Body confidence is a personal journey for everybody. Like most people, there have been times when I have struggled with my body confidence. In my early twenties, I hated my body and got caught in a vicious cycle of comfort eating, hating my body then comfort eating some more.
But at 28, I feel like I’ve finally made the progress I need to. The last three years have been really interesting. Back in 2015, I wrote this post about ‘lifestyles, diets and being happy’ and whenever I’m feeling down about myself I go back and give it a little read. It’s like my blog has become my little pep talk when I need it to be!
The following is my personal story and nothing here is right and wrong, but this is my journey to body confidence and some helpful tips about loving your body and being body confident too.
1) I don’t own scales
Until very recently, Adam and I didn’t own a pair of scales. About 6 weeks ago, we bought a pair and honestly, they have caused nothing but aggro. When we first got them, I became obsessed with weighing myself every morning. I got upset that even though Adam and I had embarked on a more healthy diet regime (not perfect but we’ll talk about that another time) I wasn’t seeing results on the scales. I realised that I was getting into an unhealthy obsession with my weight and that really, it didn’t matter. My clothes are fitting me better, I’m comfortable with my dress size, people are telling me they can see a difference and I’m working out more than I’ve ever done before so I’m probably fitter than ever. Why does my weight matter so much? The truth is, it doesn’t.
p.s I’ve gotten rid of the scales again!
2) I don’t punish myself for eating calorific food
I’ll be honest, I titled this point ‘I don’t punish myself for eating bad food’ but I don’t believe you should associate food with the word bad. Relationships with food can be so complex and at the end of the day, life is too short for that s**t!
A few weeks ago I was really down and all I wanted to do was eat pizza from Dominos. For context, I went off Dominos Pizza a long time ago -I’ve probably had 2 in the last 12 months and it is not my takeaway of choice. But on that day, I really wanted it – so I had it. And even though I broke out in spots the next day, I don’t regret it. At that moment in time, it’s what I needed.
I’m never going to be the person that orders the healthy option when I’m out – I LOVE FOOD TOO MUCH – and I wanna try everything!
Adam and I have taken steps in the last few months to improve the food that we put into our body when we’re at home. That doesn’t mean we can’t have what we want from time to time – especially when we’re eating out. It’s such an overused phrase lately but ‘balance is key’ and knowing that most the time I’m fueling my body with food it needs, means I don’t sweat it when I eat something higher up on the calorie chart. If you watch my weekly vlog, you’ll know the things I love to eat most at home are salmon rice and green beans or sea bass and med veg. Then on a Friday, I’ll smash a burger – that’s balance in action!
Now I’ll be honest, this has taken me 12 years to get right. I’ve done everything – personal training, boot camp, classes, swimming, the gym – but those haven’t always been right for me at the time. Currently, I’m really enjoying lifting weights at the gym. I’m also doing the Carly Rowena #GetGorgeous workouts and some of those I can do from home so when I miss my early gym wake up call, I can do them later in the day or when I can squeeze them in.
Sidenote – I bloody love that guide. Not only does it give you practical workouts, it also teaches you about your body and mindset. I’d highly recommend it if you need some gym inspo.
Being able to workout at home also means no ‘commute’ to the gym – although I’ve found a gym in walking distance and it’s a great cardio warm up! But if I sleep through my alarm…
I DON’T SWEAT IT
Do you see a pattern here?
4) Building healthier choices into my diet
I’m very lucky that this one seems to have happened naturally for me. In 2015 I wrote that it was like my body had reached its peak sugar level and was now saying ‘no Charlotte hun, we’d like some spinach or a carrot from time to time‘. It’s been really easy to incorporate healthier food choices into my routine since then. But I always have to have something on the plate to it to make sure that it’s going to be filling – whether that’s chicken, a boiled egg or sometimes it’s good old carbs like wholegrain rice or potato. Basically, this point is about listening to what my body wants and giving it what it needs to run before the stuff that it really likes to enjoy.
Changing my eating habits has certainly had an effect on my body confidence. I’ve dropped a stone since the beginning of this year when I changed my diet up again. I’ve found over the last year or so, my tastes have changed again and now the food I eat bring me joy as well as being a bit healiter than before.
5) Finding my style
The final point in this little lesson to myself (that’s what I’m calling it now) about body confidence is that I’ve finally, after 28 years, managed to find my personal style – the items of clothing I feel good in and I know I look good in too! I get so many comments on my Disney photos about how happy and confident I look and a lot of that is down to being confident in my clothing. If it’s tight or I have to pull down on it, no matter how much I love it, I ain’t wearing it! I’ve started to invest a little more in a few key pieces of clothing that make me feel good no matter what the season.
Number 6 is very simple – if something does not bring me joy it is removed from my life. Gone, get rid of it. Weighing yourself down with negativity doesn’t do your mind any good. Whether that’s unfollowing somebody on Instagram who in your opinion has a ‘bangin’ bod’ cause it’s making you feel bad about your own or getting rid of that ‘frenemy’ who cloud your life with their negative energy – it’s your right to try and live your best, most joyful life.
So those are all the things that have helped me become more body confident – some mental and others physical. I could also add 7) Find a partner/friend that showers you with compliments because you deserve nothing less – like Jack from Love Island – how awesome is it that he’s always bigging Alex up and telling him he can do it!
Body confidence – It’s about learning to love yourself…
The truth is, this has been a long hard battle; sometimes you win it, and sometimes you lose. You can lose the odd daily battle but if you’re killing the war, then girl you are killing at life. Never forget that! Learning to love yourself is hard but by taking small steps and being a bit kinder to yourself, it’s achievable. I’ve laughed and joked my way through this post but the truth is, is that by ridding myself of toxic people and energy and by concentrating on things that bring me joy, my mental health has improved and allowed me to love myself (and in turn made me more confident in my own skin!)
I’d love to know in the comments if you have any tips for others on becoming more body confident. It really is a personal journey to body confidence but sometimes a small pep talk is just what somebody needs.