A single mum who didn’t think she was good enough for a lingerie shoot says she challenged herself to enter a Calendar Girls competition to help her overcome her anxiety.

Natalie Hyland, 36, from Watford says she discovered the UK Calendar Girls competition when it was being advertised online.

Miss Hyland said she was originally going to ignore it, believing it was aimed at young women or professional models but said after doing some researching, she found women aged 18 to 45 could enter.

Miss Hyland, who has a 14-year-old daughter called Ella and two six-year-old twins called Alyssa and Beatrice, said she has always suffered from anxiety.

Harrow Times:

Natalie with her daughter Ella. Credit: Natalie Hyland

But after deciding to make a "scary" choice to move from an office career to caring for the elderly, she wanted to make more decisions to help her overcome her anxiety.

She said: "Everything was telling me I wouldn’t be able to do it but overcoming that fear made me want to start conquering more fears in my life rather than running and hiding from them.

"Entering this competition was definitely one of those moments where I had to push myself right out of my comfort zone.

"But when the first casting day, which was originally booked for May, got cancelled due to the pandemic, I really started to lose my bottle."

She said with her children home from school and work being reduced, her anxiety went “through the roof” and the simplest of things would make her worry.

Harrow Times:

Natalie in her Calendar Girl shoot

When casting days were rescheduled due to the easing of restrictions, she said she found herself making excuses to get out of it.

She added: "The thought of having to pose in lingerie when I didn’t feel like I was going to be good enough was making me feel sick with nerves."

But this changed after her eldest daughter reminded her of why she entered in the first place.

She added: "This competition has helped so many women overcome their fears and anxieties and also help them to achieve their life goals.

"I was a bag of nerves on the day but I managed to keep myself calm even though I got a little lost getting there."

Harrow Times:

Natalie enjoying a burger after her casting shoot. Credit: Natalie Hyland

When she arrived, she said she met women from "all walks of life" and had her photos taken.

After passing an initial text vote she is now in the last stage of the competition. You can cast your vote until September 21 by texting UKCG 195 to 81400.