BLOG: Body Confidence Starts in the Brain

Body confidence. It’s something I imagined would improve as I progressed through this fitness project I’m embarking upon. I thought it would improve as I got slimmer, more toned, and basically began to resemble a more model-like version of myself.

Three things have happened since I originally set out to uncover the magic secret behind gaining more body confidence.

1) I have realised that I will never, ever resemble a model, no matter how many calories I count, or how many miles I run. I’m 5ft 4 and dis booty here to stay.

2) Somewhat liberatingly, I’ve realised I don’t want to be a model. I don’t begrudge these winnowy beauties, but I now just appreciate the fact we’ve got different body types.

3) And the third thing that’s happened? I’ve gained oodles of body confidence on this journey, despite points 1 and 2 above.

My body, your body, human bodies- stop to think about it for a minute and you realise how CRAZY they are. I mean, how the hell do cells make a person with a body and a brain and feelings?! The more I do with mine, the more I climb and crawl and swim and dance, the more I am amazed at the stuff I can do.

Instead of hating how my thighs meet at the top, I’m now constantly impressed at the fact that they enable me to run for MILES, and my mind can race or chill out and keep my heart pumping while I pound the streets.

My arms; I used to pose them at an angle in photos to stop them looking quite so fat. Now, I love how they enable me to attend crossfit and pretend to be an Olympian, messing about lifting weights and challenging myself. Hell, I can lift my entire body weight up with them! Ok, a quarter of my body weight.

My torso is so amazingly designed that I can twist is enough to get my arm behind my back and pick up my leg with it. I still can’t quite believe this fact.

I can sweat and get out of breath and get injured and recover. This body, the little solid, sturdy little space on the planet that I inhabit, this body that I once looked in the mirror and longed to change, is doing me pretty proud these days.

The confidence I now find myself harping on about to anyone who’ll listen has grown from doing cool things with my body, and learning how adaptable and clever it is. My body confidence doesn’t exist because I have reached an ideal weight or shape. Yes, my feelings might have come directly out of an original desire to do so, but it has morphed into a whole different feeling that is far more positive and triumphant than “hooray, I lost 2kgs, now, let’s eat lettuce for dinner”.

So I guess this is my little way of saying that you should definitely, ABSOLUTELY get moving and get active if you find yourself looking in the mirror and wondering why you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin. Because if you feel like this, then what really needs to change is your mindset. And trust me when I say that getting active, appreciating all of the fantastic things you can do, and looking after yourself holistically (and not just with weightloss in mind) is the key to changing that mindset and gaining better body confidence.

Body confidence doesn’t have as much to do with your actual body size as you might think! It’s more to do with how the brain inside that body feels. Get moving- what happens in your mind will radiate out of you and make your body shine with confidence from the inside.

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