Posts tagged “Love Yourself”

You may (or may not) have noticed that I am a flamingo lover. My house is full of them. 
People send flamingo related items to me in the post. I get given flamingo related gifts. I walked into our wedding ceremony to Pretty Flamingo by Manfred Mann and we had flamingo toppers on our wedding cake. They have become a big feature in my life over the past seven years and I’m going to explain why. And, why now, I have decided to incorporate them into my business branding. 
In the spring of 2013 I experienced trauma that completely side swiped me. With hindsight the signs were there. I should’ve seen it coming. I wasn’t well. I was overworked, extremely stressed and my 23 year relationship was undeniably broken. I was juggling plates and desperately trying to stop them from crashing to the ground. But they did. I needed to rebuild and rise like a phoenix from the ashes. 
Instead of a phoenix though, flamingos became symbolic of that rebirth. It started with my bedroom wallpaper. 
I’d always liked flamingos. They are kitsch, synonymous with mid century design that I’ve always loved. My taste had developed a more mainstream flavour and I’d blended into a more magnolia world over the years with my ex husband. I’d dumbed down my personal taste and our home was much more conventional in its décor than I would’ve ever had at one time. 
If I asked you on a scale of 1-10 about putting yourself as a priority whereabouts would your number be? 
If you’re a mum perhaps your number changed after having kids? Or you might be you are looking after elderly parents these days and that impacts where you put yourself on the scale? 
It’s a well-known fact that what we wear can impact how we feel about ourselves. This week I’m inviting you to consider how much thought you give to wearing clothes that make you look and feel good. How many days a week do you look in the mirror and feel great about your personal style and image? Read on to find my tips to help. 
I know for sure my priorities changed when I joined motherhood. Things that were once important didn’t really have the same lure. 
I remember thinking how hard it was to even get dressed when my son was very first born. Everything seemed to take twice as long! It seemed to take forever just to get up, shower and get dressed in the morning – never mind be my pre-child glamorous self with hair done and full make-up every day. It took me all my time to get out of my dressing gown. Trying to get a quick shower with a crying baby in a car seat just didn’t feel very relaxing. 
If it's not too personal a question - how IS your knicker drawer looking? Actually, before we start on the detail what do you call them? 
In Lancashire, where I'm from, pants are trousers (like in America) and you wear knickers as underwear. Having lived in Nottingham for most of my adult life I've gone native and now call knickers pants (and trousers are trousers). There are lots of names for pants - bloomers, drawers, apple catchers, undies, briefs, knickers, keks, grundies all of these are ok.... But NEVER panties, that just sounds so sleazy. 
I'm writing to you about knickers this week as it's my belief that your underwear can affect how you feel as you go about your day and ultimately, it can be a marker of your self-image. 
If you get the foundations right and your clothes hang better, you'll look and feel the business. There are so many shapes and types of knickers, how do you choose what type you prefer? Does it depend on what you are wearing on top? Thongs, g-strings, boy shorts, Brazilian, high leg, midi, mini, waist whopper armpit warmers. 
It's ALWAYS about comfort for me. If your pants are not comfy, digging in or going up your bum or whatever then it can affect your whole day. How can you focus with a wedgie? Always full backside coverage, I like to get my money's worth in the fabric department. 
So here we are, it’s February and the media is just bonkers with Valentine’s Day stuff and all things romantic. Red roses, chocolate and prosecco, love hearts everywhere. Marks and Spencer’s even have a love sausage you can woo your beloved with on the 14th! 
There's so much stuff about love and romance in the air but my question to you is do you love YOURSELF enough? And how do you show it? How many of us do actually love ourselves (and I don’t mean in an arrogant, show off type of way) and take care to treat our ourselves accordingly? 
Do you take good care of yourself? Do you look after yourself as if you’re a precious thing to be loved and treasured? Nope? Thought not. I’m the first one to admit that I don't possibly treat myself as well as I could. Quite often us women feel guilty about spending time on ourselves. We look after our families and prioritise making sure they have what they need, and we slide down the list. 
More recently I have been making time for other things that I enjoy and giving myself a break. I realise that all work and no play is not good long term. I’ve started mosaic classes, picked up my knitting needles, joined the WI. All things that are ‘me time’. It's too easy for me to end up whiling away the hours working on social media. These hobbies might seem only little things but if we start thinking about the bigger picture and self esteem and self worth it's all linked to self care. Not selfish, important. 
What else do I do to show myself love? 
I eat healthily and having a pampering session is always nice but in these busy times it often seems like a treat, I don’t think it should be really. I caught myself thinking that the other day, I was doing the whole bath, face pack, exfoliating, eyebrow plucking thing and started to feel a bit guilty about spending time on myself! There were so many other things I could be doing. I had to have a word with myself! I feel horrible if I’ve got stubbly legs and armpits, dry skin on my feet and why would I not want myself to feel nice? 
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me… 
Remember the ditty from school? 
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. What bollocks that is...on my Facebook feed recently an article came up from Twitter July 2017 with the hashtag #TheySaid. 
The article is basically women relaying stories about comments made by parents or other people during childhood or teenage years that stuck well into adult life. Quite often offhand, throw away comments from our nearest and dearest that weren’t necessarily said with malice but have an enormous impact for a very long time. 
These words have cut deep. 
There are scars. Some are still open wounds, twenty, thirty or forty years on...comments made about our bodies, our physical appearance, our weight, perceived inadequacies related to our appearance. 
Tree trunk legs 
There are women in their 40's and 50's in my client group who have avoided showing their legs because of a comment a parent made when they were young. Legs like tree trunks. Legs like two pieces of string with knots in. Look at the size of your arse. You’d be pretty if you weren’t so fat and all kinds of other hurtful remarks. 
Do you know Tryer Tracey? She’s always on a diet of one kind or another.  
She’s tried WeightWatchers, Slimming World, Rosemary Conley, 5:2, the F Plan, Cambridge, Lighter Life, Cabbage Soup, Dukan, Paleo, Slimfast, Atkins…you name it. She’s even been for hypnotherapy, had her thyroid checked, wonders if she’s got a slow metabolism and heavy bones…Bless her, it doesn’t matter what she tries, she can lose weight but then just can’t keep it off. But you know what? She’ll never give up trying because she REALLY wants to lose weight....She wants to lose weight so much she’d do anything, but life keeps getting in the way.. 
It’s October now, it’s half term next week and she’ll have the kids off school. They’ll need entertaining, that means days out and treats, they love pizza hut and the lunchtime deal is really good, the dough balls are delicious too. She’ll just have the salad though (those bacon bits make it worth it) and a diet coke, then perhaps nick a slice off the kids. The kids have pick and mix at the cinema but she resists and just has popcorn because that’s better for you. 
Halloween is a nightmare these days too! Where did the trick or treat thing and big parties come from? She just had a hollowed out swede as a Jack O’ Lantern when she was a kid. 
The supermarkets don’t help either, putting those big tins of chocolates on offer. She buys them to give to the kids on the estate when they come knocking –one of them is just full of empty wrappers by the 28th. It’s just the odd one here and there with a coffee and before you know it – gone. The tins are getting smaller every year though too. 
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