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My Mumbod reality and the desire to get into my pre-baby jeans

By | Home Page, Personal Style, Style Tips

20 months ago I was overweight, powerless, lost and helpless. A very confused new mum definitely not fitting into her pre-pregnancy jeans, in fact hardly fitting into her maternity jeans. My head was full of depressive, limiting thoughts, my heart felt overwhelmed and my body felt heavy, lethargic and foreign.

My life had turned upside down, everything had changed; I’d moved cities, bought a new house, left my career to start my own business and had my daughter, Lola. I put on 3.5 stone whilst pregnant mainly down to my love of mint magnums and ice cream and following her birth I didn’t recognise my reflection in the mirror. The life changes I had made were meant to enrich me but instead I felt trapped; trapped in my body, my mind and my home. I was suffering with anxiety attacks, a constant ball of worry and full of desperation. I no longer knew who I was and I didn’t recognise my reflection.

At a time that I thought I would feel more connected to myself, my femininity, my future, I felt disgusted by myself. I was stiff, heavy and exploding with rashes and spots. My stretch marks on my stomach were enflamed and on fire, my thighs rubbed and my stomach was a soft empty sack that hung over my caesarean scar. I stupidly thought my body would just pop back but the obsession with those mint magnums and ice creams were clinging to me for dear life!

I was in shock and I was very frightened that I would be stuck in this strangers body forever. I felt low and at a loss and disconnected from myself and my daughter. I tried eating well but nothing seemed to change. I kept hearing that if you breast fed the weight would fall off. I struggled with breast feeding, managing 10 weeks and in fact my weight kept going up.

I went to the doctors for help, perhaps it was my thyroid to blame, perhaps there was another reason but I was told that ‘it sometimes happens when you get older, you know when you look at photos of old school friends and they are just bigger, it happens’.

I felt very despondent, He’d given up on me, I had nearly too. Feeling very low, very emotional but still with a touch of resilience I refused to back down.

So I started searching for HOPE to find the old me. I started with my mindset rather than my body. I couldn’t cope with feeling like a martyr and depressed, this wasn’t me. I started reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic.

This quote in the book stuck with me:

“And when you sense a faint potentiality for happiness after such dark times you must grab onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt – this is not selfishness, but obligation. You were given life; it is your duty to find something beautiful within life no matter how slight.”

I stopped watching the news, i couldn’t cope with that negativity. I then started looking after the inside, committing to eating one healthy meal a day and said no to cake where I could. I realised i was doing ALOT of self soothing with sugar and booze, more than I wanted to admit and so I cut back. Social media makes ‘wine a clock’ and ‘cake time” the mothers accepted nemesis but it wasn’t working for me.

Then I moved onto my body, I started getting my heart rate up, not just walking but introducing a 7min app workout in the house. I decided to show up for me. Small steps each day, which didn’t feel like much but it was all I could commit to with a new baby and I started to see some small progress.

My weight started to drop, very very slowly at first and then I found that my anxiety started to lessen, my hormones start to balance again, I started to feel a little lighter about the future. Positivity was creeping back in.

So where am I now?

Lola is about to turn 2. The benchmark of trying to get to my pre-baby weight and back into those pre-pregnancy jeans has happened in fact I am now stronger & healthier in mind and body than I was pre-Lola. I’ve lost 46lbs in total and I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been. The biggest change? I’ve learnt how to be consistent for the first time in my life, I am committed to me. I love doing Crossfit, although only go twice a week as that’s all I can commit to but that consistency makes a difference. Better than 4 times one week, none the next (the old me!). Creating these positive new habits have helped to built my new normal, to be a strong role-model for Lola but perhaps most importantly to be a strong role model for myself. This experience as hard as it was has created a more resilient me.

I’ve come to realise that its not about getting back to the old you but in fact its about creating the new you. The new improved, upgraded version. Life is about experiences, good and bad and how you bounce back from them. Motherhood is not easy but my goodness it has made me.

My name is Loulou Storey and I’m a style and confidence coach. I help women take control of their lives by feeling confident with their style and help them rewrite their own narratives and I have recently rewritten my own. I invite you to do the same.

Check out the original post here at The Huffington Post

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Six ways to fall in love with yourself and your style

By | Home Page, Latest Articles

Paris Fashion Week Street Style | Spring 2017 Day 2 Plus – The Impression

 

Whether you are with your dream partner or not is irrelevant. It is time to start dating yourself and fall in love with how you dress.

Here are six quick tips to make you get all gooey eyed over yourself and how you look.

1. Give yourself a compliment. I’m sure you are probably your best critic, so its about time you became your best cheerleader! However its not so easy to start switch that on so try starting your day with a compliment to yourself as you are getting dressed. Be aware of the inner critic and acknowledge them by saying the opposite. So if you are feeling tired and lacklustre then perhaps you need a boost of ‘your vibrant and full of energy’. Say it out loud twice and that gentle nudge in the right direction will give you the boost you need

2. Luxuriate in the most decadent fabrics. Bring a little night time glamour into everyday with a touch of silk, lace or velvet to make everyday feel romantic and feels extra special against your skin

3. Go on, Impress yourself The biggest secret I can share with you is to start dressing to impress yourself. Whether your working or staying at home or heading out to a large networking lunch its important you let yourself know that you feeling your best (whatever that means to you) is all that is accepted.

4. Buy yourself a special gift. Something you’ve been dreaming over, something extra special that makes you go ‘oooh yea’. It can be functional but it must give you that valentines day loved up feeling.

5. Find your love. Get inspired, recreate your favourite looks from the best dressed muses in town and then take yourself on an adventure down a new style avenue. My current favourite muse is Caroline Issa of Tank magazine

Most importantly
6. Date Night. Once you are dressed, go out and have yourself some fun loving times and enjoy the magic of life!

Check out my Pinterest Boards for inspiration

What’s in fashion now?

By | Home Page, Latest Articles
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*Post originally published October 2016
Fashion week has been and gone and it is time to announce what is on trend, in the spotlight and has been sartorially successful over the last few weeks. This is a great opportunity for you to get inspired, and bring the fun into your style.
Do this with caution though, trends can be fickle. Your style is such a personal expression and exploration of you so do make sure that the trends you choose speak to you. It really is a great way to feel current, push yourself out of your comfort zone and an opportunity to try something that you will make your day feel a little special.
This Autumn, is is time to:
GET FUNCTIONAL WITH FASHION
If you have never been into fashion, now might be the time to make an introduction as fashion is having its moment in the casual and rather practical spotlight. Think sensible footwear like loafers, mules and trainers, see the ones below from COS. Comfort items like sweaters, tracksuit bottoms and grown up classics like trench coats, shirts and high waisted trousers. The skinny, body con shapes have lost their appeal and looser silhouettes have prominence. This gives you a great opporutnityt o get the most from your wardrobe. Dress up your trainers with tailored trousers and dress down your leather skirt with a tracksuit top.
Great for you if: You live a practical life but you want to still be fashionable

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ELLE.CO.UK

Functional Fashion

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COS STORES

Fun and Functional

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WAREHOUSE

Pop a sweater on

BEJEWEL YOURSELF WITH BOLD AND BRASSY EARRINGS
To counter the rather sensible clothing that is around bold and overstated earrings are very prominent. Designer J.W.Anderson had some great earrings on show at London Fashion Week, try these ones from Zara as a high street alternative or from Hackney designer Wolf and Moon. This extravagance is a great way to pick up on a trend without spending a fortune. This could also be a great opportunity to find some vintage pieces that are lying unloved and unused. Get your glitz on but keep everything else simple and functional.
Great for you if: You want to do fashion on a budget.

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JW ANDERSON

Glitzy earrings

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WOLF AND MOON EARRINGS

1920’s glamour

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ZARA.COM

bold and glitzy earrings

GO WIDE
The reappearance of the cullote last year has proved very popular and they are here to stay but they are going full length or at least ankle skimming for winter. There are a wide range of styles available from just below the knee to mid calf and we are now seeing a lot of very cool ankle skimming styles with great high waists. (see below pair from COS). I would really encourage you to try this new silohuette. So flattering, fun and comfy! A little touch of tailoring will help you to upgrade your style for this season.
Great for you if: You want to feel dressy but not prim.

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ELLE.CO.UK

Cullote Street Style

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ELLE.CO.UK

Wide and wonderful

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COS

High and Wide

GET BLOUSY WITH A SHIRTY
The classic shirt has been around for decades and if you have lots in your wardrobe then you are in luck. From the most classic of shapes in various lengths of crop, long or tailored to the latest styles with appliques, frills and ruffles the wardrobe staple is continuing it’s reign as a must-have in everyone’s wardrobe. Take a look in H&M who are doing some great upgraded staples as well as the newly refurbed Warehouse.
This is for you if: You want to add a little touch of feminity to your style.

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ELLE.CO.UK

Blousy shirt style

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H&M

Frill-tastic

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WAREHOUSE

A new take on the classic shirt

LIVE ON THE EDGE
Denim is having an interesting time at the moment, rough edges, fringing, two-tone and stepped cuffs (see Monki and ASOS ones below) are proving very popular. The fit of the jean stays quite classic with a straight leg, sometimes tapered into the ankle, the waist a good mid to high-rise but its the bottom hem and edging that takes the focus. Have fun at home and update your old jeans.
This is for you if: You live in denim and you need to refresh your style for this season.

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STREET STYLE

Frayed edges

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WWW.MONKI.COM

two-tone denim

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ASOS

A step and a fringed hem

So have fun this Autumn. Try something new and the most important thing is only buy what you LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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