Being body confident personally is more about tweaking what you can and accepting what you can't, and above all, enjoying being you, right now.
I was invited by Selected Femme to an incredible event last week, The Gloss Look The Business, which took place in The RDS. The first speaker Lucy Kellaway gave a really interesting talk on how clothing in work change perceptions and to treat it as such. It never ceases to amaze me how much wearing certain clothes seismically changes my confidence levels but what I also believe is that it starts underneath. Below are a few tips I have learned to work towards feeling more comfortable in your own skin.
Take Action and Invest in Realistic Treatment
Whilst I believe there are lots of things we have to accept, there are other things that can be helped along. I have had stretch marks along my thighs and hips for over two decades. Over the course of those twenty years I tried everything I could - bio oil, dry skin brushing, massage techniques, and various treatments- with no noticeable change at all. Technology has moved on and I suppose with my wedding coming up in May I decided I'd like to take it a step up to see if it would have any effect. Velashape is a treatment which combines suction, massage, infrared light energies and radio frequency. I decided to book in and committed to a six week course. I was very upfront about my expectations and I was thrilled when they genuinely said they thought a good result could be achieved. My therapist Ana in Edvard and Pink was superb and although it's not uncomfortable she used great pressure and really maximised our sessions. You can read more about the treatment and find out prince information here !
I had a course of six sessions over a two month period and I can honestly say, finally, something happened. It didn't obliterate them but it lightened some of the more intense ones. I am so pleased I did it. I used to be very self conscious about having bare legs. Now I'm a little more relaxed about things. If you would like to try it out for yourself if you mention my name they will give you a 20% discount off a course also - because they're lovely like that!!
My point is if there is a solution available that's genuinely going to make you happy with realistic expectations, then I say go for it. In terms of home care to supplement I used the White Lotus Micro needling Stretch mark pack. The lotion is really high in antioxidants which supported my skin's healing after treatment. I also now body brush daily and apply a few drops of the lotion as part of my routine.
Stay within your fashion comfort zone
Every season there is a new trend brought along to challenge your wardrobe. Whilst I've never been a fan of the concept of fast fashion for environmental reasons, I also don't like the insecurity it brings to my wardrobe. At this stage I know my comfort zone - and it's failsafe options, a great pair of jeans, an Aline skirt, something off the shoulder, and nothing too high necked, and that's really it. I think confidence comes from knowing what you like and sticking with it regardless of what's in or out. It may sound very safe but personally I feel far more confident in my comfort zone, that I would in something supposedly very cool, that I didn't feel comfortable in. A simple dress like this one, some sparkle and a nice heel will always work for me.
Maintain some form of healthy eating and exercise.
I'm the last person in the world who would ever recommend any form of diet but what I will say is that I know on a very basic level what I feel terrible after eating. Generally if takeaways, too many coffees, or eating on the go and not cooking at home, happens consistently - it affects how I feel physically. Equally I find exercising, not just for aesthetic reasons, has a massive effect on de-stressing me. I've tried so many different forms of exercise over the years from personal trainers, to yoga and everything in between. Currently I go to a group class for pilates and I find that's working. Booking in twice a week is managable for me and overall I feel proud when I manage to beat the urge to keep pressing snooze and skip my class. I suppose keeping a tab on both of those areas makes me feel more in control and has a great knock on effect on my confidence. I'm not at the stage where I'm breaking any records or anything close to being a gym nut but doing a little regularly definitely makes me feel better.
Know That it's an Inside Job
As I get older and have come out of my shell a little more, I have realised that confidence is an inside job. What you are telling yourself in your mind will have more of an effect than anything else. I, like many people, have gone through phases where the voice inside my head is like a bully and sometimes my inner monologue can be really awful. Through lots of work on myself over the years I have managed to tame that voice and I am gently replacing it with more neutral tones. I used to panic going to events, which are very necessary for my work, and be so nervous before filming to the point that I was almost willing a natural disaster so I could get out of doing the job. Gradually as I have come through more and more challenges, even mini ones, my confidence has really grown and this is automatically reflected in how I hold myself, and dress. A few key books that personally helped would be You Can Heal Your Life, Quiet, and The Highly Sensitive Person.
If in Doubt, Add a Heel
I remember watching a video on youtube of a covershoot from a magazine where the image they were taking was just the models face but as the camera panned down she was in the most amazing pair of heels. Then stylist said that even though you couldn't see them, being in heels changed her facial expression. I'm all for being practical and live in my Converse and flat shoes but if ever I'm going to an event and want to feel a little bit more pulled together - even if I'm just in jeans and a t-shirt - a heel does the trick. I bought these sandals from Michael Kors in Brown Thomas in both the black and the silver over eighteen months ago and I wear them all the time. Although they have straps which makes them feel secure, it comes quite low down on the ankle which is far more flattering than something cutting you straight across.
Confidence, like everything important in life, is a continuous work in progress but as I said making little tweaks, changing what I could and minding my mind, has made the most enormous difference for me.
If you like the jewellery featured here head over to my >Instagram < where I have a competition running to win all three pieces!
I hope you found these tips helpful?
Till next week,