looking out to a boat on the river

Asking Myself Why Do I Do These Things?

Since my last post about realising where you’re supposed to be, I felt another reflective post coming along so here goes…

You’re known as the happy, giddy kind of person. But guess what, you are allowed to deflate those emotions from time to time. I guess it’s only normal. Yeah, I’ve felt down on many occasions, never seriously health wise but it still counts. It doesn’t seem to all come from negative experiences but the thought of being the best person I can be.

Wondering, “Should I be like them?”

Unfortunately for me, being that ‘best kind of person’ brings a lot of self-comparison. No matter how many times someone tells you you’re perfect or amazing, you find that something that you wonder if you should be or be better at. It’s a destructive path to follow and can cause so much damage to your mind. But if you do your best to push away all of the negative energy, you’re in control of your happiness in a way you never thought you could be.

I know how bad it is to become so obsessive what ifs, especially when you just found a way to stop being so caught up on those thoughts. And I also think about what someone could’ve had. Seeing pictures thinking someone looks perfect and trying to live up to that. And what’s worse, I keep going back to look. Why?!

One minute I’m confident, the next I’m wondering what else I can find that I don’t like. The thing is, there are so many great things about us all. As many of us that there are on the planet, I still think there’s something that makes each one of us different. And that is exactly what I need to remember – to embrace who I am and everything that’s part of me.

Becoming so lonely in my own thoughts.

Do you think keeping every single thought to yourself is healthy? It isn’t. Sometimes you need to let of steam. Anyone that knows me, knows I’m not shy of a good rant. But I like to think there’s reasoning behind them… or at least a few of them eh? For instance, when people keep going down the same route. You work yourself up so much and then you realise that it’s down to them to deal with it. You can only be there as a shoulder to cry on to try and be the wise person you hope others perceive you to be.

Even the people closest to be but get a surprise if they heard some of the, let’s say “daft” thoughts inside my head. But my boyfriend usually picks up the signs. He’s so used to how I can be different kinds of quiet, a smile that shows I don’t really want to smile, or the want to scream into my pillow. There’s nothing quite like having your own little councillor. I don’t even say that sarcastically. He’s sat through so much my misguided thoughts. Not only has he listened, he’s offered ways to direct me into a happier mind.

Thinking about not being part of a big friendship group…

You have never been the most popular and sometimes you feel like you’re alone. So many people come in and out of your life then you hit a point where you realise this is the part where everyone stays. I’m a big believer in that, who ever is supposed to stay in your life will stay. And the ones who aren’t will leave if you don’t decide to leave before them already.

I can count my friends on one hand. Sounds sad? But it how I prefer it. A smaller circle of friends is so much better for me. And them too are all different in their own ways. That’s what I love about them. Now I say it, I see why I should love myself more. Popularity doesn’t give you the greatest amount of happiness on earth. Creating fun memories that you’ll remember forever is what’ll make you happy.

Throughout all of this, I see how much prettier and ambitious some girls are going to be. I suppose the only person who’s stopping me from being those things is myself. Maybe I need to see the beauty in the little perks I have and remember all of the things I never thought I’d accomplish and have done so.

silhouette of woman in the night time

3 Things to Remember When You’re Lacking Body Confidence Again

Are you lacking body confidence again? Does it feel like you were just right on track then suddenly you’re back to square one for the hundredth time? Well, if that’s you then I’m completely with you. It wasn’t so long ago that I told myself to be nothing but me and be happy in the body I’m in. People still say, “Oh there’s nothing wrong with you”. But you see everything that’s wrong with you.

1. The numbers on the scales aren’t the most important thing.

I stopped weighing myself for months… until today. I seen a number that I didn’t want to see on the little piece of paper that prints out on the scales in the gym. However, this time, rather than keeping it in my purse and always looking at it, I scrunched it up and put it in the bin. I always used to think people went to the gym to lose weight. But it isn’t. And I’m nowhere near to being overweight so why do I still a problem when I see the numbers?

The reason why I go to the gym is to stay as toned as I can. And to just keep it. Some weeks I go more than others, and that’s perfectly fine. My problem is, I’ll see someone who’s around the same size as me or maybe even slightly taller, and I’ll think I’ll look better if I way around that same number. Telling myself that seems so bizarre now I’m typing it out and listening to the thought again in my head.

2. Love your own body rather than loving the idea of having somebody else’s.

Every body is different. We’re all our own shape and size. It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others when we catch them from a distance in an outfit you wish you’d look good in. But why can’t you look good in it? You look at the mannequins but remember they’re not even real. You see Instagram models but remember they’re all edited to look the way they do. Just because you’re an ideal weight doesn’t mean to say that you don’t have problems when it comes to lacking body confidence.

I’ve spent some occasions crying before getting ready because I don’t like the way I look in a dress, or I think a certain colour jeans make my legs look bigger. It might sound so silly to some people but it’s true. The same goes for worrying about bumping into people and always seeming to look your worst. I feel like that happens an awful lot when I’m with my boyfriend and we see someone he knows.

3. You’re so much more than just a body.

We’re human beings. Our bodies are a huge part of us inside and out. So remember that there’s beauty inside too. You don’t have to have a beautiful body to do beautiful things. And to be honest, there’s always someone that finds you beautiful if when you’re lacking body confidence that is well and truly needed. You begin to realise how much you’re punishing yourself. It plays with your emotions in so many ways.

My boyfriend tells me I’m gorgeous, beautiful, lovely, etc. whether it’s from a good morning message to him telling me out of the blue how he thinks I look today. Last last week for example, I got dressed for work then I went downstairs to have some breakfast. My hair and makeup wasn’t done but he said, “You look nice today. Not that you don’t every day.” Inside, he makes me feel warm and loved but I still reply, “Don’t say that. I’m not even ready yet.” But then I think, he loves me for me regardless of my body or my emotions I’m feeling from lacking body confidence.

I really hope you’ll tell yourselves these three things day. And remember, even the people who you think look perfect, know what it can be like when it comes to lacking body confidence.

How have you been feeling about your body confidence recently?

Feeling Good About Yourself Starts with You

Since my last post, I’ve realised so much more about body confidence. It’s time to realise that feeling good about yourself is so important. I told you all that I wanted to tone up and not lose any weight. That’s pretty much down to wanting to feel better about myself. I’m not overweight. However, it does feel good to see that I’ve lost 4lbs and that’s made me happier. Those pounds to me are what I noticed; but not necessarily what others see. Increasing the amount of exercise I do has definitely decreased bloating. And it has made me feel good about myself.

How I feel about myself on the inside is what needs to matter the most to be right now though. As you may already be aware, I’ve had high blood pressure for almost 7 months or so now. It’s just so strange as the doctor put it today. I’m 24-years-old. There was a point where I had this back in 2014 but in-between then everything seemed fine or so we thought. It’s in the doctor’s interest to pinpoint why this is. Especially as I was put on the highest dose of Ramipril and it hasn’t made a difference. Step 1 was always the lifestyle side. But nope, no difference.

But if I keep going, it’ll be okay. What’s inside really does count.

So it’s back to a BP monitor again later this week; ECG and another blood test on Wednesday; referral to chemical pathology; and wait for the appointment for a scan on my kidneys. I’m pretty sure everything’s going to come back fine. But meanwhile it’s just making me a little bit fed up. I actually hope it’s down to it being hereditary. Hopefully I’ll know soon.

I’ve learn that I need to be happy with who I am – inside and out. Accept that the people who care about you are the ones you need. You can’t force someone to care. Nor can you force someone to like you. It’s always nice when people who you’ve known over the days still see you in the same light today. I also think it’s nice when the little things make you smile in the day. You begin to realise where your happiness lies. Be happy about who you are and embrace it.

What are your thoughts on feeling good about yourself? Tell me in the comments box further below or via Twitter @tashalifestyle.

walking along the sea waves

Talking About Body Confidence with Women

Body confidence. One minute I’m okay with it. And the next, I find myself in tears wondering when I’m going to accept my body image for what it is. Body confidence with women is something that people don’t always talk about. It’s thought about so much. But you don’t always see people openly talking about how they feel about their bodies.

There’s always been something that I don’t like about my body. From my forever growing body hair, to my toes and feet. Then, I began to realise that as you’re getting older you can’t eat and eat and eat and just expect nothing to happen to your body image. Many people think I’m one of those people who can eat anything I want and not put any weight on. But sadly, that’s not true. If only.

Body confidence and food

I envy anyone who can. I absolutely love my food. And I’ve never been overweight. I’ve learnt the importance of a balanced diet. Part of this has involved sorting better lunches at work. I’ve always had sandwiches and a yoghurt (or something after it). Now, I see myself eating mackerel and salad; chicken salad; soup. And sometimes, I will have the odd chicken Caesar wrap. As much of a choice there is for bread including wholemeal and seeded, my body became bored with it. And actually, it began to feel the effects of it.

Bread is a massive cause of bloating for me. It’s so good. But I have to remember what’s best for my body. For instance, if I’ve had enough bread consumption for the week I might just choose poppadoms rather than naan bread with a curry. It doesn’t end there. I drink more green tea now rather than normal tea. Sugar isn’t in there anymore. But the odd time, I’ll add a sweetener if I feel like I need one.

Saying no the odd thing here and there. Having less of something but still enjoying a treat. There used to be stages where I would eat nothing one minute. And then eat this, that, and everything the next. It’s not too healthy at all. But, I think it’s okay to binge eat days once in a while (especially if you’re hungover or I don’t know, if it’s Sunday?!)

When body confidence affects you mentally and physically…

I’ve never been a really unhealthy person or considered to be ‘fat’. But it came to my attention that others thought my weight had increased a bit.  This lowered my body confidence. But surely, we all have occasions in our lives where our weight fluctuates? Here, I’m talking a few pounds, not stone. But those few pounds changed my emotions. Just yesterday when someone made a comment that I look like I’ve lost weight, later on in the day something got me down. I made a joke saying “Did I used to be fat or something because I got told I look like I’ve lost some weight earlier?” and their reply was, “Yeah. Well, you did have a bit of extra weight at one point.”

And that was me. I went upstairs quietly and started to cry. I started to go through my Instagram photos and delete more (as I always have). I find that I don’t start to like photos of myself anymore. A lot of us do this. But I start to look for things that people might see as a flaw. Sometimes, the angle a photo is taken or that double crease in the top/dress makes me see a picture of myself in a totally different way. I start to imagine what other people might see, even if it’s not necessarily the way that they do.

It isn’t always about weight and feeling bloated. Sometimes, it’s about your skin being too dry or too oily. Spots and pimples. Red faced bare skin without any makeup. There are so many things.

Keeping active increases body confidence.

Now that I go to the gym, 3-4 times a week, I’m feeling much happier. My body is one of those bodies that needs the regular exercise. The results make me feel better both mentally and physically. Many people will say, “There’s nothing to you.” or that, “You should eat what you want.” And that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m starting to see that there is a great choice of food you can have. It’s nice to try new things.

You don’t have to go to the gym. There are any strength and fitness activities you can do at home. For example, press-ups and sit-ups. If I can do a sit-up (never thought that would happen) then you can too. Try not to be too scared to experiment with other equipment. Some people keep fit to lose weight. Some people keep fit to become stronger. And others keep fit to tone up. I see myself in the increasing my strength and toning up category.

I’ve learnt to love my thighs and my bum. I never knew doing ab workouts could be so fun. Yes, you feel the pain the next day but it’s so worth it. And the same goes for cardio. which I’ve always loved anyway. Since doing a combination of both, along with arms. back, and a little chest, I feel like I can accomplish so much more than I ever did before. A big thank you goes to Danny here for always pushing me further because he knows I can do it.

Enjoy your food and enjoy being you.

Enjoying your food and still feeling good about yourself is how it should be. One thing I need to remember is that, it’s okay to not look like everybody else. You weren’t born to be like someone else. You were given your life to be you. I need to try not to criticise how my belly looks so bloated in that dress. Occasions like this have resulted to a lot of clothes being thrown away. And then I feel sad that I don’t feel good in anything I have. Or that, I don’t have enough ‘nice tops’ to throw on.

Oh, they’re a similar height to me so I need to have slimmer legs like them.

We all have days where we think, ah we’ll just eat this today. Or let’s miss the gym that. Don’t punish yourself for doing those things. Do the best you can. And maybe make up for the fitness you missed the week before next time. Pushing myself harder at the gym is something that I never thought I’d do. But it happens and I couldn’t feel better for it.

You have your own body shape and size. As much as body confidence affects all shapes and sizes, try not to compare yourself. I’ve done this way too often. Embrace your body. And next time you think that dress isn’t for you, put it on and walk with confidence.