Katy Weber and Wrapping It Up in a Bow of Four Letters

Katy Weber’s personal mission is to help neurodivergent adults learn to embrace their brains. She does this through the popular Women & ADHD podcast where she uses her background in journalism to chat with people who have ADHD. She also coaches women to change their mindset and reframe their self-concept through Women & ADHD, LLC. Learn more about Katy and her work at www.womenandadhd.com and on Instagram at @womenandadhdpodcast and @katyweber.adhd. 

Listen in to hear Katy share her ADHD experience and “pandemic mom meltdown” diagnosis, and get more about how she helps countless individuals with ADHD find hope, inspiration, and practical tools to help them thrive.

Connect with Katy Weber online:

orange diamond Women and ADHD 

orange diamond Women and ADHD on Instagram

orange diamond Katy Weber on Instagram

orange diamond The ADHD Lounge

READ: CHADD talks ADHD Coaching + Resources to Help You On Your Search

Add us on Social Media!

Katy Weber (00:00):

I remember going to my therapist and complaining about the fact that I really felt like this was the best time for me to start investing in my business, which now when I think about it, I’m like, “What was I thinking?” But I had all this idle time to think about all the things I wanted to do, but I couldn’t do anything because I was basically waiting.

Lindsay Guentzel (00:26):

You are listening to Refocus, Together, and this is episode 13, Katy Weber and wrapping it up in a bow of four letters. Welcome back to Refocused, a podcast all about ADHD. I’m your host, Lindsay Guentzel. You just heard today’s Refocus, Together guest, Katy Weber. Like all of the 31 guests we’ll have an honor of ADHD awareness month. Katy has generously shared her story to help us all see that we aren’t alone. Katy Weber has made it her personal mission to help neurodivergent adults learn to embrace their brains. As the host of the popular Women & ADHD podcast, she’s gained a following of individuals who share similar experiences. Katy herself was diagnosed with ADHD when she was 45 after her therapist urged her to explore the possibility. Prior to this, she believed she had bipolar too. However, after filling out Sari Solden’s Self-Test for Women, she scored near perfect and her whole life flashed before her eyes.


Katy is a mom, author, speaker, and ADHD coach. She founded Women & ADHD, LLC where she has spent the last seven years coaching women to change their mindset and reframe their self-concept. Her goal is to help women recognize and lean into their gifts and abilities. Katy is also pursuing an MS in clinical mental health counseling as she believes in the importance of understanding the intersection of neurodivergence and mental health. You can learn more about Katy and her work at womenandadhd.com and on Instagram @womenandadhdpodcast and katyweber.adhd.


In addition to her coaching and podcasting work, Katy recently co-launched the ADHD Lounge with a fellow ADHD coach. This all in one coaching and accountability community is designed specifically for adults with ADHD or learning disabilities. Check them out at theadhdlounge.com. When Katy’s not coaching or studying, she can be found at home in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, two children, a dog, and two cats. Prior to her coaching career, Katy spent 15 years as a newspaper editor and designer. Let’s hear now from Katy about her experience with ADHD and her air quotes, “Pandemic mom meltdown diagnosis.” Why she prefers to answer more generally. When someone asks “So what do you do?” And find out what it’s like to help countless individuals with ADHD find hope, inspiration, and practical tools to help them thrive.


I’ve made it really easy for myself with all of these interviews. We start with the exact same question for every single one, and that is when were you diagnosed and what was that process like for you?

Katy Weber (03:36):

So I was officially diagnosed in October of 2020. And I think I start… So my therapist, to backtrack a little bit, my therapist had been diagnosed after her son, her middle schooler was diagnosed. And I think she started gently suggesting to me that I might have it, and I was sort of insulted, “What do you think of me that I have…?” Because of course, I thought it was this hyperactive little boy who couldn’t sit still. I had no idea what ADHD was. I just thought it was somebody who fidgeted a lot. I just had no idea what it was. And we would talk in my sessions about how lazy I was and how I couldn’t get my act together and all this stuff. And yet the evidence was so overwhelmingly to the contrary. I had written a book, I had this business, I was an entrepreneur. I mean, I was doing all sorts of things.


So she would often talk about that, how my self concept was so radically different from what I was actually doing in life. And she said, “Maybe you should look into ADHD.” And I was like, “I don’t see how those relate. I don’t have an attention issue.” I thought I had bipolar, was what I thought I had, because I had these manic swings between being really interested in starting new businesses and doing all these things and creating a website. And then I would end up on the couch for a week or two not being able to do anything. And so that’s how I thought I had it. But then the pandemic happened, and we were in lockdown and I had two kids in school and all of a sudden I was the maid and the chef and the teacher and all the things that moms were during lockdown.


And I remember going to my therapist and complaining about the fact that I really felt like this was the best time for me to start investing in my business, which now when I think about it, I’m like, “What was I thinking?” But I had all this idle time to think about all the things I wanted to do, but I couldn’t do anything because I was basically waiting for my children. I didn’t know when I was going to be interrupted. I didn’t know when somebody was going to burst out of their bedroom and complain that Zoom was out or the internet was out. And so I felt like I was in waiting mode all day. And I was complaining to her about this situation. And that’s where she was like, “Dude, look into ADHD. This is textbook ADHD.” And I still was like, “I don’t get it, but okay.”


So I did a self-test online, but it was a generic one for adults. And so it had a lot of the DSM questions like, “Do you feel like you’re run by a motor?” And I remember thinking, “I guess, I don’t know, aren’t we all?” I didn’t really understand a lot of those questions. Again, didn’t really feel like I was a fidgety person. And then I stumbled on Sari Solden’s Self-Test for Women, specifically for women, where her questions were much more about chronic clutter and overwhelm, and she really gets to a lot of the shame and emotions that we hold around some of these more domestic behaviors. And that’s where I felt like my whole life flashed before my eyes. I was like, “Oh, this is what we’re talking about where we talk about ADHD. Oh, okay, yeah, all of this, isn’t this everybody?” And really had to start unpacking where this all came from and how all of these seemingly random struggles I had in my life all seem to tie up in this really nice bow of those four letters.

Lindsay Guentzel (07:05):

It’s one of the biggest problems with the DSM, is that it’s very scientific and it’s meant for the diagnostic process, but it isn’t interpreted for us everyday folks in a way that actually shows how it shows up in life. And so I’m wondering as you’re taking that online quiz that’s specific for women and you’re seeing some of these come up, I imagine that there was probably some stuff about masking in there, but as you look back at your life, what really stood out as those moments or those triggers or those habits you had picked up that were textbook ADHD and you could see it then?

Katy Weber (07:42):

Gosh, so many. Like you, I got very emotional. I think there’s a lot of grief initially in that diagnosis. For some reason, I had all of my report cards from when I was a kid and because my parents had saved them. And I was looking through the report cards and seeing so clearly ADHD everywhere in terms of the teacher’s comments. And I just cried. I just felt so sad for that little girl because I really did not do very well in school. I was in the gifted program, like a lot of kids with ADHD, I was in that gifted student to depression anxiety pipeline that we talk about. So I was in the gifted program, always expecting to get kicked out because just year after year it was, “She’s talking too much, she’s too distracted. She starts projects and doesn’t finish. She’s easily distracted. She has so much potential and if she would only apply herself, she would be doing great things and it’s just such this shame that she’s wasting these gifts.”


And so it’s always felt like I had this potential and I didn’t know what this potential was. Nobody seemed to explain it to me, nobody seemed to explain how I was wasting it or what I needed to do to reach it. It just always felt like I just needed so much help and it wasn’t there for me. And so I gave up. I had a real truancy issue in high school. I ended up having to do an extra year of high school in order to get into university. I went to university, I flunked out of university. It was just this constant situation of trying and then failing and feeling really, because of my negative experience with academia, it really affected how I viewed my own intellect.


So I really felt similar to you. I feel like we have a lot of similarities. Just how at the end of the day, I secretly felt like I was dumb. And that core belief about myself just affected how I lived my life. I think even still, I just get so choked up thinking about how wrong I was and just how sad that is. I needed so much help and just didn’t receive it. And how that kind of led to so many other issues as an adult.

Lindsay Guentzel (10:10):

Hindsight is a great gift, but it comes with a lot of baggage and it’s so hard when you receive this life-changing diagnosis. And I’m curious, in the time since you figured out this thing about yourself and you’ve had time to reflect, what are some of the changes that you’ve put in place to help with some of the ways ADHD shows up in your life?

Katy Weber (10:32):

I think the biggest change for me is that recognition that I am not the problem, I never was the problem. The problem is not that I need to be working harder or that I need to keep jamming the square peg into the round hole, that kind of thing. I feel like it’s really fundamentally shifted how I view struggle and how I view support. So I think that there’s this way in which you always feel like, “God, I can’t do this thing, whatever this thing is, so I really just need some time to work harder at it. I need to figure this out.” It was just always me on my own. And now I feel like my whole view of, okay, if something’s not working out for me, I don’t waste any time thinking that I am somehow the problem. I immediately now think, “Okay, what’s missing? What do I need? What support do I need? What do I need to change? How can I pivot?”


I feel like I just have a much just lighter relationship with struggle and a much more generous, like you said, I have a lot more grace with myself and I have a lot more generous, have a lot more generous relationship with asking for support and help. And I always say to my clients, I’m like, “The first question when it comes to anything is who could I get to do this for me?” Which is never a question I ever would’ve asked pre ADHD because I always sort of felt like I had to prove myself in some way.

Lindsay Guentzel (12:02):

How has this changed the inner voice that you’ve had for your entire life?

Katy Weber (12:07):

I mean, I think it really is so much about self-concept with this diagnosis, and why when somebody has ADHD and they find out you’ve been diagnosed, they’re like, “Woohoo.” They want to celebrate with you, as opposed to somebody who doesn’t know anything about ADHD and when they find out you’re diagnosed, they’re like, “Oh, I’m sorry about your disorder.” It’s so exciting to feel like this window has opened in our life where we can really view ourselves as highly capable, highly motivated, phenomenal human beings who are interest based and what does that mean for us and how do we need to, again, how do we need to solve problems? It is a very different way of looking at ourselves. It’s very subtle, very simple shift in self-concept, but I think it makes the biggest difference. I think it’s the far more effective. I don’t want to get down to brass tacks about what is the best way to treat ADHD, but if I felt like there’s one thing that is integral, it’s that shift in our self-concept and our self-esteem.

Lindsay Guentzel (13:20):

I’m glad that you mentioned interest-based, that we are interest-based people and I want to talk about your interests and your career. You have a very interesting story in the sense that you were a coach prior to your ADHD diagnosis. And then there’s been this shift in the work that you’re doing and the focus of the work that you’re doing. So I think it would just be great if you wouldn’t mind taking us back and talk a little bit about creating your first career and what that was like for you? Because it is very ADHD. Obviously, you know now you were undiagnosed, but you found something you wanted to do and you figured out a way to do it. But then there came this transition period, and your focus changed in a wonderful way and you’ve just really embraced this group of human beings who for so long were just forgotten. I mean, decades and decades of us just pushed aside because we didn’t know. And so I would love to open it up here and just talk about that for a little bit.

Katy Weber (14:14):

I was actually kind of a bad coach in some ways, now looking back at it. Because I started, I was a newspaper journalist for many years and of course, now look back and think, oh, that makes perfect sense on deadline late nights, all of that. Loved it. And then I had kids, and I had to get up in the morning and it changed, suddenly going back to work, I felt terrible at my job, I felt terrible at being a mother. It really was a lot undiagnosed ADHD, I really, really struggled with going back to work in the newspaper. Plus, just everywhere I worked I was getting laid off because newspapers, so it was pretty much a dying industry. So that’s where I pivoted to coaching after I had kids and we left New York City. And I just wanted something with a little more flexibility and freedom and really fell into coaching, especially when it came to body image work and binge eating because it was something I had struggled with and it was something I was very passionate about.


But one of the things I noticed when I was working with clients before I had ADHD was that there was very much this sense of, “Okay, let’s come up with a plan. Okay, we’ve got this plan, we’re going to do this thing. I’ll see you next week.” And then the client would come back the week later and they didn’t do the thing. And I felt like a terrible coach because I couldn’t get them to do the thing, they felt like a terrible client because they didn’t do the thing. And we always felt very stuck in this moment, because I didn’t really understand executive function. That was not a term I knew until after I was diagnosed and really fell down the rabbit hole.


So I didn’t understand interest-based brains and how much just wanting to do the thing isn’t enough for somebody with ADHD, that we need some real, a lot more accountability and a lot more structured work. So I feel like with my knowledge about ADHD now, I’m a much better coach, but I think a lot of it was there intuitively in terms of the idea of support and handholding and just curiosity about who we are and how we think. I think that’s sort of the journalism has lent to, not only the coaching, but also a podcast, just being curious and asking a lot of questions and wanting to get to the why of why we are the way we are.

Lindsay Guentzel (16:41):

Do you think that your discovery of your ADHD and then figuring out why doing the thing for yourself was hard, has made you a better coach or can help you understand what a person might need? Keeping in mind, we think of the world or hopefully we’re breaking this, but we thought of the world for so long as one size fits all, and it is so far from it. But we also know with ADHD, there’s the ebbs and flows. So what works for me one week might not work the next.

Katy Weber (17:10):

I feel like one of the things I see and try to rail against in the coaching industry more, anybody can really call themselves a coach really. So it’s the wild west. And I see a lot of these promises that there’s some answer out there, there’s some magic pill, there’s some thing that we’re hiding from you, and when you pay me a lot of money, it’s going to be revealed to you. And that narrative really bothers me because really, there’s no magic behind this situation. It’s really just having a person who listens to you and chats with you and figures things out together.


And it’s really, really intensive body doubling and accountability all rolled into one, and it’s just figuring things out, but then also knowing that you have a continued relationship with that person to come back and figure out, “Okay, well if this didn’t work, let’s pivot. Let’s figure something out.” Again, it’s we’re not the problem. It’s really a matter of how do we solve this? And I feel like with ADHD, we love puzzles, and there’s no bigger puzzle than us and our brains. There’s a lot about coaching that kind of has an ick factor to it when it’s presented in this way that there’s just like, if somebody is promising you a lot of weird, obtuse secretive things that are going to be revealed as a result of this process, I would be really wary.

Lindsay Guentzel (18:36):

I’m really glad you touched on this, because I feel the exact same way. And the example I’ll use, and it just came to me as journalists here, it’s like when we ever had to work with the marketing department and we’d be like, “No, you can’t say that.” My father, bless his heart, anything that was advertised to him, he would buy because he didn’t understand the difference between truth and embellished truth for marketing. And it does feel a little a wild, wild west right now, and so I really appreciate that you are honest about your thoughts on it as a coach, because I think it’s important for people to hear that.

Katy Weber (19:10):

I feel like we are of a population that have read a lot of self-help books. We’re very prone to feeling like the answer is out there somewhere and it’s going to be at the end of this next book. We really, I think it’s that mix of impulsivity and urgency. We really want the answer and we want it yesterday. And so I feel like it is easy to get wrapped up in this assumption that you’re going to get fixed and this whole narrative of like, “Okay, I know…” There’s so many times where I’ve had clients come to me and say, “Now I know what my problem is. Let’s fix me.” And I was like, “Okay, we need to really unpack a lot of that assumption that there’s anything wrong with you.” But I think anytime there’s this idea that you’re going to tap into your superpowers, all of that I just find kind of problematic.

Lindsay Guentzel (20:01):

And I also think people are in for a rude awakening if they do coaching and they find a good coach, because what it’s going to be is finding a way to write lists that work for you. It’s not some fancy system. I mean, your system might be fancy. My system is very much not fancy, but once you start actually implementing it and doing it over and over again, and then there’s that moment where you go, “Oh yeah, they told me that a long time ago.” But it’s accountability and it’s working with someone that you trust. And there’s so much power in that.

Katy Weber (20:32):

Right? Yeah, it is really, I mean, it is a transformative experience. And I am grateful for my coach and I know my clients feel like it has been incredibly life-changing for them. At the end of the day, it’s really just a very formalized, it’s like a trainer, like a personal trainer for your brain.

Lindsay Guentzel (20:52):

And we get endorphins and dopamine from spending time with people that we like. So there’s added perks in that. You mentioned that your clients see a benefit from working with you. People who listen to your podcast also have a benefit from listening to the podcast and you opened by reading a review where someone said, “This podcast is a part of my treatment plan.” I want to go back to the very beginning. You get this idea to start this podcast, and this is three years ago. So what were those early days for you? And when did you start to feel like you had found this little pocket of podcast perfection in talking specifically about women and ADHD?

Katy Weber (21:32):

I always sheepishly admit on the podcast, because it still blows my mind when I get reviews like that, when people reach out to me and say, “Thank you so much. You’ve helped me so much.” I mean, I really started the podcast for myself. It was very much a selfish endeavor. We were all in lockdown. I had this idea to interview people because it was my journalist brain. I really wanted to have conversations with other women and I needed a platform to do that because I couldn’t just creepily reach out to people and be like, “Can I have an hour of your time?” And so I decided instead to start this whole thing and to really geek out about editing and microphones and all of that stuff and really got into it and just started reaching out to interesting people in the community. I was in some Facebook groups where I said, “Hey, will you come on my podcast and we’ll talk and we can promote your business or whatever you want.”


It was really, there was so little thought put into it at the beginning. It was just for me to have conversations, because I didn’t know at the time how important that conversation, that sharing of stories, that crowdsourcing, all of it, how validating it was and how the sharing of stories among us is really how we learn about ourselves. And I mean, I should have known that as somebody who had done a lot of interviewing, I just hadn’t really put two and two together in a conscious way. The other thing I admit sometimes is I started the podcast before I was officially diagnosed. And I remember panicking at the thought that if I go to the doctor and I’m not actually diagnosed, now what do I do? I’ve started this whole podcast, I’m living a lie, but at the same time have never felt so seen before.


I was so convinced I had it, but there was still that part of me that was like, “Oh God, maybe I totally misread this whole situation.” And over the years, it’s one of the questions that I talk a lot about on the podcast, which is like, okay, what are we talking about? Is this ADHD or is this something else? What’s going on here? I find it all so fascinating and still do, it’s one of the things I love to talk about always. And I think it was after a few months where I went from six people listening to it and me being like, “This is amazing.” And suddenly the numbers started creeping up and up and up, and then I started getting these comment, people were reaching out to me and people were reviewing, and women in all over the world were listening to this podcast.


And it was only then that I realized, “Oh, I feel like I really stumbled on a very, very powerful, therapeutic way of learning about ourselves and researching who we are by sharing our lived experiences.” That we weren’t learning about ADHD by the DSM,, we weren’t learning about ADHD by reading articles as helpful as they can be. We were learning about how ADHD shows up for each other and ourselves, and it just suddenly had this beautiful symbiotic feel to it. Because I was benefiting so much from these conversations, the guests were benefiting from sharing their stories, and then the listeners were also nodding along. It just suddenly felt like all the pieces were in place for this wonderful experience. And I just am so grateful that anybody listens to it. Because like I said, I just wanted to chit-chat with other people. That was all I really wanted.

Lindsay Guentzel (25:11):

What was it like for you getting to put back on that journalistic hat that you had worn for so many years?

Katy Weber (25:17):

I mean, it really all just makes sense. I mean, I think again, just that curiosity and having conversations, and I guess, also realizing that the people who I was drawn to, I always joke that if you go to a party, the people who are neurodivergent are at the back of the room on the couch. Everybody else is dancing, and we’re having a really intense conversation about the time space continuum. Those are my people. And I didn’t realize until I was diagnosed that we’re everywhere and those are the people I’m drawn to. And so once you realize that those are the conversations, those one-on-one intense, we don’t chitchat, we don’t have small talk, we go right for the trauma. And it’s so nourishing, I was like, “That’s my hobby.” When people talk about their hobby, it’s like my hobby is trauma dumping on each other. But also having these really interesting revelations about how we tick and who we are and our communication styles and all of that.

Lindsay Guentzel (26:28):

Just to add to that, because I feel the exact same way, I think some of us are extroverts. I think a lot of us are introverts who just do not tolerate small talk, and so we come across as big extroverts when really it’s just like, no, like you said, it’s either trauma dumping or I’m going to learn your deepest darkest secrets in 10 minutes and we might never see each other again, but we’re probably going to be best friends forever. We could go through life and see each other twice and it will be the most connected relationship of all time.

Katy Weber (26:59):


Lindsay Guentzel (27:01):

I want to touch on something really quick about journalism, because you mentioned you had to job hop because newspapers going out of business, all of that sort of stuff. Being in journalism is not for the faint of heart. It is very cutthroat. And as technology had changed and places were shutting down, there were less and less jobs. I’m wondering how it has been for you to get to do something that you love and you get to do it for yourself because there is this thing with journalism, you love what you do, but it’s never really fully yours, and now you have built something that is really fully yours.

Katy Weber (27:38):

I think it took me a while to really think of podcasting as journalism. Because it felt like a hobby, it felt like such a lark at first. And so for me to really be like, “Oh no, this is actually, I’ve built this career now out of this,” feels fantastic. Because it does feel like I’ve come full circle as somebody who felt like a failure so many times. Every time I was laid off or every time I quit in rage because my managing editor was an asshole or all of those things, it does feel like, “Oh.” All I needed was to really just find my niche and my right fit, and also really appreciating all of the different jobs and experiences that brought me here.


To feel like, “Oh, I have just enough design background and just enough theater background and just enough copy editing background.” And all of these little pieces that I thought I was so flaky because I couldn’t stick with anything, everything just plays so beautifully into this version of me now, this patchwork quilt of all of these past things, which I feel like is just, again, it’s kind of lovely to think about.

Lindsay Guentzel (28:49):

It’s a perfect segue to ask you where do you see yourself thriving right now? And we talked a lot about work so you can continue in that, you can open up to the rest of life. I mean, it can be about anything.

Katy Weber (29:01):

Going back to this idea that I always felt like I was dumb. I really credit my ADHD diagnosis for changing that belief, that core belief. And so I’ve gone back to grad school, which is something that I never, if you saw my transcript from undergraduate, it’s kind of amazes me that anybody is allowing me into grad school. But thankfully enough time has gone by that nobody caress about my transcript anymore, but I’ve gone back to graduate school to become a clinical mental health counselor. And one of the reasons why, I mean I have always wanted to do this, but I always felt like I was never going to be accepted. And then I just met with a lot of clients who would ask me, “Can you recommend a therapist who understands what ADHD looks like in women, because we’re so often misdiagnosed with depression and anxiety and then sent on our way with some medication, boom?” And not only understanding what ADHD looks like in women and girls, but also just how profound the diagnosis can be, right?


That this is not a pathological diagnosis for us. It’s like we’re wielding this new sword. And so I felt like coaching and therapy are so beautifully combined when it comes to an ADHD brain. And I was doing a lot. I felt like the stuff I was most interested in with my coaching clients was talking about our brains and our childhood, and I felt like I was kind of going into unethical territory because I wasn’t trained as a counselor, but also feeling like there needs to be more mental health counselors out there, there needs to be more therapists who really understand what ADHD looks like and how it’s experienced in adults. So give me three years. I’m in grad school right now. I’m really excited. And the thing that I love about being in grad school and having the background and knowledge that I do have now of ADHD and neurodivergence is also getting back to the idea of thriving.


I feel like I am bringing so much to the table in the mental health field. There are so many dots that nobody is connecting in the mental health field. I feel like I’m in a really privileged position to be able to come into some of these spaces and connect the dots. So initially I thought, “Well, I want to go into private practice and work with carbon copies of myself.” But really then I start to think about eating disorder clinics or prisons or rehabilitation center. There’s so many places with undiagnosed ADHD where I feel like, yeah, I’m just excited about where this path will take me just in terms of what my knowledge will bring to this field.

Lindsay Guentzel (31:48):

I have to tell you, I got full body chills when you said that. I was like, “Where’s she going with this?” And it is so wonderful and we need so many more of you, not just people who have an interest in ADHD, but mental health in this country and the access to it and the number of providers. I mean, we need to be encouraging more people to go into this field. So I’m so excited for you. And I have to ask, you mentioned coming in and having this really unique way of connecting dots from your past experience. I’m wondering what are maybe some of the things that you’ve changed, looking back at younger Katy who wasn’t as good at school or wasn’t as good in the organizational side of school? How is that going?

Katy Weber (32:34):

Oh, gosh. It’s funny because I feel like I’ve totally flipped and now I’ve become the anxious perfectionist that I keep interviewing on my podcast. Where I’m like, if I get a 99 on an assignment, I’m like, “What happened to the other 1%?” Which is funny because I wasn’t like that at all. I barely was scraping by my first time around. So it’s been really nice, it’s been really validating to do well in my classes. But also, I think I’m just really grateful that I am much better at time management, I’m much better at prioritization. My kids thankfully, are old enough. I have a 16 year old and a 12 year old. So I’m in a place in my life where I’m not… I don’t know how… I meet some women who have babies and toddlers who are in this program, and I don’t know how they do it because for me, I had to really know what my boundaries were and where I was able to apply, where I need a lot of time for studying and a lot of time for reading, and I need a lot of support.


So I’m constantly in the disabilities resource center looking for what kind of accommodations I can get, and I go to office hours, which I never used to do in undergraduate. I make use of all the support that’s out there that always was out there, I just never felt that I could ask for it. Because I always felt like, “Oh, they’re going to judge me because it’s last minute.” Or “I didn’t study enough.” Or “I can’t ask for help on this chapter because I haven’t read it yet.” Or all those ways which we don’t feel worthy of help. Thankfully, that’s all gone, and I’m just like, “No, I’m going to get all the help I can get.”

Lindsay Guentzel (34:17):

It’s wonderful. It’s a wonderful place to be in life when you realize the power of accepting help.

Katy Weber (34:22):

Yeah. Well said.

Lindsay Guentzel (34:24):

I know this is a big chapter in your life, you mentioned the next three years. What else are you looking forward to? What else is pushing you forward?

Katy Weber (34:32):

I mean, I think one of the things I love to do, and realized very quickly as the podcast was sort of turning into more of a community where I was like, I was so privileged to meet all of these amazing women and like you said, a one hour conversation. We end up being friends for life. And having just the warmest, warmest feelings for each other. And I was meeting all of these women and I wanted to come up with more ways for women to find each other. And when I started doing some book clubs, some virtual book clubs around Sari Solden and Michelle Frank’s workbook, A Radical Guide for Women with ADHD, and I was bringing together women who we were having these Zooms and we would break into small groups, and this was the first time many of these women had ever talked to anyone about their ADHD. And they would go into these small groups and then they would come back and their faces would be flushed, and they were so excited and so happy.


And it was just the best feeling to be able to facilitate those meetings and to just realize how important it is for us to meet each other and talk to each other. And so in whatever I do, I love group situations, I love being able to bring us together, because I think not only do we learn a lot from each other, but we also have a lot to share in terms of what works and what doesn’t work for us. And a lot of the time, I think that kind of crowdsourcing is really effective for how our brains work. Any opportunity I can have to bring people together, I love. And so I do a lot of group coaching, but they’re usually limited. After the four weeks or six weeks or whatever the program lasts, there’s always this panic. “How do we stay in touch? And I’ll say, “Create your own Zooms or whatever, I don’t know, get a text list or something together. Good luck to you.”


But realizing that even though you have each other’s texts, we’re terrible at that, we’re terrible at keeping in touch with each other. And then we feel bad and all of that starts to just happen. So one of the things I’ve also recognized is that there needs to be enough formalization in the way that we gather so that we can sort of show up and have it made for us and scheduled for us, and we know that we’re there and we know that the people are there, but it’s not on us to keep this going. And so that’s why I think monthly subscription communities are the best thing ever for people with ADHD. And so that’s what I’ve kind of focused on now as the next step, is I created with a fellow, ADHD coach, Alex Gilbert. The two of us have joined together to create what we’re calling the ADHD Lounge. And it’s sort of all those things that we wanted out of what worked for us in an ADHD community and just keeping in touch with people and making friends, but at the same time, having a little more formal play dates.

Lindsay Guentzel (37:22):

I love it. It’s so spot on though. It’s like you need a reoccurring date every two weeks, every once a month or it’s not going to happen.

Katy Weber (37:32):

Exactly. I know. My bestie and I who are from university, we’ve known each other 25 years. And it’s like the only way we keep in touch is we have Zooms every other Monday and we know it’s in the calendar and we know to show up and if we can’t make it… But it’s just, it’s so great. We don’t have to think about “Did I text her?” And all of those things. And she has ADHD too, of course, which is why we’ve stayed friends for 25 years.

Lindsay Guentzel (37:57):

I’m curious, in the time that you’ve spent looking back at your ADHD, you mentioned that you struggled with disordered eating. And we know that there’s a connection between ADHD and women and disordered eating. And I’m wondering what you have found out about yourself from that?

Katy Weber (38:12):

I think one of the things that I found out is that I will never not have disordered eating. And I think that that’s okay, and that kind of gets back to that conversation about having grace with myself of, I’m a woman living in this messed up society, I am never not going to have a dysfunctional relationship with food and my body, and that’s okay. So what are the things that I can do in this moment that are going to feel like the healthiest choices for me? And that’s always going to look different. I mean, I have so much to say about why we fall prey to diet culture, why our brains are just primed for weighing and measuring and scales and extreme behaviors and all of the things that get us into some of these issues. Not even talking about the executive function and the paralysis around making myself meals and feeling like I can’t feed myself most days and sometimes a meal is a jar of peanut butter and a spoon. That’s okay. So getting rid of some of that judgment.


I have so many things to say. I’m losing my train of thought. I think one of the things is just to go easy on it, and I guess, also not to do it alone. I think that there is the counterculture to diet culture, which often is body positivity, body acceptance and intuitive eating, can feel just as unwelcoming or confusing and disheartening as diet culture. And so often we feel lost a lot of the time around food and feeding ourselves. And so again, I always feel like find somebody who gets you and you can mirror some of your thoughts with you and work through some of the messages that you’re working through.


It’s not something that you just decide one day to wake up and be like, “Okay, I’m on my own.” I don’t feel like we ever work well that way. So I’m really grateful for the coaches that I have in my life that I work with still around food. Because I don’t feel like I’m ever going to be ching cured of anything. And so resisting some of that mentality that there is something out there that’s going to solve all of our problems can also lead us to feeling like we’re failures.

Lindsay Guentzel (40:37):

Well, it’s hard to work against something that you’re so pre-programmed to just sit in all the time.

Katy Weber (40:43):

Exactly. And I was crying the other day to my trainer, Marty. Because I was like, I feel like I’m almost 50, and I was having all of these body image issues because I’m back on campus and I’m back around 20 something year olds. And I was like, since all the pandemic and wearing nothing but track pants for three years, I was like, I’m having all these body image issues, and I was like, “I should know better. I should not…” All these shoulds were just flooding into this conversation about I don’t want to waste the next half of my life thinking about this shit, it’s terrible. But then at the same time, just realizing, yeah, it’s there. It’s like our horrible step sibling that we got to learn to live with and find a way to accept and love.

Lindsay Guentzel (41:34):

I want to wrap this up by asking, what’s something you wish people understood better about ADHD?

Katy Weber (41:39):

One of the criticisms I get for my podcast is, “All the guests you have on, they all have their act together. They’re all such wonderful… They’re all great. They have these wonderful careers, they’re all thriving entrepreneurs. Where are the real people?” And I think it can be really disheartening to hear people with ADHD always talking about how the great their strategies are and how they’ve done all these things. And I feel like there really is sometimes this narrative that there is a cure or that we’re out to fix ADHD. And so I think if people realize that this… And I think when you call it a disorder and you have a diagnosis, there’s a lot of medicalized clinical language around, “Now you’ve been diagnosed, here’s your medication. Good luck to you.” There is a lot of ways in which that narrative is reinforced by clinicians.


I think if people realize that this is so much more of this is about self-acceptance and sort of deconstructing the shame that you feel around your behaviors and who you are, your natural wonderful self that you’ve probably been trying to hide and diminish and the opposite, what you need to do is not try to fix yourself. You need to shine a light on all of those things that you thought were character flaws. You need to really just lean into that, and it’s like a yin yang, for every part of yourself that you can’t stand there’s another side of that coin that is what makes you magical. We really need to spend no time fixing or curing ourselves when it comes to ADHD.

Lindsay Guentzel (43:25):

Well, that’s also so hard to not play the comparison game in good and bad things. And just because you are doing well right now or you’re highlighting that you’re doing well right now, or that I’m doing bad right now, there’s no comparison between it. We can each be carrying around our own thing and not really have to worry about matching somebody else, but it’s hard, it’s very hard. I say that and I’m like, “No, I do it all the time.”

Katy Weber (43:52):

Oh, I do too, right? It’s the same and I think that’s the other reason I wear the same pair of pants for three days and all of those things that I… I hate, showering and all of those things that it’s like, have I always thought made me such a terrible human being and such an embarrassment where I’m like, “Yeah, I do that. There’s good reasons for that.” It really is about owning that. And that can be difficult because a lot of the time it’s like who’s making you feel bad about who you are? And there’s a lot of unpacking when it comes to who are the supportive voices in your life and who are the people who are not supporting you? There’s a lot of work, and yes, you’re right, it is not easy, but I feel it’s so cliche, right? It’s not easy, but it’s worth it, but it’s true.

Lindsay Guentzel (44:41):

That’s what I was going to say. That’s how I get people with therapy. I’m like, “You’re not going to like it. The first couple sessions are going to be awkward, but it is so worth it.” And the number of people who have come back and they’re like, “I hate to say this, but you were right.” I’m like, “I know.” We’re just not good at being like, “Yeah, I want to go talk to somebody about my feelings.” It’s so against human nature.

Katy Weber (45:05):

Yeah, absolutely.

Lindsay Guentzel (45:06):

Katy, this was so wonderful. Your energy and the thoughtfulness you put into the work that you’re creating is so wonderful. Thank you so much for being here. I truly enjoyed this and I wish you nothing but the best.

Katy Weber (45:19):

Thank you. I was so excited to talk to you. And this was absolutely lovely, so thanks for having me.

Lindsay Guentzel (45:30):

As is the case for every single one of these conversations, I could have talked with Katy forever. Our stories are so similar, and it tends to be in those moments when I’m able to make more connections for myself. I can’t imagine how it felt for Katy sitting in that little puddle of uncertainty while she was creating a podcast for women who have ADHD while also waiting to find out if she actually had it herself. How lucky for us that she trusted her gut and that she had access to proper care when it came time to receive her evaluation. I often get asked about good career paths for people with ADHD. And honestly, I think every career path can be a good career path for a person with ADHD. Sure, there are going to be ones that are more difficult than others, but it’s all about making the hard parts work for you.


Having hard deadlines as a journalist is something Katy and I both thrived on, and it makes sense. Deadlines are neurologically useful for the ADHD brain. And if you’ve ever worked at a newspaper or a TV station and you’ve experienced the rush you get when time is not on your side and you have to finish this thing you are incredibly passionate about, if you’ve been there, you know it can suck you in. I love seeing Katy thrive as an entrepreneur. People with ADHD have so many incredible strengths that make them the perfect candidate to go out on their own. Resiliency, tenacity, passion, high energy, not afraid to take risks, curiosity and problem solving. Things Katy embraced as she dove into this new world of podcasting and taught herself everything she needed to know. And how wonderful that her life now is as fulfilling for her as it is for the women who listen to her work.


That’s a rarity in life. Kudos to Katy for not only embracing this opportunity, but for really putting her all into it. The ADHD community is better thanks to her contributions. And it will continue to get better now that she’s going back to school. I’m so appreciative of the reflection Katy’s done in regards to her relationship with the women she’s helping, especially when it comes to coaching. And I applaud her for being forthright. The ADHD coaching world right now is something you need to be paying attention to. This is not a dis on coaches. Back in July, I started working with an executive function coach while my therapist was on maternity leave. And together with my therapist, we spent hours combing through resumes and bios until we found someone who had a background in occupational therapy as well. Katy said it in our convo, anybody can call themselves a coach, and so it’s super important that you are paying attention to training and credentials.


Do I think every coach has to be an occupational therapy or be like Katy and go back to school? No, but when I sat down and lined up my goals for coaching, it made sense to have that added bonus in there, and it’s been a great addition in my life. This warning, it’s more of a reminder to do your due diligence, especially if you are someone who struggles with impulsivity or telling people no. Coaching is not cheap, and it’s important as much as you can before you start your search so you can get exactly what you’re looking for. I’ve included a link to an article from chat on coaching that includes resources to check out if you’re interested in starting your own search. You can find that in the show notes for today’s episode along with all of the ways to connect with Katy online.


I am so grateful to Katy for sharing her story with us and the incredible work she’s doing with her podcast Women & ADHD. If you haven’t listened yet, I highly recommend adding it to your weekly lineup ASAP. We have so many more incredible stories to share with you as ADHD Awareness Month rolls on. If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to Refocused wherever you listen to podcasts and connect with us on social media @refocusedpod, and if you’ve been wondering whether you have ADHD and have been looking for an assessment that works for you, head to adhdonline.com and take $20 off their ADHD assessment with the promo code Refocused 20. We’re so grateful for the support we receive from ADHD Online. They are a great resource to help you on your mental health journey. Head to adhdonline.com right now to see how they can help you. Thank you guys so much for listening and supporting Refocus, Together. Join us back here tomorrow, and in the meantime, be a little kinder to yourself today.


Support For Refocused comes from our partner, ADHD Online, a telemedicine mental healthcare company that provides affordable and accessible ADHD assessments and treatment plans To learn how they can help you on your journey, head to adhdonline.com and remember to use the promo code Refocused 20 to receive $20 off your ADHD online assessment right now. The biggest thanks go out to our team at ADHD Online, Keith Boswell, Susanne Spruit, Melanie Mile, Claudia Gotti, and Trisha Merchant-Dunny for their constant support in helping make Refocus, Together happen. These 31 episodes were produced thanks to our managing editor Sarah Platanitis, our production coordinator, Phil Roderman, social media specialist and editor, Al Chaplin and me, the host and executive producer of Refocused, Lindsay Guentzel. To connect with the show on social media, you can find us online @refocusedpod and you can email a show directly [email protected]. That’s [email protected].

Explore More


5 Reasons to Be Thankful for ADHD

By Elizabeth Weiss Everyone is given the opportunity to stop and consider...
Read now

Jen Verhagen and Realizing Your Potential

Jen Verhagen was diagnosed with ADHD five years ago when...
Listen now

Unraveling the Puzzle: ADHD, Anxiety, and Depression Explained

Do you often feel ADHD, Anxiety, and Depression overlap, making...
Watch now

Looking to take our Mentavi Smart Assessment? That’s available all day, every day, whenever and wherever is best for you!

Live support will be unavailable during regular business hours on Thursday, November 23, and Friday, November 24. You can always submit a request or leave a voice message. We’ll get back to you when we return on Monday, November 27.

Please note: Each of our clinicians sets their own holiday hours, check with them for their schedule.

Our site is open 24/7! You can always schedule an appointment, check out our podcasts, or read up on the latest ADHD information.

The system is experiencing technical issues scheduling new appointments.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. We understand the importance of making an appointment, and this issue is our top priority.

Please reach out to us via chat or call us at 888-493-ADHD (2343) and we will assist you. If we are not available, please leave us a message and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

The ADHD Online Team

We will perform scheduled maintenance on our Patient Portal on Thursday, September 28 from 5:00 – 6:30 AM ET. During this time, appointment scheduling will not be available.

Our team will be hard at work while many of you sleep to keep the disruption to a minimum. We apologize for any inconvenience.

The ADHD Online (early morning) Team

ADHD Online will be closed on
Monday, September 4 in observance of Labor Day.

Live support will be unavailable during this time, but you can always submit a request or leave a voice message at 888-493-ADHD (2343). We’ll get back to you when we return on Tuesday, September 5.

Each of our clinicians sets their own holiday hours. Check with your doctor for availability.

Looking to take our Assessment? That’s available all day, every day, whenever and wherever is best for you! 

Provide this form to your local practitioner. You could:

  • Send this link
  • Email the pdf
  • Print it out and bring it to your appointment

Ask your practitioner
to complete the form

In this form, your practitioner will request that ADHD Online continue to provide uninterrupted care

Return the form to us

You or your practitioner can return this form to us via email or fax it to 616-210-3118

Looking to take our Assessment? That’s available all day, every day, whenever and wherever is best for you!

For those seeking an Assessment, you can dive right in! Our portal is up throughout the holiday!

If you have a question for us, our office will be providing holiday patient support on July 3 & 4, and we are committed to responding to your needs as promptly as possible. In-person phone support may be available but limited due to holiday hours.  You can always submit a request or leave a voice message and we will prioritize addressing them upon our return. We genuinely appreciate your understanding. Full office operations will resume on Wednesday, July 5.

If you already are on our Treatment path, be aware that each of our clinicians sets their own holiday hours. Check with your doctor for availability.

ADHD Online will be closed on June 19th in observance of Juneteenth.

Live support will be unavailable while we’re closed but you can always submit a request or leave a voice message. We’ll get back to you when we return on Tuesday, June 20th.

Each of our clinicians sets their own holiday hours. Check with your doctor for availability.

Looking to take our Assessment? That’s available all day, every day, whenever and wherever is best for you!

ADHD Online will be closed on June 19th in observance of Juneteenth.

Live support will be unavailable while we’re closed but you can always submit a request or leave a voice message. We’ll get back to you when we return on Tuesday, June 20th.

Each of our clinicians sets their own holiday hours. Check with your doctor for availability.

Looking to take our Assessment? That’s available all day, every day, whenever and wherever is best for you!