Photography by Fran Minifie Photography
I haven’t done a member profile for a while, so thought it was high time I rectified that. Ingrid Wolpert is a member of our online community and is a regular at our coffee mornings and networking events. She lights up the room with her infectious smile and is such a positive and bubbly person to have in the office. So let’s find out more about her.
Ingrid, can you tell us a bit about yourself, please?
I’m Ingrid, I’m in my 40s, I grew up in Germany. I am German and Swiss (my grandparents’ side) and I became a British citizen in 2020. I lived in the US, Belgium and Scotland before settling in the UK. I love chocolate, snow, and cheese (that’s my Swiss side), but I equally love fish & chips on the beach, wild swimming in the local rivers (Avon or Dart) and a good comedy show! I enjoy going to live concerts – my favourite music is American folk/country music – especially sad songs – they make me happy!
And what about your business?
I am a personal coach for women. I help them relax around food and their body and find health without obsession. I work with them 1-1 over Zoom but am thinking of offering the same service ‘in person’ in the future.
I’ve been a coach for two years. Before children, I was a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist for 10 years, for the NHS and in private practice.
What makes you different from your competitors?
I don’t teach weight loss and I don’t tell people what to eat or give them a plan (apart from basic guidelines). I focus on the relationship my clients have with food and their body – it’s often filled with anxiety, critical and punishing. This is what we work on. Once we make progress there, the food and exercise stuff often becomes much more balanced on its own.
So who do you help?
I help the woman who has been on or off a diet (or a so-called ‘healthy eating plan’ which is often a diet in disguise) most of her life. The woman who will be ‘on the wagon’ with her healthy eating plan for some time, then find herself eating everything that isn’t nailed down on the other side of it. She eats salads and soups one week, has cookies and ice cream binges the next. She has an exercise routine that’s based on achieving a certain ‘look’, burning calories and being ‘lean’, rather than enjoying herself.
This woman feels anxious about breaking her healthy eating regimen because when she does, all bets are off. She’s been on this rollercoaster for a while, she is exhausted, and she’s ready to try a new approach.
The woman I work with is a high achiever, she’s doing very well in all areas of life, but the food and body thing is where she struggles. Her self-worth is determined to a great extent by whether she eats well, what the scale says, the size of her jeans and whether she feels in control. She often works very hard, rests very little and is driven by wanting to be productive all the time, finding it difficult to relax and let go.
Can you explain how your coaching helps your clients?
There are a number of benefits to working with me. I help my clients to…
1) Understand the reasons why they’re in this pattern of all good to all bad with food and how to get out of it.
2) Learn simple, practical tools to stop binge eating and emotional eating.
3) Find a balanced approach to food, exercise and health, where their body and their mind work in partnership instead of one fighting the other.
4) Be more at peace with their body and themselves instead of treating both like a never-ending ‘improvement project.’
5) Rediscover their self-worth that has nothing to do with the scale; their strengths, their values, what they want in life and steps for doing that instead of hiding.
Photography by Fran Minifie Photography
What has been your biggest achievement so far in your business journey?
Daring to start my own business in the first place, during a pandemic! Working with those first clients, and seeing them get what they came for, has been amazing. I’m also proud of the fact that as a non-diet, weight-neutral coach, I am offering an alternative to all the weight loss programs out there that promise your life will be changed forever for the better if you lose weight. It’s just not true and most people put all the weight back on. Instead, your life will forever be changed if you improve your relationship with yourself, food and your body.
What is your ultimate aim for your business?
My dream is to one day (alongside working 1-1 with clients) develop a digital course teaching young people to develop and maintain a positive body image. Helping them to see their self-worth, and that it has nothing to do with how their body looks. I think this stuff should be on every school’s curriculum! It has the potential to prevent mental health problems including disordered eating and even eating disorders.
Helping young people to be resilient and protect themselves from the harms of our body-obsessed culture, especially what happens on social media. I believe it’s no coincidence that anxiety levels in children and young people have risen hugely in the last decade – which is the decade of the rise of social media.
What is the biggest challenge you find in running your own business?
Time and childcare. I love my kids, and I love spending time with them but juggling holidays and work can be really challenging. The other challenge is feeling isolated, but I have since discovered coworking!
What is the best bit of advice you have received in regard to business?
If you have an idea and you think there is demand out there, just go start it. You will learn everything by doing, falling down and getting up again. Make sure you don’t do it alone – find peers, other business owners, a mentor, a coach, a community. Isolation is the dream killer.
Can you name an inspiring female entrepreneur/woman in business and tell us why/how she inspires you?
That is a really tough one! I’m actually going to go with my Swiss grandmother. She was a primary school teacher in Geneva and didn’t have a business, however, if she had grown up in a different time I am convinced she would have. She was always of service and went above and beyond the requirements of her job.
She tutored children outside of school who grew up poor, she gave French lessons to immigrant mothers so they could help their children with their schooling and also to empower them to be independent. She was a problem-solver, creative and practical and not afraid to take risks. All great qualities for a business owner.
What made you decide to try coworking?
During the pandemic, I heard about the Tribe in Totnes through a friend. I was feeling isolated working from home, but of course, we couldn’t go out, so I thought doing it online is the next best thing.
Since then I have been to the Tribe many times, in particular to the workshops and networking events. It’s been a real lifeline and I’ve met inspiring women and business owners, made friends and learnt a lot of useful skills for business, like sales and marketing.
What have you found most useful about being part of a coworking community?
It’s brilliant – you meet new, inspiring people, build your network, you can collaborate and find referral partners, you can exchange ideas, and learn from each other. Sometimes you just need a really good natter about the challenges of running a business with a cup of tea and cake!
Thank you so much Ingrid for sharing yourself so openly with us!
Click here for Ingrid Wolpert’s website to find out more about her services and how she can help you.
You can also follow @Ingrid.Wolpert on Instagram.
If you would like to become part of our online membership, come along to any of our small and intimate networking events and workshops or simply want to book a desk and try coworking for female entrepreneurs, self-employed women, remote and hybrid working women, sign up to our mailing list below and email Stacey@thetribecoworking.co.uk for details.
Stacey Sheppard is the founder of The Tribe, a small community-driven coworking space in Totnes that caters to creative, growth-oriented female entrepreneurs by providing an inspiring working environment designed to foster collaboration, connection and community.