I remember growing up and hating the fact I was so tall and skinny. I didn’t like the fact my height made me stick out like a sore thumb and I definitely didn’t like the fact I was taller than most of the boys at school. I wanted to be petite and cute, not gazelle like and gangly! I had no shape; I was just straight up and down. No boobs, no bum, no curves.
Fast forward to today and I have embraced all those things I didn’t like about myself. I feel proud of my body. I definitely put it through its paces every week! To think I spent so long hating a figure I now realise lots of ladies would like to have is really quite funny.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t parts of my body I wouldn’t like to change though. The majority of us would admit we would like to look ‘better’. In today’s society, everyone is striving for the ideal body and what this ‘ideal body’ looks like is always changing.
It might be hard work, but I do believe there are ways we can all feel more body confident…
- Focus on what your body can do, not what it looks like.
It’s a well-known fact that exercise helps boost your self-confidence and it’s not just because of the obvious fact that it helps you to lose weight. We’re not talking about the physical results of exercise which can make you feel better about the way you look. We’re talking about the fact that exercise shows you what your body can do, what it’s capable of.
There is a sense of pride that comes with the achievement of saying “I did that.” This in turn can change the way you look at your body. For example, ‘chunky legs’ are actually ‘strong legs.’ I’ve stopped thinking of myself as ‘skinny’ and instead think of myself as ‘athletic.’
- Learn to take compliments.
By learning to take a compliment I mean actually listen to it, acknowledge it and say thank you. Don’t just brush it off with a negative response assuming the other person is lying or just saying it to make you feel better. If I think about all the times when I have given people compliments, I don’t think I’ve ever not meant it.
For some reason we feel awkward about compliments. We worry if we say thank you, we might look big headed or as if we like ourselves too much. BUT it’s OK to like ourselves! We SHOULD like ourselves and it’s OK for people to say they like us too!
- Stop the self-deprecating body talk with friends.
We know how this one goes. One friend complains about their body. The other friend protests and goes on to complain about their body. Before you know where you are, you are all competing to be crowned the ugliest or fattest or oldest looking girl in your gang. “No don’t be stupid it’s not you it’s me!”
This type of conversation quickly escalates into everybody bullying their own bodies and it’s easy for even a confident person to get sucked in. Recognise when this is happening and put a stop to the negative talk and change the subject!
- Be nicer to yourself.
We all like to nit-pick at ourselves and can’t help ourselves when it comes to being over-critical. But ask yourself, would you be this judgemental about a friend, a family member or even a person walking down the street? Why be so horrible about yourself?
Next time you’re stood berating yourself in the mirror why not try and list the things you do like about yourself instead of the things you don’t. It’s quite OK to compliment yourself!
- Throw out the stuff making you feel bad.
I’m talking anything here. If you don’t like the way you look in certain clothes, bin them. There’s no need to go around feeling frumpy in an outfit you don’t like! If you are following a certain person on social media who is making you feel bad about the way you look, unfollow them.
It’s easy to forget the insta-famous have make up teams, stylists, personal trainers etc They aren’t sat there saying “I woke up like this.” Let’s not forget the amount of photo-shopping and re-touching going on behind the scenes too. But if all these images are making you feel lousy about yourself, get rid.
Likewise, there is no need to cling on to that insult you got from someone that doesn’t matter years ago.