“Falling in love with yourself first doesn’t make you vain or selfish – it makes you indestructible.”
It has been two weeks today since I attended (and danced like no one was watching, despite everyone watching) my very first Stay Sassy event in London. For all, you that don’t know Stay Sassy events are a Dance and Body Confidence Workshop and the brainchild of the very beautiful Healthy Chef Steph. Go check out her Instagram, you will instantly fall in love. The event has had a massively positive effect on my life and confidence, it was possibly the best day I had during my 40 new things in 40 days challenge and I wanted to share it with you all.
I am nearly 34, I went to high school in the 90’s it was a time when anorexia was cool we had Kate Moss as our ideal and the thinner the better was considered beautiful. If you then added in the fact that having a bad boy for a love interest instantly made you cool and being treated like crap meant you had really made it in your social circle then the 90’s were a bit of a dark time. Facebook did not exist, our mums were the last person we wanted to spend time with and self-care was considered something only “freaks did”. I mean why self-care when you can throw up everything you ate during the day then be treated like shit in the evening. I wish I could tell my ten-year-old self that it doesn’t matter, literally it doesn’t matter, the second you take your last exam and go into the world no ever asks about how popular you were at school or how much you fitted in. In fact is in the real world being just yourself flaws and all is the most beautiful thing ever.
So naturally growing up with these standards of normal actually messes with your confidence and it is so easy in your twenties to dismiss any flaws you have or believe that you have not suffered because of them. But once you hit your thirties there is a very clear shift in the way you see yourself, you become very self-aware of who you are as a person and you are happy to admit and work on any flaws you have. So imagine growing up in a world where unhealthy skinny was seen as being beautiful but being obese was your reality, this really messed with my confidence and my self-worth in a way that would continue to affect me for the next 15 years. Once I left school I went into a serious of toxic relationships because for the first time in my life I felt accepted, I had managed to trick myself into believing that affection meant love and after being builled and never fitting in, it felt like that was needed more than anything in the world. By my late twenties I had begun to break this cycle but once I hit 30 my whole mindset changed and the internet become this amazing place where women truly loved each other, inspired each other and had each other’s backs.
So back to what it was I was meant to be talking about in the first place before I started rambling. So as part of my 40 new things in 40 days I had booked to go to my first Stay Sassy event, I had no idea what to expect and was absolutely terrified that I would look like a dick. I knew there would be dancing which when you have three left feet is a scary thought in its self. The event took me three and a half hours and four train rides to get to and in that time I had convinced myself that I would look massively out of place, I was convinced I would be ten years older than anyone there and the second I walked in they would know I was an imposter. A little early, no idea where I was actually going and feeling sick from nerves I stopped in a coffee shop around the corner ready to chicken out and just go home. Where I started talking to a lovely woman called Emma who was also going to the event and managed to calm me down, Thanks Emma! This was the first positive step of the day and literally the loveiest woman she managed to calm my nerves and made me realise that maybe I wasn’t alien with three heads.
I started the day feeling extremely low in self-confidence and left feeling empowered like a switch had been flicked inside me, I did not leave being any better at dancing though. Literally, I have no idea why my brain can’t make my feet move the way I want but I did manage to embrace my own style of dancing and walking. So what if I can not dance I am still Sassy as fuck!
I had absolutely nothing to worry about all the women were amazing, they all had there own stories and reasons for being at the event. All were on their own journeys and most importantly they all were there to support other women! There was zero negativity in the room, no one came to be better than anyone or to make fun. The whole room just had this amazing glow and positivity about it, it was a safe space to be actually who you are with no judgement. There is something incredibly empowering about standing in front of a group of women and having them cheer and clap for you, something I totally did not have growing up. The whole day really made me look at where I wanted my blog to go and what I actually want to be doing, I feel blessed daily for my positivity and for the hardships I have been through in a way that now I know I can change the world.
So I started following Healthy Chef Steph after seeing her on Zanna van Dijk instagram. I have loved following Zanna for so long now that you can imagine what a dream come true it was to meet her at the event. I literally had so many wonderful things to tell her, about how much she inspired me and has helped me regain my health and fitness but in true Emma style, I just fangirled all over her. It is now my goal to meet her again and act like a normal human beginning.
By the end of the day I felt not only amazing about myself but inspired as fuck!
Because fangirling over one woman was not enough I then fangirled all over Steph, what the hell is wrong with me. So I explained about my 40 new things in 40 days to her and Steph is an absolute sweetheart, it is so weird to have strong women to look up to that are more than ten years younger than yourself but it makes me so excited to know that there is a whole generation of woman that are changing the world. I would have loved to have strong women to look up to as I was growing up, maybe I would have told more arseholes to fuck off. The entire day was more amazing than I could have ever imaged, two weeks on and I am still trying my hardest to get the dance rountie nailed and I am really making a consious effort to love myself more.
I already can not wait for the next event and seeing all the lovely women I met again, fingers crossed by then I might have required some rhythm.