When “It’s Time” – Creating Change that Lasts

New year, new chances. We survived the holidays. Fireworks ended the decade with a bang. With that same sound a realisation might sink in; that extra weight we were determined to lose last year, has still not disappeared. In fact, it may have multiplied, but let’s not go there.

January is the month we tell ourselves: it’s time. Time to stop procrastinating and start going for our goals. One of the first places to begin is with our bodies. Losing those (few) extra pounds and fitting into our favourite jeans can give us the self-esteem boost that we need in order to tackle those bigger projects that we care about.

Yet many of us have tried and failed. We may become cynical when it comes to new year’s resolutions because, why try when we never made it beyond March at best. Yet the question remains. How can we do it differently this year? What are the ingredients to lasting success?

Weight loss company NewFysic is more than familiar with this struggle, having accompanied thousands of well-intentioned people in reaching their ideal weight over the course of nearly twenty years. Enough experience upon which to build a successful method.

For this reason, NewFysic’s branch in The Hague would like to share three tried and tested tips that can contribute to reaching your (weight loss) goals and making your changes stick!

1.   Mapping Your Motivation

Success starts once you are aware of your motivation. Meaning: why do you want to lose that extra weight? Is it your clothes that start to feel tight or comments of co-workers? The more detailed you are in describing your motivation as well as your desired outcome, the higher the chances that you will succeed. For instance, when you visit NewFysic for an intake, one of the first questions you will be asked by your personal coach will be: what brought you here? This creates clarity around your intention and forms the foundation that we continue to build upon.

2. Assuring Accountability

Some of us need a regular reminder that we don’t have to do it all on our own. As accomplished, independent or successful as we might be in many areas of our lives, we might not have that same superpower in other areas. Once you accept that fact and allow yourself to receive support, you might start reaching goals you had not thought possible. This is a reason why NewFysic offers weekly coaching sessions as part of the program. Your personal coach assists, inspires and encourages you on your weight loss journey, at our The Hague location in Dutch, English, German or Spanish (basic)!

3. Not Wasting Your Willpower

When you truly want something, you go for it, right? ‘Where there is a will there is a way’, they say. Yet relying on will power alone is risky. It can be a useful tool to tackle a new project, but it is a finite resource and can run out. Making many choices can weaken your will and lead to a state called decision fatigue. You become less discerning and make increasingly poor decisions until you finally have that cookie and fall of the (weight loss) wagon. In order to prevent your discipline from fading too soon, it is important to build on a proven plan and create new habits that become your ‘new normal’ instead of having to choose each time again. For this reason, NewFysic provides personalised food plans, enhanced with supplements. This food plan becomes the basis for a healthy lifestyle that lasts well beyond your weight loss.

If you are inspired to make a change in your life this year, we hope that these tips support you. If you are interested in boosting your confidence, feeling more energetic and improving your health by losing some weight, you are very welcome for a free intake at NewFysic The Hague.

When you sign up in January and mention this article on XPAT.NL, you will additionally receive a 20% discount of on your first month!

We look forward to welcoming you and working towards your weight loss goals together.
Either way, we wish you a successful, strong and slim start of the new year and decade!

For more information, visit www.NewFysic.nl or contact denhaag@newfysic.nl or: 088 323 0011 (Fridays in German and Spanish)


How to Meet Locals in Amsterdam

Being far from home in a foreign city or country can be one of the hardest things that a person can face. Imagine having no friends to talk to? However, if you are new to Amsterdam, there are several ways in which you can meet the locals.

Many people who go to visit foreign cities and countries usually have the tendency of keeping to themselves. I have some news for you though! Staying holed up in your accommodation in Amsterdam all day long will only hinder you from experiencing what the city has to offer.

Get out, meet some locals and make a few friends and you will be guaranteed to have a much enjoyable stay in Amsterdam. You might be wondering how to go about meeting the locals, right?

Read on as we discuss some of the ways in which this can be achievable.

Join a Local/International Organization

You will find that Amsterdam has a lot of these organizations that you can join. Many of these organizations are formed based on interests.

You can find some that interest you, and you will be surprised to meet many people who share your passion.

Do not be afraid to interact and to know more people

Be Social

There are many global communities for expats whose main aim is to help you feel at home regardless of where you are.

Joining groups such as Internations, Meetup and other expat forums and Facebook groups is also a nice way to meet locals and other foreigners living in Amsterdam.

Party With a Local

Amsterdam locals are hugely known for their free-spiritedness. If you are the quiet type that likes keeping to himself, maybe it is time to loosen up and discover the beauty of partying with a stranger.

Take advantage of the friendly nature of the locals and do not turn down an invitation to go partying. Who knows, that stranger can turn out to be the friend that you need.

Learn Dutch

There are some regular language classes that you can take up to help yourself settle in. Having basic knowledge of the local language also helps you navigate easily when it comes to things such as greeting the locals, ordering coffee and even your shopping sprees are made much easier and enjoyable.

Making an effort to learn the local language will also help you to communicate more easily with the locals hence making new friends.

Enjoy The City Life

Considering that Amsterdam is one of the cities that bustles with life, going for walks along the city streets is also another way to meet with the locals.

Staying silent and clamming yourself up will not help you to make new friends. Therefore, make sure to strike conversations as you take your walks around the city.

Do not be afraid to interact and to know more people, this way, you will end up making more friends.


Whatever reasons you may have for visiting Amsterdam, just do not stay holed up in your house.

Go out, meet locals, keeping in mind that the more people you meet and the more friends you make, will make your visit to Amsterdam even more exciting and unforgettable.

Exciting Summer days at NEMO Science Museum

In the biggest science museum of The Netherlands visitors of all ages can discover how fun and fascinating science can be by trying out everything themselves. This summer you can do even more at NEMO. The museum will be bike-themed, thanks to the Brilliant Bicycles summer programme with special workshops and exhibitions. For the ultimate summer mood, head to the rooftop square for marvellous views and a relaxed atmosphere.

(Re)discover the bicycle

More people in the Netherlands ride a bike than in almost any other country on earth. NEMO’s theme this summer is bikes. From 5 July until 1 September people of all ages can find out all about the bicycle in the Brilliant Bicycles summer programme (included with an entrance ticket). Sign up for special workshops and create your unique gadget for your bike, such as a special bell or a holder for your mobile phone. And what does your brilliant bicycle look like? Draw it, take a picture and hop on your own designer bike. In the museum restaurant you can see the photo exhibition Amsterdam, City of Bicycles. Access to the photo exhibition is free of charge.

Relax at enjoy the amazing view from NEMO’s Summer Roof

The best view of Amsterdam can be seen from NEMO’s rooftop square. Enjoy summer sunsets with extended opening times of the roof until 21.00 hrs each day from 21 June through 5 September. Besides a large restaurant you can find a cascade of water, fountains and an interactive outdoor exhibition on the rooftop square. Experience the energy from wind, water and sun and measure your power against that of nature. Every Thursday evening there will be live music and beer tastings form a local brewery. Chill, listen to the music with a bite and a drink. Access to NEMO’s Summer Roof is free of charge

NEMO Science Museum

Oosterdok 2
1011 VX  Amsterdam
020-531 32 33

Capturing Time and Beauty

As would any true photographer, Robert van Hall laments the fact that we are not sitting face-to-face for this interview. Some interviews lend themselves well for being conducted by telephone, but a photographer, of course, wants to see who is across from him.

Robert van Hall is a portrait photographer whose works go far beyond putting his clients on a stool and having them plaster on their prettiest smile as their eyes glaze over. Robert is inspired by the classic lighting and settings used by the painters of the Golden Age. “I love the play of light and shadow and I want to replicate it in my photographs, to create the feel of a painting. I find that most of my clients are art lovers who appreciate this Rembrandt-like style too and enjoy recreating this type of romantic setting. However, I do not limit myself to this; I am happy to go along with any style, be it punk, gothic, formal, informal, indoors, outdoors – my studio is across the street from Westbroek Park in The Hague and I have created some of the most beautiful scenes there, making use of the play of light through the trees and using my 70/200mm camera to bring my subjects into sole focus in the photo.”

In order to make this happen, Robert likes to meet with his clients before the actual shoot. “I invite them over to my studio where we discuss what they have in mind; what type of setting they want, what type of clothes they want to wear, and whom they want to include in the photograph. I set up a WhatsApp group that includes the make-up artist and then, over the course of time, we start to create the set-up. My clients go shopping, and send photographs of the clothes that appeal to them, and then, together with the hair & make-up artist, we discuss how we can coordinate the clothes and the rest of their look. It is a growth process.”

Expats are aware that their time here is temporary and significant. They want to capture the time they were living in Holland

“On the day of shoot, when my clients walk in, in the outfits they have selected and with their hair and make-up done by a professional hair & make-up artist, ready to be photographed – that is a magical moment. This transformation into an expression of whom they want to be, which they have created themselves and have seen come to life in the mirror… Sometimes they just can’t believe their own eyes and they carry themselves with such pride – from that moment on, creating the photograph is pure joy.”

Robert’s studio is in the former Kazakhstani embassy, on the Nieuwe Parklaan, in The Hague. “It is a beautiful building,” he says, “with high ceilings, light spaces, a room for my clients to change in, a room for the make-up artist and rooms in which I store the clothing I have for shoots. People can always look around in there and see if there is anything to their liking.”

There is more to photography, of course, than just creating the perfect picture. “The most important thing,” Robert explains, “is connecting with the person in front of you. You want them to feel at ease enough to forget about ‘posing’.” Would he say that this requires a form of empathy; being acutely sensitive to what the person across from him is feeling? “Oh, absolutely,” he confirms. “Having a connection with your subject is what opens the door. Once they feel free to talk about everyday topics, or how they feel about certain things, time starts to fly. In the beginning, I found it a bit intimidating, getting so close to a person – not physically, so much, as spiritually – but now that is exactly what makes doing this work quite extraordinary.”

The majority of Robert’s clients are expats, and not so much the Dutch themselves – why does he think this is? “I used to think that maybe the Dutch did not appreciate this type of art-form as much – though plenty of them do. But then I realized that it also has something to do with the fleetingness of living in a country as an expat. If you’ve lived on Main Street in the same city all your life, you assume that you will be there ten years from now too and that there is no rush to hold on to a moment, because there will be more, similar ones. However, expats are aware that their time here is temporary and significant. It is something they want to remember and take with them to their next home; who were they when they were living here? Who was with them? How did it feel? What did it represent? Making these portraits allows them to express and capture the time they were living in Holland and to always have it with them, wherever they go from here. Some even like to come back every year and document how they, or their children, grow and change over time.”

When my client says, ‘I have never seen myself so beautiful in a photo’, then I know that we have created something special

From the time he first held a camera, Robert has been under its spell – “it started with vacation snapshots and then evolved to macro-photography” – but once he discovered portrait photography, he knew he had found his passion. “When a client says, ‘I have never seen myself so beautiful in a photo’, then I know that – together – we have created something special.”

For more information, please visit www.robertvanhall.nl

Hypnosis – The Most Effective Way to Stop Smoking

It is January. Time for all those New Year’s resolutions. Are you like most people; starting out with the best of intentions – joining a gym, going on a diet, stopping smoking – only to find yourself unable to live up to your own great expectations?

This should come as no surprise: habits, good or bad, are very hard to break and for most people willpower alone will not suffice. Add to this the addictive components in cigarettes and you are setting yourself up for failure. But do not despair. A strong adversary calls for a strong solution – and hypnotherapy, by tapping into the resources of the subconscious mind, can provide the extra power you need to succeed.

Scientific research has proven that hypnotherapy can be more effective than allopathic medicine in treating many ailments, including addictions. As a result, hospitals, like the AMC in Amsterdam, are now using hypnotherapy in their treatment programs.

So, how can hypnotherapy help you stop smoking?

Since habits are stored in the subconscious mind, that is where they also need to be broken. Hypnotherapist Sinéad Daly uses hypnotic scripts to implant post-hypnotic suggestions that can lead almost effortlessly to the desired change. As long as there is no deeper emotional need attached to the habit, it can usually be ‘released’ through hypnotherapy. If there is more going on, then attention can be given, through psychotherapy, to that other need until it no longer blocks your progress.

At Healthy Choices you are allowed to record the hypnotherapy sessions, so that you can listen to them at home for a faster and better (as well as cheaper) result.

Let this year be the last year you need this particular resolution; invest in a healthy choice today.