Tag Archives: lisa boyle

Positive Visualisation – Does it work?

1 Apr

Athletes swear by it, entrepreneurs use it to try and turn their dreams into reality and even Oprah is a big fan – but the real questions is – does positive visualisation really work?

For years we have been told about the miraculous benefits of using positive thinking to reach our goals. It has become a sworn-by technique used by thousands to try and reach success, a tried-and-tested method used by the likes of heptathlete Jessica Ennis  and self-made billionaires like Richard Branson – who claims to have made it to the top by literally willing himself to achieve the success he craved.

However a controversial new book by bestselling British author and journalist Oliver Burkeman, named The Antidote: Happiness For People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, claims that positive thinking doesn’t actually work.

According to Burkeman, who writes for the Guardian, including the weekly column ‘This Column Will Change Your Life, living by the belief that positive affirmations will transform our lives could actually be setting us up for failure. His new book aims to debunk the myth of positive thinking as he believes that true happiness can only be achieved if we can learn to love failure instead of fearing it.

He also explores the notion that, when we believe good things will come solely from thinking well, is that this type of “very brittle and fragile kind of approach to happiness” is what leaves you much less resilient and able to cope when things go wrong.

In opposition of the boundless other self-help books and psychology articles that say using positive thinking techniques help to bring our dreams closer to us, Burkeman believes that our constant efforts to eliminate pessimistic thoughts could in fact be setting us up to feel emotions which end up creating more negativity – such as insecurity, sadness or acute feelings of failure.

He explained: “For some years I’d been writing my column in the Guardian, ‘This Column Will Change Your Life,’ which is a tongue-in-cheek look at what works and what doesn’t in self-help and popular psychology.

“Gradually I began to see that there was one major thing that many of the failed approaches to happiness had in common: positive thinking. By that I mean, specifically, the idea that you can make yourself happy or successful by sheer force of will – by deciding only to think happy thoughts, or deciding that your dreams will come true.

“What these entire approaches share is the notion that negative feelings and situations should be ignored or erased. Ultimately, that’s counterproductive – it makes things worse. Deciding to be optimistic all the time, especially if it doesn’t come naturally, is actually a rather stressful way to live.”

In some ways I can’t help but feel disappointed by Oliver’s argument. Having always been optimistic about the power of positivity – and also vaguely anxious about my upcoming driving test – I thought that perhaps I could use some visualisation techniques to try and boost my chances of passing first time.

Intrigued by Oliver’s claims, I revisited my bookshelf to find a worn-out book that my father gave me a few years back named ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ by Dr Norman Vincent Peale. It was a book that, if I’m honest, I skimmed when I was 19, thought about for a day or two – and then swiftly forgotten. However after having a recent conversation with a friend of mine who swears that her luck has improved by tenfold by using positive affirmations – I decided to buff up on the subject by trying out some research for myself.

After having a thorough read through Dr Peale’s original book, which sold more than 22 million copies after being first published in 1952, I noticed upon reading that there is no room for being cynical. It says that for the practice to truly work, you mustn’t allow negative thoughts to enter into your mind or allow yourself to be disbelieving. Having suffered a day of what had already seemed like one disaster after the other, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.

Another thing that got to me was that it says that everything negative that occurs is often brought on – or even yearned for – by ourselves. I’ll admit, I found it profoundly difficult to believe the fact that I would have possibly wanted to get soaked in the rain, miss the train and then lose my favourite necklace on one day. But was it simply my pessimism, or cynicism, that was preventing the techniques from working?

Oliver said: “With all these techniques, the point is not that they could never work, but that they’re sufficiently dubious to be little use as a general approach to life. Some sports psychologists, for example, are convinced that positive visualisation works.

“Meanwhile, a study a few years ago showed that people who were rendered thirsty and then asked to visualise drinking a refreshing glass of water appeared to undergo a reduction in motivation, not an increase. It was as if they were less motivated to achieve their goal in reality because they’d already convinced themselves they’d achieved it on an imaginary level.

“One study mentioned in my book also showed that people with low self-esteem who repeat self-help ‘affirmations’ to themselves end up feeling worse, perhaps because the affirmations prompt them to generate counter-arguments. They say to themselves ‘I am a lovable person!’ and all their mind does is think of reasons why they’re not lovable.”

Although I found myself agreeing with his counter arguments theory, for some reason, something inside me still wanted to believe that there was something in the whole positive visualisation thing. After all, if it is being used by athletes, professional golfers and top entrepreneurs, then surely there must be something in it?

Dr Guang Yue, an exercise psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, has also recently unveiled the results of an experiment, in which he discovered that just thinking about exercise can increase the strength of your muscles.

What was most astonishing about the experiment was the fact that the volunteers who carried out virtual workouts in their heads, as compared to the volunteers who carried out physical workouts, still managed to increase their muscle strength by 30 per cent by the power of their minds alone.

With this in mind, I reverted back to reading my old Positive Thinking book, and I found it insightful that it discusses how having one bad thing happen can have a domino effect on your life, simply because the first event often throws you into a negative mind frame. I’m sure we can all relate to those awful days where there seems to be an endless stream of bad things happening. It made me wonder if things could have turned out differently had I simply tried to be a bit more optimistic.

When I asked Oliver what he thought about this and whether he believed that positive thinking could only set us up for failure in the long run, he said: “The simple truth is that life is full of ups and downs. Bad stuff happens. That in itself needn’t be a catastrophe.

“But when you adopt a philosophy of happiness that is based on just trying not to think about those bad things, it’s inevitable that they will destabilise you much more when they do occur. The ‘negative path to happiness’ which I write about in The Antidote is the suggestion that we might do better to find ways to coexist with those bad things, to be open to them and to prepare for them.

“The key is in learning to find ways to coexist with both sides of the human emotional repertoire, the bad as well as the good. By having a friendlier attitude to uncertainty, insecurity and sadness in this way, we can chart a course to a far more fulfilling life than mere positive thinking could ever achieve.”

I’m not sure what to think now I’ve heard Burkeman’s argument, however there’s still that little bit inside me that thinks using positive affirmations is the best way to stay upbeat and uplifted when we so badly want to achieve something.  I fear that by not a least trying to give it ago, it could prevent a flurry of possibilities from happening.

Although I’ll definitely start to try and embrace my failures and be less of a perfectionist, I’ll still picturing me walking out of that car on the day of my driving test, elated that I’ve been given a pass.

There are some things that are bound to be beyond our control, so I think the key is just to go with the flow and accept that some things don’t always work out the way we want them to. Better to always look on the bright side.


Are Bloggers the New Celebrities?

6 Jan

Queen Michelle from popular Scottish blog Kingdom of Style

The hot-to-trot blogger sporting her eclectic fashion sense – Manoush Fleece Dress, Topshop trench, Balenciaga bag, Primeoza Scarf, Glitter boots ASOS.’

Today almost anyone can become a blogger. From blogging about food to fashion and everyday life, it has become increasingly popular for aspiring writers to come up with their own personal website in which they share their either thigh-slappingly funny antics or latest handbag purchase with the rest of the world.

The rise of online media and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter make it incredibly normal for us to share our daily thoughts and feelings with colleagues and friends, and blogging has become another outlet for them to express their latest woes and whereabouts.

One thing recognisable about the majority of popular blogs, is that fashion has become a huge arena for style sisters to carve a career out of.

Many of our online style icons have went on to generate exciting careers out of sharing their passion with the world. Blogger Rumi Neely shot to fame through the launch of her website ‘FashionToast,’ where she posted a personable insight into her views on fashion every week, gaining a legion of devoted followers after fashion lovers devoured her chic style diary and drool-worthy wardrobe.

Rumi’s website now has millions of followers and has transformed her from city-girl to supermodel, with a range of clothing lines following her success as well as being style muse and top guest for fashion shows across the world.

With the impact of the recession affecting employability for thousands of ambitious writers, it seems we are taking it into our own hands and trying to get noticed online.

Conventional 9am – 5pm jobs have been casted aside for something far more flexible and inspiring, and blogging is a great way to show potential employers how serious you really are about fashion.

We spoke to Queen Michelle, blogger from the popular Scottish ‘Kingdom of Style’ blog on how blogging has changed her life.

 Michelle’s amazing blog with best friend Queen Marie has led to the launch of her very own bag line, pictured above!

What is your average day like as a blogger?

Well I don’t blog as a job, so my days are taken up as a graphic designer. I write all my articles at the weekend mostly, and the odd lunch time here and there if I have time.

What is your favourite thing about being a blogger?

The excitement of sharing a find with the reader’s. It’s like having the biggest network of girlfriends imaginable.

Is this something you have made a career out of since?

I don’t want to be become a ‘blogger’ – as in that’s my job. Many of the blogs which began as personal blogs and then went onto become industry insiders blogs lost most of their charm for me. I like reading about a girl and her wardrobe and her new shoes, not endless press launches.

How would you go about selecting an outfit you want to post about in the ‘Queen Michelle’s Personal Style’ section?

Usually it’s just what I’ve been wearing at the weekend that gets photographed. I’m often on my way to or from Morrison’s when the photo gets taken!

What qualities do you need to become a successful blogger?

A strong voice, focus and the ability to not give up or get disheartened when you think your blog isn’t doing as well as you hoped. A thick skin also helps.

What sort of advice would you give other aspiring bloggers?

Don’t blog with an agenda – ie don’t start it thinking it’ll get you a career, free stuff, a modelling contract etc. Do it because you love the subject you’re talking about and write about it passionately. And the rest might very well follow.

The personal style of Queen Michelle – She’s edgy, she’s elusively cool and we want her wardrobe, Styletto digs deep into what makes Queen Michelle tick!

How would you describe your personal style?

Haphazard! I am quite lazy when it comes to outfits so I chuck stuff on and hope it looks ok.

What is your fail-safe, feel fabulous outfit?

Tight black jeans, my Balenciaga heels and vintage Slayer t-shirt.

Favourite brands and why you love them?

Topshop and ASOS for affordable fashion. Led clothes and COS for basics, Bordelle for lingerie, Lucette for leather stuff, Balenciaga for handbags and Alexander Wang for t-shirts. I think these shops and labels really excel at these things and I’ve never been let down by them.

What fashion essential will you be buying for winter this year?

A new black shaggy fur coat.

Style icon?

I don’t have one to be honest, but I think Alison Mosshart is beautiful and I love that she stays true to her style at all times.

Favourite magazine?

Probably Oyster.

What’s in your handbag?

God, a load of stuff! Lipbalm, some very old payslips, pens, purse, a couple of USB drives, a key to something – no idea what, some loose change, a sweetie wrapper, a plaster, my phone and a pencil rubber. Time for a clean out!

Fashion show survival items?

Definitely concealer and lipbalm. I’d be a scaly, baggy eye mess without them.

Favourite fashion era and why?

I haven’t got a favourite era really. Each era brought something new to the table and made fashion and style what it is today, so it’s hard to single out one as being my favourite.

Fashion Blogs You’ll Love






Styletto Store Announcement!

1 Nov

Hey guys, I am very excited to announce that my website Styletto’s new online fashion and beauty store has finally opened!

At present there is only one item for sale but hey, its a start!

I am proud to announce my other site http://www.styletto.webs.com, has been doing fantastically of late, and I hope all you guys will love the shop as much as you do my blogs.

The first item for sale is this stunning ASOS Petite Red Lace Dress for £40.

You can read more about this and buy this stunning dress here: http://styletto.webs.com/apps/webstore/products/show/2748707

More information about Styletto Shop below

Greetings fellow fashionista’s!

The Styletto Fashion store is an exciting online boutique with unique on-trend fashion items, vintage one-offs and some of blogger Lisa Boyle’s favourite quality items unavailable on the high street.

This shop is perfect for all those style-hunting gals in search of incredibly on-trend, glamorous and lust-worthy items.

Styletto fans will devour the fashion pieces and beauty products available to purchase at the Styletto store.

Think edgy, fashionable, glamorous and high-quality clothing without the heart-racing price tag.

Pop along and check out Styletto’s online shop and you’ll be like a kid in a candy store with all the drool-worthy items on offer.

The store provides a quick and efficient online service along with style tips, instant customer service and feedback on your purchases.

This exclusive style service is based in Glasgow and the UK but we’re hoping to expand the store very soon!

Keep your eyes peeled for our seasonal picks and finds guaranteed to keep you ahead of the fashion fraternity whilst feeding your shopping addiction at the same time!

Happy Shopping, Styletto xx

Zaggora Hotpant Challenge!

31 Oct

Too good to be true? Read my daily posts of the Zaggora hot pant challenge helping celebrities drop two jeans sizes in two weeks! 

I don’t know about you guys, but for me winter is one of those times you just want to curl up in bed with some tea and chocolate hibernate away from the cold outside.

So despite being an avid gym-goer, it can be rather difficult for me to remain trim during the festive season, with constant temptation of stodgy foods and tins of chocolate often readily available at home and in the office.

If there’s anything that could help me to drop a jeans size ( I swear Topshop are making them smaller) without much effort, then I’m all for it.

Zaggora, the phenomenal  sports brand who launched the life-changing hotpants have helped woman to drop up to two dress sizes in two weeks just by wearing these shorts, which when worn around the house or working out, effectively help you drop inches and weight by using your own body heat.

Celebrities and brides-to-be have snapped the hotpants up in seconds, with over 100,000 pairs being sold in just ten weeks and millions of Facebook fans declaring their love for the hotpants on the social networking site.

One woman wrote: “I couldn’t believe it when I dropped a dress size in a week,”  and another woman proclaimes to have shrunk from a size 20 to 16 in just a few weeks time.

Bride Dessi Bell says she had tried yoga, the gym, expensive creams and even personal training before searching for something new on google, and after trying the hotpants she was the first to lose 2 jeans sizes in 2 weeks before her wedding.

26,000 pairs were sold by Groupon UK in 2 days and this helped Zaggora to gain a legion of fans across the world, resulting in a pair of hotpants being sold every minute.

Although I don’t exactly need to lose much weight, there’s never any harm in losing a few inches from my waist and also busting cellulite at the same time, so this week I have decided to embark upon the Zaggora two-week challenge.

The challenge consists of wearing the hotpants at least 30 minutes a day for two weeks, preferably whilst working out or even to bed.

Many women have chosen to wear them to work underneath their office attire, losing jeans sizes whilst sitting at their desks!

This seems too good to be true, however after reading various testimonials and reviews on these hotpants, apparently they really do work! 

They have become so popular that they have become one of the most desirable weight-loss weapons ever since.

The hotpants use bio ceramic technology which uses your natural body heat to target those stubborn fatty areas many woman complain about, helping you to sweat more, burning more calories in the long run.

Celu‐Lite™ technology reflects back the heat naturally generated by the body to promote deeper warming of your tissue leading to higher levels of perspiration and therefore breaking down fat and toxins that contribute to the appearance of cellulite.

After receiving my hotpants through the post, I was excited but nervous to try them.They look slightly like the hold-in pants people wear to smooth lumps and bumps underneath a dress, however when I tried them on they were surprisingly comfortable and discreet!

The hotpants claim to:

  •  Reduce body fat and the appearance of cellulite by using natural body heat to increase perspiration by up to 80 %.
  • Help you to lose 2 jeans sizes in 2 weeks, with an average result of losing between 10 – 12lbs in weight within two weeks.
  • Drop inches from your waist, hips, bum and thighs.
  • Double your workout, a half hour workout wearing the hotpants reportedly is the equivalent of one hour.
  • The immune system is strengthened as your body temperature rises, because your system is fighting an ‘artificial fever’. Profuse perspiration has also been proven to cleanse and rejuvenate the skin, creating beautiful and improved texture, colour and tone.

Day 1 

Bye booze binges and bloatedness 

I’m told by Zaggora that to participate effectively in the two week challenge, I should wear the hotpants for at least 30 minutes a day and measure myself before and after the challenge to mark the results.

So before I hit the gym, all enthusiasm and rocky-style motivation, I measure round my waist (gulp) and it reads 26.5 inches, not fat but not what it used to be, I used to have a teensy 24 inch waist (sigh).

My upper thighs measure 20 inches, and my weight measures exactly 8 stone. I’m hoping this challenge helps me to lose two inches from my thighs and waist and a few pounds at most.

The hotpants are lightweight enough to fit in my bag and don’t look too bad, they look like black workout shorts, but I don’t feel confident enough to wear them alone so I pull them on underneath my trousers.

I attracted some very strange looks in the ladies changing rooms when trying these on, they came up to underneath my rib-cage but were barely visible under my workout trousers and t-shirt.

The feel like a cross between wet-suit shorts and the hold-in pants I spoke about and make a strange noise when pulling them up. 

I decided to put them into use by wearing them to my Monday circuits class, an intensive workout that would surely have me sweating like mad by the end of it.

After a weekend of excess and Sunday roasts, I’m feeling a lot more bloated than usual and the hotpants have come at the perfect time for me. 

Slightly afraid that these would make me uncomfortably hot, I was also worried that I’d be faint after all the sweating at the end of the class.

However despite my concerns, I forgot I was even wearing them and felt just the same as usual. However when it came to taking them off, my legs and stomach was extremely sweaty and to my delight, my stomach looked a little less bloated already!

Day 1 Verdict – My cringe-worthy advice would be to carry spare underwear with you after your workout as your butt gets a little sweaty! However these are comfortable and appear to be working already.

I can’t wait to wear these again after reading other reviews, one woman’s waist went from 30 to 27 inches in two weeks!

Keep reading over the next few weeks to find out the results!


My Styling Shoot

9 Aug

Top £12 River Island, necklace £3.99 ebay, skirt £29.99 Zara, Shoes £29.99 Garage Shoes.

After many requests to post some styling examples, I decided to embark upon my own styling shoot, using colourful pieces from my wardrobe to create some amazing examples of how to wear some of this seasons most exciting trends and look amazing.

With the help of a few friends who make stunning models, as well as an ultra creative makeup artist, the styling shoot was made for all the Fashion Hungry fans out there who need some inspiration to stop them clinging on to a dull wardrobe!

Black and nude are always safe colours to go for, but playing it safe never made anyone stand out from the crowd.

Here are some inspirational images on how to wear this seasons colour blocking, 70s and ballet pleats trend.

Click the gallery for some ideas on how to wear…


Models – Left to Right: Storm McLure, Danika Carillo, Bianca Carrillo. Makeup: Nadia Khan. Styling: Lisa Boyle for http://www.fashionhungry.wordpress.com.