There is no one I know who doesn’t struggle with body confidence. So many of us wake up every morning, walk to the mirror, and pick out a flaw instead of something we love. For a very long time, this always bothered me. How could I tell other people to stop picking themselves apart and celebrate their bodies when I couldn’t do it myself? Over time, I have learned to love my body for what it is. I continue to struggle with its various stages. If you are anything like me, you might find my body confidence story helpful especially during the holiday season.
One of the many things that I have found helpful is to remove anyone from my social media feed that makes me feel insecure. Scrolling through endless photos of bikini-clad models and women who emulate what is meant to be beautiful is taxing. Every time I turned around, I didn’t feel adequate enough to get dressed, let alone go out. When you start to compare yourself to what someone else looks like, who might not even look like that in real life, it can really make you hate your body. I was not having that, so I woke up one morning and purged my feed. Do I miss seeing some of those glamorous photos? Sometimes. But my relationship with my body has changed since their removal.
Going back home during the holidays with so much food can also cause body dysmorphia. You feel like if you go to all of these parties and indulge on the amazing cookies and cakes made by your families, your body will grow faster than the Grinch’s heart. I have news for you: that won’t happen. You should be less focused on what you’re eating, and more focused on how you’re feeling. Say you feel bloated or puffy, drink some peppermint tea and take it easy. No one says you have to eat everything, and on the other end, you have every right to treat yourself.
I think that the whole concept of eating what you want during the season, only to go on a health cleanse later, is really unhealthy. You are setting yourself up for a situation where you’re creating negative ideas of what you should be. Like I said before, take it one day at a time and focus in on what makes you feel like the best version of yourself.
One final thing that has really helped me a lot with learning to be body confident is to go to the mirror in the morning and look myself dead in the eye. At that point, I purposefully say something I love about myself. It can be about my physical appearance or my personality, but it has to be something positive.
This is a therapeutic technique typically used in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. You replace the negative thoughts with those of positive ones as a way to reverse faulty thinking. Instead of saying something like, “I hate the size of my thighs,” you can say how thankful you are to be able to have a body that carries you every day. It’s the little things that can make the biggest difference.
So whether or not you have a complicated relationship with your body, learning to be body confident is important. I find that I’m now able to take the time to be gentle with myself as opposed to being critical. Even after the holidays, focusing in on these little changes will make a huge difference in your body confidence!
Are there any tips you have to help spread the body love? Sound off below!
Opening image by Flower