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I’m writing these 9 tips to feel comfortable in your body because everyone deserves to feel good in the skin they’re in.
A lot of people will give advice and say “just love yourself and love your body”…
But if it was that easy, then we’d all be embracing our bodies at any size/shape/weight, not judging ourselves and others on appearance and not spending $90 BILLION USD on diet & beauty products (that’s actually the combined worth of those 2 industries ?).
The part that most people miss is the “just try to be okay with yourself” part.
We live in a society where everything is about “go, go, go! do, do, do! succeed, succeed, succeed!” And when we’re not going or doing or succeeding, it’s easy to thing that we’ve FAILED.
In reality, just being okay is OKAY. It’s actually quite helpful to focus on accepting yourself first BEFORE jumping into being confident and loving yourself.
Here are some mini-mindset shifts to start with:
But there are also a few specific tips you can make to help you begin to shift towards feeling more comfortable in your skin. So if you’re ready to start feeling more comfortable with your body, read on…
1. To feel comfortable in your body, make your social media feed is filled with diverse bodies.
If you’re reading this blog, it’s pretty likely that you’re on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and others. Through these platforms, you have likely been blasted with images of people and bodies that don’t look like yours. It happens to all of us! So switch that up!
The first step is to fill your feeds with body diversity. Now I stress the idea of diversity because it takes more than just seeing your same body in order to embrace all bodies. Sometimes we follow people that look like us or they’re in our community or they have the same style and as a result we end up perpetuating this belief that only those who look like us are okay. But then what happens if/when your body changes? Like, if you gain some weight, like I did?
I gained nearly 50 pounds in one summer but my entire environment, my entire social media feed, all my friends, they were all in this fitness culture, the only people I followed on social media were fitness people. That’s not to say that they weren’t inspiring in the fitness sense, but when my body started changing and I didn’t see anyone else’s body changing on social media, it left me feeling that there was something wrong with me personally.
One thing I started doing when I was in recovery is I started following all different types of bodies. Now this doesn’t mean that I just followed bigger people. I followed everyone, all the races, genders, classes…I followed a different variety of people as a whole. Because it got me into finally believing that there’s more than one way to have a body, and there’s more than one way to live life.
It expanded not only my idea of beauty, but also my idea of what life should look like and what different lifestyles could look like. Because like I said before, I was in this fitness industry so I thought that if I wasn’t doing fitness, then I was a failure, then I was lazy, that I gave up on myself. But in reality there is more to life than fitness. There’s more to being motivated than fitness. There’s more to success than fitness!
Make sure that the accounts you follow lift you up, not tear you down. Follow only inspiring accounts that make you feel good and don’t feel bad about unfollowing someone (whether it’s temporarily or permanently) that don’t make you feel good. Even if it’s a friend or person you know, you don’t owe anyone a “follow” on social media. If they ask about it, politely explain to them how you’re just minimizing your life and only following certain types of accounts, or something like that. Most of the time, no one will even notice if you unfollow. And if you really can’t bring yourself to unfollow, then at least mute their account.
What you expose yourself to impacts how your mind perceives yourself, so focus on exposing yourself to positive, inclusive, and uplifting spaces when you spend time online. Fill your social media with body diversity and lifestyle diversity in general. It’s going to help you feel more comfortable with where you’re at because you’ll see that everybody’s journey is different and there’s no right or wrong to have a body and there’s no right or wrong way to live your life!
2. Feeling comfortable in your body is not about looking good.
You weren’t put on this planet to lose weight, look good, suck air and die. There is just soooooo much more to your life! Your body is not an image. So even the term “body image” is kind of deceiving because it still traps us into thinking that there’s a certain way the body should look.
The body is actually an experience. It’s a vessel that allows us to experience life. Feelings, emotions, events. It lets us make a difference in this world. It lets us connect with people. There’s just so much more to us than our image. We live in an image driven society. A lot of our life is spent looking at other people’s pictures, looking at what others are doing, looking at ourselves in the mirror and trying to manipulate or “fix” ourselves.
But your body does not exist to “look good” for someone else. It exists to feel good for YOU.
3. How can you experience yourself more?
Related to this, because of the focus on “body image” we are left feeling discontent with what we look like and where we’re at in life no matter what because there’s always going to be somebody who took a better Instagram photo and this prevents us from experiencing our body because we’re so busy looking at our body. So ask yourself, “how can I experience my body more?” One day, I went to the gym and took a dance class instead of my usual workout because I thought it would be a lot of fun to just dance and sweat and feel what it’s like to dance and sweat! So think about “how can you feel more things” instead of “how can I look better?” Or “how can I change how I look?”
4. Embrace self-expression: dancing, singing, art
Okay this one is a bit more abstract but stay with me. If you’re not continuously expressing yourself — spiritually, emotionally, mentally — your self-confidence will inevitably tank . Sooo to boost body confidence, we must be intentional with self-expression
The dance class I took really allowed me to not only feel my body but to express my body in a way I usually don’t. Things like singing, dance, art, writing…any time you’re pouring creative energy out into the world, you’ll find that the more you express yourself like that, the more you’ll feel comfortable in your skin.
Think of body confidence as a physical representation of your inner being so if you don’t live authentically, speak your truth or share your gifts with the world, you’ll subconsciously start resenting yourself and thus, your body.You have so many gifts and talents to share with this world and you have to embrace them.
When somebody can just express themselves fully and authentically and unapologetically that is what makes someone beautiful. And you’ll find that the more you embrace self-expression the more comfortable you’ll feel in your own skin because you’re going to feel truly fulfilled. So focus on the dancing and the singing and the writing and the enjoying your life emotionally and you’re going to feel more comfortable in your skin physically. So speak up. Challenge yourself. Paint. Create. Dance. Sing. Play. Love. And love (yourself) fully.
5. Accept compliments.
Let’s get real for a second here. When was the last time you accepted a compliment? Go ahead, think about it. Really. I don’t know what it is with us but sometimes I will give someone a compliment and they will automatically reject it. “No! That’s not true!” or “no you are, you’re pretty not me!” Or “oh no this old thing?! I just picked it up from the thrift store.” The point is we spend our whole lives rejecting the good things that people point out about us. Why don’t we just say thank you and receive the compliment? Start with the simple action of just receiving compliments. Just say thank you and appreciate it and acknowledge it.
And I’ll be honest with you, to the other person it’s so much more fulfilling to them when you can just say thank you and accept the compliment. Think about it…when you give your friend a compliment and she rejects it don’t you just want to scream at her, “just take the damn compliment!”? So you have to start taking compliments for yourself too and really believe that what the other person is telling you is actually true. Otherwise they wouldn’t be saying it. So next time you find yourself rejecting a compliment, remember that you are not doing anybody any favors by not receiving the compliment.
6. Spend more time naked with yourself
Okay, this is my favorite one. This has been the one that’s been the most trans-formative for me and for my private clients. Spend more time with yourself naked. Yes, you read that right. Spend more time with yourself naked.
I remember when I rapidly gained those 50 pounds I mentioned earlier, it completely destroyed my self-confidence, I would wake up in the morning, hate what I would see in the mirror, quickly get dressed and just avoid mirrors, avoid cameras, avoid any time I had to look at myself at all costs. Like, when I would take a shower, I would shower in the dark and I would just get out of the shower and just hop into my pajamas and go straight to bed so that I wouldn’t have to look at myself. And I thought that this was protecting myself, and in a sense it kind of was, because if I saw myself I would just get sad and then it would be a spiral. So I totally get that instinct to hide your body. But the downside to that was it got me very unfamiliar with my body.
Because I wasn’t seeing my body and I was gaining weight, the times that I did see myself in the mirror, I saw drastic, drastic changes. So looking at yourself in the mirror naked and just spending time with yourself naked is kind of like exposure therapy. It lets you feel more comfortable with your natural body because you are seeing it more. It’s kind of like the people who are close to us, we’re just familiar with them, we’re comfortable with them, because we see them a lot. We get to know them, they get to know us. In the same way you have to get to know your body. Seriously, if you can, spend more time with yourself naked.
I know it’s kind of a taboo subject, and I mean this in the most innocent sense, but hang out naked with yourself. Like, when was the last time that you got out of the shower and just looked at yourself. Just super objectively, without judgement, like “Wow, that’s my body! That’s the body I’ve been given and this is the only body that I’ll ever have.” And instead of avoiding those uncomfortable feelings, what would happen if we just faced them and if we just saw ourselves objectively, seeing ourselves from a different kind of zoomed out lens. Instead of zooming in and criticizing everything that we don’t like about ourselves, what if we just stepped into somebody else’s shoes or eyes and saw ourselves how other people see ourselves? Which is as a whole human!
So you have to spend more time naked and get familiar with your body. Did you know that studies prove that those who sleep naked have greater self-confidence? Like, seriously, try it. Sleep naked and just see how you feel. It goes with the idea of feeling your body and experiencing your body (as I talked about above). So I challenge you to spend more time naked with yourself in order to feel more comfortable in your own skin.
7. Repeat this mantra: “My body does not determine my worth”
Self-worth is inherent. You don’t need to do anything to earn it.
Your worth does not depend on your weight.
Your worth does not depend on the job you have.
Your worth does not depend on how much money you have.
Your worth does not depend on your relationship status. Or your status in general.
Your worth does not depend on anything outside of you.
And your worth certainly does not depend on your body. Your body does not determine your worth.
Whenever you feel yourself slipping into negative thoughts about your body, take a moment to close your eyes and repeat this mantra, like a quick mediation, until the negativity starts to fade away. So say it again with me…my body does not determine my worth.
“My body does not determine my worth”
Body confidence is about creating an environment, mindset, and relationship with your body that is not about looks. It’s about recognizing how worthy and capable you are just because you’re human. That’s it, you win!
8. When in doubt, focus OUT.
Ok, last but not least, this one’s important. When in doubt, focus out. Make this your new mantra. Seriously when all else fails, focus out. But focus out in order to feel more comfortable in your own skin. Because sometimes we just get so caught up in our own heads.
Sometimes when I’m having a bad body image day or a low self-worth day, all I want to do is make sure that nobody else is feeling as bad as I am. So I’ll go and give someone else a compliment, I’ll just say, “Hey! You look beautiful today! If nobody has told you that today, I’m telling you right now, you are beautiful.” And by telling that person, not only are you uplifting other people, but you are also making yourself feel better.
We forget that being kind really is the most beautiful thing you can be. As cliché as it sounds, when we give to others…when we’re kind to others…that is beautiful. That is so much more beautiful than just having a flat stomach. A lot of being comfortable in your skin starts with being comfortable with yourself. Like, really being comfortable in who you are as a person. Are you a kind person? Are you intelligent? Do you have hopes and dreams? And by focusing out, by sharing that with the world, you will be able to see that there is more to life than just your body. So when in doubt, focus out. “
9. Remember that BODY-image and SELF-confidence are 2 totally different things
If you’re having a bad body-image day, it’s OKAY, and it doesn’t automatically mean that your whole day is shit and that you can’t be confident REGARDLESS of your body. Look at other areas of your life for confidence and give your confidence a well-rounded definition that goes beyond your body. When I gained nearly 50 pounds in one summer, I was miserable because I was making this one simple mistake.
My body-image affected my self-confidence. I was not only gaining weight, but in my head I was a fat, lazy, unworthy loser (that’s literally how I talked to myself, how sad is that?!).
That’s where we go wrong with confidence; we think that just because we’re struggling in one area, we have failed in all other areas of life.
To me, gaining weight turned into avoiding people, which turned into losing my friends, which turned into feeling lonely, which turned into depression, which turned into not being motivated to do anything which turned into feeling lazy, which turned into eating my feelings. which turned into gaining more weight, which turned into me feeling like I’ve failed at life.
See where I’m going with this? Too dramatic! Separate the 2 concepts so that you don’t go into a downward spiral of doom!
So there you have it, my 9 tips for feeling comfortable in your own skin.
Also remember that all of this is an ongoing process. Some days are easier than others, and a bad day doesn’t define your life. I hope that the next time you’re having a rough body-image day my tips for having body confidence will help you feel a little better.
And always remember: you are wonderful and worthy and capable, no matter how you feel about your body on a given day.
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