7 Tips To Boost Your Body Confidence This Summer
If you’re south of the equator like me, you’ve probably noticed that things are heating up! The smell of summer is in the air and as the temperature is rising, so are our anxieties about getting our ‘summer bodies’ ready.
In the lead up to summer, we get bombarded with messages telling us we can’t enjoy life unless we drop a few kilos, that the prerequisite for having a fun day down at the beach is to look good in a bikini and that we should feel ashamed of our body if it doesn’t conform to the ‘thin ideal’.
We're made to feel like our body is the problem.
That there is a secret guidebook that we all need to be following to feel good and enjoy ourselves this summer.
I’ve spent a significant chunk of my life wishing that summer didn’t exist. I would have been quite content with the cooler months and being able to cover up my body in layers of clothing. I didn’t understand how people could enjoy going swimming or heading to the beach. The thought of getting my clothes off and wearing a swimsuit filled me with absolute dread. I was ashamed of my non-existent thigh gap, and the cellulite on the back of my legs and my non-flat stomach.
I can’t count how many hours I’ve lost to scrolling through my social media feeds, comparing myself to bikini-clad women, thinking that my life would be so much better if my body looked like that.
I avoided beaches, pools, summer BBQ’s, parties and festivals because I was ashamed of my body. I’ve punished myself with unhealthy detoxes, diet shakes and strict fitness regimes to prepare for beach holidays and big events. I’ve left some of the most incredible outfits back on the hanger in store because I thought my arms were too flabby or my thighs too big. I covered myself up from head to toe, preferring to be uncomfortable, sweaty and on the verge of heat stroke rather than show the world my skin.
You don’t need to slim down for summer or get your beach body ready, because you already have a beach body!
This kind of marketing – the stuff that’s making you feel shitty about yourself, comes from big corporations, who make a shit tonne of money off our insecurities.
It can be really hard to challenge these messages that we are constantly fed about body standards and what constitutes as a ‘good’ body. Feeling good, feeling confident and feeling comfortable in your body takes time, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get it right.
Here are my top 7 tips to kickstart you body confidence this summer
1. Surround yourself with people who are embracing their bodies
Body dissatisfaction affects a hell of a lot of people so you might find you don’t have anyone in your circle who are embracing their own bodies.
Fear not, there are some incredible people online who are sticking their finger up to diet culture and not giving a damn about what their bodies look like in summer. Some of my faves are Lizzo, Virgie Tovar, bodyposipanda, glitterandlazers and so many more, I could dedicate a whole post to them all! Quick tip: Head to my Instagram and click who I’m following to find some more inspo. Confidence is contagious!
2. KonMari the people and accounts who do not spark joy
The diet talk, the weight loss pictures, any one who posts things that trigger those negative feelings (or comparison) about your body. Unfollow, block and delete (or mute them if you don’t want to be as brutal). The ability to curate our own social media feeds into something that uplifts and inspires us is SO powerful.
3. Wear clothes that make you feel good
By feel good, I’m talking physically as well as mentally. If wearing long sleeves makes you feel hot and sweaty, give yourself permission to pop on shorter sleeves for comfort. Hiding your body in clothes and making yourself uncomfortable is unlikely help you boost your confidence.
You certainly don’t need to strip down to a bikini to feel good (but you totally can if you want!). It’s all about starting small (see tip 4 below!) If you’re after some tips for navigate clothes shopping when you’re not feeling great about your body, check out my blog post here.
4. Start small
Do you want to gain the confidence to leave the house without covering your arms or legs? Or maybe you’re ready to get your kit off and into a swimsuit! My advice is to start small. Begin by trying it out from the comfort and privacy of your own home. Check yo’self out in the mirror a few times and take the time to get used to your feelings of having parts of your body exposed. Work your way up to being around other people – start with your clostes friends or family. Build your confidence slowly – there is no rush!
5. Create boundaries and remove yourself from diet and weight loss talk
Body shaming is a bonding experience. How many times have you been in a situation where one of your friends or colleagues talks negatively about their body and then every one else joins into discuss their body woes?
Create some boundaries – these can be visible or invisible. Let your crew know that you’re no longer interested in talking about bodies/diet/weight loss and direct the conversation elsewhere. If you don’t feel confident to speak up (I struggle with this myself sometimes), try to remove yourself from the conversation and resist the pressure to get involved.
6. Be aware of your inner critic
Much of the way we feel about our bodies comes from that nasty inner critic we have.
You could have all the confidence in the world but chances are she’ll still be hanging around. This is totally normal. It is near impossible to rid ourselves of our inner critic, no matter how good we are feeling.
Be mindful of when she pops up. Acknowledge her criticism. You can do this by simply just saying thanks and moving on to more important things. Label it – this is just a thought, it’s not a fact. Do some journaling – is there evidence that what my inner critic is saying is true? What is the evidence against it? You can even reframe it by using gratitude (a super powerful tool!) which you can learn more about here.
7. Fill up your cup and do things that make you feel good!
Make sure you schedule in activities this summer that make you feel good. Do you enjoy getting creative? Being active? Chilling out with a good book? What ever it is that brings you joy, do it. Feeling good and doing the things we love is a surefire confidence booster!
What are your favourite tips to help boost your summer body confidence? Let me know in the comments below.
If you’d like some more tips and tools to help you feel confident in your body this Summer, why don’t you join me for my online Summer Body Freedom workshop this week? Register here