Here comes bikini season…

When the dawning realisation hits that you’re going away in 13 days and there is SO much you need to do.

Sort out your holiday insurance, make sure you have enough pairs of clean pants (an item to pack which I feel is not given enough thought) Ladies you know what it’s like, you’ve got to have those awful ‘flesh’ coloured very unsexy undies to go with anything white or light coloured, ones that have no VPL (that’s no ‘visible panty line’ for you men that have no clue!) to wear with those figure hugging bodycon numbers, some fairly attractive looking ones so your partner doesn’t think he’s gone away with a Granny, strapless bras, backless bras, all sorts of colours, shapes and styles, and even a secret pair of those ‘hold you all in’ pants or Spanx as they’re known. WOW… That’s lot of  organising and that’s just the undergarments. Then there is bikini’s, swimsuits, cover-ups/kaftans, flip flops, sunnies, beach bag, beach towel, trilby hat… OMG the list is ennnnndlesssssss.

What I am getting at is that the pre-holiday period is stressful, so I’d like to touch on the one thing that is what this whole ‘self-love’ journey has been about. THE DREADED BIKINI. Now, it is no secret (well one which I am now telling the world through posting this!) that I have been trying on all my new bikini’s at least twice a week since I bought them. It’s the first time I’ve worn this little since becoming a little curvier and I must be honest and say that at first, I totally freaked out. But then sense kicked in and I started to see the bits that I loved and suddenly it didn’t seem that bad.

Our minds are odd you know. I see a picture posted on Instagram by the stunning Iskra Lawrence or Ashley Graham in their bikinis and think “Wow, they look amazing” (which 99% of the time I say out loud by the way!). Yet they are much curvier than I, and I am not ashamed to admit that I envy those curves. That perfect pear shape with the tell-tale big hips and solid thighs. I love the way they fill their clothes, the way their waists look so tiny because of their sizeable chests and hips that give them the ‘hourglass’ figure. I see them and I wonder. “When I step out onto that first sun lounger or beach wearing just my bikini, will I feel how I feel when I see their bodies in theirs?” And THAT is the goal. I feel like if I can go away and feel as carefree and body confident as I hope I will, I will have cracked it…

To quote the beautiful Iskra “EveryBODY is a bikiniBODY, a summerBODY and all the rest of the bodies we are told we must have in order to enjoy ourselves on the beach. I won’t be working out more or eating less to prepare for my holiday – I’m good thanks!”. I LOVE THIS GIRL SO MUCH, YOU GO GIRL!!

Watch this space for my post holiday blog to see how I go on…

 

With love,

Jade Xx

Real Life Story: Last week I almost lost my focus…

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love H&M clothes. Well let me tell you, I AM FURIOUS!! My entire opinion of that shop has dramatically changed. Do you want to know why?? Because I went in looking for a pair of cream slacks (smart/tailored trousers for those not in the know). Now about 3 years ago or so I was a size 6 in their trousers and a 10 in their jeans… Now you tell me how on earth that makes sense?! Anyway, so now I know that in mostly all shops I am a 10 in ‘bottoms’, so that’s jeans, skirts, trousers etc… So. I go into H&M pick up 2 different styles of slacks, both in a 10 because I know the days of being a size 6 are long gone. And you know what I am totally cool with my new curves, women change once they hit 21 so although it came as a shock 6 months ago (trust me there was tears any everything!) I am now 6 months into my ‘self-love’ journey and loving every second of discovery and accepting myself. So back on track… The size 10 slacks WOULDN’T EVEN GO OVER MY KNEES!! (I’m typing in capitals because I’m so annoyed!) It was at this point that I welled up, there was no way I needed a size 12… Then I thought hell no, I am not going to let £20 worth of material determine how I feel about my body because then I’m letting them win. (by ‘them’ I mean society and the fashion designers that think allowing a girl to starve herself to fit into a size 4 or lower pair of trousers just for the sake of bloody fashion, is acceptable). I’m sorry but when did this become ok?

So I looked at myself square in the face in the mirror and (quietly so I didn’t sound like a crazy person) said outloud “No, do not let this get to you. Do not conform to society’s ideals of a woman’s body”. I picked up the trousers and without looking back threw them over the rail and walk out of the shop. Thanks H&M for ruining my long love affair for your clothes. Oh and whilst I’m on a roll, they also do not seem to stock underwear or swimwear for anyone with slightly larger ‘assets’… Stupid shop!

So here’s to the Marylyn Monroe, Iskra Lawrence and Ashley Graham’s of the world who choose voluptuous feminine curves over being a bag of bones with muscle. You curvy gals rock!! WE HEART YOU and all you stand for!

To quote Iskra “What makes you YOU, is that you are imperfectly perfect and no one else can ever be you!”.

With love,

A less angry than last week, Jade Xx

Little Things, Huge Impact.

This week has been of those up and down weeks.

The start of it wasn’t great, but they I thought ‘hey, it is Monday’. But Tuesday was just as bad. I found myself in a such a stormy, thundery mood. I couldn’t even bring myself to smile, not like me at all! And do you know what the worst part was?! I didn’t even know why!! I went through my head and wrote a list of all the good things; Loving boyfriend, great friends, holiday in a few months, things to look forward to, grateful for the journey that I am on.. and much more. But what I didn’t factor in was work. I was just having one of those weeks where everything was getting on top of me. I think in this day and age we are afraid to say we are struggling through fear of being told that that is what is expected of you and if you can’t man up and deal with it, it’s ‘Cya later!’… So yeah, that’s how my week started.

Wednesday I was like a whole new person, want to know why?? I WAS HAVING THE BEST GOOD HAIR DAY!! And this ladies & gentlemen is where this weeks post came from. It can be the smallest of things, your make up going on really well that morning, your totally unplanned outfit that you threw on last minute looks SUPER AMAZING, you find that Spring lipstick that you forgot you loved and it just makes you smile every time you catch yourself in the mirror. Girls, am I right, or am I right?! Isn’t it funny how something so small, can make such an enormous impact on your mood and how that day goes? Thank you little things, you rock!!

And the best part about these little things is that they usually pop up when you least expect them to, making them even more special. I think we just need to try to take the way we feel when these things happen and bottle them up for our bad days. Because lord knows we have them! I mean hormones, jeeeeeez just go away no one likes you! Hahhaaa

So let’s talk about IMPACT. The dictionary states that ‘impact’ is:

1.
the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another.
2.
a marked effect or influence.
I am SO all up for making an impact in my life; be it in my relationship, my friendships & family or at work. I want to leave a lasting stamp on the world, long after I’m gone. I’m still working on what it is that that impact is going to be, watch this space people.
I take huge inspiration from the likes of Iskra Lawrence and Ashley Graham when in comes to impact on ‘Body Image’.
My inspiration for work and the reason I want to own my own Wedding Styling business one day is all down to my auntie, Kelly Hearn who owns Kelly Hearn Photography. From a young age she was around to help my parents when I was born, being only 13 when I entered the world she was he extra pair of hands that even stayed overnight at our house! Since then she has grown up and through her passion for photography and incredible talent at it, her business was born. I am privileged to be assisting her on many weddings this year, helping me grow my knowledge, add to my CV & LinkedIn and spend some really valued quality time with her.
My boyfriend Tim is also one of the main reasons why I want to succeed so badly and have my business. His own passion, determination and focus inspires me to be the best I can be and pushes me to be more like him. Driven, motivated and sure as hell knowing what he wants. His influence over the past 4 and half years has changed me in more ways than I could’ve imagined. He’s been there through all of my college years, and countless jobs so far, I can’t wait to see what I can achieve in the next 10+ years with him by my side!!
So find what it is that you love, what excites and expires you and go for it, leave your stamp on the world and make that impact.
I hope this post inspires some of you…
With love,
Jade Xx

Real life story: The ‘dreaded’ gym

I am starting something new whereby every few blogs I will post a Real Life Story. These will be embarrassing, funny, sad, etc… just to show you how real my life is, that I am a real human being, going through some pretty awesome life changes!

There’s me thinking I hadn’t blogged for maybe a week or two… It’s been almost a month! Do you know what is crazy though is that I was starting to feel low again, and had no idea why. My blog actually helps me, it’s like a big comforting blanket or a cup of hot tea, a safety net. A safe place to get out my thoughts feelings and insecurities.

I was trying to work out how long I’ve been on this journey now, it’s been 4 months since I decided to stop giving such a damn about what others thought of me, how much make-up I wore and what I was wearing that day. I must admit I did slip the other day in the gym, I did half an hour of cardio as I was really in the mood and actually enjoyed getting hideously sweaty and puffed out. I got off the bike and went to walk over to the matts to do some sit ups and stuff and when I turned around and froze. The gym was so so packed and I panicked. I could see all the girls wearing barely anything, you know the ones that are barely wearing any clothing or make up and THEY don’t seem to be giving a damn about who stares at them. Then there’s the guys, you know the abnormally big ones that grunt and check themselves out constantly? So where was I? Oh yes, so I started to panic and thought ‘There is no way I can walk through the whole gym, in front of all these people, past the beauty queens and grunters to get to the mats and fit balls’… The old me would’ve just left the gym and let them win. Then I remembered that I swore to myself I wouldn’t care anymore, because 95% of the time these strangers are so obsessed with themselves they’re not actually looking at you at all, ironically they’re looking at themselves! I’ve become OBSESSED with Country music lately (blame my best friend & my Dad for that!) So I turned it up louder in my headphones and walked on over there and picked up the medicine ball and went back to the mats. Funnily enough I had one of the best gym sessions I’ve had in a long time, so the moral of the story is:

‘Don’t forget where you’re going, or how far you’ve come’.

 

With love,

Jade Xx

This Self-love, love.

something I try to practice everyday: I was stuck on what to post about this week, but then I found a quote I’d written down in my phone at the beginning of the month and I thought YES! That’s it!

 “Surround yourself with people that make you feel good about yourself”.

Today’s post is a short one (unusual for me I know!).

It was just a reminder to spend time with people that are going to lift you up, not bring you down. I have found out the hard way in life whereby I have spent far too much of my time with people who just want to drag you down, who when they’re having a bad day – even if you’ve had a fantastic one – they can’t stand for you to be happier than them. So they drag you down, so that you’re in just as bad a mood as they are in. Let me tell you over time this really grates on a person. They also love to point out the bits that you already know you dislike about your body or yourself. But don’t them get to you, stay strong and like me, remember the journey you’re on with yourself to being someone who looks in the mirror everyday and loves who they are. Your faults, flaws and jiggly bits. Turned in knees, narrow hips and far from perfect teeth.

After all, we only get one body in this lifetime, be lucky that you’ve been fortunate enough to have been granted one as beautiful, strong and perfectly imperfect. It will travel with you your whole life through, through your highs and lows, good days, bad days and the best days of your life.

So remember, Surround yourself with people that make you feel good about yourself

With love,

Jade Xx

 

Do it for YOU!

today-is-special

I was tempted into writing it by my subconscious as I thought about all the women who would be buying new lingerie sets (probably red!) for their husbands, boyfriends, partners ect… last week.  And I thought no girls, we don’t have to wait for an occasion such as Valentine’s Day or anniversaries to wear the nice stuff; Everyday is special. Make the effort to match up your undies (and socks!!), wear that new lipstick, those new heels you’ve been ‘saving’ for a girls night out. And do you know what…? Wear them for YOU. Not him. I know, I know they like to see you in something a little bit ‘saucy’, but trust me dressing for you is equally important for your satisfaction than it is for his. It makes us feel empowered, strong, sexy. Who doesn’t want a king sized dollop of that every day?? I know I do!!

Everyday is special. 

The best trick in the book is to wear that new underwear set (you know which one I mean) and then when you leave the house keep thinking about it and watch as a huge smile plasters its self on your face. You won’t be able to stop yourself grinning because no one else can see it, unless they have x-ray vision which is highly unlikely – my point is that you know exactly how fabulous you really look and why you’re smiling, but no one else does. It gives you such a great buzz!

This theme of ’empowerment’ is something I want to keep a key focus throughout my blog. I recently went to see Hidden Figures at the cinema. If you haven’t heard about it, it features 3 brilliant black actresses playing the parts of 3 woman who worked at NASA during the 1960’s. A budding Computer, an aspiring Engineer and a women who was regarded as one of the most brilliant minds at NASA. These women were discriminated against because they were not only black, but also because of their gender. Until seeing it I had no real idea of how badly black people were treated back then, and as shocked at what I saw. Not only this, but these woman were unbelievably intelligent and charismatic, and weren’t even given the time of day for jobs which they were above and beyond qualified for. The theme of equally, empowerment, women’s rights and discrimination are hugely prominent throughout, but as a woman I left the cinema feeling elated, like even I could work as Computer at NASA!

I may not have the most intelligent mind, but what I do have I will use to continue to chase my dreams to become a strong, independent businesswoman and hopefully own my own business as a Wedding Stylist. I will not let anyone tell me that I cant, or try to knock me down and I will do it for myself, after all who else are we really trying to impress but ourselves?

 

With love,

Jade Xx

A problem shared is a problem halved…

As I sit drinking a cup of tea (you know what I’m like!), listening to the La La Land soundtrack, at home in a big cosy jumper avoiding the cold, I am completely content. But that’s because I’m not doing anything where anyone can see me. This is by far the blog I am most dreading writing but I figured a problem shared, is a problem halved. Once the world knows my body insecurities… what have I got to be insecure about??

Society says we have to look a certain way and if you don’t then you’re not considered beautiful. Screw that, let’s break the cycle!

So here goes…. eeeek… I’m nervous!

From head to toe, there are flaws, imperfections and areas for improvement. Firstly I’m pretty sure one of my eyes are lower than the other? Or so my driving license shows! My teeth are a massive problem for me because I am naturally a smiley person and LOVE smiling but my teeth are nowhere near perfect. When I was 6 the dentist noticed my mouth was getting overcrowded with so told me if they didn’t sort themselves out in 2 years he would remove some. 2 years went by and no improvement, so as promised he yanked them out, also promising eventually they would straighten out… which shocker, they didn’t! They’re not awful, believe me they could be much worse but oh well. My Grandma told me (after a discussion where by when I told her I wanted to have my teeth done one day) she told me not to because she thought teeth showed character and unique-ness. So I have decided to learn to love them!

I have fairly broad shoulders for my petite frame from all the swimming I used to do. Although there are abs under there somewhere from all my years of gymnastics, my stomach is far from flat. I actually took to naming my little ‘pooch’ bit where woman tend to put on their weight, ‘Betty the belly’. Instead of letting it upset me I made it into something funny, come to think of it she’s gone away for a while but I’m sure she’ll be back soon… I love my milk chocolate digestives too much! Oh and I have rolls when I sit down… take that Victoria’s Secret models!

I have very narrow hips so instead of the usual womanly figure of a pear or hour-glass shape, I go straight down from under the arms to my knees. One thing which I hate! I would actually love to be a little bit more hippy, the bones I mean not like “Peace man” or all Bohemian!

MY KNEES.. argh! They turn in!! I’m sure they haven’t been like this forever, I don’t remember them being like this as a child? It drives me INSANE. So paired with the narrow hips and dodgy looking knees, my average-sized thighs touch and give the illusion that they are larger than they really are. This is, (you ask my boyfriend Tim & best friend Mary!) my worst body hang up. I have squatted, lunged and leg pressed for years trying to rectify them, and have come to the conclusion that they are stubborn and are staying this way! and you know what? I really couldn’t care less anymore, I’ve learnt to dress for my body, not wearing short dresses that will show them off or emphasise them.

I have those lovely things they call stretch marks. I have them in several places but I saw an article about stretch marks being beautiful yesterday and it totally hit home about that being true. Here is the article that tells you why.

And that’s it. BUT, a big BUT… there are things I love!

I love:

  • My hair. I am blessed with thick, long, strong hair.
  • My eyelashes that everyone is envious of
  • My tiny waist
  • (dare I say it!) My derriere
  • My eyes, big, round and hazel
  • A proportionate pair of bosoms (haha I have never referred to them as that before!)

So, as you can see there is more that I dislike than love but that’s the point of my whole journey of self-love discovery. I feel like through sharing my body hang ups there is nothing left to hide, so when I step out on the deck of the cruise I am going on in the summer I will feel amazing knowing that I have shared this with the world. Something I do a few times a week is look at myself in the mirror before getting dressed and point out all the things I love about my body, and it really works. Try it for yourself and you’ll start to love all the bits that jiggle, wobble and roll!

Like Iskra Lawrence says #everyBODYisbeautiful.

A song by Baz Luhrmann called ‘Wear Sunscreen‘ that I listen to when I’m having a down day says the line:

“Enjoy your body, use it every way you can
Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own”. I LOVE THIS! 

Thank you for reading. If you’re feeling brave leave me a comment and tell me your body hang ups, trust me a problem shared is a problem halved!

Jade Xx

Off the starting blocks…

img_1553  I saw this over the weekend and it fitted perfectly with my next blog post. Now you know who I am I can tell you a bit more about myself and why I am how I am.

I have always been sporty (‘have been’ being the important words here!) From the age of 5 I swam for my local club – Chichester Cormorants, doing 3 training sessions a week and at least 2 away competitions a month. I did this until I was 14, then the time came to drop this as I needed to concentrate on my education as GCSE’s were fast approaching. As well as all this swimming, I also did gymnastics for 4 hours on a Wednesday afternoon after school and 4 hours on a Saturday morning, where physical strength and perfection was at the top of the priority list. As I started year 10 and picked my GCSE subjects, Dance being one and this I LOVED! I loved how dynamic it was, mainly Contemporary but also a mixture of different styles and cultures too. I also did after school Hip-Hop and Street dancing (don’t laugh, it was fun!). Then there was athletics at school in PE, and not forgetting the 3 hours of horse-riding I did after gymnastics on Saturday’s. Do you see where I am going with this? I did A LOT for a long time.

Now, although I value my sporting upbringing which taught me key life skills such as teamwork, determination, goal setting, perseverance, motivation and getting rewarded for working hard… The discipline and strict criteria that came with sports such as gymnastics and my later training in swimming, has had more of a negative effect on me. This is where the body confidence thing started to happen, or more correctly not happen. There was always those girls who were taller (I’m only 5ft 1″), slimmer, looked better without make up on, who were stronger, faster, more flexible, better dancers, more elegant,were brilliant at everything… you can see where I am going with this. And after a while this starts to make a person feel rubbish, and I was at the age where my body was staring to change too so everything was a bit all over the place.

Not to mention food. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I have always loved my food. But growing up in a house hold where everyone was sporty – My mum is an ex-British Triathlete and fitness fanatic – it was difficult not to have a love/hate relationship with food. As much as I don’t want to admit it I have fortunately never let it get so bad that I end up with an eating disorder, but my relationship with the food I love has been a turbulent one. Only now that I am feeling more comfortable in my own skin can I see just how much it controlled me. I have always eaten healthily, I enjoy smoothies, I make fresh soup once a week if I can, I eat lots of wholefoods such as blueberries, lentils and spinach, and chicken and I are the best of friends. But like everyone else I am a sucker for a treat, cake and pastries being my weakness. They say all in moderation and that is how it has always been for me, but it’s when I look back and realise that I would allow myself a treat and then as soon as I’d finished it, all I could think of was how quickly I had to burn it off – The words “A moment on the lips, forever on the hips” screaming at me. And the calorie counting was draining. So that, in a nut shell was where I decided this had to stop.

So after my epiphany moment about 4 months ago this is how I live now. I still eat healthily, but I can now enjoy the treats I love without the guilt and the feeling of “I shouldn’t eat that”. My boyfriend has also been a saviour in all this, telling me again again how he loves me just the way I am and that I can eat whatever I want. After almost 4 and a half years Tim, I’ve finally listened (thank you for being so persistent!) Yes I still exercise, about 2 or 3 times a week. I HATE the gym, but I have a new-found love for spinning classes and boxercise, and now I have stripped all the pressure to look perfect out of my life, I am really enjoying exercising wait for it… FOR FUN! (who’d have thought!) Now what I am quite keen to remind you all is that this blog is about my personal struggles with my body and my self confidence through my own experiences. So I’m not saying that being a gym bunny and a health freak is wrong, not at all, I’m just saying it’s not for me.

As my role model, Iskra Lawrence says “As soon as you stop trying to be perfect and just be you, you start to really love yourself, fat rolls, love handles and all”. I’m not yet the woman I want to be, but I am slowly becoming her.

So, my life motto is “Life is too short to not eat what you fancy!”

With that said, I am off to make a cuppa and enjoy my favourite biscuits, McVities milk chocolate digestives…

Thanks for reading, lots of love

Jade Xx

 

 

Launching BeYOUtiful The Blog

jade-rideout-2-2

Let’s start as we mean to go on. No nonsense, no judgement and no offence taken. This is just a safe place for me to get all the ideas, thoughts and feelings I have swimming around in my brain, out!

Right, now that is out of the way I can introduce myself. Hi, I’m Jade, a self-confessed ‘older person’ trapped in a 21 year olds’ body. I love cups of tea, reading, sausage dogs (I don’t own one yet but by golly I will!), my family (that includes my best friend Marygrace, she’s like my big sister… you’ll hear a lot about her throughout my blog!) , my pretty awesome boyfriend Tim, you’ll get to know him too, and last but not least I love writing!

Living and growing up in the South of England has made me appreciate as I have gotten older how beautiful this country can be, in particular it’s scenery and greenery (did I mention I love poetry and rhyming too?) I have always been close to my family which has proven to be both rewarding and challenging at times, due to frequently dispensed advice and an influx of opinions. But all in all, through they’re flaws, faults and frustrations, I don’t know where I’d be without each and every one of them, in their own ways. Their unique contributions to my life growing up have shaped the person I am today.

I decided to start BeYOUtiful The Blog because I needed an outlet. It may never get read by anyone other than myself (and the family I force into viewing it!) but if that’s the case, I’m okay with that. If you’ve found yourself here because you too, like me are in a post-teen limbo over your own identity, body image and what the world thinks of you, this blog may lend a helping hand or at the very least show you that you are not alone.

So I guess thanks are in order. Thank you for reading my incredibly humble and honest blog about life as a 20 something year old who is just finding her feet in this crazy world!

With love,

Jade Xx