Our bodies go through so many changes: surgery, weight loss and weight gain, pregnancies, amputations, etc. This can take a toll on your inner confidence. How do you continue to feel like yourself when your outer shell changes? Do you find yourself hating a scar or area of your body? Do you pretend it doesn’t exist? Feel more confident in yourself with 3 simple steps.
When I went to college and danced less I noticed a change in my body. I gained the freshman 15 pounds and I remember looking in the mirror and not recognizing myself. I became unhappy and less confident because I remembered who I used to look like. I wanted to get back to that self-image. The thought of “if I lose 15 pounds I’ll look the same and feel the same” came to mind. That’s when I began running. All I did was run, I didn’t make any other changes to my lifestyle in terms of diet or sleep.
I ended up losing the weight which was great but there was still that nagging voice inside my head, is this good enough? Do I feel beautiful? Have you heard anyone say ‘the beauty is on the inside’? Have you thought sure but what about how she looks or him? That’s so easy for them to say. They seem so confident regardless of how they look or what they are wearing. How do they do it?
When I truly began to heal on the inside, my body changed on the outside. There is a moment when you’re doing Pilates and you’re not thinking. You are listening and becoming in tune with your body. You are connected as a whole. You begin to feel. When you feel your body moving and doing all the things you’re capable of, it creates a strength inside you. And when you feel strong, you feel confident. When you feel confident, you are comfortable in your own skin.
Here are a couple of ways to start feeling comfortable and confident with your body. I’ll admit it’s more mental than physical. It’s easy to look in the mirror and think ‘what if my arms had more muscle?’ or ‘what if I lost 5-10 pounds?’
Remember every day is different.
First, know that you grow and change every single day. No day is the same regardless of the routine we follow each day. Each time you step outside the door it’s different. You might walk differently, the air is different, the weather is different. Our thoughts change every day too. The past is behind us, the future is uncertain, and today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present. You are able to do things to keep yourself in the present and be closer to comfortableness with your body. For more information on practicing mindfulness, click here for 5 easy steps to follow.
Connect to your emotions.
Second, take a moment to ask yourself where is the uncomfortableness coming from? Do a little investigation inside your body and turn on your feeling brain. Whose thoughts are inside your head? What dialogue are you repeating to yourself over and over again? I love the quote ‘don’t let someone live rent-free in your brain’. Also, ask yourself if the thoughts are real or made up inside your head. I’ve been guilty of this before and it can send you in a downward spiral if you don’t investigate. Write down the negative thoughts and then throw them away or put them in a journal. Practice gratitude and write down 5 things you’re grateful for. Judgment has no place when you practice gratitude.
There were times I tried to blame my scoliosis on why I couldn’t do an exercise. Have you ever felt the same way? Judging your body’s imperfection or blaming it? Judgement has no place in Pilates either. I have minor scoliosis, very minor, that it’s not even noticeable. Scoliosis wasn’t the reason for feeling incapable, it was my mindset which is where affirmations come into focus.
Say positive affirmations.
Change the dialogue to positive and realistic thoughts. If you are having trouble feeling beautiful, then saying ‘I am beautiful’ is not a realistic thought. Instead, say ‘I am present’ when feeling thoughts of doubt and lack of confidence. Also, try these affirmations: Fear doesn’t stop me, I am strong, I am loved.
You are uniquely you.
Lastly, you are unique. You can only be you and no one else. It wasn’t until I started Pilates that I began to notice a change in my own self-image. When I do Pilates, I feel so strong AF that nothing can stop me. It’s physical and mental strength. It doesn’t matter how I felt yesterday or tomorrow, in this very moment I can do it and I will.
Do you want to feel more comfortable with your body? Schedule your personal Pilates session to begin healing on the inside and feel strong inside and out.