Hello and welcome to the BARE Podcast!
This is your host, Susan Hyatt. This is Season Two, Episode Eight.
The BARE Podcast is a show where we talk about your body and your life.
On this show, we talk about food, fitness, and self-care. We talk about mental and physical health. We talk about confidence, courage, and feminism. With every episode, my goal is to leave you feeling strong and inspired, ready to take charge of your day.
Let’s get right into today’s episode
The BIG QUESTION I’m answering today:
I’m choosing a question from a client, or from a woman in my BARE DAILY program, and I’m answering it here.
Here’s today’s question. She writes:
“Hi Susan. I have a big family event coming up. Lots of people are going to be there, people I haven’t seen in a long time. I’ve gained a lot of weight in recent years and I definitely look different than I did the last time they saw me. I’m having a lot of anxiety about this event. I don’t want to deal with people looking at me, judging me, or asking questions… I feel like I have nothing to wear… I feel totally stressed about the whole thing. I wish I didn’t even have to go. I wish I could just stay home. How can I change my attitude about this? Because my attitude is really shitty right now.”
And here’s my answer:
Oof. I know how you’re feeling, because I’ve been in this exact position before. Eleven or twelve years ago, family gatherings were such a stressful time for me. All the conversations, all the relatives, all the photos, all the tempting food that I told myself I wasn’t allowed to eat… whoa. It was a lot to handle.
You asked, “How can I change my attitude about this?” Well, one way is to change the dialogue that’s happening inside your mind. Literally, change the words that you’re saying to yourself inside your head.
So, instead of asking yourself:
“Oh my god, what are people going to think about my body?
See if you can change that question to something else.
Instead, ask yourself a different question. Ask yourself:
“What is my intention for this event? How do I want to feel when I’m there? What do I want to contribute when I’m there? What’s my plan?”
You want to walk into that event with a clear plan, with a clear intention for how you’re going to spend your time.
Maybe your intention is to have one meaningful conversation with your grandma and ask to hear the story of how she met her husband. And once that’s done, and you’ve hugged a few relatives, buh-bye, you’re outta there.
Or maybe your intention is to find your favorite cousin and ask how she’s doing and really listen.
Or maybe your intention is to give a toast to honor your dad, to put the attention towards him and celebrate this milestone in his life.
When you walk into the event with a specific intention in mind, then you feel focused, you feel purposeful, you’re more likely to have a meaningful experience… instead of feeling overwhelmed and eyeing the snack table when you’re not even hungry.
You also mentioned that you’re worrying about people judging you for gaining weight. But you know what? Everyone is probably going to be too busy judging themselves! Sad, but true!
Your aunt might be worried about attending the event because she just divorced and she feels shame about that. Your uncle might feel stressed because he mismanaged his finances and his family is in big trouble and what if people find out about that? Your mom might be freaking out because she thinks she’s developing saggy skin under her neck, or she’s feeling stressed because she’s getting older and thinking about her own mortality and she doesn’t feel like she’s discovered her life purpose yet.
My point is, as human beings, we all struggle with self-criticism, we all struggle with shame and guilt, and most people are very, very busy worrying about their own drama.
In fact, most people are so busy worrying about themselves that they don’t even have time to care about the extra 10 or 50 or 100 pounds that you’ve gained. They’re obsessing about themselves, not obsessing about you, or your body.
This is kinda depressing, but also kinda sweet and hilarious too. We’re all dealing with the same emotional crap, the same shame, guilt, and perfectionism… it just expresses itself in different ways for each of us!
So, try to go into the family event with a sense of humor, and with an open heart, and who knows? Maybe you’ll wind up having some really honest, meaningful conversations with your family about what’s really been going on in their lives lately.
And look, if someone tries to pull the conversation towards your body, you can just say, “You know what? I’d rather talk about something else…” and steer the conversation elsewhere. You don’t need to apologize about your body. Your body is not an apology. I repeat: Your body is not an apology. Keep listening for the interview that comes later in this episode where we’re going to talk a LOT more about THAT.
To quickly recap what I said earlier—set an intention and make a plan before you arrive at the event, and I guarantee, you’ll have a way better time.
Our next segment is called TELL ME EVERYTHING!
This is where I chat with an amazing woman that I L-O-V-E and we have a conversation about food, feminism, fitness, sex, or… something else that I am dying to talk about.
Today we’re chatting with Sonya Renee Taylor, the author of a book called The Body Is Not an Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love.
Here we go!
About Sonya Renee Taylor:
Artist, Author, Activist and transformational leader Sonya Renee Taylor is a National and International award-winning writer and performer, published author, and founder and Radical Executive Officer of The Body is Not An Apology, an international digital media and education company committed to radical self-love and body empowerment as the foundational tool of social justice, whose content reaches over 1 million people monthly. She has shared her work and activism across the US, New Zealand, Australia, UK, Scotland, Sweden, Germany, Canada, Brazil and the Netherlands. Sonya has been seen, heard, and read on HBO, BET, MTV, TV One, NPR, PBS, CNN, Oxygen Network, The New York Times, New York Magazine, MSNBC.com, Today.com, Huffington Post, Vogue Australia, Shape.com, Ms. Magazine and many more. She has shared stages with such luminaries as the late Amiri Baraka, Angela Davis, Naomi Klein, Sonia Sanchez and others. In 2016, Sonya was a guest of the Obama White House, where she spoke about TBINAA’s work at the intersection of LGBTQIAA+ issues and disability justice. Sonya currently resides between California and New Zealand where she is an inaugural fellow in the Edmund Hilary Fellowship for global impact change makers. You can learn more about her radical self-love work at www.sonyareneetaylor.com and www.thebodyisnotanapology.com.
In this episode Sonya Renee Taylor shares:
- About body terrorism and “the systematic use of fear to control the way bodies look.”
- The messaging of, “you are not good enough as you are.”
- Radical self love work.
- Her favorite tools for radical self love (be in community & give yourself some grace).
From your desktop you can skip right to her interview here! From a mobile device manually go to 5:50!
Wanna watch the interview?? Click the video below!
Today’s BARE Victory:
This is where I share some posts, emails, and texts from women in my community to say CONGRATULATIONS and YAY!
Here’s today’s BARE VICTORY, Patti writes:
As I am fiercely dating myself this week, I decided to attend a GNO for Mom’s of kids with T1D. I have been on the fence about this and decided to get out of my comfort zone and check it out. It was a game changer kind of night. Talk about nurturing and supportive, omg!! I do (and I’m certain many others do as well) struggle with asking for support and/or help. I decided that it was time to work on my need for connection and honor it. It was amazing to be in a room with other moms who “get it”. Who know the struggle, the hard times, the fears and to come together and hear them say “I get you and I got you”. It was incredible to own and admit to myself that I don’t need to do this alone. Super empowering! It felt sooo good. So good to own my truth, ask for support and allow myself to be vulnerable. It was completely freeing and actually pleasurable. There is absolutely pleasure in social connection. Community for me, is key in my pleasure quest. Just like how there is so much pleasure in being a part of this BARE community! Love it and all of you!
PS. If you want even more inspiration and motivation, you can visit my website, SHYATT-DOT-COM. You’ll find hundreds of hours of podcasts, videos, webinar recordings, all kinds of stuff, all free, all for you.
And I have a small request for YOU.
Sometime this week, please take 10 seconds and text friend to tell them about this show, or leave a positive review about this show. That’s the best way for new listeners to discover this show.
Thank you for listening… and I’ll see you in the next episode!