I am delighted to welcome guest expert, Laura Bland to the blog to discuss body confidence and steps you can take as a bride-to- be to feeling body confident on your wedding day. An issue which I think affects many women on their wedding journey.
Laura is the co-founder of Love Thy Body Project; whose sole focus is to support women in their quest to find self-love and self-confidence. Her approach is to help women create a lifestyle where they truly love themselves.
Over the years I have worked with many Brides who have struggled with their body confidence and as their wedding day draws near self-doubt and worry can begin to overshadow their joy and excitement.
I am so pleased that Laura has shared her insight and knowledge with us, and I hope you enjoy reading her perspective on this issue.
Your wedding day should be one of the most memorable and happy days of your life. It is the day that you choose to declare your love for your partner in front of your family and friends. A day that should be full of love, laughter and smiles, not a day where you should be questioning how you look and doubting your love for yourself. Your wedding day is the day that someone else stands up and declares their love for you, they have fallen head over heels in love with you and now want to spend the rest of their life with you and they want to share that with the special people in both of your lives.
Have you experienced that negative voice in your own head? The voice that tells you that you can’t do something? That you aren’t good enough? That you shouldn’t wear that outfit because it doesn’t look good on you? That you are not worthy of love because you are too fat, too thin, too loud, not smart enough…the list goes on. That negative voice in our own head can hold us back from doing the most incredible things.
You wedding day may be something that you have imagined and dreamt about since being a small girl, you may have imagined what your dress would look like, how many tiers your cake would have, and of course what the person waiting at the alter would be like. Now that you are heading towards your perfect day you may be feeling more negative than ever towards yourself and your body. You want to look perfect in those wedding day photos so that you can look back on them with love and pride for years to come but maybe there is something in your own mind that is adding doubt and negativity to your day.
Have you ever wondered where that negative voice came from? Have you ever stopped to question the validity of what that voice is saying to you? Most of our internal beliefs build up over time, they are a culmination of the things we see and hear as children, the throw away comments that are made but which stick with us over the years, the things we read about or that we see on TV; they all add up and they start to form our inner beliefs. Often, we worry about our weight or our size, we get fixated on not wanting to have to buy a size bigger when we are dress shopping.
What happens next is that we take those beliefs and we add in a spot of comparison. What do we look like compared to the models we see in the press or on social media? How well are we doing in our career compared to our friends or siblings or those older kids at school that used to tease us? How do we look today compared to ten years ago? Why do we no longer fit into those size 8 outfits?
That act of comparison fuelled only by our own negative self-talk is incredibly damaging and can ruin the happiest of occasions if we allow it to.
Well, I’m here to tell you that you are not defined by the number on the scale or the size in your clothes. You are more than a number. Your beauty is more than skin deep.
That incredible person who is about to stand up and declare their love for you doesn’t care about any spots or pimples that you might have; they don’t look at you and think your butt is too big and they absolutely do not have hundreds of negative thoughts running around their head about you.
How do you break the cycle and stop those negative thoughts? How do you step into your wedding day, not only looking great, but also feeling great? Afterall your wedding day is merely the start of the rest of your life, and breaking that cycle now will have long lasting positive impacts for you.
Well, that is both easier and harder than you might think at first. Every single second of every single day your body does amazing things. It’s time to start moving beyond your own negative thoughts and start embracing all the wonderful things about yourself. Start today by just finding one thing that you like about yourself and then remind yourself of it whenever you start to feel negative. Maybe you like your eyes or the colour of your hair, maybe you have a great laugh or your legs are strong. Whatever it is just keep reminding yourself of it and take the first step forward having a healthier relationship with yourself.
Self-care plays a huge role in how we feel about ourselves, the more time we spend appreciating and looking after ourselves the better we will feel about our self. So, if it isn’t already high on your agenda it is time to bump self-care up the list and give it some focus. Self-care allows you to look after both your mental and physical health.
First of all scroll back up a few paragraphs and reread the part where I reminded you that your body is amazing and does incredible things every single day without you even having to think about it.
Now let’s talk about how we can begin to change that mindset plus a few other things that you can do for a quick body confidence boost in time for that magical day – your wedding!
This is my signature method and I use it in all my workshops, it takes a little time but it is effective and will help you to make lifelong changes.
I’ve included it, plus other exercises to support your self-love journey in my book: Love Thy Body Unleash Your Power.
First off grab a bank sheet of paper, draw something in the middle that represents you. Now look in the mirror, preferably naked, and write down everything that you see that you don’t like about yourself.
I know it’s hard, focussing on the negative never feels nice, but trust me. Set that sheet aside and grab another blank page.
Now think of someone that you know, love and respect.
Put something in the middle of the page that represents them and now write down around that all the physical attributes of that person that you don’t like. Remember this has to be a person you know, love and respect.
Did you manage it? Did you write anything down? I bet part one, writing about yourself was easy, but this part you likely didn’t write a thing. Why not? Simple, we know it is not our place to judge, we know that saying horrible things about our loved one would hurt their feelings, and we don’t look at them and think any of those negative things, we just love and respect them.
What we need to do now is transfer that love and respect to how you think about yourself, we need to quieten that inner negative voice. Go back to that first piece of paper where you wrote down what you don’t like about yourself. Pick just one item and list three positives, each time you have a negative thought about that area you are going to think of your three positives.
My example is that I don’t like my upper arms, they always look huge in photos, BUT they are strong (1), they help me to carry the shopping I am fortunate to be able to afford (2), they allow me to hold and comfort my daughter (3). When those negative thoughts come up, I use my magic three.
Work through your list and keep coming back to that magic three to help you create a more positive and loving view of yourself. You might be wanting to make a change so you can feel positive and confident on your wedding day but this work will help you to feel that way for the rest of your life.
Sleep is a time where your body can recuperate and rejuvenate, old cells are shed and new ones are made. Your wedding is most likely a time of both excitement and stress but too much stress can lead to bloating, spot break out and other issues so focus on getting in some early nights and allowing your mind and your body to rest.
I’m not talking about a gym membership and hours of workouts a week, but regular exercise can be a great support for your mental health and can help to lower stress hormones. If you aren’t already exercising on a regular basis then try something gentle like getting out for a 30-minute walk at least four times a week, you will be surprised at how positive it will leave you feeling.
We do not give water the credit that it deserves, drinking enough water each day helps your body to flush out toxins and supports your digestive system, it keeps your skin looking youthful, and it help to keep your mind clear and active. Even just mild dehydration can cause brain fog, forgetfulness and headaches. The run up to your wedding is definitely a time to focus on drinking plenty of water.
Body confidence actually has very little to do with how you look and is instead all down to how you think, how that inner voice behaves, and how you show yourself some self-love and self-care. Small steps today will add up and make a big difference overtime but you have to be consistent in those actions. Start implementing my tips today and look forward to enjoying the most incredible day of your life and feeling confident in your own skin
Laura Bland is a mum of one based in the East Midlands UK. She is passionate about supporting other women on their journey to self-love. Her approach is to help women create a lifestyle where they truly love themselves. Laura is a co-founder of Love Thy Body Project, the sole focus of which is supporting women in their quest to fond self-love and self-confidence. Laura is a published author and as well as having fiction stories published, she also has several books available that can support your journey. You can find all of Laura’s books on the link below. If you would like to work with Laura or the Love Thy Body Project team to further enhance your self-love then you can contact her at the details below.
Contact: [email protected]