BAREing Our Inhibitions with Susan Hyatt

I was thrilled to be in the room with coach Susan Hyatt for the New York City launch party of “Bare,” her latest book.


Susan’s BARE method is, nominally, an anti-diet diet book; in her practice, she does help women lose weight, and trains other trainers in her certified method. However, she will be the first one to tell you that it’s not really about weight loss, and it is certainly not about doing anything unhealthy in pursuit of a certain look. She rejects that utterly, and will, in fact, tell you that “weight loss coaching” is simply an easy in to find women who are ready for the REAL work - the work of letting go of societal expectations, and learning to put all of your energy towards making yourself happy, at ANY weight.

Although we are Facebook friends, I was honestly shocked that Susan truly knew who I was when I walked in the door - but she did, as well as details about my life. I loved that!

As I do, I live-Tweeted her talk... and, as Beyoncé is her prime inspiration, I accompanied each insight with an appropriate Beyoncé GIF (one of which she specifically called out while retelling her journey towards the publication of “BARE”).

In Hyatt-world, “Beyoncé” could be taken as shorthand for “confident, kickass, unabashedly feminine, and a total game-changer.” Her book is not about making women feel bad about their weight, or to tell them what to do in order to get smaller. It is about finding their own POWER.

Despite her magnetism and following, “BARE” actually had a hard time finding a publisher. Hyatt recounted a specific weekend where she traveled to NYC to meet with book publishers, only to find little interest when she arrived. She turned the weekend into a video shoot, creating the online portion of her BARE program - and turning a loss into a gain of not only productivity, but also profit.

While Hyatt’s signature programs nominally revolve around weight loss, her mission is about empowering women - and training her certified coaches to do the same.

Hyatt referred to weight loss as a “Trojan horse” to get her messages of empowerment into womens’ hands.

Why women? Why not men? Well, if you exist in our society, you are likely aware of the messages society feeds women from birth about the connection between their physical appearance (skinny!) and their worth.

These messages about worth - and worthlessness - have created a world full of women who are wasting so much of their time and potential feeling “less than.” Something as silly as weight is holding women back from so much in life.

And we have come to Hyatt’s raison d’etre: freeing up the part of women’s minds that they waste on societal messaging so that they can apply themselves more fully to whatever it is that THEY want to do.

In our BARE notebooks, we had to think about & write down about how much time and energy we devote each day to thinking about looking bad: our weight, our attractiveness, even what we wear. The time we essentially waste on worrying that we aren’t good enough on the outside.

Next, she had us each write down a goal we have for ourselves - then share that goal with the person next to us. Each pair was to look into their partner’s eyes and reassure the sharer that she could do it, and that we believed in her. (This exercise was more powerful than I had expected!)

We spoke about the “emotional workload” that so many women bear disproportionally in their homes.

Societal beauty norms are not the only energy sucks, claiming our thoughts and limiting our potential - this mental workload of “keeping your circus together” is another large part of what holds many women back.

What could we do with that time, that energy, that potential, if we weren’t wasting it on things outside of us? What if, instead, we could RECLAIM that energy, and put it to work for us?

The idea of “you have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé” isn’t entirely accurate - she, like Hyatt, has all sorts of help - but another thing these women have in common is that they’ve chosen to bring their FULL selves to their OWN goals, to block out the distractions, and to virtually CREATE TIME by applying themselves to their own work.

This book is not about getting skinnier. This book is not about eschewing yummy food, or working out for hours every day. This book is about eschewing the limiting BS and working on your GOALS. On yourself.

Women HAVE willpower. We just need to give ourselves permission to apply it fully in the service of our wildest dreams, and to ignore the messages that we are wrong or bad if we fail to live up to unrealistic societal ideas - of beauty, of body, of priorities.

We need to serve the master of OURSELVES.

One of Susan’s personal stories that has touched me the most is one she shared on Facebook a while back (and has likely shared elsewhere). She was not always this fabulous, sparkly, globe-trotting badass reigning atop a seven-figure business empire. 

She was once a blander, heavier, unsatisfied stereotypical suburban mom. 

One weekend, as she and her family packed up their minivan to head home from a trip to the lake, she broke down in tears. She had a life she really DID need a vacation from, and she couldn’t bear to go back to it.

While I am not quite in former-Susan’s shoes (I’ve already found some sparkle), this really does resonate with me as a mom of small children. I run a household and a business, and it feels like there’s just not enough of me - and contributes to that overall concept of, “Who am I to be fabulous?”. So I asked Susan to share, on video, those first steps she took to break out of that rut, to reclaim her life and steer it so firmly towards FABULOUS - and she generously obliged.

Thank you, Susan and friends, for a glorious evening celebrating OURSELVES and our power. There was dancing, champagne, yummy food, a sequined photo booth - and, above all, a feeling of HOPE. 

We all self-elected to be in that room. We are all up to the challenge of being our best selves, as defined by US. We are ready to rise above the bullshit, to BARE our insecurities, and to remove them, in the service of ourselves.

Let’s do this, ladies.