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Monday, 30 June 2014

All together now

My body is One-derful




I can't believe it's been 30 days already!

I've praised so many body parts (not in any great depth) and yet 30 days isn't enough to do them all. I've not 'done' my wrists, nose, jaw, back (not spine), muscles, blood, nerves and so much more.

It's been quite a journey, during which I've gown in body confidence and truly recognised how amazing my body is. I'm not going to lie, there are parts of my body it was a challenge to be positive about and these probably remain areas I'm never going to be glowing about. However, I am grateful. Grateful for the body I've got, and amazed at its almost effortless efficiency. Even whilst I sleep my body is keeping me alive - with no conscious effort on my part - each bit performing its own unique function. And let's face it - when one bit hurts it affects many, if not every other part.

If you have a lack of body confidence I really encourage you to set yourself a similar challenge. 

As I've said before, the ABCD of body confidence starts with A for acknowledging how amazing each part is (classically 'pretty' or not). The B is for being grateful and thereafter you can get to the C for celebrating it. Celebrate the bits you love and D-itch the focus on the bits you like less. 


Jessica Hische

If you do decide to take on the challenge you don't have to share it with anyone, though I'd be happy to support you through it. I'm not claiming to be an expert and I'll probably have the odd down day myself, but when that happens my mantra will be this...

I believe my body is wonderful, not just one bit, all of it - together and harmonious.

And yours is too. And your mates. And your colleagues. And on, and on.
Spread the word!

That's all folks (Hope you've enjoyed sharing my journey!)
Denise x


PS: Find out more about the project that's behind #30daysofbodypraise at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BodyConfidence and please support us however you can.




Sunday, 29 June 2014

Love it loving

At the centre of it all


There are several vital organs in the body including our brains (day 8) and yesterday's liver,  but it is the heart that lies at our core as emotional human beings - the middle chakra.

It is our heart where we will feel love, the love we should have for our bodies and all it's wonderful individual and interconnected parts. Surely it's deserve of some love itself!



My heart is the reason I'm here because when the body confidence calendar idea came up, my head said 'you'd be mad' and my body said 'you're not going to show us off are you?', but my heart said 'do this, it's not about sense or indeed about you and, it feels right'. And so here I am. Smart heart - it was right!

On a practical level - our heart feeds the rest of our body by pumping blood and oxygen around, but here's the amazing bit...

... If any of our vital organs fail, there's a chance we'll pass away, but it is said that you can die of a broken heart - even if it's otherwise healthy. I don't think that can be said of any other body part. When it swells (like it did when we hit our target yesterday) - it's a good thing, and... It's also the only body part we can give away that grows as a result of it being given.
Simply awesome.

Love your heart, because your heart does the loving.

Feeling a bit emosh! (Just one more blog to go)
Denise x

PS: Find out more about the project that's behind #30daysofbodypraise at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BodyConfidence and please support us however you can.





Saturday, 28 June 2014

Be a liver lover!

It's Saturday night...


...The night most commonly associated with having a drink or three.

This evening the Calendar Girls will be popping open the bubbly to celebrate reaching our crowdfunder target. (As will either Brazil or Chile football fans!)

These are NOT the calendar girls!

In praise and thanks to my liver, I will be having just the one (even though it might be a big one!)

If you're joining us in celebrating, go easy and spare a thought for your liver that works overtime when you have a good time. Don't have too much and make it poorly, instead: pace yourself, drink water too and if you do go a little crazy give your liver 2-3 days off after tonight...

... And tomorrow, your head and stomach might just thank you!

As for tonight, WE THANK YOU!
Denise x


PS: Find out more about the project that's behind #30daysofbodypraise at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BodyConfidence and please support us however you can.



Friday, 27 June 2014

The windows to your soul

They see, they say!


As I started this blog, I'll admit to thinking it would be about how beautiful eyes can be - but they deserve to be praised for so much more than how long our lashes are, how almond shaped and spaced our eyes are and which colour is best.

Yes, that's all lovely and I will soon be doing an advanced makeup session focussing on making the most of mine, but this series is more about praising and appreciating our bodies so the focus has changed from their relative beauty to their fabulous functionality!


You see, the primary function of our eyes is obviously to help us see (yes, I know what I did there!). Our eyes are how we view and judge the world around us - one of our five senses. Our eyes connect many of our other senses - before we eat, we judge if something looks appetising; before we smell a flower, we may look to see if a bee is present and so on.


Of course many people have to rely more heavily on their other senses, but those of us who are blessed with vision should really appreciate that (a) they protect us from others and the world around us ("I could see it coming, so I swerved/ducked/moved/ran etc"), and (b) they are a huge source of joy as they allow us to see the images that our mind translates.

But as well as seeing... Our eyes say so much - they shine when we're happy and shed tears when we're sad. They are so expressive that they can tell someone how we're feeling without us having to say a word.

And it is this latter function that has us believe our eyes are the windows to our soul.

How amazing is that!

(But if you really want to see beautiful eyes, here's a few to 'look' at: http://www.toptenz.net/top-ten-most-beautiful-eyes.php)

Have a fab weekend everyone!
Denise x

PS: Find out more about the project that's behind #30daysofbodypraise at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BodyConfidence and please support us however you can.






Thursday, 26 June 2014

Something to smile about

I'm talking teeth


Given the bad press they've had this week (thanks to a certain footballing incident by he who doesn't deserve to be named), I've decide to do a blog in praise of our (my) teeth.

Of course, like many other body parts, they can be used negatively. Sure, they can give us problems (toothache anyone?). But, in the main, I'm glad I've got mine and you should be glad for yours (real ones especially!). We probably take our teeth for granted and in some cases are wilfully negligent in taking care of them.

And yet, imagine trying to enjoy (and digest) a meal without them? Would you smile so widely without them? And did you know that good dental hygiene 'protects' us from issues such as heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes?

Teeth over Hair and Eyes
http://www.richmondinstitute.com/dental-research-2/the-influence-of-oral-health-on-first-impressions

So, be your own tooth fairy... Treat them well by brushing, flossing and avoiding sugary/acidic food; use them only for the purposes intended, eg eating (no, not opening packets and separating Lego) and never, ever, ever use them for biting someone!

PS -Sept 20th is love your teeth day in China. I might just join in from now on!


Keep smiling, Keep shining!
Denise x

PS: Find out more about the project that's behind #30daysofbodypraise at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BodyConfidence and please support us however you can.






Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Treat your Hair like its your Heart

Hair - our crowning glory...


...That’s what they call it, and quite literally I believe it to be true.  

Audrey Ball
Audrey of Esteem Wigs
The hair on our head becomes an integral part of our being - but you will never know how true this is until you no longer have it. It needs tending to and maintaining - how hair looks, how it makes us feel has an intravenous line directly hooked into who we are and how we feel about ourselves.

Styling, making it ready is a daily chore for some - right next to the ironing and putting the washing out, but we take a lot of time, pleasure and pride in showing it off to its best. For other’s it’s a natural asset, all beauty and no effort and for some it’s a short back and sides to keep it just how they want to it with minimum effort.

Young or old, male or female it seems mostly that we have love and hate relationship with our hair, but boy is it wonderful when you get it right. It’s beautiful to look at if cared for, it’s sensual and comforting to touch, it frames our faces and finishes the human body perfectly, and more practically, it keeps us warm. So given this, it does surprise me that we tend not to treat it like the “golden fleece”, providing only natures goodness from the inside out.  I mean it’s not like ears, attached by skin, the hair growth and attachment is through a small cell on the underneath of you scalp, and once damaged can cause weakness.

If you speak to any trichologist they can show you how poor diet, and health and chemicals can have a detrimental affect on your hair overtime. 

So like most things in life, everything should be balanced and in moderation, moderation, and moderation. Don’t junk it with gunk, eat well, exercise and don’t wash, iron, curl, treat it too often.

I know this more than most, as I was 18 years old when I lost all the hair on my scalp and body due to Alopecia Universalis a condition, which causes complete hair loss including brows and lashes. So with me, hair loss was a disease opposed to any type of mistreatment, although, I did let a friend perm some of it once making me look like a poodle, but the end results of any form of loss tends to be the same.

So don’t all run out and ditch your lovely and expensive hair lotions and potions, instead take it as some positive advice and messaging about keeping your hair and scalp strong because the effects of hair loss are fairly devastating emotionally and physically and it can take a long time to come to terms with it.

Our stores are bulging to the brim with hair products and we are mesmerised by the way we look – coiffed or au naturel – all I ask is that you treat your hair like your heart, keep it in tip top condition, get it checked now and then and look after it with care. Great hair is our crowning glory there is no denying it.

Guest blog, courtesy of Audrey Ball, Esteem Hair Loss Consultancy (June 2014) www.esteemwigs.co.uk 020 3397 6634

Thanks to Audrey for today's blog, tomorrow...
I'll be back!
Denise x

PS: Find out more about the project that's behind #30daysofbodypraise at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BodyConfidence and please support us however you can.



Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Wonderful canvases...

...Wonderful clue?


My husband recently brought me a lovely top and he got the colours just right. How did he know I'd like the combination? My nails that's how, as they'd recently been painted in the same colours!

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Same colours - different aims: 1) Add colour, 2) Compliment

Personally I love that our nails can act as mini-canvases. I often come across clients who allow themselves to be brave with their nail colour to compensate from a 'fear' of colourful clothes. How you do/would love to paint your nails (or not) may also a key to your hidden style personality - are you a natural nails girl, do you like pretty patterns or are you a classic french polish kind of girl?

More importantly, did you know our nails are also a key indicator of our overall health? Like all our body, our nails play an important role but in this instance, my praise is somewhat 'shallow' - Simply, my painted nails cheer me up and I know I'm not alone. My colleague said this a few days ago...

Happiness is ... Red fingernails and...

What's your favourite nail colour and why? I like orange as it cheers me up but looks better on my nails than near my face, and if I have to go plain - I'll always add some sparkle. No drama there then!

Thats all for now! 
Denise x


PS: Find out more about the project that's behind #30daysofbodypraise at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BodyConfidence and please support us however you can.






Monday, 23 June 2014

How much would you insure yours for?

Legs 11. Worth so much more.


Tina Turner's legs were insured for over $3million! But yours are worth a packet too...


Your legs are precious and priceless too x

Legs - mine and yours and his and hers next door... So wonderful, they even have their own bingo call!

Yet, talk to many people about them and you get a heap of judgements like they’re not long enough, thin enough, or shapely enough, and don’t get me started on the current media crap about thigh gaps. (Thighs may get their own blog in time!). Some men want to bulk theirs up, some woman want to thin theirs down – Geez people...

For most of us, our legs are how we get around – does it really matter what they look like. And think too about those, who through illness and accident, would love fully functional legs. What more do we need to think about when it comes to praising them.

Mine are certainly worthy - they've carried me through buzzing Barcelona for the last few days, in shorts on occasion too (in keeping with the locals).

If you’re able to... stand up and give your legs a round of applause!

Bye for now! 
Denise x


PS: Find out more about the project that's behind #30daysofbodypraise at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BodyConfidence and please support us however you can.


Sunday, 22 June 2014

Believe!

As an image consultant, woman of faith and someone passionate about body confidence, I personally find this passage very encouraging...

"I am... wonderfully made"

It's not that it makes me think I'm beautiful, but it does remind me that I am blessed. It has helped me on this blog journey, and I hope it helps you too.

Our bodies are amazing, don't let personal doubt or external influences tell you otherwise. Believe it, you are wonderful.

Wishing you a super Sunday!
Denise x

PS: Find out more about the project that's behind #30daysofbodypraise at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BodyConfidence and please support us however you can.




Saturday, 21 June 2014

Skin is in

Showing this summer! 


Whatever your size or shape, and whatever body parts work or don’t we’ve all got skin, and as it’s summer there tends to be alot more skin on show now!

I’ve been able to praise many of my body parts at will in writing this blog, but I have to be honest I’m not finding this one easy.

I have what I consider to be ‘troublesome’ skin. I’ve got dry skin generally, but I’m still prone to teenage spots on my adult face. Add to that scars from a bout of chicken pox as an adult, evidence of various cuts, bumps and bruises, and an increasing number of (hereditary) moles on my face and you can see my problems.

Oh p-lease I hear you say as you list your own skin problems, and you’d be right. But, lets face it: these aren’t really problems, are they?; and it could be so much worse – I could have serious skin conditions or have been seriously scarred.

And there it is. The solution. The same solution as in all these blogs... Be thankful for what you’ve got.

So, here is my guide to loving the skin you're in:
  1. Be thankful for your skin (the largest organ of your body)
  2. Moisturise and protect it from the sun (that tan just isn't worth your health)
  3. Show it off with pride (but maybe not all of it at the same time!)

What's your favourite skincare product?


That's all for today! 
Denise x


PS: Find out more about the project that's behind #30daysofbodypraise at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BodyConfidence and please support us however you can.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Get Lippy

Thick or thin, just grin!


Bodywise we often want the opposite of what we’ve got – tall girls often want to be shorter, shorter girls taller; those with curly hair would rather straight and vice versa. And the list goes on.

This also seems to be the case with lips – those with larger lips (often associated with black men and women) have sadly been known to wish for different and ladies and gents with thinner lips are now using fillers to pump their lips up.

When we get to the stages of recreating, rather than enhancing, our looks we are moving into sticky territory and one change can often lead to more so we end up not looking like ourselves at all.

However I’m all for a doing what gives us a confidence boost, and one of mine relates to my lips. Like Dita Von Teese, Christina Aguilera and Gwyneth Paltrow I believe in the power of red lipstick! When I’m wearing it, I can allow myself to be lazy with the rest of my make-up knowing my teeth look whiter and my smile brighter.

Personally, I like my lips. I hope you like yours too, but if not – as is the point of this series – I’d encourage you to, at least, appreciate them... after all, how else would we kiss!

And remember, we can all have beautiful lips because all we have to do: “For beautiful lips, speak words of kindness” - Sam Levinson.

Denise x



PS: Find out more about the project that's behind #30daysofbodypraise at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BodyConfidence and please support us however you can.



Thursday, 19 June 2014

Starring shoulders

They take the brunt!


I know I've done d├ęcolletage and yesterday it was arms, but given my heavy bag this morning I have no doubt that today's starring role in this body praise series should go to my strong and super shoulders!

Woman holding shoulder - frozen shoulder health advice - Diet & Wellbeing - allaboutyou.com

As well as this increasingly often occurrence, my shoulders are the area that usually suffer when I'm under stress too.
Put simply 'they take the brunt' and I have never before thanked them for doing so. So, here it is:

"Shoulders, I salute you!"

(Time to invest in a rucksack and get that massage I keep promising myself - What do you need to do?)

See you tomorrow!
Denise x


PS: Find out more about the project that's behind #30daysofbodypraise at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BodyConfidence and please support us however you can.


Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Opened or Closed?

I really like my arms. I know it's my hands that do the carrying and my fingers that do the typing but it's my arms that cuddle. I am so grateful that they can be wrapped around my little boy.

They say that we need at least eight hugs a day, but I don't often get or give the full quota. Sometimes, I've given myself a hug of sorts: knowing it's a bit silly makes me laugh at myself and it's far easier than trying to pat yourself on the back!

Gesturing with our arms enable us to show off confidence, pride, love and frustration; and there are not many body parts that can be positive open or closed!

We either open our arms to someone as a sign of welcome or close them around someone to show affection. Open they are a sign of celebration, can 'gee people up' and demonstrate confidence as we say 'look at me'; closed around ourselves our arms are a form of protection and around others a source of comfort and/ joy.

No wonder this lovely character is being introduced to us!




Thanks for reading!
Denise x


PS: Find out more about the project that's behind #30daysofbodypraise at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BodyConfidence and please support us however you can.




Tuesday, 17 June 2014

...The same all over :-(

Gok says so:


I can't help but comment on Gok Wan's response to a question in the Metro today where he's asked "Does your advice go down differently depending on where you're dispensing it?"

It really resonated with me because his response is that "body hatred and body dysmorphia is a global epidemic" - not a plus size issue, not a colour issue, not exclusive to one group or country, but a global issue. Wow!

I've had lots of discussions as a result of this blog, and something that struck me recently is how many people have said/implied this is 'easy' for me because I'm a size 8. And that's why Gok's response really hit me. We can ALL feel the pressure to look a certain way and I'm putting it out there that I'm no different, but...

Sure, I could focus on the things I prefer less about myself (and no, I'm not going to say 'dislike' or list them), but life is depressing enough. It's why I'm doing this series, and why I'm an image consultant. Our image does matter, but the one that matters most (or should) is the one we have of ourselves. It's easier said than done, and it's so for most people but it is possible to help yourself and help others and I believe that starts with focussing on the positive.

So today, my body I praise you as a whole - as a whole wonderful, clever, beautiful creation with interesting bits!

Gok's response in full:

"No. Body hatred and body dysmorphia is a global epidemic. The advice is the same all over the world - the fear of what we look like is with everyone, which is a really depressing thing to say. It's all about the idea of stripping someone down and helping them accept what they've got, then building them up again with clothes afterwards."



We can all do the building up bit...
Give someone a genuine and heartfelt compliment today so we can all begin to move away from this negative place. Starting with yourself! 


Have a super sunny day!
Denise x


PS: Find out more about the project that's behind #30daysofbodypraise at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BodyConfidence and please support us however you can.



PS - I don't know Gok and he has no idea who I am just in case you're wondering!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Cheeky!

Make 'em up like Marlene.


I have to say, I don't usually pay too much attention to my cheeks unless I've got my head in my hands and brush past them! However, according to wikipedia, 'high cheekbones are often regarded as a beauty trait' so I thought I'd check mine out for the sake of this blog challenge.

Problem was, I didn't know what 'high cheekbones' are and I still don't really! I also don't know why anyone would have implants to create them when make-up apparently does the trick.

Marlene Dietrich supposedly 'created' the look to go for as she is said to have had her molars removed (which she denies) and sucked lemons to perfect the look. Talk about drastic. 

Soon, I'll be learning how to contour better... I'll keep you posted as to whether it boosts my body confidence!

The main thing at the moment though is - I like my cheeks (but I like squeezing my sons more.)





See ya later!
Denise x


PS: Find out more about the project that's behind #30daysofbodypraise at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BodyConfidence and please support us however you can.



Sunday, 15 June 2014

On the journey so far...

...Here's what I've learnt:



I'm only halfway through this blog challenge and here's what it's already highlighted to me - Whilst I have a generally positive view of my body, I still find it all too easy to say/think/point out negatives and knock back compliments, rather than recognise and be thankful for the positives. But more interesting than, that I've begun to appreciate how much I take my body for granted.

For example, when I smile, I think about why I'm smiling rather than the connection from my brain and all the muscles that work to make it happen. When I walk I am focussed on the destination and not all the parts of our body that make that possible.

To be fair, it would be time consuming and draining to think about the wonder and complexity of our bodies all the time - But I'd encourage you to do it sometimes!

I genuinely believe that if we begin with gratitude (not just the awareness that comes when something’s not working), we become more positive about our bodies and move closer to self-love. It does however take a conscious effort and perhaps some practice, so please join me on the journey that is #30daysofbodypraise over the coming week(s).

Thanks for joining the journey so far,
Denise x


PS: Find out more about the project that's behind #30daysofbodypraise at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BodyConfidence and please support us however you can.



Saturday, 14 June 2014

Middle of the body, top of the list.

Tummy trouble!


Today marks two weeks since starting this blog challenge... Woo hoo!

However, the number one area on the "I don't like" list of body parts whenever I talk to women is their tummy area. In fact, I was recently talking to a cancer survivor about this blog and she asked me to let her know when I was doing tips on a hiding her midriff. That really struck me.

So why am I only getting to it now? Well, if the truth be told, I get it. I'd love a flat stomach and tend to be negative about this area too.
And it's not just us ladies, ask most men (who don't have one), and they'll tell you how much they'd love a 'six pack'.

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But as this blog is about celebrating what we've got rather than focussing on what we'd like, here's what I try to remember and focus on:

(a) I will not have a flat stomach unless I work really really hard at it, and I choose not to as I personally feel I have better things to do. And...


(b) I am a grown woman, with a child. My tummy carried that child for nine months. I am not meant to have a flat stomach! I am meant to celebrate that my tummy holds food and held my baby. And celebrate it I will! End. Of.

FYI: I did think about listing lots of tips on how to 'mask' a less than flat tummy. But you know what, I'll just do one... Remember you don't have to wear this summer's 'crop top' trend!

For more (serious!) top tips, why not book an image consultation. Alternatively, just learn to love your tum... Practice if you have to.

Have a  super Saturday!
Denise x


PS: Find out more about the project that's behind #30daysofbodypraise at: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/BodyConfidence and please support us however you can.




Note: I am not advocating an unhealthy body or lifestyle.