It’s an ongoing battle. Just as we start to feel amazing in our skin, love our bodies and be confident rocking whatever we choose, something happens that blows it all away. It can come in the form of a comment or remark from someone, the latest Instagram beach babe or ‘fitspo’ chick or, our clothes just aren’t hanging how you thought they would. It’s a mind trick that we seriously need to master, and control. Why? Well, deep down you know you’re lovely, beautiful, confident and proud of you who you are – but every now again when these negative thoughts pop in our mind and completely tricks us into doing a 180, we end up going back on what we felt just seconds ago, convince ourselves things aren’t how they should be, and worse of all we let it happen time and time again.
I’ve never been a 100% ‘body confident’ babe. I’ve always had an issue with my legs, and in particular my knees and the dimples that are on them. I very rarely wear shorts or mini anything’s as I don’t want to draw attention to them. I’ve found a style that works for me, and I stick to it (thank-you midi bodycon errrythang). BUT, do I really need to trap myself into this mindset? No, actually I don’t. Yet, I allow external influences sway me from my body confidence, question whether I look acceptable and end up covering up ‘just in case’…in case of what though?
I’m all about embracing who we are, inside and out and that beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder. We all know that we’re beautiful, and we all know that really, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what others think of us, it’s what we think of ourselves that is important. So, through my own personal journey of body self-acceptance, I’ve found a few little things that help to retrain the way my mind gravitates when I question whether I should show off my knees (or whatever other little insecurity may find its way in to our thoughts, and mirrors)…
MOVE YO SELF
Of course, as with most things in life, balance is everything. If you indulge, then you should do a little extra movement to equal things back out. But the reality isn’t always that simple. When I feel a tad bit more sluggish than usual then I opt for a quick walk around the block or by the beach. The fresh air blows away our cares, and the exercise/movement boosts our microcirculation allowing for a mood boost, and for our gorgeous bods to feel a wee bit stronger.
Okay, so you’re not feeling great about yourself physically. That’s okay. What’s not okay is WHY you’re not feeling great about yourself. Comparison is the thief of joy, and if you’re feeling like you’re not as pretty, slim or attractive as someone else STOP. Because both you and them, whoever they may be, are complete individuals. You both have you own unique beauty, and the only difference between you and them that matters, is that they have come to terms with who they are and accept everything that they have – embrace the positive bits, and the self-perceived negatives. I’ll give you one funny example of my experience with reality vs my idea of reality.
Are you shooting for Playboy?
A few years ago I was rushed to hospital with appendicitis and had to have an emergency operation to have it removed. I woke up following the operation and was absolutely distraught because I had a scar under my belly button, and another just near my left hip bone. Each scar was about 2cm’s – which is nothing, but I have a tendency to keloid (raised scarring). I was so upset, crying to my Mum saying “they’re so big and ugly, everyone is going to see them and judge me over it”. I was of course, very over tired, coming off a general anaesthetic and totally dramatizing the whole situation…until my Mum gave me a sobering reality check. “Are you shooting for Playboy?” she said with a straight and serious face. “No. Wait, what?” I asked with complete confusion. “So you’re not planning on doing a photoshoot with next to nothing, or no clothes on? Because that’s the only reason anyone would really get to see those areas’ anyway, and really they’re tiny, will fade soon enough, and the only person who may see those area’s will love you more than enough to even worry about, or notice them”. Right. Well said and duly noted – thanks Mum.
WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
Do what works for you. It’s that simple. What makes you happy, makes you beautiful. The truth is, every single person out in the big wild world has their own perception of what beauty is, and therefore what they think they should look like. The older I get, the more I am starting to appreciate what I love, like and what keeps me feeling good about myself. Funnily enough, it also happens to be the same time that I have started to stop caring about what everyone else thinks of me. They don’t like me? No problem, I’m sure they have good reason (okay, maybe not) but it’s not my problem. Do they think I should cover up my knees? Well sure, they may think that. But I’ve been down that path before – the one where I try to make everyone happy and fit into a certain ‘type’ of girl and the only person I didn’t make happy was me.
My moment of low body confidence is slowly becoming a past moment rather than a present one. I am feeling more comfortable with my body, and I am addressing what the root of the problem actually is – why do my knees have dimples? Because I carry my body weight on my thighs and lower half of my body. So, what can I do to change that? Squats, lunges more cardio (I enjoy swimming, so I’ll up that a little more) and the biggest one – self-acceptance. Do my knees define who I am? Nope.