Desperation Is A Powerful Motivator! A Conversation With Helen M. Ryan

desperation is a powerful motivator! a conversation with helen m. ryan, purpose, life coach, wayfinder, Kristi Amdahl

Welcome to Wayfinder Diaries’ very first guest episode! In this episode, Helen M. Ryan shares how desperation inspired a radical life change. Helen’s entire life is about resilience, and she’s an incredibly inspiring force to reckon with. It was truly an honor having her on the show! 

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About this episode

In this episode, three-time author, podcaster, and otherwise very multi-dimensional human being Helen M Ryan shares with us how her desperation became a powerful catalyst for change.

She shares with us her story about how she came to put everything in storage and spent more than a year traveling the world. She also shares how she handled great financial uncertainty during her travels, and how she navigates fear, decision-making, and life in general.

Helen is a poster child for resilience and is incredibly inspiring, and I hope that you enjoy this episode and getting to know her as much as I did!

About Helen M Ryan:
Helen M. Ryan believes that life is about change and trying new things. She’s taken big leaps – some successful, some not. Helen is the author of three books, has a walking podcast, and has travelled the world as a middle-aged digital nomad.

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Kristi Amdahl 00:02
Hi, my name is Kristi Amdahl, and I am the host of the Wayfinder diaries Podcast. I’m also a life coach, a blogger and a Soul Seeker. This podcast is for anyone who prioritizes living from a place of integrity, regardless of the personal cost. Its for my sisters who know that they were put on this earth for a reason, even if they don’t yet know what that reason is. And it’s for those who are inspired by stories of personal struggle, perseverance, and transformation. This podcast is my platform for sharing the lessons that I’ve learned throughout my own very unconventional life, and for providing an opportunity for others to do the same. If you’d like to learn more about me, apply for life coaching, or be a guest in a future episode, please visit my website at

Hi, everyone, welcome to episode three of the Wayfinder Diaries podcast. If you’ve been to my blog or on my email list, or have listened to the first episode of Wayfinder diaries, you’ll know that I recently quit my corporate job to venture into the world of self-employment via transformative life coaching. I was insanely burned out by doing work that wasn’t aligned with who I was, and my body and mental well-being had started breaking down. Trading the predictable for the unknown has been both liberating and, at times, a little nerve-wracking, but it was necessary for my soul. Around that time, I also launched this podcast. As I was wondering the logistics of bringing on guests, I stumbled upon Helen M Ryan and I am so glad that I did! So according to her bio, Helen M Ryan believes that life is about change and trying new things. She’s taken big leaps, some successful some not. Helen is the author of three books, hosts a walking podcast, and has traveled the world as a middle-aged digital nomad. So after learning bits and pieces of her story, I was instantly blown away by her spirit and willingness to continually carve out new paths in her life. Helen’s been handed a challenging and sometimes dramatic set of life experiences that so many others would have let define them. But the more I learned about Helen and her paths the more I see incredible resilience and determination. She’s truly an inspiring woman. And I’m honored to have her on today’s show. So today, we’ll get to hear a bit about her story. Like me, she was dealing with some serious burnout surrounding her life and job. And the path that she chose to take in response may very well blow your mind. So welcome to the show, Helen. I am truly honored to have you here.

Helen M Ryan 02:51
Oh, thank you. I’m excited to be here and to just chat with you.

Kristi Amdahl 02:55
Thank you. So I know I preface this episode by mentioning your burnout, I would love to hear what was going on in your life that led you to that point.

Helen M Ryan 03:05
Well, I was running a business, I have a digital marketing and communications studio. So I was running the business. I was doing side hustles as a personal trainer – people come to my house, and I also was a spinning instructor. And then it was raising two kids with no child support alimony. And I was like working, working, working, just trying to keep a roof over my head because California is so expensive. And I just got to the point where every day I would wake up and I’d be like, Oh, gee, I’m still alive. Well, that’s a bummer. Because I didn’t want to face another day, I was so burned out from the constant being pulled in all these different directions. And I just, I just couldn’t, you know, I just I just like couldn’t face any more days.

Kristi Amdahl 03:43
And So what happened then? What shifted for you?

Helen M Ryan 03:50
Well, my roommate at the time, he wanted to move out into his own place, because you know, who wants to live with a woman and her two kids. But so then I thought, well, I cannot afford to rent another house. It’s just and I don’t have another roommate. And so my daughter, well the youngest – she was graduating high school – and I’m like, you know what, let’s because I travel before I’m like, let’s just put everything in storage and let’s just go travel and like, you know, talk to your dad and make sure that’s okay. But I was just like, I just I want to leave this place. And I knew that I could travel inexpensively because I’ve done it before. And so we did so we rented I would tell someone. So when I said if you ever want to sell your house, just rent it to me and then it will sell because they were also going to sell a house at the same time. So I’m like okay, well I have nowhere to go. Where am I supposed to go? So we did we put everything in storage and we bought tickets and you know, I was on a limited very limited budget. But we hit the road. I have family Norway. I grew up in Norway. And so we just started started traveling.

Kristi Amdahl 04:51
So, so much of that just fascinates me because I think about you know my own time as a single mom, which was most of my daughter’s life. She’s 19 now, but I think about, like the times when I didn’t know how I was going to afford anything, and then sort of the seed got planted. Well, you could go somewhere else, like people go to Costa Rica, they go to different, like, countries with their families, and my daughter’s father would never have allowed it. And that would have created big problems. But so it’s like you, you did what? I don’t know. In a way, it was like a dream for me. So I find that I’m just really intrigued by that. But you didn’t get you didn’t get too much pushback from the father?

Helen M Ryan 05:32
No, because I waited till my daughter graduated. She was 18. They were both they were both over 18. I would never have done it if they were under 18. Because that would have been tricky. But you know, he was married. And, you know, so it was it was fine, because he was like starting another life. And he only live like five minutes from us. But still, you know, we were only supposed to be gone like four months, I ended up being gone a year and a half. But we’re only supposed to be gone like four months. I don’t know what I was expecting to happen on the other side of four months. But it was it had been so hard because my my ex-husband i We ran a graphic design studio together. And then when we got divorced, he got majority of the clients because I’d stepped back, you know, and he had been the one that they’re familiar with. So I had to start from scratch. And so with no money coming in, it was just really hard. I had to cash and bottle sometimes, you know, take the kids to school and stuff. So I finally got to the point where then building my business over time, it was enough to you know, to keep me floating along with my side, side. hustles but I was so exhausted. And I’m like, What’s the point of life when I’m not enjoying a single moment of it?

Kristi Amdahl 05:38
Yeah, that’s, that’s so relatable I I’ve been going through like with my when I left my corporate job recently that was, I mean, it was a very similar thought. It’s like, I can’t stay here. Another minute. It’s like, I can’t leave. But yet I can’t stay. And it was just it was a very, it was distressing. It’s a very tough place to be in. But it’s also like a great catalyst for change. And that sounds like that’s what you made out of it. So where did you travel? You went to Norway?

Helen M Ryan 07:08
Yeah, we went first. We went to England to see my kids friends. And then we went to Norway. And of course, we went to the two most expensive places first. And then we also actually in between there we went to Milan, Italy because I didn’t have any particular plans. So we were in London and I was we’re thinking about where we’re going to go next. And I’m looking at my bank account. And I’m like running out of money. So my son and I stayed up half the night using sky scanners everywhere feature to figure out where we could go and leave the next day. So I went to Skyscanner everywhere and the cheapest place was Milan. So I booked the tickets booked the Airbnb the next morning, we were on the bus to the airport. Ended up in Milan.

Kristi Amdahl 07:45
Oh my gosh, I can’t even imagine. I mean, that, to me just sounds like an expensive place. But I’ve been to Italy, not Milan, but wow. So, you know, one thing I’m wondering is if you had any limiting beliefs, when you made you’re like leading up to your decision to, you know, put your stuff in storage and head out to Europe.

Helen M Ryan 08:12
I think I’d gotten over a lot of those before. The thing for me is I was desperate. I was desperate for change. And I didn’t know how else to change anything. And I just you know, just I always say desperation breeds action until you’re desperate. You’re not going to make a change. And I’d made big jumps before I ran away from home in Norway. When I was three weeks before I turned 18. I ran all the way back to the flu Allah back to the US and I just I’ve so I’m not a stranger to big leaps. But I just I was just desperate. And I was desperate for change and come hell or high water. I was going to make it happen. My sister lives in Thailand, she runs an animal welfare center on a small island. So we ended up spending a lot of time in Southeast Asia, which is so cheap. And the food is amazing the people are amazing. We volunteered at my sister’s animal welfare center. So, you know, I had you know, I had family, different places and friends different places. So at least we weren’t totally alone. You know, the whole time.

Kristi Amdahl 09:12
Yeah, I remember reading about your experience leaving Norway. I mean, crossing continents, when you’re still a minor. Like, how did you even figure that one out?

Helen M Ryan 09:26
Well, I was born here. And I this was before Google, of course, way back. And so I went to Nora when I was eight and it was my mother was an alcoholic and prescription drug addict. She was promiscuous and then she also later on way later on was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, which of course you can imagine how my childhood was. I finally again couldn’t take it anymore. I was desperate. I called, I booked a ticket. I was actually going to bring my cats with me and I made arrangements to bring them on the plane but then when I went that day to pack my stuff, I couldn’t find the cats because back then they were outdoor cats, so I had to leave without them. But I was just desperate. I had an aunt in Texas. So I went straight from Oslo to Texas, and to Dallas, and so I just tried to assimilate into American culture, you know, as best I could.

Kristi Amdahl 10:13
So when did you you said assimilate to US culture? Yeah. When did you leave the US? You were born in the US. When did you leave for Norway?

Helen M Ryan 10:24
I was seven or eight. So I went I live with my grandmother for the first year, which is she was very strict. And we lived in the forest. And it was scary and had to walk to school like almost an hour, with a little flashlight to this little tiny little road, big trees. And in Norway, the winter, it’s dark all the time. So I would walk to school in the dark. And in most of the time, my older sister would walk with me, but sometimes she had to go in earlier for something. I remember, I’d be so scared, you know. And so I lived. So I got distracted talking about the forest. So it was it was it was pretty scary. But the only benefit for that year with my grandmother being so strict, like I had to pick my own spanking sticks. That kind of thing was because she didn’t accept fear. She She, my grandparents, and my my mother. And they were they were all born in Norway. My grandfather during World War Two, when the Germans invaded Norway, they lived in the Nazis lived in my grandmother’s house. And so she had to stay upstairs with her kids. And she was pregnant. She told all these stories about, you know, how she got into confrontations and things because she was not one to mince words. But she survived all of that she didn’t believe in fear. You can’t be afraid of the dark, you can’t be afraid to go in the basement. So I think in some ways, even though that year was really hard, and I was so scared and everything, it really helped shape me and teach me not to be scared because I’ve been through so much already. And you know, I’m Why am I being scared? I’m not the one who, who had a young German soldier pointed bayonet at my pregnant belly, like my grandmother, you know. And then eventually, after the war, my grandfather went to Canada, and then the US because they needed carpenters. And then the family all came over in 1952.

Kristi Amdahl 12:00

Helen M Ryan 12:02
Long story, you may not

Kristi Amdahl 12:04
Wow. No, I, I just I can’t even imagine how that would, how that would be shaped? How would that would shape you especially as a young as a young child? So do you attribute that then to your ability to just head back to the US when you’re 17 without an adult and to head out back to Norway and travel the world as you know, when your kids are older?

Helen M Ryan 12:28
Yeah, I think so. Because it really did shape me. And I remember just I was so scared. But I had no choice. When you don’t have a choice, you step up. So when my kids ended up with anxiety, I’m like, I don’t understand anxiety. Just do it. You know, because that’s what I was taught. So just suck it up. And you do it. And I think that really, you know, I think that really shaped me. And maybe my grandmother was extra strict with us because of our mother. Because back in her day, when she was younger, they didn’t know about mental mental illnesses. So they just thought she was difficult, are they so maybe she was actually strict with us because she didn’t want us to turn into her not realizing that our mother had a mental disorder, or I don’t know what we call them. Borderline Personality Disorder.

Kristi Amdahl 13:14
Wow. Oh, my goodness, I have like so many questions. So when you going back when you decided to go to Europe, when you decided to put your stuff in storage and head back out there and travel the world. Did you get any pushback from anyone in your life?

Helen M Ryan 13:36
I don’t think so. Because people knew me and knew all the things that I’d accomplished and and I was just determined to do things. Once I cleared it with their dad. And he was fine with that. Because, you know, he like I said he’d marry he actually married a man and I adore his husband totally. But you know, they probably wanted some time alone without the kids coming back and forth. Anyway, so it did work out and people just knew that I was just going to do, I was going to make it happen. Because I’d done that before I wrote a book when I was, you know, my back was out and my I had mold in the house I was living in before that, you know, so I’m just like, really, really stubborn. Well, they know I’m stubborn, I’m going to try to make it happen.

Kristi Amdahl 14:16
Wow. I love that. I love that. It’s like there’s just no stopping you. It’s kind of like at least I know with my own with my own situation. I think I made a share this one of my previous episodes is that I usually I don’t ask for permission from people. I make a decision. I take action and then I tell people what I did. Or maybe I’ll even tell them before I take action. But there’s no like room for debate. This is not a question. I’m not seeking your permission. I know you might not like it. Tough. And it’s not meant to be like, screw you at people. It’s just that like, I can’t live my life for anybody else. And for anyone else. Like if I let them try to talk me out of it, then my brain is going to come in and override my intuition and my innate wisdom and, and then, like a mediocre life happens, you know, or continues to happen.

Helen M Ryan 15:06
Yeah, we always listen to other people, especially when we’re younger. As we get older, we’re less concerned what people think about us. But we have one life, and it’s so precious and it goes by so fast. And we’re not going to try anything new. I failed so many times. I mean, I sound like I’ve done everything. Yeah, I’ve failed a lot of things. But I keep trying, and it doesn’t, you know, failures just just mean that eventually you’re gonna have success, if you learn from those failures. And with relationships, I am not learning from my failures. So I’m out of that. But, you know, you’re supposed to be learning from our failures.

Kristi Amdahl 15:38
I love how honest you are about that. So So what was it like, when you took action when you actually are on that plane heading to Europe? Or maybe even before that, like, what was it like, what did it feel like?

Helen M Ryan 15:52
Well, I kind of just, I told myself in my head, I’m, like, 321, go. And I just do it. And so it was, it was scary. I was excited. But the scariest thing was not having a lot of extra money. And then when I traveled, you know, we worked, my son was doing work with me, because he was, he was three years older than my daughter. And he did some work with me too. So we kind of traveled around the world and worked. But it’s just, you know, I wanted to be able to see things too. So I worked less, obviously, a lot less than it worked here. Because in the entire year I was gone, including hotels and Airbnbs. And apartments, I spent like $7,000 in lodging, okay, my rent here is going up. Now it’s going to be $2,800 for a condo. So in two and a half months, I will have spent, and that’s plus utilities that included all the utilities, I mean, you can travel on a budget, you can stay in an apartment, you know, you can do that you don’t not if you stay in a hotel, so we only stayed in a few hotels, when we stay in hotels, you’re gonna blow through money really quick. But it can be done. And it’s really cheap. When you just just go with the flow.

Kristi Amdahl 17:00
Did you ever get to the point where like, you were either very, you’re very close to running out of money, you’re like, oh, my gosh, what am I going to do? Or did it never get that?

Helen M Ryan 17:10
No many times.

Kristi Amdahl 17:12
So what happened?

Helen M Ryan 17:13
Well, you know, a lot of times to clients don’t pay when they say they’re going to pay you. So that was also fun. We would just look one time, after my daughter had gone home, my son and I were in Thailand, and I told him, okay, we have enough money for one meal, one meal left, that’s all we have. And so we picked our meal. And then we ended up you know, the next day getting a check from a client that they owed us or deposit into my bank account. But it’s you just you do as long as you have lodging over your head, that’s really all that matters. Now we didn’t jump or move until we have the money to move. And a lot of times, like we went to Malaysia in different places in Kuala Lumpur, like we would say three days because I only had enough money for three days, Airbnb, and then the third day I would get money and then we moved to another Airbnb, you know, ideally, I would have had a little more money in order to stay without having to move them three times and you know, nine days or whatever. But you know, you do what you have to do when you want something when you want to make something happen. You sacrifice people tell me like, Oh, you’re so lucky, you got to go. Well, I let someone drive my car for free. I put everything in storage. Like we could only carry with us what we could fit in our suitcase and backpack it you know, it’s lucky. But it’s also the fact that I was willing to give things up, I was willing to, to not go to Starbucks, I was willing to not go shopping, you know, if I wanted to buy something new, I’d have to take something out and throw it away.

Kristi Amdahl 18:33
There’s trade offs for everything.

Helen M Ryan 18:35
And it was so worth every every minute, every disaster we had every we had, it was just so worth it

Kristi Amdahl 18:42
It sounds like faith was the things were going to work out was an operating factor too. Is that Is that safe to say?

Helen M Ryan 18:49
Yeah, because the more that I’ve done things and the more yeah, I’ve had failures, but I know like eventually it’ll be okay and what I always go by what’s the worst that can happen? Yeah, the worst is gonna happen. We’re stuck somewhere. We don’t have any money. But as long as we have a place that I’ve already paid for to stay, then you know what, everything else is fine. We can eat whatever snacks or whatever, we don’t have to move to the next place until we have money to go. Right?

Kristi Amdahl 19:13
I remember it just it it makes me think of back of a long time ago I was homeless I gave up everything and join an activist community and and there were times when I had no idea like I didn’t have money for food. I had no idea where was going to sleep that night. And yet I was always always taken care of in some way shape or form and it might not have been ideal. But I mean, there were times that we you know, we’re diving in pizza dumpsters, or you know, not gonna pretend we didn’t. But I that that created – it instilled a faith in me that things will work out and I’ve carried that to me to this day when I quit my job when I you know when I’ve lost jobs before I was when I was unemployed as an adult, scary times, and it’s. So I just that to me is like such a powerful thing it’s, I don’t know and I just hear that in your story

Helen M Ryan 20:07
And is believing in yourself like I’m not super overly confident but I have belief because of all the things that have happened to me in life. I have the belief that I can make it work maybe not the way I envisioned it would work like we were in Bali when they elevated the volcano warning to the highest level you know, things like that happen to us but you know, we got out safely so I just believe I just believe that I can make something work.

Kristi Amdahl 20:34
So what challenges besides the financial did you face? And what did you learn from them?

Helen M Ryan 20:39
Um, just a lot of things when we travel things would happen. There would be difficulties with flights or there’d be you know, we get to an Airbnb and it was like a disaster you know, and like, we had to try to figure things out and move but we really overall I mean, it was it was considering I mean, there were times I would be tired and at times I would say I want to go home to myself. Like why would I want to go home I already know what’s what’s there. And and always when you cut sometimes they moved to new place after the kids left I went to Bosnia and I went to Sarajevo, when I got there late at night and you’re not supposed to take certain taxes because I’m not licensed. And so I went to the ATM and I got money I was I had euros for my trip – I don’t want to go on too long. And euros for my trip and then I went to the ATM and I got on Bosnian money. And then I went to the ticket now inside the bus stop where the bus because I took a bus from split Croatia to Sarajevo, about seven and a half hours, one bathroom stop that was fun. So So I got there like at 9:30 at night and the bus terminal was almost dark everything and then so anyway, so I go to find a taxi and I looked down I realized that my wallet I just took money out my cash was all gone. I had my cards but I had a different different wallet with my cash my euros were gone. All the Bosnian money I took out was gone. I had very little left in the bank account. I went into the train station. I mean the bus station I asked the person at the counter if somebody and it was dark. It was night it was somebody I turned it in and they said no. So I sat on the bench inside the train station was about to cry. Because I’m like I’m tired. I don’t I don’t know where my Airbnb is, I don’t know which taxi to take and I use it most of my money and so I texted I messaged the Airbnb host. And then as I’m waiting, I went back out and I went back in again. And suddenly the lady at the ticket counter and I was over and there’s this cute little couple their Muslim, she’s got her little, you know, hair covering on everything. And they hand me my wallet. And I was like and I hugged her I didn’t want to hug him because he didn’t know me from Adam. But I was like so grateful these people could have taken I mean, I didn’t know any anything about Bosnians. And they handed me my wallet back. You know, so it’s like, okay, well, so that was that was you know, it was challenging. I was like, I want to go home, I hate this. And I ended up really liking Bosnia. But at the when I first got there, because everything is so different. It’s always when you get to a new country, everything is a big challenge, the money, the language, everything. And so when you first get there, like I hate this, I want to leave, but when you stick it out, you start you know, it’s just, you know, you start to adjust to it. But usually when I get somewhere I’m like I hate this place.

Kristi Amdahl 23:16
Yeah. Do you there So, other places you’ve been? Do you have a favorite?

Helen M Ryan 23:24
Well, I think Bosnia is top on my list. Of course, the island where my sister is on Koh Lanta and Thailand is of course my all time favorite. But I really like Bosnia. I actually really liked Poland. There was so much history and just it was something about Poland. I felt, you know, most people don’t don’t really care that much for Poland. I’m like, I think this is cool. There’s so many places I’ve been, but I think those are my two probably more favorites, Bosnia and Poland, not the tourist hotspots.

Kristi Amdahl 23:51
Right? Right. Ah, yeah, I’ve never been to either place but I do, someday, I have like ideas of traveling. I don’t. Not so much Europe, you know, I think more about like Asia and yeah, India and Nepal and, and Indonesia. But anyway, I mean, I love Europe too. So

Helen M Ryan 24:12
Well, I spent, we spent very little time in Europe, just briefly there. And then I went back and forth a few times to see my family after the kids left. My son flew out from Norway, and we got back but we spent most of our time in Southeast Asia. And then so Cambodia was just a really like, actually Cambodia is on my list. They were the nicest, most gracious people. And I just really liked it. We went to Siem Reap. Yeah, I just like the out of the way. I’ve been to Kosovo. I mean, you know, just Montenegro, just different places because I couldn’t afford Europe over the summer after the kids left. And so I ended up going to Serbia and all through the Balkans. Wow. Wow. I liked the Balkans except for the smoking. I liked the Balkans.

Kristi Amdahl 24:52
Yeah. Same. That would be that would be the same for me. So where are you? Where are things that with you right now. Do you have any current or future projects plan that you’d like to share? What’s going on?

Helen M Ryan 25:06
I’m not much I’m just finishing my third book. And I am, you know, still working on my podcast. So that’s pretty much where I’m growing my business, I’m changing my business. My business has been pretty successful, you know, over the more recent years, I work by referral only because, you know, I have lucky I’ve had enough clients to do that now. But we’re just kind of changing. I’m trying to provide like I’m going to provide masterclasses for people who want to start their own businesses or market a main market, their own businesses, public relations, that kind of thing, because that’s some of what I do. Because then I can reach more people do it really inexpensively, you know, and get away from the just working for others, like on an hourly basis for projects.

Kristi Amdahl 25:44
Why don’t you I mean, I would love to hear about your businesses and then three books. That’s, that’s pretty impressive. And I have been to your podcast, and I listened to a few episodes. I love it. I love your idea. I don’t know, I’ve never heard of anyone doing that before. But I really, it was really intriguing to me, I thought I should record some podcasts when I’m out taking a walk, you know, inspired that. So? So tell us about that.

Helen M Ryan 26:10
Well, it was I started at the end of 2020. I was because of having been a fitness instructor and personal trainer. You know, I felt like you know, I’m good at teaching people. And and I’m just thinking, well, people can’t go to the gym, you know, they are the gyms are closed, and they’re out of their routine, they’re unhappy, but what can everybody do, everybody can walk. And so I decided to record a coach walk podcast. So I talked about different issues like weight loss, mental health, things like that. But I’m coaching them along in the walks and I go faster, go slower, you know, do different things. So that way there because we all like to listen to something while we’re walking. And then on on every episode, which is a solo, when I don’t interview people, then I do like two versions, one with background walking music, so they can just, you know, keep walking. So that’s I came up with that idea because it was a way for people just to get out and walk and some of them are really short 10 minutes, 15 minutes, some of them are 20 minutes, some of them I go on a blabbering tangent for 40 minutes, but anybody can do and everybody needs to just get out and move we get so stuck in our homes, you know, when you’re, if you’re stuck trying to figure out a project or doing homework or whatever, you can just head out for a walk and it really clears your your head. So I’m trying to encourage people to keep moving because I’m exiting like the wellness space, you know, just focusing on business. So so that last book is in 2003, 2004 I lost over 80 pounds just within 10 lunches while still eating chocolate. And so that was my first book was called 21 days to change your body and it was about having you know losing weight but in your on your own terms, you know, and just while still eating chocolate and things like that. I talked about my journey and stuff and and so this last book is the last one that’s going to be in the whole wellness, weight loss space. But so I took all of that anyway to put it into the podcast.

Kristi Amdahl 27:54
So you’ve written three books now or you’re finishing your third on like I love that – walking and chocolate – I forgot what you just said the title was, but I. Whatever. I love that idea. I love that you can eat chocolate, it’s not like you have an you can just create your rules or I mean as an employee. So yeah. I’ve never been able to stick with it with what any of the Guru’s say or with any programs for different reasons, but but I found like with my own life, I lost a lot of weight many years ago, and it was I don’t even know how he did it. It wasn’t dieting it just, I don’t know, I had a shift of some kind and I think I just started respecting myself more or something. I’m not even sure what it happened but but every time I would try a weight loss program, forget it. I mean, it would work short term but I couldn’t sustain it.

Helen M Ryan 28:43
That’s why I stopped dieting I lost weight when I stopped dieting I just made small changes. So everything in my I always talk about small changes, small changes, like I have a Facebook group called Imperfectly Healthy. And so it’s it’s just like all small changes. You know, I do workshops and stuff, but if that’s with everything you’re doing in life, business, everything you have to do small steps, small changes, you’re not going to launch an empire overnight, you’re not gonna lose 100 pounds overnight, you have to take small consistent steps every day.

Kristi Amdahl 29:12
My own teacher Martha Beck, I don’t know if you’ve heard of her, but she’s she’s a best-selling author and she sometimes is called Oprah’s life coach. But she she talks about turtle steps. That’s her big thing. It’s the same thing. It’s like they’re even smaller than baby steps like baby steps sometimes are too big for people and the turtle step it’s like what’s the step you can take that meets like next to no internal resistance and that you want to laugh at it because it’s so ridiculously easy it can possibly make a difference. But then you add turtle step on turtle step on turtle seven suddenly you’ve created a change in your life that you wouldn’t have created if you didn’t. So it just makes me think of that. So your walking podcast is people can find that at the at walking and talking dot show. Is that right?

Helen M Ryan 30:00
Yeah, and that’s on all the major podcast platforms.

Kristi Amdahl 30:03
And is there anything else that you would like to share with our listeners today? Anything you want to plug, just

Helen M Ryan 30:13
just, they can hop on over to my Facebook group, which is imperfectly healthy dot group. And that takes you to the Facebook group. Because I’m not like I’m not selling any programs or anything. I’m just trying to help people right now. So the podcast is free, my group is free, just to kind of help people I have a mailing list on the on my website walking talking about show that they can sign up for I have a fun little walking guideline of how to put steps in your day. So it was like, you know, walk when you’re making coffee, boiling water, I mean, like marches. So it’s a cute little free guide that people can subscribe to, you know, I’m getting them they subscribe. And I don’t send out newsletters very often, but occasionally I will. And I’m finishing up like a recipe book with like, 160 healthy recipes, which is I started two years ago, I’m just slow lately, finalizing things. So that’s going to be out soon. That’s going to be really cheap, because I really believe in doing things either free or low cost. So more people can access things because I don’t, you know, I don’t want to charge $5,000 for something. For me. For other people. It’s fine. But for me, I’d rather have more people a lower price point. Yeah.

Kristi Amdahl 31:15
Well, thank you for this. I’m definitely going to have to go back and check out your your Facebook group. I haven’t checked that out yet. I really love what you’re doing. It’s just, and just your story, just your resilience. And I mean, you’re just a very, very fascinating person. And I’m so glad that you get to be my first guest.

Helen M Ryan 31:37
Yay, well, I’m happy about that, too.

Kristi Amdahl 31:41
And so for everyone who’s listening, I will drop those links to Helens accounts in the in the notes below. And thank you so much for being here. And yeah. I don’t know how to end this.

Helen M Ryan 31:58
I would just say, well, thank you for having me. I mean, that’s I’m just grateful that you wanted to have me on and that you’re sharing different things with people because, you know, people want to know what happened and and how people can overcome challenges. We all have challenges in our life. So just you know, overcoming that is just knowing that it can be overcome is really important for people.

Kristi Amdahl 32:18
Thank you. That’s, I love stories. So that’s kind of, I gravitate towards them and you have a powerful story. So

Helen M Ryan 32:27
Thank you.

Kristi Amdahl 32:28
Yeah, thanks, Helen. Thank you for listening to this episode. Please subscribe to my channel and leave a review so that others can find it via the algorithm. If you’d like to learn more about me, apply for life coaching, or be a guest on a future episode, please visit my website at With peace, gratitude and love