You were born with Body Confidence, you were really comfortable and at ease in your own skin…In fact, you were so at home in your body, that you actually loved how it felt. If you could have expressed it, you would have said that you loved your whole body. You loved it for all the things it let you do…your hands learned how to grasp and write, and your legs gave you the ability to crawl, and then to walk…Your body even gave you the power to express joy and excitement. It enabled you to cuddle other humans and snuggle up in your bed at night. Have you ever seen how comfortable a baby is in its’ own skin? How it’s body can barely contain its’ happiness when its face is lit up with the expression of joy?
In other words, Body Confidence is a natural, default state for you, me and all of us. We were born that way, and we would have stayed that way if we hadn’t learned to dislike parts (or all!) of our bodies, through learning the rules of others. The expectations of society.
It starts for many young women (and I know sometimes young men too!), at early puberty, when we begin the task of being socialised…we start to notice how others look around us, and as young teens, there is often a desperate need to fit in, to look the same as friends, peers and heroes in magazines or on the telly. If we’re lucky, we will be able to find something about ourselves that we like, that we think is our ‘best part’…the trouble begins when we realise that most of the women around us don’t like their bodies.
Whether it’s parents, older relatives or just other adult women we see in TV series etc, there is an underlying theme going on here…And that is this “I’m not the perfect image I want to be“.
This thinking starts with a very simple, but flawed idea…That in order to be good enough, we need to work hard at it, to deny ourselves, to starve and modify ourselves to be acceptable. When did it happen that the biggest insult girls could say of each in other in the playground is “She loves herself, she does“…When? We’re starting on shaky ground already, aren’t we? In some strange way, we learn that we’re not meant to like what we see…to find ourselves acceptable and perfectly well made as we are. Even if, as mothers, we are very careful not to show our daughters that we don’t like our bodies…that we’re maybe constantly on a calorie restriction diet of some kind or other…They pick up on it any way, our children are observant creatures, taking their biologically programmed cues from us, and they sense that disapproval that we feel for ourselves and our own little homes.
Don’t think for one second that I’m any different, I’m sure my daughter picked up similar cues from me as she was growing up at some point, and I don’t advocate beating ourselves up about it, either BUT…The only way we can help the next generation to stay comfortable in their own skins, to not steal that Body Confidence away from them, to sentence them to a lifetime of not feeling enough, is this:
Get OFF THE DIET and eat food that makes you feel buzzing to the brim with vitality!
I’m aware of a wonderful movement in our midst today that celebrates body confidence that women of larger sizes embrace …I support and wholeheartedly celebrate this movement. I love to see women sitting comfortably in their bodies…it delights and inspires me. But, it can sometimes unfortunately be implied that to love your body, no matter what, means to accept that it’s in an unhealthy place, and to be ok with it. This is a flawed premise.
When we truly, and I mean TRULY love our bodies…we CARE how about how they feel.
Your body has the innocence of a small child and it suffers discomfort when it’s bloated…have you ever tried to feed a small child more food than it wants? It will scream the place down rather than have an over-filled tummy! Have you seen what happens to toddlers in the supermarket just fed pure sugar by unaware parents? It’s a distressing sight and no mistake! Have you seen an overweight child wheezing while they run? It’s beyond heartbreaking.
The TRUE essence of body confidence, for me, is this…feeling comfortable and at ease in your own skin. That means…sitting in your own unique, healthy body shape, and finding it enough. No more. No less. Get back your Body Confidence first. Start to really love your body. So much so you really start to notice how she feels, listen to the messages she’s sending you…That way you’ll have the beginnings of a solid foundation to build on, enabling a healthy communication and loving relationship to begin to emerge with your body. Send down regular messages of gratitude for all she does for you…Choose to investigate how to feed her the right fat burning foods that will allow her natural shape to emerge with grace, poise, and an ownership of your own Body Confidence. It’s the most attractive thing on the planet!
In other words…choose, today, to get OFF the diet.
You will be a true inspiration to the young, naturally insecure women coming up behind you…they may not get it straight away, but if you and the women around you can show by example exactly how to love yourself for all your worth, they will take that message in. Eventually. They will go on to be the first generation of women who eat to please themselves and their bodies…in a truly deep nurturing, nourishing way!
We can show them. There is a way to eat like a Queen and enjoy sitting in the body of a Goddess! It is your birth-right, after all. And mine, and that of every other woman too…no one should ever have to suffer the erosion of Body Confidence ever again!! Let’s start today and begin the joyful process of taking our own Body Confidence back where it belongs!
Love Bridgette x