Katie Piper is a successful author, presenter and had us all rooting for her in this year’s Strictly Come Dancing. She is also the survivor of an acid attack and has made it her mission to help and inspire others, with The Katie Piper Foundation and her new book, Confidence: The Journal. She talks exclusively to us about Strictly, rebuilding self-esteem and why her new book is so important in an age of Instagram.
Katie, we were so upset when you were voted off Strictly! How did you find the show?
‘Strictly was an amazing and truly unforgettable experience and I am so grateful to have been a part of it. That said, it was also tough! I had never danced before and it didn’t come naturally to me. I was so lucky with my partner, Gorka [Marquez], who was so patient and kind to me. He always made it fun, despite the hard work and long training hours. I laughed so much my abs hurt as much as my legs!’
And how was the training for Strictly – was it intense?
‘Yes! I don’t think I was prepared for how intense it was going to be. For me, it was like starting from scratch, so I had my work cut out. Luckily I had already upped my fitness regime a fair amount in the lead up to it.’
Now that you’re not on the show, who do want to win Strictly?
‘Oh no, you can’t ask me that! I would genuinely be happy to see any one of them holding that winning glitter ball.’
Let’s talk about your exciting new book – what inspired you to write Confidence: The Journal?
‘I’ve always been a big believer in the power of writing things down. Whether they’re random thoughts, dreams, goals or affirmations, it’s a great way to help visualise what’s in your head. I wanted to create something that would encourage myself and others to progress in whatever journey they’re on.’
What is the main message you want to get across to readers?
‘The journal is all about finding confidence from within. I hope that people will use it as a medium to write down their goals and physically see their progress, promoting positivity throughout. I used to write a lot as a young girl, I think diaries used to be so popular –whereas now it’s all about Instagram, which sometimes isn’t healthy.’
What would you say to anyone who has had their confidence knocked and is unsure how to get back their self-esteem?
‘Talk about what you’re going through, whether that’s with a trusted friend or family member, or to yourself via this journal. Read your affirmations every day, trust the process and eventually you will start to believe them, and ultimately believe in yourself again.’
Who are your greatest inspirations in life?
‘My wonderful mum and dad for being so such a strong support network. My amazing team and volunteers who work at my charity, The Katie Piper Foundation, and of course the people I meet as a result, who come through extreme adversity to lead positive and inspiring lives.’
Katie Piper’s ‘Confidence, The Journal’ by Quercus Books is available at www.amazon.co.uk and all good book stores.