Tag: confidence

Fake it until you make it – a coping with Fibromyalgia

Fake it until you make it.  This is a mantra I find myself repeating over and over.  Especially when I wake up feeling less than fabulous.

There are mornings when I wake-up or rather get up and know that I have had little sleep, am so stiff and awkward that I walk like a puppet.  I stumble downstairs to get painkillers and put on the kettle so I can ease myself into the day. This is what it is like for me coping with fibromyalgia.

I am a very positive person so feeling less than great is hard for me.  I try to focus on the good things in life and not on fibromyalgia, arthritis and the other things that are my shadow.

It would be so easy to simply stay in my lovely fluffy gown and binge watch Netflix.  You really can 3 or 4 episodes without realising the passing of time.

Don’t wallow!

I am determined to not wallow (although there are days that I do).  My lipstick is my companion, it reminds me that you can fake it until you make it.

I recently read something that I really related to.  It was a list of things only people with chronic conditions would understand.  One of these was sitting on the bed and wondering if you really needed to shower and wash your hair.  Yes, this is a real thing.  It takes energy to do this and it causes more pain.

Fake it until you make it

I keep trying and so I wanted to share how I fake it until I make it.  How I push myself  to get going and ultimately how I normally enjoy myself once I do make it to an event.

Realistically each time I do this it does make me very tired the next day, but the joy of getting up and getting glamorous is worth it.

Off to a Fashion Show – Faking it all the way!

A little while ago I was invited to a fashion show at Bellissimo in Galway as an ITWBN blogger.  The show featured fashion from the fabulous Olivia Danielle boutique.  It was one of those days when I really had to push myself.

I got dressed in my new dress from The Curvy Gurl, accessorised and put on my make-up.  Just before leaving I got my photo taken for the obligatory Instagram/Facebook post.

Details of my outfit as requested:

Dress – The Curvy Gurl – Newry (I bought my dress at the Ireland’s got Curves show but they have a fab online shop)

Cardigan: Matalan – old as the hills but a firm favourite as it is my favourite colour

Shoes: Ballet flats from Debenhams

Necklace:  A gift from my sister!

I was also extremely overwhelmed and humbled by the response to a simple social media post. Hundreds of likes, loves and comments all which made me feel better about myself.  I am struggling with weight gain at the moment due to medications and other factors and being told I look good certainly spurs me on to try even harder.

This is how I know that Faking it until you make it works for me.  Looking the best I could already put me in a brighter mood and going out distracted me from pain and tiredness.

I know that there are many people out there, and possibly reading this that are in a position where faking it isn’t always possible.  So this is my call to ask people to understand when your friend with a chronic condition like fibromyalgia says sorry she can’t make it.  I bet she tried really hard. She is coping with Fibromyalgia.

Thank you so much for reading.

Kerry xx

 

Yes, you can still be fabulous even if you have UI

 

I am determined to be fabulous no matter what.  For many woman that no matter what includes Urinary Incontinence (UI).  It is something we feel ashamed about and don’t like to talk about. A little while ago I was approached by Always Discreet to write a blog post about it.  I thought about it quite a bit, because even for me this was very bold and brave.  The reason I decided to talk about it was because it is a real issue.  It affects so many woman and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it.  We should be able to access the solutions and still be fabulous.

This year I was approached by the fabulous glossy – Irish Country Magazine.  They wanted to feature me in an article about Urinary incontinence.  Again I hesitated.  I remembered the response I received after publishing the last blog post.  It was all very positive.  Woman were thanking me for speaking out.

The latest issue of Irish Country Magazine is on the shelves this week and my little case study is featured.  It is an honour to be included and ‘you know what’ I am proud to be talking about this important subject.

We do all deserve to be fabulous no matter what is going on behind the scenes.

Thank you so much for continuing to read my blog and to support me.

Kerry xx

Talking about the importance of Body Confidence

I am body confident.  But, it hasn’t always been that way.

The irony is that when I had no confidence I actually was within a normal weight range, was much younger, and probably on the surface had a lot going for me.  Inside though my confidence – or lack of it messed up so many relationships, fuelled an unhealthy relationship with food and contributed to depression that was my black dog for many years.

Now I am 52, overweight, a few grey hairs, a few wrinkles and I have body confidence.

What really changed to give me body confidence?

What really changed?  I have given this a lot of thought.

I have waded through photographs of myself taken over the last 50 odd years looking for answers.  The only answers I got were that over the years my body has got less perfect (when measured up against the norm).  If the answer wasn’t in physical appearance then where was it?

I started to think about the people in my life at various stages.  It was at this point that some answers started to appear through the mist.  Where were the people who loved me unconditionally?  Where were the people who believed in me wholeheartedly?

It is very important to make a statement here.  Each person’s belief system is unique and individual to them.  Belief is the subject of another blog post in the future, but what I really want to emphasise here is that it wasn’t about the people who supported or believed in me, it was about my perception that they did.

Even if someone loves you unconditionally and supports you – and you don’t feel it or believe it then it doesn’t count as far as body confidence goes.

You need to know that there are people around you that support you.  It needs to be obvious support.  Compliments, affirmations lots of positive feedback.

Of course this is only part of it.  A huge part of body confidence comes from within.  That within needs feeding though.  It needs feeding by others and by you.

The media  and other voices and how they affect and body confidence

The media is constantly showing us unrealistic beauty.  We know it is airbrushed, but regardless this feeds into negative self-confidence.

It is more than just the media though.  People who are around you can affect the way you feel about yourself, especially if your self-confidence is low.

I have to share a little story about just that.  I was visiting my sister in Dubai – which is hot!  She said I must definitely bring a swim suit.  Well I hadn’t worn one in years.  I bought one online and felt very self-conscious wearing it.  I wrapped myself in a sarong and towel and headed outdoors for a dip.  The only ‘person’ around was the cat!  Well you know what cats are like – he looked me up and down and I felt awful.  Because, my inner self-confidence was in shreds.

Be that person that builds body confidence in others

My request today is that you decide to be the person that builds other people up.  This is more important even than remaining neutral.

Young girls are having issues with body confidence all the time.  They compare themselves to others, to people on TV and on social media and are made to feel that they are not good enough.

Although I know that self-confidence must come from within, I strongly believe that feeding anyone with a diet of compliments, positivity and unconditional friendship will go a long way to building body confidence.

I am so grateful to the people in my life, from boyfriends (and yes I mention this first as you need a lot of body confidence to get naked), family, friends and colleagues who have spent the time to like a photo on Facebook, and tell me I am looking good.  The times when someone has complimented me on what I am wearing or told me how a blog post I have written has helped them.

Feed your friends a diet of positivity.  They will really appreciate it.

I know for me once I heard it often enough I started to believe it and that is when the shift happened for me.  There were other tools I used including counselling too. It is never simple, but it has to start somewhere.  Receiving a compliment is a great place to start.

This body I stand in today is mine, and I am proud of it.  Every dimpled cellulite bump, wrinkle and pound.  Even my freckles which I have been trying to get rid of for years.  I have body confidence but it took a long time to get it.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to share so we can spread this message about body confidence around the internet.

Kerry xx

Believe in yourself, and always wear your invisible crown

I am proud of being a woman.  It isn’t an easy job, but it is certainly one worth doing.

I am a Mom, a sister, a daughter and a friend.  I am also a girlfriend, a colleague. I am a marketer, a blogger and a writer.

Most of all though I am strong.

I am plus sized.  I battle with my weight.  I battle with my health, and I have a history.

All of this just makes me stronger.

If there was one piece of advice I could give today – International Women’s Day it would be to value yourself.

Always wear your Invisible Crown.

I came across this quotation years ago and it immediately resonated with me.  By wearing my crown (and I have a few real ones as well as my precious invisible one), you are placing a value on yourself.  You are saying I am worth it – no matter what anyone else thinks or implies. (This even featured on one of my earliest blog posts)

If every young girl today, growing up with the pressure of social media and the celebrity culture could understand her true value she would be guaranteed to grow into a strong and beautiful woman.

Today it is International Women’s Day and I am celebrating women in my life.  Those that have touched me in small and big ways and inspired me to keep going and to believe in myself.

I am also celebrating me.  Wearing my invisible crown and knowing that I am worth it.

Happy International Women’s Day.

Kerry x

Proudly Plus-sized and blogging about it!

For a long time I have been considering blogging about being plus-sized.  There is no reason why your size should stop you being fashionably fabulous.

For Christmas a couple of years ago my mom gave me a gift voucher to a fashion store.  Now, it is not polite to ask someone how much the voucher is worth. When I was in the shopping mall I popped into the store and asked the assistant if she could let me know how much I could spend.

The assistant looked at me, and didn’t even take the voucher.  She simply said “I don’t think we have anything to fit you here.”

I was speechless! Walking away from the store I felt less than fabulous and frankly upset and shocked.

Once I started to think about it I got mad.  This shop stocks fashion, shoes, handbags, fabulous accessories and lingerie.  They are also known for having a plus size department.  It was made apparent that this particular branch didn’t stock the plus size range, but that was no excuse for the rude and frankly hurtful manner in which I was addressed.

I could easily have chosen to spend my voucher money on earrings, and a gorgeous necklace or scarf.  The last time I checked my ears and neck were not plus sized.  A standard handbag also seems to fit me – in fact I like small bags.  I don’t want to sound bitchy, but really!!!

I did complain, and I did receive an apology.  It did get me thinking though of plus-size fashion, and especially the role accessories play in giving an outfit that fabulous touch. It was instances such as this that helped me to make the decision to introduce fashion and style into my blog.

Ireland’s got Curves and so do I

I am delighted to say that I will be attending Ireland’s got Curves a fabulous event which being launched by Miss Curves Ireland, SharonD.  For many of us who struggle with our weight we are made to feel less than fabulous by mainstream shops.

Many of my photographs (by the lovely Natalie Greer) show my head and shoulders (my best bits), but this photo shows almost all of me.  I am not going to shy away from showing my wobbly bits, after all they are part of me.

It is for this reason and my own experience that I have decided that I will embrace fashion blogging, as a plus-sized and over 50 fabulous woman.

Please come and visit my blog again and also follow me on Instagram – DynamicKerry – where I will be showing off my style!

Thanks for reading

Kerry xx

 

Dating in your 50s – Part 3 – Joining the Online World

You have made the decision, you are going to dip your toes into online dating.  So, what next?

It is scary. But, what might happen?  Online dating in your 50s might lead to you the man (or woman)  of your dreams, or you might meet a really good friend.

Or, you might meet someone who is nothing like he said!

Honesty and bravery

Be honest.  When putting up your own profile be honest.  After all if you take it a step further any little white lies will be exposed.   Don’t feel that you have to put up every little detail about yourself, but do think of the information you would like to get from reading someone else’s profile.

Also be brave.  Do put up a photo.  When I started online dating I was so unhappy with the way I looked I didn’t put up a photo.  I started chatting to a lovely guy and we really got on well.  We even progressed to a phone call, and still I wouldn’t let him see what I looked like.

Eventually I sent a picture to his phone.  I literally held my breath for the time it took him to get back to me, petrified he would run a mile.

We all have wrinkles and are getting a bit older.  We have bits that are not where they were twenty years ago.  Women lie about their age and men lie about their height.  If you are serious about dating, be honest and be brave.  If he doesn’t like the look of your photo or your description of cuddly, then he is not the man for you.

Tips on the photos you use

Keep your photos simple – a nice headshot with a smile.  Do not put up family photos. I think this is really inappropriate.  Don’t put up photos of your home or your surroundings.  Keep it simple  if you connect there is plenty of time for more detailed photos as you get to know someone.

Conversely I think a profile with a nice clean smiling photo is what I am attracted to.  I really don’t want to see a photo of your ex!

What to write in that first message.

The content of your profile – and the profiles that you are looking at are the key to starting a conversation.

Yes, it is always awkward taking the first step and saying hi.  They way I look at it, it is better to make the approach than simply wait to be approached.  I must be a modern women.  (Although I do have memories of the mantra of going to the disco at 14 and saying that the guy must ask you to dance, and he must ask for your phone number) – I am delighted that times have changed.

I think at this stage we are all a little afraid to make the first move, but I say, just do it.

To send the first email missive across the internet is brave.  But what do you say.

My recommendation is to say something about them.  Read their profile and comment on something they have said.  Ask something more that relates to their interests.

Here are some ideas:

  • What was your childhood favourite book? (they have said they like reading)
  • When was the last time you went on holiday and where to? (they like travel)
  • Mention something that happened recently in your area or internationally, and ask an opinion.  This is a great way of finding out if they have an interest in, and if they have opinions on politics, sport etc.

The most important thing to remember is to ask an open-ended question. Something that cannot be answered with a simply yes or no.  Although anyone who came back to me with a yes or a no would be a no for me!  I like a good conversation.

Also tell a little about yourself, but not too much – you want them to come back and ask their own open-ended question.

You could simply say that you finished a great book this weekend and got in a good walk before the weather turned.  That way they can come back and ask about what you were reading and where you walked.

A word of warning for online dating in your 50s

There are people out there  on dating sites and in pubs and real life who are not what they seem to be.  Simply keep away from them. In most cases I would advise simply blocking them.

Block them if:

  • If they are loads younger than you, and are asking if you are married
  • If they ask about your marital status  it means they probably are married  – despite what the profile says
  • If they make any suggestive comments early on –consider reporting them
  • If they ask for your email address or phone number in the first message
  • If they ask for money or start talking about money

Be brave – give little peaks into your life.  And enjoy getting to know new friends.  You never know where it could go.

If you want to read Guide to Dating in your Fifties Part 1 and Part 2  please follow the links.

If you are looking for love this February – be brave and take the plunge.

I love feedback so please feel free to leave me a message.

Thank you for reading

Kerry x

Dating in your 50s – Part 2

 

Getting ready for a date when you are 50 plus gave me some challenges.

a-guide-to-dating-in-your-50s-part-2When you are over 50 chances are that you are not as happy with your body as you were in your twenties.  Things have sagged, bagged and expanded, not necessarily in that order.

I thought I would share a little story about getting ready for a particular date.  Spoiler alert – it was a one-off date.

Don’t despair though for every date that doesn’t pan out – you are one step closer to one that does.

The date …

I rushed home from work, threw myself into the shower and washed my hair.  I have this idea in my head that my hair and my cleavage are my best assets so all date outfits and arrangements start with that!

After pouring myself into my date bra – push them up and make them proud, I started on the make-up.  I love make-up it always makes me feel a little bit prettier.  Tonight’s date was with a man whom I had been corresponding with for a few weeks.  He seemed well read and intelligent.

I made a snap decision – I was going to wear contact lenses.  I very rarely do for reasons that will be revealed but I guess I was feeling a bit insecure and thought that the make-up might shine brighter when not hidden behind metal frames.

Breathe.  I was nervous and had to drive a half an hour to the meeting point at a random pub that seemed to be half way for both of us.  I grabbed my phone as I needed to keep an eye on work emails and realised that I couldn’t read my phone with my contacts in.  Like many of us over 50s I wear varifocals.  The contacts were only my distance prescription.

Time was ticking as I panicked over a solution.  Luckily I lived in the middle of the town and flew down to the chemist as it was closing asking for granny glasses (over the counter reading specs). I grabbed a pair that matched my coat and went to pay.  I glanced down at my phone. It was now twice the size and curved.  I had grabbed a pair that was far stronger than I needed.  The kind assistants made the swap and I was off on my date.

It was an awful drive.  The heavens opened and visibility was bad.  I didn’t know where I was going which didn’t help at all.

(Just an aside – after this date I made a decision that I wouldn’t travel – if they wanted to meet me – they could find their way to a place I could walk to!)

I finally made it into the pub and all I wanted was a nice calming drink but of course I had to drive back.  Blinking to keep the contact lenses in place I was at least glad that he had arrived first.

We didn’t gel.  I employed all my conversational skills over a soft drink and excellent fish and chips (chosen because it was what he chose and I couldn’t read the menu without the granny glasses).  It was simply hard work.

Dating in your 50s is hard work

At this point my next conversational gambit was delivered and landed like a lead balloon.  “I think there is a reason that dating normally happens in your 20s or 30s.  It takes a lot of energy and can be hard work.”

Perhaps I didn’t mean it so directly but I still stand by that sentiment.  It is hard work, but ultimately it is worth it.  I have met some amazing friends and some more than friends.

Suffice to say that date ended pretty quickly after that and I drove home, removed the lenses from my scratchy eyes and settled down to a nice cup of tea.

I waited a couple of days before diving into the dating pool again.

If you would like to read my previous dating post have a peek here

Thanks for reading and please come back for more dating in your 50s advice and adventures.

Kerry x

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