I was once told by a friend that I “look so comfortable in my body”.
At the time, I viewed this as an insult. It seemed like she was saying that despite having such a beached whale of a figure, I still somehow, despite all odds, found comfort in my flaws, and was therefore courageously able to face the day.
Good for me, right? Good for me!
Yet, there’s something to it. Being comfortable in one’s body, be that a big, round one or a lanky bag of bones is a good thing. And you can choose to improve the way you feel in it or not. But please note that “improving” doesn’t necessarily mean, "making it hotter”.
1. Eating properly
Again, this doesn’t mean cos lettuce with lemon juice for lunch, 'linner' and dinner. No. But try to eat crunchy, fresh things that doesn’t come from some earth-destroying packet of plastic waste. Food from packets mean lots of added sodium and sugar, which'll give you a temporary euphoric feeling - much like that experienced by Donald Trump when he looks in the mirror.
But sugar, much like Trump himself, is made of lies. Blood sugar spikes, then drops. This creates a mangled world where even unicorns are a possibility. My friend, they are not.
To summarise: Green is good. And it also makes you feel good.
2. Exercise - for the right reasons
Recently, a trainer at the gym I frequent told me that I should consider eating broccoli and chicken fillets for every meal. A kind of fast-forward portal to hotness, if you will.
Mmm, I considered.
No thanks, I said.
Yes, I might enjoy toning, and sweating onto stationary bikes, and working off the questionable foods I ate during the day as much as the next person, but believe me when I say: "I don’t exercise to be skinny or hot".
For me, this is truly the worst reason to exercise. I do it to relieve stress. Taking my mind somewhere else for an hour (and truly, working out is meditative) after work, is super relaxing. Same can be said for running outside or even just stretching.
This is of course nothing revolutionary, but being comfortable in your body doesn’t necessarily mean your body should be “skinny” or “hot”.
3. Dress the part
I have spent many a fashion post thinking about dressing the part, or dressing for confidence.
Even if you know nothing about style or fashion, purposeful dressing can truly help you to feel more comfortable. Not only at special events like work dinners and weddings, but also on an everyday basis.
If you need help, ask for it, but for the love of salt and pepper, stop hiding behind that palazzo pant! Play with trends and create your own fashion characters. My current favourites: a lady who lunches meets a grunge band frontman, steals his shoes and wears it to tea at the Mount Nelson, or a ‘70s disco gal who house-sits conservative couple's villa and subsequently raids the dad's sweater collection.
Deranged as it may sound, playing with fashion, trying on all your clothes and mixing and matching different things, will help you to develop a sense of style – even if you think it’s hopeless. Try to get yourself to a point where you leave the house and don’t immediately feel like running back inside the house screaming, or weeping.
This, might sound vain or whatever, but feeling that you look good will translate and in turn help you to find comfort and feel comfortable in the body you lug around from day to day.