HOW I FEEL ABOUT FEELING GOOD
I love confidence. I love decisive people. I love those people who have chosen happiness and exude a unique sense of 'it's all going to be okay'.
I'd like to think that on a good day I'm a balance of all of these things; a person who is in love with her life and all the things that make it up. The realist in me knows that at any given point in time, we're not always going to be happy with the way every aspect of our life is holding up but there is one particular aspect I believe carries weight and is an important one to remain steadily positive.
The way we perceive ourselves - the outward self.
The way we look and feel. And how that makes us feel.
Its something we possibly don't reflect on in a productive way enough. It certainly isn't something I've placed on my list to actively reflect on and that can be detrimental without our even realising.
So how do I feel about my body and looks?
If you asked me at my best, I would tell you I'm happy with the way my body looks - I may weigh the heaviest I ever have but I know I'm enjoying life - truly living. I'm eating the foods I want, actively living out the life I want and surrounded by people - in real life and online - who are constantly lifting me up.
If you asked me at my worst, I would tell you I hate constantly looking at photos of myself and seeing all the flaws in their HD glory. I hate the way my laughing so much causes me to have lines and wrinkles etched into the skin beneath my eyes so deep you would think I lived my past life as an elephant. It grates me that I think about ways of potentially getting a chin lift because looking my side profile or even front on when my chin has those extra rolls making me wish I could alter something that's natural. I could go on and on about the negatives but I'm already getting depressed thinking about it so I have to stop myself right here - for my sanity and yours!
It's all the more difficult to deal with the way our minds perceive 'flaws' when you bring in the comparison game. I've never been the type of person who feels the need to detox from social media however I've got to admit that in the last few weeks, the scales have tipped from inspired to tired more often than not. Instagram, from day one, has always been my go to channel for inspiration. Whether its a perfect arrangement of goods on white (aka a flatlay) or a major inspo travel or fashion snap, there's always been something that catches my eye and makes me feel like I can be more; the requisite inspiration that has fuelled my years of content creation. However when I say the imbalance has turned my attitude to 'tired' - fed up of how bad my hair looked in that one shot (could I seriously not just have brushed it that day?), or so over how squinty my eyes get when I smile too deeply - well that just doesn't sit right with me.
My comparison game has always been fuelled by the inspiration I've taken in from others photography styles to help me lift my Insta game. Letting this art of comparison take root in my heart about the way I look and feel about my body is beyond detrimental to the way I want to live my life.
So I'm choosing to be confident in my own skin. I decided long ago that gratitude is the firm foundation to which I base my life and today and every day I'm grateful for all that my body does for me - for walking, talking... even the simple act of breathing.
Now getting the the point of accepting that everything is 'all going to be okay' is a slightly harder step in the context of body positivity. And to that, I believe its because its a journey. A journey or mental and physical awareness and fulfilment. I've pulled together some of my thoughts on how we can prepare ourselves daily for this journey:
1. REFLECT & REALISE
Write down three things you love about yourself (physical)
Write down three things you love about yourself (non-physical)
At a recent 'Feel Good' Breakfast event I attended with the social media superstars behind Keep It Cleaner - Steph Claire Smith and Laura Henshaw - as well as the ladies behind the phenomenal Intimo lingerie brand, we took a moment to reflect on these thoughts.
2. SOCIALISE & SURROUND YOURSELF
One of the great points Steph & Laura made was that while you might struggle to complete the list above, the people surrounding us sure wouldn't. There's a lot of truth to the notion that we find it easier to quickly point out the best bits of others but quite often fail, or even refuse to let ourselves, see our own positives. By getting out there and spending time with people you love and trust, particularly on one of those down days, you're much more likely to get pulled out of that funk a lot quicker than if you let yourself dwell on self-inflicted 'I'm my own worst enemy' company. One of the best things you can do to grow yourself on this journey to body confidence is to recognise early on that you're letting your mind do the (over)talking and inflating issues that don't necessarily exist. Do yourself a favor and call one of your besties so you can forget about sweating the small stuff, because at the end of the day, that's all it REALLY is!
3. NOURISH & NURTURE
There's no clearer or simpler solution to feeling good from the inside out than being concious of what we are putting in to our body. Whole, clean and nutrient-rich foods are only going to impact us positively. While there are certainly a million and one diets, eating plans and super food options out there to help guide your way, when choosing what goes in your grocery basket or what goes on the order docket, just remember that good food could quite simply be the answer to a good mood.