This is a subject very close to my heart, mainly because this stuff is life-changing. I can’t tell you exactly how to get body confidence – we all have to tread our own path and find what works for us. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all prescriptive solution – but there are some things I can share with you that might lead you in the right direction.
Your body is your business.
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Don’t let anyone else tell you who you are or who you should be. Their opinion of you is exactly that – theirs. It’s not yours; it’s none of your business and it certainly doesn’t define you. It doesn’t matter if this is the opinion of friends, family, strangers in the street – no matter who it is – their opinion is NOT your reality.
Your body is your home. Don’t tear it down. It’s where you live. We just get one body – you may as well love it because hating it isn’t going to help you.
I know you sometimes feel that fear holds you back, keeps you stifled, stops you from doing things you would like to do and being who you would like to be. Here’s the thing…fear is a liar. It fools you and deceives you and tricks your brain into imagining far worse scenarios than could ever really feasibly happen.
Fear is a liar. It’s inside you. You are bigger than your fears, you have them surrounded. You can mute them. Acknowledge your fear, sit with it but don’t let it stop you. You’ve got this.
One thing that I hear time and again, as a prime example of something that destroys confidence, is cat-calling and fat-shaming (fat-calling?) in the street. It’s important to remember this – if someone is slinging insults at you in the street, they have shown you exactly the kind of person they are, and in doing so invalidated their own opinion. And the so-called shame? All theirs – don’t think about taking it away with you, in fact don’t think about it at all.
Again, it’s nothing really to do with you, it’s a manifestation of their ugly personality and a demonstration of their own shortcomings.
Of course, it’s not as easy as that when the person being hurtful is a loved one and I will cover that in some depth in a future post.
The single, most valuable piece of advice I can give you today, from one fat woman to another is this – stop thinking of the word “fat” as an insult. It’s not an insult, it’s a description, in the same way tall, short, thin, muscular and blonde are descriptors.
Kitty has covered this perfectly in her post, Reclaim Fat – go read it, this is really important! And the reason I am telling you, is this – you’re the person affected here. I could tell the fat shamers this until I was blue in the face, do you think it would make a scrap of difference? It wouldn’t. So if we can’t change the way the word is used – we can change the way we hear and understand it. Take back the power and then it won’t matter when someone calls you fat.
Finally – love yourself. Cherish yourself. Fall in love with your body – if you’re not ready to love the way you look, at least appreciate your body for all that it can do. Nurture the child within, that you once were and set yourself free from societal and self-imposed pressures – walk your own path, live your own way – be yourself. You are more than enough – you always were, you always will be.