Monday 18th December 2017

Daring To Do This Daily! 2017.130.

Daring To Do This Daily! 2017.130.

Recently I wrote a guest blog post about my decision to post photos of myself daily as a personal challenge. I wrote for fellow blogger Jan Wild who blogs here:

I have always noticed a few people who are blogging friends were posting an instagram photo a day using a variety of hashtags #everydaystyle or #over60 or #mumstyle or #workfromhomestyle and to be honest I really thought those people were both brave AND beautiful. But that could never be me…until I questionned myself: Why not?

I had no real answer other than I do not have a reason to ‘dress up’ or ‘dress with pride’…and they were not true either.

This was hard for me to begin and here was my reason

Why I felt fearful is because of the vulnerability I was allowing to be seen by more than me, and because I wondered how I might be judged. After all, I am certainly an older woman and saggy skin and face shows those years now. And of course, my mouth was shut as only one lip could do the smiling. From The Guest Post.

The thing was about my confidence in both my appearance and my acceptance that in my late 60s I could still take pride in my appearance. I needed to accept too that the ‘over time’ weight loss meant I really needed to update my wardrobe size wise…and shhhh buy some decent underwear.

At the end of October I began to show what I wore each day. It was like that first dip in the cold ocean. You want to do it but you are not sure until you warm up…and then you keep swimming. I did. For all of November, leading up to my 68th birthday and it was very helpful for my self-confidence and it even helped me plan my day better. No more hanging around in baggy beach pants and tees. Time to make myself get out there again. I wrote a bit about it here on my blog too.

Another quote from my Guest Post:

What really made me start this was knowing others had gone before me.

Since 2011 I have followed the wonderful Nikki Parkinson-Hubbard and her blog/website called Styling You. I have met Nikki and love her attitude to make the style that is you be your guide. She has never been about ‘weight’ or ‘appearance’, yet I was.

I never thought of joining in her style challenges, nor even subscribing again to her newsletters until now.

Then, throughout 2017, I really took notice of another blogger friend, Jan, from this very site. I have been really admiring Jan’s daily outfit shots and her love of life shows in every photo!

Then something unexpected happened! I was amazed when I saw the ‘likes’ on the social media platforms and I grinned, despite my almost toothless status, because of the love and support sent back to me.

Wow. I thought. This is OK. In fact, it is good. I needed some boost to my days and something that had previously been taken from me – my confidence and self-image – was slowly growing. I did have a bit of a confidence wobble just this weekend as I wondered would I continue on a daily basis. I also think my upcoming post-op surgery appointment in Sydney was weighing on my mind and I asked my Instagram followers about continuing daily or not. Almost everyone said YES but added, ‘post when you feel like it’…and those words helped me. Thank you everyone.

As I write tonight, Monday, despite having a fair bit of mouth pain which I hope the Professor can help explain tomorrow afternoon when I see him, I have had another confidence boost. I added my birthday collage of me in a dress for the first time since 2002 on Styling You’s Outfits of the Week Facebook group page and it was very well received and I was truly humbled.

Then tonight, feeling a bit miserable, Nikki let me know I had been chosen as last week’s winner and would receive a copy of her book. Oh wow. Thank you Stylers!

Thank you again to Jan for your encouragement and to my fellow bloggers, instagram followers too. I am very grateful to you…and of course to my photographer…using my iphone and making sure I smile as much as I am physically able..my husband.

Do you do a personal challenge like this?

Would you?

If no, why not?

Thanks for reading and viewing. I have enjoyed showing some of the outfits here.

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie here for I Blog on Tuesdays and with Leanne here for Lovin Life Linky on Thursday.

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Comments

  1. Woohoo, you look amazing and love your style. So many people are afraid to put themselves out there but it’s the only way to achieve something extraordinary…

  2. You too are brave and beautiful and of course you now know that you do have a reason to dress with pride. Enjoy Nikki’s book, it was a game changer for me x

    • Thank you so much Jan. Some self-belief goes a long way and mine has been on sabbatical for far too long! Your example and encouragement have been much appreciated. Denyse xx

  3. I enjoy seeing your daily outfit pics and am so pleased that you’re showing yourself some of the care and compassion that you share so abundantly with others – I think you’re looking absolutely fab and enjoy that book! I could never do a challenge like this because the more weight I gain, the less clothes I have that fit, and I wear the same outfits over and over. It would be like Groundhog Day! Thinking of you today – hope all goes well x

    • Thank you Sammie! Yes it has been a really interesting transformation of my mindset more than the clothes. They are the added fun along with finding more of my accessories that have not been seen for a while. I am glad you are enjoying the pics. Today went well and I am one relieve and tired woman tonight. Drive down was only 1.5 hours, home, in after school traffic took over 2 hours! Take care dear friend. D xx

  4. I love all of your photos Denyse but especially the last one in the black dress with floral print. It is gorgeous. You have been very brave because you did something you didn’t really want to do and the outcome was fabulous. Have a great week and I enjoyed reading your post as well as your guest post. x

    • Thank you Sue as it is having comments of encouragement like these that help me to continue. I so love that dress too. But I literally have nowhere to wear it!! Initially I thought I might wear it to our eldest granddaughter’s 21st but she is having a picnic. So…I used the excuse to buy another less ‘dressy’ dress for that. I hope you have a great week ahead too. Denyse x

  5. I admire you for doing this challenge – I couldn’t. You were a deserving recipient of Nikki’s award. #TeamLovinLife

    • Thanks Joanne. I think I would have said the same as you a while back.

      Something has shifted within I guess, and with all the weight loss (thanks anxiety and not being able to eat much now) it was time to admit I needed clothes to flatter not just hang on me. It was a BIG shift for me to make, especially having not much money to spend and also ‘worried I will put all the weight back on”.

      Now I know there is such a thing as moderation (!) and I will not gain all that weight back as things are very much different now.

      It was more of a mental battle to do this as I think you know than a physical one. It was a thrill to win Nikki’s prize. I really need to explore the ‘girly’ side of me much more, and have fun doing so!!
      Denyse xx

  6. I’ve been loving your Instagram posts Denyse, and agree that we are never too old (although to be honest I’ve been making that an excuse ever since I was about 25 for various things in life – more fool me). We are never too old to do anything that we are physically and mentally capable of, and we should not be judged on age nor appearance, only that we are sassy and brave enough to do the best we can with what we have available at the time. I love how you’ve put yourself onto Instagram (I really like your collages – can I please copy them?!!) and you are inspiring other women of our generation that it’s okay to get up, get dressed Nicely and be proud of how we look. I think you were very deserving of Nikki’s award (go you!). And by the way, in regards to your current battle, I’m feeling a little shoddy about my Lovin’ Life post this week because of how you might not relate to it, and I hope it doesn’t upset you – with my apologies xx

    • Thank you so much.

      It has been ages since I wanted to take care of my appearance and that has been tied up with some of my high emotional reactions to leaving Sydney, getting older and retiring from all work.

      Cancer has been, strangely enough, a wake-up call of what I can deal with and the strength I have to do so. I am very much ably supported by my husband and local GP who make a lot of difference to my ‘glass half empty’ approach to life.

      I continue to learn what I have within from having had cancer so that is a good thing. The outfit challenge a day is a distraction from the waiting for my mouth to heal and to get me some teeth sometime in 2018!

      Your post was fine by the way!! Thanks for your thoughtfulness. Denyse x

  7. As you know I struggle with the photo thing. Not so much about what I’m wearing but about my body, my face, my hair and so forth.

    I can look at other people my size and think they look nice but tend to really judge myself. It’s interesting though that those Instagram posts receive A LOT more likes than my usual book / life / home ones.

    I think there’s something cathartic about doing it though. It IS stepping outside of our comfort zone. I think I’d be devastated if someone commented on how fat I was or ugly or old or something but that hasn’t happened yet and I’m not sure people would really go to that trouble.

    • Deborah, I hear you on the fear of what might happen. But it is that critical voice in your head as you know. She needs to shut up for a bit.

      Today I actually thought of you as I wore a sleeveless top and my skin is wrinkly and flabby on my upper arms. Why I thought of you is to say “look Deb, this 68 yo is doing it, you can too”.

      I so hope you see that I am encouraging you not picking on something I know you can be self-conscious about.

      It is cathartic and I know that my self-confidence is growing as a result. I also said to my hub yesterday this daily challenge is doing wonders in terms of distracting me from the sometimes pain in my mouth (it is easing!) and the fact that my ability to eat is so limited.

      Denyse x

  8. Do you know what? I really should.Maybe once a week when I am actually wearing something nice and I can trust the kids to take a good photo! I love that you have done this for yourself, I love seeing the everyday real you x

    • YES, please do. I can tell you that it makes a difference to my whole day! Even though I might come home and get back into comfy shorts and top, I have started my day well and I enjoy it. I look forward to you giving it a go as well. Thanks Alicia, your kind words are appreciated! Denyse x

  9. Denyse, I’m so pleased you have taken the plunge and joined the everyday styling community and started to post your outfits. Reading your comments takes me back to early 2016, when I first started to post my daily outfit pics. As hard as it was, I can truly say it was well worth it. It helped me work out what my own style was and has also been an amazing boost to my confidence. I think if you look back over your posts in 12mths time, ,you will be blown away by the positive changes it has had for you.

    • Thanks Jenni! Coming from someone who knows how it feels down the track that is really helpful. I am sure I was part stuck in retirement-on-the-coast mode where there is a very casual ‘uniform’ most people wear AND thinking I “had” to have a reason to take some care with my appearance.

      Now that I have done so, and enjoy it as a major distraction from cancer and recovery, I will be continuing. Just need to ensure I spend little and wisely and this is going well too.

      Good luck with the house move! Denyse x

  10. Thank you for taking the plunge and talking so frankly about what everyday styling means to you. I love your outfits as well as the thought provoking writing that accompanies your photos.

    SSG xxx

    • Thank you too SSG for seeing it has much more to it than ‘how I look.’ How I have felt about myself over the past few years has not been helpful. Cancer and all the courage it took from me to recover certainly has been a light along the path of finding myself much more connected with the Denyse I love to be!! Denyse x

  11. Denyse I have been following you on social media and I think you are incredible to take such an interest in your style and then post it on a daily basis. Apart from the fact that I spend most of my time in active wear or shorts and a top, I would find it a chore to find an outfit every single day and post it on social media. I have turned into a hermit, because I work from home, and barely see anyone 5 days a week. But I do love fashion and I do like to dress up! You are an inspiration and I think you look fabulous in every single post. #TeamLovinLife

    • Wow, thank you Kathy. Your words have really encouraged me further. I too was mostly staying at home because I was still in full recovery mode I guess but there was an element of ‘why bother’.

      I used to have quite a range of clothing I enjoyed wearing even at larger size and took pride in my appearance but this disappeared ‘once there was no reason.’

      So it was recently that I HAD to find a reason and that is to get myself out and about more. I like doing a bit of people watching as I have a coffee. Now I like the day starting with “I wonder what I will wear today”. I don’t know how long it will continue but for now it’s great.

      I hear you on your reasons and if I was a busy work at home person it would be the same but I NEED to get myself out and about more so this is working for me! Denyse x

  12. You look so beautiful in your dress and are such a deserving winner of Nikki’s book! I thought I was following you previously on IG but seems like I’m not now, I’m not sure what happened there! I’ve just sent you n IG follow request. You are such an inspiration to me Denyse in more ways than you probably realise!

    Ingrid

    • Ingrid, how kind your words are. Thank you. Yes we are back following each other on IG again. I had to start all over around the same time I got my cancer diagnosis (not related, but it’s a way for me to remember) as my old private account got hacked when I let it be public for a few days. Learned that lesson!! Denyse x

  13. Your dress in that last photos is gorgeous!!! And so are you. I’m glad you’ve found something to help you build confidence again, it can be such a hard process xx
    #teamIBOT

    • Thank you so much Kylie. I love that dress too but probably have nowhere to wear it… but it was the best confidence builder for my birthday!! Your kind words are so appreciated. D xx

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