No one feels totally confident in themselves 100% of the time.
Some people might seem happier in their own skin than others, but every single person on this planet harbours doubts, and we all have days where we can’t help but criticise ourselves, picking apart every detail until we can’t stand what we see in the mirror.
Once you enter that negative mindset, it’s not an easy place to exit, but in time, it will pass – and these mantras will help.
Here are 14 things to remember when you feel terrible about your body – because we promise, your body isn’t as terrible as you think.
(Psst – these celebrity quotes that’ll make you feel great about your body won’t hurt, either…)
1. ‘All bodies are good. All bodies are worthy of love. All bodies demand respect. All bodies are beautiful’
Image: Abbey Gallagher/Wordpress
Yes, including yours. This is important. Tell yourself this every day.
2. ‘Hating your body will never get you as far as loving it will’
Image: Healthy Place
You may be mad at it right now, but your body is always on your side. You’re a team, and it needs you to take care of it, rather than pick it apart.
3. ‘You will never look like the girl in the magazine. The girl in the magazine doesn’t even look like the girl in the magazine’
Image: Emily’s Quotes
Comparing yourself to pictures in the media is unrealistic and unhealthy, because no one looks like them in the flesh. Try the clothes and hairstyles in the picture, sure, but know that you’re just as gorgeous in them WITHOUT the digital alterations.
4. ‘You are perfect exactly as you are; there is no need to change anything except the thoughts that you aren’t good enough’
Whilst there are many things you wish you could change about yourself, there are thousands of things that other people love and admire you for. You should never change for any reason other than making yourself happier.
5. ‘A real woman is whatever the hell she wants to be’
So many of us get hung up on a ‘real woman’ being thin, curvy, tall, petite, and all of the other perfect contradictions. If you identify as a woman, you are a ‘real woman’ regardless of size, height, shoe size or any other unimportant detail.
6. ‘Good self-esteem does not happen overnight. You have to work at it, and that is completely okay’
You might not feel better overnight. Feeling good about yourself is a daily battle, and even the most confident among us have down days. What is essential is acknowledging that this is allowed, and not beating yourself up for it.
7. ‘You cannot weigh beauty’
Image: Look Human
The numbers on the scale tell you your physical mass. That’s it. They don’t tell you how wonderful of a wife, mother, friend, daughter, colleague you are; how clever, generous or thoughtful. If you want them to go up or down, you can work on that as time goes by, but you can’t let them control how you live now.
8. ‘Your worth is not measured by the size of your waist’
Image: Rachel Cat Eyes
9. ‘Just because she’s beautiful, it doesn’t mean you aren’t’
The woman with the amazing curly hair you’re jealous of? She probably wishes hers was poker straight like yours. Your sister is constantly jealous of your beautiful eyes, and the size 8 mum in the playground would kill for your curves. You’ll never look like them, but looking like you can be just as awesome. It’s just a case of finding ways to recognise that.
10. ‘Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live’
That body you’re hating on helps you walk, talk, laugh, eat and be joyful every single day. It gave you your babies, if you have them, and every other happy memory you hold dear. It’s the best thing you’ve ever been given, regardless of how terrible you feel about it now.
11. ‘There is always something to be thankful for’
Image: Braintree Clothing
Sadness is often rectified through gratitude. Everyone has one thing they like about themselves – a great smile, long legs, fashion sense in buckets. it doesn’t have to be a big thing, but don’t forget about it – it’s the thing that’ll get you through the darkest days.
12. ‘There is no right or wrong way to be a woman, there are just different ways’
Image: Joanna Thangiah
It’s easy to get distracted by an extra tummy roll or an unflattering picture, but any number of flaws you see in the mirror don’t make you ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – they just make you you.
13. ‘Life is way too short to spend another day at war with yourself’
When you criticise yourself, the only person you’re hurting is you. Would you speak to a friend, a colleague, your family that way? We thought not. So why would you do it to yourself?
14. ‘Be gentle with yourself. You’re doing the best you can’
It’s not a crime to feel bad about yourself – the important thing is picking yourself back up again tomorrow. Your body is amazing, but your mind is even stronger. Make it work in your favour, not against you. You’re doing the best you can.