The Science of Self Perception, an overview.

Love Yourself Naked is the missing piece to a successful health and weight loss strategy. It is for the millions of you who’ve spent years counting calories, working out and trying every iteration of a diet and exercise regimen. You put in all that effort, only to watch the scale either barely budge or yo yo, never managing to sustain a healthy weight and beating yourself up in the process. If you keep wondering what’s wrong with you, and what more you can possibly do right to shed those extra pounds, I have the key. It’s not a magic bullet and you’ll still have to work, but the heavy lifting isn’t physical, it’s mental – or I should say, mindful. 

Most of us are our worst self-critics, and it's that constant negative self-talk that may do more to sabotage our weight loss efforts than an extra spoonful of ice cream or a missed trip to the gym. Here's why: 

 

Your state of mind and emotional patterns can change your biochemistry and neurology, which can directly influence weight loss.  

Here’s how it works:

    •    You have a thought.

    •    The brain sends signals to the body in accordance with that thought.

    •    The body releases chemicals, i.e. you experience feelings in line with that thought.

    •    The brain picks up the chemicals being released by the body.

    •    The brain thinks the thoughts in line with the chemicals being sent by the body.

Voila, you are now stuck in a repeated pattern of thought that you experience in mind and body. So what happens when the negative tape runs in your head saying that you are too ugly, too fat, too _______________ (fill in the negative perception here)?  You release a continual cascade of chemicals that change your physiology and affect your metabolism. Studies have shown that between 72% to 91% of women report not being happy with their bodies. About 80% of women over 18 do not like what they see and may even see a distorted image. 

I saw it in myself, and I’ve seen it in others. Over the years I’ve worked with thousands of women to help them lose weight. No matter what shape or size they were, two things stood out:

1) They always wanted to lose weight.

2) None of them liked what they saw in the mirror.

          The good news is that, with just a few simple, mindful exercises, we can reverse the cycle of negative self-perception. In my years of research in fitness, nutrition and natural medicine, I've finally found the key that can unlock those emotional and mental blocks to long-term and sustained weight loss.  Once you've tried it, you'll be stunned by the results. Small, physiological changes will begin immediately, and add up to total transformation in mood, mind and body. 

It always seemed odd to me that even women who would be considered “f*#@ing hot” by conventional standards still had this negative tape running in their heads. In an ongoing informal survey I’ve held, the answers to the question, “When you see yourself naked in front of the mirror, your first thoughts are _______________?” range from 

    •    Disgusted

    •    FAT UGLY OLD

    •    My body is gross

    •    Fuck!

    •    I don’t look at myself naked in the mirror

    •    I hate my body

…you get the point. 

My “ah ha” moment came when, 15 years after founding and teaching Stacy’s Bootcamp, I left and lost weight without changing anything else. Initially I wasn’t sure how I lost the weight. Nothing behaviorally had changed. I was eating the same foods, exercising the same amount, sleeping well, drinking water, etc, etc. What did change was my emotional space. Although at one point I loved teaching Stacy’s Bootcamp, after 15 years of doing the same thing I felt stuck and unhappy. Then I left and miraculously lost weight…WTF? How could changing my daily feelings help me lose weight? I wanted to know what was going on here. That’s when it all clicked. Our thoughts and emotions effect our neurology and biochemical make up which in turn effects everything else, including our metabolism. And what does the self-directed shit talk do to us? Can our negative self-perception be f-ing with our bodies the same way feeling unhappy and stuck in my career did in my body? Yes, it can and does. 

But all of that is about to change. Once you've grasped the full extent of the mind/body connection and taken simple action steps to interrupt the constant flow of negative self-talk, you'll see the difference and you'll love what you've become. You'll love yourself naked...

Photos by Kisha Bari  Sponsored by The System by Stacy  Creative director Stacy Berman