Body confidence: learning how to accept yourself so you can love yourself and be more comfortable in your skin.

February 20, 2024

Thankfully we’ve seen a huge shift over the past decade towards more a more inclusive approach to all different body types which has started to change the conversation around body image and shift perceptions.

We have seen huge changes in media and advertising over this time, but as individuals, it can feel hard to shift our own approach and attitude towards ourselves when we have sat in a place of judgement for so many years. It can be a hard narrative to shift.

So, having body confidence and feeling comfortable in your own skin can take time and effort, but it is absolutely achievable.  

I’ve worked with many clients over the years, who come to me with a specific goal in mind they are looking to achieve  - they may want to lose body fat, gain muscle mass to look more toned, shift something about their physique that they feel is an issue for them, or simply take some positive steps towards being healthy for their long term happiness and vitality.  

Now it is absolutely okay to want to improve your health, or even to want to change something aesthetically about yourself. That’s our prerogative as individuals. But what I see, all too often, is that the drive for change comes from a loathing for something in ourselves and the carrot of “change” can present as the key to happiness once it’s been achieved. This is where we need to start. We need adjust our mind set.  

You cannot make lasting changes from a place of hate or loathing.

We must first learn to love, accept, appreciate, while also working on goals that allow us to become the best versions of who we want to be.

I encourage every client that I work with to focus on goals not solely relating to a weight metrics or their lifting performance but to have a focus on how they want to FEEL. Let me explain a little more.  

Your body is an incredible living organism. A vessel that carries you through all the demands you place on it every day. And for that we should be showing up thankful. What we are experts in doing (especially in a world of social media and comparing our own reality with someone else’s highlight reel) is forgetting to be grateful for all that our bodies have done for us and continue to do for us.  

Every day, since the day you were born, your physical body has shown up for you in all its wonder. It has carried you to far places, it has overcome colds and viruses, its borne children, it has recovered from drinking too much alcohol, from eating less than nutritious food, from broken bones.

It has rejuvenated itself over and over again, to keep your blood pumping and your organs working within the beautiful ecosystem you get to call home.  

Sometimes it will struggle. We suffer with viruses, diseases or infections, we may not always feel as vibrant or healthy as we could hope for, but your body still continues to show up and fight. And that is a blessing!  

If you want to make lasting changes, show up first from a place of gratitude. Show your body love and appreciation for all that it does and then take small steps to improve where it is right now. If you feel ready to try, here are some tips that may help you on your way:  

  1. Focus on self-care: Make sure you're taking care of your body through healthy habits such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and staying hydrated. When you feel good physically, it helps boost your confidence.
  1. Practice self-compassion: Try to be kind and gentle with yourself. Instead of focusing on your perceived flaws or shortcomings, focus on the positive qualities you possess.
  1. Avoid negative self-talk: Be mindful of the way you talk to yourself. Try to catch negative thoughts before they spiral out of control and start focusing on the positive ones.
  1. Surround yourself with positivity: Surround yourself with people who are supportive and positive. You can also unfollow social media accounts that make you doubt yourself, and focus on reading books or blogs that promote body positivity.
  1. Wear clothes that make you feel good: Wear clothes that fit well and make you feel comfortable and confident. Don't feel like you have to conform to certain fashion standards and don’t feel like you have to fit into a certain size. If you FEEL good, you will carry yourself differently through your day
  1. Focus on what your body can do: Instead of focusing on what your body looks like, focus on what it can do. Celebrate the ways in which your body helps you navigate the world, how it shows up for you and all the incredible things it has already allowed you to experience in the world.
  1. Challenge beauty standards: Recognize that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colours. Don't buy into the unrealistic beauty standards that can still be portrayed in the media. Advocate for yourself - for your own beauty, for your own health and for your own vibrance to shine!
So wherever you are in your journey right now, really try and take a moment to appreciate the miracle of your body. Thank it for all the incredible experiences and adventures you have been through together over the years without any shame, judgement or self-deprecation.  

Remember, having body confidence is a process, but the first focus is being able to accept and love yourself. Be patient and kind to yourself as you work towards greater self-acceptance.