3 top tips on how to ignite your body confidence
Guest edited by Tallulah O'Hea
You should feel happy in your own body. Moreover, you DESERVE to. But showing your body love and acceptance can prove really difficult when persistent negativity about the way you look clouds your everyday thoughts. But this can be remedied.
I am Tallulah O’Hea, a Body Confidence Coach helping women to overcome their body insecurities, improve their self-esteem and – ultimately – sky rocket their confidence. I’m living proof that when you challenge the way you think, you change the way you feel about your body.
Four years ago, I hated my body. I struggled to look at my tummy in the mirror without wincing. I constantly compared my body to my sisters and friends. The idea of being in a bikini was daunting, the idea of being naked with my boyfriend seemed an impossibility. As a result, I drank too much and found alcohol gave me the confidence I was missing in the search to feel comfortable in my own skin. My mind was stuck on what food I should and shouldn’t be eating, and what exercises would ensure I burnt the most calories. Essentially, how my body should look became my biggest burden. It not only knocked my self-esteem and my confidence, but manifested this crumbling belief that I wasn’t good enough – because the world taught me I wasn’t skinny enough. And the skinnier you are, the better you are…right? Wrong.
Don't worry, I promise there is a happy ending.
Since I started coaching 4 years ago, I have found the freedom to champion my body. I can say with my hand on my heart that I love and accept my body for everything it is. Now, I look at my tummy in the mirror and smile.
I guess you want to know what the secret is? Nothing dramatic has changed in my appearance. I haven’t suddenly lost 3 stone. I haven’t taken up fasting or some other impossible weight loss fad that leaves you counting doughnuts rather than sheep in your dreams. With the help of my coach, I’ve learnt to appreciate my body by transforming my perspective. The snide side-eye I used to give myself in the mirror has been replaced by a beaming smile. I am now in control of how I feel. I am happy and confident about who I am. And as a result, I not only love my body – I celebrate it.
Here are my 3 top tips for how you can start celebrating your body too...
TIP 1: Shifting negative thoughts into positive self-talk
To change how you feel in and about your body, shift your negative thoughts into positive self-talk. But how do you do this? Using affirmations. Affirmations are positive statements you repeat to yourself to help boost your confidence, get rid of your negative beliefs and improve your self-esteem. For example, repeat after me: ‘I am perfectly imperfect. I am unstoppable. I am good enough just as I am.’
Action step: Create 3 affirmations for yourself that you can repeat when a negative thought arises.
Hint: See if you can notice a pattern as to when your negative thoughts surface. Once you have discovered what triggers them, remind yourself to use your affirmations before the negative thoughts can overwhelm you.
TIP 2: Focus on what you LIKE about your body
It’s easy to focus on what you don’t like about your body, especially with Instagram and magazines telling you to look a certain way by implementing unrealistic beauty standards with highly edited photos. But I encourage you to start looking at what you do like. This may feel difficult at first, but focus on - at least - one thing you like. It could be your hair, your eyes, your shoulders, your legs, your tummy… the list goes on! Build on this by saying why you like that part of your body.
This mindset shift will help you see more of what you do like rather than what you don’t like. It’s called abundant thinking. Focusing on what you like about yourself, will help you realise there are lots of small and big things to like about yourself. Give thanks to your body. Thank those parts you like, and think about how you can appreciate the parts you struggle with. For example, ‘I appreciate my tummy for digesting all my food and keeping me alive.’
Action step: Write down 3 things you love about your body and why.
Hint: Be kind to yourself. Give yourself permission to be nice about your body. It’s amazing. It’s much more than ‘aesthetic’ , it’s a vessel of life!
TIP 3: Be Your Own Bestie (BYOB).
This was one of the biggest learning curves for me when I was battling with my own body insecurities. My coach helped me realise I had been waging a war against myself for over 10 years. A war that I was never going to win! I was fighting against myself. This only kept me stuck and unhappy.
I decided this needed to change if I wanted to start feeling more confident in my body. Why? Because fighting against yourself, filling your mind with negative comments, and judging yourself only creates stress in your body. More stress results in increased cortisol (stress hormone) in your body which results in fat accumulation (often around the tummy) and your body is in a constant state of fight and flight. You wouldn’t say 99% of the things you say to yourself to your best friend, so why say it at all? A negative comment, whether you think it or say it out loud to yourself, has the same effect of lowering your self esteem, self-worth and confidence.
So, how do you become your own bestie? Acknowledgement & Gratitude.
Action step: Write down 5 things you are grateful for about yourself. Acknowledge 5 things you are proud of achieving.
Hint: Tune into how this makes you feel. Smile to yourself as you do this exercise. Notice how nice it feels to be kind to yourself. If you can take one thing away from this, it’s to remember that you are in control. Empower yourself by using your affirmations, acknowledge your uniqueness and celebrate it, and ultimately – be your own bestie.
You are unique, perfectly imperfect and enough just as you are. SO ROCK THAT BEAUTIFUL BODY!
A huge thank you to Tallulah for sharing her wisdom with us. If you are ready to overcome your body insecurities and sky rocket your confidence, head to her website and book a free 30 minute confidence call.