Anyone Can Achieve Body Confidence (without Changing Your Outward Appearance)
Body Confidence can be a struggle. Especially after the holidays.
If you are like me you have overindulged, meaning continued eating after you were full just because the food was in front of you. And because of that, you may now be feeling a bit low in body confidence. Dessert is my kryptonite. It’s hard to resist eating at least two types when there are a gazillion different options of candies, cookies and chocolates to choose from during the holidays.
And while in the US, you get to spend the holidays in winter clothes. I usually spend the holidays, back home in Costa Rica, where it is summer and you are required to wear a swimsuit.
Below are my go-to strategies to keep body confident, regardless of the season:
1. Own the body you are in: Yes, I know this might sound a little trite but hear me out. I can’t think of a better time to judge your body by its ability to keep you healthy and safe during the pandemic, as opposed to judging it for not looking like some of the Instagram accounts you follow. Nitpicking every inch of your body is not ok in 2021. Your body has bigger fish to fry.
2. Your clothes should fit your body, not the other way around: How many times have you bought a piece of clothing for when you lose weight and are able to wear it? I definitely have, but not as of late and this is why. For a whole year, I didn’t buy any clothes. I was resigned to wearing just what I had in my closet, which then led to pulling out articles of clothing I kept just for sentimental value (think my grandpa’s suspenders) and using them IRL. This made me realize that when clothes don’t fit you well, it truly impacts how you feel during the day. When you are judging your body for not fitting into your clothes, think about the fact that you have your body for life, while the article of clothing, if lucky, will just survive your next spring cleaning.
3. Mirror, mirror: Look at yourself in the mirror, no clothes and no judgement allowed. I have been doing this since I can remember and it has worked. I remember being as young as 12 years old and inspecting every part of my body. Most of the times I do this exercise, I conclude that once I saw that part of my body I am not happy with reflected back at me, it isn’t as bad as I imagined it to be. On the next self-care Sunday, spend some quality time alone, in front of the mirror. You won’t regret it.
4. Accept and move on: A year ago, I got married. Arguably I was in the best shape I had ever been, meaning I had never felt more strong and fit than then. A year later I don’t feel like that, but I am also thankful I don’t have the pressure of having to fit in a wedding gown. I have accepted that I am not the same size I was a year ago, and that is ok.
5. Comparison is your foe: Comparing yourself to others or previous versions of yourself will only leave you sad and disheartened. Don’t do it. Don’t do it. DON’T DO IT. I am repetitive because I know it is hard. Try to focus on the positives like the things that others envy of you. If you can’t think of one, ask a close friend or family member. When I am beating myself up because my thighs are not as toned as I would like, I think about my soft skin and my straight hair (I still would prefer more volume, but I am aware of the privilege I have to never have to buy a straightener in my life).
Please remember that body confidence doesn’t happen overnight. I have to admit that sometimes being body positive can be overwhelming. After all, we cannot always be happy about how our bodies look (or feel). What we CAN work on is our self-talk and the self-awareness that are necessary to stop and challenge negative thoughts. Let me know what your go-to strategies are!