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 internalize all of the messages and images we see outwardly.
It’s important to know that it’s all a journey. Taking intentional and meaningful steps toward building better body confidence takes time and patience. There’s not one day where it all clicks and you’ll never worry about your body appearance again. Some days you may feel more confident and others not as much so it’s important to acknowledge that when those moments do come where you’re not feeling your most confident self, that you take the self care actions you need that will show yourself compassion and grace.
Below are some tips on how to build body confidence in your well-being journey.
Unfollow Instagram or social media accounts that trigger you
Sure following “inspo” accounts can be well, inspirational, but if at a certain point those images begin to make you feel inadequate that’s when you know it’s time to mute or unfollow. Sometimes we may not even realize when it does begin to hurt ourselves, so it’s important to be mindful of how you feel before and after you scroll on social media. The truth is, all bodies are different. Begin following accounts that inspire you to love who you are, as you are. Focus on what you can offer the world because you are more than your 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.