If there's one thing I've come a long way with this year, it's body confidence. I don't know why, maybe it's the whole wave of people jumping on board the love the skin you're in 'trend' that's had an effect, getting older or a mixture of the two, but it's certainly working. Fear not though, I'm not about to post some wobbly bikini shots, though I probably would if I had some!
Although I still want to lose a fair bit more weight, it's far more from a health angle than from a looks angle. When I was slimmer a couple of years back, I must admit I did have a renewed love for clothes shopping and felt comfortable being photographed from any angle, but the feeling of actually being lighter, with less strain on my body was far more important.
In the short term though, I can't change anything quickly and even 'fad' diets take a lot of motivation to stick to, so there really is no quick fix here. This will be a long process, but instead of feeling miserable in the mean time I'm going to embrace my body. It is what it is currently.
All my 'too small' clothes have gone in bags in a cupboard. Although some would think it more sensible to get rid of them completely, not seeing them every day makes it far easier and I WILL get back into them at some point, so won't waste the money by re buying them all.
I used to have a fear of buying bigger sizes, but I now think to hell with it. Sizes mean nothing, they are all different and I can walk into one shop and leave with a 10 and an 18 because even their own standards don't measure up - it's crazy, but it's true. I'll now buy the size that fits, because essentially fitting clothes will look better, regardless of the number on the label. If I slim out of them? Even better. My body is the size it is, I may as well make the best of it, be confident and let that shine through because that is what makes a person truly shine.
Look at this beautiful tummy!
It's strange after so many years that I can actually look in the mirror at my body and think 'it's fine', I'll be honest I don't love it, but I can be confident and happy with it because it's done a great job bringing my babies into the world, it's not terrible and my husband loves it, which really is enough right now. The other day Alf (5) wobbled my tummy and said 'is this where I lived in your tummy? Is that why it's big?', instead of being embarrassed, I remembered back to those days in pregnancy, watching my giant (severe polyhydramnios) bump kick and jump around while he was inside and thought wow, this isn't embarrassing, it's done something absolutely amazing. I've also worn shorts in public this week, which may not seem like a big deal, but it's probably been a good 20 years since I have done it, so a huge leap for me.
In the long term I hope to slim back down, to be lighter to ease that pressure on my back and get back into some of my gorgeous clothes that are now in storage, but right now - I'm feeling good.
Here's 5 tips to help you get body confident too;
Find the source
The first thing I would suggest is to really have a good think as to why you feel the way about your body being too fat, thin, badly shaped, whatever it may be. If there is a source, you may find a way to deal with that specifically. Is someone putting you down? If so, is it someone you can stop talking to or perhaps discuss how they make you feel? Is it unrealistic images you see in the media? If so just stop. Most are photoshopped but the ones that aren't? Just think good on them for looking great, and move on. Their success does not make you a failure, they are different people, we are all different, it's all good. Does your dislike for your body come from something that happened earlier in life? If so, think where you are now, what you have achieved and if it really matters. Probably not! Find a source if there is one and if there is, squish it right now, give yourself a high five and move that shizzle on.
(Another gorgeous tummy!)
Drop the 'putting down' talk
Whether it's with a friend, family member or a stranger on the street, stop putting each other/yourself/others down for the way they look. It's so common for us to have a 'no I'm fatter' conversation or similar with friends. When these topics arise, make plans to help each other improve or highlight each others good points instead of bad. I am over weight, but there are far worse things I could be and I'm also a good kind person, which is far more important. Even putting others down can eventually bring us down as the judging soon get judged. Be happy for others, regardless of their appearance and most of all be happy for you being you, regardless of yours.
Find positives & Tell yourself
Instead of dwelling on the negatives, focus on those positives. If it's weight you worry about, put a plan together to get on top of it and in the mean time make a list of all the positives you like about yourself, be that looks, personality or talents. Often, the one negative can far outweigh all the good stuff and that is so sad and draining. Take a pen and paper and start jotting down what you love about yourself and if you're stumped, ask friends and loved ones what they like about you and write that down too.
When you look in the mirror, instead of saying 'eughh' or looking sad, give yourself a big smile, tell yourself out loud (yes out loud!) that you look great, you've done amazing things and you have great XYZ and are really good at XYZ. Your body isn't everything and you need to love it, after all it makes you you, it may have birthed children, run marathons or even just made it through tough days. Whatever you think of your body, it has done amazing things simply by being here and working, tell it.
Sizing in shops can be so depressing. Does it really matter though what number is on the label? If someone just put them on you and you had no clue, you would just buy the ones that felt and looked nice right? Often we can be put off buying another size up purely because of the number, how silly is that really? There seems to be no industry standard now and with not only each shop differing, but their own clothes not even measuring up to each other, the numbers really aren't relevant any more.
Treat yourself as you would treat others
This one is so important. Instead of 'treat others how you'd like to be treated yourself', which is of course vital, this one is all about you. Treat yourself as you would treat others. Would you tell someone else they are fat every day or that they have a big nose, awful hair, bad skin? No. Well, I hope not and if the answers yes then perhaps you need a lot more help than I can offer! Jokes aside, it is so important to start being kinder to yourself, think 'my hair looks nice today' or 'I really do have great knockers' instead of highlighting those bad points. You'd compliment a friend, so why not yourself?
If you're struggling with body confidence, I'd love to know if you try these and if they work. I can't stress enough how sad it is that most of us see the negative fog in the mirror and I hope we can all move in the direction of body confidence, accepting we may need some work but moving on, finding our happy and highlighting those positives that we all possess in some form.