Reality

Since August 2015 I have attended therapy once a year, not your conventional therapy and its not for everyone. Most of you who know me will know what I am referring to, but for those of you that don’t its a few hours out my schedule with Dimples & Daisies on a Liberty shoot. I wont go into what they are all about, for those of you that have been reading this blog for a long time will have read all about it before & if you scroll up you will see a page dedicated to my posts about my experiences with the team.

As with every shoot, this one was booked spontaneously, I had itchy feet and felt I needed my cup refilling but I wanted this one to be something different, nearing 30 I wanted something to look back on when I am 60 and see just how beautiful I am, naturally.

For those of you that have been reading recently you will know that I am not regularly waxing the beard & that it just gets a trim when I feel its getting ridiculous. So I made the decision that this time I wasn’t going to wax it, booking the shoot just 2 weeks before I knew I didn’t have the money to go to a salon AND I have decided I will never self wax again. Did I have my doubts? Yes, of course even the day before I was thinking is it too late – should I just wax it myself? But in reality, I didn’t want the pain and I thought would I rather have a rash or the hair – weirdly that is a battle the hair won. Getting ready on the day was no different to getting ready for afternoon tea the weekend before, I did my hair and base make up & headed off to the shop.

The shoot was everything it always is, did I get naked? Of course – it wouldn’t be a shoot without it. But do you know what did happen, it wasn’t until I was stood completely starkers in a field full of corn with my arms in the air that I remembered I hadn’t waxed and that I was there feeling as free as a bird & so comfortable in my own skin with excess hair on my face, chest & stomach – partially waxed legs and well I wont talk about anything else. I remember the realization and taking a deep breath, I had shocked myself about how at ease I felt and how easy it was for me to forget that it was there.

The week wait to get my photos went by in a blur, work has been really busy so I didn’t really have time to reflect and think about the shots. However, I did say to at least one of my closest  friends that I probably wouldn’t come away with any photo’s and I would just have the free one this time as I can’t imagine I would like any of them.

I didn’t realise how wrong I could be.

On the way to the shop, I wasn’t bothered about the photo’s it was almost like I was just going through the motions, sat on the sofa with Holly surrounded by women getting ready for their Tribal shoot that evening, I started the mammoth scroll through 40 odd photos. I was maybe 10 photo’s in before I realised & remembered that I hadn’t waxed.

I hadn’t noticed & if I did my brain either didn’t register it or didn’t care.

I could have scrutinized every single photo after that, but I didn’t, I just fell deeper in love with every single one as they all represented the real me. The one that my friends and family see every day & love even with what I feel is something so unsightly. Did I have a little cry? Yes I did & Holly joined in, she then shared my story and why I do Liberty with the girls and they all wanted to see the pictures and of course said how amazing they were.

For the longest time I have felt ugly and I have let the symptoms of my PCOS define who I believe I am, but as I turn 30 in a matter of days, I am feeling more & more comfortable with myself and how I look. I am seeing for the first time what everyone else see’s, yes there will still be people that will judge based on appearance and not like what they see, but do you know what for the first time in around 15 years I am finally able to look at myself with an honest eye and say that no matter what I am proud of who I am.

So, in honor of my impending 30th Birthday, here is the real me…..just not in my birthday suite!

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Corn II

I did something a little naughty the other week that if you follow my Instagram story you will have figured out, I spontaneously booked myself for another Liberty shoot with less than 2 weeks to go!

I have been feeling like I need a little pick me up for a while and I knew that some time with the Dimples & Daisies team would do the trick. I wasn’t really sure what to book myself on to or if I even wanted to do another shoot, but trawling through Instagram one caught my eye and I thought sod it, I have enough in the bank and I need this for me. Earlier that day walking round the town centre I decided I was spending too much money on food and that I dont treat myself to something nice very often, so with that in my mind I just booked myself on there and then.

So, the other Sunday afternoon I headed to the Dimples & Daisies studio in Southsea to be glammed up and head over to the Sunflower field with the rest of the girls on the shoot. We were all made up and deciding what clothes to wear when Holly got a call from another photographer to say that the sunflower field was ruined & they were all dead, the pictures were so upsetting! But fear not, they managed to source another option and we headed to Lordington Farm to have some fun in the corn!

Its not my first shoot in the corn, but that was back August 2015 and the photography style has changed so much since then and I am a completely different person now to what I was then.

FLASHBACK

Now before every shoot I would normally wax the beard and get rid of any excess hair that my body seems to love to grow, but I wanted this one to be a little different, I wanted it to be authentic. I wanted to look back on these photo’s in years to come and see the real me, the one that everyone else see’s. Believe me, there is no way to feel more real, authentic and true to yourself than being stood naked in a field of corn!

But do you know what is even stranger? Stood there having my photo’s taken, I was embracing everything the surroundings & the sun beating down on me & blissful peace on the farm. It wasn’t until about 5 minutes in that I realised that I hadn’t waxed & I didn’t feel insecure about my body or appearance at all I felt totally at ease with who I was. Sat writing this, I am in 2 minds about my photos, part of me cant wait to see the pictures, firstly how different they are but also to just see my appearance. However the other part of me is so incredibly anxious, what if I hate the way I look in them, what if it gives me any more issues with my body image and confidence? What if I go back 10 steps?

WHAT IF! 

I mean I don’t have long to wait, I pick up my photos in just over a week’s time, so stay tuned to see how things go!

Emma x

Confidence

You have probably noticed my silence over the past few weeks, its not because I have had writers block or I have forgotten about my blog. We have been on our first proper holiday since buying the house, we have been in Cuba!

This post isn’t directly about Cuba though, although I am sure I will write one of those soon. Whilst we were sat at the snack bar on our last full day, I was just in my bikini and a tank top, which sat on my hips I realized that for the past 2 weeks at no point have I cared what I looked like. I haven’t thought about how I look in my bikini, I haven’t given any thought as to how my hair looks when I take my hat off, also I have spent most evenings with just a sweep of mascara on my face and nothing else.

Looking around the pool and the beach everyone, myself included, looks confident in their bodies. No one gives the allusion that they care what they look like, its like you step off that plane and all your insecurities are banished.

I mentioned this to Matt and he said to me that it was great that I had felt that way, but if i can feel like that here why cant i feel like that at home? I have been wondering the same….

Well we have been back in the UK now for about a week & there is no way I could be as free here as I was on holiday. I am not sure if you feel the same, but there seems to be a constant need her to look a certain way. I stupidly read a lot of crappy celebrity news articles and do you know what I realized the other day, 99.9% of them are about someones weight, image, clothing etc. so no wonder us normal folk  are so self conscious! Our news, social media feeds, TV & magazines are littered with how celebs look and how we should look.

I don’t buy magazines any more, but stupidly I did in the airport waiting to board to go on holiday. What a stupid decision that was – I should have spend the £5 on magazines on a book! It was littered with articles about celebs and how they look on holiday, a celebrity that lost 10lbs in 2 weeks to get back to pre-pregnancy weight, then in the next breath they are telling you how empowered we should be about our natural bodies and we should need to lose weight, wear make up etc. how confusing is that! No wonder we are awash with insecurities and judgement for others as well as ourselves.

I cant help but question why we don’t just accept ourselves for who we are and not judge ourselves and each other!

Normal

Sooooo earlier this week I had an appointment with an endocrinologist at my local hospital for my PCOS. I was originally referred to a gynae last year, but after a follow up appointment earlier in the year I was discharged as I wasn’t ready to start looking into my fertility any deeper.

After a catch up with my GP and figuring out what I want to do about my PCOS he decided and agreed with the gynae that an appointment with an endocrinologist was the best option. I did some googling about what they look into for PCOS, but its all quite limited and not clear – apart from that they are there to help with hormone imbalances, which is what PCOS is.

I had been quite nervous leading up to my appointment, I know what my body needs to do to reduce the external symptoms, but will power is stopping me. However, even weeks where I am 100% on plan, nothing happens – perhaps I wanting results too quickly? It had left me wondering what else they can suggest – are they going to put me on more meds? Will they actually help me?

But what I keep asking myself is when will I be normal?

I get so cross at myself for asking that question because I am normal, for ME. My normal isn’t the same as your normal and your normal isn’t the same as your next door neighbours. Surely that is what makes us all unique and brilliant? I am trying to encourage myself and others to remember that we are enough as we are, there is no normal, but sometimes you can forget this.

Sat in the waiting room flicking through a magazine that’s over a year old, what comes on the radio? The Spice Girls. Instantly, any worries I have and all the fears I feel are banished. I am here, getting help for a problem that is the root of all my insecurities and makes me feel less of a woman. I am here to turn things around and put a step forward in the right direction.

In fact, I am going to treat you to a tune……

 

After that short Spice Girl break, we continue! After listening to my PCOS journey and medical history and some family medical history we get to talking. Initially we talk about about fertility & he sets the record straight that actually concieving wont be as difficult as I have been told before by previous GPs, dependent on how my ovulation cycles are I should be fine. Even if it doesn’t happen right away there are plenty of medications that can assist and he was actually really confident which is quite reasurring!

We got onto talking about hirutism and how much of a frustration it is for me, he advised that he could put me on a testosterone blocker which will help BUT that it does come with the risk of kidney failure and weekly blood tests for a long time. So I decided that at the moment I don’t want to take that risk on and would try something different, we spoke about how weight loss can have a big impact on the way that hormones work and he told me what I have been hearing for the longest time.

I need to lose weight, to reset my hormones and help my body.

I must have looked quite downcast & he reassured me that it is possible and I can do it as I have done before as I told him. I said that I am going to slimming world, but truthfully not really sticking to it but that I dont think Metformin is helping either. So his suggestion was to up my metformin to 2000mg a day & stick to the Slimming World plan & I should start to see results, when I asked him how much I needed to lost to reset my body, he suggested I look at what I need to do to get within a healthy BMI range. We agreed that I would go back in 3 months time & have bloods done beforehand to make sure that there wasn’t anything else hormonal going on.

So, I came away a bit disappointed that still the option is losing weight & thinking that losing weight would be the 1 think we didn’t discuss! However, this is it, I need to start looking after my body better, I need to fuel my body the right way to help it function better – that is the fix. Me.

Back to basics I go, I am writing everything down, I am counting my syns and healthy extras. I am back in the zone, not for anybody else, but for me. I dont want to SKINNY or THIN, I want to be HEALTHY. I want to allow my body to function how it should do, I have a goal, but I wont share it.

I just ask that family and friends are supportive and understand that if I say NO its for my HEALTH.

Whilst I am disappointed that I can’t get any more help than what I have currently, I would rather have to be the one to reset my body than put something into my body that could lead it to fail. I started to increase the metformin that day, its just 2 days in as I write this, currently no problems with my digestive system (what a win), but I am unusually tired and feel like you do before you get fluey, like a bit body achy. Hopefully my body handles the 500mg increase well and I see a great loss on the scales this week, but I am prepared.

I will update you all in a few weeks time with how things are going – hopefully it will be good news!

Love

Emma xxx

Self Love

Recently I have been wondering if I have stopped caring about myself, my nails aren’t done as often as they could be, I don’t wax my “beard” as often as I used to and I honestly can’t remember the last time I brought myself some new clothes.

It has left me wondering, when did I fall out of love with myself?

I am going to slimming world, but even that after all the times I have been going over the past 10+ years, I have never struggled so much to lose weight and I am wondering if I have just resigned myself to thinking that I can’t?!

If I don’t love or care for myself, how can I expect others to?

This really hit me when we were getting ready to go to Budapest, normally I would have waxed my beard, put a new coat of nail varnish on my fingers and toes and perhaps brought something new to wear whilst we were away.

I didn’t and it was almost like I couldn’t be bothered to put the effort in, don’t get me wrong owning and running a house is hard work and that combined with a busy and sometimes stressful job means that I don’t want to come home and put myself through the pain of waxing, I would rather come home and write or watch a movie.

Then I considered if actually I am just getting a bit more comfortable in my skin and that what they say is true, the older you get the less you worry about what others think. However, I know that is not true, if it was I wouldn’t be pushing my GP and the entire NHS into doing something about my hirsutism and helping me to reduce my PCOS symptoms. So I have come to a conclusion.

I have stopped loving myself.

It’s true, the signs are there as they are with any relationship or friendship. The effort has stopped, I don’t put myself first (although that has never been the case), and I feel unworthy of nice things. I need to turn it around; I definitely feel that is why I have got myself in such tizz lately.

The Girl Power You are Enough Manifesto. | I promise to not be an asshole to myself. Hell, I promise to love myself. I will remember that my self-worth is not based on what I look like, how much I weigh, how many followers I have, or any other stupid crap that has nothing to do with who I am. I will empower other girls and women. I will be kind. Fiercely kind. I will have a sense of humor. I will do my best not to gossip, create drama, or judge others (or myself). I will remember that just...

Now painting my nails used to be my thing I would experiment with different styles and colours, for me it was a great way to be creative and just have some down time – Christ I even did a mini blog called Mani Monday a couple of years back – perhaps I need to get back into that routine? But whenever I did my nails, I felt good about myself, I felt that even if my excess hair was bad or I wasn’t happy with my appearance I knew my nails were always “on point”.

Why did that ever stop?

Self-waxing is horrible, painful and just takes a lot of courage, however I did this because I couldn’t afford the money to go and get waxed whilst saving and I also became unhappy with my beautician and if I am honest I actually felt embarrassed about having to going there. Now however, I still don’t have a lot of spare cash & I live in a different area so could find a new beautician, but the embarrassment of having to go for that reason is still deep inside.

I need to get over that.

It is their profession and they will have waxed worst areas! So I am going to check out beauticians in my local area and the prices and start taking care of myself a bit more, I know the hair has a massive impact on my self-confidence and my feeling of self-worth so if I can get that back under control it will be a step in the right direction.

We often are too harsh on ourselves and expect us to be capable of living a perfect life and have everything rosy with no problems. However, it is unrealistic, we will all fall out of love with ourselves at times and it is ok to recognise that, let’s just not set up camp and live there. I have been & if I am honest I have been living in that self-loathing camp for a while now but it’s not a great place to be.

So with a swift kick up my own backside, I am packing up my tent and moving on to somewhere better. Where I can be happier, stronger and more confident, a place where if I perhaps show myself and my body a little bit of love, it might show me how great it is in return.

I won’t lie, it won’t be an easy journey and I am sure I will make some backward steps along the way, but as I said in a previous post about my goals for 2018;

This is my year and I am NOT going to turn 30 as unhappy with my body as I have been in my 20’s.

Be Healthy. Not Skinny.

Today this picture came up on my time-hop thing on Facebook….

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, ocean and outdoor

Initially I thought WOW I did so well on my weightloss journey then. Then over the day, my mind changed, my thoughts of these pictures changed.

  • Firstly, by December 2007 I was 3 stone lighter. The picture on the right in 2011, was after re-joining slimming world in 2010. This wasn’t a true reflection, it didn’t take me 4 years to go from left to right.
  • Secondly, in 2007, I didn’t think there was anything problem with my weight or how I looked. I was happy, until I saw a photo 10 times worse that that and realised I needed to do something.
  • Thirdly, in 2011 despite looking pretty healthy (back then I would have said thin), I still thought and felt that I looked like I did on the left.
  • Fourth, I am the same person in both of these photos. Same unhappiness about my weight, focused on a number on the scales not on the benefit to my health.

Right now, I think I am probably a stone lighter than the picture on the left, I would love to get back to the dress size on the right, although I keep thinking to myself if that was sustainable I wouldn’t be back on my slimming world journey.

Tonight, I put on 3lb and I am pissed. BUT it’s no-one else’s fault apart from my own. I have chosen not to go to the gym for 3 weeks, I have chosen not to be “on plan” for weeks. It is my choice. I can choose to let my weight continue to creep up, or I can do something about it.

I want to do something about it & if I write it down, it has to happen.

Tonight, I came back from group, I sat down and wrote down what I am going to eat for the next 7 days. I am going to stick to that and I should see a loss on those scales next week. I have researched classes at the gym and Tuesday is going to be my day, I am going to LBT AND Yoga and then I am also going to go to the gym every other week day morning. My weekends will be my break. My body needs good fuel and exercise to work properly, I know this and I know that I am stopping my body from working correctly.

So. As of tomorrow back on plan, back on an aim and just a kick start to get healthy!

Love

Emma x

Our Tribe

2nd July 2017

I did it again! This week I signed up for my 3rd Liberty Shoot with Dimples & Daisies, the wonderful Jen posted on her facebook about a Tribal Art Liberty Shoot in September and again without hesitation, I had confirmed my spot on the shoot. So, here we go a countdown to my next Liberty Shoot, well it would be rude not, it has become a sort of tradition!

9th September 2017

Wow this blog has a lot going on hahahaa! I guess I haven’t really thought about it too much, I am not worried about my weight nor how I look. I have been thinking about going to this shoot natural, so not waxing my “beard” and just being me as I am……I’m not saying its going to happen BUT I am thinking about it…..

25th September 2017

Well the planning and prepping for the shoot is going to shit. I’m not happy with my outfit choices, I feel like a fat lump. Not to mention I have shaving rash on my legs, my skin on my neck is all spotty from where I waxed (yep no beard!) and I still have no bloody clue what to do with my hair tomorrow morning.

Aside from all of that, I cannot flippin’ wait! Nervous? Yes, I always am – but I know this time tomorrow I will be BUZZIN’ and nothing in this world can beat that feeling.

26th September 2017

SHOOT DAY! I had such a FANTASTIC day, it was just such a boost of my confidence and I loved every second. But today wasn’t just about me, it was about the 6 other women too that were on the shoot with me. It was so refreshing to hear and see other women building each other up! Check out my previous post here for more about this!

Aaaah What A Sexy Dressing Gown!

3rd October 2017

At lunch I get a message from the D&D Team letting me know my photo’s will be ready by next Tuesday to view! I am in shock at how quick the turnaround is – there have been no previews on their page yet so I have no idea what to expect. Nerves start to kick in. I reply arranging date/time but concerned that it wont be Holly showing me my photos. I am not sure how I feel about someone else showing my my shots, she has always shown me my photos and I think I would feel uncomfortable if it was anyone else. BUT it is Holly and instantly I feel fine again! Matt has said he will come with me this time if he is back from work in time, I secretly hope he wont be but am looking forward to his reaction if he is!

8th October 2017

Only a couple of days until I get my pictures! Although, since the shoot I am already feeling renewed, a change has come over me, I want to stop being so planned, so organised. I want to say YES more, I want to just follow the journey that life is set out. I just want to enjoy being here more. I have started to think about things that I am fearful of and how I can overcome that. This blog started because I had a bucket list and wanted to do things outside of my comfort zone, its about time that I stopped pussy footing around and did it! Honestly, I am not sure if its the shoots or the girls but something gets stirred up inside your soul each time and you just feel invincible to the world.

10th October 2017

Collection day! Last night I posted in the liberty shoot group to see if anyone has had their photos back…..I am THE FIRST! How bloody special do I feel!

11th October 2017

Oh. My. Life. I am just walking on sunshine. Last night for the 3rd time I couldn’t believe the images I were being shown was me! Lets set the scene….we were running what I thought was late, couldn’t remember how to get to Holly’s house so I was having a bit of a meltdown. BUT we go there – I was early (phew), couldn’t find a space to park the car, so I jumped out the car and Matt hunted for a space. Holly greeted me with a massive smile as always and we started to look through them straight away – I was just shocked with how confident I looked and just how content I came across. Honestly, I can remember the day and how great the girls say I look BUT you just never believe it. But I am learning to! Sooo here is a couple of photo’s that I am able to share as some are just far toooo nakie!!!

If you are looking for a safe place to be around women and you need some strength, want to release or just want a boost to your confidence. Book onto a liberty shoot, it is a safe environment where women are encouraged to share and feel comfortable and just be them. I have learnt so much about myself over the past 3 years and I firmly believe that this is down to Jen & Holly and the awesome company they have built!

Love

Emma xxx