Your size does not define you – Creating body confidence no matter what your stage in life.
Guest Post by Elizabeth Dall, health and wellness coach.
When was the last time you told yourself you’d buy those jeans when you were 3 sizes smaller?
…And then you never actually bought them. And you keep wearing clothes you don’t feel comfortable, confident, or beautiful in because you’re waiting to hit that size goal before you start loving your body?
I hear this all the time as a health coach. Women waiting to take care of themselves, waiting to feel beautiful, and waiting to be confident with their bodies. There’s no celebration or self love until they reach their dream weight.
But, do you know what happens when the women who don’t work on their confidence actually do reach their weight loss or body size goals? They don’t feel confident either. They don’t look in the mirror with positivity, they don’t get as excited about those new jeans as they thought they would.
You see, body confidence has absolutely nothing to do with body size.
Body confidence is not about physical numbers such as the number on the scale, the body fat percentage, or your waist circumference. It’s about how you feel in your own skin. It’s about being able to do the things you want to do. It’s about loving who you are and what you’ve accomplished. And ultimately, it’s about not constantly worrying about the outside appearance, but rather the person inside that shell of a body.
Now, I’m not telling you to throw all of your health and wellness goals out the window, but instead look at them from an overall health perspective.
What do you want your body to be able to do for you? Do you want energy? Do you want to be able to go out for a run whenever you feel like it? Do you want to be healthy enough to chase your kids around? Do you want enjoy food because you know you have control over it?
Health and wellness goals, weight loss goals, body size goals – these are all great goals. It’s ok to have goals like this, but is there a way to build that body confidence and self love from day one to carry you throughout the process? Yes.
To build body confidence you must celebrate each step of the way. You must be proud of that amazing woman who is taking charge of her health from day one. Because if you don’t, that goal probably won’t mean much to you.
So, no matter where you are on your health journey, whether you are feeling frustrated with your body, frustrated with your goals, frustrated with yourself, there are 3 steps to building that body confidence no matter what stage you’re in.
3 STEPS TO BUILDING BODY CONFIDENCE
STEP 1: PRACTICE GRATITUDE FIRST
The very first step in building your body confidence and self love is to start finding things you’re thankful for. Every day before hopping out of bed, think of 3 things to be grateful for about your body.
If you’re struggling to physically love your body, start with your attributes. Are you a friendly person? Are you patient? Do you like to listen to people? Are you a go-getter? Are you organized? What attributes do you have that make you who you are? Find 3 things to be thankful for each day surrounding who you are.
When you’re ready to move on, what physical things has your body done for you? Have you carried, borne, and nurtured any children? Do you survive days with little to no sleep? Are you able to walk, run, jump? Have you accomplished a physical goal that you were proud of in the past? Find 3 things to be thankful for each day surrounding what your body does for you.
When your confidence begins to grow, start naming the physical things you like about yourself. Do you love your legs because they’re strong and get you places? Do you love your long, flowy hair? Are you grateful for stretch marks that remind you of the beautiful children you have? Are you grateful that your hips make you feel more feminine? Find 3 things to be thankful for each day surrounding how proud you are of each physical body part.
STEP 2: CREATE MORE POSITIVE SELF TALK
Have you ever stopped to pay attention to how you talk to yourself? I bet you’d be surprised to hear it! We tell ourselves we are lazy when we sleep in, we are impatient when we lose our temper, we are out of control when we eat too much chocolate.
You all of the sudden assigned yourself a role. Instead of looking at the situation as just that, a situation, you brought the whole weight of the outcome into your person. You slept in one day and therefore that makes you lazy.
What if you were to start noticing those negative thought patterns and instantly change them? Instead of you being a lazy person because you slept in, tell yourself you had a lazy morning because you were giving yourself a little extra self care and catching up on some sleep. You’re not a lazy person, you had a lazy morning. See the difference?
All of the sudden, you realize the event itself does not define you as a person. Then you ask yourself what you could do next time to help yourself feel more energized to get up early and start your day off right.
Start to pay attention to those negative self-talk loops. When you catch one, stop, think about the statement you just made, and turn it into a positive and rational statement instead. Just as we get used to negative self talk, we can turn it around and get used to regular positive self talk!
STEP 3: REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT
As with anything you have to learn, repetition is key. In order to build body confidence and self love, you need to practice it daily.
Wake up every morning to practice gratitude for your body, your person, and all that you’ve accomplished. Be grateful you have goals to work towards. Be grateful you are on this health and wellness journey. Be grateful for the stage you’re in right now. Celebrate each stage, celebrate each accomplishment, and celebrate the process of change. Yes, you can even celebrate the losses, because those are where we learn the most about moving forward.
Start seeing yourself in a more positive light by speaking positively about yourself. It might be tough at first, but as you practice, you will find it becomes easier and easier. You start to realize how much you have to offer the world, your family, your relationships, and also yourself.
Because body confidence is not about a size or a number on the scale. It’s about learning to love yourself no matter where you are on your journey. It’s about appreciating the here and now and also loving the adventure of change.
You can love yourself today, right now. Go buy those jeans and celebrate the woman you are now and the woman you are becoming!
Our Confident Life Contributor
Elizabeth Dall is a wellness coach that specializes in helping women build a better relationship with food and themselves, and reach their health and wellness goals. She wants women to feel confident and proud of the person they are and create the life they dream of. You can take her free course on improving your relationship with food here.
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