Overcoming Anxiety – Time to stand in the sun.

Overcoming Anxiety – Time to stand in the sun.

I have spent most of my life standing in the shadows, afraid to speak up for fear of being wrong or laughed at. Fear of other people’s opinion of me, offending someone or letting those I love down.

The shadow’s are cold and lonely, for me they were filled with fear which developed into a severe anxiety disorder. My anxiety crippled me and stole a large chunk of my life. I was scared to go out and be with people but simultaneously afraid to be on my own. I never knew what would trigger a panic attack that could leave me in bed for days at a time.

I was frustrated as I had a voice but didn’t know how to use it and when I did, I spoke with a whisper so no-one listened. Why would they? I had no confidence in myself so why should others?

In October I met someone that would change this, Antonia Mariconda aka The Cosmedic Coach. I attended Antonia’s How to Build your own beauty blog workshop with immense trepidation. The beauty world felt so far removed from my life a slummy mummy 😉

face fears stand in sun anxiety

This workshop literally changed my life. Antonia talked about leaving a legacy and taking charge of your life, working out what you want to say then saying it. At the end of the workshop I got the honor of speaking with both Antonia and Melissa Foreman, little did I know this conversation would change everything and I would go onto be friends with these amazing ladies. Both of them told me to embrace myself; forgive myself; love the body I am in; stand up and speak.

In the months since that initial meeting I have been accepted into a group of #coachettes we support one another in a way that I have never experienced. There is no snide bitchiness only love and support.

I have had the confidence to speak – loudly. My voice has been heard in The Telegraph, Wales Online, BBC Radio Wales. I have coveted spot as a Huffington Post blogger.
I am about to be published in Aesthetic Medicine Magazine and will be interviewed for TV this week. I am also a guest speaker at The Allergy and Free From Show and The Advanced Beauty Conference. Pretty crazy huh!

I no longer cower in the shadows afraid of my own voice. If something scares me I face it head on. Just yesterday I said “it scares me but I’m doing it.” I take medication for my anxiety, yes I said it, I admit it. I am not ashamed of it. It helps me.

overcoming anxiety

Standing in the sun of course brings its dangers – we all the know about the dangers of sun burn. This is no different, not everyone will like what I have to say and some may get critical, but that’s OK. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. I’m prepared I’m wearing my sunscreen and I’ve got my girls to boost me when I get a bit sun stroke!

I am standing in the sun, it’s amazing.I am warm, I am happy and I am no longer afraid to speak. My anxiety no longer rules my life.

I encourage you all to face your fears and stand up. Your voice is unique and should be heard.

Interview with bloggers who are protesting Protein World Advert

Interview with bloggers who are protesting Protein World Advert

Protein World have chosen the slogan “Are You Beach Body Ready?” to appear alongside a photograph of model Renee Somerfield advertising their Weight Loss Collection. Read what Richard Staveley, head of global marketing for Protein World, told HuffPost UK Lifestyle, in response to the controversy here.

Fiona Longmuir and Tara Catstello staged a protest by posing in their bikinis, in the London Underground, alongside the offending poster. They then tweeted their photo with the slogan ” How to get a beach body? Take your body to the beach.”

bloggers shed clothes in protest of advert in London Underground

I was eager to find out what made them take this stand.

In a week where plus sized bodies has been debated heavily in the news how do you think your stand fits into the debate?

Fiona – I think this advert is part of a broader message that says women should look a certain way for public consumption. And I think what we need to be yelling is that women weren’t made for public consumption.

Tara – I think our stand fits perfectly, as we are challenging everything that is currently being discussed and debated. Nobody should be made to feel that they need to moderate themselves before being seen as beautiful or beach ready. Whether it’s an advertising campaign, some ill-advised words, nobody should make you feel bad about your body

What is it about this particular advert and it’s message that struck a cord with you?

Fiona – I’m sick of this idea that looking like a model is the bare minimum women can do. It didn’t suggest that the product would make you feel amazing, it would make you “ready”. As if Renee is the minimum standard for public appearance.

Tara – The entire premise of this campaign is utterly ridiculous. I am tired of seeing one body type pushed across advertising campaigns, television and everywhere else. Us women are great and we come in all different shapes and sizes.

Why strip? Couldn’t you have made your point another way?

Fiona – I though that posing like this would provide an interesting comparison to the poster, as well as showing our confidence. Are we beach ready in those bodies? Hell yes we are!

Tara – We needed a way of getting our point across that made an impact. I feel photographs do that more than words hence the saying “a photo speaks a thousand words.” We felt this was the best way to challenge this horrendous advert directly. As there is a woman in a bikini on billboards, what better way to challenge its very premise than standing next to it in our bikinis declaring ourselves already beach body ready.

What would you say to people who say “it’s OK for you to take this stand because you’re slim?”

Fiona – I hold a lot of thin privilege, and I’m aware of that. But I’m still far enough from the model that we might as well be different species.

Tara – I would say that’s not why we did this. As somebody who has dealt with comments on her weight her whole life, I’m sick of the media pushing one body type. Just because I’m not plus size doesn’t mean I don’t support bigger women. I’m against anything that tells women they need to look a certain way. We did this to stand up for ALL women.

If you were bigger do you still think you would have protested this way?

Fiona – I think that I would have, but it’s impossible to know. Plus size women go through so much nonsense on a daily basis, and I don’t know how growing up with that would have changed my perspective. But it felt so good, I hope I would have!

Tara – Yes, of course – I probably would have done it sooner. My body weight doesn’t affect my feminist ideals and how I feel about sexism.

What is your goal in this?

Fiona – I would like advertising like this to stop. But for now, I wanted to grab as many women as I could and say “Hey gorgeous, you don’t have to look like that to be sexy! We’re sexy! And you’re sexy too!” And from the response we’ve gotten, I think we did good.

Tara – We want to encourage people to think it’s okay to be different and that it’s okay to want to challenge what society tells us. You don’t have to believe what is being sold to you because it’s all made up anyway.

I am proud of these girls for putting themselves out there. They are making a stand for what they believe in and you have to give them credit for that, even if you disagree.

Would you shed your clothes for something you believed in? Leave your comments here.