Hello lovely followers!
I would like to do a post on increasing confidence! I think that everyone has confidence as a goal when they start on their health and fitness journey and I feel that confidence can be attained no matter where you are in reaching your goals. It’s a state of mind, not a body shape or a certain weight. I can tell you from experience that my confidence did not increase as I lost weight- I got increasingly more critical of my body instead of loving it. After doing a lot of work on body love and acceptance, I feel I’ve made huge strides in increasing my confidence no matter what my body looks like, so I’d like to share these tips you!
This isn’t easy, and it takes a lot of practice. You’ve got to be dedicated to tuning into your internal self talk and also outward talk- and practicing some self love can be emotional and difficult at first, but like anything… it gets easier with practice and time!
What are your thoughts concerning your body? You’ve gotta start tuning into allll those little thoughts such as “ugh, I look fat” or when you check yourself in a photo and feel disgusted, or when you glance at yourself in a window and think that your arm looks chubby or your hair is a mess etc. This is SO important because turning around your internal self talk is the biggest piece to increasing confidence. I remember when I first started doing this- every time I walked into a bathroom I would pull up my shirt to see how my stomach looked and usually be disgusted with myself. I had to really work to stop doing that cold turkey. It can be helpful to even get rid of full length mirrors so you can stop body shaming yourself.
You also need block the body shaming or internal putting down self talk that pops up. I was CONSTANTLY putting myself down, thinking about how fat I was, thinking about food, thinking about binging, thinking about how many calories I was eating. I am seriously amazed that I even made it through high school and university because I barely had any time to think about anything else! It was constantly on my mind. I can’t believe how much more space there is in my brain when I’m not constantly berating myself or thinking about food/starving/purging etc. It’s helpful to think of a mantra or just a sentence to replace the negative thoughts with. I always think something different but its usually around the lines of “I am beautiful exactly as I am”, or “I am perfectly perfect in this moment”. “I adore myself and all of the skin I’m in”. Something simple and feel good. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe it at first, you will! So be constantly checking in with yourself and your thoughts and repeating that mantra whenever you have a negative self talk moment.
Also, stop the body criticizing with other people! This was the hardest for me to get away from because I work in a gym environment where everyone is constantly critiquing their bodies and expecting me to say something back. I try not to engage in this sort of talk at all. When someone complains about their body to you.. do not counter with “Oh my god I know, I hate my thighs!” Tell them they are beautiful and change the subject. Body shaming yourself just to make someone else feel better is never going to change anything. We need to change the way we talk about ourselves and our bodies! Instead you should be like “I LOVE my thighs and my legs and my long hair and pretty eyes”. WORK IT!
So- be very focussed on stopping negative self talk (it takes work and time.. probably took me 3-6 months to really get rid of it) and keep repeating your mantra!
Start loving yourself up.
You can do this step during the process of reducing negative self talk, every little bit helps! This can be very hard for people, it feels uncomfortable at first, especially if you have been hating your body for a long time.
You can do this one step at a time, but the goal is to eventually get naked in front of the mirror and say out loud all the beautiful lovely things about your body. You can start with being clothed and build up to this if it feels more comfortable. Again- you might not believe any of this at first. I do this every morning after I get out of the shower! I’ll say things like “I love my curvy stomach, I love my long shiny hair, I love my clear skin, I love my arms, I adore my butt, I am so proud of my legs.. etc. Keep on going and checking yourself out and only allowing positive self talk. Keep saying how wonderful and amazing you are and talk to yourself like you would speak to your daughter or best friend. Love love love!
Another way is to keep a list of all the things you love about you. Whenever I’m feeling down I’ll write a gratitude list or a list of things I love about myself. Doing this helps to keep me in a positive place of mind. I am not going to lie- being on this active escape the past week with a bunch of beautiful people with “perfect” (I put this in quotations because of course no one is perfect!) bodies really was hard for me to keep my confidence up. I found myself being a little harder on myself and had to really work to stay positive! I whipped off my top and killed the stair challenge in a sports bra- this was very hard for me to do but I decided to own it and kept repeating positive thoughts the whole time, and working out like this was an amazing feeling for me! I also wrote down positive things in my journal each night, and reminded myself of how great I am when I had jealous feelings of others during the retreat. Everyone is so different and we have GOT to love ourselves as we are today in order to reach happiness and confidence. Everyone has different bodies and as soon as you learn to stop comparing yourself to others the sooner you’ll feel better about working what you got!
I’m not saying you need to cake on make up and change your style to feel confident. But buying cute, comfortable clothes that you love to wear and that make you feel good are always a confidence booster. Putting on a little make up, or getting manicure or pedicure, or getting your eyelashes done (my personal favourite) are all ways to help you feel sexy in the skin you are in! Even little things like wearing matching underwear, or your favourite jewellery, or trying out a new make up style can really boost you up. Getting your hair done or throwing on some fake tanner or simply trying out a new lipstick can really help you feel more confident! I think my favourite things are getting my eyelashes done, deep conditioning my hair, and putting on some fake tanner for a little glow to make me feel great! And of course I love my cute workout clothes etc. You don’t need to spend a bunch of money, but it’s important to make yourself feel good NOW, not later. If you’ve gained weight and none of your clothes fit- buy some new ones for gods sake! This doesn’t mean you are “giving up” on yourself or your health. It means you are treating your body with the love and respect it deserves and you deserve to feel great every morning when you get dressed no matter if you’ve gained 10lbs or not. I had to buy a whole bunch of new clothes when I gained weight, and as soon as I did it I felt a million times better. Who cares that you’ve gained weight- nobody but YOU! So ditch the judgement against yourself and make yourself feel like the wonderful cutie patootie you are.
Fake it till you make it!
Sometimes what you really need to do is fake it until you feel it. I found this especially true when I starting teaching fitness classes, I really had to fake confidence because I was always so nervous! But eventually it became second nature and I always feel confident when I’m up in front of the class with myself and my teaching. This can apply to anything- working out especially! I know a lot of people feel insecure in the gym and wondering if they are doing the right things or feel like everyone is watching them. Don’t be afraid to get into that male dominated weights section and pick up some weights! If it helps, hiring a personal trainer that show you the correct exercises and form can really boost confidence.
Even eating healthy takes confidence! It’s strange in society, sometimes I feel that people that choose the healthier option can be judged quite a bit. Everyone is wondering why you are eating this or that instead of taking the easy processed foods option. It can be hard to reduce drinking when out with friends, or choose to skip dessert because you just don’t feel like it. Be confident in your decisions! This is YOUR body, no one else.’s They don’t have a right to comment on what you choose to nourish it with.
Congratulations if you read this post all the way through, it was a long one! I want to tell you that you CAN find everlasting confidence right where you are in your journey with a little work. Commit to working on these steps and you’ll start feeling happier than ever! When you are happier- all the other stuff like working out and eating healthy becomes easier too 🙂