When I sat down to write this post I asked myself if I’m really cut out to be writing about body confidence. A few of my readers have requested posts on this topic but I’m hardly the poster girl for it. Like most women, I have insecurities about my body. You know, those voices in your head that try to convince you the number on the scale isn’t where it should be or that your thighs aren’t thin enough. Yea, I hear them loud and clear. Most days, though, I successfully shut them up. For me, the road to body confidence has been a long one that’s taken many twists and turns.
In my early twenties, I became more aware of my body and how it was unique to me. I learned that when drank too much alcohol or ate the wrong foods, I didn’t feel like my best self. I also learned that exercise did make me feel like my best self. My confusion lied in thinking I could eat anything I wanted if I exercised a lot. In my mid-twenties around the time when I moved to New York City – I moved closer than ever toward body hatred. I compared myself to women in magazines and exercised twice a day. I began a very restrictive way of eating and only allowed myself healthy foods. I needed a lot of external validation, so let’s just say I dated a lot! In my 30s I moved closer to body acceptance with a few steps back along the way and now as I approach 40 I’m learning to appreciate my body even more.
Acceptance and appreciation don’t mean complacency. By all means, I still work hard to make my body the strongest and healthiest it can be – but the goal isn’t to be thin or “perfect.” I also don’t mean to make this all sound so cut and dry. A few months ago I wrote about our struggle with infertility which has been one of the biggest boons to my body confidence. In that post, I mentioned feeling shameful that my body can’t conceive a baby – something it was created to do yet I’ve run marathons and completed triathlons. Going through infertility has brought me back into throes of body hatred at times.
All of this said I feel the most comfortable and confident in my body than I ever have and I owe it equally to experience, lots of inner personal work and of course, The Bar Method. These are some of my best tips for feeling body confidence wherever you are.
One // Skip the scale If you’re in the habit of weighing yourself daily, stop. The number on the scale doesn’t measure your worth and even though it measures your body weight, that still doesn’t mean much. So many variables go into the number that shows up when you step on the scale that at the end of the day, the number doesn’t mean a lot It’s a hard habit to break, but you’ll feel so much better when you’re not a slave to scale.
Two // Find a workout you love Yes, it’s important to move your body consistently, but even more valuable is finding a workout that makes you feel strong, motivated and empowered. For the longest time, I was punishing my body with intense workouts that I didn’t love and that just doesn’t work they weren’t effective for me and I learned they were messing with my hormones.
Three // Nourish your body Ok, these are all kind of obvious but body confidence is so much about how you treat yourself – what you choose to eat, how you exercise and so much more. Eat living foods that make you feel light and energized, hydrate and meditate so your thoughts about yourself and your body are clean and clear also.
Four // Be realistic Stop seeking perfection – it doesn’t exist. Set goals that challenge you but make them realistic and achievable within a given timeframe.
Five // Wear what makes you feel your best If it weren’t for high-waisted jeans and leggings, I don’t know what I would do. Find what makes you feel like your best, most confident self and wear it.
Six // Fake it til you make it It’s cliche, but true. Sometimes you just gotta act like you’re already there.
What are your own personal secrets for body confidence?