Hello and welcome to the BARE Podcast!
This is your host, Susan Hyatt. This is Season Two, Episode Five.
The BARE Podcast is a show where we talk about your body and your life.
We are not here to talk about “dieting” or “gimmicky weight loss plans” or any of that nonsense.
We are here to talk about taking excellent care of yourself… and feeling the QUEEN that you are. We’re here to talk about self-esteem, confidence, empowerment, and feeling mentally and physically strong, whatever that looks like for you.
Let’s get 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. It comes from Gloria. She writes:
“I always see things saying ‘LOVE YOUR BODY’ and stuff like that. My problem is… I literally don’t know how to love my body. I don’t think I’ve ever loved my body. I never like seeing photos of myself. When I look into the mirror I feel mediocre, on a good day, or disgusted, on a bad day. I WISH I could love my body but… I feel like my brain doesn’t know how to do that.”
And here’s my answer:
Oh honey, I understand this question, and I understand what you’re feeling. I used to feel exactly the same way.
12 or 13 years ago, my life was very different than it is today. Back then, my self-esteem wasn’t so hot. Back then, I didn’t take very good care of my mental OR physical health. Back then, I was carrying about 40 pounds of extra weight and I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin. Back then, if someone had said to me, “Susan, just LOVE your body! LOVE yourself!” I would have rolled my eyes, like, “Are you fucking kidding me?”
But now, today, I absolutely love my body. I love getting dressed in the morning. I love running and lifting weights. I love food, but I don’t feel the urge to eat excessively, like I used to. Today, I enjoy my body, and my body feels like a friend, not an enemy.
So, how did I get from “there” to “where I am today”?
It didn’t happen overnight. It required a lot of small, gentle steps. Little baby turtle steps.
If you want to start taking some little turtle steps towards loving your body, here’s something that might help.
I call this the BODY SCALE.
So, imagine a chart. A horizontal line, stretching left to right.
Waaaaaay over on the left, we’ve got Body Violence. That’s -10. Waaaaaay over on the right, we’ve got Body Love. That’s +10. In the middle, we’ve got Body Neutrality. That’s 0.
I’ll explain those ideas a bit more…
Body Violence is a place where you INTENSELY DISLIKE your body. This is a place where self-harm often happens. All kinds of self-harm. Things like… Cutting yourself. Starving yourself. Binge-eating. Anorexia. Bulimia. This a place where your body feels like a prison, like a place you want to escape from. This is a dark place.
Way over on the other side of the chart, we’ve got Body Love. This is a place where you INTENSELY LOVE your body. This is a place where your body feels like a home, like a friend. A place where you’re super happy with your body, enjoying your body every day.
In the middle, we’ve got Body Neutrality. This is a place where you don’t dislike your body, you don’t like your body, you just feel pretty neutral about it. You take fairly good care of your body. You’re not harming your body. But you’re not exactly “celebrating” your body either. It’s just… there. It’s fine. Whatevs.
Often, when clients hire me for coaching, they’re somewhere between 0 and -10, somewhere between Neutrality and Violence. They want to experience +10. They want to experience Love. But it’s tough to go from -10 to +10 overnight. It takes patience. Gradual steps.
So, if you feel like, “I don’t know how to love my body…” then my advice is, don’t worry about “loving” your body right now. Don’t worry about getting to +10 on the chart right now.
Right now, let’s just see if we can get you from -10 to -9, and then from -9 to -8. Maybe next month, we get you to -5. And then 0. And then we’ll keep working towards increasingly positive numbers.
What is something you could do, today, to move yourself a little closer towards the positive side of the chart?
It doesn’t have to be something huge. You don’t have to stare at yourself in the mirror, buck naked, and shout “I LOVE MYSELF” if that feels ridiculous right now. You can do something much smaller.
For example, you can close your eyes, take one big breath, and say something appreciative to yourself, like, “My nails look cute today” or “I’m grateful to have legs that function and carry me around the city.” You could start there.
Start with tiny compliments. Start with tiny moments of appreciation. Start with tiny acts of self-care, like getting a little more sleep, or popping outside for some sunlight and fresh air, or treating yourself to some scented hand lotion that you really love.
All of these little acts of love… start to add up. They add up, and add up, and over time, you will move closer and closer to a place where you genuinely, honestly, seriously LOVE your body.
If you’re a visual person, and you want to see the BODY SCALE chart that I described earlier, you can download that right here.
And if you need help with this process, please… get support. Talk to a friend. Join a support group. Get yourself a therapist or coach. Find a tribe.
There are so many resources and programs out there that can really help you. For starters, I run a program called BARE DAILY that’s full of women who are on this journey with you. Some of the kindest, most encouraging women you’ll ever meet.
BARE DAILY is the kind of place where you can post a note at 10pm at night saying, “I am freaking out!” or “I’m having such a tough week…” and 5 women will reply right away to give you a pep talk and words of love. It’s pretty amazing. Google BARE DAILY if you want to check that out. We would love to welcome you into the family!
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 Jamie Silverstein. Here we go!
About Jamie Silverstein:
Jamie is a US Olympian, E-RYT 500, Studio Owner / Director: The Grinning Yogi, CHC.
She has trained with Manorama, Laughing Lotus NYC, Sheri Celentano, Richelle Ricard, Jonny Kest and notable others. Additionally, Jamie regularly speaks about Eating Disorder Recovery and has presented at: The Renfrew Conference, Cornell University, Erin Leah Robarge Memorial Conference. Jamie’s writing is featured on numerous national blogs and has a chapter in Carolyn Costin’s new Yoga + Eating Disorders book.
You can find Jamie on her website here.
In this episode Jamie Silverstein shares:
- The impact motherhood has had on her view on body and food.
- Her recovery and advocacy work with eating disorders.
- Teaching ourselves to be present when maybe the present isn’t the place we want to be.
- The “new normal” of motherhood.
- The tension between ourselves and our kids.
- The cultural script around motherhood.
From your desktop you can skip right to her interview here! From a mobile device manually go to 6:52!
Wanna watch the interview?? Click the video below!
Today’s BARE Victory:
One of my BARE Daily members posted this:
Just watched the Make a Scene video and decided what my challenge will be. Every day when my husband comes home from work, his first question is, “Is there food in the house?” We’ve had so many conversations about how I’m not the boss of food and he’s a grown man who can look in the kitchen, but he always still asks. My part in this is that I fall into a people pleasing pattern where I eventually start telling him what food’s in the house because I think I’m being mean when I don’t. That is… until I get fed up and we fight about it again. So anyway, for Make a Scene week, I don’t want to fight anymore. I just want to say, “I don’t answer that question.” And I want to be consistent about that. I’ll let you know how it goes.
PS. Check out the BARE Daily program right here. When you become a BARE DAILY member, you get daily inspiration for your body and your life. You get… Workouts. Recipes. Coaching sessions. Challenges. Prizes. Accountability to help you stay on track. Emotional support during tough moments. Kind people who will listen, who really care about you.
There’s so much awesomeness in there. BARE DAILY is truly one of the loving, most supportive corners of the entire Internet. You can get a membership for 1 month, try it out, and see how it transforms your body and your life.
Have a beautiful day—and I’ll see you in the next episode!