It’s no surprise that our appearance is one of the biggest and most talked about subjects these days. Not a day goes by where I’m not talking or thinking about my size and my confidence surrounding it. With summer finally upon us, it’s a toss up between showing off more flesh or sweating your t*ts off in layers of clothing. Either way, you won’t feel very confident, which just adds to the stress of it all.
Earlier this week, upon retuning from my travels, I stupidly stepped on the scales. Naturally, I assumed I wasn’t going to like the results, especially given the lifestyle I was living, as it was hard to find a healthy balance. Yet, for once in my life, I didn’t feel dictated by the number staring back at me.
My happiness and my weight, are two major factors that I’ve battled with for years. Unfortunately in the past, I’ve only had room for either or at one given time. Firstly, let’s get one thing straight here. I’m not insinuating that I am in any way, shape or form: fat and/or overweight. Just that I know I’ve been smaller (and physically fitter and healthier) than I am right now. That being said, I’ve never been happier or more mentally stable.
” It’s hard in this day and age, to be truly happy within ourselves. Whether your weight and appearance plays a role or not “
Let’s face it, we live in a world consumed by the internet. Constantly updating our platforms, to give off the ‘I love my life’ facade, yet the reality of it, is far from the truth. We endlessly scroll on Facebook or Instagram, looking for something to perhaps lift our spirits (especially after the long, tiring, bullshit day we’ve had). Instead, we are more often than not, faced with posts and images that make us doubt ourselves, feel bad or guilty. But why? Why should we look to others, only to end up judging ourselves or comparing. With every other social media account out there telling us what we should eat, how to dress or constantly reminding us that we don’t workout enough.
I get it, I used to fall into this category. Forever worrying about my looks, working out seven days a week, sometimes even twice a day. In the end, I was busting my balls off and for what? I still never felt I was ‘summer body or bikini ready’. I would spend countless hours in the gym, only to punish myself for eating something deemed ‘wrong‘. Pushing myself, for the good space of three years, yet my confidence never increased. In comparison to now, it’s soaring sky high and all it took was a little self-love (and a few wardrobe hacks). Weighing 10kg heavier, which is down to me eating and drinking what I want, when I want and living my life to the fullest. Sure, none of my shorts fit me right now, but I’m happy, not worried and that’s the most important thing… Right?
Confidence comes from within and that’s something I’ve come to learn the hard way. You’re happiness and self-love are what make you’re confidence shine through. So before we get down to business, there are a few things you need to do.
01. Take a Long Hard Look in the Mirror!
And ask yourself, what is it that makes you feel less confident? Is it your looks or appearance? Is it your size? Or is it the demons running havoc in your head? No answer is right or wrong. It needs to be personal to you and everyone is different. I suggest you figure out your ‘why’, because as hard as it is coming to terms with, making yourself aware of your problem areas (whether you can physically see them or not) is the most important stage, before feeling whole again.
02. You Haven’t Always Felt This Way, So Figure Out When Your Confidence Started to Deteriorate?
I very highly doubt you’ve felt like this your entire life, amiright? Something has triggered you, causing you to think you aren’t good enough or worthy. Now it’s time to dig deep, into the archives of your memory. Try to figure out when this became apparent and what was happening around you at the time. Was it a family tragedy? A break-up? Even something you read online or in a magazine? The brain is a tricky one and can cause so many mixed emotions, in the back of our brains, without us even realising. So think about when you started to feel like this, brainstorm if you have to. Anything to you get you feeling 100% again.
And on that note, here are a few helpful pointers. They helped me, so I hope they help you too. Let’s get you looking and feeling confident, every single day…
STOP OVERTHINKING, IT’S DOING YOU NO GOOD.
This step has by far, been a game changer for me. I used to think into every little minor detail about how I looked or wanted to be seen. Thinking back to a few years ago, I didn’t care what anyone thought of me. I would wear what I wanted, and not give a damn about people staring or thinking I was a little bit out there. As I got older, my social anxiety got the better of me, and took control. Now I’m over that and I’ve come to realise that, people probably don’t give a damn about me, as much as I thought they did. How have I done this, well, I’ll share with you.
Not so long ago, I was at a thermal bath in Budapest (which is basically a large heated swimming pool). As I looked around at the hundreds of other tourists, doing the exact same as me, I stopped to think. Everyone here is of all different shapes and sizes, some wearing a one piece and others in a bikini. Shorts, tops, trunks and even budgie smugglers on display. I’m here, doing my own thing and not a single person was interested in my appearance. In return, I wasn’t really all that focused on anyone else there either. Everyone was far too absorbed in there own enjoyment, to even notice anyone else. And that’s how you need to picture life, don’t be worried about how you look, or what others might think of you.
The truth is, most people honestly don’t care and that’s what you need to push past. And if they do, well then, they are just jealous of you or low life who don’t have anything better to do. If we waste our time overthinking, we are missing out on all the great things in life. So stop it, immediately and enjoy everyday as it comes.
MAKE YOURSELF AWARE OF YOUR PROBLEM AREAS
Being aware of your problem areas and body type is so important, when it comes to feeling confident. Especially if that’s what’s bringing you down. I have several areas on my body that I really don’t like, unfortunately, I was blessed with them genetically and there’s not much I can do about it. However, this doesn’t stop my me from getting up and slaying everyday. I have naturally large legs, always have and always will. Another down side is that I have short legs and a large midsection. Meaning I stand at an average 5ft6in, however, because my body is out of proportion not all things suit or fit me properly (I have a love, hate relationship with bodies and playsuits).
The best part of advice I can give you is this, stop focusing on the negatives and flaunt your positives. Just because I don’t like my legs, doesn’t mean I never get my pins out. I just try and work around clothes that compliment my favourite areas, because let’s be honest we have at least one. Mine is my waist, back and arms. Basically anything from my belly button and up – haha! So I always try and compliment these features when dressing.
KNOW YOUR IMPORTANCE & TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
As humans, we are all too good at pointing out our imperfections, over our blessings. You need to realise your importance in this world and work on yourself. It might be job related or pursuing a hobby, changing your diet or lifestyle. What you put out into this world, needs to be fed back into you, in order to continue functioning at your very best. Here, I’ll give you a good example:
You work hard all week, day in and day out at your job. In fact, you work so hard that you work through your lunch breaks, in order to meet target deadlines. By doing this you are neglecting yourself, while your mind focus’ on your work priorities. Then, when you finish work and go home to ‘relax’ you over indulge on rich foods or drink one too many glasses of wine. You end up staying awake late, trying to catch up on that series or TV program you never have time for, which results in lack of sleep. Thereby not fuelling your body with nutrients or setting yourself up for tomorrow. This then becomes a vicious cycle of neglect, time and time again.
Without even realising it, you’ve caused your own lack in self confidence, just by living your own life. It’s madness I know, but when you say it out loud it makes so much sense. This was exactly how my confidence was knocked, I got so carried away and worked up about life that I forgot who I was and lost myself in reality. Once you’ve figured out who you are, what you want and how to achieve it, your bodies natural PH balance will be restored.
STOP TRYING TO FOLLOW THE LATEST TRENDS
Just because crop tops and leather pants are the latest in-thing. That doesn’t mean you should or have to wear them too. I would always be out buying the latest fashion statement, just because everyone on the internet was wearing it. Nine times out of ten, I wouldn’t be comfortable, therefore knocking my confidence when wearing it.
For example, I know all to well that bodycon dresses and skirts DO NOT suit me. My legs are too short and chunky, I have a small waist so they would never fit or sit well on me. I would always feel conscious that my belly looked big or my ass was hanging out. Forever pulling it up or down, feeling slightly exposed to the world. But, when they were the in thing several years ago, that didn’t stop me from buying them. Now I have a HUGE collection of these devil dresses, that I can’t bring myself to wear very often.
Thankfully, I’ve become creative over the years, leading me to throw one on, every now and then. Be that as it may, I won’t wear the dress as it comes. I will layer it with a shirt, either around my waist of over the top, helping to hide my problem area’s. It’s as simple as that, just because something looks good on one person, doesn’t mean it’s going to suit you too. Find your style, express your personality and roll with that.
AND LASTLEY, LEARN TO ACCEPT OR GET READY TO MAKE A CHANGE
Hopefully, by the end of this post you have come to the realisation that you have two options? 01. You accept yourself for who you are and move forward. Or 02. You’re ready to take the first step in making a change. Whether that means, not giving a f*ck, changing your mindset or working on yourself and make improvements. Either way it’s time to stop living inside your head and get out here into the real world.