A triumphant moment of my own yesterday in combination with something a friend said to me earlier today started the locomotion of the wheels in my brain. It got me thinking about confidence.
I have lacked spontaneity my whole life out of fear. This year, however, I have noticed myself coming into my own and being more spontaneous. They are baby steps, but still, it’s a start. I suppose it all started when I chopped my long hair off after saying that I will never cut it short. I made the decision in the moment I walked into the hair salon. I had an appointment but I was still greatly considering just trimming it until I sat in that chair and decided it was final.
We all have that one thing we are insecure about no matter how many people tell us we are being silly or how many times they say it. It also seldom matters how much we realise we are being silly. I have always been so insecure about my legs. Since I was a ballerina all my life, my legs were always bigger than my friends’ legs due to the muscle I built from dancing. I took a step in the right direction yesterday by rocking a bikini without wearing shorts over it. I seldom do that but I told myself to just do it and not think about it and I did it.
As a much younger version of myself, I always just wanted to fit in. I always wanted to be thinner, I wanted blonde hair and blue eyes and I always compared myself to others which is honestly so silly since we are all built so differently and are just different as people.
Another thing I want to address is that we must be so careful what we say about ourselves in front of people who look up to us. As women, what we say about our bodies in front of our daughters or future daughters is especially important.
I heard something so true a while ago and it has stayed with me since then, “A mother’s image of herself is her daughter’s self-imagine.” My mom would often verbalise the things she doesn’t like about her body in front of me and then when people said things such as, “You look just like your mother” or “You are built like your mother” those people always mean it completely innocently but I would always start to think that those things must be wrong with my body too.
Addressing the fact that I always wanted to be thinner than I was again, every time I look at pictures from when I was a bit younger I can’t believe that I actually ever wanted to be thinner. I didn’t look healthy at all.
I have since learned to embrace the things I do love about my body. That is what is so important. You can play those things up and maintain them to keep you feeling good. If you focus on the good rather than the bad, you start to feel more confident than ever before. For example, I have always loved my stomach. Even during a time where I suddenly picked up a lot of weight, my stomach was a constant and I focus on that by doing ab exercises to keep it as I like it.
As far as my legs are concerned, I made myself feel better by going the extra mile with things such as jogging and doing other leg workouts. Also, exercise isn’t the only way to place emphasis on a feature you like about yourself. If you love your waist, accentuate it with a belt or pretty accessory, if you want to draw attention to your face, wear a bright lipstick or beautiful earring. If you love your chest, wear an accessory or a a piece of clothing that accentuates it and these are only a few examples out of many. There are so many ways to place emphasis on something and it doesn’t even need to be superficial. It could even be your personality you want to place emphasis on.
Exercise is by no means glamorous. Sometimes the media portrays people coming out of the gym looking good and polished after a workout. That is as unrealistic as the media’s standards of the ‘perfect figure’. In my opinion, the workout isn’t really finished unless you look like a bit of a mess. Get sweaty, let your hair-do look like it has been attacked by gale-force winds and most importantly, enjoy it. You will feel good after a good workout.
Many people would say that it’s vain to admire yourself in a mirror but what’s wrong with appreciating the good things especially after hard work? I personally see nothing wrong with giving yourself the confidence boost from the things which you admire about yourself. As human beings, we are beautiful. We all have our flaws but they are what make us unique and being unique is beautiful. Why on earth do we ridicule each other for being different? Why would we want to be the same?
This is me, as I am, with no make-up on and you know what? Who cares? I am me and I embrace the things that I am good at and try to improve my weaknesses. That’s all we can do as humans. That is how we succeed in life and better ourselves. There will always be someone out there who finds you beautiful no matter how bad you feel about yourself.
Remember, mental health is as important as physical health. If you have a healthy mentality, it will show on the outside. Do things that make you feel good and happy. If you enjoy it then who cares what anyone else thinks?
Another thing I really don’t agree with is the concept of a diet. I agree with eating plans but not diets. When people hear the word ‘diet’ I think they associate the ‘D’ with deprivation. There is no need to deprive yourself of the good foods. Moderation is key. When I hear about all these diets where people attempt to completely cut out carbohydrates or fats, for example, it makes me cringe because taking in those things in moderation isn’t bad for you. I know people who will choose to eat hardly anything during the day and will feel starving and they will cut out things such as cakes completely in the week and then binge on cakes and sweet, unhealthy things over the weekend. That is doing far more damage than good. Taking things in in moderation will have no immediate effect on your weight and it most certainly won’t derail your entire plan of eating healthier. It’s fine to change your lifestyle by making your meals more healthy but cutting things out completely and all at once forces your body to crave them which is a recipe for slipping up and binge eating which will then make you feel terrible in the end.
This post is a little bit different from my usual posts but it was something I felt I needed to address since I have been feeling so much more like I am finding a new version of myself. The change in me has really given me the chance to gain confidence and stand up for what I believe in. It’s not only about body confidence but also the things which make you feel like you are meant to be doing it and that make you feel like you have a purpose.
Work hard, embrace the things you love and screw everything else. Just be happy with what you have because you really are special as you are.
I will admit, that was a bit of a rant.