By Rebecca Lyon
It took me forever to start writing this. I was really never meant to be a writer, and I’ll be honest, that made me drag my feet on starting this post. One evening, after a particularly grueling work day, I was decompressing with Baby Yoda memes and adorable pet photos when a post came on my feed from one of my favorite humans – Shohreh Davoodi. Her post, which was about making therapy more inclusive, reminded me of one of the many reasons I think Shohreh is amazing, as a person and a business owner. It inspired me to switch gears (though I kept that Baby Yoda meme page open) and write this article.
I met Shohreh in law school, mostly through organizations like Law Review. Shohreh did unbelievably well in law school, passed the bar, and got a great job at a Texas law firm. That’s THE path: make it through law school (the teachers really call you out like in Legally Blonde), survive an anxiety-filled summer studying the bar, crush it, and become a super-successful lawyer.
So when I heard after a year that Shohreh quit her job to start her own business as an intuitive eating and exercise coach, I was shocked. Personally, I couldn’t imagine such a drastic restart. She was leaving the security of her well-paying job to not only switch industries, but to start up her own business? Soon, though, she started posting about her business, writing incredibly relatable blog posts, developing programs for her clients, and it was unlike anything I had ever seen before.
Here are some of the reasons why Shohreh is such a boss:
- She learned to build and adapt her business. Shohreh spent her first year as a business owner figuring out her message and coaching philosophy, mostly through trial and error. As a solo entrepreneur, she does everything for her business. She creates content, manages finances and marketing, all on top of coaching her clients. And she’s constantly adapting: Right now, with people across the country being told to stay inside, she has pivoted her content and services, including providing a free download of home workouts for those who can’t access their regular gyms and offering “Pay-What-You-Can” strategy calls for those who are struggling with food and exercise during this uncertain time.
- She’s dedicated to inclusivity. She combats marginalization in all its forms, whether from race, gender, sexual orientation, body size, disability, you name it. Her podcast, Redefining Health & Wellness, frequently discusses the ways in which the intersections of our identities affect our health and well-being. She’s also not afraid to critique her own industry, often calling out other fitness and nutrition professionals for putting appearance on a pedestal over health or shaming clients.
- She sets an example and holds herself responsible. I’ve seen so many posts where Shohreh has discussed her own privileges and made a point to support and shine a light on those who are more marginalized. She’s honest about times where she has had (and sometimes still does have) unhealthy or not-politically-correct thoughts. She doesn’t paint herself as a perfect role model or person. Instead, she shows you that she’s human, which allows her to make a much deeper connection with her followers.
- She talks about mental health as much as physical health. She produces a LOT of content around mental health. She regularly rejects hardline diet talk like “I need to earn this food with this workout,” instead encouraging people to find food and physical activities that they enjoy (she likes trapeze/aerial workouts, and WOW it is impressive). Her podcast episode What You Can Do If You Think You Hate Exercising explores ways to experiment with making physical activity more bearable for those who don’t naturally enjoy it. She also advocates for intuitive eating, which I will completely mis-explain if I try, but it’s a way of relating to food that’s based in self-care instead of self-control that generally encourages people to stop thinking of food in terms of “good” and “bad” and learn how to listen to their body’s cues.
And last but certainly not least, she’s an animal lover and frequently posts pictures of her dogs, Alamo and Peppermint. Enough said.