This may seem like a bit of a ‘deep’ blog post for a Tuesday, but I like to write honest, open pieces on here, and today I felt like one was overdue. So lets get stuck into a bit of a body positivity post, and how I’m currently feeling, along with some tips I’ve found that really do help.
I recently went to a body confidence event ran by women the other week (which you can read my blog about it here) in which a panel of women including a KISS FM presenter, plus size model and blogger, makeup artist and personal shopper all took to the stage to talk about their body hangups, and how they have dealt with them along the way.
I was a little saddened to see so may women in the audience discussing amongst their friends on the evening how low they felt about themselves, giving examples of scenarios in which they’ve been made to feel rubbish about themselves.
The event made me realise that behind most women is a closet of secret hangups. We would never know it from looking at them, but everyone has their own issues, and these can prevent us women from feeling body confident.
From weight issues and general confidence, to feeling ‘ugly’, ‘not clever enough’ or simply just not being happy with ourselves, us women carry a lot of negativity around with us.
The panel talked about the little things they do to make themselves feel better, and I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to listen to it. Every woman was different, so some of the tips seems amusing to some, but super insightful to others. It was just so eye opening, empowering and inspirational…
So what are my body hang ups?
A lot of women and girls think that because I’m a size 6-8, I surely can’t have any. But lately, I don’t know exactly what it is, but I’ve been feeling absolutely god awful. It sounds ridiculous, but you know when you just go through a phase of not feeling happy or confident in yourself, or you appearance?
Well yeah, that. And I can’t seem to shake it off at the moment.
I’m completely un-fit at the moment as I’ve been struggling to fit in going to the gym or working out, and it’s making me feel really sluggish. I’ve put a bit of flab on my face, my bum, my arms and my legs, and any lean-ness I used to have seems to have melted into lose fat.
And thats OK, because I’m naturally slim, so I’m never going to sit here and cry about a few extra pounds. But it’s still a body hang-up to feel unfit, and not as healthy/toned as I used to be.
My skin has also been breaking out a lot lately, down to a surge in bad eating habits. I’m lucky my job involves me being a food reviewer, but the last few weeks have revolved around copious amounts of cakes and scones at afternoon tea’s, new rustic pizzas, curry houses, all-you-can-eat buffets, new menu launches…
They’ve all consisted of three courses every day, washed down with way too many sweet cocktails and glasses of wine.
It’s left me with skitzed out skin, blemished that won’t fade, a dull complexion and bags under my eyes. Not to mention I recently had hair extensions removed which have left me feeling like I have the thinnest, crappest hair on the planet!
I know I know – it’s just a bad month. I totally know that, and I’m rarely one to moan about how I feel. But it’s obviously really common amongst us women. Sometimes we just feel real damn negative. And we don’t feel pretty, and it’s totally normal.
I sat back this morning and thought about some tips – a few silly ones, and a few smart ones – which have helped to make me feel a little more body confident this week. I’ve decided to share them below, incase you’re also having a bad month like myself. I reeeeally hope that you’re not, but, I guess there are so many things that can attack us, but we have to remember that WE ARE BEAAAAAUITFUL!
Each and everyone of us is a sassy, pretty, intelligent women, and a case of bad skin, extra pounds and a poor diet shouldn’t send us into this spiral of negativity…
Here’s a couple of my favourite body positivity tips I truly believe in.
Invest in decent underwear
It’s surprising how much this little trick can make you feel better from the minute you wake up and get dressed! When you are with a range of comfortable bras, you can conquer the world. Also, dressing in nice, pretty underwear that suits your style makes you feel the best you at the start of the day, before you’ve even put any makeup on!
Suck-me-in panties, pretty french knickers, plunge bras or supporting crop tops – it doesn’t matter the style, just make sure it makes you feel good. Underwear brand Knixwear have the slogan ‘reinventing intimates for real life’, and I couldn’t agree with it more. Your underwear is just start of how you dress, and you should feel comfortable everyday!
Dress to suit YOU
This leads me onto this next point, which is about how you dress everyday. I find that when I put on a pair of heeled ankle boots, I feel so much more confident than I do on those days when I wear flats, or trainers. I’m just short of 5 ft 3, so I’m teeny tiny. I guess I just feel ‘lost’ in the crowds when I don’t have a good heel on.
But, that being said, they aren’t extremely comfy, wearing heeled boots everyday. So I try to wear them 3 times a week, especially when I’m in the office. Then it makes me look forward to putting on my trainers and dressing more sporty on the other days, which also encourages me to go to the gym, or do a bit more walking!
Think about an item of clothing, a style of garment, or accessory, that makes you feel instantly happier and more body confident, and try to incorporate it into your life a few times a week.
Treat yourself in moderation
I have a tendency to beat myself up a lot, and when I’m feeling low about myself, or ‘ugly’, it’s easy to fall into a trap where we feel we don’t deserve to be kind to ourselves, or treat ourselves. On a week where my skin is skitzing out, I feel flabbier and have huge bags under my eyes, I’ll sometimes pass on events where friends are nipping out for coffee and cake. It’s not unusual to feel like you don’t even want to talk, and you certainly don’t want to eat any more sugar, leading to worse skin or worse flab.
But then you got to think – like, really? Missing a good catch up because of a silly hangup? You deserve a good hour long chat and giggle with your girlfriends. You deserve a warming cup of coffee, and you totally deserve cake. But if you’re worried about eating bad, just swap it for something else. There are always choices, but don’t ever feel like you should miss out on the nice things in life.
Treat yourself. And do it daily, even if its something small, like walking around your house with your nicest earrings in. Remind yourself you can be kind to yourself. And if it does revolve around food and drink, just remember to treat yourself in moderation!
Keep a ‘thankful’ notebook at your bedside
I started this back in January, and I’ll hold my hands up – it worked really well for the whole month I continued it. Now I’m more sporadic, I’ll fill it in on a Sunday night when I’m stressing, then perhaps a Wednesday and a Thursday when I’m reflecting. But ideally, you should do it every night if you;’re struggling to feel positive with yourself, your body, or your life.
You basically keep a pretty little notebook or journal at your bedside table, and before going to bed, you write three things down that you are grateful for, within that present day. It could be huge things: you’re going to be an auntie, you got a pay rise, you had an amazing night out.
Or it can be the small things, and personally I prefer these. Some examples of the things I’ve wrote down before have included ‘I put £2 into my savings account today instead of buying a large coffee from Starbucks’, or ‘my friend said I looked pretty with no makeup on today’, or, ‘I cooked a really nice chicken and mushroom dish today’. It really makes you see the day in a different light.
Treat yourself as a ‘best friend’
When you’re having negative, hurtful thoughts about your body, a good exercise is to ask yourself what you’d say if a friend said these words to you about herself. Chances are, it would break your heart that your friend is being so unkind to herself. Part of self-love and body acceptance is treating yourself as your own best friend. Instead of placing judgement on your own words, simply acknowledge them and ask yourself what you’d say if it were your BFF telling you these things.
Find the one thing you love
When you’re struggling with negative self-talk, it can feel like an endless, deafening loop of criticism and anguish. But if you can find one feature that you truly love (maybe it’s your sparkly green eyes or your megawatt smile), you can remind yourself of the beauty you do possess.
I hope these help you a little bit too!
And remember: we all have bad days and battle with self-love and body positivity. Even those who you think don’t, will probably have some hangup. It angers me when people assume that because I’m slim, healthy, in a relationship and doing well with life that I don’t have the right to feel hung up about something.
I’d like to not get hung up, and it would be great to wake up and not have those ugly days when I hate everything about my appearance, but look – I’m only human. I accept it, work on it, and try to remain positive with full confidence. It can be tricky, but its so normal.
Don’t be afraid so how you feel, or eat yourself up. We’re all in this together!