How to Build Body Confidence

It has been a busy couple of weeks with the end of the first quarter coming to a close.  As a high school English teacher, I have spent a lot of time grading essays.  Today I was inspired to write about body confidence by a group of students.

I started a club after school called Girls Who Lift to empower females and show them how to lift weights.  Weight lifting is my passion.  When I’m at the gym, I feel incredible.  I check myself out in the mirror and think, “wow – I’m a badass!”  I began weight lifting my sophomore year of college.  I’m not sure what inspired me to start or how exactly I ended up on, but I have been hooked on weight lifting ever since completing Jamie Eason’s 12 week program.  Weight lifting gives me so much confidence.  Many females want to be thin, but I strive to be strong.  Instead of trying to achieve skinny legs through hours of cardio, I try to increase the weight I squat and deadlift.  Weight lifting helps people focus on their strength and physical ability rather than appearance.

At the beginning of our Girls Who Lift meetings each week, I ask the girls, “What do we want to work on today?”  The girls always want to spend some time doing ab exercises because I put them through a fun yet challenging circuit.  Today a few of the girls began talking about how they wanted to lose weight and have abs.  They immediately started sharing their weight with one another.  They spoke about people at home giving them a hard time about their weight or feeling like an outcast being overweight in a family of athletes.  I jumped into the conversation, because this was my teachable moment!  I encouraged the girls not to talk about their weight, because every body is so different, and the number on the scale really does not mean much.  I continued, “We need to appreciate our bodies for what they can do rather than for what they look like.  Be proud of yourself for lifting a weight heavier than you thought you would be able to.  Focus on the strength you build.  Celebrate holding a plank a few seconds longer or doing another push-up.  Make yourself feel good!”

I hope my words stay with these girls.  I hope my words stay with you if you’re lacking body confidence.  I think most people have body insecurities.  Maybe you look at Jane’s legs and wish yours were that thin, but Jane hates her legs because she sees them as scrawny chicken legs.  Maybe you wish you had Kim’s round butt, but Kim wishes she was leaner.  We often see beauty in others that they don’t see in themselves, which means that other people see beauty in us that we don’t see in ourselves.  Be confident in who you are.  Next time you catch yourself judging your appearance, shift your thoughts to appreciating your body for what it can do.  Not everyone has the ability to do what you can do.

“Your body is the only thing you carry with you from the time you are born to your very last breath.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s