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To ask for tips on becoming body positive and improving self image?

26 replies

rnamechangesixty · 10/12/2019 19:49


I am 22 and have spent the last 6-7 years hating myself and my body regardless of what weight I am. I've been a range of sizes and weights but my whole life seems to be ruled by negative thoughts about my body, yo-yo diets and insecurity. Does anyone have any tips to becoming more self confident? I am a size 16 now and have lost a stone over the last few months but I just feel absolutely disgusting.

Also i am a real comfort eater and I see food as support

Thanks xxx

OP posts:
Mummytea24 · 10/12/2019 20:05

Contact House of Colour they will help you to wear the right clothes & colours which will boost your confidence. Once you are happy in yourself you might find weight loss easier.

Orangeblossom78 · 10/12/2019 20:13

Also i am a real comfort eater and I see food as support-

Instead of dieting maybe a good way forward to look at thoughts around this. I think there is CBT for example. I struggle with the same btw...

and what you can so instead. Maybe have a nice bath / listen to music

But as mentioned, if you are having negative thoughts that can trigger binge eating, so feeling more positive in general might help!

I am also trying to find exercise I enjoy and to boost mood, rather than a 'weight loss' thing.

Thingsdogetbetter · 10/12/2019 20:18

Weightlifting. I started just to tone up/loose weight. Now don't care about how I look, just how much stronger I'm getting. Have stopped 'judging' other women's looks too, just compare whether they're stronger than me or now now. Hated exercise and sweating before. Now don't care my foundation (only make up i wear) melts off and my spots and wrinkles show and my face is bright red and sweaty.

Started off feeling all insecure about the size 8, skinny 18 year olds in lycra, now I'm smug about the fact I'm lifting more than them!

Highly recommend it for appreciating your body and the wonders it can do!

Orangeblossom78 · 10/12/2019 20:20

Something I try and think of if I feel bad about myself is also what your body can do rather than always how it looks. When you have given birth, survived emergency surgery for example, you appreciate it more for just being alive. I also try and think about body respect and acceptance rather than positivity at times.

Trumpleton · 10/12/2019 20:44

You could look up BodyPosiPanda on Instagram. She writes about diet culture, how to love your body, be more body confident etc.
She has also written a book (but I've not read it)
I am an old cynic but find her refreshing!

Orangeblossom78 · 10/12/2019 21:45

The book is good- about her recovery from eating disorder. I picked it up one day in a charity shop. It is called Body positive power.

CAG12 · 10/12/2019 21:52

Another vote for weightlifting. Thinner does not equate to stronger/better. You'll really appreciate what you can do

Maltesefalcon · 10/12/2019 22:08

Thingsdogetbetter I'm a size 8 and always envy the heavy lifters as I'm such a weed!

speakout · 10/12/2019 22:09

I would seek counselling.

bridgetreilly · 10/12/2019 22:11

Surround yourself with good people (in real life and online) who will tell you how beautiful you are and how good you look. Come and hang out on the What Are You Wearing Today thread over in Style and Beauty for a while and we'll help!

Learn what clothes really suit you and make you happy. A great outfit does wonders for your self-esteem.

Remember all the amazing and extraordinary things your body is doing every single minute to keep you alive. Your body's external appearance is the least interesting and important thing about it. Practice valuing your body for what it can do, rather than what it looks like.

mummmy2017 · 10/12/2019 22:16

This is not for a man but for you.
Go treat yourself to new underwear.
Chuck out all you old knickers, and enjoy your body.

TinMansBrain · 10/12/2019 22:18

Exercise everyday, except one. Get your endorphins really pumping. Moderate activity is best - swimming, walking, housework, gardening.

Eat less crap. I don't view junk food as a treat, rather as a part of my over all diet, which I will eat when I feel I need it.

Look in the mirror daily and admire your curves.

Works for me!

Bluntness100 · 10/12/2019 22:21

Also i am a real comfort eater and I see food as support

As a pp said, you need to deal with this mindset.

I'd also agree exercise. You'd be astounded at the difference it makes to your body. Tones everything up, you look fitter and you can see you exercise, it doesn't take long to get fit and in shape.

Find something you like though, weights, running, elliptical, classes, rowing, whatever, find something you like, or vary it, and you'll find it addictive and motivating as you see the results.

MereDintofPandiculation · 10/12/2019 22:29

Smile whenever you look in a mirror. You'll always look better with a smile on your face. I know it sounds silly and as if it couldn't possibly make a difference!

Batinahat · 10/12/2019 22:30

Edit your social media feeds - remove all the accounts that bombard you with images that make you feel worse about yourself and start following fat positive/body positive accounts. I agree with previous posters who have recommended Body Posi Panda - her Instagram really helped to change the way I think about myself and my body. I also recommend Your Fat Friend and Pixie Nutrition on Instagram. One word of caution - "body positive" means different things to different people and increasingly has come to mean the onus is on you to do the work, to accept yourself, to change your ideas about your body. Originally the movement was fat activism which is about recognising that society is prejudiced against certain body types and we are all internalised fat-phobics because of the messages and images we see all the time. I guess there's a danger that body positive just comes to be another area where we can feel we are failing or coming up short. But yeah check out the accounts I mentioned - they are on the right tracks in my opinion.

Keepmewarm · 10/12/2019 22:32

Yoga for me. It makes me feel feel physically and mentally good.

Batinahat · 10/12/2019 22:35

Just popped back to say that if you like podcasts then Megan (Body Posi Panda) was on Fearne Cotton's podcast Happy Place and it was a really good episode. She talked about techniques for learning bit by bit to accept your body and embrace it. I really liked the bit about dealing with hating seeing pictures of yourself. I also wanted to say that some people say that for them it is too unrealistic to be "body positive" but that being "body neutral" is a better goal - to just take the focus away from the body and let it be just neutral, nothing. Focus on other aspects of yourself that aren't about how you look or the shape or size of your body. Jameela Jamil takes this approach and speaks about it a lot x

lisasimpsonssaxophone · 10/12/2019 22:54

Don’t talk about your size/weight with anyone else. Ever.

I adopted this personal policy a few years ago and it’s astounding what a difference it has made to my self esteem and wellbeing. I realised my weight/size is none of anyone else’s business and I don’t have to explain my food choices or anything else to anyone!

I found so often with women at work, friends or family I would get drawn into these self-flaggelating conversations about how much weight we all wanted to lose/what we ate today/whether we were going to the gym tonight and not only is it boring as fuck, it’s also really not good for anyone’s mental state. Now if colleagues start that chat around me I just don’t join in, I leave them to it. I am so much happier for it.

Also agree with editing your social media feed, hiding any weight-loss ads that pop up (the algorithms will eventually learn to stop showing them to you) and not reading any women’s magazines.

Find an exercise you enjoy and learn to do it because it feels good and it’s fun, not to burn yesterday’s extra helping of ice cream.

And if you can, cut toxic people out of your life who make you feel bad about yourself. We’ve all got them!

NotAVirtue · 10/12/2019 23:02

Listen to some Lizzo. The woman is a legend.

KittyWindbag · 11/12/2019 00:16

if you’re on Instagram follow some fat activists, some body positive plus size women and some fat fashion bloggers.

My fave are : honeykinny, Danielle vanier, Callie thorpe, bodyposipanda, Bethany Rutter, gabifresh, Sophie Hagen.

Also follow dr Joshua Wolrich, a truthful, no bullshit (fit) NHS doctor who talks sense about health bodies and the fake shit around appearance and clean eating.

Delete things that make you feel bad about yourself. Call people out who say things that make you feel bad about yourself.

Read up in mindful and intuitive eating. I have a toxic relationship with food and I’m still coming through the process now. Treat yourself kindly. Don’t talk to yourself in a manner that you wouldn’t dream of using toward a friend or loved one.

KittyWindbag · 11/12/2019 00:16

YES listen to Lizzo.

KittyWindbag · 11/12/2019 00:19

Do you do any exercise? It’s a sensitive topic for some. I only embraced it in the last couple of years. I picked running. I do it five times a week. Very badly, I’m not good at it and I’m not interested in training for any marathons or anything. I plug in a podcast and I do 30mins a day. It’s not about weight loss, but it has improved my mental health enormously. I now ENJOY the physical activity. Someone once said you should exercise like a dog, as in, intuitively, when your body craves movement. It works.

Sweetchildofmine19 · 11/12/2019 06:50

My weight has fluctuated loads over the past few years and I know it can really knock your confidence. My top tips would be:

  1. Exercise. Not only can it help you lose weight if you wanted to but it will make you feel mentally so much better. Just make sure to find something you enjoy (I’ve read a few posters mention weightlifting and I agree this is definitely one to try).

2. Treat yourself to a few new flattering outfits. Doesn’t need to cost much but just take the time to find 4 or 5 things that you really feel good in. For example a classic little black dress, a dressy pair of jeans, some cute tops. It’s great to have clothes you can always fall back on that you know make you feel good.
3. Don’t do any crazy fad diets that really restrict your calories. It’s pointless in the long run and a lot of them are very unhealthy. If you are looking to lose weight the best thing to do to start is add in the exercise and make better food choices (loads of info on nhs about good foods).

Whatever you choose to do, good luck with it and remember and always stand tall and smile - that alone will help you feel confident and make you look great.
Orangeblossom78 · 11/12/2019 08:12

Also there are some good books on binge eating if that is a problem for you. One called Brain over binge I have heard of. Maybe a helpful thing.

Orangeblossom78 · 11/12/2019 08:12

There was a good thread on here a week or so ago about healthy eating without weight loss also which was helpful

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