When Olivia died I honestly felt part of me had died alongside her. I lost the ability to fully engage in a moment. Always aware of the missing piece to my jigsaw.
I lost all confidence in myself. I mean I had failed hadn’t I. I couldn’t save my daughter.
I just closed myself into a shell and survived the only way I knew how.
You know that moment when people ask you if you are ok and you smile that smile, the one that never reaches your eyes and answer “yes I’m fine “.
I pretended and to be honest this went on for a long time in fact I still have those moments now.
My confidence was shot so add to this the weight gain caused by medication I really was lost.
Yet on Saturday I think I was found.
I have mentioned here before my journey to start loving on myself a little more. To appreciate the body I have and embrace the curves. It’s been a journey inspired by ladies like Becky and Betty two amazing ladies who rock their curves.
Well on Saturday I attended my first ever plus size event. Plus North.
It was held in a truly stunning hotel,The Renaissance .Alan and I stayed in a suite which was beautiful. I also really want to mention that the service from this hotel was first class nothing was to much from the staff. I seriously hope to stay there again.
Plus North is a fashion event where plus size clothing labels showcase their new lines to plus size fashion bloggers and lovers of clothes . Not that the two are mutually exclusive.
We had fashion shows from the brands with some inspirational ladies acting as models for the event and they really graced the catwalk with style. These ladies really inspired me, they showed true courage and self confidence that I can only dream of.
The brands attending were Evans, Pieces of the past (which somehow i missed), Curvissa, Scarlett & Jo, Simply Be, Yours clothing , Excite clothing, Lovedrobe, Panache and Bon Prix, Topsy Curvy and Slink.
I fell in love with so many of the clothes and the catwalk shows gave me inspiration as to what looks good. I came away with a few must haves that I may never have considered before.
I also fell head of heels in love with this dress from Scarlet & Jo. Yes that’s right me loving on a dress. Isn’t it beautiful, I can’t wait for it to come into stores.
The day was amazing topped off by me winning a £100 for the Claire Richards range from fashion world. Whoop whoop.
Then came the After-show party.
I will confess right here and now I nearly didn’t attend the evening. I have shied away from parties for so long that its has become a habit. But after a quick chat with Betty who instilled me with confidence I decided why not give it a try and Alan bless him he was just up for whatever I wanted to do.
Anyway picture this a room full of ladies and the occasional man singing their hearts out to karaoke and dancing the night away.
It was so liberating, to see women not hung up on the extra pounds but embracing who they are and loving themselves.
There was no negativity just pure positivity.
The whole event was about raising people up not tearing them down. So uncommon in this day an age.
I had a blast and I laughed like I hadn’t in such a long time. I was genuinely happy. These beautiful women invited me into their company and just loved on me.
They may not realize what they did for me that night but they gave me the freedom and the courage to love me again.
I engaged fully into the moment, laughing from deep inside.
I actually looked in the mirror and saw a beautiful woman not a failure.
I am hoping this new found confidence stays around for a while. I do know I have a long way to go and hey I may always be a “work in progress.”
But this “work in progress“came home and ordered herself a dress.
That’s right I did it and I can’t wait for it to be delivered.
I had an amazing weekend and I cannot thank the girls at Plus North enough for organizing such a great event.
I can’t wait until the next one.
I know losing Livvy changed me and I will never be the same again but it is nice to finally start to like who I am.
It may have been a fashion event to many but for me it was so much more.