I’m a writer, journalist, publisher, self-image activist, Huffington Post blogger, social media queen, self-image mentor, life coach and best-selling author.
I spend my time helping people to overcome negative thinking about who they are, what they look like and how they come across to other people.
I worked for women’s magazines for two decades (Now, Woman, Woman’s Own, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and the rest) and was forced by my work to focus on content that included unrealistic images and offensive attacks on women. I’d say I had a much higher day-to-day exposure to the pressure to be ‘perfect’ than most other women! I noticed the effects of this on the women around me at work, my friends, my family and, of course, myself. I decided to dedicate my career to undoing the harm the media and our culture does to women (and increasingly men).
After an enormous amount of research over a very long period of time, and a couple of years of serious training in mentoring, I developed a programme to help women with their eating and body image issues. It was called The Food Philosophy and it became a cult hit, with hundreds of women joining my discussion forum and signing up for private and group coaching. The response was, and still is, astonishing. The Food Philosophy is no longer on my radar as I moved on from focusing on eating to self image and how we feel about ourselves and how this impacts our lives.
I then created Beautiful magazine, which was at the time the UK’s only print magazine devoted to body diversity and raising self esteem. Beautiful is no longer in print but during it’s supernova life, it was sold in Tesco stores and Evans retail outlets and it was shortlisted for the Government’s Body Confidence Awards in 2012 along with just three others: Caitlin Moran (How To Be A Woman), Gok Wan (Gok’s Teens) and The Guardian Weekend.
In between all this and while still mentoring over the phone, messenger and face-to-face, I found the time to give evidence at a Parliamentary enquiry into the causes and consequences of body image anxiety alongside fellow Endangered Bodies member Susie Orbach. I also gave up many days researching to help and advise with the formulation of Reflections, the report on Body Image by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image.
Meanwhile, my book, Eat Less Without Trying To Eat Less, which was based on the foundations of The Food Philosophy, reached No 1 on Amazon (overall category). It got some great reviews, including applause from BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, women’s empowerment guru Lynne Franks and editor of Psychologies magazine Suzy Greaves.
Now I’m writing my new book Beauty Is Not An Age: how to be more beautiful after 50 than you were at 20.
That’s it about me, I think. I hope you’ll come back and read my blog which will be all about how to live your best life possible, particularly if you’re in your life’s third act!