FIVE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR BODY CONFIDENCE


If you had a read of my 2017 resolutions post, you'll know that one of my big challenges for this year is to learn to love myself regardless of my reflection in the mirror. Body confidence has always been something I'm rubbish at. I know it's easy to look in the mirror and see more flaws in yourself than you'd ever notice in other people, but I've always been a culprit of focusing on my bad bits and not letting myself see the good bits. I notice the spots, the dark shadows, the curves, the frizz and nothing in between. Thankfully, this is something I've got a lot better at over the last year. I've learnt to love myself a little more and I finally figured out that highlighting the parts of yourself which you do love doesn't make you vain or self-centred, it makes you stronger. For this reason, I thought I'd share five ways I've learnt to improve my body confidence.

1. Focus on what you can change and embrace that which you can't. Stop looking in the mirror and wishing you were a different person. Stop looking at your eyes and wishing they were a different colour. Stop wishing you were taller, had a better metabolism, shiny hair or fuller lips. Stop looking at girls in music videos and wondering why your abs don't look that good and your face that sultry. Rather than focusing on the aspects of yourself that you're never going to be able to change, try to embrace them. I spent the longest time being frustrated at the fact that my hair is jet black and curly. There's nothing that I can do with it! No dye takes to it, so I can't change the colour. So many styles just don't work with it because of the thick curls and at the slightest sign of humidity, I start to resemble a poodle. It took me a long time to embrace the fact that no matter how much I straighten and style, this will always be my hair. And so I started to notice the positives. Black hair and a red lip look super sultry together! Curly hair is awesome because it hardly EVER gets greasy! My hair is both short and long at the same time depending on if I wear it curly or straight that day! What I'm saying here is, there are a hell of a lot of things that we can and do change about ourselves. But the parts of you that you can't? They're what make you who you are. And they're a hell of a lot cooler than you allow yourself to think.

2. Make self-care part of your weekly routine. Self-care is SO important for making you feel more in tune with yourself and it's actually a lot easier than it sounds. I try to dedicate one day a week to self-care, usually Sunday's. On this day I'll take a bath, wash my hair, do a face mask, read a book, watch a film or my favourite series, get some writing done, light candles, paint my nails, write lists, listen to records, eat whatever I feel like which feels good for my body, spend longer on the smaller tasks and just generally allow my mind to cool down. My week is always super busy, so being able to end it with a full day of just focusing on myself really prepares me for the week ahead and helps to control and anxious feelings which I may have been feeling over the last six days. Self-care lets you tune back in with yourself and really appreciate those moments alone, and it's great for reminding you of just how cool you are.

3. Scrap fat shaming media. This is a big one for me. The media has, for as long as I've been alive at least, always been saturated with images of slim, tanned, toned individuals who all look like they survive on fruit and veg alone. Which is great for them. However, not a very healthy image for all of us normal people who can't afford a daily personal trainer and nutrition plan to be looking up to. The good news however, is that the internet is helping us all to run full speed ahead into a world of diversity. Instead of reading crappy Cosmo articles about how to lose weight quick or how to get beach body ready, take the time to look for media which makes you realise just how diverse women and men are. There are so many independent magazines, websites and bloggers out there doing their thing to prove that no matter your size, skin colour, hair length, boob size or whether your thighs touch, you're still beautiful. A few of my favourites include Gracie Francesca, Hannah Gale, Oh Comely, Parallel magazine and my most recent find, the THINX blog and newsletter. It's a lot easier to feel comfortable in your own skin when you're reading media which tells you that it's okay to.

4. Dress in a way that makes you feel unstoppable. When I was younger I used to look at cute clothes in magazines and think "God, if only I was skinny enough to wear something like that". I've always adored fashion, but I spent a good five years of my life wearing nothing but leggings and jumpers because there wasn't anything else that I felt comfortable in. I'd learnt to believe that nice clothes were only for skinny, pretty girls. Thankfully as I grew up and started to become a little more adventurous and a lot less concerned with other people's opinions of me, I started to experiment with my clothes more. What I discovered was that, yes, if you leave the house wearing something that you feel is a bit risky and out of the ordinary, people probably will stare at you. But where I used to feel conscious when this happened, now I've learnt to take it as a compliment. I mean, they wouldn't be looking if there wasn't something interesting to see - right? The moment I started dressing in a way that made me feel happy, I started to feel so much more confident with myself. So, dress in the way that makes you feel best. Whether that's short skirts, boy shorts, cosy clothes or daring cuts, do what you want. As long as you feel like you're a little more yourself because of it.

5. Don't link food and beauty. I'm definitely not a person who'll shame people who want to diet. As much as I agree that you shouldn't care about your size, I still stand by the idea that it's a personal choice. If you want to lose weight, that's your prerogative - as long as you're doing it in a healthy way. I can be the first person to admit that I've gone too far when it comes to dieting, but luckily I managed to pull myself out of that mindset by teaching myself that what you eat does not in any way correlate with how attractive you are. Remind yourself that healthy eating should still be about moderation. Indulging every now and then is an act of self care in itself and you are not bad in any way for allowing yourself to do so. Similarly, if you don't feel like watching your weight - who cares! As long as you're happy and confident in your own body, that's all that matters. The idea that skinny = beautiful is an outdated one which needs to be updated.


6 comments :

  1. Scraping fat-shaming media is such an important point. It's so hard to eliminate because some of it is so subtle! Great post xo

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    1. definitely! It's unfortunately so difficult to avoid, but I'm getting there with being able to spot it! Thanks for reading girl!x

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  2. I absolutely love this post! This year I want to embrace my body and just feel good! Your first point has made me think and I'm going to use your tip of stop focusing on things you can't change! I've never thought about it that way X

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    1. Thank you for reading Louise - I'm glad it could help in some way! x

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  3. I adore this post! So inspirational to read :) I definitely need to invest more time in self-care! Thanks for sharing your advice :)

    VioletDaffodils
    xx

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