Five steps to being body confident

First of all I need to clear something up here, there is no right or wrong way to be body confident because it’s something that is individual and personal to you. Body confidence is something that I have definitely struggled with in the past and you don’t just suddenly gain it overnight. We’ve all been there when you don’t feel confident enough to wear that  dress because you’re paranoid about your tummy protruding through or that skirt because you don’t like the look of your legs. A lot of body confidence comes with age as you discover your body shape but it also comes from loving yourself and feeling comfortable in your own skin. So I’m going to share with you 5 things that I’ve learnt and do to gain body confidence.

1.  Exercise. When I exercise it automatically makes me feel better about myself and so much more confident because I feel great on the inside and outside. Whether that be going for a run, a quick gym session, workout routine at home or just  simply walking it doesn’t matter just as long as its some sort of exercise. Some days I know I need to exercise to function properly as I get into this weird mood where I’m all grump and cranky until I’ve got that heart rate up and muscles pumping.

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2. Selfies. Now I know this sounds rather vein but honestly taking selfies really does help with body confidence and anyway why should it be seen as a crime to take photos of yourself!? But its important to remember that when you take these selfies DO NOT criticise yourself, instead point out the things you like about your body and the things you’re proud of because everyone deserves to be proud of who they are.

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3. Surrounding yourself with supportive, loving people. The people around you and those who influence you are so important in terms of confidence. You need people who lift you up and bring out the best in you, which even applies to people on social media. That’s why on Instagram I follow those who inspire, motivate and educate me. For example one of the accounts I actively follow is the amazing and inspiring @iskra who is an Aerireal role model promoting body confidence and embracing every body shape. If you surround yourself with positivity and confidence then this will radiate through you as well.

4. Learn to appreciate but don’t compare. Now this is something that I have only recently mastered and I admit I still struggle to stick to this sometimes. What I mean by learning to appreciate but don’t compare is that you can appreciate other peoples body shape and appearances but it is important not to compare yourself to them and even worse beat yourself up about the fact that you don’t look like them. We’ve all been there and said ‘Ohhh I wish I looked like her/him’ but I’m here to remind you that every single one of us is unique and our uniqueness should be celebrated and not used to compare or make people feel bad about themselves. Once you stop comparing yourself its amazing what this can do to your confidence levels. Now you might be thinking what about all the things on social media though? Well truth is social media can be both an amazing and dangerous platform but it essentially comes down to how you perceive it and how you allow it to influence you. I allow social media to influence me in a positive way and in turn I aim to project this positivity throughout my social media as well. 

5. Wear and keep clothes that fit you. Now I know this sounds kind of stupid and obvious but you know those pair of jeans that you’ve had for ages and are still a little too small but you don’t want to chuck them out because you might get into them one day… just chuck them out! Trust me I’ve been there with my small clothes hoarding syndrome and its definitely not healthy for you. I kept all my size 8/10 clothes for about a year even though they didn’t fit me at all, but I realised this was just me desperately trying to cling onto the body shape I used to have and not embracing the body shape I now have. This was wrong as all I would achieve was wasting 5 minutes of my time trying to squeeze my mermaid thighs into my tight fitting jeans which would then lead to me being upset  and feeling rubbish about myself because they don’t go past my knees. Great confidence comes with feeling great in what you wear and more importantly feeling comfortable in it, so get rid of those clothes that no longer fit as hard and sad as it is I know but its got to be done. Just think of it this way it now frees up more room for better clothes that actually fit!

Now this isn’t an extensive list on how to be body confident by any means, it’s just what I’ve found that works for me along my journey with my body so far. To this day I’m still learning and discovering things about myself and my confidence levels. Of course I have my up days and down days just like everyone else does, but this is all part of the learning process. There will probably never be a definitive day when you could say ‘I am totally, 100% body confident’ but this doesn’t mean you don’t love yourself or that you aren’t body confident at all, it just means you are being true to yourself; like my saying goes Be True Be You.

Topshop Jamie jeans review 

Recently I’ve had a massive revelation in the jeans department because I’ve finally found some jeans that FIT me! I’ve always struggled to find jeans that are A comfortable and B actually go over my mermaid thighs and booty so you can imagine my excitement when I finally found some. Let me introduce you to the Jamie jeans from Topshop. These jeans are not only super comfortable but oh so stretchy as well which is so important for girls with slightly more junk in the trunk. But possibly the best thing about these jeans is that they actually fit on my waist because the most annoying thing about my jeans ever, up until this point, is that I’ve always had to wear a belt. Now I don’t know if it’s just me but belts never actually stayed on my jeans, they sort of have a mind of their own and prefer to ride up your back instead of sitting where they’re supposed to, it’s just not on. So goodbye belts, I don’t need you anymore!

The only problem with these jeans is that they are rather pricey (for a student like me anyway), costing around £40-£46 a pair (well they were actually an early birthday present from my boyfriend’s mum which I’m so so grateful for). I take a size 30/32 (30inch waist and 32inch leg) which would not be possible without the stretchiness because this equates to a size 12 and usually I’m a size 14 in jeans to accommodate for my thighs and booty.

So all in all girls if you have slightly more junk in the trunk, if you want comfortable, stretchy jeans that actually fit on your waist as well as everywhere else then Topshop’s Jamie jeans are your calling!

Be True Be You.

Beauty, size what are they to you?

I just want to start of saying thank you to all those who participated in my questionnaire, I really appreciate the honest and open responses that I received. It was really interesting to gather different peoples perspectives of beauty and size and what it means to them. In todays society we are bombarded with so many people telling us what we should look like or what we should aim to achieve and from the results it is clear to see that this has had a major influence on us.

The first question was ‘what do you think is the perfect size to be in clothing?’ The responses to this question both did and didn’t surprise me as the majority of people answered a size 10/12 which is what I used to aspire to be. But the most interesting answers were those that selected the ‘other’ option. The majority of people who answered ‘other’ explained that there is no perfect size as it depends on who you are. This made me smile when I read this as it really does depend on who you are. I’m a classic example of this as a few years ago if you’d have asked me this question I would have said a size 8/10 but now I would say exactly what was said here; it really depends on you as a person and what you feel comfortable with.

The second question was ‘are you happy with your current size?’ Now the responses to this one were slightly disheartening as the majority of people said no. Following on from this question was ‘if said no to the previous question what size would you want to be in clothing? and the majority of people selected a size 12. This supports the responses from the first question about what is the perfect size and reveals that the majority of people aspire to be  that  ‘perfect size’ themselves. I deliberately put ‘perfect size’ in quotations here because as participants mentioned before there’s no such thing, because A size is individual and B how can there be a ‘perfect size’ if shops aren’t consistently producing clothing to the same measurements. I know from my shopping experience I can be a size 12 in some shops and then a 16 in others! Also I’ve often wondered who decided that these specific measurements were going to be a size 12 or size 14. Why does having a 29 inch waist grant you a size 12?

Moving onto the questions about beauty where it was really eye opening. The first question was ‘what is beauty to you?’ The general answers I received were about feeling confident, comfortable and happy with yourself which I would strongly agree with. Confidence is key, everything from body confidence to studying for exams or even going for a job interview. I mean you would’t walk into a job interview with no confidence at all, act all shy and mutter when you’re asked questions, obviously you’ll be nervous, but how can you expect the employer to put their faith into employing you when you haven’t got the confidence to talk to them? This is the same with body confidence how can you expect society to embrace all shapes and sizes when you aren’t confident with the way you look. Everyone has the right to be confident in themselves and more importantly everyone has the right to love themselves.

The next question was ‘do you think you’re beautiful/handsome’ and as expected the majority of people answered no. This is understandable because not many people like to talk about themselves in a positive light. Many people are quick to highlight their negatives but when faced with flaunting their strengths, we kind of go all shy and modest because we don’t want to appear arrogant. My response to this is its okay to admit that you think you’re beautiful. We are ALL beautiful as beauty doesn’t take a specific form. I realise that you wouldn’t necessarily go up to someone and say ‘I’m beautiful by the way’ but maybe when you’re taking those selfies or looking at yourself in the mirror (as come on everyone does that every now and then even if its for squeezing those spots) try and point out the things that you like about yourself as this will not only boost yourself esteem but also boost your confidence.

And lastly the final two questions were ‘would you change anything about your body’ and ‘if said yes to the previous question what would you change?’ There was no surprise here as the majority by far said yes. The most common answer about what you would like to change was generally slimming down and toning up, especially round the stomach area. I myself have had these same thoughts… I need to be slim and have a flat stomach with wash board abs and my bingo wings need to firmer and not wobble like jelly every time I move them. Well my time thinking these thoughts are over as I’ve been slimmer and basically had a flat stomach but you know what it was so hard to maintain and I was so miserable and grumpy all the time because I hardly ate anything and would feel really guilty if I had even a small square of chocolate, that I choose my now size 14 self with a rather large bum and a little pouch on my belly for my food baby. So I may have rolls when I sit down and my thighs may splatter out onto every chair that I sit on but hey ho I get too much enjoyment out of food and more importantly I choose to lead a happy life. This is not to say that my way is the right way by any means as I am a strong believer that everyone is unique and it is just about finding whats right for you and you’re body. There’s no harm in having goals such as toning up or slimming down, but just remember that they have to be realistic and right for you. If you’re happy with the way you are but feel the need to change for others, PLEASE DON’T! Embrace who you are as there’s no one else like you out there  and remember to Be True Be You.

Every girls secret confessions

We all have secret confessions whether we like to admit it or not.  We’re not all perfect and we all have our little quirks but that’s what makes us unique and what makes us human isn’t it? So here are just a few things that I’m owning up to #confessiontime

To get that perfect selfie there were 10 billion pre-selfies that just didn’t quite make the mark beforehand but you’ll still keep the pre-selfies on your phone anyway until Apple decide to tell you that your storage is almost full (which will be pretty soon no doubt). So this…

Equals this…

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Oh and speaking of selfies, we all love a good snapchat selfie especially that special front-face selfie face when you first open the app. Come on everyone’s done it once in their life but you daren’t post it to your story, only your closest and more importantly most trusted are blessed with this photo. Mine was taken secretly at the hairdressers…

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We love carbs! 🍕🍔🍟They are a simply a must especially around that time of the month if ya get me (but obvs in moderation). We all love a good pizza or sweet treat from time to time and sometimes its just needed and anyway Ben and Jerry’s would be out of business if it wasn’t for us! So those peeps who claim they never eat carbs… pshhht please why ya lying for??

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Come winter time there ain’t no need for leggings because we got a natural remedy for warmth… the growth of leg hair. Now this is something that is forbidden in the summer months but ahh winter is a bit more lenient because who’s gonna see those pale pins anyway. Embrace your inner wooly mammoth!

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Us girls we love to work out and get toning butttttt in reality working out ain’t glamorous and so it shouldn’t be. You’re there to sweat and feel the burn, not prance around with a full face of makeup on and show off your cute gym wear. So those instagram glam workout girls you see barely breaking one sweat drop are far from the real deal. Demonstration from moi is below…

A girls fav outfit is her PJ’s or sweatpants or both in my case. As soon as I get home its daggy time! I don’t see the point in lounging around in jeans and anyway can’t really call that lounging or relaxing when your jeans are digging into your recent food baby. Oh and it gets better when you’re able to finally take your bra off and set them free, now thats when comfort is taken to a whole new level. But if you prefer not to commit to the whole shebang then a sports bra/uni-boob bra is also another fav (now I don’t mean the sports bras you wear for maximum support whilst running, more like the cotton, non wired bad boys).

Talking of clothing, another confession is undewear. Now many guys have mispreconceptions about womens underwear, assuming that we  always wear  dainty matching lingerie, lace, sheer and often not much there (which does not reflect the cost I must add). But I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news here guys… this just ain’t true. Us girls are secretly very fond of our super comfortable super ugly granny pants because A they hold you in and B they’re just too damn comfortable to resist. Every girl owns Bridget Jones style underwear whether they like to admit it or not and if you do manage to wear matching pretty lingerie every day then I bow down to you 👏

This is sort of a general one but every girl has pretended to be on their phone to prevent looking like a loner in public. You witness yourself endlessly scrolling on Instagram in the hope that people will buy your desperate attempt to look preoccupied. It’s alright girl I’ll pretend with you. 

Girls are experts at social media stalking. Now this is something that few girls will ever admit in fear of looking like a right stalker. So if you’re friend spills the beans that they are seeing someone then you can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll know everything about him in about 5 minutes of intensive social media stalking (SMS syndrome). Some people may have a problem with this but doing a background check is just not feesable so this is the next best thing. There’s nothing wrong with looking out for ya girl 😉

Now this one I admit is a little hard to fess up to but once in a girls life you have either tried to sing or recorded yourself singing to see if you sound any good. I remember doing this when I was little and even trying to make my own songs up. I blame this on my love of singstar on ps2. Sorry there’s no video proof but trust me there’s a reason for that. I definitely don’t have a singing career ahead of me. I can also say that I don’t have a future dancing career either despite dancing around my bedroom shaking my booty in the mirror when no one else is around. Whether you dance in your bedroom, dance while hoovering or dance while doing the dishes every girl has had a good shake about and let loose every now and then. 

If you relate to any of these confessions then I’d love for you to comment. Some of them are slightly embarrassing and yes it’s not easy to admit but at the end of the day you’ve got to Be True Be You.