Body Confidence.....in the eye of the beholder?
I have chosen to write on a topic that has no answers, just questions. No solution but is a work in progress. It is something that I understand from a personal point of view and tirelessly campaign to help my clients gain an understanding of. The topic of ‘Body Confidence’.
Do you ever see those girls in the street who walk with their heads held high, a strut in their walk and have chosen clothes to show their body, whatever their size? What are they thinking about when they walk down their personal catwalk?
This is who they are and how they choose to be. Whether fat, thin, pot-bellied, skinny armed, muscly legged, scarred, small chested, big footed, there is an acceptance.
I overheard a wonderful conversation by two large African women, sat together flicking through a magazine, behind me on a bus going over London Bridge. It went a bit like this:
Woman 1: ‘’What is it with all these rich girls going on about losing weight to be sexy?’’
Woman 2: ‘’My husband thinks I'm sexy because I feel sexy! Big butt an'all!’’
Woman 1: uhuh, you tell it girl! You gotta be healthy and live your life. Go to the gym and exercise but you gotta feel it!
I nearly turned round to 'high five' her! I completely understand what she was saying but I had to bite my tongue to prevent piping up about what a healthy size really means (they had the right attitude but in my opinion, I'm sure in a medical opinion too, the ladies were an unhealthy size....!)
Now I know a lot about wanting to change my body shape, a pre-occupation for me from an early age. I have come to terms with the simple facts, such as....I will never look like Elle McPherson. I'm 5'3'', short limbed, can gain muscle easily and lean out quickly. She is 6 foot, long limbed and I presume doesn't put muscle on easily but is naturally slim. She still works at it mind! Don't for a minute think the girl has a Lifelong membership to the Krispy Kreme club! Two different bodies that cannot transform into the other. I stopped believing in fairy tales long ago! It can take time, but at some point in your life you have to stop pursuing something impossible. Like changing your genetics.
I believe when you reach acceptance you will discover confidence. Acceptance on what your blessed with means you will progress. Now I don't mean that you create an excuse....'being fat isn't my fault it's in my genes...' what I mean is you can be a fitter, slimmer, healthier version of YOU!
Think about the following:
1) First decide what your goal is. Think along the lines of reducing body fat/run 20k/gain muscle/etc rather than getting longer legs....
2) Understand a realistic time frame.
3) Make changes and be consistent. Don't follow your 2 month plan for 2 days then throw your toys out the pram when you haven't seen the end result already....
3) Don't compare yourself to others. Your unique body will change but not in the same way as other people's.
4) ACCEPT. You may be like I said, fat, thin, pot-bellied, skinny armed, muscly legged, scarred, small chested, big footed, I don't care! That's what you've got now go make the most of it! Build on it!
Create the body you want from the raw materials you have.
Now strut down the street saying in your head 'this is me and I work for it...!