How I did it: The first step is confidence: the confidence to try, the confidence to take steps and, in the end, the confidence to know I have succeeded and I DO look pretty.
I started with a consultation with Photographers Inc: it was in the studio and they made me feel welcome the moment I walked up the stairs.
Rebecca showed me some incredible before and after shots
and, to be honest, I thought they were really pretty but far too good to be true and anyway it must be all about the make-up artist and Photoshop. The befores looked just like me but the afters looked like celebrities. Charlton, my photographer, chatted to me in the consultation about what I wanted to achieve ("Look prettier!") and how we could do that. He even gave me some great tips on what I was wearing that day and how the clothes I thought helped hide my figure actually made me look worse. I felt so happy as I left that I actually got compliments on how pretty I looked that day from co-workers - and I'd barely started!
When I came back on the big day of my photoshoot I was nervous. I'd spent hours dragging through my wardrobe looking for some pretty outfits but everything made me feel drab and pudgy. I started having second thoughts - I think because I was so excited and I didn't want it all to let me down.
I needn't have worried. The ladies got me into that makeover chair,
whipped my hair into a fabulous casual 'do' - the kind you see on TV stars acting ordinary people going to work: making the most of my features in beautiful ways without looking dressy - all in minutes,
discussed ideas for my face and helped me put together a really pretty look with a set of make-up I have at home,
and checked the colours in my wardrobe to make sure the whole look would tie together.
I then flowed easily into my photoshoot. I didn't have to know a thing: Charlton guided me through my own wardrobe - picking out scarves to use as stoles, tops to wear as dresses, pants to match with a mini-dress... in combinations I never knew I had - and they look REALLY PRETTY on ME!
He taught me a few more tips too so I feel more confident doing it all myself - knowing I'll look pretty. I can't tell you everything as it won't all be right for you but the single biggest secret to a pretty figure?: POSTURE :) And yes, you need to practice and get feedback so a photoshoot is probably the best way I've found (short of 10yrs of one-on-one training) to get it right.
I went back a few days later to view the images. I'd almost forgotten how great they would look! Wow! I thought, is that me now? Not that it wasn't like me but it was like a pretty, put together version of me - more like the girl I see in the mirror these days than the one who first booked this whole adventure. I loved them and keep one right by my mirror each day to remind me that the fat days are just that: days when I'm not standing tall, not listening to the right people, single days that will pass overnight - or better still, melt away in the face of my photographic evidence: I can and now do look pretty. Read how I did it… 13 months ago