Over the years, the definition of ‘beautiful’ has changed LOADS. It’s basically like we now have fashion trends for our bodies as well as our clothes! So it can seem almost impossible to learn to love your body when the goalposts are constantly moving.
I remember not so long ago the ‘perfect body’ meant having the smallest bum you could possibly get, and God forbid if your thighs touched – every woman dreamed about having the thigh gap!
Yet now, most women want a ‘bubble butt’ and strong ‘thick’ thighs.
It’s all very confusing, not to mention exhausting trying to keep up with it. I know because I tried. I used to buy those magazines which basically tell you how you’re supposed to look, and how you can make your abs/legs/arms look like *insert celebrity’s name here*. And if a celebrity’s workout plan or diet was published then I would follow that, all in the hope I would get their figure.
Then one day, I stopped and asked myself why I was doing this. And I couldn’t answer that question. I had absolutely no idea why I was putting myself through that hell – both physical and mental!
So instead, I decided to learn to love my own body. And guess what the biggest thing was that helped me? It was when I stopped trying to fit into anyone else’s definition of beautiful.
When I finally gave up trying to fit in with body trends I realised it doesn’t matter if I don’t have the same body shape as someone else. I have MY OWN body shape. My own body that I could either spend the rest of my life hating, or I could learn to love it and get on with enjoying my life.
I suddenly started questioning why I had ever tried to make my body look like someone else’s.
I had spent years eating as little as I could in order to get a thigh gap, and I was bloody miserable. And hungry! But after my realisation it dawned on me that my body shape wasn’t meant to have a thigh gap – I have strong legs and glutes (bum muscles) that are capable of dancing, jumping and instructing a spinning class. So why would I want to remove all of that muscle just so I had a gap between my thighs!? Well, I certainly don’t anymore.
My shoulders and arms don’t tend to fit comfortably in most women’s shirts/blouses because I guess fashion deems them to be too big. Do I give a crap? Hell no, I’m proud that they’re strong so I just wear something else!
Obviously, I’m not saying I have no hangups because I do from time to time. I’m also not saying I don’t ever admire someone else’s figure, because I do. I’ve just learnt how to do that without questioning my own beauty in the process.
You see, there is no reason whatsoever why we should fall in line and follow body trends in the same way a lot of us follow clothing fashion. When it comes to your body goals, think for yourself – take celebrities and Insta models out of the equation. Instead work with the shape you have.You see, there is no reason whatsoever why we should fall in line and follow body trends in the same way a lot of us follow clothing fashion. When it comes to your body goals, think for yourself. Click To Tweet
Stop trying to please someone else by fitting in – just learn to love who you are.
This doesn’t mean you have to stop exercising or eating healthy because it’s totally fine to both love your body and want to look after it by making it strong, fit and healthy. But it does mean you will finally be able to stop exercising for reasons of guilt.
I used to workout and starve myself as a form of punishment for the things I ate (mostly because everything I read was telling me that’s what women ‘should’ do), but now I workout because I want to be as strong and badass as I possibly can.
I train regularly and it’s worth mentioning that I actually weigh more than I have in years… As I’ve said before, not all of that weight gain is muscle – a good amount of it is actually fat (because I was unhealthily skinny before). But yet I have more body confidence now than I’ve ever had, even though way more things wobble and I have (the oh so dreaded) cellulite.
So why do I have more body confidence? Because of my mental health – I’m no longer ruining my mental health by constantly comparing myself and putting myself down because I don’t look like *insert celebrity’s name here*. Instead I’m busy focusing on my own life and ignoring anything that makes me feel unhappy or inferior, such as websites or magazines that tell me I need to change.
My mental and physical health have all improved tremendously since I stopped comparing and trying to be like someone else. So try it!
Stop reading magazines/websites that make you feel inferior in any way, unfollow social media accounts that give you negative feelings about your own body, and realise that our bodies are all wonderfully unique.
Body confidence doesn’t come from managing to fit in to someone else’s ideal – it comes from your own acceptance of who are you. It comes from within you. Stop comparing your body to other people and you will soon learn to love yourself.