Body on the Mind
How many times have you Googled a celebrity’s latest exercise trend? How many South Beach Diet or Zone books have you bought just because Jennifer Aniston or Demi Moore swear by them? And how many times have you ignored the “I think you’re beautiful” comments from your significant other, just because your abs lacked the washboard look of the models in your Victoria’s Secret catalog, or there was a bit more bounce in your backside than what’s displayed on the latest Vogue magazine?
We all do it. We put ourselves through a vicious cycle of self-hate, wishing we were anyone but the girl looking back at you in the mirror. Every channel we turn to or magazine we flip through is filled with beautiful women with impossibly perfect bodies. And though Hollywood is making a slight effort to give the spotlight to curvier women, the gaunt and emaciated are still all the rage in today’s media.
So, how can a woman see the forest through the tress and actually feel good about her body? Self-confidence fuels so many of our daily decisions. It can affect both our professional and personal lives, and without it, we usually become only a shadow of the person we could be. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some tips that can help you gain the confidence you need to feel comfortable with your body.
Tip #1 – Change the Things You Can and Learn to Accept the Things You Can’t.
Take a good, long, honest look at your body. Then take a good, long, honest look at the people in your family. The majority of what leads to our particular shape and size stems from genetics. Now, this doesn’t mean that just because your mother, or all of your sisters are obese there is nothing you can do to escape it. It does mean, however, that if your family is full of 5’2” tall, thickly built women with short legs, no exercise or diet in the world is going to make you a 5’10” leggy stick figure.
The greatest thing any woman can do for herself is try to make the best of her own shape. If what you want to change is something that really can be changed through diet and exercise, go for it. There is certainly no harm in doing a little extra cardio or a few more squats at the end of your workout. But never loose sight of the reality of with the genetics you were born with.
Tip #2 – Dress Like the Woman You Want to Be.
This is a key point. Every day I see beautiful women, hiding behind baggy sweats and t-shirts twice their size because they just don’t feel sexy enough to wear anything else. This is crazy! Every woman, yes I mean EVERY woman, has a sexy side to her. Sure, you may not have a 24-inch waist to work with, but you might have amazing legs that could take a mini-dress to an intoxicating level. Or maybe you’re a little thick on the bottom. Well, throw on some material that clings to all the right spots, and you’ve just gone from frumpy to giving Beyonce a run for her booty-licious money! Perhaps your body is on the opposite end of the spectrum, just straight up and down with nary a curve in sight. Just throw on a padded push-up bra, a waist-cinching belt and a pair of stilettos to make your calves look amazing, and suddenly you’ve gone from boyish to breathtaking! Clothing is like magic ladies. Find the right outfit and it can change your look, as well as your outlook. Check out this week’s fashion story for more wardrobe tips for challenging body types.
Tip # 3 – You Are What You Believe You Are.
This tip can really be summarized in one word – confidence. It doesn’t matter if you’re 5’10” tall and a size four, or a size 16 and pushing 5’, if you don’t believe you’re sexy, neither will anyone else. The most desired women in the world aren’t always the ones with the perfect figure. But they usually are the ones with enough confidence that they don’t need to be told they’re beautiful or sexy; they exude that knowledge in their very presence. It doesn’t matter if you’re having a bad hair day, or your skinny jeans wouldn’t fit even with a prayer and a detox diet. Walk with confidence. Believe that you’re an amazing, sensual woman, and you’ll be seen as nothing less than that.
Tip #4 – Make Sex Sexier for You.
When women don’t feel good about themselves, their sex lives are one of the first things to suffer. Because women typically are preoccupied with what they look like naked and which position makes their flaws more or less noticeable, sex often becomes more like a mind-exhausting chore than a mind-blowing sensual experience. My best advice here is to do whatever it takes to make the experience sexier for you. Whether it takes a candle lit dinner and a massage to get you there, or it’s as simple as slipping into a beautiful silk nightgown that fits your body just right, take your time and allow yourself to feel sexy. Put on the perfume, apply some lip gloss. Sometimes even engaging in more intense foreplay will make it easier to let your mind rest and your body take the control. If you can be relaxed with yourself in an intimate situation, not only will you enjoy the experience more, your partner will as well. And there is nothing sexier than a woman who knows how relax and enjoy the experience!
Tip # 5 –Remember, What you See isn’t Always What You Get.
Just for a moment, let’s get back to those people we see in the magazines and on TV. The perfect physiques, the impossibly clear skin – how do they do it? Realistically, most celebrities don’t actually look as good as you think they look. In the world of Hollywood, almost everything is either airbrushed, concealed, perfectly lit or given a special camera angle. We live in an era of special effects. It’s easy to make a short person look tall, a thick person look trim, even take 15 years off an aging face. As for the few celebrities who actually do look that amazing, let’s face it, that’s their job. They have everything from personal trainers to personal chefs to keep them looking that way. When they have a busy day, they’re not forced to cram down the quickest meal they can find while driving to their daughter’s soccer game. They usually have assistants that can run and get their green tea, blend up a protein shake and have their special Raw Food meals delivered. So try to remember this when looking in the mirror during your daily critique. If you only worked three to six months a year, had a nanny to tend to the kids and the money to pay people to help you keep your body at the peak of perfection, who knows what you would look like? Give yourself credit for even having the energy to blow dry your hair some days and realize that you don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
Tip #6 – Start Listening to the Good Stuff.
Why is it that no matter how many compliments we receive in a day, it only seems to be the random insults we remember? Our partners could tell us every single night that we’re the most beautiful women they’ve ever seen, yet the only thing we remember is that one random whisper overheard from the girl down the hall, commenting on the size of your butt or how that hair color really doesn’t suit you. No matter who you are, how thin you are, how perky your breasts are or how amazing your haircut is, no one is perfect. But just like anything else in life, negative breeds negative. So try something new for a change. When someone tells you you’re beautiful, or comments on how amazing something looks on you, stop, take a deep breath and just say, “Thank you!” No need to add comments about how much weight you’ve gained recently or how the rain has made your hair go flat. No need to put that amazing compliment in the back of your mind to make room for something negative. Just enjoy the moment and know that if you weren’t all of the wonderful things that people are saying you are, they wouldn’t bother to comment at all.
So ladies, now it’s time to take these tips and make them work for you. No matter what your shape or size, take the time to find the things about your body that you love, and make them your focal point. And remember, sexy can come in a million different packages so wrap it up in something beautiful, hold that head up high and go show off your sexy today!
Photo: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Location: Gateway Quarter
Model: Brandi Mendoza