Suzie Rice came on a Beyond Chocolate Retreat way back in 2003 where she made a life-changing career decision – to show women how fantastic they really are and become a Style Coach. This week she launched her new programme - Journey to Style Heaven - and it's right up our street!
We did an e- mail interview and I asked her what it was all about. She describes the programme as: "an introduction to a completely new approach to styling. The emphasis and starting point is YOU, rather than what type of fruit your body resembles or whether you're allowed to wear black! It’s very different because we won’t tell you what you can and can’t do. The taster day is the first step in your 'Journey to Style Heaven' - its designed to get you thinking about who you really are, what you like, dislike and how you really want to express yourself. We have all sorts of fun ways of helping you to make these discoveries, raise your self-esteem and find you again. "
See why we like it?
I asked her what sort of women she thought would come to the workshop she is running at the Champney's Health Resort on 20th July and she answered:
"Women who want some real help in discovering their own style, learning how to put it all together, knowing that the effects will last. Those who know that the generalised advice given in magazines and on makeover programmes just doesn't work when they try to use it themslves. Women who are fed-up with settling for 'that will do' when it comes to their appearance, want to do something about it, but don't know how."
So how did Suzie go from this:
“I stare at myself in the mirror with complete anger, hatred and frustration, nothing fits or looks good on me. I am an embarrassment to my family and believe that because I’ve gained weight, my husband no longer loves me. I hide in dark, baggy clothes and am not very pleasant to be around. I constantly moan and put myself down, I think that my life is miserable, because I’m fat. I’m desperate and I want to scream. When is this ever going to change? Why can’t I just be thin?"
"Diets don't work because they force you to suppress and ignore your bodies natural requests for the food it needs and override them with a set of rules. Similarly, the fashion industry has tried to force women to ignore their own unique beauty and conform to a totally false version of 'perfection'. Both set women up for inevitable 'failure' - when do women ever blame the diet when they don't lose weight and when do they ever blame the cut of the clothes when they don't fit them? Beyond Chocolate and Journey to 'Style Heaven' are both showing women that there is another way. There are no 'shoulds' or 'dos and don'ts. The starting point is the individual and getting back in touch with who you are, celebrating being you and showing the world who you are, rather than eating for comfort or hiding behind big, baggy black clothes putting everything off until that magical future date when you've lost weight - we help people start."
Suzie says she came back from the Retreat transformed:
"I returned from the glorious retreat the same person, but with a very different outlook. My body found its natural weight within four months. That was in 2003, I eat what I want, when I want and stop when I’ve had enough. My weight has maintained but I no longer think about the size of my body, I appreciate it and dress in beautiful, colourful clothes that flatter me. When I look at women now I don’t see the size of their bodies, I notice whether they have the same hurt and sadness in their eyes that I used to have. I want to run up to them shouting Beyond Chocolate from the rooftops, so that all women can experience what I have. I can’t remember ever being this happy; NO AGONISING RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD or MY BODY (no matter how hard I try, I find it impossible to describe how wonderful it feels to break free, from the hatred I felt for myself and my body). To lose the desperate yearning to be slim sounds like such a small statement but the effect is immeasurable. I am 38 years old and relish in the knowledge that I will NEVER feel as bad as I did about myself, EVER again – not even when I’m 80 and have grey hair and wrinkles!"
By being her own guru, trusting herself and working hard, Suzie has made monumental changes. We love it when Beyond Chocolaters transform their lives. It's exciting and keeps us wanting to do more. We've wanted to run Beyond Chocolate flavoured style and body confidence workshops for a while and it's one of many projects so we are delighted that Suzie has created a Beyond Chocolate friendly programme.
Way to go Suzie...
Find out more about Suzie's Journey to style heaven on her website.