My fifteen minutes…

This post will be talking about my journey to becoming a Slimming World cover girl! Nope – still hasn’t sunk in despite seeing my face every time I pop to Aldi for some nappies. I’ve been wanting to share this experience with you since I started this blog but I just didn’t know how to put such a magical time into words. I say magical as it was just that. Did not and does not feel real in the slightest! I appreciate a lot of you will be totally uninterested by this post so I will not be offended if you scroll on by to one of my other posts where you will find a tasty recipe to try.

I feel like this is the perfect time to post about my experience with the brand new, shiny magazine out in groups this week! I am so excited to read and equally excited for the bloomin’ beautiful lady gracing the front cover. However, soon I will be waving a sad goodbye to myself from the shelves of the local supermarkets. Never fear – my parents could open their own newsagents with the amount of copies they bought! It’s been a surreal experience to say the least which all started with a message on Instagram from the editorial assistant at Slimming World…

I say this every time but as I’m sure you’re aware, I use my Instagram page (@bravenewslimmingworld) to post my meals which is something that has kept me on track over the years. Little did I know that it would change my life forever when a beady eyed member of the Slimming World team spotted my profile. I was positive that someone was playing a very cruel trick on me when I was asked if I’d thought about featuring in the magazine and if I would complete a questionnaire. I almost deleted the message (could you imagine?!) but I was convinced to reply by some very wise friends of mine. These same friends had to endure my relentless messages over the following months so I thank you for your patience. For example, my biggest fear throughout this whole process… smiling with my teeth. This is unheard of! The only photos of my teeth in existence are the countless selfies I sent to @sw_emilie in a panicked frenzie when Slimming World requested a photo with a ‘big, beaming smile’ and the actual photos in the magazine. You can imagine how this filled me with dread. Luckily, Emilie was at hand to analyse my teeth and rate each smile out of ten. The girl did good as I had lovely feedback from the Slimming World team who confirmed that they’d like me to come along to a photo shoot. 

I kept waiting for the email explaining that this was one big mistake but it never came. It finally became real-life when I received hotel confirmation and train tickets in the post! I have NEVER been so nervous in my life. Anyone who knows me will agree that I don’t enjoy being in the spotlight. I’ll quite happily blend into the background and watch someone else take centre stage. It took a lot for me to be able to go through with this and I would honestly have run for the hills if it wasn’t for the support and encouragement of my friends and family. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful at all because this is one of the best things I have ever done but I have never been so far out of my comfort zone. 

I took each day as it came and tried to put the terrifying thought of a photo shoot to the back of my mind. I’m very aware that I sound like a complete drama queen but I was petrified! My lovely Mam joined me in London. We were treated like VIPs being taxied around London with my Mam telling anyone that would listen that we’re going to a photo shoot whilst I hid in embarrassment. We ate fancy food at the hotel and had an early night (lying awake worrying about A. Teeth. B. Arriving with no make up on. C. Teeth)

Morning came too soon! My make-up-less face and I went down for breakfast. Any normal person would eat fresh fruit on the morning of a photo shoot. Maybe stretch to a bit of yoghurt. Me? Noooo. Ate the fruit alongside a full English and some Nutella pancakes! No matter how much Slimming World has changed my ways, I will never be in control around free food…

A quick dash in the taxi, avoiding all mirrors and we were there! The studio was amazing, it was like Slimming World heaven. I was surrounded by a sea of hifi bars, the latest magazine, a rail of beautiful clothes which I would never dream of wearing, more make up than I’ve ever seen. Incredible. At this point I really could’ve done with a glass (bottle) of wine but I pulled on my big girl pants and started trying on outfits under the instruction of the fabulous creative designer and stylist. After whittling down the favourite outfits, I had my hair and make up done and then we were all set…

The next five or so hours were a blur. Being in front of the camera was such a strange feeling but I totally embraced the moment and went for it. I loved every second. The photographer put me at ease straight away and I have never smiled so much in my life. I have the whole team to thank for my amazing photos which I will cherish forever. They made me feel beautiful and encouraged me all day long.

At the end of the day I had cramp in all of my limbs and my entire face. How people do this for a living I will never know. Exhausting! We had a taxi straight back to the station and headed back to reality. Back to being a busy mother of two and working a full-time job. After settling back into routine and longing to turn back time, look what turned up on my doorstep!

How lovely are Slimming World?! (These arrived around Valentine’s Day so my husband, Neil was rather suspicious of Matt for a while…) 

I waited in anticipation for the release of the magazine, not knowing which photos were being used and certainly not realising that I would be on the cover! Such an overwhelming feeling being told that I’d been chosen as a cover girl. 

After reading the magazine since the beginning of my journey, it has been an absolute honour be a part of it. As most of you know, I enjoy nothing more than making as many recipes as I can from these magazines and reading all of the inspirational stories. I can’t thank Slimming World enough for the opportunity. Another big thank you goes to the HUGE amount of support I received on Instagram. I was bracing myself for some negativity but to my surprise, I was flooded with lovely messages and congratulations. I’ve never known such a supportive community on social media. Please create your own account if you’re needing some encouragement on your journey. It’s one of the best things I ever did. 

Finally, if there’s anyone that was even more ecstatic than myself, it was my boys. The highlight of the whole experience was seeing the look on their face when they saw their Mam on the shelves at the shops. 

That was a whirlwind tour of my whirlwind experience. I’ll be back to posting recipes as usual next week! Thank you for reading about my journey. If you’re thinking of appearing in the magazine then don’t hesitate any longer… go, go, go!

Elena xx


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