Being confident in your own skin should be inherent, simple, and effortless. Unfortunately because we live in such an image based society, it can be all too easy to receive judgement from others and what’s most harmful is it can be too easy to place judgement on ourselves.
I used to not be too confident with how my body looked. I’d always be the “cover up” girl because I had felt that I always had something to cover up. Over time though I’ve strengthened my body confidence skills so that I’m proud of myself and where I’m at. I wanted to share some of these tips with you so that it can help you be more confident as well!
Unfollow Instagram or social media accounts that make you feel bad about yourself
When I first started my fitness journey, I followed a LOT of fitspo accocunts. The ones where girls would share how to grow a bigger butt, how to get flat abs, how to lose 5 pounds in a week, etc. They had “perfect” bodies – always looking so toned and with minimal body fat. I thought that’s what I wanted for the longest time. The more I was consuming content with their “perfection” I realized it was hurting me. I would never achieve their look because my lifestyle is different than theirs. My needs are different than theirs. All bodies are different! I started to slowly unfollow them and guess what, I don’t miss those accounts. Now my feed is filled with gorgeous women, with all different body types, living their lives the way that is best for them and I always feel so empowered! The focus has been less on what I look like but more of what I can offer to the world in other ways, other than my body.
Develop positive self talk habits
Boy is it easy to stand in front of the mirror and say ‘Ooh I wish I could see ab lines,” “I wish I had more curves” and the list could go on right?? I consciously made an effort though to understand that I AM HARMING MYSELF by constantly “wishing”. Over time, when I looked in the mirror I started to say positive affirmations toward myself, not just about who I am on the inside but also about the way I looked on the outside. “I love my legs because I can use them to walk and I am mobile!” “I love my arms because I can (semi) do push-ups!” “I love my core because it keeps me standing up, sitting upright, and holds me together!” Start praising yourself for what you can do not for what you wish you could do or wish you looked like.
I truly believe in the power that words have on us – toxic thoughts will produce toxic chemicals. So why not start to try and produce positive thoughts so that we can produce positive chemicals in our brain and body.
This goes hand in hand with developing positive self talk. There’s so much that our bodies do for us. We put it through so much stress due to our lifestyle choices and when was the last time you thanked your body for how it repairs and functions for us each day? Developing a gratitude practice for ourselves, rather than shaming ourselves, is crucial to creating a positive body image. We become less focused on size, weight, and numbers when we get to the root of ourselves. Our thoughts shift to what we have and not what we think we need.
Move your body
Not to achieve an aesthetic but move your body because it’s good for your health at a systemic level and it also produces a bunch of feel good hormones! There’s no time to feel Negative Nancy about yourself when you feel a high from working out. The most important part of working out is finding what makes you happy. There are so many guides out there, so many gyms – find something that gives you JOY. If Pilates isn’t for you, don’t do it because someone told you to do it. Find time to explore your interests. Maybe Zumba and cardio dance gets you happy, do that!
I have fluctuated in my weight (only knowing this based off of how my clothes fit) and instead of trying to squeeze into clothes that no longer feel comfortable to me, I have bought myself clothes that make me feel amazing! It fits well and it complements my body shape. Don’t focus on having to fit into a certain size of clothes, just because it’s a smaller size or number. That’s not what’s important! What’s important is that you wear clothes that fit well and make you feel great about yourself! So what if it happens to be a size larger!
Share your feelings with someone else
Sharing how you feel about your body/yourself with your BFF or a trusted friend can help you unlock a lot of amazing qualities about yourself that you may not see. Your real friends can remind you of what you’ve got going on! I used to think when friends complimented me about certain areas of myself, I wouldn’t believe them. I would think they “had to” say these things. Truth is, no one has to say anything positive to you. When someone compliments you or reminds you of your true beauty – believe them. Your friends can see the true you.
Create a list of your positive qualities
I used to have a list of positives in my Notes app. If I felt good about myself, if someone said something nice to me, I’d list it all in my Notes. So any time I felt down or particularly insecure or not confident, I would go back to this list and be reminded of how awesome I am – inside and out!
I hope these tips helped you! Building body confidence takes time. Believing your positive affirmations takes time. Everything good and long-lasting in life takes time. Be easy on yourself and you can get to where you want to be in time. 🙂