For me, body confidence means valuing yourself beyond just a number on the scale. Eat well out of respect for yourself, not as a punishment. Exercise because of how it will make you feel, not how it will make you look. Get strong, get empowered, get confident. Measure yourself by things you can control – your studies, your career, your relationships – not the things that are out of your control.
It’s important to remember how you feel on your good days, because you’re going to have bad days, too – everybody does. No one feels 100 per cent confident all of the time; we all have our doubts about ourselves.
If I’m having one of those days, I get off my phone – that’s my number one rule. Social media is usually the reason that I’m not feeling good about myself, so I shut it down. I go back to the reasons that I do value myself – things that have nothing to do with physical appearance. I remind myself of my value. I spend time with my friends – they always make me feel good. I take a self-care day – treat myself to a nice breakfast, go to the movies or go for a run if I feel like it. Anything that makes me feel good.
There’s an exercise for people who are struggling with their self-confidence: write down three things that you love about yourself physically, and three things that you love about yourself non-physically. I have mine written out at home, and I look at it when I feel down. At first, I had to repeat it so many times. But it really helps. When you look in the mirror, instead of thinking negatively, you go to your positive thoughts because you’ve reinforced them in your mind.
We can spend our lives thinking that looking a certain way or eating a certain diet or following a certain fitness regime is going to make us happy. But happiness is not a destination. It’s the journey. Life goes up and down – you’ll have good days and bad. Find value in yourself and you’ll be able to navigate through it all.