The Power of Storytelling - Episode 19

Welcome back to The Power of Storytelling!

Fran, Stephanie and Victoria - thank you for sharing your stories, your words, and your journey with all of us.

This month’s episode reminded me that we are our greatest healers, mentors, and allies. When we tune in to our intuition, when we allow ourselves to make peace with our own bodies, minds, and journey’s - everything changes.

It’s truly my honor to share the stories and provide the space here to share a little bit more about the women and men behind these words. I encourage you to check out Fran, Stephanie and Victoria after you listen to this week’s new episode.

*Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this episode are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Seek The Joy Podcast. 



Fran Dargaville is a Functional Nutritionist, Yoga teacher, and a true light and inspiration. In this week’s new episode, Fran shares with us her journey in health and life.

Growing up Fran was into sailing and surfing, she loved being outdoors. At the age of 15, she developed chronic fatigue for the first time. She was always exhausted, and didn’t know what was wrong - and doctors weren’t much help either. When she was in her early 20’s, she developed chronic fatigue for the second time. Her work environment was negative and toxic, and she realized that she couldn’t handle it anymore. It was taking its toll on her health and well-being, and when you combine that with over training and under eating - she knew something needed to change. Fran found a functional practitioner - and for the first time, she felt seen and heard. But she knew she had to take matters into her own hands - and that’s exactly what she did.

Today, Fran has combined everything that she’s learned and she’s on a mission to help women get to the root cause of their symptoms and thrive with real food nutrition. We all receive messages from our bodies all the time that tell us something isn’t right (or that it is!). Fran is a firm believer that by discovering what’s really going on instead of just slapping another quick-fix bandaid over the symptoms, you’ll get the results you want. Fran is known for her practical, no-BS approach to nutrition - and that’s what she brings to every one of her consultations. Most days you can find her starting the day with a swim in the ocean and a nut mylk latte from her favorite cafe before she jumps online for consultations with virtual nutrition clients from all around the world.

I decided to study functional nutrition, and I did that to heal myself. I learned so much and I was able to help myself go from feeling like a shell of a human and struggling, to over time having much more energy, clear skin, and no brain fog. I decided that I would share this with other people, and getting to the root cause of your symptoms.
— Fran Dargaville


Stephanie Roman is a weight-neutral Food & Body Acceptance Coach. She offers her clients a weight-neutral approach to health and wellness using the principles of Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size. Stephanie brings to her coaching method both her personal experience with dieting and body shame as well as a compassionate, judgment-free space, oodles of support and laser-sharp intuition.

In this week’s new episode Stephanie shares just one of her stories - the belief that the most important thing she could offer the world was her looks, and how “pretty” she was. This “gift” had nothing to do with her, and it said nothing about her as a person. She knew it was entirely wrapped up in how other’s viewed her - all these other people got to decide her worth. Here’s the thing, as Stephanie so beautifully shares, whomever you allow the power to make you feel worthy, also yields the power to make you feel worthless. For Stephanie, it was no surprise that she spent years, decades, chasing her own worthiness.

Like so many, Stephanie put her worth in the hands of a man, and in this week’s new episode Stephanie so vulnerably and beautifully shares her reflections and realizations surrounding the abusive relationship she chose. She spent a lot of time during and after that relationship asking, “how did I get here? How did I choose this person that was the exact opposite of all the qualities I seek in a partner? How did I miss the signs?” The answers to those questions are complicated, and still revealing themselves - but she kept coming back to how she felt about herself, her body shaming, her dependence on outside approval and acceptance, all led her to that place, relationship, and the severe mistreatment that followed. She knew something had to change - and she chose to embark on a journey to reclaim her worth and find acceptance from the inside. She found a health coach to help guide her, and she learned about Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size.

The information she gained was revolutionary, and it changed everything. Today, Stephanie has learned how to tune into her body’s innate wisdom, appreciate her body for the miracle that it is, and she’s using her experiences and wisdom to help others do the same.

I knew something had to change. I had to find ways to find my worth from within. I had to make peace with my body. I sought out a coach that introduced me to the idea of body neutrality. I learned about intuitive eating and health at every size, I dug deep to isolate all the ways diet culture was affecting my thinking.
— Stephanie Roman


Victoria Bleeden is the Founder of The Empowered Herd - a specialized equine guided program created by women, as a means to support women in reclaiming their authenticity. Victoria was the quintessential horse crazy child. Her passion for horses began at the age of three when her mother, a lifelong, devoted horsewoman, took her to the pony rides. The shaggy, dwarfed creatures with the all knowing eyes and powerful spirits found their way into her heart. Obsession was sprung, and it knew no bounds.

In this week’s new episode Victoria shares the story of how her horse, Tater, saved her life and ultimately inspired her to start The Empowered Herd. Victoria spent nearly thirty years as a competitive equestrian. She had spent the majority of her life riding and competing. She had owned nearly a dozen horses, and competed from CA to NY. Riding was her persona. She was confident, able, and at home on the back of a horse. To be robbed of that, all that she knew, all that she relied upon for comfort, was agonizing. In the blink of an eye, she was no longer felt accomplished or talented.

Today, Victoria’s mission is to inspire other women to find healing through working with horses. Her work as an equine assisted coach utilizes activities involving horses to create metaphors that reflect real life. The approach is non-directive, allowing for opportunities to problem-solve and be creative. All sessions are conducted in a closed arena.

It is impossible to hide fear from a horse and so I allowed myself to become vulnerable, truthful, and transparent with my feelings in his presence. To my surprise, when I revealed my true, ugly self to him, something changed. He softened, and soon became not only trustworthy again, but a safe haven. I came to find my emotional pain, loss, and sadness did not push him away but rather drew him to me. He let me be real.
— Victoria Bleeden


To connect with Fran and learn more visit her on Instagram @frandargaville and on her website and if you’d like to grab her Real Food Wellness Starter Kit with recipes and her top nutrition tips for free, head here

To connect with Stephanie and to To learn more you can find her on Instagram @sromancoaching and on her website

To connect with Victoria and  learn more visit her website and on Instagram @theempoweredherd and on Facebook @theempoweredherd

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THE POWER OF STORYTELLING: This series is beautiful and powerful and we want you to be part of it! To learn more and to submit your story, visit the Share Your Story section of our website. Fill out our interest form - and we'll get back to you ASAP.  

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