My twitter timeline seems full of #bodyconfidenceweek but I'm not sure who exactly decided that it was... answers on a postcard please.
2013 has been a year of changes for me, as I've started to take health and fitness more seriously. This has led to changes in my body. The year has challenged me personally as to my understanding of body confidence, and I've questioned health and fitness beliefs that I used to hold strong.
The message I seem to hear from body confidence promoters is that we should love our bodies no matter what. No matter how healthy or unhealthy. No matter what weight. No matter what body shape is trendy in the media.
Certainly, we all need to ease up on ourselves, and one of my most popular posts was entitled ' Real Thighs - What do they really look like?' and focused on accepting our thighs as fine as they are. They are functional, and can be fine whether they're soft, firm, scarred, tattooed or wrinkled.
Our expectations of our bodies need to be relaxed somewhat, to account for the photoshopped and unrealistic images that surround us.
However, I think I used to use the idea of seeking body confidence in whatever shape we are was a bit of a protective barrier. If I allowed myself to be truely dissatisfied with my body, then I was accepting a failure to keep it happy and healthy. I was setting myself up to feel a sense of failure within my body, and tolerating the laziness that I'd grown to 'enjoy'.
Was I blaming the media, and hiding in my food addictions within a fear of change (and of course the associated failure)?
I think my body confidence now is based within an unwillingness to feel 'hate' or 'sadness' towards my body, but also a belief that I can improve it, and treat it well. I nourish it now, and look after it, and know that it will repay the favour.
I would hate for any person to waste energy hating their bodies, or feel shame. But I'd also hate for people to not consider the options and potential that lies within all of our bodies for strength and health. I'm only sad it took me till turning 30 to figure out what would make me happy with my own body.
I've never enjoyed my body more since I started investing a bit of time and effort into it. Body confidence has come from taking pride in the effort I've made, and yes, to some degree from losing weight. I had some confidence before, but I have much more now.
Where does your body confidence come from?