So I sat down to write this blog post after listening to one of Steven Bartlett’s podcasts. This week’s one was with Mel C or ‘Sporty Spice’ as I’m sure many of you will know her as! In the episode Mel talks about the ‘harsh reality of being in the world’s biggest girl band’ and one area that really struck a cord with me was her battle with body confidence, eating disorders and depression. 

I know this is a heavier topic than what I would normally write about but when I work with my clients I often hear the negative self-talk around body image and body confidence that really upsets me. It’s really been a catalyst for what I do after my own struggles with my body image and one of my biggest goals is to help others fall in love with their body no matter their shape or size. 

In the episode Mel talks about how there were certain triggers that led to her issues with her body image, the majority stemming from the comments from the media. Those detrimental words in print or on screen and their damaging effect have taken her years to heal from.  

She spoke about turning to exercise no matter what. It was a form of release. Running to almost run away yet be really in the present moment. Training to the point of pain giving a strange form of satisfaction.  A fixation with her body and what she ate, going from completely excluding food groups to then binge eating and catching herself in the moment with complete upset and horror. 

Me and Body Confidence

Me & Body Confidence

Over the last few years I’ve been healing from a lot of my own issues with body confidence. I shared this story at my event earlier this year and it’s something that drives me in a lot of what I do. About a year ago I had flashbacks to my childhood. I was presented with a picture of a younger me, around 10 or 11 years old. I saw the picture and immediately became overwhelmed and began to cry. I looked at this younger girl and saw a deep unhappiness in her. And that’s when memories came back. At this age I remember secretly eating. I was covering some form of emotional pain and turned to food as comfort. And much like Mel, I would then catch myself and feel a huge disgust in myself. At that age I looked different to those around me. I was tall, bigger than my peers, wore adult size clothing, had darker skin and wild hair. I was extremely lost at a time where representation was completely unheard of. 

This point led to a deep obsession with my weight which has followed me through my life. I often yo yo’d in my weight, I turned to the scales for some form of gratification, or looked at the dress size on my clothing. I had a strict routine of going to the gym, swimming, doing yoga. I realise now how much of an obsession it was. And what made it harder was as I went through different periods in my life, new milestones, I would notice a new change in my body which again knocked by body confidence.

It’s only about a year ago that I realised what had been going on. I caught myself and thought this has to change. I deserve to experience body confidence and I need to change my perception of my body. I’ve been slowly working on my self talk, self love and appreciation for the wonderful things my body does. Dressing and styling it to represent me is also such a powerful tool that shouldn’t be underestimated!

This is why when I work with my clients I encourage a positive environment where you begin to love your body, learn how to make it look and feel its absolute best and how to be uniquely you through the process to body confidence.

Body Confidence & Image Facts

In a You Gov study:

  • Most Britons share the view that the media is promoting unattainable perceptions of body image for both men and women. More than eight in ten (83%) think this applies to women, and two-thirds (64%) say this goes for men.
  • Just 5% think that fashion companies have had a positive impact on the perception of body image.
  • Half (51%) of Britons report feeling under pressure to have the perfect body. Women (61%) are significantly more likely than men (40%) to say this.

Body Confidence Tips

Here are a few of my personal tips of managing your relationship with your body:

  1. Managing what you expose yourself to – the media you consume and who you surround yourself with can make all of the difference in how you view yourself both internally and externally 
  1. Therapy – I didn’t have therapy when I went through struggles with my body but I have had it after and I know it would have really supported me if I had it at the time
  1. Get to know and love your body! Learn how to make it feel beautiful. That doesn’t have to be through working with a Personal Stylist but through your own exploration of styles of clothing and colours that express who you are. 
  1. Meditation and affirmations – speaking kind words to yourself! We can’t control how others speak to us but we can learn to speak positive words to ourself.
  1. Food – I absolutely love it! I now have a healthy relationship with food and encourage balance. Getting to know how different foods work for you and your body and learning to let go of a diet culture can be extremely helpful.

If you would like to reach out and talk more about Body Confidence with me I’d love to hear from you.

Love to you all

Neelam x

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