Body Confidence

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.

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6 Comments

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  1. I’m with you 100% on this girl! Why should anyone care what you look like as long as you’re healthy? The ideals of beauty are so distorted across the board that sometimes is almost comical how one body may be seen as fat or overweight in one culture and yet admired in another.

    Growing u in Africa being a bigger, thicker woman is a beauty ideal, I was constantly told I was too skinny and muscular which ingrained it’s own insecurities me with time then I moved to Ireland and it was suddenly ‘omg you’re figure is so great’ and I’m still feeling insecure over here like please don’t look at my skinny manly arms please.

    I have to say I’ve come a long way with my won body confidence and like you I enjoy going to the gym too. I know that I’m taking care of my body and I am healthy so generally what people think doesn’t get to me much. I just wish that was the way for everyone else too.

    Ama Addo / Albatroz & Co
    http://www.albatrozandco.com

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you so much for the lovely comment! Exactly, health should be the priority rather than body image but it so often isn’t. Wow, that’s really such a difference between Africa and Ireland isn’t it? Expectations to look a certain way are ridiculous like everyone is different and that’s perfectly okay, if only everyone understood that. Yeah the gym has helped me so much, it’s great that your body confidence has improved too😊 thanks again x

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  2. I periodically get judged by people for being self-conscious and having body image issues. Sometimes people are even downright mean about it, telling me to just “get over it,” or to “stop looking for attention.” What those people fail to realize is that I’ve struggled with body image issues and an eating disorder for the better part of 14+ years now. Just because I look “perfect” to them does not mean that is how I see myself. They also can’t comprehend the fact that my body (while still slim) is definitely larger than it used to be, given that at my lowest point I weighed like 30 lbs less than I do now. I don’t think it’s fair for people to judge who gets to be self-conscious and who doesn’t. Ugh.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I couldn’t agree more! People sometimes assume that when a slim person speaks of their insecurities that they are looking for compliments when that’s not always the case! Realistically nobody knows how anyone else feels towards their body image, its okay to be self conscious but it’s not okay to decide how others ought to feel about it!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This post was amazing thank you so much for sharing a little personally that definitely offers some good insight. I have the a me problem with being pretty slim but people always assuming I feel 100% good about myself just because of that…I related well with you said here. Preach! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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