Understanding and Overcoming Your Pre-Wedding Jitters and On-the-day...
Dear Dr Pam,
I've always had weight problems - you could call me a ‘big girl’ - I have a terror of being seen naked. I fear a guy will run a mile if he sees my body. So I've always have the lights out when having sex and there aren't even the ‘sensual candles’ recommended by experts. I've met a new man who genuinely cares about me and would love to get over my fears. Please help - I don't want to destroy another relationship because of my insecurities and I do find myself snacking at times when I get stressed over this. Btw, I'm okay with men outside the bedroom! Thank you, Louisaxxxx
Let me assure you it's not only weight that gives women a terror of being naked. I know plenty of slim women who have body issues that revolve around shape (rather than weight) and other things like muscle tone and cellulite. So, sadly, you’re in ‘good’ company - many will identify with your vampire-like dread of the light during sex.
Interesting you mention "sensual candles" that we experts recommend - yup, soft lighting can help with many women's insecurities but yours go deeper than that. You've bought the myth hook, line and sinker that men want women of a certain size. Plus that ladies on the larger-size aren't worthy of love.
These myths are in your head and the only time your weight should concern you is if it's making you unhealthy.
So, how to break a lifetime’s belief that ‘love’ will run a mile if the lights are on for sex? Old habits die hard and you need to fight these feelings. Begin with "thought stopping" - each time you have any negative thought about your body (and this doesn't have to be related to the bedroom) stop that thought immediately. It's up to you to re-train your mind. Substitute it with a kinder "voice" and tell yourself you’re worthy of love and of this nice new man.
You have to fight this like a boxer who's dodging punches because essentially that’s what a negative inner voice’s like - it keeps ‘punching’ you - always coming back at you. You have to fight back - so use your imagination and visualise it as a real fight.
Next, try on some sexy lingerie - walk around in it, feel good in it, and allow yourself to feel sexy! Dressing for sex isn't something spontaneous - by planning it you can make sure you wear what you feel confident in.
Start to introduce some of that sensual lighting we experts recommend! Get a dimmer switch or some delicious smelling candles.
Relax and enjoy it, you deserve to have a fun sex life and to feel better about yourself. If your problems over this persist it might be worth seeing a counsellor or a psychologist to help boost your self-esteem.
You mentioned “snacking” and if you’re worried about emotional eating then please do see my new book That Emotional Eater’s Diet at the top of my homepage. My book is about being a happy and healthy weight and not a model-slim weight! It’s about understanding your emotions and how sometimes we feed an emotional hole with food.
All the best, Pamx
My new book The Emotional Eater's Diet is published in the UK on May 15 - I’m very excited as I hope emotional eaters - women or men will find it helpful. Each year 2/3s of people start a diet and 20% start a new diet each month. Yet 95% of diets aren’t successful.
I firmly believe that emotional eating to soothe difficult feelings is the culprit behind most of this failure. My book has a huge range of practical tips/strategies to help understand your emotions and manage your appetite. There are mini-quizes and real case studies.
It’s available to preorder on Amazon. Please remember that food can fuel your energy needs but not your emotional needs. Take care!
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