New Year, New You
================== Everyone has their problems - even celebrities! Life has been tricky for many A-listers and it is all too easy to relate to many of their issues. So we enlisted the help of a panel of experts to give their opinions on the stars' problems and give their advice on how you can get your life back on track if you find yourself in a similar situation... Jessica Simpson: LONG TERM SINGLETON Since splitting from her husband, former 98 Degrees singer Nick Lachey, in 2002, Jessica has rarely been linked to other men. And all of the short-term relationships she has managed to sustain have come to an untimely end after just a few weeks. The 27-year-old looked like she had it all when she married Nick in a stunning ceremony in October 2002, and shortly afterwards the couple starred in their own reality show detailing their first tenuous steps into marriage. However, Jessica and Nick split in 2005 with their divorce finalised less than a year after their show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica concluded. Since they went their separate ways Nick has been dating TV presenter Vanessa Minnillo and the couple moved in together in April 2007. However, despite being linked to a variety of men including Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, a short-lived romance with singer John Mayer, and her current flirtation with American footballer Tony Romo, Jessica doesn't seem to be completely happy in her romances. The blonde beauty is all too aware of her unsuccessful love life and has often complained about being single. In an interview with American Glamour magazine, she says, "I'm tired of being alone. I have no one to call at the end of the night. I'm travelling all over the place by myself. There are moments when I would love to fall asleep with my head on somebody's shoulder just because I was used to that for so long. I miss that." EXPERT OPINION: Kate Taylor, Relationship Expert for dating website Match.com "If like Jessica you have just come out of a serious relationship, you need to take a dating break for at least six months. Until you learn to enjoy your own company and have fun as a singleton, you are going to be a boring partner. At the moment, Jessica is not being a fun date. She complains about not having anybody's shoulder to fall asleep on. If you find yourself feeling the same you have to take a step back - you are idealising being in a relationship massively. Many married women would happily exchange their partner's dandruffy, drool-ridden shoulder for the chance to travel the world by themselves, so lighten up, girlfriend! Jessica is also expecting every new relationship to begin with the same level of intimacy she shared with Nick - it's easy to forget that it took years to build up to that level. You must remember that you can't start calling new boyfriends every night and using them as a sounding board for your problems. They'll quickly get bored. Instead, try rounding up a pack of fun girlfriends and celebrating your own freedom and success. When you have built yourself a life that is fully complete without a partner, then Mr Right will appear. And you'll be able to stand next to him as a self-assured equal." Lily Allen: BODY ISSUES British pop star Lily Allen was so distraught when her weight was ridiculed this year, she undertook a massive operation to get fit and shed the pounds. Despite being a slim size 10, Lily came under fire from the press and her peers - most notoriously being labelled a "chick with a dick" by Girls Aloud singer Cheryl Cole. Lily felt that her clothing line for U.K. store New Look was being slammed as a 'fat girl's' version of the range designed by Kate Moss for Top Shop. She expressed her fears to Cosmopolitan magazine: "I felt I'd been set up and it shook me. All of the body-image issues I struggle with on a daily basis came up. I'm a size 10 with a size eight top and made to feel fat next to someone like Kate Moss. What makes me angry is I let it happen. I'm not super-skinny, so in 'Fameland' I'm fat Lily Allen. It's now my ambition to get all those skinny-arsed bitches off the covers of magazines and get normal people on them." Despite her resolution to stand up for "normal-sized" women, Lily still bowed to the pressure, losing two dress sizes in just six weeks with the help of a personal trainer and a drastic weight-loss plan. She confessed to fans on her MySpace Internet page, "I used to pride myself on being strong-minded and not being some stupid girl obsessed with the way I look. I felt like it didn't matter if I was a bit chubby 'cause I'm not a model, I'm a singer. I'm afraid I am not strong and have fallen victim to the evil machine. I have spent the past hour researching gastric bypass surgery and laser liposuction." Thankfully Lily didn't resort to such drastic measures. The singer has since insisted that her drastic weight loss was for the sake of her health rather than personal vanity, but it hasn't stopped speculation on the real reasons why Lily has pushed herself so hard to change her body shape. EXPERT OPINION: Georgia Foster, clinical hypnotherapist and author of The Weight Less Mind "On one hand Lily is struggling to prove a point that being a natural size 10 is normal, but finds it difficult to cope with other people's perceptions - especially when they see her as overweight. The truth is those thin celebs diet consistently and are obsessed with their weight. This is the real problem. They pretend they don't do anything to achieve this 'natural' slimness but they are working their butts off behind closed doors to stay under-weight. Trying to measure up to others' expectations leads to low self-worth, anxiety around food and, at worst, eating disorders that can scar you emotionally and physically for life. It is important to realise that what you see on magazine covers is not reality and it is pointless trying to measure up to something that is impossible to achieve. You should learn to love yourself as you are. Try adopting a balanced healthy diet and taking more exercise to give yourself some added confidence, but remember not to go to extremes." Britney Spears: BREAK UP BLUES Pop princess Britney Spears shocked the world when she married her former backing dancer Kevin Federline after a whirlwind five-month romance. The pair wed in September 2004 and within a year the star had given birth to her first child, Sean Preston, now two. But the couple's relationship was blighted by allegations of Kevin's wild partying and rumoured infidelity and shortly after the birth of their second son, Jayden James, in September 2006, Britney filed for divorce. Following the split, Britney's life famously spiraled out of control. The singer took the break-up particularly badly and her behaviour became increasingly erratic, culminating in the notorious head-shaving incident in February 2007. The pictures of the 26-year-old holding her bald head in her hands, looking obviously distressed were seen the world over and pointed towards a woman who had her heart broken and was unable to cope with her fragile emotional state. EXPERT OPINION: Rachel MACLynn, Psychologist and Relationship Expert, Seventy Thirty Ltd "Britney has had a very severe reaction to the end of her marriage and it has affected her relationship with her friends and family. She began isolating herself from people close to her before problems in the marriage even emerged. In this situation you have to realise that you aren't on your own - your friends and family are there to help and you can turn to them for support when things get difficult. There are also health professionals and counsellors who you can talk to about your feelings. You have to remember that many relationships break up but friendships should last forever, so it is important not to isolate yourself from friends if they disapprove of your partner - if things go wrong it can be a very lonely time and can do severe emotional damage." KATE MOSS: SERIAL BAD BOY DATER Although Kate's most well known relationship will always be the time she spent with junkie rocker Pete Doherty, she has a string of failed relationships behind her - many with high profile bad boys. Kate famously dated Johnny Depp long before the actor cleaned up his act and settled down to raise a family with French singer Vanessa Paradis. The couple's stormy relationship was well documented in the press and reached a peak in September 2004 when it was reported that Depp trashed a hotel room in New York during an explosive argument with the supermodel. The pair finally split in 1997. But 33-year-old Kate courted controversy again when she started spending time with Babyshambles frontman Doherty. She subsequently found herself at the centre of a major drugs scandal in September 2005 when she was pictured snorting lines of cocaine during one of the band's recording sessions. The affair led to Kate losing several large modelling contracts and her association with Doherty was blamed for her wayward behaviour. The affair ended in heartbreak earlier this year after the singer allegedly cheated on her with a girl he met in a nightclub. Kate has since been linked to British TV presenter - and former drug addict - Russell Brand and is currently dating The Kills rocker Jamie Hince, proving that Kate's destructive pattern is going to be hard to break. EXPERT OPINION: Kate Taylor, Relationship Expert for dating website Match.com "Wild woman Kate is addicted to the thrill of the chase. She loves bad boys because they offer her unpredictability, and she mistakes all this drama for passion. Plus, we mustn't forget that Kate has been safely nestled in a modelling agency since she was 14. She will have been given advice and support on every area of her life. In many ways, this is very similar to women who have experienced strict upbringings - it is often these women who look for 'dangerous' men who won't tell them what to do. If you often find yourself attracted to men who are no good for you because they are exciting, you often find you dump the ones who are too mundane. You need to readjust your priorities. You may also have a fear of commitment so you opt for relationships you know will never work, or deliberately sabotage them. Try channeling your energies into something creative - by exploring other passions besides men it will stop you seeking drama and instability in your love life." Gwen Stefani: WORKING MOTHER Throughout her career Gwen Stefani has made no secret of her longing to start a family. The 39-year-old insisted that her ambition when she was 18 was always to get married and start a family. But she fell into singing when she joined her brother's rock band No Doubt and her dreams of having children had to be put on hold. In the band's 2000 single Simple Kind Of Life, Gwen wrote the poignant lyrics - "I always thought I would be a mom/Sometimes I wish for a mistake/The longer that I wait the more selfish I get" - which made her longing for a baby clear to the world. Gwen started dating Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale in 1995 and eventually married her man in London in 2006. And Gwen couldn't put off her baby plans any longer, giving birth to her first child Kingston James later the same year. However, the happy arrival came in the midst of Gwen's highly successful solo career and after Kingston's birth she was straight back at work promoting her second album The Sweet Escape as well as her clothing line L.A.M.B. The singer admits she has found it difficult to balance her business interests with being a mother and recently expressed her concerns in an interview with British newspaper The Observer, "How would I fit him into my life? Would I be too self-obsessed to be able to care about him enough? I have a really extraordinary life and I obviously have a lot of passion about the things that I do. So I didn't know if I could be selfless enough." So far Gwen has been able to travel the world with her son but she understands it will only be a matter of time before Kingston is old enough to need a more grounded upbringing. EXPERT OPINION: Alix Needham, Lifestyle expert, Lifestyle Management "Some women often struggle with balancing their career with having children. Gwen is a great role model for it, but sometimes having a bit of give and take is important. Gwen clearly is very driven and often this is a sign of not feeling good enough and low self esteem. Commonly called a perfectionist personality, it means that once she sets her heart to something she must complete 100 per cent. If you find yourself in the same situation you have to understand that nobody expects you to be perfect. Don't be scared of leaning on your friends and family - their support is crucial in helping you cope with the stresses of being a working mum. But remember to step back and take time out if you feel it is all getting too much for you." Lindsay Lohan: PARTY ANIMAL Former child star Lindsay has always prided herself on being the life and soul of the party but her wild antics have not only put her career in danger - they have also landed her in trouble with the law. Lindsay, 21, has long been know as a party animal and has been involved in a spate of drink driving and drug-related offences. But her antics were put under the spotlight when film producer James G. Robinson criticised her for being "discourteous, irresponsible and unprofessional" on the set of Georgia Rule last year, causing concerns that her lifestyle was starting to affect her acting career. However, it was only after the star received a prison sentence and a community service order for a DUI conviction earlier this year that she relented and checked herself into rehab. Lindsay spent much of the summer (07) in rehab at Utah's Cirque Lodge facility in an attempt to put her "destructive" ways behind her. She told America's In Touch magazine that she really hopes she can change, "There are some things that I can do to make changes and grow up. I want to act like a woman rather than a teenager. I am doing the best I can." EXPERT OPINION: Alix Needham, Lifestyle expert, Lifestyle Management "Lindsay is struggling to keep up a good appearance as an adult. She has always been at the centre of attention as a top Hollywood child star. And I think that the pure pressure of her career has led her to become totally irresponsible for her recent actions. It's the same for many people who find they have a craving for attention whether you are an A-list actress or not. A so-called wild lifestyle tends to come down to deep rooted insecurities - you have to understand that your friends and family love you for who you are - not just because you are the life and soul of the party. Stop trying so hard to be 'fun' and try and discover some other aspects to life. Try taking up a new hobby, exercise classes or seeing other friends."