I like to think I’m pretty confident. Most of the time, I’ve got no issue with meeting new people, and I love a good chinwag – so outwardly, I’d say I’m pretty outgoing. Plus, I did post a series of photos of myself in my knickers for the world to see a couple of weeks ago, so I’m pretty sure nobody’s ever going to accuse me of being shy.
In my experience, though, self-confidence (and its younger sibling, self-esteem) fluctuates over time, and is dependent on what’s going on both internally and externally at any given moment. I know for me, at least, I have very good days, where I’m pretty sure I’m the sexiest little number to ever roam the earth, like yesterday…
And then very bad days, more like today, where my butt is enormous, and my belly too big, and my hair a frizzy monstrosity, and… You get the picture. These are the days you can’t do anything right.
But really – you look the same both days. Okay, so you might be a smidge bloated, or your hair might be a bit flyaway, but in the grand scheme of things you look absolutely no different to how you did when you felt awesome. In just the same way as the scales can fluctuate from day to day (which is why you should ignore them and not fall into their evil trap), things like hormones and the like can really affect the way you’re feeling about yourself.
External factors, too, can have quite an impact – a good day at work, or a bad patch in a relationship, can have a huge effect one way or another. That’s why when things are good, healthy living seems easy – because you’re bouncing off the positivity around you and converting it into glorious wellbeing. Lovely. It’s also why, when times are bad, you can gain or lose a significant amount of weight in a short time. I know when I’m a bit down, I like to cheer myself up by pretending I’m a contestant on the Generation Game and eating a conveyor belt of food as fast as possible.
Yeah. I know. Unhelpful. Sorry.
Anyway, there are things in life you can’t change – other people will always be other people, work will always be work, and those low-confidence days will crop up from time to time. But while you can’t change these things themselves, what you can change is the way you approach them. And I have a secret weapon for that.
It’s called the battle pose.
Now, I ain’t no Tyra Banks. I wish. This isn’t a smize, or however the heck you spell it. But it is kind of about being fierce, a word so often used on modelling shows that it’s lost all meaning to those of us out here in the real world.
There isn’t just one battle pose, and I’m not going to tell you how to do it because it’s got to be unique to you. It might just be a matter of standing up straight, making yourself tall, and staring yourself down in the mirror. Or you could put your hands on your hips. It might be good old Warrior II. For me… It’s pretty much that pose I’m pulling in that photo up there.
What can I say? I’m a poser. Sue me.
Once you’re in whatever your chosen battle pose is: breathe. Breathe long, and breathe deep, and take the time to focus on you. Nothing else. Screw the hang ups, screw what anyone else thinks, and especially screw your doubts about yourself. This is you time.
What’s important is that you like how you feel in this position. You should feel strong, and open to challenges, and maybe even a little bit gorgeous, because this pose is not just about inhabiting your body, but about owning it. Getting yourself in this position ought to be a sign to those niggling voices that are making you doubt yourself that you’re not going to take it, because you’re you, and you are awesome. This is what you do when you’re ready to battle your mental enemies in the war for self-esteem… Or something like that.
Sorry. It’s another slow metaphor day round these parts.
The first few times you do it, you’ll probably feel a bit daft. Maybe even a bit self-conscious, especially if you’re doing it in front of the mirror. But this isn’t the first time I’ve suggested you hang out on your own, embarrassing yourself in front of…yourself. Unfortunately, this is just how I roll. But once you’ve done it a few times, it’ll start to feel natural, and eventually, just… Good. Great, even.
Even better, if you can take your battle pose out and about with you, then you absolutely should. As you can see, mine’s shoulders back, booty up, stomach in, feet slightly apart and hands on hips – a bit red carpet, I’m sure you’ll agree. Now don’t get me wrong – I don’t do this in public a lot. That would be weird. But sometimes, when I’m in a situation where I have to be super-focused and confident, I’ll wheel it out. Even if it’s just in the mirror in the bathroom.
Changing – no, improving – your life is about giving yourself new, positive patterns of behaviour to replace the bad ones. If you can make yourself associate mental self-confidence with a physical pose, then you’ll gain not only a new behaviour trick, but also another resource to draw upon when life gets hectic and your confidence levels are down. And more resources mean you’re more likely to succeed, not just in terms of weight loss, but at improving your psychological wellbeing too.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find your battle pose, and give it a try - and let me know how you get on!