In March I had gone to the Martinborough Fair for the first time ever and we happened upon a stall where there was a spinning wheel. Of course with an opportunity to win something Rhi wanted to spin the wheel – she won a photo shoot where for the day we would get a make over, play dress ups, and pose for the camera.
Right up Rhiannon’s alley, not so much mine.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I feel really awkward posing in front of the camera. I’m a lot better than I used to be. I’ve had to learn – you can’t be part of a company like mine and escape the camera. But I have a much bigger reason than that. A few years ago I was at the funeral of a family friend, when slide shows were still fairly new, and it suddenly struck me – there would be no photos of me for my slide show when the time came. Years of actively avoiding cameras really limits the number of photo options available so from that moment forward I was going to make sure I was in front of camera…well, at least more than usual!!And this day would be the perfect opportunity for me and Rhi to do something fun together as mother and daughter.
So the day came and we set off to the Akatarewa’s.
The first thing we noticed was the welcome sign in the window, personalised for Rhi and me, and we made our way round to the house to meet Mandi Lynn and Craig. We are warmly welcomed and offered a cup of tea, which we had while we sat down and looked at the Pinterest board we’d created of the looks we liked – makeup, hair, and poses. We wanted a lot of fun stuff.
You should’ve seen the smile on Rhi’s face when she got to sit in the chair and have her hair done. I don’t often do it for her. The truth is, I just don’t know how. And I don’t have the patience. But that kind of stuff is important to her and they’re only young for a short amount of time so maybe I should learn? After all, isn’t that a pretty big reason I chose to work from home in the first place? To create more time to spend with my kids? That could possibly be a fun activity…once in a while at least.
I had the pleasure of talking to Mandi Lynn as well and get a real understanding of the work she does. You can find out more on her website, but in a nutshell Mandi Lynn helps people, particularly women, find their beauty regardless of what size or shape they are. This is particularly important when we live in a society where the media portrays unrealistic images of beauty. People get bombarded with messages to “lose weight and look great”. This doesn’t sit right with me. After all, I’ve lost some weight, I’m a size 10 but I don’t always feel like I look great. There’s definitely things that I might prefer were different but as I grow more comfortable with myself and gain confidence in who I am as person, I’m finding I care less and less about what negative people may think about me. And I focus my time on people who are positive influences in my life, and those who choose to be positively influenced.
Mandi Lynn is now one such influence and I look forward to working some more with her. I would highly recommend creating the opportunity to go and spend the day with her. She worked tirelessly and effortlessly to get a shot of me where I didn’t looked awkward or posed and she did an awesome job. The challenge for me and Rhi was whittling the photos from 177 images down to just a few!!
After such a fantastic day I got to carry it on with a shared dinner with my friends on the 12 Week Challenge. It was our final night in this round and we got to share dinner with some super delicious food. A total of 16.6kg lost between the participants (33.2 blocks of butter) but having said that it was so cool to see that weight loss was not the top priority when reflecting on struggles & wins of the last 12 weeks. The challenges I run focus more on Healthy Active Lifestyle behaviours – weight loss is just one of the side effects of this and it’s not about looking good because of the weight loss, it’s about feeling good. More energy, more mobility and that’s not even just about losing weight that happens fairly quickly when you start nourishing your body with the good stuff and cutting out the rubbish foods that don’t serve you in any way, shape, or form, and in all likeliness when compounded over years of “bad” habits are increasing health risks for a myriad of non communicable diseases.
What I have loved about these challenges is the excitement people have had when they’ve realised all this, and are super proud of themselves for being consistent, setting their goals for the 12 weeks that are personal to them - and then smashing them. Really looking forward to the next round so I can not only positively influence my friends, and new friends that will be joining, but also so that I can continue to keep learning and be positively influenced.
I couldn’t have asked for a better day.
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