By Catherine Strawbridge, published in Cambridge News, April 20th 2017 edition
How can I feel good in the clothes I wear if I don’t feel good about what’s underneath them? A question I’m often asked by people. Styling for me isn’t just about clothes, it’s about how you present your whole self to the world. I often find myself working with people who are at a low point in their lives. Others are stuck in a rut. They all have one thing in common; after losing their way, they want to feel good, about themselves and where they are in their lives. I love working with my clients and seeing them gain confidence and rediscover their motivation to get back to their happy place. But I know not everyone sees a stylist so I thought, over my next few columns, I would address some of the issues that regularly arise.
The first – Body Confidence. How can you get it?
Experience tells me that no matter what end of the size scale, people often have the same gripes – I don’t like my boobs, bum, stomach, legs etc. I want to lose weight.
I’ll be honest, there’s no magic trick. However, I’ve found if you come at something from a different angle you might just get different results.
One of the most common weight issues I come across is wanting to lose that last half a stone. Having lost some weight recently, I found myself about to enter this very battlefield at the beginning of the year. My weight had crept up over the last few years and it had been getting me down. I knew it wouldn’t be an overnight fix but I made the decision to watch what I ate and slowly but surely a year later I was within my “target weight”. But I still didn’t feel confident. Nothing that extra half a stone couldn’t fix, right?
This is when it struck me – I couldn’t actually remember being that last half a stone lighter. I’m pretty sure it had happened at some point in my life but it was now so long ago that I think it was a different me. A teenage or early 20s me perhaps? That’s not who I am anymore. My mind, relationships, career, style, home – everything – had changed. Why hadn’t my expectations on my body changed too? When everything else is so different, why do I expect my body to be the same?
So rather than fall into the trap, I sat and thought about what I wanted from my body. What would it take for me to feel confident? The answer – I wanted it to be strong. Strong enough to support me every day. No matter what I face. Weight isn’t my concern. 2017 for me is about being strong not skinny.
Everyone’s needs are going to be different. My doing weights at the gym is another person’s running to get fit and healthy. Others will want to eat clean to detox from the inside out.
The key to body confidence is deciding what you want from your body, not what size or weight you want it to be. Getting to the bottom of that question, and then working towards it, will give you a head start to looking and feeling great about yourself whether or not you’re dressed. As I tell my clients, at that stage you’ll realise clothes are simply a tool to enhance the already attractive and confident person underneath.
What will it take to make you feel body confident? What do you want from your body? Share your thoughts and suggestions on my Facebook page or comment below.
This months #pickoftherails