In my mid-twenties, I was a happy and healthy person, full of energy and enthusiasm for life - and, more importantly, full of confidence. I had a job that I liked, I was fit and healthy and, despite a few hang-ups (we all have them) I was happy with myself and my body.
A few years, and an unfortunate series of events, later found me working in a job that I didn't like, with no energy left for life (let alone exercise) and I had gained enough weight that I felt both unattractive and unhealthy. I had lost my self confidence and, perhaps more importantly, my sense of self.
I left my job and thought things would improve, but in reality I spent my days feeling sorry for myself, slobbing around the house in jogging pants and over-sized t-shirts and I felt disgusting. Then, one day, when I was meeting an old friend, I had to make a bit more of an effort. I took the time to have a nice bath, blow-dry my hair, do my make up and pick out an nice outfit. I looked okay, not wonderful granted, but I felt so much better about myself - so much more
Items in this set: Ted Baker Silk Mix Big Bow Dress; Marni Suede Platforms with Bow and Jewel Detail; Marni Fabric Frame Clutch; Raso - Kiss-Lock Evening Clutch - Francesco Biasia; Alexis Bittar 'Silver Dust' Skinny Tapered Bangle.
But, somedays, it felt like so much effort and I realised that I needed a reason to start taking more of an interest again - in clothes, in make up, in myself - and the idea for Fashion Forward was born. When I approached Katherine with the idea of co-hosting, I honestly thought she might laugh at the idea of me being fashionable (let's face it, she's so cool!) and she has my undying gratitude for being so supportive of the idea. Since then, I have developed an unparalleled love of Brian Atwood shoes and an unhealthy obsession with creating sets in Polyvore. I have re-discovered my love of fashion and my sense of style. And I have made some wonderful friends!
So, as Fashion Forward moves into 2010, I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has participated and everyone who takes the time to visit each week. We may not have taken the world by storm with our little meme, but you have helped me to start changing my life for the better and I am very, very grateful.
If you're playing along this week, please pop a link in the box below so that everyone can come by and 'oooh and ahhh' and, if you're a Fashion Forward newbie, you can find the guidelines over on Katherine's lovely blog.