What to do when you’re scared

something new

I’m doing something scary!

I’m developing a brand new idea that is going to require me to step out on a limb… take a leap of faith… and expose my vulnerability to the world.

And yes – I am scared!

The last time I was this open and vulnerable  – I was publicly ridiculed.  I’m scared that it may happen again.  My insecurities are screaming their objections to my plan.  The part of me that wants to feel *safe* is fiercely resisting this Big Dream.

But, there’s another side of me:

A strong, creative, DO’er who is stubbornly determined to live the best, most authentic, deliberate and beautiful life possible!

And that part of me is going to DO this thing… whether my insecurities like it or not!

“Courage is being scared to death, and saddling up anyway” – John Wayne

I’ve been thinking a lot about fear recently… and how it holds so many of us back from following our dreams and doing what we REALLY want to do with our lives.

  • We’re afraid of failing..
  • We’re afraid of being criticised or ridiculed…
  • We’re afraid that people won’t like us…
  • We’re afraid of what people might say – or think – about us…
  • We’re afraid of “The New” and “The Unfamiliar”…
  • We’re afraid that we’ll make fools of ourselves…

I wonder what we’d all be like… and I wonder what kinds of lives we’d be living if we weren’t so scared?

A friend of mine, Nancy (of Family on Bikes) – likes to ask people the question:

“What would you DO if you weren’t afraid?”

Nancy – to give you some idea – travelled with her husband and 11 year old twins from Alaska to Argentina… on bikes!  This was an enormous feat – and Nancy mentioned that, in the beginning, her fears threatened to put a halt to her big dream… but… she saddled up anyway!

Now… obviously, we don’t all share the same dreams.

I have no intention of cycling from Alaska to Argentina… but I also have scary dreams (of a different variety).

What are YOUR dreams?  What would YOU do if you weren’t afraid?

  • Would you quit your job?
  • Would you change careers?
  • Would you walk away from an abusive relationship?
  • Would you move to a different city – or country?
  • Would you take to the stage and perform?
  • Would you learn how to hip-hop dance?
  • Would you take a scuba diving course?
  • Would you stand up to the bullies in your life and tell them that you’re no longer prepared to be their doormat?

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

The first step, is figuring out what you’d DO… and then the second step is taking action (and even it’s tiny baby steps) towards that dream or goal.  DOING is what gets you out of the rut – not sitting / stagnating / hoping / waiting for a miracle to drop from the sky… but DOING!

Here’s a great quote from Dale Carnegie:

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear.  Action breeds confidence and courage.  If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it.  Go out and get busy!”

By the way – I’m preaching to myself here…

I have pasted a couple of inspirational posters and messages around my office and workspace – and they incentivise me to DO.  Every day, I wake up… and I take tiny baby steps towards achieving my Big Dream (which I’ll tell you about later).  Do you know – that even actively writing and posting this blog… and publishing my Weekly-E… and posting on the BLP Facebook page are all tiny, baby steps towards my goal?

And yes… there’s a big part of me that is scared:

  • “What if people don’t like what I say or do?”
  • “What if they ridicule my work?”
  • “What if they ridicule me?”

But… *taking deep breath of courage*…. I’m gonna saddle up ANYWAY!

Wanna join me?  I would love to hear your thoughts!  – and if this blog was relevant for you – or if it resonated with you – please share the love!  Ta!  X

heather heart


Current photos of work-in-progress me!

I have come so very far… in every imaginable way… since November 2007 when I launched the Beautiful Life Project. Sure – I’m still working on my body… my strength… my fitness and my health. Sure – I still have a long way to go…

But self-hatred wise, so much has changed! I care so much more about myself than before. I make more effort taking care of “me”… and being true to myself… and honest with myself. I’ve even purchased new lingerie… something unheard of in the past when I believed that only thin supermodels were ‘deserving’ of beautiful undies!

I’m a very different person than the person you see in the 2 blogs following this one. And dare I say it – I’m rather chuffed with my progress! :o)

I recently returned to a long-lost love of mine: music. There’s my head singing next to Ziya at the State Theatre a couple of months ago.

Speaking to young girls at schools on the issues of self-love and self-abuse. A real milestone in my life, let me tell you!

With my gorgeous, talented friend, Anel – at the premiere of her movie, DISCREET.

Happy to be alive and free to be me!

And… pictures of me at my fattest AND most self-loathing…

These photos of me (cringe! cringe!) are cringe-worthy not so much because of what I weighed at the time (although a large amount)… but because of the sheer self-hatred that oozed from every pore!

I used to hate myself to such a degree that I completely neglected myself physically. I didn’t bother with hair… make-up… clothes… skin… nails… nothing! I even wore skew, broken glasses for months because I couldn’t bring myself to do something as simple as visiting an optometrist!!

I would go days sometimes without brushing my hair! Nails were bitten. Feet were cracked and callous. I simply didn’t love or respect myself… AT ALL! I’d wear faded, holey, ugly clothes – not feeling as though I deserved any better!

Inasmuch as I don’t want to be the thin screwed-up girl any more… I also certainly don’t want to be THIS…!

And in posting these pics – I realise that I’ve come a long… long way!!

Underneath that mopped cap was a bald patch the size of a peach from all the hair I pulled out of my own head!

Photos of thin me…

I guess it’s silly of me to assume that everyone who reads this blog has visited my website… has read my story… and has browsed through my thin & fat photos. An anonymous person posted an interesting response to my blog entitled “Am I happy being fat?”. I felt a bit misunderstood by Anonymous – but I don’t have the right to complain or whinge about it. If Anonymous doesn’t know me really well – how could she know about my journey?

She was certainly right in everything she said – but wrong to assume that I feel that life’s problems will miraculously disappear if I’m thin. I know that thinness isn’t a miracle-cure for life. Baggage still needs dealing with – it doesn’t disappear when one is thin! Why do I know this? Because… ta-daaaa!… I have been thin!

And I was just as messed up when thin – as when fat! Which is why I’m so big on Love-Yourself-Exactly-As-You-Are…. INSPITE of the fact that you’re not perfect and that there’s stuff you’d still like to work on! I have been treating myself with much more love and respect these days! Instead of looking in the mirror and going: “Eeeew! Fat, disgusting pig! What a useless, pathetic failure you are!”… I go: “I like you! And I’ll learn to love you! You’re a beautiful, unique, precious, priceless being! Sure – there’s things that need work – but I love you anyway! And even if you never got thin – I’d love you still!”.

My case in point:

This photo was taken in 1991 at my engagement party.
I was 18 – and (still!) embarrassed about my much smaller bum!

This photo was taken in 1997. I had just lost a huge amount of weight – but was possibly the most screwed-up EVER at the time this pic was taken!

Also 1997 (Christmas day) – me with my sister. Extreme emotional wreck at the time this photo was taken.

This photo was taken when I was dating my first husband. I was 17 and extremely embarrassed of my “fat legs”. My soon-to-be-husband pointed out that my left leg looked “extremely fat” in this pic.

Me with my first husband during our engagement. Zero self-confidence.

On my (first) wedding day. 11 April 1992. I was very disappointed in myself that I hadn’t managed to slim down to the appropriate “dream size”. If I could only go back in time and give the young, 19 year old me a damn good talking to! I wonder if she’d have listened?

Anonymous does open up a very interesting debate though – and she has some excellent points! What do you think? Add your thoughts by clicking here…!


Change… easy… NOT!

OK – so here I am, January 2009… the usual New Year’s Resolutions weighing expectantly on my shoulders. Shall I do – as I always do – and follow the usual New Year’s routine? ie:

  • Sign up for a strict, one-size-fits-all diet!
  • Embark upon an impossible, super-demanding exercise plan!
  • Write long lists of areas in my life which need desperate improvements!
  • Beat myself up when abovementioned plans go out the window.
  • Tell myself what a useless, pathetic, weak-willed individual I am for failing on diet & exercise plan and for procrastinating and for not remembering people’s birthdays… and for being a bad Christian… and a not-good-enough mother & wife… and for not keeping my office tidy (or my bedroom, or anything else for that matter)… and for squandering money on the glossies and too many Seattle lattes…and…and…
  • BINGE!
  • Feel overcome with guilt.
  • Binge some more… and promise to start new diet on Monday.
  • Procrastinate new diet.
  • Feel guilty for procrastinating new diet.
  • Binge some MORE…

And so on… and so forth… and so on!

I mean, how long must this ridiculous (not so) Merry-go-Round continue? I’ve been methodically following this same pattern for… well… YEARS!!!?

Enough! Enough! Enough!

Here are some NEW New Year’s Resolutions:

  • Be flippin‘ grateful for everything I have – and everything I’ve been given. My beautiful family, my friends, my talents, my dreams, my home, my stuff, my life….
  • Be grateful for the body I have which has taken me around the world… which has produced two gorgeous, perfect children… which is able to run, sing, walk, dance, see, laugh, play, eat, drink, listen, smell, touch – and so much more!
  • Nurture and nourish this precious body – treat it respectfully, in every way.
  • Stop hating and criticising my body and myself (I will admit – I have come a VERY long way with this – but there’s still a way to go!)
  • Eat healthy foods which I enjoy eating! No more grapefruit, celery, radishes, olives or hard boiled eggs for me – ever! (OK – maybe I shouldn’t say “never” coz you never know, huh?)
  • Slowly develop a daily routine that works for me – instead of beating myself up because I can’t seem to do what other superhuman women do!

And that’s just SOME of them!

OK – nuff said. I feel like something to drink. Coffee might just hit the spot. Coffee and a magazine…. hmmmm!



Whilst holidaying in Limpopo at my cousin’s lodge… I had the unfortunate experience of coming into contact with a small, hairy worm…. which left me with a hellish, angry-red rash on both my forearms and (strangely) on my stomach! I cannot explain the ITCH!!! Still – a week later – I’m trying not to scratch!

Here is a gross photo of the rash on my stomach – (the day after I met the worm).
It’s rather eewww, yes I know. Thought I’d share my pain! ;o)

Confession #571: a review of my undies drawer… probably not suitable for male reading.

A few days ago, my sister (Suzanne) stayed the night in our spare room after much emotional blackmail (on my part). I seldom get to spend quality-time with Sue, so when I do manage to get her in my presence, I try to keep her for as long as possible.
“Stay the night”, I whined, “we can do brunch tomorrow!”.
“I need a shower, I don’t have clothes, I don’t have make-up… no!”, she replied.
“Shower here! Use my make-up!” I said, persuasively.
“What about clothes?”
“I have a whole crate of thin clothes… saved for the magical day in my future when I’m actually thin! I’m sure we can find you something!”, I replied, enthusiastically!

For those of you who don’t know, I’m the “Big Sister” in more ways than one, being taller, fatter and older than Suzanne.

Sue reluctantly agreed to stay… but it was only after she’d got out the bath that another issue dawned upon her: “I don’t have clean underwear!”, she pointed out, clearly annoyed that this tiny fact had slipped her mind. Of course, we both knew the cardinal rule: no matter what the situation, one should never be allowed to climb back into a dirty pair of knickers after a bath! Eww!

“No matter!” I twittered brightly, “I have thin underwear too!”.
Suzanne merely raised her eyebrow with an expression that said: you-are-very-weird-but-you-know-that-already-so-I-won’t-bother-to-mention-it whilst I dug like an excited Labrador into the depths of my undies drawer.

A couple of months ago, I rearranged my undies draw. After years of extreme yo-yo dieting, I had an array of undies in all shapes, sizes and support – and I was getting frustrated at the amount of time it took me to find a suitable bra and pair of knickers in the morning amongst all the bras and knickers that no longer fitted me!

I didn’t want to throw away the too-small undies – because that’s like admitting defeat. It’s like saying: “Oh well, I shall be fat forever and shall no longer need these smaller items! I’m giving up on ever losing weight”.
No flippin’ way am I admitting defeat! And so I decided to divide my undies into separate size-appropriate piles and store them in separate bags inside my undies drawer. Of course, the only bags I could find in my house at the time were freezer bags (the extra-noisy, crackly ones – which you’re supposed to freeze your Farmer Brown chickens in) – but hey, not one for fussiness – freezer bags it was! And so the undies have been arranged as follows:

Bag #1: Thin-Thin.
This is my most optimistic freezer bag in my undies draw. It houses all kinds of sexy underwear in a size waaayyyy too small for me. Cute little push up bras and teeny, tiny satin g-strings. Most have never been worn. I can’t even remember where or how I accumulated this stuff – all I know is: I’m not parting with it! I dream of the day one-day-when I’m able to fit into my thin-thin undies.

Bag #2: Significantly thinner than what I currently am.
This bag houses undies that could fit me if I lost a significant amount of weight – but without reaching ‘goal weight’. The stuff in there isn’t half as cute and sexy as the thin-thin bag… but there’s still a few nice, lacy, satiny goodies.

Bag #3: Slightly thinner than what I currently am.
The undies in this bag are ‘in waiting’ for my body to get just slightly thinner than what I currently am. With a great amount of effort, I’m able to squeeze myself into these undies – but with the embarrassing results of double-boob and back-rolls – I’ve decided to delegate them to their own bag for a couple of months until I can lose some more weight.

No Bag: Current Undies.
The rest of my bras and knickers… together with one unsightly granny-style petticoat… have free-range in my undies drawer. This means that I can currently grab any bra or pair of knickers and know, with some level of certainty, that they will fit me. Everything is from Woolworths. Sensible. Comfortable. Cotton. Nothing sexy, satiny or bejewelled in sight. A large part of me doesn’t believe that I am ‘worth’ lingerie at this weight… and while I’ll never wear enormous, low leg, waist high broekies aka Bridget Jones… you won’t catch me in anything shiny or adventurous either. It’s simple, cotton, bikini-cut knickers… and sensible, supportive bras – thank-you very much!

For Suzanne, I dug out my much treasured thin-thin bag and selected a teeny-tiny G-string and a cute push-up bra with a daisy pattern. The bra fitted my sister – but the G-string was still disturbingly saggy on her tiny size 8 butt! (PS: For my American friends, I’ve forgotten what the American equivalent to size 8 is… I think it’s a 2).

For an outfit, I selected a funky black wrap-around dress – that I would kill to fit in to – which hung off her tiny frame like an ill-fitting rag. It was the only thing that was possible for her to wear – even my wide selection of thin-jeans in my special One-Day-When crate were waaaayyy too big for my little sister. Hmmmm.

Anyway – nuff said. Pondering on these things is enough to give me a headache for a very long time. I’m signing off and going upstairs to organise my thin-clothes. The freezer bags are finished, but I have hundreds of old checkers packets.