You are a badass, whole woman with big dreams, big feelings, and big potential. What are you hiding behind that shield of overeating? Who do you want to be when you put down the shield and take on life's battles Bare?
In her second book, Bare, Susan Hyatt presents an empowering approach to transforming your body and your life. Inside this book, you'll learn:
• How to treat your body with care, love, and respect—not hateful criticism
• How to shed everything that's weighing you down, physically and mentally
• How to de-stress at the end of the day without relying on excessive food, alcohol, Netflix binging, and other habits that clog up your mind and drain your energy
• How to stop obsessing about your body and focus on the priorities that really matter in life—like dominating in your career, writing your novel, learning a foreign language, contributing to your community, or otherwise making your mark on the world
This is a must-read book if you want to take excellent care of yourself, upgrade your mental and physical health, build confidence, conquer your goals, crush the patriarchy, and look and feel damn good doing it.
Bare is not a weight-loss plan. It's a life-gain plan.
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|Publisher:||BenBella Books, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Susan has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Woman's World, Seventeen, and O: The Oprah Magazine. When she's not coaching clients, you can find Susan lifting weights at the gym, lacing up her sneakers for a 5am run, or broadcasting live to talk about transformation, courage, standing up to bullies (including the bullies that live inside your own mind), taking excellent care of your body, and creating the life that you crave.
Read an Excerpt
Clean Up Your Environment
Whether you're conscious of it or not, your environment is shaping you.
Why We're Focusing on Your Environment First — Not Food or Exercise
Week 1 in the BARE process is all about your environment. The stuff that's in your bedroom. The stuff that's in your kitchen. The stuff that's on your computer screen, on your TV, on your bookshelf.
You might be thinking, Why are we starting here? Shouldn't we be focusing on food and exercise first?
Here's the thing: Whether you're conscious of it or not, your environment is shaping you. If the first thing you see every morning when you wake up is a cluttered, messy bedroom, that's going to impact your day. If you watch tons of violent TV shows (and have nightmares afterward), that's going to impact your day. If your kitchen is crammed with gadgets that you don't like (and never use), that's going to impact your day.
Everything in your physical environment (your home, your office, your car) and everything in your media environment (the shows you watch, the blogs you read) and everything in your social environment (your friendships, the appointments on your calendar) are influencing your mood in some way.
Your environment might be setting you up for a happy, healthy, positive day. Or, not so much! It's important to investigate and see what's going on.
Upgrading your environment — even just one tiny part of your environment — can make a HUGE difference for your health. Because of this, I always encourage my clients to upgrade their environment first — before attempting to make any other lifestyle changes.
Upgrade Your Environment, Upgrade Your Whole Life
When I say that upgrading your environment can upgrade your whole life, I speak from experience.
For many years, after putting my two kids to bed, my husband and I had an evening routine that went something like this: We'd settle onto the couch with a bowl of Lay's potato chips or some popcorn, snuggle up under a blanket, and watch an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
If you're not familiar with this particular TV show, allow me to enlighten you: In each episode, there's usually a gruesome rape, murder, or sometimes both. The victim is typically a young woman. You can picture the scene. She's out jogging in the park, ponytail bobbing in the breeze, and then ... stab, stab, blood everywhere, grisly murder time! The rest of the episode is devoted to tracking down the criminal and bringing him to justice — complete with grim autopsy scenes, dismembered bodies, car chases, shoot-outs, and everything that you might expect from a procedural cop drama. My husband, Scott, loves this show with unbridled passion.
"Come watch with me!" he would plead, almost every night. I would comply, going along with it, not wanting to make a fuss.
But the truth is, this show put me into a state of intense anxiety. Sometimes, after a particularly disturbing episode, I would have trouble falling asleep. Or I'd wake up, panting heavily, sweating from a horrific nightmare.
One night, something shifted in me, and I just couldn't do it anymore.
I told Scott I wasn't willing to watch the show anymore: "You're welcome to watch, honey, but I'm going to read a book in the other room."
Scott was not happy about this. He loved our evening TV snuggle time and he wanted me to be there with him.
"Just read your book in here! You can read while I watch TV."
Nope. Not gonna happen. I held firm. I read my book in the bedroom while he stayed in the den, watching women being chopped apart by psychopaths in creepy basements.
That night, I slept so deeply, and I woke up feeling refreshed.
That was when I realized, Whoa. That TV show was affecting my sleep so negatively, even more than I thought. That program was totally toxic for me.
Which got me thinking, I wonder what else in my environment is toxic for me?
I started to assess my environment, carefully and attentively, with wide-open eyes. I started with my media environment and then expanded into my physical environment. Everywhere I looked, I noticed things that made me go, Whoa. Why is THIS here? There was a LOT to clean up.
Cleaning Up Your Media Environment
Books and magazines
Most of the books on my shelves had titles like The 30-Day Flab-Blasting Miracle! or Drop 10 Pounds in 10 Days! or How to Parent a Troubled Child. Yikes.
In every corner of my home, I was surrounded with books that basically reinforced my worst thoughts: "Your body is gross." "Your child is broken." "You're not a good enough parent."
Resting on my coffee table, I noticed magazines with headlines like "How This A-List Celebrity Zapped That Baby Weight FAST! Her Belly-Blasting Secrets: INSIDE!!!"
After reading articles like those, did I feel good about myself? Did I feel empowered? Did I feel inspired? Energized? Nope. It's just more toxicity. It's got to go.
Toxic messages in every room. No wonder I felt exhausted most of the time.
What about you? What does your bookshelf contain right now?
When you pick up your iPad or Kindle and flip through your reading material, what kinds of messages come flying at you, and how do those messages make you feel? Does your book/magazine collection feel empowering and inspiring — or is it time for an upgrade?
Websites, blogs, podcasts
It's not just books and magazines, though. Don't forget about websites, blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, and the digital places you hang out.
I know a woman who used to "wind down" every evening by reading a celebrity gossip blog — you know, the kind with paparazzi photos and vicious headlines like "Look at Britney's Beach Body Disaster! Flab City, USA!" She would visit this blog automatically — out of habit — and read a few articles. She never felt good doing this. In fact, afterward, she'd usually feel pretty crappy.
One day, she realized, What the eff I am doing? This isn't OK. This doesn't align with my values and it feels wrong on so many levels. She decided to stop visiting that gossip site. Cold turkey. She cleared it out of her environment and felt better immediately. She recognized that this site was draining her energy and downgrading her mood. It simply didn't belong in her life. Now she winds down by reading fiction or inspiring memoirs in bed, cuddled next to her dog — a major environmental upgrade.
What about you? Which parts of your digital/media environment boost your mood? Which parts make you feel stronger, happier, and more empowered? And which ones do not?
I love social media. I primarily use Facebook and Instagram, and I use these platforms to share beautiful moments and inspiring quotes, to share projects I've been working on, promote my business, and chat with friends and clients.
I don't allow hatred in my social media space, nor do I allow cruelty toward women (myself or anybody else), bigotry, or any type of negativity. This is my house, and only cool, kind, compassionate people are invited onto my turf.
If a relative is posting racist nonsense, they get blocked. If someone starts whining about my latest photo, trying to body-shame me ("Whoa, cover up and put some clothes on, Susan!"), they get blocked.
I used to tolerate all kinds of B.S. on social media, but these days I don't.
And you? What's in your social media environment right now? When you log in, do you feel inspired and energized — or exhausted?
Treat your social media world just like it's an extension of your physical space. You might need to do some "tidying up" to create the kind of environment that you want. This might mean un-friending, unfollowing, or blocking certain people, or reducing the amount of time you're spending online to create more balance in your life.
Social media can enhance your quality of life — or diminish it. It's all about how you decide to use it.
Like I mentioned earlier, I used to watch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit every night with my husband and it gave me horrible nightmares. Totally toxic! But it wasn't the only show. Lots of other TV shows had a similar effect. Anything with intense violence, especially violence toward women, was just not good for me.
I began to choose TV programs much more selectively, and I noticed that I felt calmer and more energized right away.
What about you? Have you gotten into a pattern of watching whatever show(s) your partner, spouse, or roommate wants to watch — even if it stresses you out? Do you feel exhausted afterward? Frightened? Is it impacting your mood? Your self-esteem? Your sleep? If so, it's definitely time to upgrade your TV habits.
From TV to books to websites and social media, there are so many areas that you might want to clean up. And of course, that's just your media environment — it's important to look at your physical environment, too, particularly your home.
Cleaning Up Your Home Environment
Everything in your home is influencing your mood in some way. That treadmill in the corner, covered in dust. That juicer you bought on New Year's Day that never even got unpacked from the box. The nice china that you never allow yourself to use. Every object is telling a story and shaping the way you feel.
Recently, my husband and I were doing some reorganizing in the living room. We've got some older furniture in that room that's comfy but not especially pretty. And then we've got a really nice chair that's high quality and elegant. I've always loved that nice chair. It looks like a chair that a queen might sit in! But it was tucked off in the corner, out of the way, and rarely used.
By positioning the "nice chair" way off in the corner, I was signaling to myself, In this house, we don't allow ourselves to experience "nice things" on a daily basis. Only occasionally.
Nope. That's not the kind of message that I want in my environment. So, I decided to put the Queen Chair right in the center of the room, in my favorite spot where I love to read by the fire. I put a beautiful little table next to it with a few books that I love and my favorite teacup.
Right away, the whole environment felt different. It felt like the room was telling a brand-new story: In this house, we appreciate beautiful things. In this house, it's OK to treat yourself to a lovely, relaxing experience every single day. In this house, every woman is a queen.
I invite you to look at your entire home with fresh, wide-open, curious eyes. Once you look a little closer, it's fascinating to notice the messages you're receiving from your home. Some of those messages might feel empowering — and some might be due for a change.
It's the first space you see when you wake up. How does it make you feel? Excited to begin the day? Stressed before you even get out of bed?
What do your bed linens signal to you? Do they say, You don't deserve nice linens touching your skin, just old scratchy ones? Do they say, Yasss, queen! You're a woman who deserves beauty and comfort? There are so many messages that might be coming to you from your bedsheets alone!
Take some time to walk through your bedroom. What is it saying to you?
Oh, the closet! For many women, the closet is loaded with messages and it can be an emotional landmine. We're going to dedicate an entire week in the BARE process — Week 5 — exclusively to your closet, because it's such a big topic.
Does your bathroom environment feel inviting? Soothing? Beautiful? Do you feel inclined to stay a moment? Or does it feel like an icky place that you want to flee immediately, not even glancing at your reflection in the mirror?
Is there a stack of old magazines by the toilet, magazines covered with creepy headlines about "The Worst Beach Bodies" and "Celebrity Fat-Blasting Secrets"? Are there laxatives or diet pills in your bathroom drawers? Hair removal cream that painfully burns your skin — stuff you bought because your ex complained about your scratchy leg stubble that one time?
As you look around your bathroom, you might discover all kinds of things that send a disempowering, negative message to you — things that no longer belong in your space. Good thing your bathroom also has a trash can for taking out the garbage.
When I walk into my kitchen, I want the space to say, A woman who takes excellent care of herself lives here. For me, this means having my favorite foods in the fridge, my beloved Instant Pot pressure cooker on the counter, and beautiful metal tins filled with tea. All of these little touches reinforce the following message: This is the type of woman I am: I love myself. I take care of myself. I don't neglect myself.
What is your kitchen saying to you?
Maybe you spend several hours each week shuttling the kids to school, commuting to work, and running errands all around town. Your car might feel like a second home!
When you get inside your car, how does the environment make you feel? Do you see spilled cereal everywhere? Is there a secret "nobody must ever know" stash of candy in the glove compartment? Are your teenager's stinky clothes from soccer practice in the backseat, radiating noxious fumes throughout the vehicle? When you buckle yourself in, do you immediately feel stressed even before you pull into reverse and hit the road?
If so, take some time detox your car environment. Invest $25 to get your car professionally vacuumed and washed. Spritz some calming lavender aromatherapy mist inside. Turn the radio dial to a calming classical music station or preload some inspiring podcasts onto your phone so you can sync it up with your car's Bluetooth system (if you've got one). These little touches make such a difference. It's so worth it.
No car? The same principles apply if you ride the bus, the subway, or the train. Notice how your commute is influencing your mood. Then do something, even if it's very small, to upgrade the experience.
Cleaning Up Your Social Environment
We've discussed your digital/media environment and your home. Now, we're moving into your social environment — friends, frenemies, coworkers, and all the commitments on your calendar, too.
Upgrading your social environment can be tricky because (duh) people aren't inanimate objects like books that can be tossed into the recycling bin. They are human beings, and so things can get a little blurry sometimes. Maybe you've got a cousin who makes you laugh, but she can be needy and exhausting sometimes. Or maybe you've got a coworker who's awesome, but occasionally she makes weird, insensitive comments about people's weight and it bothers you a lot.
I invite you to look at your social environment with curiosity. You don't necessarily need to make any big, sweeping changes today — or this week. Just start to become aware of how certain people (and certain conversations) impact you.
This is an ongoing process, of course. For me, it started when I took a closer look at some of my friendships and realized, Yikes. This isn't working for me.
Friends (and frenemies)
Years ago, I was having lunch with a few girlfriends and one of them moaned bitterly, saying, "Why did you guys let me eat dessert?" Then she complained about how fat she was — and vowed to go on a diet "starting Monday." The other women nodded, vowing to start similar diets ASAP.
I used to participate in those types of conversations all the time. But something was changing. I was no longer willing to be part of the "I Hate My Body" Club. It wasn't cute anymore. It just felt poisonous and exhausting.
I became curious about other relationships as well. Relationships with extended family, with neighbors, with parents at my kids' school, with colleagues at work. Some relationships — like my relationship with my best friend, Frances — lifted my spirits and made me feel bold and unstoppable. Some other relationships quite simply did not. I vowed to become more aware of how the various relationships in my life were influencing me. No more sleepwalking. Eyes wide open.
Here's another example of shedding a friend (or rather, a "frenemy") to upgrade my mental and physical health:
About eight years ago, I learned that a woman whom I considered to be a close friend was actually anything but. She was saying mean-spirited, critical, gossipy things about me — behind my back — while pretending to be caring and affectionate to my face.
At first, I tried to talk myself into sweeping things under the rug. I'd reason, We've known each other so long — and I'm bound to run into her from time to time. So I'll just be civil and polite. There's no need to make a big fuss about this.
But inside, it was eating me up. Without being totally conscious of it, this frenemy situation was spiking my stress levels and downgrading my quality of life. When I'd bump into her at a friend's potluck dinner, when I'd see her post something on social media, when I'd get an email from her, I felt sick to my stomach. I kept wondering, Why is she badmouthing me behind my back? What kind of friend does that?
Still, I did nothing. I tried to just put the situation out of my mind.
And then she crossed the line.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Bare"
Copyright © 2019 Susan Hyatt.
Excerpted by permission of BenBella Books, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of ContentsContents
My Story Let’s Talk About DietingLet’s Talk About . . . BAREYour Journey Begins Now
The BARE ProcessWeek 1: Clean Up Your Environment Week 2: Add Pleasure into Your DayWeek 3: Eat with AttentivenessWeek 4: Exercise with LoveWeek 5: Declutter Your ClosetWeek 6: Detox Your MindWeek 7: Show Up and Be SeenBARE Q&ABARE Forever
BARE DailyBARE CareersBARE ResearchBARE Library
GratitudeAbout the Author
What People are Saying About This
“With her cheerleader-like style, Hyatt will undoubtedly touch a chord with fans who embrace her antidieting, love-your-body message.”
“Susan Hyatt’s funny, vibrant spirit has made a difference in many women’s lives. Her infectious enthusiasm may be just what you need to learn how to love your body and strip away everything that doesn’t serve you.”
—Martha Beck, columnist for O: The Oprah Magazine and bestselling author of Finding Your Own North Star and Steering by Starlight
“Bare flips the broken cultural norm—we must starve ourselves to fit into a patriarchal norm of desirability—and focuses instead on strengthening the love, power, and beauty we have inside us. Susan will help you nurture and love the body you are in, choosing health on your terms and in your time.”
—Pamela Slim, author of Body of Work
“With books like this one, we are throwing off the stupid and cruel yoke of worrying about our body size and shape one day at a time. We are stopping the madness and eventually it will be a ridiculous idea consigned to history. Susan’s book is a bright step in the direction of freedom. You will love her voice, her story, and, most of all, her ideas.”
—Jennifer Louden, bestselling author of The Woman’s Comfort Book and The Life Organizer