If you’ve ever felt insecure about your appearance, you’re not alone. Fortunately, it may be easier than you think to adopt a more confident attitude towards your body, your fitness, and your overall wellness. With a body-positive mindset, there’s no need for crash diets or fitness fads. Instead, you can make better choices for your mental and physical health mental and physical health, find motivation in your happiness – not your insecurities – and build body confidence that lasts for life. Here’s how.
1. Choose your fuel wisely
First thing’s first: Say goodbye to all those quick-fix diets! They’re simply not conducive to long-term wellness because your body doesn’t need quick fixes – it needs steady, balanced nourishment.
Sticking to a healthy diet can also improve your mental health. According to Team PB nutritionist Jenna Hope, you can support your mental and emotional wellbeing by:
- snacking healthily to manage blood sugar levels;
- switching out coffee for herbal alternatives;
- incorporating greens into every meal;
- and consuming 30g of fibre daily.
Above all, instead of thinking about how much your body weighs or how it’s shaped, try to focus on all the incredible things it can do, the places it can go, how it feels, and the experience it brings you. With that mindset in place, it becomes so much easier to honour your body with nutritious meals that you actually enjoy.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others
Gyms can sometimes feel like competitive arenas, but our bodies aren’t a competition. Instead of envying the next person’s perfect treadmill form or how much they can bench, focus on yourself and what works for you. If you can’t help yourself but compare, use it as a source of inspiration; something to work towards instead of something that makes you feel worse about yourself.
At the same time, make a conscious effort to spend less time on social media. Research published in the European Scientific Journal shows that self-esteem is negatively impacted the longer you spend on social media. At the very least, curate your feeds to remove accounts that make you feel worse about yourself. There are plenty of body-positive accounts to follow instead, including our own!
3. Exercise yourself happier
It’s great to work towards a new personal best or compete in a league but do your best to focus on feeling happy and healthy – not just trying to rack up impressive numbers. After all, exercise is a certified mood-booster, and there’s simply no room for low self-esteem once the endorphins kick in. That’s the main benefit.
The tricky part is staying motivated. If your regular gym routine isn’t keeping you engaged, branch out and find a workout that really appeals to you. Leave the treadmill behind and get creative. Join a football team, try roller derby, learn how to dance. Try to exercise simply for the love and enjoyment of it, not just to attain a specific weight or look.
You can also be kind to your body without breaking into a sweat. Take long walks on a regular basis (especially if it helps you engage with nature), spend a little “me time” in the spa, or explore different types of yoga. These gentle pursuits all add up to a greater sense of body confidence, even without the “runner’s high” or the aches afterwards.
4. Surround yourself with positivity
One of the most effective ways to nurture body positivity is to say it out loud, especially when it feels hard to be grateful for your body. Give yourself positive affirmations each day, whether it’s a kind word to yourself in the mirror in the morning, encouraging notes on your dresser, or daily reminders on your phone.
Although it may feel a little silly at first, that doesn’t mean it’s not working. Keep at it. A little silliness won’t hurt you.
5. Get social
One of the most effective ways to build long-term body confidence is to do it as part of a group, which will provide the support, motivation, and camaraderie to make sure exercise stays fun and structured. In a social setting, you will almost certainly make new connections with like-minded people and share useful tips as you’re swept up by the group’s positive energy.
Our group fitness classes are led by trainers who know how to nurture long-term wellness, empowering members to work towards lifelong mental and physical health. Every class takes place in an inclusive, body-positive atmosphere where people of all ages and fitness levels are welcome. In an environment like this, it’s easy to maintain your progress towards body confidence – or take the first step in your journey.
It’s never too late to build lasting confidence, acceptance, and positivity in your body. Find your nearest David Lloyd Club to get started.