As a kid, I used to be obsessed with infomercials. You see, I had horrible acne growing up. So every product that promised to make pimply skin clear, made me want to buy it. What I didn’t realize at the time is that those products weren’t just showcasing clear skin, they were showcasing beautiful models.
There was this little part of me (that soon became a big part) that wanted to look just like those super thin, beautiful, pimple-free models. I came to realize that just because I used their acne-fighting system, didn’t mean I’d look like those models. And this realization, made me feel sad. This was my beginning of not feeling pretty enough, thin enough, or good enough.
Today, almost twenty years later, I can wholeheartedly say that I feel confident in my body. I can also wholeheartedly say that it didn’t happen overnight. But it did happen by taking action. If feeling confident in my body happened to me, guess what? It can happen to you too.
Below are some ideas on how you can start.
1. Unfollow triggering social media accounts
It’s so important to create a supportive environment. Detoxing (or dare I say it, removing) your social media accounts is a great way to start. You want social media to foster connection, ideas, and inspiration. If an account is triggering and bringing out the “compare and despair” factor, it’s time to unfollow. It’s also important to remember that you’re viewing only a small snippet in someone else’s world. And likely, their 30th take of a photograph.
2. Break up with your scale
Remove the scale. Your weight is going to fluctuate. In fact, it’s going to change on the hourly. You’ll never weigh the same in the morning as you do the evening. And that’s as it should be. Your weight is a constantly fluctuating number. It depends on your hormones, sodium intake, and, for women, where you are in your cycle, and so on. Focus on how confident you feel in your body. Not the scale.
3. Get to know and appreciate your own unique body frame
Everybody has a different body. It’s important to understand your body’s own unique shape and frame, so you spend your time nurturing your body. Instead of trying to get your body to become a shape that is physiologically impossible. For example, if you wear a size 9 shoe, you’d want to buy size 9 shoes. You wouldn’t want to buy size 6 shoes and beat your feet up to fit into them. Because your feet are a size 9. Just like you would for your feet, do the same for your body. Being able to care for your body begins with getting to know it. You can start by getting to know your body’s natural shape.
4. Get to know yourself
So often we get consumed by our appearance. Instead, make the time to get to know yourself. What books do you like? What’s important to you? How do you like to spend your free time? Rediscover what lights you up inside, so you’ll have more joy and a greater appreciation for who you are on a soul level.
5. Appreciate what your body can do, not what it looks like
We foster an appreciation for our bodies when we shift focus to what our bodies allow us to do. Keep a body-appreciation journal. And begin bullet-pointing a few things you appreciate about your body daily. For example, “I appreciate my legs for allowing me to hike up that beautiful hill today.”
6. Wear clothes that make you feel vibrant
Wearing clothes that make you feel confident, empowered, and sexy is important. You can’t feel good in your skin if what’s covering that skin makes you feel uncomfortable.
7. Connect with your body through movement you enjoy
Movement allows us to connect with our bodies. And when we connect with our bodies, we want to care for our bodies. But, we can only do this when we choose a movement that we actually enjoy. If you don’t have an activity you love, try something enticing and new, even if it’s going out for a walk.
8. Look at lots of different bodies
When you begin thinking about all the different types of bodies there is your world expands. For example, there are bigger bodies, smaller bodies, older bodies, postpartum bodies, shorter bodies, taller bodies. What’s reality is that bodies come in different colors, sizes, shapes, ages, and stages of life? That’s so important to remember because it’s not what we’re used to seeing.
9. Ask your close friends and family members why they love you
Send an email asking your close friends and family members why they appreciate you. They’re not going to say they care for you because of your biceps, abs, or legs. They’re going to talk about your compassion, kindness, and care. And whatever else makes YOU!
You’re so much more than a physical being and this exercise will show you that.
Internalizing who you are beneath your skin will set you free in a big, bold, daring way.