ARE YOU BODY CONFIDENT?

I Love Me

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?

WE ARE WHAT WE THINK - BUDDHA

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.

Naked Body
Photo by Genessa Panainte on Unsplash

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.

Child's Feet
Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

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.

Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself - Coco Chanel

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.

You Look Beautiful
Pinterest

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.

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.

body types

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.

 

Jenni XXX

You may also like

  • I’m 20kgs overweight, yet robustly healthy inside – much to the chagrin of my doctor who wants me to lose weight. Having said that, now that I’m 50, I need to lose weight to make sure that I stay healthy on the inside – & that my joints remain ok. What annoys me is not just the body shaming ads, but also the opposite – there’s a whole school of though that almost shames you for wanting to lose weight. The thing is I don’t dislike my body, but I do want to lose the weight in order for it to work long and well for much longer. Does it stop me from getting on to the beach? Nope – life’s too short for that. A few years ago we arrived in Phuket without luggage – so in the absence of being able to buy a hold everything in one piece, I bought a bikini & hit the beach. No way was it ruining my holiday. Besides, as you say, no one else was looking.

    • My old doctor and I used to lock horns over my weight, because he would not accept that the PCOS had anything to do with the gain or the difficulty in loosing the weight around my middle. The new doctor is brilliant, the focus is on good bloods and a balanced lifestyle.I’m like you, once that weather warms, nothing will stop me from enjoying time at the beach.

      • It took me years to find a doctor prepared to talk about PCOS & insulin resistance & the correlation between that & the waistline. It’s a struggle…

        • It sure is a struggle, especially when there is no clear treatment path to follow & the medical profession can’t seem to decide whether it is a gyny or metibolic issue.

  • I think that I may be doing this backwards. When I was a kid (I think I can remember to being around 3-years-old) I hated getting around in my togs. Mum would buy me these cute crop tops or tops that tie at the waist and I hated them. I’d spend the entire day trying to pull them down.
    Now I’m officially the heaviest I’ve ever been (including being an overweight teenager), and I’m not really that fussed about how I look. I’m more worried about the health implications than anything else, so I’m trying to make much better food choices.

    • Kat, if you love and respect your body, the change in mindset is huge and it will make it so much easier to feed your body what it needs to be healthy.

  • A very helpful post for you to write and us to read I am sure! I have too long a story to share but lots of what you wrote about applies. Decades of doing all I could to be me within the overweight body that remained healthy was a the challenge of dealing with the voice in my head and perhaps some unspoken words from my (now very old) parents!! My story in the latter years is I did stop being concerned about the numbers UNTIL the scale hit 98kg and the first signs of pre- diabetes 2 loomed at age 63. My doctors had never mentioned weight loss until then as everything was Ok. So, I asked my doctor to put off the GTT and I would make changes myself. In the next 3-6 months I walked more, and took note of the why and what I ate and when my next bloods were done I was within normal limits and had lost 3kg. That actually helped me with my confidence about taking charge of myself again. The next 2-3 years saw me stressed out for a number of reasons and IBS had returned so I had to adjust my eating to simple and less. In that time I lost another 27 kg. THIS was a new experience for me to buy clothes from regular shops etc and I was told I was OK. There was nothing wrong. Cancer proved that to be incorrect of course but it was not the reason for the weight loss. I must add, no matter what my weight, I have always swum and worn shorts and never felt ashamed to be out and about because I got hot like all humans!! Things are going well as I recover from the first major surgery and continue to eat as well as I can in my limited way!!
    Long answer!! Thanks for linking up for #lifethisweek 38/52. Next Week’s Prompt is Any Regrets?

    • Thanks for sharing your story Denyse. Loosing 27kg is an amazing achievement, but having the confidence to get your body into shorts and togs regardless of your size, is far bigger than the weight loss.

  • Alicia-OneMotherHen

    I have finally made peace with my body. It has gotten me this far, and I know now a little better, how to look after it with the things I eat and a little exercise thrown in. And when I say a little exercise, I mean a little! Walking is usually my go to exercise, not the painful kind of exercise lol.

    • Exercise does not have to be painful to be beneficial, Alicia. I find having a few activities that I enjoy and rotating them works well for me.

  • writeofthemiddle

    I’m not quite there with loving my body. It’s the tummy region following having 3 babies – particularly the damage from a tummy stretched full of twins on a short person like me (a smidge over 5ft). It is a bit of an issue for me and it does stop me doing things. I guess at least I recognise it for what it is and I am actively trying to accept myself for how I am. It’s harder than one might imagine though. Your tips will help – thank you! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

    • Be proud of that Flexible tummy, without it you would not have carried your 3 babies. It’s time to peel back the layers and get yourself in front of the mirror and learn to love your amazing body. I have a PCOS tummy that holds on to any excesses for dear life and gains cm by just looking at food. I’ve slowly come to except it for what it is, hiding myself away and not enjoying the beach is only going to make me feel worse. So, now I get the togs on and enjoy myself.

  • Kathy Marris

    I’ve recently been on a healthy diet and exercise regime as I felt that I was becoming a little unhealthy by being overweight for my size (I’m only 153cm tall). I have always had body issues because of my short stature and curvy body. However as I’ve aged I have learnt to accept my body to some extent, but I still think we need to keep our weight within a healthy range, purely for longevity and being able to do the things we want to do. For me that is travelling and exploring, so I want to be slim enough to be comfortable and able to do this. #TeamLovinLife

    • How do you determine what is a healthy weight range for you? There is a huge amount of contradicting information available, that it is pushed at us from so many different viewpoints and that is what causes so many of us to have issues about our bodies.

  • I’m definitely not there and have been pondering Suger Coat It’s discussion on the same topic recently. I’m better than I was – because I’m older and care less AND cos I had weightloss surgery so lost weight. But… if it came down to the possibility of a man seeing my body I think I’d freak out! #teamlovinlife

    • If the man does not love the way you look, he is the wrong one for you and does not deserve your attention.

  • That Buddha is a smart chap. It’s so true that we are who we believe ourselves to be. It really is that simple. #teamlovinlife

  • KookyChic

    I’m there, I don’t care anymore. Plus unless you have the body of a goddess no one is going to be looking at you anyway so best to get over yourself, get that bathers on and have some fun.

  • I don’t love my body but I don’t hate it either. I got rid of scales from our house years ago when my daughters starting weighing themselves everyday and saying things about their weight and they were only 4!!! So it was clearly me they were copying, that was a real eye opener for me and I decided the only way to stop that was to not have scales in the house. Now we try to get in 30mins of exercise in each day and I wear things that fit me and make me happy. Great reminder.

    • That’s fantastic Cat. Being body positive role models for our children is the biggest thing we can do to ensure that they are confident in their own skin.