Come on, Girl! You can rock that bikini or cute tank! Here are 9 tips to amp that body confidence in full gear this summer.
Summer is finally here! The warmer weather brings everyone out of hibernation and out and about. For many women, this also, unfortunately, includes insecure thoughts about your body. There’s no more hiding under bulky clothes!
We just had a MASSIVE heat wave here on the East Coast. The heat was brutal and I dreaded putting on shorts and a t-shirt to hang out with friends. The negative self-talk immediately came back after months of working on my body image.
I thought I was better than that. But I am human, and the thought of my not-so-toned arms and cellulite-filled legs freaked me out. It actually made me not want to go out. But you know what, it was so hot outside, that I put on that tank top and shorts and you know what? I had an amazing time.
Now, some of you may be thinking I’m being overdramatic since I’m not plus size. Our society has a way of making the majority of women (and even men) look at our bodies in a negative way. There’s always something wrong and advertisers have a product to fix it! **cue eye roll**
But the thing is, that there is nothing wrong with your body. Everyone is unique and no one is quite like you, which is amazing! Everyone wants to be unique in other areas of our lives like personality or home decor but not our bodies. According to society, our worth is based on the size of our bodies and it’s so terrible.
As body acceptance and positivity make their waves, I’ve been working really hard on treating myself better. You’re never going to spend more time with anyone else so why talk to yourself so badly?
Is it really worth the energy and the self-doubt? Isn’t it better to accept yourself for who you are including how your body looks today? Our bodies are constantly changing after all since we’re living, breathing human beings.
So next time you look in the mirror and start to analyze all the flaws of your body, let’s instead work on that body confidence. Trust me, you’ll enjoy summer much more if you work on your mental health towards your body.
1. Take a Break from Social Media
It’s only human to compare yourselves to others. We all want to succeed and be happy in life and social media has a way of making everyone’s lives look like rainbows and butterflies. I know we all know that social media doesn’t paint the full picture but it’s hard to accept that when your life isn’t quite how you want it to be.
We’re at that age where you start to hit a lot of life milestones but everyone’s timelines are different. So it’s important to try to not compare yourself to their perfectly curated image.
Just think about how many pictures you took before you posted the one on your feed? Not only did you have a mini photoshoot and worked with your best angles, but you also have the option of adding a filter. This is at everyone’s fingertips. Not just the people with photoshop anymore.
So if you feel like you get on social media and it sucks all the joy out of you, take a break. There’s nothing wrong with stepping away from all the social platforms to work on your mental health.
Take a break for however long you need it. You aren’t going to miss anything. Life will go on and you will actually probably enjoy your life more because you aren’t comparing yourself to someone else’s best self.
Here’s an article from BBC that dives into social media and body image more.
2. Replace Negative Thoughts with Positive Thoughts
Body confidence is all about your mental health. If you’re going to sit around and say negative things about your body then you aren’t going to feel good in your skin. You are a byproduct of your environment.
So next time you look in the mirror and think “ugh, my arms are so flabby,” try to replace this thought with a positive one. I’ve been doing this for a few months and it’s helping. As I said earlier, I’m not perfect but changing your perspective can help.
This takes intentional practice but it does work. You can do anything you set your mind to. I know this is cheesy but it’s true. If you tell yourself over and over again that your body is amazing then you’re going to start to naturally have more positive thoughts about your body.
While we are our own worst critics, the people we spend time with can have a negative effect on our body confidence. I know my friends and I are guilty about talking about being on diets or exercising before we got out to dinner.
So if you dread hanging out with your friends and family because all they do is talk negatively about their bodies or talk about the latest diet they’re trying, talk to them. They could benefit from speaking kinder to themselves as well.
If you don’t want to make a big deal about it then just try to change the subject. I’m sure they don’t really want to tear themselves apart so they would probably appreciate a subject change.
3. Fake It Until You Believe it
These two tips go hand in hand since if you don’t feel confident in your body, telling yourself that you look amazing until you actually believe it works. Now I am aware you don’t go from I’m a beached whale to I’m Victoria’s Secret model.
Our brains are smarter than that.
So instead it is better to go from a negative self-believe to a neutral thought. From there, you can begin working on believing a positive thought. It takes time to rewire your brain so don’t rush this.
Just like it took years to have this belief that your worth is tied to your pants size. You’ve probably had these thoughts since you were a preteen. I know I have so it’s taken a lot of effort to change this belief.
4. You Need to be Proud of Yourself
When it comes down to it, you shouldn’t be looking for validation from others. If you hang out with your friends and say something along the lines of “oh, I’m so fat,” just so your friends will tell you you’re gorgeous then you need to work on your confidence, girl!
If you don’t feel good in a bikini, then don’t wear one. It doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Reframe it in a way that makes you feel good. Even thinking to yourself, this one-piece is so cute and I feel so good wearing it is better than thinking oh I have to wear a one-piece because I look like a beached whale in a bikini.
Like why would you say that to yourself? It’s not helping anyone and it’s not making a difference to anyone’s perception except killing your confidence.
I do think it’s important to wear clothes that you feel good in. If you feel great in a crop top and short shorts, go for it girl! Though if a dress is more your style that’s cool too.
You should dress in a way that makes you feel good in the body you’re in. Not just what is the latest trend.
5. Ditch the Scale
The number on the scale is just a number but to many of us, it means much more than that. For the longest time, the number on the scale was my self-worth. If that number went up, I was in a bad mood all day and if it went down, I was ecstatic.
So I ditched the scale for a while. I have one now but for two years I didn’t weigh myself and I felt great. In full transparency when I didn’t have a scale I did gain weight but I also met my now-fiance and he loves to cook.
Even though I gained weight, I am happier. That number didn’t define my day anymore and I was able to enjoy my future husband’s cooking without guilt.
I did reintroduce the scale back into my routine when I started this health and fitness journey but my attitude towards the scale is completely different. Now, I use it as a metric especially when I’m in a cut.
Since our bodies are constantly changing, I did lose the weight. This time around it was a much healthier approach though because my self-worth wasn’t defined by my weight.
I gained some weight back when I moved and got engaged but there was a lot of celebrating and that’s okay! It was much more fun to celebrate with my friends and family than worry about the scale going up.
You don’t need a scale for your health and fitness journey. It was a personal preference for me once I was able to take the emotion away from it. Otherwise, you can track progress by looking at pictures, how your clothes are feeling, or even better how much stronger or faster you are getting.
6. Take Care of Yourself
You are what you eat so it’s important to fuel yourself in a way that is going to make you feel good. If you feel good on the inside, it’ll help you feel good in many aspects of your life. Adding whole foods such as fruits and vegetables can make a huge impact on how you feel.
Now I’m not saying eat whole food and veggies from a weight loss perspective. In this case, it’s purely about helping your body function to the best of its ability. As an example, gut health plays a huge role in how you feel.
It’s also important to note starving yourself isn’t going to make you feel good. You’ll get hangry and just feel worse about your body when the inevitable binge comes along.
Also, going beyond how we eat, it’s important to get enough sleep and rest. We should be getting around 7 hours of sleep per night. In a society where hustling is rewarded, this is hard to do sometimes. Trust me, I have this blog as a side gig so I know what it is like to not want to sleep and instead keep working on my goals.
However, if you get enough sleep and eat enough food, your mental health will thank you. Your mental health is way too important to put on the backburner.
7.Enjoy your Workout
Moving your body is so important. Not only do endorphins make people happy, but your body was also meant to move. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that exercise may not help your physical appearance but there’s so much more to it.
Working out leads you to burn more calories which can lead to weight loss. BUT, I do think that working out should be something we do to honor our bodies. This isn’t the way society portrays it though.
You see it all the time. The gym gets PACKED right before summer.
You start seeing the hot girl summer trend on social media and all of a sudden your body isn’t good enough and you need to get that bikini body in 30 days.
Which is highly unlikely to happen or at the very least is probably not sustainable. Like those before and after pictures of 30-day challenges are all about angles and posture but I digress.
It’s important to work out throughout the whole year and find a workout you enjoy. If you enjoy it, you’ll keep doing it. You’ll reap all the benefits (physically and mentally) of being active which will boost your body confidence.
It also helps to focus on what your body can do. How much you can squat, how fast you can run, how you’re flexibility has increased dramatically since practicing yoga. This list can go on and one but it is way more fulfilling than how many calories you can burn.
8. Practice Gratitude
Being grateful is SO important since sometimes we forget about all the positive things in our lives. Between social media and constantly going from one thing to the next, we can sometimes take our bodies for granted.
Now I think it’s important to practice gratitude for all aspects of your life, not just your body. However, it doesn’t hurt to spend some time thanking your body for everything it does for you. Your legs get you to places to hang out with loved ones, your arms give you the ability to hug loved ones and your stomach gives you the joy of trying all the yummy foods.
Your body is your life without sounding too out there. Without your body, you wouldn’t be you and you wouldn’t be able to do the things you do.
I suggest keeping a gratitude journal (check out my post on gratitude journals here) but you can also just practice gratitude when looking at yourself in the mirror or mediating.
9. Talk to a Professional if Needed
My last tip for improving body confidence is to speak to a professional. I am not a professional, just a girl sharing her thoughts about the never-ending struggle of living in a world with deep-rooted body issues.
If you struggle with an eating disorder or body dysmorphia, talking to a professional can help you sort through some of your negative beliefs and get the treatment that you need.
Those are just a few ways to increase your body confidence this summer and enjoy the season! Summer is so much more than how your legs look like in shorts.
I know this is easier said than done. Trust me, I’ve spent the last two years focused on body confidence after spending over ten years hating my body. It takes time so don’t expect miracles.
Take it day by day and soon you’ll be feeling better in your own skin.
Until next time,