Relax on a spa day 

It was my birthday recently and one of my pressies from the hubster was to book us on a spa day at Centre Parcs, Sherwood Forest. He had never been on one before so wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It got me thinking back to the first time I experienced a spa day some 20 years ago. My upline manager from Virgin Vie Cosmetics bought me a day at Eden Hall, near Newark in Nottinghamshire. It had been an incentive prize, so me and a few other team members booked in for a luxury day of relaxing. 

I felt self conscious at the spa 

I was dreading it. At that time, I was in an incredibly negative relationship with my body image. I hated the way I looked from the neck down, I felt very low. I had gained five stone during my pregnancy with my gorgeous baby and my body had just not pinged back to the pre pregnancy weight. I struggled to look at myself in the mirror unless I was fully clothed. The thought of spending the entire day in a swimming costume with other people who were only half the size of me filled me with dread. Plus, my ‘shark bite’ scarring on my left hip from all the surgeries I’d endured over the years being on show. Not a pretty sight. 
I had concerns about the white robe not being big enough and being the only one who couldn’t fasten the belt. I was so self-conscious and worried about this that I decide to take a black velour lounge suit to wear instead. This, of course, made me stick out like a sore thumb but in my mind was the lesser of two evils. At least I wouldn’t feel humiliated by the bathrobe not meeting up in the middle. Sid my self-image demon was a very prominent feature in my life at that time. 

Accepting my size 

Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy the experience as much as I could’ve done. It didn’t actually feel like the luxurious, relaxing treat it was intended to be and I wasn’t in a rush to repeat it for quite some time. 
How things have changed! These days I have a much better relationship with myself and body image. 
I am not saying I love the spare tyres but I’m much more accepting of my size. Rather than beating myself up and trying to blend into the background these days Fifi the f*** it fairy is better at drowning out Sid’s negative voice. This time I didn’t take a black velour tracksuit. My robe didn’t meet up at the front around my belly and my boobs. I’d rather it had done but hey ho, I certainly wasn’t going to let it spoil my birthday treat day. 

Insecure body image 

And then, there are the communal changing rooms, at one time I’d have been mortified at baring my body. I can’t say I was striding around with everything hanging out, but neither was I overly concerned about flashing my boobs or backside to the other women in the room. I suspect they were all more concerned about their own insecurities than looking at me to be honest. 
It would’ve been better if the towels were a bit bigger though – I like a nice big bath sheet for wrapping myself up in at home. And of course, the worst bit of the day – trying to dress a damp body in jeggings! Remind me next time to take loose fitting clothes that don’t stick. 
We had an amazing day. It was great to share the experience with my best friend and he really enjoyed it too. We spent a while exploring the different steam and sauna experiences before chilling on a waterbed with a book before lunch. We started with a celebratory prosecco then Paul had lasagne and salad and I had a platter containing lots of picky bits - stuffed vine leaves, hummus, olives, feta, sun dried tomatoes, focaccia bread and olive oil. We finished off with a scrummy cream tea. (Jam first.) 

Confidence with colour & clothes 

In the afternoon we’d booked onto a guided meditation in the sleep room, spent more time lounging in the relaxing log cabins before a dip in the hot tub in the rain, more sauna and steam finishing off with a plunge in the outdoor pool. 
It truly was the most relaxing of days and as we left the spa all squeaky clean and totally chilled, we decided we’ll do it again before too long. 
Back to Sid, he still pipes up every now and again but I’m much better at putting him back in his cage these days because I have developed my own way of dealing with him. I learned how to make the most of myself and regained my confidence with colour and clothes. I have gone on to make this my business and created the Project FAB! framework to help other women feel good in their clothes. 

Your happiness is important 

If you’ve ever felt uncomfortable or self-conscious in your clothes or disliked your body for whatever reason, then maybe working through my 4-step framework could be just the thing you need. 
Project FAB! is about empowering you to invest time and energy into understanding yourself. It is about no longer putting yourself and your needs at the bottom of the pile but acknowledging that your happiness is important, and it impacts every aspect of your life. 
It is about hearing when you say, ‘That will do’ and shouting back ‘No it won’t!’ 
Tackling your wardrobe and changing the relationship you have with clothes is a form of self-care and whilst it took me several years and some formal qualifications, I want to provide you with a shortcut to the joy of having confidence in your own personal style and image. 
We all must wear clothes daily, so why not have them working with you rather than against you? 

Project FAB! the book 

My new book (which is out very soon) could be a low-cost way for you to dip your toe in the water. It’s available to pre-order now, anyone who orders this way will receive a signed copy through the post as soon as I’ve had the delivery. 
Alternatively, if you can get to Nottingham and are free on Thursday 4th November 6.30pm onwards you could come to my launch party and get a signed copy there. It will also be on sale via Amazon and I’m going to be looking for independent book/clothes shops to sell from too – if you know of anyone pls let me know. 
If you’d like a taster of the book for free you can get snippets straight to your inbox by joining my early bird preview list here
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