2 February 2016

Embracing You

I saw a quote by Hugh Laurie this week that really struck a chord with me.

That is what I think about confidence.  If I had a pound for every time during my life that I have thought "When I am older, I'll be confident then" or "Maybe I would be confident if I were to change x, y and z about myself" then I would probably be a billionaire today.

NO.  Strive for confidence now.  DO NOT WAIT.

You can your whole life thinking "If only I was thinner, taller; prettier, then I will be happy", or, alternatively, you can live your life and be happy.  But how?

How do you suddenly become confident?  Well the answer is, at least it was for me, is that confidence is not an instant thing.  It takes work.  It is a journey.  You are constantly learning.  You will have off days.  But they are just bumps in a very long road that has your happiness at the end of it.

The trick for me, was to start small.  What do you think will improve your confidence?  Do you love fashion?  Start with that.  Do you love makeup? Play around.  For me, in a wardrobe full of black, it started with colourful shoes.

Next, the wardrobe.  I knew I loved colour and pattern, but going there was a long journey.  But one day....

This next photo took so much confidence, you can see the trepidation on my face.  The fear.  But I did it.  Which led me to, a couple of months ago wandering round a spa in this swimsuit without a care in the world.

 One thing that really helped me with my confidence was to do a photo shoot.  This was arranged by the utterly fabulous Pamper & Curves.  Betty Pamper was running a vintage style photoshoot and I jumped at the chance.  You can see the pictures from the shoot in the link above, but this is a selfie I took between shots.  I felt beautiful.  It was a cornerstone of finding my confidence.

But it isn't just about makeup and clothes.  Who are you?  Who is that person that you have been hiding beneath your under confident self?  Who is the person that your friends have seen glimpses of and know is there, even if you don't.

Use your voice.  Think about what drives you, what you are passionate about and start speaking out.  Be present.  You are allowed to have an opinion if you want it.  

It took a long time for me to realise that the size of my body and the way I looked did not mean that I was not entitled to speak my mind.  I realised that being fat was only a very small part of who I was.  I began to embrace the outside, love it, but also, let the real me out.  The one talking to you now.

I have seen and spoken to people who are much older in years than I who never found their confidence.  They waited for that lightening bolt that never happened.  Because you have to make it happen.

They say that a journey starts with a single step.  I say that it starts with the second step.  The first step is the want.  The second step is the drive to move forward.

Where will your journey take you?  Take that first and second step.  It is worth it.  It is beyond worth it.

27 January 2016

3 Ways to Take a Nostalgic Trip

We love to look back at different parts of our lives; usually with rose-tinted glasses on

There’s something about human nature that means we all enjoy revisiting the past at different points in our lives. It’s why retro nights in clubs are so popular. Hearing music from the 1980s or ’90s takes us away from today and back to different stages of our youth. That generally gives us a feel-good vibe.
But there are many other ways that you can get a little nostalgia trip whenever you feel like having one. Here’s how.

Put your skates on!

Keeping your balance may be harder than you remember it being...

Although you may have said goodbye to your last pair of skates in the late ’80s, there are still lots of roller rinks in operation where you can always hire skates if you don’t think this is going to become a regular pastime. Grab a few of your mates and head to the nearest roller disco for the chance to re-live those wobbly moments when you pick up speed while you’re all in skating in conga-like fashion. 

As well as roller skating, ice skating is another way to reconnect with your youth, but beware! The falls will hurt you much more today than when you were younger. Kids just seem that much better at taking a tumble than most of us grown-ups!

Retrace your steps to family holiday haunts

Remember how much you used to love those annual family holidays at the seaside? Most of us have one special place that we went to with our families, year in, year out. Maybe it was Cornwall? Or perhaps if you lived near the sea your family would head somewhere like the Lake District for a change of scene. Childhood holidays have a magical quality to them, especially in retrospect, but at some point in your teenage years you probably started to see it in a different light and complained that it wasn’t exciting enough, especially if all your mates were headed off to Ibiza!

You probably stopped going on holiday with the family eventually. It’s natural, it’s a part of growing up, but after a few years without going to that special place you might miss it. But what’s to stop you booking your own holiday there now? You could book a cottage and revisit your old holiday hang-outs. Of course, this kind of nostalgia trip will take a bit of forward planning, but it’s always a possibility.

Play games that evoke memories from the past

No, it doesn’t mean you have to drag Monopoly down from the attic. If you never liked the game, you’re not going to start enjoying it now. One of the bigger arguments I have had with friends and family have been over the rules of Monopoly! Fortunately there are lots of new games that have been designed with nostalgia in mind and they can be played anywhere and everywhere.

Many contemporary online games borrow from the past for inspiration. Take a look at the kinds of games you can play at sites like BGO, 888casino and Mr Smith Casino. Many of the casino classics remind us of decades gone by with games such as roulette, blackjack and poker. And if you play bgo slots games, you’ll find that the games cover all kinds of different themes, from fairy tales to fantasy through to film and TV characters. 

For anyone who grew up in the ’80s, the slot Retro Super 80s will be right up their street. It’s a slots game that pays homage to the accessories of the 1980s on its reels – symbols include Atari joysticks, walkmans, hugely chunky mobile phones, fast cars and stiletto heels. But as you can play for as little as 1p per line, it’s not a game that requires an ’80s-like level of spending to play!

James Cameron’s film Alien is a classic - one that everyone has seen at least once during their teenage years. Now you can relive the movie through the brand new Net Entertainment slot whenever you want. With hi-tech graphics, you’ll feel the intergalactic atmosphere leaping out at you as you play. Following the film format, there are three levels – The Search, The Encounter and The Hive, with each new level offering the possibility of bigger wins. 

I have heard recently that Sigourney Weaver’s is in talks to do another Alien film!

It’s fun to indulge in a bit of nostalgia every now and then. And as life goes on new experiences will gradually have that sentimental value attached to them. There’s nothing wrong with having fond memories of days gone by and if you can find a way to bring them back to you, even for just a few moments, so much the better!