A guest blog from Jill, at Styled in Colour.
“Size 10 or size 28 we should be able to adopt a more healthy attitude to what our body looks like and just what an amazing job it's doing no matter what it says on the clothing labels we purchase. Over the years my size has been anywhere from a size 12 to a size 20 and everything in between. The difference now is that I do not need a smaller number on my clothing labels to feel good about myself. There are steps that you can take to reinforce a positive body image and as a result create a lasting feeling of body confidence and maybe even a little bit of self love! Steady on!
1. List all the fantastic things your body is capable of, instead of looking in a mirror and thinking about what you don't like about your body, mentally acknowledge all that your body can do for you. Think childbirth, running a 5k or even fighting an infection. Instead of viewing our bodies as an enemy view it as a friend and pay it a compliment from time to time.
2. Stop reinforcing negative opinions about yourself by saying them out loud. If you're saying it out loud then you're hearing all these negative opinions and underscoring the problem. Instead make sure you celebrate the areas of your body that make you feel good and from time to time try and talk out loud about these areas no matter how silly this might seem.
3. Create a victory file for every time you receive a compliment or accomplish something you're proud of. Make a note of it, no matter how insignificant and then review it regularly for an instant pick me up.
4. Find an affirmation or two that when said over time can become part of your self belief. An example of this could be: "I can do anything I set my mind to"
5. Talk to yourself as you would talk to a true best friend. A lot of the self loathing we do inwardly you would never adopt whilst speaking to a person you love so stop doing it to yourself.
6. Fake it until you make it. Even if you're not feeling particularly good about yourself, practice a few tactics that will project confidence on to others. This could be in the way of making eye contact, adopting a good posture, communicating clearly and even accepting the odd compliment. Even if you're not feeling confident right now pretend until you get there.
The picture that I've chosen to go alongside this blog was taken this year on a family holiday to Filey. Did I feel fabulous on the beach in this bikini? No, not in reality but I did feel like it was the best bikini available for my body shape and size and the rest I faked until my usual preoccupation of "not being good enough" to sport a bikini disappeared. Having shared this picture earlier in the summer on my Facebook page I used the advice from suggestion number 3 and built a victory file filled with all the heartfelt compliments that I received from real women that were positively touched by me braving it in a bikini on Social Media. This one small act has had a profound effect on how I view my body from the inside out and I hope that sharing some of my tips will go some way in helping you to find your own body confidence.”
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