Kerry is one of the incredible women taking part in my DISCOVER YOU series, celebrating you, what has shaped you and who you are now. She has undergone a big transformation in the last 2 years, both on the outside and within, and wanted to capture the woman she had become.
I’m loving my 40’s, feeling this is where I really have ‘come into’ myself. I’m creative and energetic and enjoy things that are ‘outdoorsy’. I’ve been married for 23 years and everyday is still fun packed and full of humour. My family is very important to me as are my incredible friends who all enrich my life in so many ways. I’m facing celebrating 50 as a healthier, more balanced, happier woman – I probably can’t ask for more than that!
What is your story?
I spent most of my career in education, finally becoming a headteacher but I decided that something else was needed as I really wanted to get more from life, not just an early start and late finish every day. This was compounded by the very sudden loss of my dad. It was a time to refocus and reinvent! Part of this was taking myself to task… I have lost 6.5 stone in 14 months and dropped 4 dress sizes! I completed the couch to 5k and am now an annoying fitness fanatic, working out every day! The best thing about all of this is how much better I feel – physically I’m fitter, I look so much better and I’m so proud of myself. It’s nice to wear things and have the confidence in knowing you look good, although it cost me a small fortune to replace the wardrobe!
My husband and I have faced a number of difficulties together over the years, notably some significant health issues for him, but we are positive people who always find the silver lining of every cloud. He has also gone through a transformation and we’re so proud of what we have achieved together. I now work for a national charity which is incredibly fulfilling and am enjoying life, despite the challenges that COVID has brought over recent times.
What do you want most out of life?
Essentially to be happy and content. We would love to move to Devon at some point in the near future (where my family are from) and enjoy life by the coast! I work out and run a lot. My target with my trainer in 2021 is to do the splits!! I started pole exercise a while back and really want to get good at that and my aim is a flat stomach!! I’m very competitive with myself so targets are good! I’m lucky that both my husband and I are very relaxed and content people – we tend to enjoy the small things in life!
What else do you want to experience?
My dream is to wake up and do my morning run by the sea. My husband, Liam and I just like a laidback lifestyle and to do things outdoors so a move to the coast would be amazing. I’ve loved Devon since I was a small child and love seeing my family there. The thought of a morning run, breathing in some sea air and ending up with a latte at a beach café sounds pretty good to me!
What brings you joy?
I love being outdoors; running, walking the dogs, walking with friends. I also love anything creative; I’m a qualified milliner, I love to cook and sew.
Spending time, even virtually, with friends and family brings much joy. I’m extremely lucky in that I have the best family and friends! Despite it sounding very cheesy, I love spending time with my husband- we’ve been married for 23 years and every day is fun! I love to find humour in things (laughing is a big thing in my family and get togethers can be very loud and raucous!) and I love that I’ve really managed to change things in my life.
When was the last time you did something for the very first time?
This is difficult with the last year having been so restrictive but I guess starting pole was a big step for me. It needed a lot of confidence and is absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever tried! It’s really good to keep challenging myself with it though…and the bruises fade!! I’ve also just signed up for paddle boarding in the summer with some friends and that is something completely new. It’s really healthy to be out of your comfort zone at times!
Who inspires and motivates you?
I’m constantly inspired and motivated by the other amazing women in my life. I have friends who do great things for great causes in their professional lives, I have friends who face difficulties and challenges in their personal lives but still succeed every day, my sisters-in-law who managed to keep working through lockdown whilst home educating their children and protecting them from the worries of what was happening around them, my cousins with their eternal optimism and crazy humour, my mum and my Aunty who both inspired me from a young age….i am blessed with an abundance of incredible women who have absolutely shaped me and who constantly influence who I want to be. Knowing they surround me and support me gives me the confidence to tackle things in my own life. Sitting around these amazing women has also been a number of significant men such as my brother, my dad and my husband….all great believers in equality and warm, strong and inspirational people themselves.
What do you want your life to be about?
Having lost my Dad not so long ago, we all reflected on just how many people got in touch to express their sorrow and to share stories of how he touched their lives. I really think there is nothing more meaningful in life than those personal connections. Helping others and spreading happiness…I’d be happy with that!
What would you do differently in your life if you knew nobody would judge you?
I think as you get older, you worry about this less. When I first started running I used to worry about what I looked like, that I wasn’t going very fast, what others would think. I then realised that it really didn’t matter as I was out there doing something and that was all that mattered. I tend to think that if people want to judge others it’s more a reflection on them than you. You are much happier when you just focus on your own life and do things for yourself or those that matter to you…the judgement of others shouldn’t ever stop you from achieving your own goals!
Why were the photographs important to you now?
I wanted to do something that marked my journey of weight loss and showed the person I am as a result. I am not a natural in front of the camera by any stretch of the imagination so this was a big challenge for me but it was something I really wanted to push myself to do.
How did you feel seeing your finished portraits?
I was absolutely blown away when I saw all the prints up on the wall. I hoped they would be something I could be proud of but I was shocked by just how amazing they were and also how much of ‘me’ was captured! To see yourself in the mirror everyday is one thing but to see yourself in such a professional setting is something else. They are just stunning and I cannot thank you enough!
Photo & Retouch Renata Clarke
Makeup & Hair Styling Victoria Jones
Renata specialises in magazine style portrait and boudoir photography. Her main focus is to empower women through the tailored experience and beautiful fine art portraits that will last a lifetime. Get in touch to reserve your complimentary consultation and talk about your dream portraits.