Body confidence issues are something EVERY person will face at least at some point in their life. Especially women. My heart really goes out to the women living on the planet in modern day society. Everywhere we look we are being sent subliminal messages that we are not okay just the way we are.
In previous decades it was mainly advertising and the media shaping our views on how we should look (which still impacted many women and men to have eating disorders and body confidence issues).
In modern day culture with social media being such a predominant part of our everyday lives (the average person spending 2 hours on social media platforms per day) we now have a new front-runner for the most impactful tool to spread dissatisfaction as fast as wildfire.
Social media has been built to disseminate different types of media content to our immediate network and beyond. The problem is, the purpose of social media is not to share every-day bland moments (and if you do, you don't have many excited followers), but to present a highlight reel of your life. Therefore most social media posts nowadays are choreographed moments with layers of airbrushing, effects and filters piled on top to create an illusion that this was the most exciting and beautiful moment ever.
The key word in that sentence being, illusion.
What we are seeing on our news feed is an illusion.
By looking at airbrushed women in magazines and thinking “I need to lose some weight” is completely delusional, considering we aren’t even looking at a real image. Therefore we are all caught in the hamster wheel of dissastisfaction with ourselves.
By looking at someones social media highlight reel and feeling an overwhelming sense of dissatisfaction in your own life, we again aren’t seeing any truth into someone’s life. It is more than likely they’ve posted this photo because they are feeling some sort of pain or dissatisfaction in their own life, therefore posting a picture to receive a quick and easy fix of dopamine (instant satisfaction hormone) which will improve upon their current state of being.
As a Certified Health Coach I am trained to help people reach their health and life goals, including weight-loss. Although before diving straight into this process, it's very important to get clear on why you want to change your body.
Understanding the motive is important because if you have decided to lose weight in relation to the questions outlined below, then I can guarantee you weight-loss isn't going to make you feel any better about yourself.
Humans experience a continual sense of dissatisfaction due to the fact we easily lose a grounded sense of perspective . Therefore if losing 10 pounds was once your target, it is very likely once you have reached this you will still feel a sense of dissatisfaction. This is because we are searching for something to make us feel whole and complete (i.e. losing weight) when really there is a deeper issue lying beneath the surface, being a lack of self-love and self-acceptance.
So if you are feeling dissatisfaction or frustration with your current body size, sit your booty down in a chair and read the following two questions.
Contemplate these questions very carefully. Get clear on the reasons why you are currently feeling dissatisfied.
1.) Have I been influenced in some way, to believe that I am not perfectly okay the way I am right now?
Remember, advertising companies are paid BILLIONS of dollars to continually send you the following messages ...
a.) You need to change the way you look in order to feel happy and to experience more loving relationships.
b.) You need another material possession in order to feel complete with your life.
FYI both of these messages could not be further from the truth!
Get really honest with yourself.
Are you being influenced by what you read, watch or listen to?
Is losing weight something you would want if you were on a deserted island with no one and nothing to compare yourself to? This is a good way to tell whether your motives are superficial or for health reasons. This leads to my next VERY important question.
For instance, you go out with your girlfriends on Saturday night and get ready together before hand. You had been feeling perfectly okay all day without any obsessive thoughts of losing weight. Then suddenly when you are surrounded by different body types, you start having this incessant feeling that you want to start dieting or exercising more.
Comparing ourselves to others is also one of the BIGGEST ILLUSIONS EVER. This is one I have struggled with for many years and was the biggest motivator for a 7-year eating disorder.
At the end of the day you will NEVER look like someone else. Not your best friend, not a Victoria Secret model or anyone else who you admire the physical appearance of.
And this is what makes you so darn beautiful. You are your own unique human and just as beautiful as anyone around you. We’ve been taught by society that certain eye, skin, hair colour or body size is more "appealing than others" which is total BULL S***.
We have been given our body for a reason. Nature intended you to look this way. If you are suffering from a hormonal imbalance like PCOS and you've gained some weight, nature also intended for this. Our current body is the result of not looking after them the way they deserve. So love yourself, even at this weight. Your body hasn't made a mistake, it's responded to your lifestyle and diet choices. It's done exactly as it should under the circumstances.
Another illusion trip - you are never perceiving another person the way they perceive their own self. This is also true for the way YOU perceive yourself. You are not seeing in the mirror what others are seeing. We have a skewed view on the way we look due to programmed ideas of 'beauty'.
Have you ever given someone a compliment about something you knew to be so beautiful and amazing about this person, and they won’t agree with you? It’s because in their own subjective reality they can’t see this. The same goes for hundreds of incredibly beautiful attributes about YOU. There is so much beauty that you cannot see because you are stuck in your own subjective reality and only seeing through the lens of this perspective.
THERE IS SO MUCH BEAUTY RADIATING FROM YOU! Your eyes, your fingernails, the baby hair at the back of your neck, your toes, belly, ear lobes... all of it! It's so beautiful. We are unfortunately unable to notice these little things about ourself because we have been spoon-fed a false idea about what beauty should look like, and instead of noticing subtle beauty on our our own body we compare ourselves to those that are being airbrushed and edited.
No matter what story you’ve created about your physical attributes I guarantee you there have been dozens of people to observe and admire something they see as so beautiful about you - and you will never know.
This is why we always need to speak our thoughts and offer up compliments whenever we are thinking them, even when we feel shy to talk to strangers!
Once you have gotten really honest with yourself about why you want to lose weight, then you will have a better understanding as to whether your motivations will lead to healthy weight-loss, or lead to more dissatisfaction and body image problems.
If you didn’t relate to any of the above examples, and your reasons for losing weight are solely to feel more confident, to feel healthier, fitter or stronger ... then we can chat (read an upcoming blog about how to lose weight by syncing with your cycle).
There is a very specific way women need to lose weight, and YEP it all comes down to hormones. Our energy, productivity and motivation levels are totally changing throughout the month. The way in which our bodies metabolise carbohydrates is also fluctuating throughout the month, which is a key factor we want to consider when trying to lose weight.
My next blog will give you the down low on the quickest, safest and most sustainable way to lose weight and keep the weight off.
Although first, get really clear on your why. If your intentions aren’t for positive reasons, I promise you losing weight will not make you feel any better about yourself. It can often make us feel worse because we enter a cycle of non-acceptance and never ending dissatisfaction with our bodies. This is also referred to as body dysmorphia (which I believe to be one of the most wide-spread dangerous diseases that not many people are aware of).
I am ALL IN for feeling and looking your best! Every woman on the planet deserves to feel like a sexy goddess (because you are one - duhhh)!
So I praise you for wanting to make positive changes.
Although looking at the mind is essential before changing the body.
Perhaps it's your perception that needs changing, not your body size.
Sending my love your way you beautiful creatures!