10 Steps to Improve Body Confidence

January 6, 2016

I've had my fair share of struggles with self-worth and body confidence. After asking SnapChat ((carolineacree)) if confidence was a topic you'd like me to address, I was overwhelmed by the response! As many of you know, I worked very hard all of last year to improve my mental and physical health. Boosting my self-confidence played a major role in this life change, so I spent my holiday break thinking about each step I personally took to change my mindset. Here are my ten steps to improving body confidence!

John Branam Photography

Wardrobe provided by Neighborhood Barre Nashville

1. Remove Autopilot. Nothing changes if nothing changes. If you consciously make a decision that your mental and/or physical state must change, you can accomplish anything. Stop looking back over the past year with guilt, and instead look at the new year with optimism. Embrace change.

2. Think Positive. Kill Negative. Tell yourself positive affirmations on a daily basis. Whenever you notice yourself thinking negatively, stop. Immediately. Look in the mirror and say, "You know what? I love my curves. I love my skin. I'm sexy and can flaunt it..." Talk to yourself in this positive manner every single day, especially on the bad days, and you'll begin to notice a more confident stride in your step. I spent the entire last year telling myself, "Bah-bam. Curves." A simple upbeat phrase helped me squelch the ugly, mean thoughts.

3. Support Your Ladies. This is a game-changer. Gather your girlfriends as close as possible, even if it's just a regular phone call to their time zone. Then, gush. Remind them they're beautiful, remind them how talented they are, and don't let them speak negatively about themselves when you're both freaking out about swimsuit season. These types of positive conversations will reflect back onto your own mindset.

4. Avoid The Scale. Discard the idea of the "magic number." Stepping on the scale on a regular basis is not only stressful, it's not accurate. If you're on a weight-loss journey, choose one day of the week to weigh yourself. Otherwise, put the scale away and ignore it. Look in the mirror. Watch as your body changes, your skin changes, your posture changes. Become aware of how your body reacts to different foods and workouts, and you'll start to fall in love with the newly emerging you.

5. Exercise.* Duh. Get sweaty! If you're trying to lose weight while searching for self-confidence, you should be burning those cardio minutes anyway, but if you're just struggling with self-worth, exercise is still important! Being in tune with your body is only heightened by staying active. You'll feel accomplished, and even the curviest of curvy women looks better with extra tone on her thighs.

6. Greens! You don't have to eat only greens, but be mindful about your nutrition. If you're ordering pizza for dinner and cooking bacon for breakfast, you're going to mentally feel like a pile of grease. Fill your tummy with delicious healthy food, and not only will you have more energy, but you'll also feel the inevitable positive vibes from being a health nut.

7. Stop Comparing. Just stop. You're not Alessandra, Gisele, Gigi, or Kendall. You may never be a size 0. You can not magically have smaller hip bones, and your broad shoulders will never just shrink. Remember these people's only job is to look good. If they want to work out for six hours and then get laser treatment on their cellulite after their personal chef cooks their lunch, they can. Stop comparing yourself to unattainable ideals of femininity.

8. Flirt. With yourself! Walk around your house naked. Show a little extra skin. Buy yourself some sexy lingerie. Learning to appreciate every part of your body means embracing the beautiful skin you're in . . . bare! Don't feel like being naked? Snap a photo! Selfies get a bad rap for leaning toward the narcissistic end of the confidence spectrum, but seeing your face in its best light is a really simple way to feel more confident. 

9. Find A Balance. This is extremely important if you're tackling weight loss. It's healthy to feel some level of guilt if you've eaten junk food for a year and haven't left the couch in a month—this type of guilt can be turned into motivation. But it's important to learn when to turn off the negativity. Feeling guilty for every bite will only cause stress, and the occasional indulgence will keep you sane. Acknowledge whether you've actually been eating healthy and exercising consistently, and if you have, there’s no need to feel guilty for having a cozy night in with pizza. Maybe just don't eat the whole pizza. Enjoy the gooey cheese and extra pepperoni while it's being devoured, but remember to snap back to your routine.

10. Write About It. I found it extremely therapeutic to write last year's blog post about my struggles with weight and self-worth. Click here to read about My Fresh Start. Not everyone is a blogger, so you can even write yourself an e-mail or scribble your thoughts in a journal. Call up a friend and tell your story. Communication can be extremely relieving. 

John Branam Photography

Wardrobe provided by Neighborhood Barre Nashville | SHOES Nike

*If you follow me on social media, then you know I'm obsessed with Neighborhood Barre Nashville. Right now until January 31, 2016, all new and inactive clients can receive 1 week unlimited for FREE. There will also be two FREE breaking down the barre classes this month for anyone interested in learning the terms, technique and equipment used during class. They will be held on January 10th at 1:30pm and January 16th at 9:45am. NB Nashville also has two new classes you can try! Barre Stretch class and Barre Blast! Come tuck with me, Nashville! Already a member of the NB Family? Who is doing the January fitness challenge with me? For more information about Neighborhood Barre Nashville, click here.