Some time ago I was forced to change my diet – radically. I have never been a junk food addict, and I stay far away from sugary fizzy water that pretends to be a drink. But I have to admit that even I was combatting my own urges of crisps and a good dessert from now and then. But the main reason that I watched my diet then was to avoid weight gain. Knowing better what I needed in my life than even I do, as the universe always does, it sent me a health problem that opened my eyes not only to my own occasionally harmful habits, but to an entirely another sea of problems that threaten the well being of so many: food addiction – or rather society’s overall predilection towards food (and drink) that is temporarily filling and tasty, but that actually is really not good for you. What does any of this have to do with love coaching, you may ask? Actually, loads. It has become a common issue among my clients that a malnourished heart often leads to the abuse of food and that, in return, this lack of care for their body (and skin) then leads to them looking worse, which then heightens their sense of worthlessness.
Do you feel stuck in a negative eating pattern and unsure how to change it? Do you wish that you can be healthier and look after yourself better but unsure where and how to begin? Is your self esteem affected by a negative self-image that you wish you can change? Do you believe your life would be much better if you only looked different or had a different figure or body type?
Well if you thought “yes” to any of these questions, take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Many people, especially women, suffer from lack of self confidence — in one way or another — and very often related to self-image. One of the most prominent reasons for low self esteem and poor self image is connected to your feelings about your body, your figure, or your weight.
Many of my clients, for instance, turn to food for comfort after a bad day or when feeling lonely and then feel bad about it afterwards as they watch their efforts at controlling their weight deteriorate. “What can one harmless piece of chocolate do with my beloved cup of coffee,” they tell themselves at the moment. Or something like, “So what if I make it a junk food day today, I deserve it after the crapy day I’ve had”! Or how about, “I’ve been exercising for ages but still haven’t lost any weight, so screw it, I’m having a bowl of pasta”. And there are many more. Does this resonate? From my experience, many people (women especially) turn to food to temporarily suffocate feelings of loneliness and unhappiness.
Unfortunately, clever advertising has caught onto this tendency and is using it against us for the benefit of raising sales of well-known food vendors. The significant rise in vendors means that we are constantly bombarded with advertising telling us that we will feel good if we just eat or drink some product or other. This makes resisting temptation that much more difficult and challenging on a regular basis (even if also more worthwhile). While some 20-30 years ago there was one big chocolate brand advertising its’ scrumptious happiness-giving chocolate, these days we have to endure over a dozen different chocolate brands trying to sell us their product in the most attractive way, normally using our lack of willpower against us to lure us to purchase their product. And let’s not forget the other unhealthy temptations, such as junk food, fast food, soda, coffee, alcohol, etc.
The desire for our purchase has now become a battleground where we have to fight temptation constantly in order to keep our figures and maintain our ideal weight without getting lured into wasting money on so many easily-available unhealthy options. When you pass Starbucks and feel proud resisting that amazing chocolate frappe, a few steps further you encounter Nero’s, Costa, Pret a Manger, McDonald’s… Sometimes, if your willpower and your reason for fighting isn’t strong enough, the battle of resistance becomes too tiring and it’s easier to give in than to hold out… even if that means setting yourself back in your body image goals and feeling terrible about yourself afterwards.
I too have undergone this battle many times in my life and I also know how bad it feels to lose and how good it feels to win. All of my work as a Love Coach begins with helping clients to love themselves better and to feel empowered enough to achieve the life and love situation that they really want. Because I am passionate about helping my clients on the deepest levels, and because I am constantly pursuing learning better and better ways to do this, I embarked on a course to study Hypnotherapy: the fastest method to work with nốt just the conscious mind, but also the subconscious one. Very quickly I saw that weight management and confidence and self-esteem work were areas most crucial to a vast majority of my clients, even before they were ready to find love.
For this reason, I’ve decided to focus on those areas specifically for my hypnotherapy certification project, to run a project tackling precisely this issue of how a negative body image can adversely affect our self esteem. I already use hypnotherapy and NLP successfully to help my clients to improve their self confidence and now I am beginning to use it to help clients with weight management, thereby significantly improving their self esteem as their outwardly image improves. Hypnotherapy is not magic (though the results my clients have seen have often been quite magical); it is simply a method of rewiring your brain to break the old and unhealthy habits and to exchange them for the healthy habits that you actually want and that really serve you.
At the moment, I’m looking for 2-3 more clients who want help to reach their ideal weight, figure, or size to participate in my study looking to demonstrate a parallel between feeling better about yourself physically (by being closer to your physical ideal), when you like the way you look better, and feeling better about yourself overall, thereby having a better self-confidence. If you would like to be one of these few clients participating, schedule a free call with me here to discuss if you are appropriate for this study.
Is sex without love enough?
One of the questions I often get from women when they find out that I’m a Love Coach is around the issue of how long to wait to have sex with a man they’re seeing. Some of them, disappointed with the dating scene and feeling desire to be intimate, rush into sex in order to meet their “needs” only to feel not so great after.
Recently, a client of mine shared an experience with me. To get over a man that she was still hung up on, she decided to indulge freely in a one night stand rather than try and wait for the “right guy” to come along again. This came about naturally as she met a friend of a friend at a party. Initially, she didn’t pay much attention to him as he was not “her typical type”. He was fun and attractive, but he was more of a “party guy” and not someone in a place to have the serious relationship that she was looking for before, so she would never have considered having something serious with him. However, after hanging out with their common friends for a while, the two ended up having some sexy, playful dancing that then led to sex. Rather than holding herself back as she normally would, she decided to “go for it” which was out of character for her and she had an amazing night of sex. At that moment, she didn’t find it awkward or immoral; she just wanted to have pleasure. She also didn’t expect anything from this man (or so she told herself) so she wouldn’t be disappointed if he didn’t contact her the next day.
While I have heard enough stories of women who are confident having amazing sex, without commitment, very early on with a man, and it turning into something serious eventually; I have heard too many more of the other kind of stories: those of women being hurt by the man’s lack of contact following sex that came too quickly. Hence, I normally advise my clients to wait for sex until they are in a committed, monogamous relationship. Believe me, I know the pull of hormones and how desire can make one want to rush into physical contact. I also know how good sex can feel with the right person as well as how bad it can feel when that right person forgets you exist the morning after. I have had more than enough clients and friends crying to me at sessions following being hurt due to rushing too quickly into sex to recommend “no sex without commitment” as a regular policy.
I know that we live in modern times, and I get how the sexual revolution makes women want to exert our sexual independence. However, women and men feel sex differently and, unfortunately, the double-standard still exists without being clearly admitted to. Recently, I questioned a small number of men about their thoughts on women who go for sex quickly. Their responses were candid and telling. Some were almost too candid: “I would never take a woman who sleeps with me too quickly seriously, even if I was the one initiating the sex. She should say no.” I know, I cringed too when I heard it, but the other men in the group corroborated that as unfair and sexist as this may be, it also happens to be mainly true. There are certain exceptions made for some pretty amazing women and in some special circumstances, but we can’t count on being an exception. What we can count on is following a rule.
The reason I stick so firmly to “no sex without commitment” is because it is a policy that not only is better for your health (do you really want to let someone you barely know into your home or your body?) and for your self-esteem (how will you really feel when he doesn’t even try to contact you the next day), but it also serves as a wonderful filter. That man who won’t be ok with waiting for you to get to know him better before being intimate with you was probably never that serious about being with you anyway. Sex also feels much better when had with someone you have strong feelings for, and when you know that that someone is “doing the deed” only with you.
So, my advice: have patience, wait, date, get to know the men you’re interested in and choose one you want to know better. If you want help meeting someone special or becoming the “Chooser” in your love story, or in finding out how to turn his desire for sex into the ideal Segway into a very cool and non-threatening conversation about commitment, book a free 30 minute call with me on this link. Ask about my one to one coaching and my soon to be launching self-study program at a fraction of the cost of one to one coaching. Also ask about my Elite package that takes you through all you need to be totally and completely “Love ready”
Independent is good but inter-dependent is even better!
Last week saw America celebrating its’ Day of Independence and I wrote about the benefits of being independent in oneself from one’s situation or circumstance. (If you didn’t get to read that blog, you can find it here.) But what about when independence goes from being a good thing that helps you to be create the life you want to becoming a quality that by holding on too tightly to actually stops you from getting close to anyone.
We have been in one way or the other swooped by the tide of modernism called: achieving independence. I would even go as far as making it one of our definitive terms of our era: “the dawn of independence” or an “age of independence”. Having independence over one’s circumstance is great and empowering, as I wrote last week; but what does wanting complete independence of everything really mean in the context of our relationships with other people?
Lets face it, being completely independent is most often related to being single, empowered, financially not in need of anyone else, and in no need of having a partner. But though having this kind of freedom to do whatever one wants without having to consider the feelings of another may sound liberating and fun in a moment, many such moments together into a long part of one’s lifetime and this independence can begin to feel very lonely.
Hence independence can become a double-edged sword: liberating and empowering on one hand — bringing with it freedom of self and decision over ones circumstances — while also carrying loneliness and a lack of strings or relationships when taken too far. So what is the answer?
Well the answer, I believe, is something I call interdependence. Interdependence is akin to the saying “the whole is greater than the sum of its’ parts”. Interdependence is collaboration, it’s co-working, it’s sharing, and it’s partnership. Independence may make us strong as individuals, but interdependence makes us stronger as a whole. Interdependence is better for the unit. Picture the cohesive couple versus the one where each is thinking only of their own selfish needs (divorce court anyone). And interdependence is also better for society as a whole (peace process where each side gets their needs met versus perpetual threat of war as each is attempting to exert what it believes is right).
The truth is that total independence can never be achieved as nothing in this world exists in itself; everything to an extent is dependent on some other thing and needs something else to ensure its’ own survival. As we need plants, water, and sometimes animals (or another food source) to survive as nourishment, so in the world where we are still beings of relationships, we need other people to survive and love for happiness (parents, siblings, friends, lovers, colleagues etc).
I have seen countless cases of ‘independent’ women, who seemed to have it all, feeling completely unhappy due to loneliness. Independence taken too far leaves us clinging to something that will never truly fulfil us. Interdependence is the better version that takes into account our strengths and the strengths as a whole of those we can work together with to succeed beyond just ourselves.
Should you wish to understand how you too can move towards interdependence, finding that ideal partner to share your life with, or sharing your life better by improving your relationship with your current partner, you can schedule your free 30 minute phone call with Julia here.