Last weekend I hosted a talk at the Hoxton’s Fresh + Fit Fest. If you didn’t manage to grab a ticket, then here’s what you missed…
I’ve been working in the fitness industry of almost five years now and during that time I’ve spent hours talking to women about ‘Body Confidence’. Unfortunately, it seems to me that so many women are unhappy with the way they look and that they are constantly trying to change. It’s not surprising really when you consider the conceptualisation of body image and the media’s attitude towards beauty and femininity. We are often only shown one idea of ‘beauty’. It’s tall, slim, sexy, glossy and unrealistically perfect! So, how can we even began to have body confidence, if we don’t tick all of the right boxes?
Well, here’s what I have to say about that…
- Firstly, you are unique! The body that you have is yours and there is no-one else who is exactly like you. There is no ‘one size fits all’. When it comes to training and diet, no one can tell you what is right for you. You know yourself better than anyone else could. Your personality, experiences and your influences all make you who you are! Embrace it! I know that I’m a chatter box that never sits still for very long, so I love group exercise, running clubs and team sports. Do things that you actually enjoy, instead of forcing yourself to do something that you think you should do. Go to yoga, lift weights, try spinning or boxing or dancing. Find whatever it is that inspires you to move your body. Respect your body, value yourself and recognise your achievements, no matter how big or small.
- Secondly, try not to be too self conscious. I know that can be easier said than done, but in contrast to point number one, it’s important to remember that even though you are unique and wonderful and a goddess, no one else is really paying that much attention. This is SO liberating! Let me repeat that. No one is watching you. Don’t pay for an overpriced pilates class and then hide at the back so no one can see you. What a waste of time! Get to the front, (or at least the middle) everyone else is too busy focusing on themselves to even notice that your stuck in the splits!
Seriously though, in a busy world full of distractions, don’t sweat the small stuff. Do your own thing and do it for you. Don’t worry about who’s paying attention.
- Never compare yourself to anyone else. I don’t just mean your body, I’m taking about your life! It’s very easy to compare yourself to other women, friends, colleagues, or even strangers on Instagram. It’s not helpful and it’s really not relevant to your own success. Instead of comparing yourself, find women that motivate and inspire you. Support other women, lift them up and encourage them to be their best, I’m sure that they will do the same for you.
When it comes to media, most of the bodies that we see are so well lit and edited that even the person on the poster doesn’t look like that! Remember that the next time you’re trying on jeans in a badly lit changing room okay.
- Confidence is a choice. Now I’ve spent a long time thinking about this idea and I’ve come to the conclusion that confidence is not something that you are born with or without, but it is something that you can learn.
When I speak to my five year old son Jude, I use encouraging language and constantly praise him. I want Jude to feel confident and assured. We often speak about ourselves and our bodies in such a negative way. Those words have power! Show yourself some love. Think about the things that you value the most from the women in your life. Those are the same things that others see in you. The ones that love us most, really don’t care about cellulite and stretch marks, they value the person that you are. So choose to be confident, be proud of who you are and never apologise for being you.
I absolutely loved speaking at the Hoxton, thank you to everyone that brought a ticket and that shared the love on social media too. I really hope that you feel uplifted and more confident after reading this post. Please share it with your girlfriends, your sisters and your tribe and save it for a day when you need a little reminder that you are more than just your body.