Is This What’s Stopping You From Feeling Good About Your Body?

posts.png

Build Body Confidence Head First

BY DR SARAH HUGHES

I’ve had the pleasure of working with women of all shapes and sizes and what I’ve learnt is that when it comes to body confidence, body weight and shape are irrelevant. A small dress size doesn’t guarantee body confidence and neither does weight loss because women, regardless of their shape and size, are skilled at finding things they don’t like about their body.

I meet so many women who are unhappy with their body and want to feel more comfortable in their own skin. The problem is that most women try to build body confidence by changing their body. They see dieting as the solution to their problem. It’s not. Diets are the problem, not the solution.

Do diets make you want to scream?

Do diets make you want to scream?

Trying to change your body to feel better about yourself will keep you stuck. You’ll be preoccupied with how much you’ve eaten, what you’ve eaten, when your next meal is, how many calories you need to burn at the gym, what you weigh, how quickly/slowly you’re losing weight, whether your weight loss shows in the mirror, how your clothes fit, how you feel, and worse, you’ll beat yourself up when you eat more than you think you should or any other time you feel you’ve ‘failed’ in your weight loss goals.

Ladies – most of the time it’s your head that’s the problem, not your body.

Your head will trick you into thinking that everyone around you is thinner, has smaller thighs, a flatter stomach, nicer boobs, better muscle tone, fewer wrinkles etc. When you look in the mirror, it will make sure that all the things you don’t like about your body are glaringly obvious and make it hard to find things that you do like. But perhaps its greatest trick of all is convincing you that how you look and what you weigh means more than who you are.

Weight loss won’t guarantee body confidence. Body confidence happens in your head, not your body[/caption]If you look for body confidence in diets you’ll never get there. Body confidence isn’t about changing your body it’s about changing your attitude towards your body. How?

When you look in the mirror stop the body bashing – focus on the things you do like about your body instead of all the things you don’t like. Better yet, stop focusing on what your body looks like period and appreciate it for what it allows you to do.

Stop measuring your worth metrically. You won’t find long-term happiness in bathroom scales or calorie math so switch your focus. Eat to fuel your body, and exercise to be fit, healthy, and de-stressed. Throw out your scales. They’re alarmingly uninformative – they can tell you about the cumulative weight of your organs, bones, and skin, but they can’t tell you anything about your beauty, strengths, talents, or intelligence.

Stop battling your body. Life’s too short to spend it standing on bathroom scales, and your weight and body shape aren’t even close to being the most interesting thing about you. Remember, body confidence isn’t about your body. It’s about your head.

Dr. Sarah Hughes is a clinical psychologist and the founder of Think Clinical Psychologists. She enjoys working with children, adolescents, and adults, and specialises in anxiety, depression, postnatal depression, eating disorders, self-harm, and challenging behaviour.