I feel at times that we have all been hurt by beauty standards, diet culture, the stigma or judgements from others. Causing us to hate on our bodies and devalue our self-worth based on what we look like.
Have you ever done that?
When I look back at old pictures I was a lot smaller then, but I still wasn’t fully body confident.
So what makes us think that a smaller body will make us more confident now?
I have changed a lot over the years in my approach to health and wellness. In the past my programmes would reduce carbs, cut out dairy, sugar, wheat, caffeine and alcohol. To cut out, restrict and practice will power.
I suppose a lot of this was due to the environment I was in, heck it’s what I would get taught from the courses I would go on and the programmes that I would sign up to for myself.
I won’t beat myself up about my past behaviours, I just didn’t know any better.
Thankfully with age, comes experience. Now I know better, I vow to do better.
To do better for myself with my own body and with the clients that I work with, and the programmes I now create. My whole ethos and values around health and wellness have changed significantly.
So this is a bit of a reminder that ‘Summer Body Confidence’ comes from within.
Your body image is something that you get to define for yourself.
It comes from practising self-compassion. I know that’s not always easy. But would you ever tell your best friend or child to stay home from the beach because they don’t look perfect in a bikini?
So why do you keep on talking that way to yourself?
You can want to work on yourself, to make improvements. But it’s far more fun when it comes from a place of self-care and acceptance than restriction and hate.
So how can you eat and move to improve your summer body confidence?
- Move your body in ways that feel good for you. Do the workouts that you actually enjoy doing rather than what the latest science says is most effective. Both can have a place depending on your goals around fitness. But the workouts you are more likely to keep on doing, are the ones that you enjoy.
- Eat the foods that are nurturing and you actually really enjoy eating. Try out new foods and recipes, explore tastes and flavours. Find the healthy nutritious options that you love the most.
- Allow yourself time for fun. Yes, this means stop saying no to life for the sake of sticking with your diet. Find ways to incorporate ‘living’ with your health habits and not feeling the need to completely abstain.
- Spend more time with people that you love and who make you feel good about yourself. You don’t need to have external validation from anyone else but yourself. But those friends who big you up, who tell you how beautiful and amazing you are, really can make all of the difference until you can believe it for yourself.
- Spend time acknowledging the parts of your body that you do love (or at least can accept) and celebrate them, you can do this with affirmations or any words you choose to feel that celebrate your amazing body.
Your friends and family love you for who you are regardless of if you are summer body ready, and you deserve to give yourself that same love and appreciation right now.
Stop putting your living on hold until you feel like you have the right body and enjoy the living today.
You don’t have to be perfect with your diet, you get to stop the all or nothing mentality and know that a little bit of something is enough to be stepping you in a positive direction.
I have body goals too, and I’m slowly moving towards them, but I also choose to be gentle with myself, to prioritise fun and freedom and to be patient as this feels like peace. I’m so freaking done with feeling stressed about my body.
It’s good to have a solid plan that helps to lay down the foundations of good health but stay away from strict rules as that only sucks out the joy of living your happy healthy lifestyle.
For this is where you find real and long-lasting freedom with food and your body.