Thursday, 28 August 2014

Bad Habits

Everyone has a bad habit or two; playing with your iPhone before bed - guilty, procrastinating on Facebook whilst you should be doing important 'must do' paperwork - hands up you got me, and finally and the most annoying, squeezing the toothpaste tube in the middle - yes, I do that one too, but mainly to annoy my husband! Recently though I have been battling with a bad habit that I do want to break, one that I am sure many other people suffer with, even if they don't realise that do.

BODY PERCEPTION it seems so simple that when I look in the mirror I would see me as everyone else does, but I know I don't. Everywhere I go I am bombarded with images of women almost certainly photo shopped trying to tempt me to believe that I should be thinner, curvier, bustier, taller… the list goes on. The impact of this bombardment is that when I look in the mirror I'm in the bad habit of picking out all of the negative bits: the tummy that after two kids won't ever be as flat as it used to be, the one zit on my chin that is as huge a volcano and my bottom that is so large its desperately planning its escape route over the top of my jeans. I am never going to be a size 6 but I am not big at a size 10/12 despite needing to lose a few pounds and get fitter. I don't believe in dieting (which might be a whole other post) but I do believe in healthy living, eating and exercise which isn't always that easy to fit in when you have two very active boys of 2 and 4. Thats where the bad habit comes in, I had become entrapped into thinking negatively about my body, picking out its faults and flaws and covering it up with dark, baggy and drab clothing. My habit isn't about the way I look its about the way I feel about myself, about how I see myself and it was something that had to change and shift. Over the last few months I have been challenging the way I think about myself and replacing those negative habits with positives ones.


These are my tips for changing the way you feel about your body, ones that I have used and am still using, and overtime its made me see me as me, instead of trying to pidgeon hole myself into a body shape that is unachievable and unrealistic. After all we are who we are, and we should be proud of it, I don't actually know anyone with a perfect body, do you? 

1. Look for positives when you look at yourself in the mirror.

Its just habit that we want to be perfect and so pick out all the things we are most conscious about on our bodies, so turn it around and look for the good bits. I started with my eyes, when I looked in the mirror I made a conscious choice to break my habit and look at a bit I liked, my eyes. It grew from there. Be deliberate in your habit to look for the good bits and you will soon start to feel differently about yourself.

2. Think about what you wear and how you dress.

I am a busy mum and in the morning when your late for the school run you just grab whatever and throw it on. Have a mind plan, outfits you store in your head visually that you know work well and look good - know your wardrobe and don't try and come up with a new outfit mix when you don't have time to think about it! Its so tempting to cover up our tummies with a big baggy t-shirt but this is the worst thing to do, find clothes to fit your shape. Most big department stores now offer a free consultation with a personal shopper if you contact them ahead of time and so there is no excuse for not knowing what works anymore.

3. Be bright and bold

For me I am a vibrant person and I feel more confident when I reflect that in what I wear. If I don't have at least one bright thing on I don't feel like me. Bright colour's reflect our positive attitude and mood on to others and uplift us even on days where we don't feel very much like ourselves, so use it as a tool to help your confidence and your body perception.

It's such a personal thing and I met someone recently who also happened to be the tiniest person I think I have ever met, who told me of her low self esteem and regard for her body after giving birth. I was shocked that someone with such a petite and good body would feel that way. I am not ashamed of this bad habit of our brains to trick us into thinking we have the wrong bodies but instead I'm fighting it. I'm looking at my body through positive eyes with wonder, I'm changing me from the inside out and re-thinking our media messages and telling them they are wrong. My tummy may not look like a washboard but instead it bears the marks of two remarkable little people and I am proud and standing up for me as me.

Letting go of this bad body perception habit has been one of the best things I have ever done I feel slimmer even though I haven't lost any weight because I am actually seeing me, not warping my sight with what other people push on me. I am pretty sure that I am not the only one out their with this bad habit, so why don't you try ditching it too. You never know it might just change your life and give you the confidence back that you need.

This post is my entry into the Bobatoo.co.uk ‘Bad Habits’ blog competition – find out more here: http://www.bobatoo.co.uk/blog/bobatoo-bad-habits-blog-competition/

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