I’m certainly no expert when it comes to body confidence, in fact – I’m far far from confident with myself. I have been told confidence comes with age.
However, a recent news article I read recently got me thinking that we as a nation are very body aware, a little too much so perhaps. We are extremely body critical, which can’t be healthy – nor to us, or to the younger generation – where words like ‘fat’ and ‘skinny’ are in the daily vocabulary. Although there’s no quick sure way to complete banish body worries (oh, wouldn’t that be great though), one phrase worth considering is ‘we should learn to love ourselves and our bodies, because this is the body we will be in for the rest of our lives’.
Ask yourself. If you had the body shape you have now (even when you’re old, grey and wrinkly) would you be happy? If you could stay the way you are now forever, would you be happy? Chances are, if you’re 26 – you’d love to still look 26 when your in your eighties, but unfortunately that might not be the case. So why not be confident with what you have, right now. Love it, and appreciate it whilst you have it.
Only too often do I look at old photographs of myself and go ‘oh, look how slim I was’ or ‘look how gorgeous my hair looked there’ or ‘look at how good I used to look in that dress’. And I’m sure that’s happened at least once to all of us. If not more regularly.
However, when thinking about how I felt about my body at that time – it was a very different story. I hated the way I looked and felt much bigger than all of my friends. In hindsight, this was because I was always taller than a lot of them, and when they caught up – I felt a little more comfortable, but still had this worry about being ‘different’ in the back of my head.
I’m sure many women could too look at old photographs of themselves and long for the hair they once had, or the clear skin, or the white teeth, or the tanned skin-tone (holiday photos are a major culprit – as I could count for hours the number of people on Facebook complaining about their long lost holiday tan!). However, on the day the photo was taken, we probably thought we were having a bad hair-day, or perhaps we compared our-self with someone else – and felt frumpy in that particular dress.
Admist my waffling, what I’m trying to say is – in the present moment, we are always critical, we never seem to be happy or at peace with our bodies. But since this is the only body you have, and will take with you through life, what’s say you stop criticizing it and start loving it! You may as well look back and think, I was happy with my body then – and deservingly so, rather than be consistently miserable. Sure, I have body hang-ups. Don’t we all. But if I could freeze time and look the way I do now forever. Life wouldn’t be so bad I guess.
Of course, diet and exercise, if dedicated – can change your body shape and make you leaner, more toned and fitter, and this can in turn increase confidence. But for many of us, who regularly submit new resolutions about our bodies (and don’t stick to them) – we are fighting a losing battle. I am not going to look like Megan Fox. Or like Jennifer Lawrence. Or like Sienna Miller. I am me, and this is the body I’ve been given to love and to look after. Yes, I should really follow up the exercise plan I’ve been writing up – but as a means of looking after myself, rather than trying to turn myself into an unattainable figure.
It’s rather impossible to snap your fingers and banish any body related worries. Of course, I know this. However, there are little things you can do to improve your confidence – and in turn, eradicate this overriding ‘fat’ or ‘skinny’ debate we have with ourselves, which is slowly attaching itself to the younger generation.
Leave yourself little post-it notes on the mirror, with positive words such as ‘beautiful’ and ‘happy’. Yes, it may seem a little cringe worthy, but when your feeling down, tiny little pick me ups (no matter how small) can sometimes make the world of difference.
Similarly, you could share the confidence – and dish out compliments on a daily basis. A simple comment such as ‘that dress looks lovely on you’ or ‘you have a gorgeous figure’ to a work colleague or a family member can really perk up someones day, and dishing out body confidence reflects well on the wearer. I promise! Try it out.
So, whether you’re a size 6, a size 10, a size 14 or a size 24 (or anything in-between, lower or higher), see if you can encourage yourself to be a little more body confident. Even if it’s just for a week. Stop comparing yourself to the celebrities in the magazine (who really, are the only people who are being criticized – we’re not!), where the dress sizes portrayed on the page are completely distorted anyway, and start loving your shape.
If you’ve made a pact with yourself to get fitter, do it because you want to find an exercise type you enjoy and can fit into your daily lifestyle, not because you want to turn into Cheryl Cole. There’s more to life than worrying about your body. And in essence, you should appreciate the shape you have now. And aim to be happy with it. Aim to be body confident.
What do you think? Is leaving little notes too far-fetched for you? Or is it simple pick-me ups that make all the difference?