Let’s be completely honest for a minute here: everyone has felt insecure about their body at some point in their life. Most of this is caused by the fashion and beauty industry favoring certain body types. As these industries start to shift over to portraying a wider range of body types, there’s a glimmer of hope, but really, we need to find our confidence and self-love from within. It can be tough, so here’s a few things I’ve used myself that have helped to change my mindset to being more body positive.
Unfollow “fitspo” accounts.
I know quite a few people (including myself in the past) who follow Instagram accounts of people who are their “body goals”, looking to them for inspiration and motivation to keep their diet and gym routine in check. While it may work short term, in the long run this is wreaking havoc on your confidence. No two bodies are the same, so your chances of looking exactly like this person are slim. Also, the people behind those fitspo accounts have created an entire lifestyle around health and fitness. For those of us who are in school or working full-time, achieving the same results as them are extremely difficult. All of this leads to feeling super discouraged when you put in time and effort to eating healthy and working out, but you still don’t have a perfectly sculpted body. And that’s OK! All bodies are beautiful, and there are tons of other accounts that you can follow that emphasize being body positive and living a balanced lifestyle that are WAY more motivating in the long run. One of my favourites is @saggysara, but if you search up the hashtags “#selflove” or “bodypositive”, you’re sure to find tons of others.
Try the 1:3 Ratio; for every 1 negative thought you have about yourself, give yourself 3 compliments
It’s easy to be critical of yourself; what isn’t so easy is to boost yourself up. Negative self-talk such as “My thighs are huge” or “I hate my nose” take a huge hit to your confidence levels and aren’t doing you any favours. But there is a way to overcome this! For every negative self-talk comment, give yourself 3 compliments. It can be something as small as “I like my eye colour”, or “I make awesome scrambled eggs” to “I have awesome hair ”or “I’m great at my job”.
Stop excessively using mirrors (unless it’s to admire yourself!)
Mirrors used to be the worst for me; every morning and evening looking in the bathroom mirror to see if my stomach was looking flat or bloated. I would almost never be happy with what I saw, always looking for improvements (granted, I would always look for healthy solutions, nothing drastic). So one day, after not feeling so great about my body for a while, I just stopped. I stopped looking to the mirror to show me how my body was progressing, and instead started focusing on how I felt. If I felt heavy and bloated, I needed to eat healthier. If I felt energetic and full (please don’t ever let yourself feel hungry for the sake of weight loss!), then I was doing well. Gradually my confidence improved until I was able to look in the mirror again and not care about whether I looked bloated or not.
Have a daily mantra
Pick something that you want to focus on for the day. It could be something as simple as “I am capable”, or “I am strong”. Repeat it to yourself throughout the day, especially in moments when you start to feel down or question yourself. Positive self-talk may feel weird at first, but it’s a great way to boost your confidence.
Be good to your body
Feeling good on the inside projects glowing confidence on the outside. I LOVE junk food and I’m a sucker for dessert, but I feel like crap on the inside after eating it, and that heavy feeling lasts much longer than the few minutes of enjoyment I get while eating it. It’s ok to still enjoy these things in moderation, but make sure that you’re also filling your body with healthy proteins, fats, and carbs as well as micronutrients. Nourishing your body with healthy food will give you more energy, making you feel happier and more confident throughout the day.