Body Image is the perception a person has of their body, it can be either positive or negative.
Body Acceptance is when we accept out body but may not be completely happy with it.
Body Kindness is about looking after the body you have right now with positivity and love even if you don't feel very happy in it.
Body Confidence is being happy with your body, understanding and accepting it for what it is and what it can do.
Every woman should have a positive body image with all of the body confidence, however that isn't really the case and sadly may never be. The media is filled with diet culture BS praying on women's insecurities or creating new ones. Creating an ideal for us all to strive for. It's getting better, I am happy to say that in the 2 years I have focused more on helping women become confident and empowered I have noticed slight changes but we still have a long way to go. No one expects you to have positive body image all of the time, we have meh days where our hormones are all over the place and days where we just feel a little bit crappy. But if we can reach a point where we are a positive relationship with our bodies 90% of the time and on the 10% we have body kindness or acceptance then that's enough.
I recently asked on Instagram who had body confidence and if they had it how and when did they get it. I also asked if the answer was no why was this and what was preventing them from getting it. The answers I got were really interesting and I wanted to put together this post based on what was said and the tips given to maybe help someone take one step closer being body happy.
Start with being body kind and body accepting
We can't expect to be confident in ourselves if we don't accept where we are right now and be kind to ourselves. Your body is always going to be your body so accept that before anything else. Then its time to be kind - move in a way that is kind, nourish in a way that is kind and look after yourself in a way that is kind. Self criticism and hate are not ways of kindness.
Switch your training focus from what your body looks like to what it can do.
Be proud of your body, all it has achieved and what it can do in the future. Take your training can you have more of a skills based approach rather than aesthetic? When you start focusing on what else your body can physically do it becomes a lot easier to see achievements and create positive experiences.
Stop comparing to others
This is a big one and something I see a lot and also fall victim to from time to time. Social media is amazing for a number of reasons but has also produced this compare culture. Endless scrolling through a highlight real comparing ourselves to other peoples looks, bodies and lifestyle hating on our own lives because they are not alike. Rather than being inspired or admiring we automatically compare and feel rubbish. You are not like anyone else because you are your own person which is incredible. If anyone is making you feel bad about yourself then they need to be removed from your social media feed. It isn't a reflection on them and you may re-follow them in the future but if someone is causing your negativity they need to be un-followed. Give it a go and fill your feed with positive vibes instead.
Take your looks out of the equation
This one is easier said than done but something I have been doing the past few months and it has honestly helped my confidence. What I mean by this is stop thinking about it, stop over analysing everything when it comes to your body. When I think of my body now its in the context of what I'm going to train or what I'm going to wear rather than picking it apart, obsessing over everything I do and how to change it.
Don't put the pressure on yourself to be perfect
Says it all really. Just be you, unapologetically you and stop trying to please and prove yourself to others. And most of all ignore the diet culture BS that is making you feel awful in the first place.
I obviously would love you all to be body confident but I know it takes time so for now lets just strive to feel a little bit better everyday
Love Vicki xxxx
Photo Credits: David Goodier Photography (C)