, but I know that it’s, it’s good for me. Yeah. So again, like you said, you have to, do you have to put things in place that will make, make it more easier for you to get through that addiction because yes, we all have, we all have some type of addiction, like you said, whether it’s cigarettes, caffeine, You know, shopping, you know, whatever it is, scratching those issues.

Yes. Yes. You know, you get a thrill from shopping. It’s the same sort of thing as, uh, yes, gosh. Yes. All those hormones in our brain, the reward centers. Right. So when you say that you want to help 7 million people, you’re, you’re looking to act 7 million people. Right. What does that mean to you? Why did you choose that number? Let’s talk about that.

So seven seven is the number of completion, right? Seven brings balance. Um, it’s the number of completion. And so I decided that that’s the number for me, however, that looks. And so my goal is to impact 7 million people who are struggling with. Inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease colitis, and they have, they know they don’t know where to turn.

And so that could be by way of maybe they wanna write their story, tell their story. You know, during, during my diagnosis, I was in the process of writing my first book and I was really ill, but I, I still had financial obligations to the publisher. So those 7 million people, I want to help them. Hey, although the.

The diagnosis is this. Doesn’t have to validate who you are. There’s help out here for you. We have a group of people, a team of people who can help you get through this point in your life. So that, that is my plan to, to impact and empower and transform 7 million people.

Well, I love the specificity. I was actually born on the 7th of September, so it’s always been a lucky number for me.

Yes. It feels like every time I was on a soccer team, I got number seven or number 25. For some reason it was always one of those.

And I’m born on the 16th day of the month. So that’s like a seven 16 equates to 7 0 1

 And six one plus two. Yeah. So a little numerology for us all. Yeah. so let’s talk about what you’re doing with your podcast and with your business.

Cause I think these things sort of relate. You’re talking about having a positive impact in the world, helping people. So, uh, let’s learn a little bit more about Stephanie, a win outside of this Crohn’s and IBS piece. 

My sons, when I were, was, was ill, they were like, mom, we really want to help.

We really want to help people go and get the help that they need, but you should, you should promote your book. You have a book, somebody needs your help. If you, if you were laid off of your job. Maybe you, you know, we could start a business and we can help people help, help them, you know, tell their stories.

Maybe they can write their books. And so I was like, Hmm, maybe. Right. But my dad, it was, it wasn’t until my dad said, listen, do not give up on yourself. You have a book. So I decided at the time, like, you know what, I’m tell my story, but I could tell my story through a podcast. So I had. I ordered the microphone ordered the headphones, but I sat on it for six months because I didn’t know how to position myself in a way to get, to make impact.

So what I did was I started, um, the let’s talk business with Stephanie, a win podcast. And I just wanted to tell my story. I honestly just wanted to talk about, you know, your health is wealth. Before you could start a business, you need to make sure your, your health is in check. But it’s so much more than that because we impact and we drop, we drop a lot of good information on these platforms, but not only is it just about Crohn’s and IBS it’s about people who have gone through chronic illnesses, right?

It’s about people who have started a is they’ve had to start a business. So that they can continue to be meaningful and purposeful in life. Right? So that’s where the let’s talk business with Stephanie, a win podcast stem from, and then on top of that, the Stephanie, a win business solutions. That’s where we help authors brand and market themselves and develop themselves into a business because being an, there it is truly a business.

I understand. You also have gone on a book tour that you organize yourself and the ravages of having to be within the press and, and work to market yourself in this way where you’re essentially putting yourself up on a pulpit as an expert in some arena mm-hmm and making these connections to, to really personal challenges in your life.

I mean, I think it’s, it does two things, right? Mm-hmm it helps you become accessible. To the audience you’re speaking to. Right. But it also, I think really helps people see that they too can succeed. They too can tackle their personal physical challenges. They too might be able to start their own business, take a little bit more control of their own life.

Right. Which, and getting that control, they may feel like they’re empowered too, because mm-hmm, when your health is spiraling out of control. You know, what, what often happens in these cases is that people will lose track of their hope in a way mm-hmm . So I, I just wondered if you could speak to that, because I think that this personal empowerment, both with reflect with reflection to your health, but also with reflection to your ability to take care of yourself from a financial perspective, they’re connected.

If you’re working a corporate, you’re a nine to five. And let’s just say your health is really, it’s gotten so bad that you can’t work. Like I had tools in place before, even the layoff. Right. I didn’t know anything about, I just did what my mom and dad told me. They said, make sure you have long term care.

Make sure you have these tools in place before the, those that don’t have ’em in place. Like you have to ask yourself, like, my health is wealth. When we look at. I wanna make, be a millionaire. I wanna have my own business. Okay. Yeah. But what does your health look like? First of all, we have to make sure we take care of ourselves.

And what does that look like? Are we going to the doctors? What are we putting inside of our bodies? That’s making our bodies angry. Are we stressing a lot? Are we stressing about things that we have no control over? And oftentimes I did that with raising two sons. I did that. I mean, every time they left outside my house, I was.

Horrified. Right. So I, I, because I didn’t have faith, like, I didn’t know. I knew they were gonna be okay, but just a mom, moms, we do. Tend to care a little bit more, right? Not to say dads aren’t, but we just, we’re just a little bit more nurturing. Right? We’ve seen that in the last, what two years with COVID like the last two years made us like, take a look back at our situation, our life, our health.

We really have to focus on our health before we can even start on this journey of entrepreneurship. But more importantly, it starts Karina with your mind. Like your mindset. You have to have the mind to know that you can do whatever it is that you have in your heart. So if that your, your heart is, I have this condition and I need to be able to take care of myself and feed my family without going under, you can do it.

You just have to position yourself in a way and focus on. What it is you need to do. Right. And it has to make sense. Now I’m not saying go quit you nine to five. That’s what I’m not saying. What I’m saying is is that if you’re in a position where your health is in jeopardy, you really need to think about your situation.

Read, like, take a look at your situation and say, okay, I’m not I’m. I need to do something that works for me. And a lot of times I, I get, I get questions all the time. They people think that once they can’t work. They’re done. I know I was there. You’re not done. You have a story and somebody needs to hear your story.

And if your story impacts and empowers and transform people, there’s, that’s where the money reside. That’s where your money. Well, that’s where you can build your brand, build your legacy and continue to move forward. So I say, first it starts with your mind. You gotta know that you could do this. You can’t be scared.

Those two tie in together. Like just first you have to know where you wanna go, where you wanna be mentally. Right. And sometimes when, when we’re diagnosed with these conditions, like that’s all we can think about. We just think about that issue.

Well, I think you’re tapping into something. The reality is we’re in the midst of what has been termed the great resignation.

Where people are choosing what they want to do with their time. And I think partially this does relate to COVID. It’s like our lives got a little bit more insular going to our jobs. In some cases, especially if they were in person mm-hmm would feel like it was a risk even mm-hmm , especially those who have compromised health.

Like you in your situation. If you’ve dealt with gut challenges for a long, long time, mm-hmm your immune system is almost overactive as it is. Mm-hmm . And so. You know, going to a grocery store job, something as simple as that could feel like you’re going to the front lines and putting yourself at risk every day mm-hmm

And so there’s a mental aspect to that, but there’s also just this sense that we’re trying to put power back in our own hands a little bit. Mm-hmm mm-hmm and the social impact of that is quite strong, right? Because if people are able to use their voices. To share their knowledge with the world to figure out a way to have more control of their own life.

Maybe even monetize some of these effects. And then that’s all going to help them succeed. Be more fulfilled lead with their passion and their purpose, as opposed to just clocking in every day at a job that doesn’t fulfill you. And that has an effect on your health too. That being said, we all need to be able to pay the bills and keep the lights on

Yes. So I mean, I, I completely get it. I want people to be able to live with their passion and their purpose, and sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to make that pay the bills. Right. Something as simple as that,

I can definitely relate to what you said. I even when I was on, in my corporate job, I even asked to work from home because we had an option to work from home and I was declined.

And so it was like, I’m just gonna go until I can’t go anymore. And it wasn’t until like I had a flare up and I could barely wa I was barely making it. And my doctor was like, how are you making it like this? Like, it was rough. And so. again, a lot of people are taking back their power. They’re taking back back their health cuz health is wealth.

Health is wealth. So as far as that 7 million, do you have any idea of how many people you’ve been able to positively impact through your work with your book as well as your podcast at this point? Like, are you on the way?

So I am definitely on the way I got a little bit ways to go, you know, as I believe for a long life.

If it means one person at a time, one year at a time, whatever it means, um, I’m not gonna give up. I’d say I’ve helped over probably about. 2000 people so far,

Hey, that’s not nothing, right? Yeah. And if we can seek to amplify our voices, do more things like this, you come on my show and mm-hmm hopefully we inspire a few people as well.

Yes. They can connect with you as well. So definitely, definitely. That’s fantastic.

Yes.

So as we prepare to wrap up, I like to ask all of my guests a simple question. And that’s just, if there was a question I haven’t asked already that you wish I had, what might it be? And if you have that question, go ahead and answer it.

For those who are dealing with the diagnosis, whether it’s the diagnosis, whether you’re going through, um, a divorce, whether you’re going through something really stressful in your life, depression. I would say, don’t give up, you matter, we all have a story in us. It’s time for you to tell your story, because what you’re going through, there’s somebody else that’s going through it like 10 X, like worse.

So if you have a story, write your story and tell it to the best of your ability.

Spoken like an author and a podcaster. How would you like for our audience to engage with you? Where can they go to find out more about Stephanie? Ay, listen to your podcast, et cetera.

I’m on all major platforms for, with the podcast. The podcast is let’s talk business with Stephanie and that is, um, apple, Google, Amazon iHeartRadio, Pandora.

All of Stitcher, Spotify, but you can go to let’s talk business with stephanie.com and also, um, I’m on all, um, social media platforms, LinkedIn Facebook, Instagram clubhouse, it’s Stephanie, a win. And when and spelled w Y as in yogurt, N is a Nancy N is a Nancy.

I think you might have said that a few times in your life especially when you have double letters, like my name is full of them, so yes.

Yes. How do you do that? Oh my goodness. 

Oh my gosh. I used to go by my full name, which was Corinna Mae Benoit Bellizzi, and I had an assistant and she was trying to book a hotel with me for me over the phone. And I heard her saying no, no, no.

Em, as in Mary. Wow, just through the whole thing. And I’m just like, that’s it. This whole woman empowerment thing? I’m just gonna go with my married name, go by Corinna Bellizzi. But there are three sets of double letters in my name. And so people always get it wrong.

Well, I just wanna thank you so much for your time today, Stephanie, this has been really fun as always.

I’ll be sure to include links to the items we discussed in show notes. And I look forward to coming on your show in the future too. So I can talk more about what, what I do in the business world.

Definitely, yes, I can’t wait to have you on.

Yeah, it’ll be a lot of fun too. If you loved today’s show, I hope you’ll share it with your family and friends.

You could forward the link to this episode, or you could even grab their phone, subscribe to the show and download this episode for them. Don’t forget to rate, review and subscribe wherever you listen. The simple action helps us climb the charts and really just read each more people with the important messages that we’re sharing.

Lean into discovery, stay curious, ask questions and get involved. Thank you now. And always for being a part of this pod and this community, because together we really can do so much more. We can care more and we can be better. Thank you.

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Guest

  • Corinna is a natural products industry executive who has earned a reputation for leading the development and growth of responsible brands (e.g. Nordic Naturals, iwi, NutriGold). In her professional life, she champions social benefit programs to enhance company impact while preserving and protecting our home planet. She’s presently working tirelessly on the development of a new pre-market that seeks to achieve a carbon-negative impact. In January 2021 she launched her show, Care More, Be Better: A Social Impact + Sustainability Podcast to amplify the efforts of inspired individuals and conscious companies. Through Care More Be Better, she shares their stories in an effort to show us all that one person with one idea can have a big impact. As part of her lifelong education journey, she earned her MBA from Santa Clara University, graduating at the top of her class with a triple focus in Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Marketing in June 2021.

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