I posted a photo of me in a bikini on Instagram the other day with a caption about what a bikini body is. I also shared parts from that day on snapchat. Though i recieved countless compliments both on Instagram and snapchat, there were way too many comments about people saying they weren't confident enough to do the same.
Every single one of us probably had a moment in our life where we wish we were as confident as Beyonce (or your equivalent of a super confident, amazing, beautiful, power house of a woman!).
I know it's a long, hard journey to feel completely comfortable and confident in your own body, especially when other people are trying to tell you why you shouldn't be allowed to love your body as it is. I do know how it feels to doubt yourself, to feel ugly, to feel like you're not allowed to do certain things because of the way you look. I didn't wake up and change, it took a lot of time and a lot of effort.
I don't have a magic potion that will make all your feelings of doubt disappear, but I can share some steps that I did, which hopefully will make it easier and in time, make you more confident!
1. Compliment Yourself
Everyone finds it so easy to point out their flaws. But how many times do we list what we love about our bodies? Everyday I would look at myself and pick out at least one thing I loved about myself. It didn't matter if I could pick out 15 things one cause and just 2 the next, as long as I had one quality i love that day, it was enough. Eventually that becomes normal and you'll look for the positive more than you would the negatives and it changes the way you feel about yourself.
2. Be Naked (or in your underwear)
The first time I heard this I thought it was stupid because why would anyone look at themselves naked?
But seriously, why shouldn't you look at yourself naked? It's your body, it's beautiful, and you should look at and love every bit of it. As long as you're alone (or with someone you can be naked around) be naked (or in your undies). You'll get used, you will love it!
3. Make small changes
Everyone's taken different steps to get over what makes them scared, nervous, exposed etc
I couldn't bring myself to wear a bikini until i was 18 because i was convinced i was too fat. I bought my first proper bikini when I was 17 and though that was massive to me, I took little steps each time to go from completely covering myself in shorts and a T-shirt with the bikini underneath to eventually wearing it all by itself on a beach.
You don't have to dive in the deep end, sit in the shallow end until you're ready to swim!
4. Wear Underwear You Love
Any woman would know the power of good, matching underwear. No one needs to see it, but when you know it's there, you feel pretty damn good, don't you?
Buy whatever underwear you always wanted to put on, who cares if it's lacey or neon or or has flowers on it or if it's made of less or more material that you're used to. Buy a whole bunch, wear it and dance around in your room.
5. Take Photos Of Yourself
Any photos you like. If you're used to taking lots of selfies or photos of yourself - then good! Keep doing you!
When i started Instagram - snapchat too - i was taking more selfies and photos of myself than I ever did in my life. I started feeling way more confident with myself. Even if I had an unsightly pimple or bags under my eyes, stomach rolls or my bum looked weird in a pose, I never felt as bad as I used to. This was probably the best piece of advice i've ever recieved. And it might be the best for you too.
6. Model Your Bikini - For You
No one ever actually told me to do this, but i think it's so similar to the looking at yourself or wearing the underwear you like point.
when I started buying more bikinis, or when i had a new piece of clothing I loved but was too scared to wear, i'd put it on like 10 times at home, just for me to see, before i would wear it out.
I would look at myself from every angle, check what everything felt like and what could go wrong if I did wear it out. And after a while, I didn't feel scared. I was comfortable.
I still do this sometimes, i'll wear a new bikini in front of the mirror like 5 times before I wear it out, as long as it makes me feel comfortable, I'm going to keep doing it.
7. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF
We all have bad habits, but this is definitely the worst one (that's why the it's in red and a larger font)
Everyone's done it, hell i did it all the time. But we need to learn to stop. We see perfectly posed for photos - some edited - of girls with lean bodies and tanned skin and bleached blonde hair and we want to compare their bodies to ours, then come to the conclusion that we can't wear a bikini because of it?
That's a disgusting way to think. And anyone who tells you that you aren't good enough is not someone you need in your life (ESPECIALLY if it's your family or friends). We need to realise that one photo in a magazine can come from a role of 1000 others that are all prepped and posed, photoshopped and airbrushed to be made "perfect"
Even us regular folk can do the same thing. You'll only see the social media worthy shots, not all the blooper photos.
Just for you guys, i'm showing you how the other photos turned out that day. See how it's not all "perfect" or posed for. Sometimes i've got rolls or I get bloated or my face looks silly or the angle is unflattering. And that's what happens to every single person out there. So don't compare yourself to a photo that was selected out of a butch, possibly edited and put online to the way you look in the mirror.
Bikini featured: "CARA" BANDEAU REVERSIBLE BIKINI [LONG ISLAND LEMON / LYON LILAC] from AUQUA SWIMWEAR
I would hope that any one who is struggling with body image or confidence issues finds something to do that helps you get over the hurdle.
Don't pull yourself down or believe that you're not good enough - every single one of you is beautiful in your own way and you are definitely good enough!
There's a large difference between the attitudes of people who practice yoga and people who "do yoga". I'm not trying to hate on anyone for their choice of practice (or lack thereof) but I find that I was once someone who would say I "do yoga" and I would mean just that. I did yoga. I didn't practice it.
Yoga does not mean you MUST have a spiritual practice, do fancy asanas or meditate everyday. And it also does not mean that you MUST be extremely flexible or be a vegan or have fancy yoga clothes.
The problem, I realised, is that there are people on both ends who are trying to dictate what yoga is or isn't and why their practice is superior to someone else's.
I don't believe in just trying to learn fancy poses so I can get a video or a photo. That's silly to me and at the end of the day, I feel like doing that alone means you miss out on all the amazing other parts of having a regular yoga practice.
One thing I've heard is that some people prefer to just do the fancy poses because "Yoga isn't for everyone" In the same way exercise and healthy eating isn't for everyone, right?
Anyone and everyone can start yoga. I would definitely encourage it regardless of what you do you in your life right now.
Find a studio with the form of yoga you're interested in learning, a teacher you like, a class you enjoy and make the time to go. Having a proper practice is so much for fulfilling and rewarding than just doing a few asanas here and there.
When i "did yoga" it was hard. I wanted to achieve certain asanas even when my body wasn't ready for it. Then i'd get upset if I couldn't do it, I'd be frustrated if I expected progress when there was none and I'd be so focused on learning a specific asana and forgetting all the ones I already knew how to do.
Here's an example of something I can accept now that previously, I would have been upset with. These are both photos of me attempting Ardha Chandra Chapasana (Sugar Cane Pose). In the photo on the left, I was tight, had leg doms, hadn't stretched, it felt almost impossible to lift my back leg even higher that it already was.
But after giving myself 10 minutes of stretching, (I stick to doing Elle Fit's Get Bendy to loosen up) the result I achieved was the photo on the right. Of course, the heat helped me get warm and loose as well, but stretching has it's benefits.
I know these things happen and I let myself take the time to get better at it and give my body what it needs. But in the past, I would have just been upset and tried to force myself to do better without stretching or letting myself warm up.
I'm not saying yoga is easy for me now, but it's definitely a lot more enjoyable and a lot less stressful. Holding some asanas, finding my balance and flexibility, letting time and gravity help, it's all things I understand and I don't rush anymore.
Now progress comes easier, faster, and I don't count my "success" by whether or not I can hold an asana or how long it took me to learn it.
When you learn to enjoy the process instead of learning a specific asana, you have a much better practice.
Details for the 66 Audio Headphones Giveaway are at the end of the post!
It might not be on everyone's mind but if you've been following me, chances are you know how important staying active is - even on holiday.
Having a holiday, taking a break, just wanting to relax and do nothing is completely fine. It is 100% okay to not exercise while you are on holiday. Do what you want to do and make yourself happy, that's more important than making sure you fit in every workout, when it comes to being active, you should want to do it, not force yourself into it.
But to me, adding in 30 to 90 minutes of being active, even on holiday, that doesn't "ruin" anything. I can be on holiday and still workout and I'll have a fantastic time.
I don't like falling off track, losing momentum or just getting lazy in general. It makes it harder to start again, makes me lose progress and it just upsets me in the end when I feel sore after what used to be considered an "easy workout".
As long as I am physically and mentally able to, I will stay active.
So for my the whole 5 weeks (3 weeks in Australia, 1 week before when a friend visited and 1 week after when we're celebrating my granddad's 80th birthday), what did I do?
I stayed active
What you should know first is that I stayed with friends the whole time, not at a hotel. I find that staying at hotel kind of makes it easier as they usually have a gym - and god are hotel gyms amazing because they are pretty much always empty!
So if you're travelling and staying in hotel, that's your answer right there. Hotel Gym!
But if you're not staying in a hotel, there's a few things that may help.
Outfit: Cassandra Anne Between The Lines Crop and Fine Lines Shorts
I'm feeling bloated and lazy. Snack on fruit, remember to eat your carbs - i like to stay away
from as much dairy, eggs and meat as I can so I had vegan food almost every meal and while I
was away made me feel absolutely amazing!
(and how good does my Deconstructed Sushi Bowl look!)
So let's be honest now, these aren't any amazing, mind-blowing tips. They are just tips. And if you wanted to get active while you're travelling you would have thought of them yourself too.
For a lot of us (and myself included) we tend to just go straight into thinking it's too much of a hastle, it's too much effort, it's just too hard to workout and travel at the same time. I don't doubt it can be sometimes, but if you have the time, the energy and the health, why not try out some new things in the new city you're in!
Who doesn't love a giveaway?!
I spent 3 weeks in Australia and the whole time, I had my 66 Audio BTS Sport headphones with me - or at least in my bag if they weren't on me just in case i need it! (especially when I was doing all that walking and bodyweight exercises at the park!)
I've had these headphones for a while now (remember seeing them in my workout videos?) and because 66 Audio is so kind, they suggested doing a giveaway for the exact set I love using so much!
So if you're living in Australia (or have an Aussie address), you're already eligible to win a set!
So get your entries in by then and the winner will be announced on Monday, 18th April at 12pm AEST.
The winner will be picked based on the answer I like best, BUT if i'm stuck between 2 (or most) answers, the winner will be picked based on whether or not they tagged friends in the post!
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