For many of us, a trip to the beach is where our insecurities and body image issues really come screaming out into the open! And to the ladies out there thinking it’s just them, it’s not! Men are affected by these same insecurities. Suddenly we’re a teenager again, afraid that everyone is staring at us and laughing behind our backs. We feel too fat (or too skinny). We believe we’re too pale. Our legs are too short, too fat, too thin. Our bellies are things to be hidden and our breasts are not what movies and influencers tell us they should be! Again, either to small, too large, or lopsided! Ugh! I think the swimsuit industry mak
es millions off our insecurities by selling us different garments that we can use to cover ourselves at the beach!
Our Thoughts can be Our Worst Enemies
“I look like a hideous beached whale!”
“I am so disgusting!”
“Why can’t I be skinny like _______?”
“Why did I have to eat those cookies yesterday?”
“I’m too fat or wear a swimsuit!”
Do you find yourself saying things like this to yourself? These thoughts are harming you and you need to stop. Thoughts like these actually undermine your confidence and can undermine your motivation to change. This means that talking to yourself like this can make you less likely to make the changes to your body that you want because feeling bad about yourself gives you less energy to make any positive changes.
10 Ways to Boost Your Confidence and Your Body Positivity
1. Stop putting yourself down! If you wouldn’t say it to your mother or your best friend, then you should not be saying it about yourself. Literally exchange those negative thoughts with new thoughts that are more positive. Just be careful not to be too positive! Your new thought needs to be believable to you in order for your mind to accept it. Try changing “I’m too fat to wear this swimsuit in public” to “No one care what you’re wearing. It’s all about having fun with your friends and having a relaxing day”.
2. Try positive self-affirmations. These won’t magically change your world, but they can be a little reminder to think more positively. Try saying something nice to yourself every time you look in a mirror, like:
My body deserves love
It’s OK to love myself now as I continue to grow and change
My Body is a gift
I am loveable just the way I am
3. Try complimenting others that you see throughout your day. This will make you feel more positive overall and will put you in a frame of mind where loving yourself is possible. And as a bonus, others around you will feel happier and more positive!
4. Learn to accept compliments. If that person who just told you that you look fabulous didn’t think you look fabulous, they wouldn’t have said it! Just say thank you.
5. Do something to pamper your body. Get a massage. Go for a walk or a bike ride. Slather your favorite smelling lotion all over. It won’t solve all your problems, but it might lift your mood for a minute or 2.
6. Don’t compare yourself to others (or to your younger self). We are each of us unique and different from each other. And that’s a truly beautiful thing. You don’t want to be like anyone else. Part of learning to love yourself has to be stopping these types of comparisons. When you find yourself negatively comparing yourself to someone else, maybe try one of the affirmations instead.
7. Surround yourself with people who are positive and drop the negative folks! Trust me, they aren’t worth your time or your peace of mind!
8. Limit your time on social media. One study showed that people with a higher amount of time spent on social media had an increased chance of developing a negative body image, and an increased chance of developing an eating disorder! Cull through who you follow and only keep people who post positive things. Unfollow or block those who are always being negative.
9. Focus on your whole person, not just your physical being. If you like to read, nourish yourself with a good book. If you always wanted to learn how to rock climb, find a gym that offers that today.
10. Focus on the things you like about yourself. Instead of obsessing over the negative, find things that you like about yourself and notice that! Write a list of at least 10 things that you like about yourself and carry it around with you on your phone. Then when you find yourself bombarding yourself with negative thoughts, pull out the list and read it.
This time of year can be tough for people who have body image issues or who lack self-confidence. Talking with someone can help. If you would like to talk further about this subject or would like self-esteem counseling, please follow the link. I’d love to hear from you!