PERSONAL: The Body Confidence Discussion

Hello! Bit of a different topic from me, but I’ve been meaning to discuss this for a while. Well, since the start of summer really, you know, when you get hounded with the ‘beach body’ press releases and magazine covers. Body image and body confidence are topics I hold quite dear to my heart, as it’s something I’ve struggled with in the past where I would decide I’m ‘fat’ and actively eat less to lose a few pounds and it’s something I’m working on today (in a more healthy way). I like to think I’ve got better with it, as I do feel more confident with the idea of accepting who I am and what I look like, but only time will tell as to whether I can fully deal with it. Suppose it seems rather strange saying that when I run a blog which is entirely about me, but it’s true.

Anyway, I was spurred on to write this topic after reading a survey (by MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, the results of the ‘perfect beach body’ were on the Daily Mail site too) which showed that 45% of people would change a body part if they could. What would you change? For me it would be my stomach, as although it’s not far off flat, it has no definition and I do have the dreaded muffin top. I’d also make my butt resemble more of a peach than a pancake, haha. Other things I’m fine with; my legs are reasonably slim, my arms are ok and I have perfectly fine boobs (soz) for my height/weight. You’ve got to take the good with the bad though, right?

Yup, as far as accepting who you are (as I said previously this is something I’m working on) I’m torn between saying you should love your body no matter what and eat as much crap as you like because it’s your choice, to saying if you don’t like your body, put down that pizza and do something about it. I tried this a while back. I even picked up the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide (which is an amazing workout by the way) but only managed two weeks before I ended up missing workouts and eventually gave up. I saw what a difference a healthy lifestyle made on me, as I had more energy, more focus and smoothies gave me a flatter stomach. But on the other hand, I really love cake and baking (and pizza, good lord do I love pizza) and was sad that I had to cut that out. So, I’m firmly stuck in the middle of not totally hating myself but not being in love either. I strongly admire those girls on the Instagram fitness accounts who look amazing and they’ve 100% earned it, but I wonder if I’ll ever get there, or should I just accept my slightly wobbly thighs and get over it?

Speaking of Instagram, social media and indeed the media itself, it is quite hard to be confident about yourself when we’re constantly bashed with their ideological beauty values. Now, I’m not going to 100% blame the media (as I see that as a bit of a cop out) for people’s warped views of what a perfect body is, but I do believe it negatively contributes to it. These gossip magazines always go for the angle of what you ‘should’ look like, with very little guidance (such as diet, lifestyle changes and exercise) as opposed to how much work it takes to look like a Victoria Secrets model and the fact that it’s their job. It’s the same when someone puts on a few pounds and is ripped to shreds in the media for it, or heaven forbid they take a photo of someone eating anything but a salad. I mean, did you see that newspaper article recently titled something along the lines of ‘Victoria Beckham actually eats!’ – it was shameful!

My point of the above rant is that these things don’t help when it comes to body confidence and dealing with that internally. The media claims you should look one way and advertisements photoshop everyone so they barely look human anymore, quick fix surgery is on the rise and the majority of people seem to be completely out of love with themselves due to this. But, I know it’s not all doom and gloom, as the blogging community seem to have picked this up and are trying really hard to promote body confidence and acceptance. From the lovely Megan’s #ProjectBareAll, to health and fitness bloggers creating amazing content to help you feel better about yourself, to the community in general who are always there to pick you up when you feel down. I think an issue a lot of people have (whether it’s caused through the media or not) is a lack of support, which can lead to loss in motivation and feeling at a loss. I’m very grateful for the support I’ve had from fellow bloggers, friends and my boyfriend and there is a lot of support out there if you only ask.

I’m working on my issues but it’s hard when there are things you want to change. I’m starting to accept I have dark circles and my skin isn’t perfect and that I could never wear a crop top (though I’m always too cold for one!). It’s ok and I can deal with it. But standing in the mirror and accepting every single little thing isn’t going to be a challenge that I’ll achieve right away. And if I don’t like something, I need to remember that only I have the power to change it or accept it. It may take months, years, decades but I suppose as long as I end up happy, that’s all that matters right?
 
Do you have body confidence issues or have overcome them? I’d love to know your thoughts.

ps. Check out my huge blog sale (it all needs to go) and £300 rayban and beauty goodies giveaway!

helen x | twitter | instagram | bloglovin
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