Today, I bring you healthy thoughts from another one of my beautiful and talented friends, Sara Jane Baker. Sara and I both graduated from Elon University and moved to New York City over two years ago. After beginning a successful career as a publicist, Sara has started to pursue modeling over the last year. In October, she made her debut in Verily Magazine, which has a no unnecessary Photoshopping policy. Bravo to that! While she isn’t a Size 0 runway model, Sara glows on camera and has such a healthy perspective on body image. She gives me hope that more women like her will be featured in future publications. Since fitness is so closely tied to body image, I invited Sara to share a few tips on how to boost your confidence.
Image via Sara Jane Baker
Everybody, rock your body!
Confidence shouldn’t come with a size chart. There are so many factors that can affect the way we see ourselves. I’m here to talk about positive ways that you can supercharge your body confidence.
Tip #1: Stop defining yourself by what clothing size you are.
The truth is, we have to know our typical size in order to buy clothes (take it from a gal who loves to shop). But the often dreaded size chart can have a big affect on a gal’s confidence. When going shopping, try to stop thinking, “Oh, I really should be more like a Size X,” but rather take a few sizes into the fitting room and see what size looks best on your body. More often than not, women can fit into three or more sizes at any given weight.
Try this. Cut tags out of clothing or mark out sizes with a permanent marker. Wear whatever size makes you feel best in the outfit. A good tailor can be a gal’s best friend!
Tip #2: Commit to an exercise that you enjoy.
Many studies have shown over time that physical activity is a far more important predictor of health than is body size. Exercise is clearly a good way to achieve a healthy body, but endorphins are great for a healthy mind. Rather than dreading working out, try to get those important 30 minutes of cardio each day by doing something you enjoy!
If you don’t like running, don’t do it just because you think you have to. Try a different exercise: Zumba, spin, dance, or even test out the latest fad workout (aqua spin, anyone?). Doing something that you enjoy, and feel that you are good at, can be a great way to boost your body confidence.
Tip #3: Remember how much your body does for you.
The human body is incredible. Be kind to your body, and be gentle with yourself. Every body is different, and you need to listen to your own. That being said, there are general guidelines that you can apply to your life. Make sure your body is getting the rest it needs. We know that eight hours per night is a good benchmark. Eat a varied and balanced diet, one that makes you feel satisfied, and includes the various nutrients that you need. Spend some time getting your heart rate up each day. The more you love your body, the better you will feel!
Most importantly, your body uses only 17 muscles to smile (which sounds like a lot, but it takes 43 muscles to frown). And smiling is the ultimate key to confidence.
Image via Sara Jane Baker
Sara Jane Baker is a New York-based publicist, writer, and working model. Her blog Just Sara Jane is designed to inspire the every woman to confidently strut her best self.