Compare and Despair

So many of us get caught up in compare and despair.
We look at pictures on Instagram of the online newspapers and we start to compare our bodies, our lives, our wealth, our world to people we see a quick glimpse of.
I often see people in my office who tell me that they ‘compare themselves’ to other people and I always ask them ‘why?’
Some of their replies range from ‘because she is so beautiful’ or ‘he is just so intelligent’ or ‘she is so lucky she has it all’.
But my question to them is this ‘have they lead exactly the same life as you?’ ‘do you KNOW they are that lucky?’ ‘why, are you comparing your inside, with their outside?’
A comparison is only really a consideration or estimate of the dissimilarities between two things or two people. Re-read this sentence. In other words, comparison is based on an estimation, a consideration and hardly ever based on FACT.
You all know how much I love facts.
If you are someone who is comparing yourself to others here are a few tips on how to quit that shit and get on with being the amazing unique you that you were born to be:

  1. Stop placing yourself as ‘less than’. You are not. You are equal to. There will be some things that you can do and some things that others can do. There will be some things you cannot do that others can. This is called life. If we could all do and look and be exactly the same as each other, what kind of boring world would that be? Step into your uniqueness and own it.
  2. Be Grateful. Take a long hard look at how amazing you are. Start focusing on the things that are amazing about you and quit looking at the negative lies you are telling yourself. Everyone has something special and something wonderful about them. Find your thing and keep telling yourself about it. Big yourself up and have your own back.
  3. Get cool with being imperfect. I’m not sure about you but the last thing I want to be is perfect. Why? because I know that perfect does not exist so I am not going to aim for something that isn’t real. Instead, focus on getting cool with your perfect imperfections. We are all perfectly imperfect and trust me, in the years of coaching I have done, the thousands of clients I have seen, I am yet to meet a ‘perfect’ one. So if you think you know someone who is perfect, I would suggest stepping out of your imaginary world and looking at the facts.
  4. Love what you have. In today’s society we are lead to believe that ‘things’ make us happy. It isn’t true. The thing that makes you happy is you. You choose the right thoughts, you create your happy. Its as simple as getting your mind managed and your thoughts in the right place. So start thinking about what you are thinking about and choose to love what you have. It feels great.
  5. Social Media Detox. I love social media, it’s a huge part of my business but at the same time I know that all the pictures of people on there having a great time and looking like they have fabulous lives doesn’t mean I choose to think my life is any less. Remember that people will only post pictures on social media of them looking great. Think about the terribly sad life of L’wren Scott. Her pictures were all private jets and couture clothes. Behind it she was terribly unhappy. Don’t believe the hype. People have real lives no matter what they post on Facebook. Everyone is dealing with something.
  6. Direct your focus to things that matter to you. Spend your time doing the things you love, focussing your attention on you and choosing great thoughts that create great feelings and actions. Direct your focus to the positive and you will be amazed at how amazing your life really is.
  7. Lastly, if you still feel the need to compare, take a look at where those thoughts stem from. Did you learn somewhere that you were not enough? if so, question the hell out of that thought and teach yourself to turn it around. It isn’t true. We are all given a set of beliefs and we all, as adults, have a choice as to whether we choose to hold onto those beliefs or challenge and change them. My suggestion is any belief you think is keeping you small or holding you back needs to be worked on. Challenge it, look for evidence to prove the opposite is true and then go out into the big wide world with a thought that feels amazing. Because the truth is, YOU ARE.

Happy Friday

Body Image

My friends at Sweaty Betty asked me if I could give their readers my top 5 tips for a healthier body image. I love working with Sweaty Betty as they really understand that health is so much more than just what you look like. I wanted to share my top tips with you this summer so that you can have an amazing holiday without the mental chatter about your body ruining your holiday! Hope you guys are all having a great Summer. Here’s my tips…

5 tips for a healthier body image

Everywhere we look nowadays there seems to be some form of body bashing. We live in a society where unrealistic images of women that are photoshopped or contorted into looking ‘perfect’ are the norm. With struggles around body image becoming more common, life coach Jacqueline Hurst shares her top tips for achieving a healthier body image this summer.
Don’t stress
This may sound obvious, but stressing out about your body is not helping you. If you are constantly judging yourself, you’re just going to make everything worse. If you’re filled with self doubt, it’s time to take a breath and relax and focus on the good things. I can guarantee that even the most ‘perfect’ girl on social media has something she doesn’t like about herself, so stop comparing and start appreciating. Make a list of positive features, this can be personality or aesthetics and stop the judgement.
You’re more than your size 
Let’s just get one thing clear, society has given a misconception that ties in being ‘worthy’ with being ‘tiny’. Well I say it’s time to question that, who is telling you to be worth something you have to be a certain size? It’s likely to be something you have seen, read or heard. Remember, we live in a culture where people feel it’s ok to comment on your size and shape. No, it isn’t, everyone is different and unique.
Healthy is beautiful
Instead of focusing on aesthetics, it’s time to focus on being well and healthy. Working out and looking after yourself is key, so instead of thinking ‘I want the perfect abs’, set yourself a goal such as reaching a new personal best, trying a new healthy recipe or practicing mindfulness. If you are looking after yourself, then I guarantee you will feel healthier and happier. My first tip for this is to eat your greens, adding one portion of fruit or vegetables to your meals a day is good for your skin, hair, gut and wellbeing.
No comparing
One of the dangers of social media is the constant barrage of ‘perfect’ images of bodies, holiday’s, food and more. First things first I say stop comparing. These girls? I can guarantee that they spend plenty of time on the sofa in their sweatpants carefully editing these posts. It’s never worth comparing your life to anyone elses, focus on the positive and remember Photoshop exists for a reason, everyone has cellulite, stretch marks and spots, whatever a photo says.
Find the root
And lastly, if you still feel the need to compare, take a look at where those thoughts stem from. Did you learn somewhere that you were not enough? If so, question the hell out of that thought and teach yourself to turn it around. It isn’t true. We are all given a set of beliefs and as adults we can challenge them.
Jacqueline Hurst is a master life coach and clinical hypnotherapist. She has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network, The Sunday Times, Harpers Baazar and The Daily Telegraph. Jacqueline is also the founder of the Life Class, an online personal course for self development. 
Read the full article on Sweaty Betty’s blog here

Is Instagram Hurting You?

The crew at the very cool health and wellness blog, Healthista.com asked me about my view on how Instagram could be affecting people’s body imgage and eating.  It was a good chat and became an interesting article which i wanted to share with you here…
Instagram has been found to be damaging to young people’s mental health and even associated with the eating disorder orthorexia nervosa. Vanessa Chalmers finds out how to know if you’re at risk
Today, Instagram has been ranked as having the worst effect on young people’s mental health in a new report. In a survey of almost 1,500 Britons aged 14 to 24, The Royal Society for Public Health found that young people were most likely to feel depressed and lonely after using the app, as well as associating it with negative attributes and low self-esteem, resulting in poor body image and lack of sleep.
However, it doesn’t end there. More specifically, a recent study by University College London found a link between high Instagram use and the eating disorder orthorexia nervosa. Scrolling through a feed of green smoothies and yoga posing is beginning to show evidence of leaving a damaging mark.  Orthorexia nervosa is a healthy eating obsession.
Researchers surveyed 680 females with an average healthy BMI about what social media they use and how often. They also asked which of 19 food types the ate, and used a questionnaire to assess how many orthorexic symptoms they possess. In the publication on the National Library of Medicine, they concluded that  high Instagram use is associated with a greater tendency towards orthorexia nervosa (ON), and interestingly, no other social media platform has the same effect.
ON is an illness and obsession with eating healthily, whereby people showing symptoms eat more fruit and vegetables, cut out food groups such as white carbohydrates, shop in health food stores, exercise and rarely drink alcohol. It sounds like simple healthy lifestyle choices, right? The difference is ON is also associated with significant dietary restrictions, malnutrition and social isolation. There is an overlap with both obsessive compulsive disorder and anorexia, sharing traits of rituals and intrusive thoughts for the former and perfectionism and guilt over food for the latter.
The researchers note that ON is currently more prevalent with yoga instructors, dietitians, nutrition students and exercise science students compared to the general population, where it is estimated to be less than one per cent.
As well as this, the Independent reported on a paper last week which points out that Instagramming our food can have an effect on later enjoyment. Over exposure to food (through looking at it or taking photos) makes you bored of the food before you’ve even began eating it, with the eating becoming secondary to the perfect filter online.
According to the UCL researchers, 54 per cent of the us are turning to their feeds to discover and share food experiences, and 42 per cent using it to seek advice about food. Therefore, the harm of the ‘clean eating’ trend is already a hot topic.

Why Instagram is the worst culprit

Of course, during an obesity epidemic, encouraging healthy eating is a good thing. Using Instagram to share a weight loss journey may be the key to one persons success. Finding fellow fitness fanatics and sharing recipes is another’s ticket to like-minded friends.
On the other hand, a scroll though social media can be a knock to our self confidence, or more seriously, fuel for a mental illness. The authors suggested these three reasons for the link between Instagram and the eating disorder:

  • Firstly, Instagram is all about the pictures. Taking the perfect shot of your protein pancakes means more likes, and a great platform to attract other healthy eaters.
The top photos under #breakfastbowl make our avocado on toast look less than standard
  • Secondly, all the posts you see are from people you follow (or similar, on the explore page). Following tons of the #fitfam crew or slim food bloggers will expose you to a bombardment of extreme health messages, allowing for normalisation of behaviours which users may feel pressures to conform to.
Under the hashtag #fitness, the top posts represent the fittest of the bunch
  • Thirdly, we see social media influencers as an authority who we look up to. Their posts and words reach millions of people looking for answers and advice, turning to popular ‘celebrity’ like figures rather than experts.

The participants in the study were recruited through the health community on social media, and although the sample size was small, the authors point out there are now over 500 million users on Instagram worldwide, meaning this could be very worrying on a population level.
When healthy becomes unhealthy – are you at risk?
Although this research shines a serious light on social media’s impact on our health, leading UK eating disorder charity Beat says there is no evidence that social media use can directly cause eating disorders. ‘Research is telling us that they are genetically and biologically based’, Hannah Goran, a spokesperson for Beat, said. ‘The increasing amount of emphasis on healthy eating and on body muscle and tone, including on social media, could exacerbate the illness in someone who is already suffering or vulnerable.’ come off Instagram for a few days and see how you feel.
So, how do we know when our interest in healthy living has become an obsession?
‘The most important thing is to be conscious of what you are thinking’, says Jacqueline Hurst, a hypnotherapist, life coach and specialist in emotional eating/body image issues and weight management. ‘If you’re not aware of what you’re doing, it’s very hard to change the behaviour. After going on Instagram, ask yourself how you are feeling when you look at people fitter or thinner than you. Or whether you feel good enough if you aren’t making avocado on toast every day. When you make your breakfast, do you question if you are doing it wrong? If you think it is effecting you, come off for a few days and see how you feel.’

Orthorexia nervosa can effect your social life.

At the moment, orthorexia nervosa is not recognised as an official eating disorder diagnosis. According to Beat, this is because it doesn’t have it’s own specific treatment pathway (which is to say that clinicians have not identified a distinct way to treat it the way they have anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder, for instance). ‘When someone is diagnosed as having an eating disorder that doesn’t fit the diagnostic criteria for anorexia, binge eating disorder, or bulimia, they are considered to have “other specified feeding or eating disorder” and treated according to the most appropriate treatment pathway’, Hannah Goran, a spokesperson for Beat said.
This isn’t to say the eating disorder is unnoticed. Jacqueline says it has been discussed for years and people are realising how dangerous it has become. ‘Orthorexia is very much about cutting out food groups. This ‘clean eating’ is a tricky word to begin with, because it makes some foods appear dirty or wrong.
People will only eat green cabbage which they will only get from the farmers’ market on a Sunday
‘It’s like ‘this week I’m cutting out carbohydrates, next week I’m not going to eat carbohydrates or dairy, and then the next week I’ll stop eating gluten, too.’ What you find is people are allowing themselves to eat less and less until all they can eat is green cabbage which they will only get from the farmer’s market on Sunday. It is debilitating and effects a lot of people’, she says.

Instagram is an obsession with healthy food

The orthorexia nervosa quiz
Dr Steven Bratman originally coined the term in 1996. The Authorised Bratman Orthorexia Self-Test can be found here, and in his book, he uses this quiz to determine someone’s susceptibility. It’s worth having a read of this brief version if you are concerned about whether you’re affected:
1) Do you spend more than 3 hours a day thinking about food?
2) Do you plan tomorrow’s food today?
3) Do you care more about the virtue of what you eat than the pleasure you receive from eating it?
4) Have you found that as the quality of your diet has increased, the quality of your life has correspondingly diminished?
5) Do you keep getting stricter with yourself?
6) Do you sacrifice experiences you once enjoyed to eat the food you believe is right?
7) Do you feel an increased sense of self-esteem when you are eating healthy food? Do you look down on others who don’t?
8) Do you feel guilt or self-loathing when you stray from your diet?
9) Does your diet socially isolate you?
10) When eating the way you are supposed to, do you feel a peaceful sense of total control?
See the full article here 
P.s  I have an amazing friend who is currently doing a show at the Edinburgh Festival all about Orthorexia called ‘Hear Me Raw’ – Hear Me Raw is a play about one woman’s journey through the cult of clean living, exploring eating disorders & anxiety in the modern world.  She wants to get this show off the ground and is looking for support from anyone and everyone to make this happen!  Please support her and read more about her amazing play here

Body Lovin

Many of you know I hosted a movie called ‘Embrace’ at the beginning of the year – the topic was body positivity.  From that a lot of amazing things happened, one was a call from “Squirrel Sisters” two powerful young ladies creating yummy snack foods. They asked if they could interview me about how to get some body love  for the readers of their website and of course I agreed. It was a fun interview and if you want to know more about how to actually do ‘body love’ you will enjoy this interview below…
Body loathing… it’s an issue for  lot of us in fact 91% of women hate their bodies, which is a shockingly scary statistic! We all know what it’s like to have a bad day, when you look in the mirror and think “urghhhh” but for a lot of us the issue goes way beyond one ‘off’ day. The scary thing is that body loathing has become so normal that a lot of people don’t even realise they have an issue. Some classic signs are; excessive working out, analysing everything you eat, eating too much one day so starving yourself the next, exercising for an extra hour because of that muffin you had for breakfast, feeling guilty if you have some chocolate mid week, avoiding social occasions so you don’t have to eat… the list goes on!
One of the biggest causes of body loathing is the fact that the world has led us to believe that thin=healthy, thin=pretty, thin= happy, thin=good… complete and utter BS! But why is ‘thin’ on a pedestal? Why are some people’s biggest life goals to be ‘thin’?  The answer to this is simple… women are exposed to the pressures of ‘thin’ every day; whether it’s reading a magazine with an over photoshopped model, walking past shops and seeing tiny mannequins or posters of barely adolescent girls modelling the clothes grown women are supposed to be wearing… these pressures are everywhere so of course we are going to feel inadequate and bad about ourselves from time to time.
We recently got the chance to go and see the film ‘Embrace’ by body activist Taryn Brumfitt, which was a real eye opener for us and left us feeling deeply moved and saddened but most importantly we left feeling empowered. Women can sometimes be each others worst enemies when it comes to body shaming and loathing, we need to join together and put and end to this, because there is so much more to life than being thin; stop comparing yourself and others to images that aren’t even real, be kind to each other and yourself because women are amazing and all that matters is that you are healthy and happy.
We got in touch with Jacqueline Hurst who has helped promote the film in London to ask some questions about the growing issue of body loathing.
Jacqueline is a trailblazing ‘mind’ expert, knowledgeable public speaker and ground breaking life coach. Her worldwide success is based in her unique approach and coaching methods.  Jacqueline works in her private practice helping clients with a wide variety of issues and specialises in emotional eating and body image. She has been featured in leading media titles including The Sunday Times, The Huffington Post, The Telegraph, Harpers Bazaar, The Oprah Winfrey Network and she regularly talks internationally, for leading brands including Clinique, Eve Lom, Lulu Lemon, Sweaty Betty, Matches Fashion, Space NK and Liberty on issues of the mind.  Her online school, ‘The Life Class’ is also paving the way for a new generation of self-development for both people who wish to become life coaches themselves or, for those of us who want to simply learn how to live more optimally for ourselves, by thinking, behaving and acting with a higher degree of emotional intelligence.  Jacqueline’s private practice can be found at  www.jacquelinehurst.com and her school is www.thelifeclass.com
Q&A with Jacqueline Hurst
1) Why do you think women have such an issue with their bodies? Is it the medias fault?
I don’t think it is just the media’s fault but they are not exactly helping either! I think for years women have been brainwashed by TV, Media, fashion houses, and ultimately, large marketing budgets for huge businesses for gyms, slimming products. etc., Women are taught from an early age that they are ‘not good enough’ and need to be ‘thin’ in order to be worthy or lovable or good enough. It’s a mixed bag of tricks and messages really, that has been subliminally and quite obviously passed onto women.
2) Is the biggest cause of body loathing the fact that women hate their size and just want to be thin?
People hate their bodies because ultimately they have been taught to do so as per the paragraph above. They think their shape/size is the key to happiness. If I am thin I will be happy. It’s a trick and it isn’t true.
3) What kind of extremes are women that have body loathing issues going to?
So many. Exercise addiction, othorexia, anorexia, binge eating, diet pills, gastric banding etc. the list goes on….
4) You said 50% of 6-10 year old girls are on a diet, which is devastating! How is this possible? Have these little girls got this issue from their parents or is it because they have access to media images/social media that’s making them body conscious or is it for another reason?
Exactly, it is from both. Being in a society that is brainwashed into believing thin is good and anything other than that means you are not worthy or lovable or whatever it might be, is the cause. This brainwashing is passed down from generation to generation and then add media, tv, etc on top of it and bang you have the answer.
5) For the parents out there with children that have signs of body loathing, what advice would you give to them to prevent it getting worse and turning into an eating disorder?
its really important to talk to them, be open and honest and help them understand that body loathing is the wrong choice and start to help them see what their body can do (run, jump, play etc.). Its also important for them to get help making sure it is the right help!
6) Would you consider any obsession with food an eating disorder?
7) We’ve spoken about women and little girls having issues with body image but is this issue also relevant for men?
Absolutely and in the last 5 years I have started to see more men in my office for this too. For men its about the six pack and being ‘big’. For women its about being ‘small’. Its fascinating when you get behind the why.
8) For the 91% of women out there that hate their bodies, what advice do you have for them?
Talk to someone about it and to challenge your beliefs. Ultimately body love is a choice and hating your body is always the wrong choice. You do have a choice to step away from the brainwashing once you are able to understand that you have been brainwashed! You have to unlearn a lot and relearn how to treat yourself. I don’t think we were all born just to have a small ass, we are all here for much much much more.
EMBRACE, the movie Synopsis:
Despite being happily married and successfully juggling motherhood while running a thriving photography business, Taryn Brumfitt was privately struggling with crippling body image issues. Close to resorting to plastic surgery to ‘fix’ her post-childbirth body, Taryn decided that what she really needed to change was not in fact her body, but her attitude towards it.
This was the beginning of the Body Image Movement (BIM), a now internationally recognised crusade that was founded on the belief that your body is not an ornament, it’s the vehicle to your dreams. BIM believes that everyone has the right to love and embrace their body, regardless of shape, size, ethnicity or ability.
By travelling the globe, headed by founder Taryn Brumfitt, the Body Image Movement is working to put an end to body loathing and spread the message of body loving.
You can see the full interview here and don’t foget to keep posted for my next screening of Embrace.

Get Happy

So it was World Happiness Day back earlier this year and I wanted to share with you my article for Bodyism with my top tips about how to be happy! Here’s a quick fire way to get your happy on…


International Happiness Day can put an immense amount of pressure on ‘being happy’ which can lead to us feeling far from it. We decided to ask life coach, Jacqueline Hurst, what we should do to find happiness within ourselves.

When you treat yourself with love your world opens up. James Duigan reminds us to ‘be kind to yourself’. So, here are my top 4 tips to help you find happiness within yourself (which is far more important than finding it through other people, your career or your love life)!

1. Treat yourself the way you treat the people you love

When you feed your kids you sit them down at a table to eat their meal. Are you doing the same for you? When your partner wants that special handbag or manbag (!) but won’t buy it for themselves and you go and do that for them, are you spoiling yourself in the same way? When it’s time for your baby to go to sleep, you turn the lights down and mak their room calming, you wouldn’t put them to bed in front of a ipad or a television – are you doing the same for yourself? The point here is that when you love others you treat them well. Start to treat yourself well. In the words of L’oreal ‘you are worth it’.

2. Do the things you love

Partaking in activities that nourish your soul is very important when it comes to self love. Whether it’s an early night, a great movie, a hot bath, lovely candles or a good book then you owe it to yourself to incorporate these things into your life. Doing the things you love breeds happiness.  It’s a conscious way of telling yourself that you are taking care of yourself. Doing the things you really love to do is you being kind to you. Schedule it, organize it and do it. You will thank yourself for it – trust me.

3. Stop judging yourself

Speaking to yourself in a negative way is simply mean. We are all learning and growing, and no one gets it right all the time, neither do they have a perfect life. When you give up on beating yourself up that’s when the real love comes in. You wouldn’t speak to someone you love how you speak to yourself so it’s time to lock that stuff down and change your tune. Think of a baby learning to walk. It falls down a lot and it simply gets back up again, smiling, and gives it another go. It doesn’t berate itself. The tip here is this – when you judge you miss the lesson.

4. Say no

Saying no does not make you unlikable or mean. It doesn’t make you a bad person; it makes you clever. If you really want to love you, you will take care of you and not people please. Loving yourself means respecting yourself and that means you are your priority. You don’t ever have to do anything, it’s always a choice. And in that respect you can choose to say no. Give yourself some self respect, time and some love back by getting on the no-bus. You will be amazed at how things change, how much more time you have and how great your ‘self’ will feel when you start to put you first.
You can read the full article here

Life Lessons

So my friends over at Wellbeing Escapes gave me a ring earlier this month to ask if I would write an article for their private online magazine, all about my own life lessons.  Wellbeing Escapes are my favourate friends. They are a group of super cool people who understand how to organise a self care holiday like no other!  They specialise in spa and wellness holidays and if you want to take a little ‘me time’ and need a little advice on where, when and how, then these are your people.
Anyway, back to the life lessons, here is my article in their magazine about the top lessons I have learnt in my life and also, don’t forget to scroll right to the end of my article for your special treat – the free online magazine from Wellness Escapes ususally reserved for their clients only but now exclusively for you below…you will love it I promise you!
My life lessons
Working as a life coach is one of the best jobs in the world, so much so that it doesn’t even feel like a job. I got into this business because of the wild and wondrous life I led which took me through situations that most have never experienced. For 10 years I saw life in many different ways, very real, very sad, exhilarating, preposterous, unbelievable and all the way back again. I feel utterly blessed to be able to have turned my life around and now help thousands of people through their own issues, from big stuff to small stuff and everything in between. I am often asked what my favourite pieces of advice have been along the journey and this is always a pleasure to talk about. The journey of course never stops and along this journey of life, there are many signs that can help us along the way. All you have to do is be open to them.
I really do believe that none of us can get through things effectively and efficiently completely on our own. We all have ‘stuff’ and we all need someone (other than our own selves) to talk to about things that we know we can be better at, free from or happier about. Sometimes we cannot solve the same problem with the same mind that created it and that is why talking about things helps.

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff .

In other words will that matter in 10 years time? This was one of my favorite pieces of advice. We can all get bogged down by the tiny things in life that we think matter dramatically when in fact, they don’t at all. We can all be accused of taking life seriously and when we do this we are looking at the minutia and making it much bigger than it needs to be. If your 4 year old didn’t pass her colouring test, I promise this won’t affect her being an interior designer if she wants to be at 25. If your husband forgot to throw the rubbish out for the 3rd time this week, I promise it’s not because he doesn’t love you. If your best friend forgot to call you back on Thursday, give yourself a break, she simply may have just forgotten because her own life is a bit hectic right now. Don’t sweat the small stuff dear reader, life is just too short.

  1. When you want to fight harder, surrender.

This piece advice came from a coach I had way back in time from NYC. She was a tough cookie and really helped me along my journey. I would call her up in tears shouting and screaming as I just couldn’t get control over (insert your thing here – food / men / family etc…). She would listen to me go into a rage and then quietly say “Jacqueline, your answer is to surrender”. It would be a moment of a long deep breath, many tears and the fight would be over and the peace could then begin. It really is a very special piece of advice to me. Being a strong man or woman, being someone who can literally do anything you set your mind to, is amazing. It means you are a fighter and you will likely get what you want. Except in some cases the fight is what makes it harder and life becomes exhausting. Sometimes the fight is what creates the issue. Sometimes the letting go, the true surrender, the ‘leaning in’ to the chaos is the only answer to your problem. Trust me on this one. It works. Let go.

  1. Slowly, slowly catchy monkey.

This was a piece of advice from my father. I am, by nature a fast paced person. Everything is pretty quick and I can get through a lot in only an hour. The thing is, a lot of the time the things we want need patience, tlc and working towards. Rome was not built in a day. The perfectionists will find this hard as they beat themselves us that they didn’t ‘get it’ immediately or they ‘should have had it by now’ but that never works. Sometimes there should be praise for slow. Slow means you are dotting your ‘I’s’ and crossing your ‘t’s”. Slow means you are connecting back to yourself, slow means that you are conscious and present and slow can be the way to catch the monkey.

  1. Out of small acorns huge oak trees grow.

A wonderful piece of advice from my grandmother who I loved with all my heart. She was the most amazing soul and always gave me nuggets of advice as a little girl that I remember today like it was yesterday. This piece of advice was brilliant when I started my business. I had it on a sticky note in my kitchen. It was such a positive, motivational reminder that even though I had just started my business, just me and my website, a little acorn, it could be possible to grow it into an oak tree. That positive thinking definitely paid off and I am sure without it I wouldn’t have believed in myself so much. Remember that to start, you have to just simply, start. You also have to believe in yourself and your vision and that out of little tiny ideas, with a dash of belief, huge massive beautiful things can grow. You’ve got this.

  1. You were meant to meet that person.

This last bit of advice was given to me by my spiritual teachers. All spiritual teachers believe that it was ‘meant to happen that way’ in other words nothing in life is ‘wrong’. When I heard this advice my shoulders dropped about 10ft! Seriously, if we start to believe that things are happening just as how they are meant to happen, we stop fighting reality and life becomes easier. It’s the same with meeting people. People come in and out your life, it is meant to happen that way. They are teachers as are you to them. Whoever comes in is meant to come in and they may also be meant to leave. Just go with the flow and don’t grab. Allow life to work its way out and believe in the process and how it is happening. It may not be happening the way you wanted or expected, but it is happening how it should be. Life remember, is beautiful.
Thank you for reading my tips!
Click here for the Wellbeing Escapes Magazine

Get Your Tickets!

Body Love Blogging…As many of you know the Embrace movie I hosted in January this year went down a storm and so many people felt moved and touched by this documentary that they asked me to find a way to get it shown again.
As you know I love to do my very best for you all, and after lots of emails and calls with Australia (!), I have now organised a second showing on May 23rd 2017 and I would love for you to join me, alongside anyone you think would want to know about it.
My school, The Life Class backed a kick starter campaign last year with an amazing woman called Taryn Brumfitt who has made a brilliant documentary called ‘Embrace’ all about body image.  Taryn is a woman who went from having 3 kids, to being a bikini competitor and still hating her body.  She’s made it her life mission to make sure that her children grow up in a world where they can be proud of their bodies however they look, and of course, that we should too.  Those of you who know me know that I have experienced similar challenges in my own life and as many of you know my work is specialized in helping women to understand and achieve a better body image. I really want to help – why should girls and women spend their life hating how they look? It’s just not right. That’s why I care so much about this movie – I really think Taryn can make a difference and I want to help her to help others.
You can view the trailer (which has already been viewed over 1.1million times) on the link below and trust me when I say, you have to watch the trailer, it’s only a few minutes and it will really touch you.
Details below…
Date: Tuesday 23rd May
Time: 6.30pm
Where: ODEON Panton Street, London. 11/18 Panton Street, London SW1Y 4DP
To reserve your tickets, (and watch the trailer) please visit my Film Event Page here
Unlike a traditional movie showing, the film screening requires that a certain amount of tickets which need be reserved in the next 12 days in order for the screening to occur.  I really do believe that this is going to sell out pretty quick again so please don’t miss this. I’d love to see you in the audience, with your daughters, sons, friends, families etc,. Spread the word and please send this to anyone you think would want to know about this and let’s do this together.
Thanks for all your support!
And lots of love,

How She Did It

Prior to the ‘Beauty Inside and Out’ talk on Tuesday this week, The Telegraph interviewed me on their series about women in business called ‘How She Did It’. It was an honuor to be asked to appear on this series and a big move for me going from talking all things life coach to talking all things business. If you are interested in a little bit about me, my story and how I set up my business then read on for the full interview here. Happy friday! x

How she did it: ‘I was anorexic, bulimic and had cripplingly low self-esteem. I had to transform my life’

Jacqueline Hurst, 39, is a public speaker and life coach, who works to help her clients with a wide variety of issues, specialising in emotional eating and body image. Her online school, The Life Class is a resource for people interested in becoming coaches themselves, or those who want to learn how to live more optimally.
Here, she tells us how she did it.

Tell us briefly about your business

I am a life coach and a Master Coach Trainer. I work privately, one-to-one, with clients all around the world, coaching them to help them elevate mentally and emotionally to their highest potential. I am also a hypnotherapist and help people with a wide range of issues from eating or body image issues, anxiety, confidence, phobias, insomnia, public speaking or general coaching.
I also have a school online where I run two courses – one to train people to become a certified life coach themselves and the other is a foundation course to help people who just want to feel better, do so within their own time frame.

What inspired you to start it?

My own life. I slipped into drugs and alcohol at a very young age. I was anorexic, bulimic, depressed and suffered terrible anxiety and crippling low self esteem. I simply couldn’t handle life. In my mid-twenties, I hit rock bottom and decided something had to change. No matter what it took I was going to transform my life.
I tried different forms of therapy but felt no one ‘got it’ or really understood me. So I decided to start studying and find a way to help myself.  From the day I made that change, I haven’t looked back. Over the last 15 years I’ve studied all over the world and have come across people desperate for advice and guidance – just as I had been years before. They turned to me asking for help. Having been there myself, I found it easy to appreciate the battles they were fighting.

More and more people approached me and it became evident my coaching practice had to be set up.  These days I grab life with both hands and believe strongly that anything is possible.

What were the first few steps you took?

I had an unshakable belief that this was what I was meant to do and it was going to be successful – looking back I don’t know if that was just down to naivety, novelty or both! The first month I had a website, a laptop and an office. I remember someone saying ‘but whose going to knock on your door?’ – that just fuelled my fire.

How did you raise awareness?

Networking, talking to everyone I met, I remember standing in Fitness First on Baker Street one day for eight hours handing out flyers. I got offered more dates than I did clients – but I had an unshakable work ethic, so I didn’t get frustrated and was happy to keep standing in the cold.

What has been your biggest challenge?

The stigma around mental health. I work with some top brands and very famous people – and yet a lot of the time I have to sign confidentiality agreements because they don’t want to be seen, or known, to be working on themselves or with their employees. It is also something that means, word of mouth, which is always the best way to get business, is lessened.

How do you tackle challenges?

I absolutely love challenges. I wonder if there is just something in my DNA. Life is challenging, there is no point in wishing it was something different than it is. What would be the point in that? Challenges are the biggest propeller of growth.

What helps you stay motivated through tough times?

I believe it’s the tough times that make you. So I say to myself ‘bring it on’.  I’m always aware that the words like ‘tough times’ or ‘hard days’ are all in the mind and how I think about that really matters. Is it a tough time, or just a tough deal or a tough five minutes? What am I learning? How can I grow?  All of these things give me opportunities.

What’s the best thing about running your own business?

For me it means I get to be in control of my life and I don’t have to answer to anyone about where I am and at what time.

Do you have a business philosophy?

Always say yes and figure it out afterwards.

What advice would you give budding entrepreneurs?

To believe in themselves, to have their own back and to remember the saying that ‘out of small acorns, huge oak trees grow’.

How I did it…

  • My greatest fear is… dying before doing everything I want to do.
  • I would tell my teenage self… that everything you are experiencing will make sense when you are older and will be the making of you.
  • I believe… in love.
  • The biggest lesson I’ve learned is… you get more bees with honey. Always be nice.
  • My top business tool or resource is… Google (obviously!)
  • My favourite quote… ‘Yes you can’.

See the full interview + purchase tickets to meet me at The Telegraph event here

Quiet Anxiety

With everyday stresses constantly building up, it’s no wonder we need countless affirmations in the mirror, meditation sessions and reality checks to build our confidence. It’s a difficult thing to stop negative thoughts from entering your mind, but it sure can and must be done. Creating a healthy thought process, patterns and habits for yourself are key in keeping morale and self esteem high. It’s time to quit feeling so scared and worries and finally take back control of your mind. Those worries that plague you from something that has happened years ago? A past work deadline you can’t change?  Here’s how to accept and move forward from your fear and set mindful examples so you don’t waste any more of your true self and energy on anxious feelings with 7 ways to overcome fear, worry and anxiety in your mind:
1. Retreat and retract
Sometimes we can become obsessed with a thought that creates fear, worry and anxiety. It can take up so much mental space, drain your energy and ultimately take you out of your present moment, stopping you from enjoying… anything. Since this is usually just mind-made thoughts creating negativity, it’s really important to retreat and retract. In other words, take a moment to chill! Overcome bad thoughts by taking yourself out of the office and going for a short walk, or grabbing a coffee and simply sitting outside. Taking a moment to stop, breathe and calm yourself down by reminding yourself that it’s your choice to feel a certain way, can be a huge gift. It plainly makes you realise that being worried, anxious or scared is not the best choice and won’t do you any favours during the rest of the day.
2. Check your thoughts
Fear is a feeling created simply and solely from your thoughts. Thoughts pop into our minds all the time and it’s good to be reminded that actually, we have a lot more control over them than we realise. The only reason you’re feeling this way is because you’re thinking in a ‘catastrophic’ way, in other words, negatively! Slow down your thought process and work out what thoughts are serving you right now and what thoughts are not.
In other words if you’re thinking, ‘I can’t do my job I’m just too scared to do it’, it will create a lot of negative feelings deep down. Instead start to question that thought – ask yourself, ‘Is this thought serving me well or making me feel bad?’. ‘Is this thought going to get me to the outcome I want?’. Start questioning the hell out of it and start thinking about your situation in a more positive way, for example, ‘Of course I can do this work, the people who have employed me have done so because they believe in me and I got this job because I’m capable of doing this!’
3. Your thoughts are not facts
We tend to believe that what we think is always a fact. The truth is when we believe that every thought we have is true, we open ourselves up to a whole world of pain and stress. If a thought comes into your mind on the lines of, ‘You’re not good enough’, and you believe it, it can trigger a ton of other negative thoughts and feelings within you.
Don’t let your mind be unmanaged. We have to learn to become mindful and recognise that our thoughts are not facts. This way, we find a lot more peace. Allow thoughts to float in and out of your mind without judgement because remember, they are just thoughts.
4. Fear is a feeling. You’re in control!
Anxiety, fear and even low confidence are simply feelings created by a negative thought process. Ultimately we get to choose how we feel. Choosing fear is not ideal on any day so it’s time to start deciding how you do want to feel and then work your mind around how you’re going to get there. Self-inflicted feelings can’t hurt you unless you sit in the negative all day without wanting to change. Choose a different feeling to focus on like calm or serenity, and then get your head right. Think of the questions you really want to be asking yourself.
5. Have a chat with yourself
If you’re lacking in confidence, a great exercise to try is to write down your negative thoughts or worries in a notepad. Then imagine your best friend telling you that this is how she feels. How would you answer them back? What would you say to them from the point of view of being a caring, rational and loving friend?
What if, for example, you’re worried about a date and you think, ‘I’m freaking out about going out on this date later. What if it’s just awful?’. You could respond to your own thought with, ‘It’s only dinner! They could be a really interesting person and it might be a really nice night whether there’s romance or not. They’re probably even more scared!’. Stop negative thoughts by following through on your thoughts – it makes them less scary.
6. It’s only a feeling creating adrenaline
Many feelings we choose also result in physical symptoms. When we choose fear, we’re creating uncomfortable physical symptoms like feeling jittery, having sweaty palms etc. We literally create our own adrenaline.
Your mind is powerful so don’t let it set off a roller coaster in your own body! Your body thinks it needs to fight, flight or freeze so it starts to produce a physical reaction. Although adrenaline feels scary, it can’t really hurt you. So next time you experience those weird symptoms of anxiety, remember, you can overcome fear – it’s just adrenaline and you calm it down by calming down your mind.
7. Talk to someone
Fear and low confidence can feel very isolating when you believe you’re alone in what you’re going through, or that you’re the only one in the world that feels like this. The truth is that these feelings are common. The great thing is that you don’t have to live with these feelings and they’re something that you can change.
It’s really important to open up to friends and loved ones about your thoughts on self confidence and feelings of anxiety, as talking about things can help you to feel better right away and get you seeing things with a clearer and more realistic, truthful perspective. Remember this: fear is totally your choice – so choose a different thought and get a different feeling. Work on it and see how this changes for you. It’s guaranteed to work.
See my full article on Good Zing here

Sweaty Betty

The gang at Sweaty Betty asked me this week for my top 5 speedy tips to spring clean your mind. With the new season, bright(er) weather and longer days it is the perfect excuse for spring cleaning so if your wardrobe, home and pantry are in shape, here are her top five tips for your mind.
Don’t compare
Social media is full of six-packs, idyllic beach scenes, yachts and immaculate styling. The first thing I’d say when your scrolling through someone’s picture perfect Instagram feed is remember this is an edited reel of highlights, life on social media is only a snapshot of reality. Everyone has less glamorous moments on the sofa, with their hair up and a glass of wine in hand, despite their Instagram feed. Remind yourself every time you choose to look at what other people are doing, it’s not worth making a comparison.
Compromise is required in pretty much all relationships because we are all different, though why not take the time this spring to reassess whether your relationships are on a equal level? Problems can occur if you give up your wants or needs the majority of the time, so take a step back and assess the balance. It may be a good time to step out of toxic patterns, or reassess the situation.
Live for you
A huge part of many of my clients’ lives is taken up by taking care of everyone else, leaving them with no time for themselves. As much as it is important to consider others (I’m not telling you to be selfish!), try and take some time and consider yourself, even if it’s only five minutes a day. Read a book, run a bath, go to your favourite workout class – this small non-negotiable priority will relieve stress and increase happiness.
Don’t worry, be happy
I teach my clients that worry is a feeling, created by a thought. Once we realise that worrying will not change our outcome, we can begin to accept whatever is going to happen. No amount of worry is going to help you; it can only ever hold you back. So, start to become more conscious of what you are thinking about, when you think these negative thoughts, think happy and focus on the positive. Sound too hard? The second you begin a negative thought cycle, think or write down three things you are grateful for today, it works every time.
And breathe…
My number one tip for being mindful? Focus on your breath and be present. When you wake up each day take a couple of minutes to notice your breathing. Sense the flow of the breath, the rise and fall of your belly. Don’t feel that you need to fill up all your time with doing. Take some time to simply be. When your mind wanders to thinking, gently bring it back to your breath. My other tip is to notice what you are doing and tune into your senses. For example, when you’re eating, notice the colour, texture and taste of the food, you’ll automatically appreciate it more.
Read the full article over on Sweaty Betty here