Love Your Curves - 10 Tips for Increasing Body Confidence
Becoming a mother is just about the biggest life-change I can imagine. It comes with constant-nappy-changing; the trials and tribulations of installing car seats; untold and unquantifiable love; and a squalling bundle of sweet-smelling goodness that absorbs your every waking moment (and many that you might wish to spend sleeping). And for many women it also comes with an entirely new body shape for us to adapt to.
I will never forget the moment when, at 26 and freshly inaugurated into the world of motherhood, I looked into the mirror and was stunned to find that my hips weren’t where I’d left them 41 weeks ago. Thanks to pregnancy and breast-feeding, my body has changed in a myriad of ways, and it has taken a long time (and a second baby) to acknowledge that this isn’t a bad thing. The realisation finally hit that I don’t need to change my body to feel good; I need to change my perception of my body. In a few short months my body confidence has really grown, which has been beneficial in many ways. So today I thought I’d share a few of my favourite methods for increasing body-confidence.
1. Fake It Till You Make It
I love that saying and it’s particularly relevant in terms of confidence. If you aren’t feeling super confident, just pretend that you are! No one will know the difference! Put a smile on your face, and walk like you know exactly where you are going.
2. Use A Mantra
It can feel a little silly to begin with, but I have found mantras very effective. Repeating a simple refrain that makes you feel empowered helps to rewire thought patterns that try and convince us otherwise (it’s generally best to say it in your head but sometimes it’s fun to break the rules, teehee!)
3. Stand Tall and Straight
Good posture is important for lots of reasons, and a great side effect of standing straight is that you often begin to exude confidence (and feel it too).
4. Eat Well, Move Often
Being conscious of what you eat and how much you move is important for all-round health. Whether it’s a fifteen minute walk per day, or some other easily integrated daily movement, you will find yourself feeling more energised and happier all round. Eating well is very important too, but try not to obsess over what you eat, or beat yourself up if you indulge every now and then.
5. Treat Yourself To New Clothes
It has taken me several years to reach the realisation that it is okay to buy (or make) myself new clothes every now and then! Nowadays we have included a New Clothes allowance in our monthly budget and it’s been wonderful. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate your figure, than by dressing it in comfortable, well-fitting, lovely clothing.
6. Make Time In The Morning
A little bit of time spent thinking about what you’ll wear and how you might do your hair can pay great dividends when you spend the day feeling really good about how you look.
7. Have A Photoshoot
Find someone to snap some shots of you in outfits you love. Make sure there are at least a couple of photos that you are really happy with, and refer back to those in moments of self-doubt (like when someone tags you in an unflattering photo on facebook). Remind yourself that this is what you really look like.
8. Beauty Is Not A Number
So please don’t base your daily happiness on what you read on the scales. The size of your dress is irrelevant other than that it will help you find the comfiest fit. Don’t worry about trying to squeeze into jeans that are a size smaller, find the ones that fit well, and cut that size tag off if its bothering you.
9. Find Some Positive Role models
There are a ton of lovely actresses, musicians and fashion bloggers who are super proud of their curves and look incredible because of it. Keep your eyes peeled for these gorgeous women and let their confidence inspire you. (Oh, and read tabloid magazines with extreme caution).
10. Focus On Feeling Happy
There is evidence suggesting a link between happiness and weight-loss, so rather than worrying/dieting/feeling bad, find the things that make you truly happy and do those. You may lose weight or you may not, but feeling happy with your life and your body, just the way it is, is the best way I can think of to look good.
I really hope that some of these tips are helpful to you! I realise that developing self-confidence can be a long journey for many of us, but there is no better time to start than now. You will be doing yourself and your family a wonderful service, and setting a fantastic example to your children. Good luck and go well!
Authored by Stella Rutherford, owner of blog Very Dark Horse.