Before we get started, I'd like to highlight the difference between self-confidence and body-confidence. Those two things can be completely unrelated - whether or not you have a healthy body does not take away the ability to be confident in who you are as a person and what you have to offer. Your weight or health is not all that makes you uniquely you. It is, however, important and I want to touch more on that here. Ok, back to the topic:
HOW TO HAVE THE PERFECT BODY IN 6 STEPS: 1. Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. 2. Eat in a sustainable way that makes your body feel good about 80% of the time. 3. Get moving in a sustainable way (preferably including strength training) 3-5 days a week. 4. Take care of your body. 5. Practice stress management daily. 6. Measure progress in how you feel and your measurements. Throw out the scale.
I wanted to give them to you straight. Now let me elaborate on these: 1. Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Put your phone and electronics away before bed, create a bedtime routine and do something to help you relax before you plop into bed. Cut off caffeine after 2pm. If you can't fall asleep or stay asleep, try the tip below or contact a sleep specialist. They can help you figure out what's going on so you can get some rest. Sleep is when our body resets itself. Sleep is crucial and if everything else is on but you're sleeping 4 hours a night you're not going to see the results you're looking for.
**If you have a hard time staying asleep, you could try diffusing one drop of lavender essential oil while you sleep. Lavender essential oil made a HUGE difference in my own sleep; I was putting in the time but getting only a few hours of restful sleep. As soon as I started diffusing lavender, I began sleeping through the night. I tried using a roller bottle with lavender before bed and it didn't have the same effect. Here's a link to what I use.
2. Eat in a sustainable way that makes your body feel good about 80% of the time. The keyword here is sustainable. If you can only do a "diet" or way of eating during the week it's not sustainable. You should be able to adhere and enjoy it 7 days per week with treats included when they are significant.
3. Get moving in a sustainable way (preferably including strength training) 3-5 days a week. Yoga, walking, group fitness classes, dancing in your kitchen, just get moving. Strength training is good for your bones, joints, blood pressure, muscles, brain; literally everything. Just try it. Yoga, group fitness classes and genuinely lifting weights or using machines at the gym are all great ways to incorporate strength training. No, you won't get bulky. Yes, I promise.
4. Take care of your body. Wash your face, brush your hair, dress in clothes that make you feel good, put in effort to genuinely take care of your body every single day.
5. Practice stress management daily. Meditation, going for a walk, yoga, journaling, drawing, organizing, whatever helps you to unwind and let some stress go. Eating is not a good stress management technique. "Stop trying to find something in food that will make you feel better" - Richard Simmons
6. Measure progress in how you feel and your measurements. Throw out the scale. A traditional scale is a not a valid way to measure your worth as a human, your body fat percentage, your water weight, your lean body mass, or really even your weight (not joking about that). The scale is SO petty that if it's on a different place on the floor it will give you a different number. DO NOT PUT YOUR WORTH INTO A DEVICE THAT ISN'T EVEN CONSISTENT FROM FLOOR TO FLOOR. Seriously, if you weigh in your bathroom and you weigh on your living room hardwood you will be a different weight you were two minutes ago. It's time for the reign of the scale to end.
I also want to address the idea put forth by the "health at every size" movement. There is a vast difference between actual self-acceptance and using "I love myself just as I am" as an excuse for why you aren't taking care of yourself physically.
You do NOT need to be a size 2 to be healthy. Many people who are a size 2 are not healthy. I believe we have taken this and other movements to the extreme. You can be happy at any size, but a healthy body is also a healthy weight (not a size 2 or any "thigh gap" crap, but a healthy size). A healthy body also has the ability to keep up with your daily life and activities.
If you have weight to lose and are doing the opposite of the things on the list above, thank your body for showing you there is something wrong through your weight. Tiny people who do those same things but don't gain weight do not have that same signal from their body. While it seems they're at an advantage, they are also not healthy and may have to find out the hard way when they get sick often or have a more serious health concern down the road.
Let's not envy those who are skinny but treat their bodies like junk - that's not the ideal. Regardless of size and weight, it is important to love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle that allows you to meet the demands of your life while still enjoying yourself. xo, Corin Groustra