It gives me great pleasure to introduce psychotherapist and host of LBC’s sex & relationships phone-in show, Lucy Beresford as this weeks 5 minute juice.

Why is it we never talk about sex when it comes to health and wellbeing?

Being a quintessential British prude I’ve never had the confidence to talk about this and related topics. However, hearing Lucy speak at a recent event run by Press Juice entitled “Motivate”, I wanted the chance to chat to a real expert on the connection between health, wellbeing and a “steamy bedroom”. In her talk Lucy also discussed the benefits of a polished appearance and tip and tricks for boosting self confidence and self esteem without the need to change ones body shape or size. As you can imagine, this all really spoke to me so I knew I had to get in touch with this incredible lady, and of course, it got juicy…..

 

So Lucy, you can invite 4 people to dinner and they can be real, fictional, dead or alive, who’s dining with you?

I’d love to invite Shakespeare (I went recently to a debate proposing he didn’t write his plays, so I’d love to hear his story), Michelle Obama (because she’s so strong and wise), Freud (to discuss how therapy has changed) and Daniel Craig (my husband says that’s ok).

 

Lucy as well as a writer and broadcaster you work as a psychotherapist. Can you tell us a little bit more about when you became interested in this field and what your work involves?

I became interested as soon as I went into therapy myself – after my second session I remember thinking, everyone should do this, it is soooo helpful.

 

People and especially young people face so many pressures these days with the rise of social media, is this having any effect on your work and what problem areas if any have you identified?

Social Media is having a huge effect on people’s self-esteem and also their ability to handle relationships, whether it’s getting together or handling a break-up. Everything seems so much more disposable now.

 

I think being a full time confident women these days is a difficult skill to master and I do believe that a lot of this stems from body dissatisfaction from the media etc. At the same time, based on research I am anti all diets. We know that 95% don’t work and studies suggest that weight cycling, where weight goes up and down is actually more dangerous for health outcomes. Other than loosing weight, how might women be able to feel more confident in their bodies?

I think it’s about truly loving and celebrating the body you have. This includes nourishing it every single day by eating great fresh food, meals and beverages. And it also means being kind to your body, so as well as walking a lot you could buy a gorgeous moisturiser or even treat yourself to a massage – anything that says every day, I love me!

 

I think there’s a careful line between the idea that women should be valued for more than their physical and that an ironed shirt and brushed hair are important not only in a professional environment but can help you feel good about yourself. I don’t think women should be forced into beauty regimes but do you think a bit of lipstick and pampering can be beneficial?

I believe good self care and good grooming – and that includes a fab slick of lippy or a great hair cut, a fresh shave if you’re a man or a manicure – are great ways to demonstrate that you value yourself and your body. Remember, in my world of therapy, if someone neglects their self-care, this could be one sign of sadness, poor self-esteem or anxiety, so good self care is an important aspect of self-worth.

 

I talk a lot about eating disorder recovery on my blog. Are there any top tips you have for a kinder approach to ones body for anyone struggling?

Try to see it all in terms of one meal at a time. Don’t future trip into mealtimes ahead or who you might be eating in front of. And I do go back to what I said about loving your body, so develop a hands on approach to your own body, applying lots of deliciously-smelled moisturisers, having a pedicure etc.

 

Lucy, I first heard you speak at The Press event ‘Motivate’ earlier this month where you encouraged all women to take up masturbation. Coming from the wellness space I feel topics such as these are often overlooked. Why are sex and relationships in your opinion such an important part of health?

We are sexual creatures, so our sexual health and happiness go to the heart of who we are. We all need to give ourselves permission to have the sex life of our dreams – and to have conversations with our partner or future partner to make that happen. And having a healthy sex life also boosts our mood and confidence too.

 

Another thing I think is that sometimes adopting “healthy” behaviours – no alcohol, frequent workouts and restrictive tendencies around food require one to be pretty self-involved. Far more detrimental to relationships than enhancing them. What are your thoughts on this and should we favour Saturday morning snuggles or the gym?

A great question – I think it’s all a question of balance. It’s nice sometimes to have a Saturday class to join as I’m all in favour of couples maintaining hobbies and interests. But I also think one should go with the flow, so that we don’t exclude moments of connection just because we’ve signed up for a class in advance.

 

I’m going to be honest and say I’m a total prude when it comes to talking about sex and relationships. Do you think that’s the main reason why it’s so left out of discourse on health and wellbeing or are there other reasons?

You’re not alone in being a bit nervy about talking about such things – after all, sex with another person is when we’re at our most vulnerable. Certainly I’m doing my best to put sex and relationships are the heart of any wellbeing conversations, instead of keeping them apart!

 

What do you swear by when it comes to having an aura of confidence in your everyday life?

Friendships. And lip gloss!

 

Lastly, I’m interested, what is your favourite way to unwind?

Lots of ways actually. I meditate twice a day, I love cooking simple suppers but I also love singing, so a vocal warm-up each morning sets me up nicely too.

 

 

 

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