How to transform your body and your life without dieting
In last week’s blog post, I covered 4 weight loss myths that need to be banished forever. You can read that here.
This week, I want to talk about BARE, a 7-step process created by Susan Hyatt that helps women ditch diet culture and transform their bodies and lives. I am a Master BARE Certified Coach and have taught this process to dozens of women in my work.
Millions of women (especially those in midlife) believe that they need to change their bodies to live the life of their dreams. Did you know the average woman spends 31 years dieting and obsessing over her body? 31. What else could you be doing with ALL of that time????
The belief that you must change your body before living your life is soul-sucking. Because if the needle on the scale doesn’t move, you miss out on your life. What if you flipped your thinking, built the life of your dreams, and trusted that your body would change as a side effect of living a joyous, authentic, pleasure-filled life?
The BARE process is not just about weight loss. It gives you less stress, better sleep, confidence, energy, and a better quality of life. Even if you don’t want to lose weight, it is a compelling way to upgrade every aspect of your life.
Here Are the 7 Steps:
1. Clean up your environment.
Look around you. Is your home filled with clutter? If so, it impacts the energy flow in your home and your ability to experience SPACE. Do you watch violent TV shows or cram your brain with whatever is happening on TMZ or social media? Think about what you are feeding your brain. It’s as essential to nourish it as the rest of your body. And while you’re at it, how about your friends? Are they people you enjoy, or are they people who suck the life out of you? If the latter is true, it might also be time to clean up your relationships.
2. Add more pleasure to your life.
Here’s the thing, we don’t overeat because we lack willpower…it’s because we are starving for pleasure, and for many people, FOOD fills that void. Figure out what you are actually craving and fill that need. Is it touch? Comfort? Connection with something bigger than yourself? More on this later….a whole blog post on pleasure is coming next week!
3. Eat attentively.
This step is exactly what it sounds like. Be with your food. Notice how you feel as you eat. Listen when your body has said “enough.” Celebrate food. Slow down and let your meals become a time of pleasure. Don’t eat standing up, at your desk, or with anything that has an on/off switch. All of these things distract you from actually being present during your meal.
4. Move with love.
Your body is designed to move, which is vital for many reasons. Your physical and mental health depends on it. That said, there are no rules around what your movement has to be. Ask yourself what feels like love on any given day. Maybe it’s a 5-mile run some days, yoga, or gentle stretching on another. Or perhaps it’s kayaking with your kids. Your body will tell you what it wants if you tune in. Make yourself a list of types of movement you enjoy and get to it!
5. Declutter your closet.
You may wonder why this gets its own step since we decluttered in step one. Open your closet door and have a look. What is the story it tells? Does it scream, “this woman is living life full out?” Clothes impact how you feel.
If you love the clothes you are wearing, your confidence and happiness increase. You take better care of yourself. You feel better about speaking up for yourself. Most women wait until they lose weight to get rid of old clothes (or worse yet, save all the different sizes “just in case”). But hanging onto baggy or too-small clothes sends your brain the message that you don’t deserve clothes you enjoy wearing. So get in there and get rid of everything that does not fit RIGHT NOW. Get rid of shoes that hurt. Then buy 2 outfits that make you feel amazing and fit beautifully. You DO deserve it!
6. Detox your mind.
I once had a client, Carla, who was very down on herself. It started with a high school boyfriend who told her she was not athletic, despite being captain of the women’s basketball team. She took his assessment to heart and began shrinking to fit his thoughts about her. She gained a LOT of weight. I asked Carla to write down every negative thought she had about herself for a week. She came back with REAMS of paper!
So, we began to work on helping her take the trash out of her brain. There are many ways to do this, but it starts with learning to question and reframe negative thoughts. You are 100% in charge of what you think. Negative thoughts will creep in, but once you have the skills to manage them, life becomes a lot brighter. Eavesdrop on your thoughts every hour or so to see what’s going on.
7. Show up and be seen.
Women tend to hide. This “hiding” can range from constantly ducking out of photos to letting it slide when someone makes a racist joke. And many in-betweens.
How do I stop the hiding, you might ask? It begins with small steps. When I started this business, I wanted nothing more than to be able to hide behind my keyboard and never be seen. I was tremendously uncomfortable in front of a video camera. But I realized that women don’t want to work with someone they’ve never seen! So I decided I needed to get comfortable being in front of a camera on video. I took a training class, and it made a massive difference.
What is one small step YOU can take to show up in a bigger way in your life?
Here’s the Bottom Line
You are so much more than your weight. And when you begin to focus on what REALLY matters, tune into your body, and relax into living the full life you deserve, your body begins to return to its natural weight. Maybe it sounds too good to be true, but trust me, it’s not. I’ve taught this to dozens of women, and if they truly commit to the process, they become happier AND lighter…in so many ways.
Dr. Anna Garrett is a menopause expert and Doctor of Pharmacy. She helps women who are struggling with symptoms of perimenopause and menopause find natural hormone balancing solutions so they can rock their mojo through midlife and beyond. Dr. Anna is the author of Perimenopause: The Savvy Sister’s Guide to Hormone Harmony. Order your copy at www.perimenopausebook.com.
Also, she offers a membership group, Hormone Harmony with Dr. Anna Garrett, which provides women in midlife with affordable expert guidance and community support.
Dr. Anna is available for 1-1 consultation. Find out more at www.drannagarrett.com/lets-talk