Susan Hyatt Helps Women Stop Dieting

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Susan Hyatt is a master certified life coach, weight loss expert, and the author of BARE. She’s the creator of the trademarked BARE Process, the BARE Deck, a podcast called BARE, and an online community called BARE DAILY.

Susan says,

"The more you allow yourself to be seen and take up space, the more you can conquer those voices that say you shouldn't."

We talk about:

  • Helping women stop dieting
  • How you know the inner voices are not your higher self
  • How to silence the voice of the Inner Mean Girl
  • Flipping the dialogue away from self-violent thoughts

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44 - Susan Hyatt Helps Women Stop Dieting

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MENTIONED ON THE SHOW

If I'm So Smart, Why Can't I Lose Weight? by Brooke Castillo

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TRANSCRIPT

Susan:

I help people get what they want.

Slade:

What does that mean?

Susan:

That means, so when you say to people, I'm a life coach, still most of the population has no idea what that means. Theres an elderly woman on a plane that thought that meant I was a hospice worker.

And so I look at it more as a conversation starter. So I'm not, if I just say, I'm a life coach, people's eyes kind of glaze over and then they are like, Oh, okay.

If I say, I help opoeple get what they want, then they're like, WHAAAT? Say more!

And then it's a conversation I'm having about, I'm a life coach and an author and I specialize in helping women stop dieting. Sometimes I just say, I help women stop dieting and you can see, I've written a couple funny stories because especially women are like, What?? You help them stop?? What would you do that? Because we're so immersed in diet culture. People think that dieting is being healthy and it's actually the opposite of that.

Slade:

Hnm.. How did that land in your lap, by the way? How did that become your thing?

Susan:

Well, it became my thing because I was 35 - 40 pounds over my natural weight when my first year as a life coach. And I knew that there were underlying issues about that. And I felt like, Hahaha it was my final frontier to conquer.

It wasn't, but it certainly was one issue that I needed to deal with.

And I hired a weight loss coach named Brook Castillo who's amazing, and she has this great book, If I'm So Smart, Why Can't I Lose Weight? And what we really did was dive in to the emotional side of eating, which really rocked my world. And I lost that weight within about six months.

And I was somebody who I joke, that I was, I really had a PhD in being a couch potato. I mean, I refused to exercise, I didn't want anyone telling me what I could or couldn't eat, and it really rocked my world.

And I thought, If I can lose this extra weight, then I want to help other women do it. And so I became, I added weight loss coaching to my repertoire.

And what I started to notice after coaching hundreds of women was, I was really spending the bulk of my time, because I could help anybody lose weight. It's really the inner deep work that makes weight loss sustainable, and it has nothing, I promise, to do with calories in, calories out, no pain no gain, all that stuff we're taught.

It's really about, Is this woman cherishing herself, loving herself, giving herself enough daily pleasure so that she's not getting her entertainment from food, so that she's not getting her comfort from food, so that she's not numbing out.

And I really started to notice that my clients, I could help them lose 50, 100 pounds, and then they would start complaining about other parts of their bodies. So yes, they had lost the weight, but now they were fixated on stretch marks, or, I still have a muffin top, or, Maybe I should get cosmetic surgery.

And I started focusing on learning how to love your body as it is, right now. And THEN we'll do this other stuff.

And BINGO! Everything changed.

And so I developed this process called BARE, and it's really a process of bringing a woman back to herself. And figuring out that diet just keeps you on this deprivation cycle that you can't win. And the diet industry's actually counting on that. It's like, I think the latest statistic, it's a over 100 billion dollar industry and it's designed to keep you dissatisfied with how you look so that you keep spending money trying to become something else .

Slade:

Wow.

Do you remember what the breaking point was for you? The shift that happened in your own mindset. I mean, now, working with the other clients, you were able to see it from outside and observe it in controlled environment.

But when that happened to you, can you go back and remember what that mindset shift was?

Susan:

Yeah, I can remember.

There was this moment, it was, I think maybe I had lost about 16 pounds of the 35 to 40, and we were going on spring break vacation and my daughter at the time was maybe 7. And I bought a new bikini and I was so excited in the store about having this bathing suit.

And I remember my coach wanted me, she made a joke about a client of hers that she had asked to take a picture of herself in a swimsuit and send it to her. And when the photo arrived, it was a photo of her client flipping her off. And I started laughing and I said, "Don't ever assign that to me."

And she was like, "Oh, really?? That's your homework then!"

And so I have my daughter, I put my swimsuit on, I was actually feeling great. My little 8-year old Emily takes a photo of me and I felt fine the entire process.

Until I looked at the photo on my big desktop screen.

And all of a sudden, all of these really negative thoughts started flooding in. That were still there about, Oh, you don't look as good as you thought, and just really self-violent thoughts that almost all women have about their bodies.

And I thought, You've got some real work to do. And I often think about, I was doing a webinar yesterday and I was talking about this. When you look at little kids. Say a film crew shows up at an elementary school, little kids are fighting, shoving each other out of the way to be seen on camera. This is an exciting thing, like, Look at me, I'm on TV!

And at some point, we receive messages from either family of origin or culture at large that the way that you look is not acceptable. And by the time we reach our age, we're so full of these messages that we should look a certain way and we're not good enough.

And in that moment when I looked at myself on screen, I was like, You have got to figure out how to be like that again.

Be like, There I am! Look at me! And show up. And stop this hiding because you have some cellulite or whatever it might be.

And that was really a moment, an AHA moment, a breaking point moment, a moment where I shifted and decided to devote myself to figuring that out.

And I did!

And I can tell you that people are always asking me, I don't understand how you get all that stuff done. And I can tell you, the reason I get so much stuff done, is because I'm no longer obsessing about food and body and how I look.

Slade:

Mmm...

Tell me about, well, first I have to tell you. You probably know this about me but I like to personify the archetypes, I like to communicate with voices, a lot of the work I do with people is around policing the negative self talk. You know, it's really about learning how to, not only identify that, but one of the things that you pointed out was, these voices come from your family and society. They don't come from your higher self. They don't come from little kid you. You've got them from somewhere. You took them on, you download them, and you call them your own thoughts and they're really not.

I noticed when I was looking at your website, before the interview, that you have an archetype called the Inner Mean Girl. Tell me about her. Is that who it is that's saying all these mean things?

Susan:

Yes! And you're absolutely right. These thoughts that we absorb and take on as our own, we were not born into this world with those kind of beliefs. We picked them up along the way and yeah, your inner mean girl is the one saying really horrible things to you about yourself that are untrue and the way that you know they're not true is because they make you feel horrible.

And I think most women think that that is because they talk with their girlfriends, they talk with their mom, they talk with other people and everybody goes, "Oh yeah! Me too!"

And so they think, Well that's normal and that's just the way it is.

But it is prevalent in our culture but it's not what we were meant to experience, and so we have to clap back at that and tell the mean girl to have a seat and educate her on how you want to be treated. And you can flip the dialogue on that and practice talking back to her and saying kind things, because, listen, even if you want to argue with me and say, No, but she's right. I DO need to lose weight. I don't exercise. I am lazy.

You've to to ask yourself different questions and tell yourself different things so that you change your behaviour, but there's no upside to self-violent thoughts, if you haven't noticed. There's no upside to it.

Slade:

Right.

Susan:

It doesn't help in any way.

Slade:

So you recently landed a big book deal. And I know this because we're friends on Facebook and you've been talking about the process and everything. Is this book deal, The BARE Message, is that what this is about?

Tell me about the book.

Susan:

The book is called BARE, and we're still working on the subtitle. But thank you very much. Yes, I'm so excited to have a book deal for it. It's basically -

Slade:

Yay! Congrats!

Susan:

Thank you!!! I'm so stoked!

Actually, just had a meeting with my publishing team yesterday, and they are on it. It's gonna be fire. I cannot wait for it to hit. Actually, pre-sale, the book is not going to be out until January of 2019, so there's a big process to getting these books out into the world, and I'm slightly impatient...

Slade:

Yeah...

Susan:

I would like it to be in your hands tomorrow, but pre-orders, actually, will start fairly soon, but the books will not ship until January.

And yes, it's a book full of personal stories and client stories and it walks you through the BARE process. And the thing that I like about the BARE process is - so when you get the book, it's a story, and then there's a challenge.

So it gets you taking action immediately.

Side note, I have a podcast, the BARE podcast, which is going to drop on iTunes maybe by next week, so people, while they're waliting on the book, can check out the podcast. I'm dropping an entire season at once, so it can walk people through... there's 8 episodes in season 1. It walks people through the BARE process. You can do it on your own or you can decide to hire a coach to help you.

Slade:

Oh! Okay.

You also have, for people who don't want to wait, who want to dive in and work with it, this platform, this work, this material exists in various forms. You have a community, an online community around it already, right?

Susan:

Yeah, yeah!

It's called BARE Daily. The way that it's set up is, if someone joins the community, they get access, a username and password to an online classroom that has the BARE process in videos, so you can watch a video, there's homework assignments, there's tons of stuff in there.

And then, in the private forum, I'm in there every day and so are my BARE coaches. So let's say you sign up and you start doing the BARE process, and you hit a wall or you have an issue, which you will. Coaches are there 24/7 to coach you through what's happening in the forum.

So it's really a sweet set up.

Slade:

I have to ask you this question. I love to ask everyone this, and I'm trying to learn to ask it in a more postitive way, but, as someone who's spent some time now in the personal development world, what do you most hope to change about the conversation?

Susan:

So many things, Slade. So many things.

Primarily, I want to disrupt diet culture. So the segment of the self-help industry that focuses on food, body and weight, I want to change the conversation from fear and deprivation to pleasure, love, positivity. So that's number one.

People who are promoting unhealthy, unsustainable lifestyle changes, things that you wrap your body in, or starve yourself. All these kinds of things. I definitely want to, not flip the switch, flip the table on those folks.

And then, also, the part of the self-help industry that is selling a bill of goods around, how do I say this? So I'm a big believer in spiritual grease plus elbow grease. Meaning, Yes, the Universe has your back. Yes, the Universe is conspiring in your favour. And whatever higher power you believe in, yes, your higher power, your higher self wants you to have everything that you crave. But you have to couple that faith in belief with action.

And so, I get pretty worn out with people who are selling the idea that if you just believe it hard enough, it will happen.

Slade:

Mmm... yeah. Like the law of attraction method, I mean, not like specifically, but some of that stuff. Like thinking it will be true, feel your way into the reality, that kind of stuff?

Susan:

Yeah, because it's only part of the story.

I have dear friends who are big law of attraction teachers, and I think people misunderstand it and they think, Well if I pay this money and I make a vision board, and I just believe that I'm going to own a Mercedes, and it's going to appear in my driveway... And tomorrow, I'm going to be dancing with Cardi B and Bruno Mars. It's gonna happen.

Yes, if you do some things to put yourself in the path of Cardi B, if you do some work and go to the Mercedes dealership, you know?

Slade:

Right.

Susan:

It's just, I believe in magic, I believe in miracles, but I grew up Catholic. I'm a recovered Catholic. But my mother used to always say, God helps those who help themselves!

And I guess that's really stuck with me, because I believe that to be true that, yes these miraculous things can happen, but you have to get out of your own way and do some work.

Slade:

I actually believe that too and I wasn't even indoctrinated to believe it. But that line, you know, God helps those who help themselves, really does work for me.

You know, if somebody says it to me and I'm like, Amen! You know what I mean?

Susan:

Hallelujah!

Slade:

And I do write and teach law of attraction stuff in hopefully my corrected methods but, one of the things I like to introduce into the conversation is that, what you describe that the vision board thing is like working with one element as opposed to all the sacred elements. It's like legs on a stool kind of thing.

You've got some other legs you've got to attach to this thing before it'll stand up.

Susan:

Yeah! And I totally, I mean I do vision board workshops online. It's not... I love all those things. They just have to be combined, like you said, with other practices.

Slade:

Well that's one of the reasons I wanted you to be on here. Because this is fewer hearts and flowers, we still love all the spiritual stuff, right? And the thing I love about you is you embody that very down to earth use of these things as tools.

It's not an airy fairy thing for you. You love to show yourself doing it. You're on camera a lot. People can Facebook live right into your office on a daily basis.

Susan:

Yeah, it's true.

Slade:

And I love that about you too because you're never full hair and make up and wearing a glitter gown, except in a photo shoot, which you do. You get that out of your system.

Susan:

You gotta bring the big guns in sometimes, but yeah, on a daily basis I'm typically in my work out clothes with no make up.

Slade:

Well, you know what? That was very inspiring to me as I was developing this podcast and putting it out, because one of the pieces of advice that I got was, just don't worry about the intro music and the this and the that at the other thing. It's about you speaking, it's about the content, and it's about letting people hear you and the guests that you connect with. Just think of it as a big voice mail. Just take it down a notch.

And that was very freeing for me.

And you and I had a little interaction on Facebook probably about a year ago about that whole thing and you encouraged me. You were like, Yeah, people need to see you.

Susan:

Hmm?

Slade:

That probably will be my next step. Is to get to let my face be out there more. But that's one of those things...

Susan:

Dude! Why would you not let your face be seen??? You're a hottie!

Slade:

Because!

Susan:

McHotterson! You are depriving your audience of... You will be blessing the interwebs with your face.

Slade:

Alright.

Susan:

I need to come over there and smack you around.

Slade:

Well you'll be proud to know that I'm going to do my first Facebook live next week. For my -

Susan:

Next week?! How about this afternoon??

Slade: Well because it's a training for my Automatic Intuition peeps, so they get to be exposed to me first.

But I was thinking about it and I was like, Yeah, you know what? I'm just going to sit on camera and... And I totally thought I 'm going to do this Susan Hyatt style. That you were my inspiration for that.

Susan:

That's awesome.

And I have to say, that's part of the BARE process. Is to make you seen and be seen. So you have to, the more you allow yourself to be seen and take up space, the more you can conquer those voices that say that you shouldn't, that you don't look alright, like, whatever.

Put yourselves out there, people.

Slade:

Well that was kind of my last big question for you, was about the whole make a scene concept.

We're all rooting for you, living through you vicariously, as you're making your scenes and posting about that. And people just have to follow you online to get the full experience of what I'm talking about, because it unfolds, as you encounter things in your daily life and you share it.

So, I used to, my friends in college actually used to call me Julie Sugarbaker, and I was notorious for telling some people off. You know what I mean? And I was really good at it.

But I reached a point where I kind of had to dial back a lot of my anger. I had to go all the way back, strip back down and work my way back up again, and as we all know, this last year or so has been very trying when it comes to posting things online about your, the things that you're pissed about.

I always look at you and I'm like, How is she coming out smelling like a rose every time? Because you are so good at doing something. Like, if I do what you do, I end up in a flame war. I mean...

Susan:

Oh! You mean with your following. People get mad.

Slade:

Yes! Like, you are so good at treading the line on making the scene and sharing the fact that you're pissed and putting it out there and calling stuff out without, somehow, ending up in tears at the end of the day and you wasted your whole day arguing with people online.

So I'm wondering, What am I missing? Where do we draw the line there? How do you police that energy?

Susan:

So I have an unfair advantage, and my unfair advantage is that I have, for 19 years, parented a man named Ryan Hyatt. And Ryan Hyatt is some of the biggest most challenging energy that you could encounter. So I feel like I have been in boot camp with how to have boundaries, express feelings, call it like it is, in a way that doesn't set fire to everything.

Sometimes I do want to set fire to everything, so there's number one. So sorry Slade, I'm going to have to ship Ryan off to you so that you can get some practice with that before, but...

Secondly, I think I'm always, one of the things that I teach in writing, or when I'm training coaches on how to come up with content, how to come up with content for Facebook, how to come up with content for your blog, for your podcast, for whatever reason, a fellow Sugarbaker over here, I have always been able to come up with topics more readily, more easily, if I think about what has irritated me or pissed me off lately.

And then what I do is say, Okay, I'm really irritated about whatever, these people who are selling diets. Then I try to come up, before I open my mouth, I try to come up with the life coachy solution to it, so that it's not just a rant. That I'm offering my displeasure, and I'm all, Let me tell you something, but I couch it in, Well here's what you could do for yourself if you're experiencing this too.

And so I think that's what keeps it from just being something that would ruin someone's day. My day, your day, whatever.

Slade:

I like it.

Susan:

Yeah. So there's a little bit... Then also, you know it, I do get hate mail, I do get people who disagree and who will post things, but I shut it down pretty quickly. I don't let them have a platform on my platform.

I'm open minded, so if they're talking about something respectfully and they just disagree, that's fine. But if they're trying to set fire to my Facebook thread, then they're immediately blocked. That's it.

You don't get to come over on my page and do that. Sorry.

Slade:

You know what? I actually realized as you were saying this that, I teach this in terms of, journalling. I used to keep diaries a lot and that's a big tool for me and at some point I realized, it was nothing but whining. And when I did Morning Pages for the first time, the Julia Cameron style, I remember being like, You know what? I'm not just going to bitch every morning for 15 minutes. How's that a way to start the day? So I made a rule with myself that the only way that I can mention something that was wrong in my diary is if I put a potential solution there.

Or, I am broke, here's what I'm going to do about it, kind of thing.

And I teach that to people a lot. You can't, it's one thing to, like you said, it's one thing to rant, and it's one thing to vent, but I think even venting in your private space, without having constructive context, is damaging. You're just letting the inner mean girl have a dance party in your head.

Susan:

Right.

Slade:

So, what's next for you? You've got this big book coming out but it's going to take awhile. So what are you going to do in the meantime?

Susan:

So what I'm doing in the meantime is, I'm trying to build my BARE membership community up and I am spending a lot of time inside there. We have cooking classes and exercise classes... Just all kinds of great content that happens privately in there. I'll be spending most of my time in there.

I'm also doing some international retreats this year. One to Italy that's already sold out and one to England and maybe one to Paris. That's one of my favorite cities.

And then I'm training a bunch of BARE coaches, so coaches in the BARE methodology, so that they can spread this far and wide, and just on my regular!

Slade:

It must be fun to be you.

Susan:

It IS fun to be me!

And I tell you, I remind myself of that every morning when my inner mean girl wants to whine about how much she has to do. I slap her around and tell her she is so lucky, that she's to stay in the miracle and be grateful for this practice and this business and this life.

Slade:

Mmm... Susan, I truly do love your energy. I could talk to you all day long, and one of the reasons why I had to get you on my show is because you'll probably be too famous next year to be on my show.

Susan:

Stop it! Never too famous for you.

Slade:

Anyway, it was fantastic to get to capture a chat with you and introduce you to some of my peeps who may not have heard of you before. So tell everyone where where they can go to find you online.

Susan:

Thank you so much, by the way. This was a delight. My website URL, is SHyatt.com. And then you can follow me on Instragram @SusanHyatt, or on also Facebook, same handle.

Thank you for coming on the show Susan.

Susan:

Thank you!

Thanks again for listening to the Shift Your Spirits podcast.

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