Recently I posted on Instagram about being self-critical after I recorded a video of myself doing burpees.
I realized, sadly, how often I:
- judge my personal appearance
- look in the mirror and immediately have a negative or harsh thought
- look at pictures of myself where I can see a little 'tummy' and think how unattractive I am (examples would be any of the images in this post)
- take a video of my practice and want to delete it, thinking, "I look fat in this!"
- wish my muscles were more toned, or wish I looked differently
Despite my years of practicing yoga, body image and self-esteem are still things I struggle with. It is actually very freeing to acknowledge this!
So, what can I do? What do I do?
I made a list of some of the things I do when I'm in a funk, or I'm feeling particularly harsh and judgmental toward myself.
15 Things You Can Do Today to Help Boost Your Confidence
1. Breathe. Sometimes taking a few deep breaths helps me clear away negativity. An audible exhale and loud sigh can work wonders!
2. Change my outfit. Sounds silly, but if I'm wearing clothes that are tight or uncomfortable, this can make me feel 'gross.' By putting on clothing that is comfortable and flattering, I immediately feel better about my appearance.
3. Eat something nourishing, and make an extra effort to get hydrated. Know that I can't change my whole diet overnight, but small steps make a big difference in how I feel.
4. Spend time with people who appreciate me, understand me for who I am, and lift me up. Vent to a friend about how I'm struggling, or do something fun together to shift my focus in a new direction.
5. Take time away from social media. Comparing myself to others is an exhausting practice. If I am going to be online checking out yogis who inspire me, it helps to focus on following women who have similar body types to mine. @kathyrnbudig and @kinoyoga are two teachers I greatly admire and when I look at their photos, I see how beautiful they are. Instead of obsessing over stick-thin figures, I can choose to embrace my curves and remember that strong, confident women like me are sexy.
6. Write. What's bothering me? What's draining my confidence? Did I make a mistake that I'm dwelling on? Writing down how I'm feeling helps dissolve some of the frustration.
7. Get a haircut. Haircuts always make me feel calm, relaxed, and beautiful ;)
8. Or get a massage. Sometimes when I'm feeling detached from my body, a good massage can help me get grounded again, and gain a new appreciation for my body.
9. Invert. Being upside down makes me feel strong, and boosts my confidence.
10. Take a mental health day away from work.
11. Schedule time for an at-home spa day or Epsom salt bath in the evening.
12. Re-commit to a daily yoga practice.
13. Calendar my workouts for the week, or make a checklist to follow for what I'm eating or drinking (or not eating or drinking). Giving myself structure means I'm more likely to reach my goals and accomplish the tasks I set my mind to.
14. Do a super sweaty, challenging workout. Squats, burpees, pushups, and a run? When I get to the end of all that and realize, holy shit I'm strong enough to do that, I feel a boost in confidence.
15. Step back.
When I really step back and look at myself, I see the truth:
- I am beautiful.
- I am strong.
- I have a muscular body type, and that is OK. In fact, my shape is sexy. It's feminine. My body shape makes me 'me,' and I am proud of that.
- My struggle with self-image is a common struggle for many people, and in that way, I am not alone in my struggle.
- While there will always be 'more' I can do to make my body look a certain way, it's important to love my body as it is, right now. My body is wonderful.
- I really do love my body; sometimes, I just forget. I can forgive myself for that, and move forward, inviting healing.
- Remember, I am more than my body. I am a human. And I am loving, kind, and beautiful in ways that count.
My hope is that this post helps you love your body a little more, and forgive yourself for any times when you've been self-critical or cruel toward your body.
Much love to you!
PS Here are those damn burpees ;)
B U R P E E S !!! 😍🙃🔥 So this is an incredibly humbling post... Because as much progress as I've made, as strong as I feel, and as much as I love myself, when I watch this video, I want to critique myself about how slowly I'm moving and how I could be more powerful, more graceful... More, whatever 🙌 And I just see that jiggle and I'm like, damn, I've got a ways to go! 😉🍑✨ the TRAINER in me wants to say, go faster, go harder, you got this!! No matter what, don't give up. Mind over matter. 💜 The YOGI in me is like, I love you, love the jiggle... be kind to your body, be aware of your breath and your alignment! Be patient. You'll find your way with time and dedication 🙏😘✌️And then I also think of my inspirations like @kevindlo and @ginascarangella and @cassolholm who I've watched do burpees and other WAY crazier exercises ✨ I follow their daily successes and struggles on IG and I realize... For as far as I have to go, I deserve credit for where I AM. I choose to honor myself for how far I have come. I acknowledge how my persistence has brought me here. 💙 I am strong. 🔥 I am beautiful. 😎 I'm grateful for the inspiring athletes and coaches out there who post real shit on a daily basis and who share honest and courageous advice on how to achieve your goals. And who live it. Who breathe it. Who sacrifice to make their dreams a reality. Let's all keep encouraging each other. 💥🙏✌️ PS THAT CELEBRATION DANCE AT THE END THO 😂😍💃🕺 #burpees #what #holyshit #burpeessuck #video #workout #workoutmotivation #workoutvideo #squats #personaltrainer #issa #core #corestrength #abs #absday #cardio #bodyweighttraining #bodypositive #yoga #tattoos #tuesday #aliveinthefire
Photos in this post by Kate Donaldson (1, 3), Chris Archer of ArcherShoots (2), Stephanie Sheveland (4, 5), Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography (6, 8), and Ken Johnson of CKC Image (7).