Back in 2013 I was interviewed by Angie Daniel, the host of Beyond Focus TV in Brooklyn, NY. Here is the transcript of our
Angie: And welcome back to Beyond Focus TV and before we took a break, I mentioned to you that I was going to introduce you to Ms. Andrea Amador. She is the author of:
Andrea: Lovin’ the Skin You’re In.
Angie: Thank you and Welcome.
Andrea: Thank you so much.
Angie: You are so welcome. I wanted to have you here and I’m really excited about having you here because while reading your book, I get to understand as to why we are here, where we are at, in the future. You understand, like “What’s the process of life?” Within that, I’ve learned so much about myself and I wanted to share with the community, so usually on our show I will have the person introduce themself give a little brief history of themself and then we can get into our conversation. This is your moment.
Andrea: Well, I am Andrea Amador. I’m called The Juicy Woman. There’s a whole story about that.
Angie: I don’t want to know. Don’t want to go there.
Andrea: Basically it’s fabulous. I create confidence-building and stress-relief programs for groups of women and girls. I’m so passionate to empower women and girls to love their bodies and to recognize the personal power that we have as women.
Angie: Why did you write the book? What inspired you?
Andrea: My personal struggle was with my own body. I hated my body for years. I was always the
chubby girl. And I thought my misery and sadness was based on the fact that I had these fat
thighs. I put off living and doing so many things because I felt, “I’m too fat. I’ll never be good enough. I can’t write a book. When I lose weight, I’ll write a book. All of these things that I was putting off. There was a running thread of feeling “not good enough, “never quite good enough.” Then something happened in my life that was such a tremendous shock to me that made me realize, “Whoa, there’s nothing wrong with me. I need to step up and really step into my power.”
Angie: Within the book, “Lovin’ the Skin You’re In – this is the copy of it. It’s kind of thick but it has a lot of practice work that I think once you have the copy of the book, it’s really good. It’s like one of those books that you have to write in your note and you keep on taking notes for yourself which is really, interesting and we’ll get to the future of that. You mentioned the difference between the way people eat. Can you tell us a bit about that and how you fit into the emotional eater part?
Andrea: Absolutely. For years I found my comfort through food. I thought that by and large, the fact that I was going and constantly seeking out the comfort of food that meant that I was a weak-willed or undisciplined person and that something was wrong with me and that I was a bad person. On a diet, you tend to think of eating certain foods as being good or bad. And you kind of tag yourself as virtuous if you are choosing celery and carrot sticks over chocolate cake. And the reality is, “Food is just food.” We set up all of this burden on food that it really doesn’t deserve and it’s because we attach emotions to it.
Angie: Talk about emotionally eating, I wanted people to understand because I think, culturally–I always go back to culture. There’s different ideas about what eating is, of what food meant, how sizes matters, because I can read this book and I can relate so much to it, but culturally, for me there are certain things particularly for example like having big thighs, to me that’s like really sexy.
Andrea: See, Wow! I like that. Yeah.
Angie: You understand and part of that is that we attach so much to our bodies, so much to our emotions. In your book, you talk about a lot of adversity, you talk about a lot of abuse. Can you tell us a little bit about your story, if you don’t mind?
Andrea: Absolutely. My mother, she and my dad had divorced when I was young, about 8 years old and then she remarried a man who was extremely abusive and it turned into sexually abusing me and battering my brother. And because saw what he was capable of , I was so intimidated and so terrified of this man. I kept the secret as so many girls do. I didn’t tell anybody. And then at the point when I finally did tell my mother I was no longer living with her. At one point I was lucky enough to go live with my dad. I have always adored my dad. At one point I was living with my dad and it was a wonderful time but it slipped out that I had been sexually abused and my stepmother said, “We have to tell Daddy.” And I did tell Dad and he said, “We have to tell your mother.” she came from Florida and I told her and she didn’t believe it. That was the beginning of many years of being estranged from her because I felt completely unwanted and I felt that she chose her husband’s side over mine, in fact, she went on for many years to live and be married, and to remain married to him until he passed away last year. I’ve since made my peace with him, but it is because of the technique that I teach in the book called Emotional Freedom Technique.
Angie: So many people can relate to that because a lot of women, a lot of people who have been abused, and there’s the shame part to it, the A lot of women and men suffer the pain of abuse and because they are so afraid, feel ashamed and fear that they are to blame for the abuse.
Angie: There’s the secret part to it. There’s the who’s going to believe you part to it. When I read that, I thought how many women can fill in your shoes, can feel your pain because all these years I’m sure you felt like this was your fault. This had so many things to do with you. Right?
Angie: To be in that situation I thought, “My God, and at the end of the day is how you came back. For me, the past is so much. It’s so grand. But it’s how you overcome it and how you did it. To me, you represent a power, a power that a lot of people should be able to tap into. You have the personal issues. You dealt with it and you’re going to tell us how to tap into your own personal power to get better, to make things better for oneself. I want to take a break and give you a moment before we get into talking about what are the processes you use to become the person you are today.
Andrea: Thank you.
Angie: Welcome back to Beyond Focus TV. We are here with Ms. Andrea Amador. She is the author of “Lovin’ the Skin You’re in.” It’s a book about how to overcome situations, how to be your own powerful — you use your own energy.
Andrea: It’s how to be your own best friend.
Angie: I like that statement. You mentioned how earlier abuse gets you to eating. Do you believe that emotional eaters, that eating has a connection with abuse?
Andrea: Many times. There are actually studies that show it’s 60% or more women who tend to be emotional eaters, at some point they have encountered abuse.
Angie: You mentioned in Chapter 2, how diets don’t work. Can you explain that aspect of it, and what would work, if not diets? I’m a dieter.
Andrea: Okay. If dieting is working for you, that’s Magnificent. Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken. But for many people, up to about 98% after 5 years of having lost weight, they usually regain weight. That’s the tendency for many people.
Angie: I’m one.
Andrea: If they don’t deal with the emotions that are behind the reasons that are making them want to eat, when they’re not hungry,
Angie: I have a question about that, because I think that I’m one of the few people who – I don’t think that I have the perfect life, but I would say that I have no emotion attached to how I eat, what I do and what I don’t do. But I would say that I’m one of those women who have physical challenges. I would work out and I gain weight. I lose some weight. What would you attach this to in terms of your book?
Andrea: It sounds to me like you’re more comfortable having the stability and the schedule and the awareness of how to eat in a certain restrained way. You’ve got something that works for you.
Angie: What is the difference between someone who is dieting and someone who pays attention to what they eat?
Andrea: Okay. It depends all about the intention. If you’re paying attention to what you’re eating and you’re feeling fine about it. You don’t have any conflicts whatsoever, it’s going to work for you. But if you’re someone who is trying to watch what you are eating and you love Twinkies, let’s say and you know that you shouldn’t be eating Twinkies or the cost of eating the Twinkies is like the cost of a whole 3 day meal. Then you will want those Twinkies so desperately you would knock over your grandmother to get them. It’s a question of wanting what you don’t believe that you can have and feeling out of control around that.
Angie: I like that. That’s a different way of seeing it. Because I didn’t relate to that. I tell people my biggest flaw, my downfall with any weight issue that I would have would be rice. I’m a rice person. I mean, I’ll run over your mother for it. I’m a rice person, but I never found a way to say you know what, emotionally that’s the reason why I eat rice. I would say culturally that’s the reason why I eat rice.
But in terms of understanding obesity, how it works, I’ve learned to manage to change the way I eat rice, instead of having it 7 days/week, 4x day, I’ll have it 3 days/week, maybe 2x day. Changing it totally different for me. When you attach an emotion to food I think a lot of the time, I don’t want to find reasons as to why I do certain things but I think there is always a reason why we do things. There’s always an attachment to it.
Angie: In your book, you talk about the Stress-free Kit. Tell us a little bit as to how the book works.
Andrea: Okay. the way the book works is the first few chapters are setting you up, giving you the awareness to change your attitude.
Because many, many women think that if they have a weight problem, then it’s about the food. It’s not about the food. It’s about what the stress is that’s in their life. They must look at their life, because if they’re not focusing on what’s bothering them in their life, it doesn’t matter how they restrain themselves, no matter how much they lose weight or whatever benefits they get, at some point when they are broad-sided by life’s circumstances, something happens. There’s a loss, someone rejects them. Their loved one dies. Something will kick in if they haven’t dealt with those emotions.
Angie: First things first. We need to deal with your emotions. Whether it’s abuse or whether it’s how you feel about yourself. Whatever it is that’s the issue, you need to take care of that first. What’s in the Stress-free Kit? What should be in that kit?
Andrea: That is part of the RECLAIM System that I have created. That is looking at life from a different perspective. Before we jump into the Stress-free Kit, that’s the third element of it. The first is Responsibility.
Many people don’t want to take responsibility. They want to blame their problems, their abuse, their sadness on being born the third child, or their son dying, or whatever it is. There is so much that is out of our control. That we can’t do anything about, but what we can do is take responsibility for changing our response.
Angie: As women, we are the backbone, as it is stated for everything. How do you reclaim yourself without losing yourself within the system? You want to be a little bit selfish is the point I would say. You need to be a little bit selfish. How do you have that little selfishness and still be able to take care of everyone else around you?
Andrea: You have to pay attention to what’s going on inside of you. There’s a universe of emotion that’s floating around in you. As much as we have the awareness that we have to take care of people around us and be the nurturer, be the be-all and end all for everybody else, we must realize that in the same way that the airlines tell you, “Put on your oxygen mask before taking care of anyone else’s, it’s the same thing.
Angie: Talk about Loving the Skin You’re In. I think that’s such a powerful statement. Lovin’ the Skin You’re In. We’ve mentioned a couple of the intentions that you have within the book that I’m in love with, because you have a whole list of exercises and I want to get into the intentions, so can you explain to me what the intentions are?
Andrea: The Intentions–the RECLAIM System. First thing is to take Responsibility for whatever you can in your life. E is embrace your emotions and that means to recognize that there is no emotion that is good or bad. So many time we judge ourselves and we say, “Uh, I shouldn’t be feeling this way. I shouldn’t be angry with my son.” Yes. You should
C = Cope with your stress. I bring so many stress-relief tools into the book and I teach you how to deal with your stress because stress shows up in your body as emotional blocks and when we have these emotional blocks, it makes us do the stupidest and the loopiest things. And we really don’t have an effective method for handling mental challenges in the world. There is so much hatred and there is so much sadness. People are grappling for ways to be able to deal with whatever dysfunction or pain they are dealing with and we’re in a losing battle. This method that I teach, EFT is so powerful that now it’s starting to be recognized by the Journal of American Medical Association. There have been tests done, a lot of work has been done with veterans of Afghanistan and other war-torn areas and with rape survivors. Right now there is a coalition in Newtown Connecticut that is going in and teaching EFT. Millions and millions of people have benefited from this.
Angie: I love the method that you are using. It’s close to the Law of Attraction. When I read that, I thought that “This is very interesting because I believe in the Law of Attraction. I believe we attract our energy could do so much more. We have the power to change things and part of your book is how women can use their own inner power to change their environment, to change their life, to live better, to move on to other things instead of just being the victim in situations. You have mentioned so much about the exercises that you have in there. – Angie Daniel Like if women would want to get in touch with you, where can they reach you?
Andrea: Absolutely.On the website, thejuicywoman.com. They can purchase the book at Barnes and Nobles.com, Amazon.com I’m available for book signings and to come to speak. I often go to schools, and to women’s organizations. Next week, actually, going to be by there at Ashley Stewart at the Harlem location. You can find me everywhere.
Angie: I think one of the things that I wanted to talk to you about, is how do you manage to stay positive?
When you read the book, there is so much that has happened to you, how do you take that and become the positive person you are today?
Andrea: It’s really a question of managing my emotions. It’s not a one and done. It doesn’t work that way. It’s being able to swing and move with the punches and deal with the constant transition and change that is going on. The Emotional Freedom Technique that I teach is a very simple technique where you’re changing the energy in the body. The research shows that what happens is when you touch certain acupressure endpoints on the body, you are actually releasing endorphins, serotonin, different chemicals and muscle relaxants throughout the brain to cascade throughout the body, to pair whatever thought it is that you have, with a sense that it’s going to be okay.
Angie: There’s a sense that things are going to be okay, but there’s another sense that I need to get over this moment.
Andrea: It’s the same thing. My first experience with Emotional Freedom Technique was when I was going through a panic attack. I was fully immersed in the memory of the worst example of sexual abuse that I had. I had done 18 years of traditional therapy to try to deal with some of that, but that was one that never worked. I was reminded of it and I was completely immersed in the memory and the woman who was sitting next to me in my NLP Practitioner Training Class she got my attention, by tapping on my leg. We were sitting in a circle and I was watching my hands on top of my knees shaking out of control. I heard her say, “Andrea, are you okay?” I shook my head, “No.”
She said, “Come with me. We went outside. As soon as the door closed, I started crying hysterically because I was so immersed in the memory and through my tears I heard her say, “Andrea, I know you don’t know what it is that I do, but I’m an Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner and if you’ll give me permission to tap on your hand and parts of your face, I know that I can help you. She asked, “Can you speak?”
I couldn’t speak. There was a lump in my throat. She said, “That’s okay. Can you hum?” And I started humming and she’s tapping on my hands and my face, and after about 30 seconds to a minute, my voice came back and she said, “Can you speak now?” I said, “Yes.”
And for the next 10 minutes what we did was dissected one of the most painful memories of abuse that I had. And it brought me to the point of being able to recognize it today, and that day, but it didn’t affect me. It didn’t affect me and it was something that paralyzed me every time I was reminded of it, and I was reminded of it constantly. News, any trigger. There are triggers, whenever something emotional happens we’re reminded because it lives in our body as an emotional event.
So the best thing for you to do is to find a way to let go of it.
Andrea: Yes. To neutralize it.
Angie: And you have different exercises in the book that people can do to overcome situations. As women, we need to be able to not react to things because I would say that one of the things that I have learned is that I have a lot of little anger moments. Like if I’m in a bus and there’s crazy kids in there I need to find a way to not lose my mind. If there’s one last thing you’d like to say to the community, what would that be?
Never ever, ever, ever give up.