If I’m being honest, I think it’s such a pity that I even feel compelled to write this post. I think that body confidence should be a given. Once someone is healthy, then what is the big deal about how their body looks? When did the shape of our bodies become such a major issue in our everyday lives?
Unfortunately, body confidence is an extremely difficult thing to achieve. It’s a touchy subject for so many people and the pressure to look a certain way can be detrimental to both physical and mental health. I feel like what society believes to be the ’ideal body type’ is constantly changing and it’s impossible to even try to keep up. People are constantly going to such unhealthy extremes to look a certain way, purely because of what others value as beautiful. I wish that body confidence was entirely about how YOU felt about how you look but it’s far too easy to let the opinions of other affect us.
On a personal note, my body confidence has improved immensely during the past year. I was always slim, sometimes too slim. I feel like people are conditioned by society to believe that being slim or ‘skinny’ is most ideal, and for this reason people often forget that slim people can have an extreme lack of body confidence too. For the most part, if I, or any other slim person, spoke up about an insecurity they had about their body, they would get a comment along the lines of ‘But you’re so skinny’ or ‘will you stop you’re figures amazing’. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to sound conceited, I know that these people mean well. However, I feel like people expect those who don’t obviously appear to struggle with their body, to have absolutely no insecurities. This is far from the truth!
Quite often I’ve actually felt bad for mentioning my struggles with body confidence because I’m reminded by others that I ought to be more grateful. And perhaps I should be, but I’d like to remind others that just because I have what they deem to be the ‘ideal figure’ doesn’t mean I was always happy with my body. I am much more happy with my body now, but this wasn’t always the case- not at all.
I actually really struggled for a while and discovered I was medically underweight after a trip to the doctor, but I’m not going to go into a lot of detail. Let’s just say I was far too strict on myself, I exercised too much for the amount I was eating and I really wasn’t healthy. I think I had a quite distorted image of myself, at the time. It caused some health issues and I was told to put on weight as soon as possible. Now, I eat everything in moderation, I don’t restrict myself but I still eat healthily. I aim to go to the gym three times a week. I am so much happier now and my body confidence has soared. I also have such an improved mindset on the whole issue. I have scars and stretchmarks and I’ve come to terms with them too. Sure who doesn’t have scars or stretchmarks?
In the blog post that inspired this one, Alex (from https://thedaysofdaydreaming.wordpress.com/), answered some interesting questions in relation to body confidence, so I thought I’d do the same.
What makes you feel good about yourself?
Going to the gym has really helped me feel good about myself. Healthy eating is a great help too. I always feel so confident when I choose an outfit that I feel looks good on me, so that helps too.
Do you feel pressured to look a certain way?
To a certain extent, yes, though not half as much as I used to. Of course the idea of the ideal body type will always be at play, but the more confident I get, the less it seems to bother me.
How would you like to improve your body confidence?
Sometimes I need to remind myself that our bodies literally change daily (bloating etc). My confidence wavers slightly on these days but I’m becoming more accepting of that too.
Has anyone ever made you feel insecure about your body?
No particular event sticks out in my mind of anyone else making me feel that way. To be honest, I think it’s myself that causes that- I used to be far too hard on myself. Sometimes I still compare myself to others- I feel that this is a major issue when it comes to body confidence in general. I have to remind myself that their pictures aren’t always realistic. Now I only follow people who post realistic pictures and avoid those advertise products like ‘detox teas’ and the likes of that.
Has your body confidence ever stopped you from doing anything?
Not anything major. I used to cover up quite a bit and would never wear bulky jumpers because I was under the impression that they made me look chubby. I realise now how ridiculous that was…
How do you deal with a day of low body confidence?
I remind myself that I work hard in the gym and mostly eat healthy food so I have no reason to be so hard on myself. I also remind myself that my body changes on a daily basis and it’s likely that I’ll feel completely different tomorrow.
Is there anything you could add or remove from your life that would make you feel more body confident? Why?
At the moment, I actually wouldn’t change anything. I’m pretty content since changing my attitude towards my body image and becoming more accepting.