Sometimes a girl will walks into the studio, and she touches your very soul....I know wholeheartedly that there will be many other ladies that will relate with Amy's story....
Much love to Amy xxxxxx
"I was going to start by saying, I’ve always had a problem with my weight, but then I thought that is not necessarily true. There have been 6 periods in my life when I have been happy with my weight.
The first I was too small to know anything about it, there have been 3 times when I have lost weight after an effort and been happy with the results, and twice when I was pregnant! Not much respite in 40 years.
And I suppose it’s not my weight really. I mean, I would be delighted with being the weight I was when I first thought I was fat.
It is that I’ve always had a body image problem. For as long as I can remember I was told I was big and clumsy, until in my teens it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The wonderful break from constantly berating myself when I was pregnant was remarkable. So what if I looked pregnant, I was!
But here I am, nearly 4 years later, 40, and still struggling with that image, still making myself miserable.
So I decided to take radical and somewhat brave action. I asked for a Red Shoe Photoshoot for my 40th Birthday from Mark. My first call to set up my appointment with Sarah was amazing, we were chatting for 50 minutes. She made me feel relaxed and excited about the day, I was raring to go.
But as time passed and the day got nearer, I got scared. Scared that I would look silly, trying to be something I’m not.
First was the shopping for it, buying things that I would be photographed in. Usually I love buying underwear but no one ever sees it. This was different. Buying things to make me look pretty is alien to me, I didn’t have confidence that anything would, so it's was hard to think what to buy. Helpfully I had a list from Sarah and my best friend came with me. That was the first great experience. My friend Joanne helped build my confidence and we had a great time!
Secondly was the day itself. You see, deep down, I did not believe amazing hair and make up and the right light could make me pretty, could capture something beautiful. I really did believe that despite my big eyes and good teeth, my size would ruin the pictures and that is all anyone will see, because that's all I see.
The hair and make up really was amazing. Mandy is such a beautiful soul, so lovely to talk to, and full of great stories. I do think I looked great, but then it came to getting my clothes off!
It’s funny really, I am now perfectly comfortable in that most unflattering outfit, running kit, tight running leggings showing every lump and bump, but this was different. I was terrified. But Sarah distracted me with posing and massive amounts of "stunning" "beautiful". I started to believe her, maybe she is seeing something I don't. We used the clothes, wraps, a blanket, and a fur coat to cover the bits no one wants on show, and hopefully to capture me.
And we talked. Red Shoe is more like a therapy session, and I think as a result the pictures capture the real person. That lady knows so much about me, about my deepest fears, and has pushed through them, asked me to challenge them and I think has sparked a change in me.
Then one day as I was working the email came from Sarah with the link to my images. I was in the middle of a call to a colleague and I think it is fair to say, there was a bit of a panic.
I had set so much hope in these pictures, that they would help me finally deal with some of these issues. I was so scared my fears would come true, and Sarah would not have found anything beautiful to capture.
I grabbed tissues to catch the tears (I’ve read all the other Red Shoe blogs!) and hit open…….
Well I cried as soon as I saw the first one, and harder with each subsequent image.
Sarah did it, she only bloody did it!! She found Me, the Me I hoped was there, the Me I secretly thought was there, the Me my wonderful husband, family and friends are always telling me is there. The Me that Sarah told me was there.
I am going to try really hard to hold onto this feeling, because it’s amazing!
Everyone should feel like this. Everyone should have a Red Shoe Day. I cannot recommend Sarah and Mandy highly enough. I would say they are miracle workers, and they would dispute this, but they are, the miracle was in making me feel different about myself, that I might just be beautiful!"