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Embrace Your Body Project – Claire

When Claire first got in contact with us she said "I am 50 in April. I spent last year getting my husband through cancer, I need this." After a long time of caring for others Claire needed to do something for herself.

The Embrace Your Body Project is all about empowering women to love themselves and their bodies, as they are, right now.

It's about embracing our bodies, whatever flaws we may think we have, and accepting ourselves.

It's about showing that nobody is perfect, but that we are all beautiful in our imperfections.

And it's about sharing that experience with other women, to help them on their journey to body confidence.

Embrace Your Body Project – Annette

When Annette first got in contact with us she said "Having recovered from bowel cancer. I would love to have some photos taken." After having a lovely long chat with Anna on the phone she was still a little too nervous to jump in and get booked, so she went away for a couple of weeks to have a look at our website and Facebook page, before deciding we were right for her.

The Embrace Your Body Project is all about empowering women to love themselves and their bodies, as they are, right now.

It's about embracing our bodies, whatever flaws we may think we have, and accepting ourselves.

It's about showing that nobody is perfect, but that we are all beautiful in our imperfections.

And it's about sharing that experience with other women, to help them on their journey to body confidence.

Embrace Your Body Project – Ana

Unlike most of our clients, Ana had already started her journey to body confidence long before she got in contact with us. She has been working hard to love her body after years of struggling with dieting and having a huge disconnect with her body, and through that process also wrote her own book about it titled "Stretched". 

After learning to love herself, she decided helping others to do the same was her calling. Now she is a body confidence inspiring queen, who's been working hard promoting self-love and empowerment to as many people as she can. If you wanted to see what she's all about and get some inspiration from her amazing outlook on life, you can head to her Instagram page.

Where did it all start?

"So I've been on a whole journey with my body, as I think everyone has, but I think a lot of people don't realise where they are in that journey. So this year I wrote my book “Stretched” which is kind of when it all came out about how it really felt and how, really, the obsession to diet and change my body to look like the picture-perfect image that we all see on Instagram, that we aspire to be like, that kind of all... I came to realise how that actually affected my mental health. Things that I was ashamed of, that I'd done during that period of desperation to lose weight, weren't actually my fault. They were things that I did because I wasn't mentally fit & well to be thinking about things like that, especially after having a baby.

After I'd lost weight, you know, that's when you think that you'll be happy because you've lost the weight, I actually lost double what I intended to, and then I wasn't happy. I still found something to obsess over, my stomach that had been stretched from having twins, the skin was so loose that I was just mortified & disgusted by my reflection.

Everyone would look at me and say “Oh, wow, you've lost so much weight! You must feel amazing” and I just felt like an impostor on the inside. I just felt ugly and everyone thought I was this confident, beautiful person but I was thinking on the I inside “Well if they saw you without any clothes on...” and that actually prevented me from being in a relationship for a number of years. At that point I was single after splitting up with my three older ones dad and it stopped me being intimate with anyone. I would go on first dates and I would kind of push people away because I didn't want to get close to anyone.

I wouldn't buy jeans because if I couldn't fit into a 10 or a 12 I didn't think I was worthy or beautiful to wear a size 14 or whatever I was, the size I actually was, which I wouldn't even try on. I'd stick to the 'rules' of only wearing what flatters you because you can't wear colour, you can't wear patterns on your bottom because you don't want to draw attention to your 'problem area' and all that. It was all so damaging.”

What caused 'the switch'?

"Everyone asked me all the time “what was the switch?” And I don't really know. I just think it was a number of things. I started to realise... I started to read books that were from a different perspective. So I remember reading a book and it was like “It's wrong to have restrictions on food, it's bad for your mental health” And I remember thinking “Pfft, no It's not. It's alright to have a little restriction.” And I look back now and I realise how much in denial I was. They were talking about how living a healthy lifestyle is just another word for a diet and it's disordered eating and I was like “That's a no, no, no. That's not me!” And then I was realising how much I was actually... like when I did eventually find my partner and we got together, I would only ever eat sweet potatoes, not normal potatoes and he was like “Why? Why don't you eat normal potatoes?” “Oh because they're bad carbs.” Giving all this food this bad name and having this disordered eating with food and complicated relationship.

It was kind of like, a little bit like working on little bits, and little bits, and little bits, and then through my third pregnancy with my fourth child, he was born in 2018, and afterwards obviously you have all the changes of your body and everything. I'd gone through that before and I'd hated it, after I had my first child I was only 20, I did not have a clue what was gonna happen. I kept thinking "Why do I still look pregnant? Why do I still have all these stretch marks? Not even just on my tummy, on my boobs, on my arms, on my calves. I got cellulite in places I didn't know you could get it." Literally, all these changes and then after I'd had Spencer, I just remember one day I was just driving in a car and I was like “Do you know what? If I stay this shape and size for the rest of my life, what's the big deal? Like, genuinely, there's so much more to life than worrying about having a few stretch marks, and you know... being like a size 16.”

Negative past experiences

"When I was 18, I had a photo shoot, I was talking to Robin about this during the shoot and it wasn't necessarily my body back then, but I hated how the make-up artist had done my face and I hadn't been brave enough to actually say “Oh no, could you add this, could you add that?” And I just felt like I looked like a drug dealer. So, literally, for my 18th birthday present, I hated it. I literally felt so self-conscious.

And, do you know what? When you look back in your brain and you think about the images, I probably didn't even look that bad. I probably didn't look as bad as I was feeling.  

So I came here, obviously, with a different purpose to show how bodies are more naturally and not hide the 'problem areas' that people might think they have, just to show them that their body is beautiful, just as they are and it is a normality. What you see on your media screens is a minority of people. Coming here was a really great experience."

Even body confidence gurus get nervous

"I did feel nervous... not necessarily about getting in my underwear because I've done a few things this year where I've had to do that, but losing control. I think of not taking the pictures myself and trusting other people to do it.

I was worried I wouldn't like how I looked. I think, for me, it's not necessarily about my body it's more about my face. I think I'm still a bit self-conscious about what faces I'm pulling what angle and stuff. 

How does Ana feel about herself now?

"Amazing. I'm glad I trusted and I let go and didn't have control over it. Although I did make Robin take a few shots that maybe he wouldn't have, they look amazing. I look sexy!" 

Ana's message to anyone who's feeling apprehensive about coming along to us:
"I'd say you're not the only one. I think probably all women who think about it probably spend longer thinking about it than they do other things. But just take a breath and remember how short life is and what have you got to lose? Go for it and just trust, and just let go, and just go with it. "

The Embrace Your Body Project is all about empowering women to love themselves and their bodies, as they are, right now.

It's about embracing our bodies, whatever flaws we may think we have, and accepting ourselves.

It's about showing that nobody is perfect, but that we are all beautiful in our imperfections.

And it's about sharing that experience with other women, to help them on their journey to body confidence.

Embrace Your Body Project – Juliette

When Juliette first got in contact with us she said "I’m a nurse who’s feeling very non-glam, and because of my job I never get a chance to be glam! I'm a single mum who feels a bit jaded with life! I have followed your page for years, and have wanted to do it for so long, but have never had the courage to apply. I have always felt an experience like this would make me appreciate my body more. Having not long turned 40 I have spent most of my 20’s and 30’s loathing my body, but instead I would like to celebrate it for what it has achieved, and for being strong and healthy."

How were you feeling about your body before your session?

"Not particularly fond of it, I’ve never been particularly confident about my body. I felt a little bit overweight and out of shape."

From scrubs to glam

Working day to day as a nurse didn't help Juliette to feel confident in her appearance, or glamorous in any way, not to mention being a single mother consuming her time away from that not-so-glamorous job. Thankfully we managed to fit in plenty of pampering for her.

 "Oh, it was really good, it went really well, I felt really relaxed, I felt really comfortable. Everybody made me feel really comfortable. I felt very glamorous. I was made to be put at ease and it was really good."

Like many clients, Juliette knew how many women we have helped to look and feel amazing, she'd been watching the Facebook page for years, but she STILL had that little voice of doubt saying "yes, it's worked for all of those women, but it won't work for me because..."

Did the nerves set back in?

"Yes, a little bit, I didn't know what to expect. I've seen what you do with people on Facebook and stuff, so I was hoping that would look amazing like theirs, but yes I was nervous about how I was going to look and how my body was going to look, I think everybody feels the same really."

Only to be quickly extinguished

"I feel really good about it, it’s been a really positive experience. I've been made to feel more confident about myself, definitely. I feel more confident that I've come here on my own, and I've done this on my own, and I've gotten naked in front of people that I don't even know, who I've literally just has a ten-minute conversation with. It's all stuff that I would never have done normally, so I feel very positive. 

My friends just think it's a really kick-ass thing to do, they're like “oh my God, I would never do anything like that!” My sisters like “you rock! oh my God, I couldn't do anything like that.” So yeah, I feel really positive about that."

A few final words from Juliette for anyone considering taking part

"Just do it, and enjoy it, because it's definitely worth doing and you only live once I say. Life's for living and you should embrace yourself, and I think self-love is really important, and we don't do enough of it in the world. I think every woman should do it and every woman should feel beautiful about herself."

The Embrace Your Body Project is all about empowering women to love themselves and their bodies, as they are, right now.

It's about embracing our bodies, whatever flaws we may think we have, and accepting ourselves.

It's about showing that nobody is perfect, but that we are all beautiful in our imperfections.

And it's about sharing that experience with other women, to help them on their journey to body confidence.

Embrace Your Body Project – Paula

When Paula first got in contact with us she said "I need to fall back in love with me, and with my new found confidence begin the journey of loving life once again!" Which is exactly what we wanted to happen too.

The Embrace Your Body Project is all about empowering women to love themselves and their bodies, as they are, right now.

It's about embracing our bodies, whatever flaws we may think we have, and accepting ourselves.

It's about showing that nobody is perfect, but that we are all beautiful in our imperfections.

And it's about sharing that experience with other women, to help them on their journey to body confidence.