A makeover for the body and mind

It's a Life Matters Monday Makeover first as this week a reader gets a revamp on her body and mind. Emma Harrowing catches up with Jane Cox who has been having life coaching lessons which have changed her life.

At the beginning of the year Jane Cox from Norwich was in the midst of a mid-life crisis.

Her once prosperous career as an IT project manager was cut short when 15 years ago she decided to have children and gave up work to look after her two sons. Now that her sons have grown up, trying to get back into the rat race proved difficult for 54-year-old Jane as she couldn't find a job she really loved.

Jane was also struggling with her family life. Her relationship with her 18-year-old son was strained and difficult. Jane also had found herself in financial difficulty.

On top of all this Jane had put on weight and like many women when they reach a certain age she began to question her looks.

Jane felt that she had problems in most areas of her life, but she couldn't see how to turn the situation around. In February this year she said that she didn't know who she was anymore.

'I would like a job that will give me a challenge. Now that my sons have grown up I feel isolated. I have been so use to doing things for my two sons it is difficult when they get to the stage in their lives when they don't need you as much anymore. You have to start to learn to live with yourself again and start being a wife again. This is very difficult.

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'I would like to know who I am. I would like to feel valued again. I would like the relationships within my family to improve. I would love a job that was going somewhere and had a future, would utilise my skills and pay me a decent salary.'

Jane had an idea of how she wanted her life to be, but she didn't know how she could achieve it. Instead her wishes became further from her reach, causing frustration and self-dislike.

Then she won the Life Matters competition to win ten one-hour life coaching sessions with life coach Doug Scroggins, founder of the DLS Experience.

Doug became a life coach in 2001 when he set up the DLS Experience. He uses a unique approach to help people realise their full potential by changing the way they think. In very simple terms, instead of thinking about 'doing' a list of things, you need to think about the person you need or want to 'be' in order to achieve what you want.

In Jane's case she had been trying to change her life by 'doing' many things such as sending out her CV, going to the job centre, taking up a hobby and trying to do things with her family. Even by changing external elements in her life, Jane found that she still could not achieve what she really wanted out of life.

'By doing all these things Jane was losing sight of being who she can be,' says Doug. 'Being comes before doing in everything you do in life. You need to be organised in order to get things done, you need to be nurturing in order to raise a family. In every part of your life you need to be someone in order to do what you want to do. The key is discovering who you want to be.

'Jane has summed up how it feels when you concentrate too much on doing when she said that she does not know who she is anymore.'

Says Jane: 'After just a few sessions with Doug I started to see that I can change my life, but the first thing I needed to sort out was who I needed to be in order to build a better relationship with my family and who I needed to be to get the job I really want.'

To help Jane achieve this, Doug gave her a list of attributes and Jane ticked the ones that she wanted to be. These became Jane's values – who she needs to be in order to achieve her goals. Doug tailored Jane's sessions to teach her how to change aspects in her behaviour in order to be who she needs to be to meet her objectives.

Says Jane: 'I found some sessions tough and others easier. Sometimes I would have a bad session because my mind was full of other things which distracted me from what was happening in the session.

'Doug taught me early on that the way I respond to certain situations is because of my life experiences. Through the techniques he has taught me I am able to stop the automatic responses I had learnt by life experiences and instead consider my response carefully.

'The key to my success in changing my behaviour is to be open to change and to memorise my values and beliefs that are defined throughout the sessions. Life coaching really kicked in for me once I made an effort to learn my values. It wasn't easy. As you get older memorising things isn't as easy as it once was, but I persevered and by being who I need to be in any given situation I have turned my life around.'

Jane's life has changed threefold through using the techniques set out by Doug. Her relationship with her son has improved greatly. By accepting him for who he is and by using her beliefs and values set out in her sessions their relationship has turned the corner.

Jane has also found a job she enjoys working as an administrator for a mobility centre in North Norwich and she has managed to lose 11lbs on the Rosemary Connelly diet.

Says Jane: 'I don't think I have ever been this slim! It's all thanks to the Rosemary Connelly classes and the leader Sarah who is a true inspiration. And I would never have succeeded in my weight loss if it hadn't been for my life coaching sessions; they really made me be who I want to be.'

Now that Jane has been given a makeover of her inner self it was time to treat her to a makeover for her appearance. Changing the way you look won't change who you are, but a few tweaks here and there can boost your confidence. So I took Jane to see Ruth Bowe the new fashion advisor at John Lewis to give her a few tips.

Says Ruth: 'Jane usually buys her clothes second hand and she never wears a dress so it would be great to see her show off her new figure in an elegant dress that will make her feel like a princess.

'This will be a big change for Jane who usually wears trousers and tops, but it's good to get her out of her comfort zone and show her how good she looks if she wears an outfit that suits her warm colouring and hourglass shape.'

To complete Jane's makeover Justin at Nigel Alexandre hair salon and Tina at Pampers beauty salon, both on Castle Street, revamped her hair and makeup.

Says Justin: 'At the moment Jane's hairstyle looks very heavy and is doing nothing for her face. Her colour is also quite flat and cool, which drains Jane's warm complexion. To give her hair a boost I am going to use a warm chocolate brown as the base and then put rich, warm brown highlights around the crown to create a natural look.

'For the cut I am going to take her hair a bit shorter and make the ends around the sides and back wispy. To break up the heaviness I am going to cut into the thickness of her hair, which will also give it more texture.'

When it comes to makeup Jane normally wears tinted moisturiser and a little mascara. As she is not used to wearing a lot of makeup a natural mineral-based makeup is ideal as it feels light on the skin.

Pampers uses Bare Minerals makeup, made from 100pc minerals. All of the makeup from the base to the eyeshadow is in a loose powder making it easy to brush onto the skin and blend. After creating a flawless base with the mineral foundation, Tina used a neutral mink colour across the eyelids adding a touch of colour with a violet eyeshadow which was applied like an eyeliner across the top lids. Dark grey eyeliner was applied along the lower lash line to softly define the eyes. Jane's look was completed with black mascara, a pink blush on the apples of the cheeks and a soft pink lipstick.


Jane says: 'The last year has been an emotional rollercoaster but through my sessions with Doug and by learning my values I have turned my life around.

'I am less stressed and I have learnt to take life as it comes, using my values and remembering to 'be' when times are tough. This is a remarkable change as before I would try and pack every waking moment 'doing something'.

'I still don't always get it right and at times I revert back to my old self and my old ways of dealing with issues, but on the whole I am using what I learnt during my life coaching sessions.

'I am not quite used to my new size and I'm amazed every time I try clothes on and I can fit into a size 10! I love the dress and my hair and makeup are fantastic. My husband was amazed by my new look.

'Thank you for this wonderful opportunity, my confidence has increased thanks to the life coaching sessions and the makeover day was the icing on the cake!'