If you lack body confidence due to changes that have happened to your body – this is for you.
Women’s bodies change – a lot – over the course of their lives. What doesn’t really get shared is how:
1. these changes are common (it’s not just you!) and
2. these changes are natural (it’s not just you!)
So, a lot of the time, we kind of fall out of love with our bodies. Essentially, we want them to change back. We want to lose the weight, ditch the baby belly, eliminate cellulite, defy the effects of gravity and so on.
Some of this is achievable, some of it isn’t. We potentially think it’s all more achievable than it really is, because we see that other women have done it. There they are, in glossy magazines, looking amazing. They may even be at the school gate, back in their skinny jeans seemingly minutes after having a baby (and you’ve a sneaking suspicion they haven’t been trawling Not Your Daughter’s Jeans to get the look).
Our body confidence falls and we fall a bit out of love with our bodies. The problem with not loving your body is that it’s not some separate entity – it’s you. So when you fall out of love with your body, you fall out of love with yourself. This can’t be good, can it?
There’s no point, for example, in me hating my body because gravity hasn’t been kind to my chest. I can’t wish my breasts higher. I can’t will them out of my armpits when I lie down without a bra. Yes, I could save for a boob job, if I wanted to. In the meantime, I kind of need to accept that my body has changed in a completely normal way. There’s no point to me holding it against myself, as though my own inability to fight the force of gravity is a complete let down to me. It’s not going to help my mental health, to hold a grudge about something that I had very little control over in the first place.
Sometimes, when we’ve fallen out of love with ourselves, we end up punishing ourselves –
“I’ll treat myself to some new lingerie/clothes when I have changed x about myself”.
X could be a really long way off – talk about stretch goals, we are nothing if not great at setting targets for 1-2 years time. There’s nothing wrong with having a target, but we need to appreciate the journey along the way. We need to treat ourselves in a way that shows we value us, in between. We need to sometimes think “If I don’t reach that goal, I am still worthy of my own love”.
We need to remember that we are worth the small stuff, like lingerie that fits and is comfortable, even if it is going to need to be replaced, when we achieve our goal. That we are worth a new dress for an event, even if the plan is that it won’t still fit in a year’s time. That it’s ok to consider that we are worth loving, and treating kindly, now, as we are.
Every change that our bodies have been through, that cause us to lack body confidence, has also affected millions of other women. We haven’t become something ‘other’ by gaining weight (or losing a lot of weight, and getting the reward of excess skin), or by going through the menopause, or by having surgery. It’s all quite natural, normal and it’s ok for us to like ourselves despite (and sometimes because of) these changes.
This blog post comes courtesy of findmysexpert’s collaborative partner Smart Photography. Smart Photography specialise in Confidence-Boosting Portraits for Women.