Friday, 26 November 2010

Project Rika - The History of the Incredible Ladies

First published in 2007

This is my story about becoming an ‘Incredible Lady’. The fantastic journey that gave me the confidence which everybody else thought I had anyway, but which I never felt I had. Eventually at the age of 45 I feel grown up, in charge and happy – at least most of the time I do.

‘I feel like an Incredible Lady!’ Two years ago I would have never said that - A good girl doesn't show off, and she doesn’t praise herself. Tell you what: “She does, and she should”. I hope my story inspires you to get creative with your lives and to join the club of ‘Incredible Ladies’. And please keep in mind: I didn’t set out to become thinner. I wanted to look and feel good, not really knowing what that meant and how to achieve that. When the ‘What Not to Wear’ series came on the telly I was hooked. Trinny and Susannah were the first ones to promote the idea that you can look gorgeous without having to starve yourself to death and that fashion is not about looking like a model but to find your own style which suits your figure best.

So, ‘Project Rika’ is about the journey from sad and frumpy to colourful and confident. It took time, and it was not something done in a jiffy. It turned out that it needed determination and changes in the lifestyle to free up time. But I feel great now and I leave it to you to decide whether or not you think it was worthwhile. The diary ends after I had restructured my wardrobe, managed to put on a make-up without looking funny and had lost about a stone (6kg) due to slight changes to my diet and a bit of exercising.

Only after I had gained the confidence and trust in myself I felt that I wanted to take it to the next level and went back to the gym regularly. It is so true: Change your outside for the better and the inside will follow all by itself.
The diary starts in October 2004 when I eventually decided that ‘enough is enough’. It is written at the time and reflects all my emotions back then. The photos sometimes are a bit awkward as they are mostly taken by myself in the mirror. Whenever I had a new haircut or got a new shirt I just needed to know how it looked and if I did the right choice. And pictures turned out to be my best friends at that time.

Another good friend was a list of rules which I extended and amended as I went along. There were so many things to remember and habits to change. To read and write this list over and over again was a bit like a brainwash, but it helped to incorporate certain habits into my daily routine, so that I don't even realise anymore that I'm doing them.

But the first part is the ‘Photo Therapy’. All of you who have seen ‘What Not to Wear’ know that they always have this tough part at the beginning where contestants have to look at themselves in a 360° mirror. They call it ‘Assessing the body shape’. Well, I used my old photos – and believe me: it had a very similar effect. Whenever I came a bit off track I looked back at them and very quickly I was reminded why I was doing this.

I hope you enjoy reading about the trip to my new self. Please let me know what you think about it!

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