We’ve all been there. You try on your favorite outfit, but it feels tight. You weigh yourself and learn you’ve gained a few pounds. For many of us, this type of situation leads to a feeling of not just sadness but shame. But what if we could shift our focus? What if we saw these moments as opportunities to look beyond the scale and find better ways to measure our health and happiness?
Well in this article, we’ll be talking about body confidence, body positivity, and how they connect with your weight.
Why Body Acceptance/Positivity is Important
Body positivity is a movement that aims to promote body acceptance, self-esteem, and self-love in people of all sizes, shapes, and abilities. Body confidence, on the other hand, is something we can all work towards building in ourselves. It’s the belief that you are worthy of respect and love regardless of your appearance or any other factors outside of who you are as a person.
But what do all of these have to do with your weight? A lot more than you might think!
You see weight loss or weight management is more than just exercising and dieting. A lot about achieving a healthy body hinges on other factors like body image, health, happiness, fitness, and self-esteem.
While our weight plays an important role in our health status, it is important to remember that you are much more than your weight, and for you to positively achieve your weight and health goals, you have to first love yourself, and be positive about your body and how you want it to become.
I understand that weight management is something that many people struggle with every day and with so many societal interpretations and perceptions, sometimes it can be hard not to feel bad about yourself when you find yourself struggling with your weight. But the truth is that there are so many things you can achieve both with your weight and health by first learning to be more confident with your own skin.
You Are More Than Your Body
You are more than your weight, your appearance, and what you eat. You are more than what you wear and how you look in it. You are more than the way other people perceive you. Most importantly, you are so much more than a number on a scale or a BMI chart.
As an individual, you have unique talents, interests, and passions that makeup who you are—things that do not matter how much fat is stored in one’s body!
Knowing and accepting this is the first step towards loving yourself and achieving whatever weight goals you have for yourself. If someone else can’t appreciate all of the amazing things about who they think they know as “you,” then maybe they don’t really know anything about you at all!
The societal notion that weight gain is always the result of a lack of willpower or discipline is untrue, and it’s important to recognize that you can’t be held responsible for factors well beyond your control. If you had an eating disorder or other mental health issue in the past, none of these is your fault. For example, don’t blame yourself for having gotten sick and subsequently gaining weight—if anything, celebrate it! You’re getting better now! And if you have a friend who has gone through this kind of experience with their body image? Be there for them in any way possible; let them know they’re not alone.
There are many reasons why someone may put on weight—from illness to hormonal changes to medications—and only some of these reasons are within our control (especially when we’re talking about weight gain due to medication). If someone told me I was gaining weight because I wasn’t working out enough, I would tell them they were wrong: my body needed some extra calories so I could heal from an injury without falling into a state of depression over being unable to move much anymore. Be more confident in yourself.
How to Gain Better Body Confidence & Self Esteem
No matter what size or shape or weight, we all have things we love about ourselves (and things we don’t). And when we work on feeling good about ourselves, it makes us feel better about our lives overall.
It might seem daunting at first—how do I even begin? But there are so many ways to start building up that confidence, self-esteem, and by extension a happier life! To begin;
Learn to identify why you have negative thoughts about your body
You can start by learning to identify why you have negative thoughts about your body and take steps to correct those thoughts.
For example, if you find yourself thinking things like, “I’m too fat,” or “My thighs are too big,” stop and think about the consequences of those thoughts for a minute. Do they make you feel confident or self-assured? Are they helping keep you healthy and fit? If not, it’s probably time to replace them with something more positive. For example, I am strong! I can lift 50 pounds on each side now! My thighs are so powerful! They help me run quickly and jump high off the ground!
Find something positive about yourself every day
It could be as simple as noticing your hair looks nice or telling yourself that you did a great job on an assignment at school today! Even if it seems silly at first, keep doing it until it feels natural and makes sense for you.
Focus on what you can control
If you’re feeling down about your weight, try focusing on the things you can change about yourself. Sometimes, not everything is within your power. For example, maybe some health problems are causing weight gain or making it hard to lose weight. If so, it may be helpful to see a doctor and get treatment for those health problems.
It’s important not to blame yourself or others for problems that aren’t under your control. You don’t have any choice over the genes or body type that have been passed down from previous generations; these things are out of our hands (although you can incorporate some healthy lifestyle changes through diet, exercise, etc. that can influence how these genes express).
Speak with professionals
Many times it is important to speak to a professional, maybe a psychologist, or a counselor when you feel this way. They can work with you to provide a working blueprint to help you take charge of your life, feel better, and achieve your fitness goals.
Practice a healthy lifestyle
To build body confidence, and break the jinx of low self-esteem, and body negativity you have to be in charge of your own life, and focus on the things you can control that way you will feel better about yourself and it will be easier to achieve your goals. For example, the food you eat. Try to cut down on junk and try to incorporate more healthy foods and eating habits.
- Eating whole foods.
- Eating a variety of food.
- Eating foods that are high in protein.
- Eating foods that are high in fiber.
- Eating foods that are high in fat.
- Eating foods that are high in vitamins and minerals (including lots of vegetables).
All of these foods will not only help reduce your weight, but they will also make you feel healthier and happier.
Wear clothes that feel good on your body and make you happy
Wear clothes that make you feel good.
Clothes should be something you like to wear and feel good in. It’s easy to get caught up with the latest fashion trends and fall into a vicious cycle of buying new clothes because your old ones have become too tight or don’t fit quite right anymore, but if it doesn’t make you happy, it’s time for some new wardrobe additions! Do not let someone else’s idea of what looks good on your body dictate how you dress!
You have to make the decision to be in charge of your life, choose to love your body, choose to be happy, then can you start achieving your weight, health, and body goals.
This is what it means to be body positive: accepting yourself at whatever weight you are, understanding that your worth as a person is not based on how much space you take up. It’s about opening your mind and your heart to understand that we’re all worthy of love, regardless of the way our bodies look.”