We’ve all been told to love our bodies, but sometimes that’s easier said than done.
There are so many social media outlets that try to boost your body confidence, but sometimes all they do is help shatter it.
It’s easy to get so caught up in our lives that we forget to appreciate who we are and our bodies.
We’re constantly working, studying and nurturing relationships, but we forget to nurture the most important relationship of all—the one with our own bodies.
The best way to kickstart your body confidence journey is to learn to love everything that makes up you as a whole, because you HAVE a body, but you are not DEFINED by your body.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Start a journal
How many journals have you started throughout your life that you’ve given up on after a week, or even a day? Starting a journal can be difficult, but here’s a few prompts to get you started.
• What am I most happy about in my life now? • What am I most excited about in my life now? • What am I most proud about in my life now? • What am I most appreciative about my body right now? • What am I most grateful about in my life now? • What am I enjoying most in my life right now? • What am I committed to in my life right now?
Try asking yourself these questions each morning, you might find there’s a lot more good in your life than you first realised.
Tip: Don’t wait until you’ve bought a journal to get started. Put pen to scrap paper as soon as inspiration strikes! Collect all your notes and put them in your notebook once you’ve got it.
2. Selfie love
Gone are the days of scoffing at selfie-takers because they’re so vain.
Challenge yourself to take a selfie each day. Instead of picking it apart for all the things you don’t like about yourself, find three things you DO like.
Soon enough you’ll be picking the things you used to think were negatives, as positives!
Tip: Don’t overthink it! Remember that this is for your eyes only. If you’re having trouble, set your camera to a timer rather than an actual selfie.
3. Treat yourself like you would a puppy
Okay, this one sounds weird, but hear us out! What happens when you take care of your puppy, giving it water, food, exercise and cuddles? They thrive! Same goes for you.
Eat the right foods that nourish your body, but don’t forget about the occasional treat!
Drink plenty of water.
Exercise or go for a walk, never sit down for too long at one time, get the body moving.
Pat yourself (on the back). When you do something great, give yourself credit!
Learn from your mistakes. If something doesn’t go right, acknowledge it, think how you will do better next time, and move on. You wouldn’t hurt a puppy when they do something wrong, so don’t beat yourself up.
4. Change your inner dialogue
This is a hard one to catch because it requires self-awareness. If you suffer from low self-esteem, that means you’re listening to your negative thoughts. Try to catch yourself in the act and change your behaviour.
If you say: I just can’t I wouldn’t ever I never I don’t Everything is wrong I might do it tomorrow I’ll be happy when
Try saying: I can I could I should I do Some things are right I will do it today I’m happy because
Tip: If you do find yourself thinking some of these things, don’t be too hard on yourself. Instead repeat the positive mantra five times to gradually change your thinking.
5. Do not compare yourself to others
This is a tough one, especially considering you can’t even buy toothpaste without being confronted by heavily altered imagery.
In recent times there has been a shift on social media, where more and more influencers and brands are embracing real, unaltered bodies, but unfortunately the majority of images you see online are still edited to oblivion.
Instagram filters are becoming increasingly “idealised”, so it’s important to recognise this and unfollow any accounts that make you question yourself.
Tip: If there’s a particular account that you keep comparing yourself to, check their tagged images. There’s a good change that their heavily curated feed isn’t even an accurate representation of who they really are.
6. Appreciate yourself
Instead of wanting to change what your body looks like, think about what it is capable of doing right now.
Reward yourself now and not after you’ve lost those 5 kilos.
Buy clothes that fit you and are flattering for you as you are, right now. Get that haircut or have that pamper session. Take time out for yourself.
You deserve it.
Tip: Think of moments when you’ve been grateful for what your body can do, not what it looks like. Did you nearly miss that bus but were able to run and catch it? Did you help someone reach that top shelf at the supermarket? Are you able to walk?
7. Listen to your body
If you are hungry, then eat.
Eat slowly and chew your food.
If you have finished what you served for yourself, drink a glass or water, then wait for 20 minutes.
If you are still hungry, eat again. If you are full, then stop.
8. Stop, think, connect and appreciate
Imagine if all our worrying about our bodies and what they have or haven’t done for us could be channelled into something more worthwhile.
A cherished thought, a good night’s sleep, connecting with others or feeling satisfied with yourself.
If you stop, think, connect and appreciate then you will be well on your way to loving yourself and your body.
9. Know your body type & know your style
Every woman should feel confident and wear whatever she likes, but if you’re lacking in self-esteem, there’s a few winning formulas out there that’ll help you feel your best when you step out the door.
Triangular: Narrow shoulders and wider hips.
Draw the eye to the top of your body with large chunky necklaces, ruffles and wide collars.
Wear solid colours on your lower half that also accentuate the waist.
Diamond: Wider through the midsection, and narrow at the shoulders and the knees.
Dress to draw the attention to your shoulders and hairline, as well as your legs.
Avoid belts and separated items. Go for dresses in bright prints or solid colours and pair them with some dazzling heels. Wear shirts that finish at your hipline, rather than tucking them into your waist.
Rectangular: Everything is fairly straight up and down.
The aim is to make your bust and hips look bigger, or your waist look smaller. Play with ruffles, collars, low-slung skirts and wide belts.
Try a shift dress or something tailored that gives you the illusion of a narrower waist.
Hourglass: Waist is smaller than your hips and your hips and bust are about the same proportions.
Aim to accentuate your waist by using scarfs or belts – thin or thick. Tuck in your tops and wear high-waisted jeans.
Inverted Triangle: Shoulders are wider or bust is larger than your hips.
Dress to accentuate the lower half of your body with flowing skirts or culotte pants.
Avoid ruffles and high neck tops. Show off your décolletage and wear a fitted top on the top half.
Knowing your style and making it work for your body shape is quite a skill. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll be sure to turn heads and receive compliments for a haircut that you had weeks ago.
10. Throw out your scales
Muscle weighs more than tissue. Fat weighs more than water. It’s all relative. The best size indicator is your happiness or your favourite jeans.
11. Tug of war
If you find yourself tugging at your clothes throughout the day, this is a sure sign that you are not comfortable in them. If you don’t feel comfy, you won’t look comfy.
If you try something on and immediately have to suck in your tummy or stick out your butt, don’t buy it! Only buy clothes that you feel 100% comfortable in straight away.
Try not to use clothing as a goal or a reward. No dresses that you’ll “work to fit into” or activewear as an incentive to go to the gym. You should love your clothes for how they make you feel, not what they represent.
12. Be your own best friend
Treat yourself like you would treat a best friend. Only say nice things about yourself. If you find yourself saying negative things about other people, try and stop this too, because negativity only breeds more negativity.
It will make people wonder what you’ve been up to. Make eye contact, say thank you and smile. Smile when you are talking on the phone, smile when you order your coffee and smile when you get that speeding ticket…
14. Workout as a reward
Find a workout that you love whether it’s HIIT, step aerobics; dawn trail walking or midnight samba sessions. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not working out or if you eat that chocolate cake. Everything in moderation, even exercise.
15. Be grateful
When you look at yourself in the mirror, pick out the things that you love about yourself and that you are grateful for rather than the things you don’t like. Be appreciative of what your body can do, rather than what it can’t.
16. Tried all of the above…
And you’re still not feeling the love? You may have an underlying issue with self-esteem that needs addressing. We all have our struggles and sometimes these are more easily resolved than others. A professional will be able to give you daily tools to use and mindful exercises to break down those barriers.
If you have any more body confidence tips, we’d love to hear them!
Disclaimer: SugarCandy does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.
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