As it’s around Valentine’s day I thought I’d write a blog about something that has to do with relationships but is also pertinent to many of the clients I work with. It has become increasingly obvious as I work with more and more women that not only are they feeling a lack of confidence around other people in their work and external lives, they are feeling a lack of confidence in their relationships and intimate lives too.
It’s part of who you are
When you have a baby your body stretches out of shape. Sometimes it happens quickly and you end up with stretch marks, sometimes it can just be that the skin doesn’t go back quite so easily and there is a little wobble. These changes are the marks of who you are, they are the journey that your body has been on, to produce your children. I wouldn’t swap my kids for a flat stomach, would you?
Even if you have excess weight gained in pregnancy or even not in pregnancy, it is all part of a journey that you have been on, a part of you and the legacy of your life. This is where you are now in your life, it’s not where you have to end up. That said, however, there is no point in feeling bad about it all the time. You can change it going forward. Use the energy you spend on feeling bad to get motivated to make a start on changing it.
Loving your body
Even though you may not feel like you want to love your body as it is now, you have to start somewhere. We are always more harsh on ourselves than we are on others. In extreme cases it is called Body Dismorphia but I think that we all suffer from it to some extent. We don’t see our body as others see it, and we tend to think it’s more lumpy, saggy, spotty, red, fat etc than anyone else does. That spot on the end of your nose is always bigger to you than to anyone else.
What prompted me to research this blog post was that many mums were telling me they lacked confidence with their partners in more intimate situations and felt that if they were slimmer they’d feel more confident and more open to being more intimate more often (that’s a lot of ‘more’!) and yet all the dads I know love their partners’ bodies just as they are. (In fact our men are feeling the lack of confidence too, sometimes – but that’s a whole other blog post 😉 )
Despite this, one particular interviewee told me that what her partner thought was irrelevant, she didn’t want to be the size she was.
In this case, you have to listen to your man!
Ok, so it is tough love time ladies! You have to listen to your man, your best friend, your kids – whoever it might be that is telling you how fab you look. Mums rock their looks and their bodies at all sizes and whilst you may not feel as confident as you’d like to right now, the key is to change that feeling first and then change your weight, size, waist measurement or whatever. What if you lose all that weight and you still feel the same about your body? Or you still lack confidence. You are more than your weight and your body shape and you don’t need to lose weight to be sexy.
I know it’s hard and I know that you may want to lose weight still too, but build that body confidence first. Seek out ways to dress for your shape (even in your bedroom wear), practise affirmations about your body, find the bits you do like and try to find a new bit every day. Reframe your stretch marks, they are your road map to who and where you are now.
I really hope that whether you are reading this on Valentines day, or some other day of the year it convinces you that your body, whatever size or shape, can be sexy and that you can have body confidence and that you can start to feel more confident in the intimate parts of your relationships.
If you want more help for how to feel more confident, take a look at my Be A Beautiful Swan programme.