Posts tagged “Self Image”

The story of when my sister needed my services...in her own words, she describes the transformation she felt having the experience of my 'hands on' Premium Package
What’s your name and where do you come from? 
 
For those of us who did most of our growing up in the 1980’s, this question featured heavily on a Saturday evening. Blind date with ‘our Cilla’. 
 
In the 1980’s, for me, it was a very easy question to answer, “Hi Cilla, I’m Linzie from Leigh, Lancs.” 
 
Fast-forward to 2019, that question wasn’t quite as easy to answer. 
 
Let me tell you why. 
 
I was born in 1967 to a working-class family. My mother made all of our clothes as they were not a disposable commodity. New clothes were as a direct result of an event, Christmas, Easter and summer holidays. My mum was a dab hand with a sewing machine and knitting machine. We were always very well turned out. 
My older sister and I were always dressed the same.  
Often, I had her clothes when she outgrew them. Fortunately for me, I grew a lot taller than my sister and dodged a few outfits as we got older. 
When I was given the responsibility to buy my own clothes, I didn’t always make the best choices, much to my sister’s amusement… 
 
Ok, I had a thing for uniforms. There, I said it. Brownie guides, girl guides and girls brigade. I loved being smartly turned out. I liked looking the same as everyone else. No judgement from the fashion-conscious peers. 
 
It was a natural progression for me to pursue a career in the police. For nearly 30 years I wore police uniform. It was designed for men. I wore men’s clothes, no make-up, nails or hair were allowed. Completely de-feminised.  
 
When I progressed into a plain clothes department, I wore a suit (another kind of uniform) I felt comfortable and professional in my suit. 
 
Three years ago, my life changed; I got married, retired, moved away from my hometown, nursed and lost my mum, and my daughters moved in with their partners…. 
 
So now, “what’s your name and where do you come from?' Felt like a difficult question to answer. I’m Linzie from LLanfechell never really took off. 
 
I didn’t have a structure to my day for the first time as an adult. I lived in the middle of nowhere and only saw my husband and the dogs. I stopped wearing make up as it was a waste if nobody saw it. I started living in fleece joggers, tops and wellies. Hair scraped back as it is too windy to let it down. Most days I didn’t care and other days I appalled myself with my slipping standards. 
At this stage I knew I needed the transformational services of my sister in her professional capacity. I’d seen the results she’d got with other women and decided it was time to ask for help. 
 
I was embarking on a new career path but didn’t know how to pitch myself. My experiences were unique and valuable, my cardigan and crocs weren’t going to sell my products...Lisa’s confident approach was inspiring – it was interesting seeing how she worked in style coach mode. I felt totally comfortable opening up my thoughts and wardrobe without feeling judged.  
 
We established my style personality and updated my colours – I’d had them done over 5 years ago. We then progressed to a wardrobe weeding session. Very liberating, all those clothes that I would ‘slim into’ were about 20 years old. In the charity bag they went. That took the pressure off, no longer were those clothes reminding me of my failed weight loss attempts. 
 
Lisa has a very keen eye for colour, she has intuition and instinctively knows what clothes suited me best. She was able to advise on how to accessorise each piece for maximum ‘wow factor’. Her vast experience together with a friendly, empathetic manner made our session much more than just being about clothes. 
 
Once we had found a few treasured pieces, she created some style mood boards for me to include them and from that we were able to style a capsule wardrobe that took the stress out of ‘what to wear’. I was armed with a shopping list - she even gave me links to shops so all I had to do was click and buy!  
 
All the clothes suited my colour and style. It lifted my soul and made me feel like me again, but a better version. 
 
I went from feeling like I had let myself go and apathetic about myself and appearance to feeling strong, beautiful and more like me again – I am Linzie from Leigh, Lancs again (even though I don’t live there anymore). 
 
 
 
 
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. 
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. 
 
#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. 
 
 
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 Let’s Chat Wardrobe Wobbles 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. 
Be your flawesome self. What's your biggest 'flaw'? Do you think other people are anywhere near as conscious of it as you are? 
Do you think they even notice? Perhaps they are so hung up on their own 'flaws' they have no interest or concerns with yours. 
 
My biggest 'flaw' in my eyes is my limp. I've had it since childhood, I've had lifelong problem with my hip and developed a limp after one of my surgeries despite my legs being the same length.  
 
My limp has even got a name, it's... called the 'Trendelenburg Gait'. it's a specific type of limp - not just a common or garden limp. 
 
Some days it's worse than others but it's always there. My big goal after my hip replacement a few years ago was to improve my gait - it didn't happen...I'm stuck with it. 
 
I'm not telling you this for sympathy or anything. I'm telling you in order to illustrate my point ...Just recently, twice within the space of a fortnight, I was asked why I was limping by people I'd known and mixed with in my networking circle for quite sometime, they thought I'd hurt myself. 
 
My biggest flaw had not even registered with them previously, something that I'm conscious about had not even been on their radar for whatever reason. 
 
Food for thought ladies...what are you focussing on that isn't really on anyone else's radar? 
Here's me on the sofa - fast forward to around 18 minutes in to here me chatting about my 21 Day Style Challenge 
It’s February and our thoughts turn to Valentine’s Day and all things romantic. But my question to you this week is do you LOVE yourself enough? And how do you show it? How many of us love ourselves (and I don’t mean in an arrogant, show off type of way)? 
How's 2017 treating you so far? Have you watched any telly this week? How many programmes about diets and losing weight???!!!! 
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