Posts tagged “Self Esteem”

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? 
Opinions are like a***holes – we’ve all got one. 
Do you have a friend who has something to say about anything and everything? And who likes to share it with anyone and everyone. 
 
They like the sound of their own voice. 
 
I get invited onto local TV and radio occasionally to give my opinions on topics, sometimes it’s stuff in the news, other times it’s local interest stuff, sometimes they ask me to talk about what I do and the reasons and benefits behind certain things such as the 21 Day Style Challenge, Glum to Glam workshops, the charity Swish clothes swaps that I organise etc. 
 
For some of the light-hearted topics it’s easy to provide an opinion and chat easily about stuff. Other times when it’s a bit heavier I’m aware that I might sit on the fence slightly, hedging my bets, being diplomatic one might say. The other guest I was on with last week asked me if I was one of those controversial type guests. I’m not. But I have been on several times with that type. 
 
I find myself being a bit cautious about being controversial and alienating people – you never know who might be watching. 
 
Perhaps it’s a potential client who likes the cut of my jib and is thinking they might like to find out more about me and potentially visit my website – I don’t want to go off on one and come across as it’s my way or highway. This would be totally off brand for me. It’s important that I walk my walk and talk my talk at all times. 
 
Self- Image Demons 
 
Do you talk to yourself (maybe out loud or in your head) sometimes but not in a nice way? Does your inner critic say nasty things to you as you get ready for a night out? You’re trying a new top on that you really liked in the shop, it’s a bit more colourful than you’re used to or maybe it’s a different style that you’ve not tried before…you aren’t 100% sure and need a bit of reassurance that you look nice. 
Then those little voices start in your head. The self -image demons can be proper nasty little buggers with viper tongues, making vile and vicious comments. They’re evil, they know too well about all the things we’re not sure about, they play on our insecurities and affect our self-confidence. 
 
Whiney, Nasty Bitch 
 
I recently asked in my online community, the Style Sisterhood group on Facebook, about the kind of things SID* (Self Image Demons) might say. Most of the responses would be deemed horrid and offensive if we ever actually said them to anyone else…we’d be seen as a whiney, nasty bitch on the attack. 
In December 1999 I was very heavily pregnant. Waiting for a baby that should've been born in November. I thought someone was playing a joke on me and he wasn't ever going to come out. I'd gained almost 5 stone in weight and my boobs were like a couple of shiny watermelons. I was so uncomfortable. I'd had heartburn since the fourth month of pregnancy; it had started literally once the morning sickness passed. Liquid Gaviscon was my friend for the duration and I never went anywhere without it in my handbag. 
Reluctant to be born 
I ended up being induced 10 days after my due date. Even then he was reluctant to be born. Finally, with the intervention of forceps I delivered an 8lb 10oz baby boy with tufty blonde hair and beautiful big blue eyes. He was just perfect and I fell immediately in love with him. 
 
Life changer 
The reason I'm telling you about all this is because it was the ultimate life changing time. Having a baby changes everything about your life. If you are a parent you'll know from experience. Your priorities change and what was once important becomes less so. I had planned on going back to my college lecturing job just 3 days a week after maternity leave. That never happened, I couldn’t face leaving him with someone else looking after him while I commuted 140 miles a day to look after and teach other people’s kids. 
 
Not sensible but perfect 
As the main breadwinner of the household this was probably not the most sensible decision I’ve ever made. We had no savings and credit card debts – oops. This is where the Virgin Cosmetics Company came into my life. That’s a story for another day but suffice to say that it was a perfect solution and my main source of income for 8 years. 
 
 
What size is PLUS Size? In Nov 2015 I put it out there in various social media groups that I belong to and asked ”at what size do you consider plus size to start?” 
My question was for market research purposes, not to be controversial or start a debate. Someone had suggested I ought to use the term in my marketing and was curious to see what people thought. I got quite a few responses and it seems to be a subject that ruffles feathers and divides opinion. Some people find the term offensive, mean and rude, others see it as an alternative term for unhealthy. 
 
Is it a classification or an insult? 
I personally don’t like it but it seems to be the recognised term within the fashion industry. If I’m looking for clothes online I Google ‘plus size’. The answers I got ranged from size 14 upwards but most people thought size 20 was the starting point. Is it just a term to describe a body shape? Like short, tall, athletic, curvy etc? Some of the people who responded were apologetic, as if they were worried about offending people. Others thought it might be better to use terms that seem less derogatory. 
 
Are you normal? 
I wonder why it is seen as a negative term? If you look for the dictionary definition of the word plus it has quite positive connotations… Advantage, asset, higher end of the scale, extra, a perk, prerequisite. It also says it can refer to larger than normal size in women’s clothing. What’s normal? Is it the same as average? Because the average woman in the UK is a size 16, 5ft 3″ and weighs 11 stone apparently. 
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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