Wednesday, 16 August 2017

#BodyPositivity: Style Your Self Happy

Meet Jane

Stylist who encourages mums to find themselves again amongst the sleepless nights and dirty nappies.

Child negotiator (Jane has two under four!) and wife.

The easy bit:

I wouldn't say I was ever one of those teenage girls who cared too much about their body or weight – I’ve always been slim-ish, and I think it was easier back in the early noughties not to enter into the comparison culture we have now, as social media didn’t exist. I've always been into sport, and I suppose you could say I was more of a tomboy, even though I was always into my clothes, I didn’t wear any kind of makeup till I was 17!
At the age of 24 i married my husband. I remember feeling so happy in my dress on the day, like every bride does, it was a magnificent feeling. If only we could bottle that feeling and have a dose when we need it, because little did i know how all consuming having kids would be.

The hard bit:

I only really started to think about my body when I fell pregnant – you can’t escape the fact that your body is changing! I’ll be the first to admit I had a pretty easy time of it. I put on hardly any excess weight and was back in my jeans about a week after having both babies. I did however lose myself somewhere along the way after having my daughter, to all the demands that looking after a toddler and a newborn bring, which I found really hard. I’ll be brutally honest here – sometimes it felt like I was trapped in a nightmare I couldn’t escape from, and my sole purpose had now become to keep two small beings alive! I stopped posting my outfits on Instagram, deciding that I didn’t need to bother anymore as I was ‘just a mum’, and that was that.

When things started to get (marginally!) easier, I wanted to regain that little bit of me again that I loved expressing through clothes and fashion. I started making an effort and sharing my style online, and I wished I had done it sooner! Although I was still being a mum everyday, I also had that part of me that was just for me.

I felt so strongly that styling and what we wear can have such an impact on every part of our lives, that I began training as a stylist and personal shopper last year to set up my own business focusing on mums who perhaps felt that they had lost their individual style along the way.

Styling and body image:

The big reason behind starting my styling business - Highstreet Stylist - was to show women that wearing clothes that suit them, their shape, their personality and lifestyle, can benefit them in ways that are more than just physical. I really believe that your body positivity starts from the outside and works its way in. If you feel happy and confident then that's how you will go out and face the day. Owning and loving our style changes how you see yourself in the mirror in a positive way, and over time will change how you feel about yourself, which is an amazing thing.

 I still have my many hang-ups (who doesn’t!), I feel like the excess skin on my stomach is painfully obvious when I wear tight clothing, and I’ve always been really conscious of my broad shoulders. What I do now is try to find a way to turn those into positives – my tummy grew the best two things in my life, and I wouldn’t be as good a swimmer without my shoulders!

A few months ago I decided I wasn't going to weigh myself again - and it's been the best decision ever! I don't have that disappointment when I feel like I've been ultra good for a week but the scales tell me I'm the same, or even worse, put on a pound or two. I pretty much eat want I want, I love food and cooking, and it's definitely easier to eat healthy if you do it yourself from scratch. Most days I exercise - swimming, running, tennis, and trying to contain a two and four year old!

What's important to me now is feeling good, strong and able to run around with my small ones every day – and owning my style while I do it - and I hope that I can still do just that in 10 years time.

And cake, cake is always good ;)

Find Jane posting daily outfit inspiration on her glorious Instagram feed
Her Website and 
Connect with her on Facebook



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