NAKED: The Photoshoots

Yo peeps, I’m hosting another NAKED photoshoot on April 27 and wanted to share some of the backstory here.

How I went from running your Stacy’s Bootcamp Classes to a PhD in Natural Medicine

After more than 20 years of training everyone from Iron man athletes to post natal moms I saw first hand that you cannot out train your diet.  What you put in your mouth accounts for about 80% of everyone’s weight loss journey.  Exercise is an essential, but much smaller component.

The shift from looking at behaviors to looking at thought and feeling patterns happened when I stepped back from training people everyday and started my PhD in Natural Medicine.  With a bit of distance I could look at common health goals, like weight loss, from a new perspective.  I started to see that the way we look at health and weight loss was missing one obvious ingredient…our self perception.  The way we see ourselves from an emotional level has a huge impact on our physiology.  I had seen it played out for years and wanted to study the science behind it all.

How your state of  mind and emotional patterns can change your biochemistry and neurology!

Here’s how it works:

-We have a thought.
-The brain sends signals, in the form of nerve impulses, to the body in accordance with that thought.
-The body releases chemicals which you experience as 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.
-Your biochemistry and neurology is altered and you are in a repeated pattern of thinking and feeling, feeling and thinking.

For easy to understand examples just think about how you felt when you were really scared or very attracted to someone?  It was not just an idea, but there were physical reactions in your body.  If those altered states continue over time they can dramatically alter your biochemistry, but more on that later.

About my work with women looking to lose weight.

Once I had concrete evidence through my dissertation research that self perception effects health and weight loss I began working with women individually on their issues in the same way a therapist might. I saw that many women have this negative tape playing in their heads. Outside of private sessions and my upcoming book I wanted to do more. Something that would force women to step out of their comfort zones in order to rewire their brains immediately. I wanted to create a safe space for women to explore what it feels like to see themselves naked, feel sexy and strong, outside of the male gaze, in essence to reintroduce their bodies to themselves in an empowering positive way.

With this in mind, I created a series of, what I call, vaginacentric photo shoots i.e. women only/women focused. The aim was to bring women together to help them see themselves through a different lens, not the overly critical lenses they usually view themselves through.  The results were staggering.  As you can imagine, the way we see ourselves can become very distorted and we often block out anything positive in favor of the familiar negative thoughts that we are accustomed to.

By opening a dialogue and a photo shoot women literally saw themselves like never before and our video interviews allowed people who were not present to see the transformations.

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"Acknowledging I have work to do on my body does not mean I have to be unhappy. Being happy with myself did not mean that I had to be satisfied, stagnant, or complacent. Self love only needs to be based upon what all acts of love are based on:

Kindness.

Gentleness.

Respect.

Forgiveness.

Transparency.

Patience. 

I could give myself that love AND change”

-Cathleen Meredith

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“I walked in hoping to maybe get a nice picture to give to my husband. What I got was a lesson in sisterhood, in self-love, and a handful of images for me that will always serve as a reminder that this one time, I was brave, and that yes, I, too, am beautiful in my own way. ”

-Doris F