The attack on body confidence

Body confidenceI do not usually rant about things like this but recently I have had a number of clients who have been feeling insecure about their body and buckling under the pressure to try and ‘look good’.

In fact I experienced this myself recently. It was admittedly the first time this year I had braved a bikini, and I was in central London (Hyde Park, Serpentine Lido), so I think most of us would have been a tiny bit conscious! However, as a ‘fitness expert’ a lot of people would attribute that to being body confident 24 hours a day under ALL circumstances. Not true. On the hottest day of the year last week, I sweated like a pig for 2 hours as I plucked up the courage to leave my sun bed and walk into the lido! In all fairness, the walk to and from the lido was like a catwalk in that everyone sunbathing was facing the lido straight on. If you wanted to dip into the Serpentine, there was no escaping this public parade.

I watched people go in and out of the lido whilst I argued with myself (internally!). Initially I agreed that I wanted to get really warm and then go in to cool off and ‘feel the benefits’. As my body temperature rose and my white bits turned red, I could not seem to move. As timed ticked on I actually decided to not go in. I then realised what I had done and asked myself why. The answer – I was worried what people would think. Ridiculous I know, but I bet 90% of you reading this have had that same mental argument and many of you succumbed to that insecurity.

For the record I pulled my act together and did not let that stop me from enjoying a swim in the cool lake before I left.

The fact that Britney Spears’ dimply bottom, or Coleen Rooney’s ‘yo-yoing’ bikini body (amongst thousands of other female celebrities) is a regular feature dawning the front page of magazines says it all. This pressure from Society in general (consciously or sub-consciously), somehow seeps in and poisons our confidence. Of course there are other factors which inevitably contribute and we ourselves are the ones buying the magazines and feeding the frenzy.

This attack on our body confidence can rob us experiencing and enjoying some aspects of life. Simple things like going for a swim or joining the gym are often activities which are avoided as they put us in uncomfortable circumstances due to the attire.

This truly saddens me.

It can become a self perpetuating cycle as the less exercise or activities you do, the less chance you have on gaining that self confidence.

This insecurity affects women (and men) of all ages and social backgrounds. I know because my female clients range from 16 year old students to 75 year old women, both in and out of the public eye from a range of backgrounds. There is no escaping it but it is important to know that you are not alone.

There are many things you can do to increase your body confidence as you do not need to live with this battle all your life:

1. First thing is to make sure you have a healthy support network (family and friends) who love and encourage you for who you are.

2. Be nice to yourself. Positive (and negative) self talk has an enormous effect on your mental and therefore physical health. This is not mumbo jumbo made up crap. It is a fact and has been scientifically proven extensively. It forms part of professional athletes training and has incredible results. Eventually you will grow to love your body as it is and treat it with the respect it deserves

3. Take action. If you do not like a bit of your body and you can do something about it, do it. I am not encouraging any kind of surgery or crash dieting here! What I am saying is if you are conscious about your cellulite,exercise and strengthen your muscles in that area, massage body oil into those spots, use a body brush to stimulate oxygen, eat lots of good, nutritious food and drink plenty of water. Money and time permitting, try out a body wrap or cellulite treatment at your local salon.Grace Yoga

There are many things you can do to try and improve the area/s which you are worried about. It may not get rid of the problem entirely, but it will look better and more importantly you will feel more confident.

Make the most of what you have and be proud. The imperfections you see are often beautiful in the eyes of others.

31 Comments

  1. Kelly shorten

    I really like your advice, I am currently very aware of my negative feelings towards my body after having a baby via c section, so struggling with tummy exercises. It did not help to be told I looked chubby in the gym the other day! That guys face I then picture on the boxing pads!

  2. Bec

    Hay Kelly, thanks for sharing. It is experiences like that which makes me feel even more angry! Well you keep hitting those pads hard and rise above it. Whether natural or C section, child birth can make tummy exercises harder but if you haven’t already, try Pilates and focus on the exercises which activate your transverse abdominals (the deep corset like abdominal which kind of wraps around your body). Really important to work your pelvic floor (weeing muscles!) too.
    Planks are a good exercise to start with and then you can adapt and make them harder and easy to do at home.
    Let me know hoe you get on xx

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  4. Kelly shorten

    Thank u. I lost 2.5lbs last week so was v pleased and confidence boosted a lot! I will get looking into working those muscles.
    🙂

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