Loving Your ‘Before’ Pictures

If it isn’t already obvious, then let it be known now that I LOVE having my picture taken.  I ADORE having my hair and make up done and dressing up all fancy shmancy is my favourite past time. But…over the past year my confidence in my appearance has taken a sizeable knock.

dressing up all fancy shmancy is my favourite past time

In what seems like a past life, my picture was in magazines, my face popped in on adverts and TV dramas and if I saw a camera, I’d instantly strike a pose.   But recently I’d be more like hide behind or straight up run away from a camera lenses.

I put on weight to the point that I was heavier on New Year’s Eve 2018 than I was when I was pregnant.  I’d gone past healthy, happy curves and become uncomfortable.  None of my clothes fit and I’d stopped feeling fit enough to run around and be silly with my little one.
I stopped caring about my hair and had even adopted a 90s scrunchie to scrape it back and the only make up I wore was a smear of concealer to hide the worst of any break outs.
I’m all for natural beauty and I absolutely believe in wearing whatever the hell you like, but I wasn’t presenting myself this way by choice – I’d given up on myself.  I’d shoved myself to the bottom of the to-do list, hidden self care in the junk drawer and told myself I was ok with that.  But I wasn’t.

As December became January I contemplated resolutions and decided that mine would be to get a handle on self care.  The lack of it was definitely impacting on my mental health.  O knew that a simple swipe of red lipstick was enough to boost my mood tenfold, so why not try to be more consistent with it?   And so I began.  And to begin with, things went well.

I’d had a beautiful but ‘too small’ dress hung on my wardrobe for months.  It was meant to be an incentive, but it didn’t work – it just made me feel worse as I pulled on my worn out leggings.

I’d shoved myself to the bottom of my to-do list

So I put it away, along with all the other treasured clothes that I couldn’t squeeze in to and I spent some Christmas money on a pair of jeans that actually fit!
Normally I wouldn’t do this.  I’d tell myself that it was a waste of money to buy clothes when I was DEFINITELY going to lose weight.  But I realised that I DEFINITELY deserved to feel good now, at this size.
So often over the years I’ve put things off, convinced that I had to wait for perfection.  Wait until my body was thinner, my skin was smoother, my house was cleaner!
No more.
Happiness is in the journey and not just the destination.
I lost a few pounds very quickly, I stood taller and noticed a new burst of energy.  I felt sure that my new positive attitude, my new love for myself and my body, just the way they are, was the reason.

Then I got poorly.

The dreaded flu.

I was rough as a badgers bum.  Admittedly I’ve never seen a badger’s bum but I assume they’re quite rough and I was sat feeling sorry for myself when a dear friend called and asked me to model for them.

To my surprise/shock/horror I said yes.

This is how I looked when I agreed to a professional modelling job.

Of course I warned both the Terry (the photographer) and Bethany (the hair and make up artist) and neither were worried or deterred.  I guess that’s what happens when you know you’re awesome at your job!?

And they are.
Because they made me look like this..

and feel like this..

I was doing a job that day and yet they treated me with the care of a VIP guest and it was exactly what I needed ?

I love the images we created.
I’ve lost another half a stone since they were taken but that doesn’t change my feelings.  These pictures are part of my journey.  No miserable ‘before’ pictures for me – badly lit with slumped shoulders?  No thanks.  I deserve more than that, because despite the fact that I want to change them a little, I love these curves and I plan to continue to love them.

You deserve more too.  Wherever and whatever you want to be, you deserve to love yourself right now.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Love Rachel ❤️

Details of the special shoot experience created by Terry McNamara and The Vintage Beauty Parlour can be found here.

*This not a sponsored post, nor will I benefit from any bookings


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