Do you think you are fat? Do you hate your ‘thunder’ thighs or sagging boobs and what about those crow’s feet?
Well take heart from the knowledge that you are not on your own. According to the 50+ Female Fashion Report just 2 in 5 British women over the age of 50+ feel confident in their body and appearance, but even fewer women aged 18 – 49 feel body confident. What’s that all about???
Here are some more terrifying facts: 33%, that’s a third, of all children worry about the way they look (appearance is the largest cause of bullying in schools) and 83% of adults do not feel confident about their bodies.
I am living proof that the older you get, the more comfortable you get living in your own skin but if I had a pound for all the ladies I meet who are unhappy with the way they look, in some way or another, I could retire. I should point out that not all these ladies are overweight, some are very slim and all are incredible in one form or another.
Let me give you my take on it. In 2008 I was invited to take part in a bodybuilding competition. I was 45 years old and needed to lose around 2 stone to compete.
I did not consider myself to be fat at this time. I was perfectly happy with my body size and shape and exercised a huge amount. I decided to enter the competition for the experience and discipline of the training and the eating. Consequently by the time of the competition I had reduced my body weight from 9st 13lbs down to 8st 3 lbs. The diet was not difficult as I had a definite goal and it was a short-term fix, not a lifestyle change.
There is no doubt that I felt and looked pretty good (better with clothes on) at this size, but the pressure I put on myself to try and maintain this shape made life very difficult, and ultimately it made me very unhappy.
It took 5 years and the menopause to regain the weight and at 56 I now feel a lot happier and settled at my current weight, which currently stands at around 10st. I am not on any medication, I keep myself fit with regular walks and formal exercise and for most of the time, I eat for health rather than weight loss.
I have come to the conclusion that quite honestly life is too short to worry about the small stuff. So here are my tips to help build your self-esteem and body confidence:
Stop looking in mirrors, the more you look the more you will find
Don’t think about what you can’t do, focus on what you can do (it will be more than you think)
Surround yourself with positive people
Eat for health not weight loss
Take a least an hour each day (yes a whole hour) just for yourself