This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.
When your body is going through physical changes, it isn’t always easy! That’s why I want to share with you all how I’ve been able to shift my mindset during these times into one that breeds confidence instead of insecurity and frustration. Before diving in, I want to thank DSW for sponsoring this post as they are big part of one of my takeaways. Essentially, when we look good, we feel good. This includes what we put on our body! No matter what stage of my fitness journey I’ve been in, I’ve always been able to count on DSW for shoes that complete any outfit and add to my overall confidence. Their mission is to inspire self-expression and be a boot destination for anyone, and I can say they’ve always been my go-to for whatever stage my body is in.
So, before diving into my three biggest takeaways on how to feel confident when you’re body is changing, I want to recap with you all some of the changes I’ve actually been through. I mean, let’s take right now for example. There’s definitely been times during my bulk where I’ve felt a little insecure about the changes my body is going through, or frustrated with not knowing how the process is going to evolve. And then there was an event two years ago that really threw me for a loop.
Two years ago when I fractured my jaw, I lost 10 lbs initially and had to gain the weight back. I knew I needed to gain the weight back so that wasn’t the issue. However, gaining it back during a short period of time wasn’t the most comfortable thing. Seeing my body gain fat versus gaining muscle wasn’t the easiest pill to swallow. The following year I decided that I would slowly increase my carbs so I could gain more muscle. The next 6-8 months I was feeling great–until one fateful day. Okay, that may be a little dramatic lol, BUT there is one day in particular that really stands out to me. I was trying on my dress that I wore to my rehearsal dinner for another occasion I had coming up. I slid into the dress and zipped it up only to find that the dress stopped halfway. I literally couldn’t zip up the dress. My first thought was–Wait, what?! Have I really gained this much weight? I then grabbed a pair of boyfriend jeans as Stephen and I were supposed to be heading out soon. My initial thought was–let me just throw something on that I know will be super comfortable. I was feeling pretty frustrated from the rehearsal dress try-on minutes earlier. Well, I put the jeans on and they were no longer how we all know boyfriend jeans to be! They weren’t loose or slouchy but instead incredibly tight around my legs and butt. In fact, I could barely get them to button! I thought that if I sat down the back of them would rip open or the button would pop off LOL. It’s funny now but at the time I was incredibly frustrated and had a moment of panic.
So yes, I totally understand that sometimes it’s hard to feel confident when your body is changing. But there’s things that I’ve discovered through these experiences that have really helped shift my perspective into one that breeds confidence instead of frustration and insecurity.
My first big takeaway is wearing clothes that actually FIT! Makes sense, right? I mean, OF COURSE you’re going to feel discouraged if you’re trying to wear clothes that aren’t the right size. Let’s take the jeans scenario. I guarantee you if I had put on a pair of jeans that were the right size with a flattering cut for my body that I would have felt 100x better. And I can attest to this! I remember after that jeans debacle I went shopping and bought several pairs of jeans that actually fit my body in it’s current state. And guess what? I automatically felt great in my own skin.
Now, one item of clothing that will never let you down is SHOES. Plus, the key to any great outfit is an amazing pair of shoes–it just adds to the entire ensemble! One of my go-to’s for shoes has always been DSW as you all know! They carry so many brands and varieties that everybody can find something that is a perfect fit for them. Before I got married, I felt like I was probably in the best shape of my life! I got my bachelorette party and rehearsal dinner heels at DSW and felt so confident wearing them to both occasions. And now, I’m about 7 lbs heavier, but their styles make me feel just as good! I recently picked up a pair of black Naturalizer Rebecca Booties and these grey Vaneli Goel boots for fall. No matter what stage my body has been in, no matter where I am in my fitness journey, DSW has always come through with a great pair of shoes to add to any outfit. It also doesn’t hurt that their prices are amazing! I know I can always find the best deals there which is a huge plus.
But again, let’s face it–when you look good, you feel good! Wearing an outfit that makes you feel amazing, breeds confidence. I promise that this is a game changer! Try it. Seriously.
The next tip I have is that realizing that life ebbs and flows–your body is not going to look the same your entire life! There’s going to be certain weeks, even months where you feel totally off your game. I realized a while ago that life happens and you can’t always control everything. In this case you have two choices. You can feel frustrated, you can have self-pity, OR you can focus what is in your control and do the best you can with your circumstances. When I fractured my jaw, I could have dwelled on the negative repercussions and felt sorry for myself, or I could have said I know I’m going to have certain limitations but I’m going to focus on what I still CAN do. You can probably guess which one I chose 😉 I accepted that life changes include your physical body at times, and that’s more than okay. You are more than you physical appearance and you do not need to base your self worth off it.
My last takeaway is to focus on the positive. During my bulk I’ve had people ask me if I’m insecure about gaining fat, or if I’m worried about gaining weight. Of course those thoughts have crossed my mind to some extent, but that’s not what I focus on. Instead I focus on why I’m doing this bulk in the first place. I know that gaining more muscle and strength will make me feel strong and confident. Not to mention that eating more food has given me more energy during the day and allowed me to have better workouts–whoo! Also, when I fractured my jaw and lost all that initial weight and muscle, I could have looked at it as a setback; as losing months of progress. But instead I chose to look at it as a challenge to get back to where I was despite my circumstances, and I knew that going through it would make me a stronger person.
I know that these may seem simple, even obvious maybe. But these are tips and practices that I have used and they truly do improve your daily mood and your overall mindset! Do you guys feel any of these have really worked for you as well? Or what are some ways that you have found confidence when you’re body is going through certain changes?