This topic is really close to my heart.
I was 18 when I had a body disorder and lost 8 kilos of weight in a short few months.
I felt horrible about myself and always pulled apart every tiny thing that wasn’t perfect in my body. Nothing was ever enough.
I thrived on comments that I looked slimmer. When someone was worried about how weak I looked, I took that as a compliment...
I felt guilty when I didn’t starve myself. And even when I had lost all this weight, I couldn’t see it. I still criticized my body…
Of course, I hadn’t realized then that what I had was a disorder.
It was when I started to be around better people and leave the one who had caused this, I began to see clearly.
I was encouraged to eat, knowing it was okay to have a filled stomach. It may sound silly to some but I was scared to give myself the chance to have a full meal before.
Slowly but surely, I was growing into myself again…
I’m much better off now. It’s been 5 years since that time and although I wouldn’t say that I never feel signs of my past self again, I am healthy.
Through this time, I have understood the faults in my thoughts before and I have changed them gradually.
I don’t starve myself anymore, I don’t fixate on my weight. My focus now is on how I feel in my body, not on the number on the scale.
So today I want to share the 4 lessons that took me from a body disorder to respecting my body. It has been a tough journey and I am grateful to be here now.
- Change how you think
- Let go of the comparison horror
- Express gratitude to your body
- Practice affirmations of body image
How to Be Confident In Your Body
1. Change how you think
For so long, we have equated our body’s value with its appearance. If it looks a certain way, the popular way, then it deserves appreciation.
Other people will give us more attention and compliment our figure. We would look in the mirror and feel adept.
Posing for photos would be easier, and so would be viewing them later.
For years, we have looked at celebrities and now we look at the much more relatable social media influencers.
They all look so frustratingly perfect and we want to be that too. It’s all about appearances.
But what if I was to tell you that we’re doing a grave injustice?
Placing our body’s value primarily on its appearance is severely understating how precious it is. Our body is life itself.
We all know that health is wealth, but why do we forget it until our health is compromised?
Without our bodies, we would be nowhere. We couldn’t do or feel anything. We simply wouldn’t be.
So, why is our focus on shaving down parts of our body and not on giving it the care and respect it deserves so much?
I’m not saying appearances don’t matter but they are so less important than a healthy life.
Let’s prioritize loving, caring, and respecting our bodies the most. Focus on how energized you feel, eating healthy, resting, and doing adequate exercise.
When you have a healthy body and state of mind, it will automatically reflect in your appearance. Let’s go health first, not beauty first.
2. Let go of the comparison horror
Yes, that was a dramatic title but that’s how it is. Comparison is horrible. It can take you from having a good day to obsessing over some things that don’t truly matter.
One of the worst catalysts of comparison is social media and celebrity content.
If it was not for this, I would never have found my nose too big, my calves too fat, my belly too round, my face too chubby, my jawline too soft, my eyes too common, my eyelashes too short, my fingers too thick, my hair too plain, and my body too imperfect.
Stay off of these apps if they make you feel worse about yourself.
There’s nothing to gain by comparison. And I’m not talking about finding inspiration from others and learning better choices from them.
I’m talking about the comparison that makes us envious, that makes us criticize ourselves and resent the other person.
We are all human beings and we can never be the kind of perfect we assume others to be. It doesn’t exist. Human lives and minds are too complex to be perfect.
The bottom line is that comparison will not get you anywhere and it’s incredibly unfair to your body and to the body you’re comparing yours with.
We are not sculptures. We are living beings. Comparing such different and special experiences is a very silly thing to do.
3. Express gratitude to your body
A helpful way to tackle negative thoughts and feel more confident in your body is to express gratitude for it.
Although it seems too simple of a solution, it’s powerful. Gratitude is an effective way to transition the mind’s focus from negative to positive.
Our body is our vessel, our ticket to life on earth. It’s the most important thing in our lives.
And, we take it for granted too often. So, let’s not wait for something unpleasant to happen to feel grateful. Let’s do it now so that we give our body what it deserves.
Here are some gratitude prompts to help you express gratitude to your body:
- Think about the 5 ways that your body helps you each day and express gratitude for them.
- List 3 things that you appreciate about your body.
- How has your body supported you through life?
Gratitude journaling is my favorite way to stay grateful. It has helped me build a habit of expressing gratitude.
Here’s the journal that I’ve been using for more than three years. It’s really one of my most prized possessions.
4. Practice affirmations of body image
In my times of insecurity, be it about anything, I have relied on affirmations.
They’re that friend that tells you everything is okay, that you’ll get through this, that you can do it.
It’s those encouraging words you need when you’re uncertain, afraid, and unaware of your worth.
Body-positive affirmations will support you as you begin to feel more confident in your body.
Here are some examples:
- I am perfect and complete just the way I am.
- My body is a vessel for my awesomeness.
- There is more to life than worrying about my weight. I’m ready to experience it.
- I deserve to be treated with love and respect by my mind.
- I trust the wisdom of my body.
- I am accepting myself as I am right now.
- I am feeling good about myself.
- I am compassionate and warm to my body.
- My very existence makes the world a better place.
- I am taking care of my overall well-being.
- I am choosing to do kind things for myself.
- I love my body as it is today.
- I am nourishing my body with healthy food.
- I am worthy just as I am.
- I am beautiful.
Here are some ways that you can practice these affirmations:
- Listen to them on our Gratitude app: We have hundreds of recorded affirmations that you can listen to in short sessions. You can also create your own and record yourself saying them.
- Write them repeatedly: Choose a few affirmations that connect with you deeply and write them down, 3 times each. You can do this daily, as many times as you want.
- Paste them around: You can also paste your favorite affirmations in the places that you visit the most so that whenever you visit them, you’ll be reminded to say them.
And, that’s it! These were the 4 powerful ways that you can feel confident in your body and appreciate it for how amazing it is. I wish you well ahead. Take care :)
Next step: Take my 21-day self-love course! This course will help you focus not only on your body image but also on all other aspects that can help you develop stronger self-love.
We’ll talk about comparison, self-worth, external validation, self-acceptance, and so much more! It’re totally free at the moment, so I really encourage you to jump in.