With the overwhelming amount of Magazines, TV Commercials and Images portraying a beautiful model, it can often feel as though the ideal body image is constantly being shoved down our throats. ‘You need to have a big booty! Here’s some fake tan; paint your body, you’re too pale! She’s too skinny! She’s too fat. You’re an apple, You’re a pear!’ I’m sorry but I’m pretty sure we’re talking about actual human beings here- not fruit!
I’m truly tired of hearing what a person should and should not look like. It’s devastating to see so many women waste away years of their precious lives, desperately trying to reach unrealistic standards. Completely oblivious to the fact that they are already beautiful. It’s society that’s ugly. However, I know what it’s like to be trapped; I used to be one of those women.
There was a time when I hated how I looked to the point that it stopped me from going out with my friends and interfered with my career goals because I lacked all confidence. I was aware that a lot of this was rooted with my self esteem and that I didn’t love my body. It took almost two years of both mental and physical work to transform the way I looked and felt about
myself. What I learnt in the process was that fitting in to societies standards will not instantly make you feel better about yourself. The perception you have of yourself is more important than the number sewn onto the inside of your jeans. If you do not learn to love and accept the wonderful person that you already are, no physical change can ever alter how you view yourself.
Someone once told me that no one is ever happy with themselves; there’s always going to be something you want to change about your body. I can vividly recall, strongly disagreeing with this statement. Never have I believed that you can’t be truly happy with who you are. Nor have I ever believed that body confidence and self love can not be achieved. It is achievable! However, there’s a catch. It’s not going to happen overnight. Great things take time. It is a process that has to be worked on daily and requires you to really and truly look at yourself. Achieving a positive body image means changing your mindset on how you view yourself.
Here are some healthy mantras and things to consider that helped me become the body confident girl I am today…
‘Body confidence doesn’t come from trying to achieve the ‘perfect’ body. It comes from embracing the one you’ve already got!’
There is no wrong way to have a body. We’re all human. We all have flaws. Your body is yours and you should love it for all the things it can do. I really started to understand this more when I began working out. I learnt to appreciate how strong my body really is, how lucky I am to have all my limbs and that I am free from disease. Exercising, even just a little bit, really puts things into perspective. Find an activity that gets your body moving and that you will truly love to do. Pair this with feeding your body nutritious, soul foods. Oh darling, you’ll be glowing!
Don’t say anything about yourself that you wouldn’t say about your best friend.
Would you tell your best friend that she was lazy, worthless and fat? Would you say that you hate her and wish she would just change? No, of course, not! So stop saying those hateful things to yourself! The relationship you have with yourself will always be the most important one of your whole life. The world can be a cruel place, so you owe it to yourself to be kinder to the person that you are and learn to be your own best friend. The time has arrived to stop hurting yourself; you’re the one preventing your own happiness. If I ever notice those negative, toxic thoughts seeping in through the cracks in my mind. I imagine those thoughts turning into words. I imagine saying these things to my 4 year old self. Once I realize that I would never say these things to the little girl with the cute flowery hat, hopeful for the future, innocent and happy. Those thoughts are quickly diminished.
You are so much more than the number you see on the scale
The scale can’t tell you how good you feel. The scale can’t tell you how talented you are. The scale can’t tell you how much you’re loved. The scale can’t tell you how much you should love yourself. It can’t even tell you how strong you are. All it does is measure the effect of gravity on your body. That’s it!
The same thing goes for clothes. They’re just numbers, nothing more, nothing less. The last time I checked, numbers don’t measure your worth. Furthermore, if you ever reach that ‘goal figure’, you are only going to feel empty inside. The problem isn’t the digits, it’s that you need to accept the beautiful body you have been blessed with. Working hard for the body you want is great, but only if it is realistic, achievable and you’re not just doing it for vanity.
When I started my body confidence journey, I began by slowly changing my mindset- understanding that numbers don’t hold as much importance as I thought they did. Instead of waking up, looking in the mirror and telling myself all these cruel insults. I told myself three things I physically liked about myself. Then I would tell myself three things I liked about my personality. I’ve recommended this small task to my friends and they’ve found it has made a huge impact on their confidence. Just do this once everyday and try and chose different things you tell yourself each time. Eventually you’ll begin to believe your words.
If someone has an issue with your body, it’s their problem–not yours!
Your body is your business. If someone says something rude to you about your body it’s because of their own self-esteem issues. You’re under no obligation to agree with them! The opinion that matters most is your own. No one has any idea how amazing you and your body is, except yourself. They don’t know how strong you are. How beautiful your soul is. What you’re capable of.
On the other hand, stop comparing yourself to other people. As Marilyn Monroe once said ‘wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.’ There are 7 billion people on this planet right now and no one is the exact same as who you are. Isn’t that incredible? You’re completely unique, there’s only one you. That in itself is amazing! Take pride in this fact and allow yourself to shine.
Do you have any tips on achieving body confidence?