This post was contributed by Leila; a 27 year old body confidence and fitness advocate. She says: I’m passionate about making all women feel confident and find their inner girl power in tackling body image issues. I am also extremely passionate about keeping things real through my social media. I’m your average girl next door that is simply wanting to empower, inspire and educate women around the world.
Let’s talk about body confidence. You may or may not have seen over the past few months / year that this has become a subjected that’s being talked about a lot more. As an influencer on social media who promoted #bodyconfidence I feel that I really need to address some ‘aspects’ and also give you a real insight of what body confidence means to me.
To me you don’t just suddenly wake up one morning absolutely loving every single part of your body and yourself. It doesn’t work like that. Its not that easy. It also doesn’t mean that you will love yourself every single day of the year. It’s a journey, a process over time and a process of acceptance.
A lot of influencers and bloggers talk about it as though it’s easy for you, me and Joanne next door! It’s NOT! I’m not going to sit here and type that I am 100% comfortable in my body 100% of the time, because that would be a lie. To me what body confidence actually means is body acceptance. Accepting that we are all perfectly imperfect, accepting parts of our body that we don’t like and then its about embracing them. Accept and embrace are two fundamental steps to body acceptance. I always hated my legs and my big bum, little did I know that in 2018 having a butt would mean I didn’t have to follow those ‘grow your glutes’ videos on social media! Over time I however learned to accept my legs, my bum and my cellulite. I started to understand that actually all those models on the front of magazines and those that I was following on social media aren’t the norm like me and you. I became more aware about the life I had to live rather than spending time needing to be on the next popular diet. I must admit I tried all of them from ‘detox teas’ to ‘slimming world’ and even ‘diet pills’ and although they made me happy for about 1 week after I’d lost weight quickly, I was never truly happy with my body.
The moment I started to accept who I was, how my body was made and exactly what my body needed in terms of nutrition was the step towards feeling confident.
I started to learn about nutrition, about different type of bodies, which led me to understanding what I needed to eat, drink and fuel my body. I joined a gym and became more interested than ever in fitness.
I learnt that my body is my machine and provided me with energy to perform well in the gym and daily, that actually I was to be thankful and grateful towards it rather than hating it!
Sure there’s still times when I look in the mirror and think urgh but then I change the dress I’m in. I’ll never go back to the old life where I’d instantly go back to believing that losing weight would make me happy. I now aim to stay healthy by exercising and treating my body with respect.
So here’s the thing, if you want to become ‘body confident’ or start to ‘love yourself’ you need to start with acceptance.
Here are my top tips:
- Start with little steps, wake up in the morning and tell yourself you’re worth it. Look in the mirror and as cheesy as it sounds give yourself a compliment.
- Remember it isn’t going to happen over night. It’s a journey, and it’s okay not to be okay and still feel rubbish from time to time.
- Listen to your body, it’s your machine, it’s what keeps you alive, going and moving every single day, respect it, don’t deprive it.
- Know that you can become confident at whatever size you are at.
- Size doesn’t matter, stop looking at those jeans and wanting to fit into a size 8, 10, 12, 14, 16…. Size is irrelevant and doesn’t define you.
- Weight doesn’t define you either. No one will ever (or should ever) come up to you and ask how much do you weigh.
- Get rid of the negative people in your life, this includes social media, magazines and unrealistic measures of what society ‘wants’ us to be.
- The less time you spend on worrying about your body the more time you’ll have to spend on other things that truly matter.
- Believe in yourself.
- You are beautiful, why? Because you are 1 in 7.6 billion people on this beautiful planet that we call home!
I hope that you have found this blog post helpful. For me it’s always about being truthful and honest. I don’t bullsh*t anything, I’ll always say it how it is. Try and see if you can get yourself out of that negative mindset of hating your body, because trust me when you learn to love yourself, you’ll be living your best life!