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. 
 
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. 
 
#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. 
 
 
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. 
 
 
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. 
I’m in a really supportive coaching group. It’s run by a woman who really walks her walk and talks her talk.  
I really admire her integrity and passion and want to emulate her business model. She has completely nailed the know, like and trust factor in my eyes and I am happy to invest my hard earned cash with her for my current business development needs.I have recommended her to many friends and other women in business because she comes across as very real and truly authentic. I want to be like her in business. 
 
She hosted a conference earlier this week in Manchester. It was amazing and I came away totally inspired...bloody knackered but energised at the same time. She had a guest speaker who also has the same qualities (another very successful business woman in her own right) who has been coached by her for the past 18 months and is living proof that being true to yourself and your potential clients’ works. She generated £30k of business in August!!!She was telling us that her goal not that long ago was to bring in £400 a month to pay the Aldi bill and put petrol in the car... 
 
These two role models had a roomful of women in business at the conference – so it’s not just me being creepy or having some kind of weird girl crush. They both have literally thousands of followers on Facebook and some of us were there yesterday to listen and take inspiration from them and each other. It was in a nice hotel, proper conference facilities and everything. There was quite serious group of ‘business men and women’ in the next room having their own conference – they were all suited and booted and ‘looked the part’. There was not one business suit in our room – we probably weren’t the usual type of conference delegates they get, treading on their soft carpets and eating the pastries presented with the morning coffee...why am I telling you this??? 
 
 
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