Body Confidence- just for slim people, right? WRONG... size is not the issue here..
Body confidence AKA self confidence LINKED TO self esteem.
Body confidence has zilch to do with the size of your waist line. It all comes down HOW you measure your self worth. Time to look inside ladies....and gentlemen you may get something from this too.
Body confidence is more about self acceptance than anything else. Accepting the way you are right now is key. Why? Because it doesn't really matter what size you are. People will love you for YOU. Regardless of your size. You've just got to start to believe it.
Can you think back to a time when you either didn't give a fuck what people thought of the way you looked or dressed or actually liked the way you looked? Can you remember what changed it? I can for me.
But let me first off throw a few things at you, which may surprise you. I have never been 'overweight' by certain peoples observations. AT 5ft 8, my largest was a size 14/16 in my late teens and a size 12/14 2 years ago. I carry my weight on my hips and thighs and always have a small waist. I know how to dress for my shape so never shyed away form fashion even when I FELT DISUGUSTING. I never spoke about it because I knew I would get dismissed with a 'you have nothing to worry about' and I was afraid people would think I was seeking compliments.
Here's the thing. The words that matter in the last paragraph are 'I FELT disgusting'. I. FELT. Regardless of a nice outfit, a smile, a slimmer or thicker booty, it's how I felt that mattered, If I had said how I really felt , people would have brushed me aside with a 'you have nothing to worry about' or 'you look great!''. No one ever asks 'why do you feel like that?' because no one knows the answers to help you feel better. And deep down you've played the scenario in your head already 'they'll just tell me I am ok' or 'they'll just think I should eat less or do something about it'. How many nights out with friends have been avoided because you felt like utter crap in anything you put on?
I have a had a few awful things said to me about my body in the past. People have brought me down in the most cruel ways imaginable. I have been publicly humiliated. Why? Because I genuinely felt good about myself and they didn't like it. They were MEN. Not that I would refer to them as gentlemen for sure. They were also men of whom I had turned down their advances. On all occasions they referred to me as fat. One of them was a PT for Madonna FFS! What happened after these events? I changed. I stopped wearing shorts in classes I taught. I dressed more carefully. I started to care what people thought rather than what I thought. Then 5/6 years ago, when I felt pretty ok with my body, I got hooked on 'cleanses' designed for weight loss. See my last blog for how that went.... but ultimately I got super thin and lot's of people told me I looked great. I was seeking the approval of others and I got it! It went pretty tits up when I stopped 'cleansing' and started eating. I. FELT. CRAP. ABOUT. MYSELF. and yo-yoed for months before I hit self destruct on my body and stopped caring for myself. What changed? My mindset and how I valued my self worth.
It's how you feel that matters most. Not your weight. Not your size. As these things are both changeable and you can dress for your size no matter what. People's validation will only last for so long. The validation you need is form YOU. The key thing is to accept where you are right now and work with it not against it. I am not saying that changing your dress size is easy and its no overnight fix, but before you make any plans to change the shape you are, you need to find acceptance and joy in where you are right now. Why?
Because being slim does not automatically make you happy. Your lack of body confidence will be down to way more than your size. In that feeling of 'doom' there will be: the feeling that you're useless (for getting to this size); not worthy of anything else; not worthy of love; likes; compliments or nice clothes. Your lack of self worth comes down to blaming yourself for here you are now, instead of accepting, making peace with yourself (you are NOT a bad person) making plans and changes to make yourself FEEL better. Why don't you believe your are worthy? What brought you down? Can you change your mindset by accepting others words are their own views, they don't have to affect you? Self acceptance and belief are everything to do with body confidence.
Here's the thing. You don't have to be a certain weight/height/look to be confident. Because if you hedge your bets on being 'happy when you get to a size x' you will find that nothing in life changes, except for your dress size and the clothes you wear. YES you will be confident and have some sass and you will enjoy what people say. BUT.... your partner will still treat you how they do now (whether that's good or bad). Your kids will still love you as they do now. Your friends will still love you as they do now. As its YOU they love.
Yes it's good to get to a healthy weight. But don't make that the sole focus and hang your happiness hat on it. Dropping dress sizes can make your life better in so many ways- your sex life can improve, you have more energy to play with your kids, you may get more adventurous with your clothes...you may feel that you are able to step out without judgement. But here's the thing. The biggest judgement is projected on yourself and by yourself, not others. And if you change that, everything changes.
Self Esteem and confidence grows when you nurture it. What makes you feel good within yourself? Here's my top tips to help make you feel better about yourself:
1. Write a gratitude list of everything you love about your life
2. Have a dump! A brain dump of the things you want to change
3. Write an action plan to change the things you want to change and tackle the 1 at a time
4. If you find you compare yourself to people on Social Media and you torture yourself by looking at them 'unfollow' but understand it's not them that makes you feel bad, it's they way you feel about yourself in comparison.
5. Go out for a walk or get some exercise- it helps you release some feel good hormones, can clear your mind and is likely to be on your 'change' list, so 1 box is ticked already!
5. Distance yourself from people who don't want to help you become happier in yourself...who can you be honest with? Who will bring you down? Can you create distance either emotionally or physically?
6. Start to accept who you are right now by re-reading your gratitude list and finding the joy in today. Notice the good things that are happening. Cherish the people in your life that bring you joy.Start to accept who you are right now by re-reading your gratitude list and finding the joy in today.
7. Be your own cheerleader, and surround your self with a squad of people who will do the same
I want you to be happy. Just don't feel that the onlything that matters is your size. You are way more than just a number on a label or the scales. You are loved. You just gotta believe it.
Elaine @LYF- Like | Yourself | First
NB: There are deeper levels of body confidence which I won't be able to talk about on here but need professional guidance- Body Dysmorphic Disorder, depression even severe PMS can cause severe mental trauma. If you feel that you have anything more serious please speak to a Medical Professional.