Peonie & Me...x

By Renee Christel Rispin x

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Let's talk body confidence x


On her favourite body part:
"My stomach.  Even though it will never be flat again, it's still my favourite because it reminds me of my greatest achievement: my babies"
Isla Fisher

Today I wanted to talk about Body Confidence and what it means to me.  Since having Henry my body has changed tremendously and I can honestly say I don't fall into the Kate Middleton camp, my body for sure hasn't bounced back.

I now have a very jiggly tummy and an equally jiggly bum and also back with a vengeance are the big upper arms that I'd worked hard to banish pre-wedding.  Yes we can all say that having a baby/children is the best thing in the world and that our new stomach overhang is a badge of honour, however we can still feel crappy now and again squeezing that tummy into Spanx.


However what we should never do is let it take over our lives (easier said than done).  Looking through pictures of Henry since he was born, I'm only on a handful of these images.  I either felt, too fat, too tired looking, too bloated, too dishevelled, or just horrid, when in actual fact I just looked like a new Mum.  Cue nods of agreement Mummy friends.  

During mat leave last year I comfortably hid in my leggings and maternity jeans and just enjoyed being Mummy.  I wore my naturally curly hair down and my skincare routine consisted of copious amounts of coffee, a quick face dash under the shower and the odd overdose of bronzer.  But it worked for me.



Until I went back to work.  Working in the fashion industry in an office dominated by Instagram ready colleagues highlighted the fact that my body had changed and my pre-baby wardrobe was going to have to stay in the attic.  I needed a new wardrobe. 
However instead of taking a good long look at my body and embracing the changes, I tried to dress like the old me.  Low rise skinny jeans emphasised my stomach (which looked around 4 months pregnant), shorter length tops highlighted tummy overhang and anything fitted would have me in floods of tears.  

Somehow I made do with a handful of 'essentials' (thank you Zara for all those checked shirts) and I survived the winter. Love me some layers.  However now we are into the summer months and there is no getting away from showing a little skin.  Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......




A couple of weeks ago I was confronted by a full length mirror and rather than duck away, I took a good long look at the New Me.  Yes my body was jiggly, but I still had my great legs, I still had a decent bust (in a bra) and thankfully still had my amazing sense of humour (OK scraping the barrel on that one) haha. But it wasn't all bad.  My hair was in desperate need of dying and a good cut and my skin was severely dehydrated, but these were cosmetic things I could fix.  I also secretly missed exercise, that incredible buzz you got (AFTER) you completed a class or run.  

Can't have a shoot without Little Moo x 
So this week I went back to the lovely Hayley at the Little Hair Room who thankfully banished my greys and unearthed a decent barnet of hair.  I've also started paying more attention to my skin and researching different options for my daily routine.  Tips and advice welcome. 

But best of all, I embraced my new body shape.  My new advice to me is: "Dress for the parts you love and work that little bit harder to dress the parts you don't".  So in my case my tummy at the moment is the hardest part to dress.  So I've replaced my low/mid rise jeans with high waisted skinny's.  The high waist acts as a tummy tuck and squeezes my jiggly belly in, whilst the skinny leg emphasises my long legs (yes even 5ft 1" people can have long legs).  & I can't preach enough about the importance of good underwear.  Yes a great bra does wonders, but also a great pair of briefs can transform your shape, giving you a voluptuous look versus a volumpy one. (OK that one has yet to make it into the English language). 

Next up I traded my shorter tops for longer line styles and thank the Trend Gods for coming up with bardot tops.  Oversized bardot tops preferably.  This below style from Warehouse hides a multitude of post-baby lumps and bumps, but the off the shoulder style shows off my collarbone which thankfully didn't gain weight.  I also purchased a dress from Whistles for a night out with my lovely friend Nicola and I felt great as it carefully hid my tummy, but I felt sexy showing off my shoulders.  I wore it again with a night with Becky... Its my new LDB.



However my best advice is, fake it until you make it.  My gorgeous sister in law to be Gemma, kindly took these pictures of me so I could finally confidently put myself in my blog.  I felt incredibly self conscious however I was confident that I looked great.  Ok we took about a billion pictures, but I was surprised I liked some of the images.  

I feel like publishing this is my own little badge of honour and hopefully Henry will one day look back and think his Mummy was lovely.  After he forgives me for all the baby pictures he has published on the web (sorry Henry).  I would love for you too share your body confidence pictures and if you are not feeling to great today (I write this sitting in my black leggings) strip off and have a good old look at your body, I bet there are some parts that look rather fabulous x 
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