As a teenager, I hated my body with a passion. I couldn't see that anyone else could be worse off than me and was totally obsessed with wishing it perfect. My body confidence didn't change whether I was fat or thin, because I would only ever see the 'bad' parts. I was miserable, ashamed to be me, and going out would take ages because nothing would ever look good enough.
However, with practice and patience, anyone can learn to not only accept what they have, but embrace it.
It's ok to have goals BUT, it's also VERY ok to love where you're at right now.
Five tips to implement now for greater body image and self esteem:
1. Have Some Gratitude
If you don't appreciate what you have now, you'll look back in ten years and wish you'd seen how great your were and not spent so much time beating yourself up in the pursuit of 'perfection'. Or hating yourself for your lack of it.
You'll wish you'd appreciated your skin with fewer wrinkles, your youth, your freedom, your friends and family who love you whatever your body is doing. Seriously, think back to you ten years ago. Was it ever really that bad?
Start a gratitude list. It can be body image based, or broader. Just three things each day that you're happy for.
This whole gratitude thing is made easier by:
2. Cutting Out Your Mean Self Talk
We have all been prone to this at some time or another, I'm sure. It happens so naturally, you may not even be aware you're doing it.
Those times you stand in the mirror and pluck at the parts you dislike, pulling yourself down by focusing in on the 'wobbly' bits (or whatever it may be). Standing there, just looking at what you dislike. Telling yourself you're not good enough. How does this leave you feeling?! Pretty crap.
What about the times when there is someone else around? You voice these mean thoughts aloud. 'I wish I was more like you', 'Look at how X I am', 'I could never get away with wearing that, I'm too X', and so on.
Well, the thing is- each time you say these things, your brain starts believing them. So this is a pretty rubbish downward spiral of 'just not good enough'. And it's total BS.
Now it's been pointed out, I'm sure you'll notice it more and more. With each time you notice, stop. Just STOP. Then, for a little extra, look for something you like.
It's fine to admit to actually liking parts of you. Treat yourself like you would a friend. I, for one, would never point out my best friends' flaws.
3. Start Accepting Compliments
Do NOT just brush them off. I believe this is actually quite rude. Someone has taken the time to compliment you on something, so rather than throwing it away, look them in the eye and graciously say 'Thank-You'. Even if you don't believe it.
Do NOT use it as a chance to bring yourself down either. Accepting a compliment does not make you arrogant.
Say thank you and move on. You don't have to believe it to start with, but try not to out-right disagree. You also don't have to reply with a compliment, this is not a game of pingpong.
If possible, jot down any compliments you've been given. It's all too easy to focus in on the crap people say, rather than the lovely things you hear, so a reminder can come in handy.
4. Stop Comparing
Whether it's people in magazines or random people on the street, this is a pointless activity. Yes, appreciate someone else's beauty, but realise it doesn't make you 'worse' or less than.
We know how fake the magazines are, so there's not much point in discussing that. Photoshop 'perfection' is not real.
When it comes to people in real life, you don't know their back story. You don't know how they feel about their body. You don't know what other issues they have. So you can't really compare.
Stop buying and/or believing the magazines and Instagram feeds.
Next time you find yourself playing the comparison game, realise that you also have parts to you and your life that someone else would kill for.
If you really must compare, and are on a healthy lifestyle plan, compare yourself now to yourself back in week one. Really celebrate the little changes you've made. Lots of little sparks create a big fire. If you're not on a healthy lifestyle plan but want to be, check out what's on offer.
Those times you look in the mirror and could swear you've put on 10lbs over night? You know that's not possible, don't you?
You over-ate at dinner and now feel useless and like you've failed? Come on... think back to those compliments you've received. Look at the bigger picture and learn from your mistakes.
How about when you think that 'if only' you were a size whatever/ looked like her/ lost that weight, then life would be perfect. I think you know that's not true as well. Yes, being healthy and feeling good in yourself is very important, but life still happens whether you're a Size 'Perfect' or not.
OR the times you catch yourself putting too much value on the number on those scales. You are more than a number! (The scales lie anyway... But I will go into that another day). So long as you're working towards a healthier happier you, you're good. Stop fretting.
Scan your thinking this week. Notice the lies your mind tries to feed you. Then knock it on the head. Tell yourself the truth, move on.
You are so much more than just your looks and just your weight.
You are what you do, your philosophy, what you stand for, who you love and who loves you back, you are all this and so much more. Your body is an amazing tool, and is always going to be with you and if you don't make peace with it, it will be a long and painful journey dragging something you hate around with you for years on end.
These tips take a little time and a lot of practice, but they do work. You may not get it right every time, and that's okay, just so long as you keep chipping away. What have you got to lose?
And if you need a bit more coaching on this, a routine to follow and a ton of support, then I've got your back. Check out why the plans work and then find your perfect plan.
Did any of these situations resonate with you? Do you have any extra tips for me? Any comments? Let me know in the comments below ❤
4 Mega Motivational Fitness Videos
6 Time Saving Tips For Healthy Eating In A Busy World