Since the start of spring I’ve noticed a huge increase in the advertising of fitness equipment and slimming aids on television, women’s magazines and online. There have also been lots of articles that outline the steps needed to ensure you have a swimwear body, by the time summer arrives. Unless I’m missing something, we all have a body and we can all get into swimwear of some description. So why do we need so many articles telling us how to get our swimwear on?
The reason why is that for so long the media and those brands that sell these products have told us that we need to compare our bodies to air brushed to perfection specimens that they use to advertise their products. For far too long we have let our body confidence be eroded by these false images that have got inside our heads and talked us into believing that there is something wrong with the way our bodies look. Your body was made especially for you and no one else, it’s got you where you are today and helped you achieve so many amazing things. The relationship with your body is the longest relationship that you will ever have. We all know that if we want a relationship to thrive, it needs love and nourishment. So, if you are one of those many women who don’t love your body now is the time to learn to do so.
Think back to a time when you were young and uninhabited by what was around you. Those wonderful days when you were free of self consciousness and would happily peel back the layers. To prance around the beach in your togs, or look at yourself naked, when getting dressed in front of the mirror. Yes, your body will have changed a lot since those day’s and there is nothing wrong with that. Your body tells your life story and regardless of whether they are happy or sad memories, they are your memories and are the ones that shaped who you are today.
Yes, I know it’s hard to learn to love yourself all over again. I’ve been in that place, where the way you see your body has been distorted way beyond reality and is so far removed from how you actually look. Early in 2016 and on a journey to discover my own style, I decided to join the everyday style community on Instagram and post daily outfit pics to see if I could find the connection in the outfits I wore. This truly was a light bulb experience for me, not only did I get to discover my personal style. I finally realized that the person in the pictures, looked a lot different to the image of myself that I had been carrying around in my head. Only then, was I able to see my reflection in the mirror exactly as those who loved me saw me, and not what I thought I looked like.
Seeing your body as it really is, is the first big step to start to reclaim your body confidence. I know that for lots of reasons there will be some of you who cannot post your pics to a public forum, but I urge you to take these pics of yourself and store them on your phone. The experience was life changing for me and I’m sure it will be for your too.
The second step is a big one and one that I still find difficult some days. When was the last time you stood naked in front of the mirror and felt comfortable looking at your body? And I don’t mean a fleeting glance as you get dressed in the morning. I mean a long and thoughtful look over every inch of your body, in the nude taking in all its glory. And yes, your body is glorious, so I don’t want to hear you picking your body to pieces. Instead, as you stand naked in front of the mirror each day. I want you to tell yourself how proud you are of the things your body can do and over time, the positive comments will outweigh the negative ones and the perception you have of your body will change.
The third step is to stop making it all about the numbers. Remove the scales from your life, you don’t need those numbers to tell you whether you are healthy or not. The numbers on your clothing labels are just numbers, and once you have the item on, no one else will know or care what those numbers are. What does matter, is how you feel in that garment. If you love what you wear, you will look great in it and that is what people will notice. Listen to your body and let it tell you what it needs, it knows you better than a number on a label or scales.
The fourth step is to surround yourself with positive people who support you and love you for being you. It’s time to let go of those who make negative comments about the way you look. Those people with nasty tongues are themselves insecure and only say those things to you, to make themselves feel better. What messages are the social media accounts you follow and the magazines you read telling you? Do they make you feel good about yourself? If not, it’s time to unsubscribe from them and find some new ones that do.
If you avoid doing things because you are self conscious about your body, it’s time to take action and learn to love your body. I challenge you all to get your body into swimwear this summer and enjoy yourself. And before you say it, no one else will be looking at you and thinking negative thoughts. They will be too wrapped up in their own stuff to care about one woman in swimwear.