although Trinny and Suzannah helped a bit too.
Until about six years ago, I was Mrs Sloppy Jim. Then - I can't remember what the spur was - was it daughter's wedding? Or was it a slow realisation that I was an old frump? Whatever it was, it kicked me into action: I visited Madame Foner's.
Now, girls, are you wearing the right size bra? It's a fact that the majority of women aren't. I certainly wasn't. I was making the mistake of buying a larger size rather than a larger cup size.
I've written here a slightly fictionalised account of my first visit; the fact wasn't that far removed from the fiction. Apart from my description of the woman fitting me: she was much nicer than the dragon in the story. But she did womanhandle me.
But I left the shop with a 'phwoar' chest.
Then I took the advice of Trinny and Suzannah and chose clothes that showed off my figure rather than hiding it. The change was amazing. Suddenly I was taking an interest and pleasure in what I was wearing. I made an effort. It was a new me. I felt good about how I looked.
And - and this is the important bit - I suddenly had confidence. Not just about how I looked but about lots of aspects of my life. Life seemed to suddenly open up for me.
Over the last 18 months I've received compliments from 20-year-olds, 50-year-olds and every age in between. It's brilliant!
Now I know that I am more than how I look, that how I look doesn't or shouldn't matter. But what I'm trying to say is that changing my appearance has changed how I feel about me. In this instance I am the most important; it's my opinion that counts. I feel good; I get complimented; I feel good. It's the opposite of a vicious circle.
I'm not this wonderfully glamorous, made-up, face-lifted woman. I am a middle-aged wife and mother with grey hairs, love handles and furrows for wrinkles. And, sometimes, when I'm slopping around the house or walking the dog, I have to avoid small children for fear of frightening them. (Fortunately Husband can't see far without his glasses and I 'misplace' them whenever possible.) But when I want to and I make the effort, I'm pretty passable.
And it all started with a bra.