Category Archives: Why fit in when you were born to stand out

Acknowledging my emotions

Emotions:
a strong feeling deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others
instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge
I’ve always struggled to articulate my emotions and I’ve been working in therapy to address this and put words to all the emotions I feel. My therapist has encouraged me to say what I feel however I need to and often I find I use hand movements or metaphors or even sounds, rather than words. So this last week I’ve been referring to the emotions wheel below and putting words to the emotions I feel.
_ Emotions Wheel-page-001
The focus for me has been about changing my relationship with food and understanding the emotions I am feeling is a big part of this. Being able to put words to feelings is helping me make them less scary. I have found I have developed rules around what emotions I let be visible and when I feel something that breaks the rule I usually use food to distract from it. This is really unhealthy and I don’t want to behave like that any more. However it is not an overnight change and I have to give myself time to change my rules.
I am finding it hard, but worthwhile. I’ve started to sit with my emotions and listen to my thoughts, but rather than act I am watching as an observer. I have to focus as it goes against all my ingrained habit to do something to avoid feeling the emotion. I am also giving myself permission to not blame myself for things I feel, no matter the trigger. My therapist points out to me all the time I usually take a very balanced view of things, even if they make me angry or upset. So I am trying to free write at times of anger or sadness to get out what I feel. I find this hard as I live by the rule ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all’. I’ve been giving myself permission to write what I think about people or experiences without guilt or shame. It is only about acknowledging how I feel and helping ride the emotion wave until it subsides.
It’s an interesting time in my life. I am feeling excited and optimistic about lots of things and working through the things that are causing me pain. It’s weird, but I finally feel like I am being the real me most of the time (I still need to work on the rest of it) and it’s feels great!

Having a Makeup Lesson

This year I’ve been getting to know myself a bit better through clothes and makeup. This last weekend I went with my friend to Bath for makeup lesson she found on a popular voucher website.

So we headed to Bath early on Sunday and it was a beautiful warm sunny day. I wish I’d taken my big camera, but I didn’t want to be carrying around. I found an open coffee shop and enjoyed a smooth flat white while I waited for Holly to arrive. We then wandered up to the place where the lesson was being held and chatted about what we were expecting.

As it was being held in a function room of a bar I had mixed expectations. I was hoping to get some insight into what would work for my skin, but not expecting to much one on one interaction. Holly was hoping it wasn’t going to be a sales pitch. All are expectations were slightly off. There were 12 of us and one make up artist who talked us through what to. Although she set it up by saying we would have lots of time to practice, it ended up being mainly her talking through what she was doing on a volunteer. We did get to have a go at three looks – a 5 minute quick look, a daytime look, and an evening look – all of which built upon the last, rather than taking off and re-starting. I definitely learnt how to do the less is more and that was great, but it felt like there was not much access to individuality as the make up artist only had her supplies. I think we were expecting it to be held by a make up brand as it was marketed that way, rather than a freelance. It was great it wasn’t  sales pitch and she was able to recommend specific products from many brands rather than just one.

Overall I’m glad we only spent £29, rather than the £90 it was advertised as normally being. I was pleased with what I learnt and some of the products we used. I felt I learnt how to use some of the products in much more efficient ways. It was definitely a beginners course, which again didn’t really come across in the marketing and two people did leave half way through as I don’t think it was what they wanted. Holly and I had a couple few hours and a lovely day in Bath we wouldn’t have had otherwise. It’s also given us the bug and we are looking at other things we could do to learn more about our skin, colourings, and make up techniques.

As I said it was a beautiful sunny day and the colourful umbrellas in the main shopping street were amazing in the bright sunlight.

After the lesson we decided to go shopping and I did treat myself so a few new things. Kiko is my new go-to place for reasonable priced items that are in lots of shades and I got myself a new foundation and a green concealer. I splurged on the Naked 3 palette from Urban Decay. It’s somethings I’ve looked at several times, but never thought to buy, but I was impressed with the colours I used in the lesson and seeing how I would use all the colours was a big selling point. I also went for the MAC casual cheek and lip stain in Hi Jinks. Its supper bright, but being a cream it blends so well and gave me a glow I have never had form powder blushers. This was something I didn’t believe would work in the lesson, but I was proven wrong and sold on this!

We also bought some clothes and had a lovely lunch in the sunshine. Bath is one of my favourite shopping places. It’s so full of history that I find it beautiful and fascinating, and as close as I can get to Rome within a 45 minute drive. I would love to live there again. I spent six months living there back in 2008 and loved it, but it super expensive so now it’s just day trips. The only downside is the sheer amount of people that flock there on weekends. At 8am it was so quiet and peaceful, but by 2pm its crowded and difficult to move around. I still love it though and just pick my time to visit carefully.

Self Care Checklist

While researching I need to make sure I am taking care of myself in really nice ways. I want to switch my current ‘caring’ activities to ones that are really about caring and not about punishing myself.

These are things I know make me feel better and so I would like to do more often. I’m not setting myself targets, but will monitor how I get on and how it impacts on my mood and productivity. I think doing as many of these as I can each day will make a great difference and ensure I move away from destructive habits that no longer serve me in the way I need.

My self-care checklist:

  • Face cleanse and moisturise
  • Make a really good cup of coffee and sit and enjoy it
  • Get the sleep I need
  • Be active
  • Keep my home clean and tidy
  • Actively play with the cats
  • Prepare/cook my meals
  • Relax – meditate, journal, blog, read
  • Stay hydrated
  • Dress to make me feel good

This feels like a good start in changing how I feel about myself and my relationship with food. These are the things I let slide when I’m not feeling good about myself. It’s the simple things that make the difference I believe. I don’t want to complicate my life, but I want to change it.

Changing things up

I’ve been thinking a lot in recent weeks about what I want and how I can get there. I’ve grown over the last few years and it feels good and there are still things I want to change. I’ve come to see this isn’t a bad thing. Just because I want to make changes to how I live my life doesn’t mean I’m doing anything bad at the moment, rather it’s about growing and changing to fit that growth.

The first thing I want to work on is moving away from diets. I’ve tried WW so many times now and always struggled to make it work. I’ve read multiple books, listened to many podcasts, and visited multiple websites, but it’s all the same. I’m rebelling against being told what to do. In reality I want to change my relationship with food. I know I use food as a drug to cope with my emotions. I want to change that to make food nourishment to support my life.

This is a huge shift for me. It’s not going to be easy, but I am determined to find what is right for me and work hard to get to a different place. I want that place to evolve. It’s not about the destination, but about the journey. I want to create a love for food that lets me explore it and places while I travel. Guilt Free!

So I’ve got some new research to do on intuitive eating, self-care, mindfulness, and body positivity. I’ve got a few leads to follow from some of my favourite blogs. Maybe we all reach this place at some time on a weight loss journey. I want to lose weight still, but in a more natural way than restricting what I eat all the time. I have some work to do on binge eating behaviour so I’ll be looking back at all the CBT I did a couple of years ago. I’ve also been through my social media and removed things that no longer fit with where I am – another way of evolving.

It feels good getting this out. It’s hard to talk to people about as everyone is in different places. Most people automatically jump to suggesting diets and fitness, but that’s not what I need. I need to spend time on myself to understand myself and the changes I want to make. It’s funny how people react when you do say ‘oh no, I’m not going to follow a diet’, it ranges from incredulous to disbelief. I’m using it to make me laugh. No one know me better than myself!

I have a plan. I need to do research. I need to keep it simple. I need to trust and believe in myself.

I can do this.

Simplifying My Style

As well as cooking and makeup I’m looking at my style this year. I really want to be comfortable in the clothes I wear and have them show off my personality more than they currently do.

Clothes have always been a bit of a mystery to me. I’ve never been a girl who loves clothes shopping and tend to go out a couple of times a year and buy everything I need in one go. I’ve found I end up with a mis-mash of clothes that recently I’ve been struggling to make go together and that I feel comfortable in. I think weight has always been part of my non-love of clothes and continues to influence the way I dress myself. It’s definitely the area of my life I let other peoples opinions overrule my own thoughts and that is something I want to work on changing.

I’m going to start by looking at what I wear to work. I saw this article ages ago and it has been stuck in my mind ever since.

I loved this so much. It resonated with me at my core. I think this is because for so long I have tried to take an interest in fashion, but it is not natural to me. I would much prefer to keep it simple yet stylish. I want to spend my time thinking about and doing the things that are really important to me, rather than worry about the things that aren’t high on my priority list.

So I am creating my own work uniform – black trousers, black t-shirt top, and colourful cardigan with shoes or boots (depending on the weather. For me this keeps things simple, while letting my personality come out through my colourful cardigans.

Outside of work I am also looking to make sure my personality comes through. A lot of the time I am in jeans and tops or sports clothes for swimming. I am going to streamline things a bit more and sort out my cupboard and focus on great fitting jeans and tops. I’ll also make sure I have some smarter pieces or things can be dressed up for those occasional nights out. I will also have some really smart things for really special events like weddings!

I feel really confident about this switch in focus on this area of my life. I am going to go with my gut and wear what feels good to me and shut out the haters. I want to be body positive and this for me means I wear what I want to wear and support what others want to wear too. I don’t think I’ll ever be so confident I will show lots of skin, but I want to be as confident as I am happy to be in everything I wear. This will be a learning and growing process and will probably change as I move through my thirties and I’m looking forward to that, but for now I’m all about simplicity and feeling great!

There are two areas I do want to start cultivating fun pieces to add some quirkiness to my look. This is through fandom t-shirts and jewelry! I’ve already got my eye on these things!

These cat face earrings from Black Heart Creatives (just need to get my ears re-pierced)

 This necklace with my favourite quote inside (not pictured) from The Locket Library

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