Unfortunately it's all too common for women to hate what they see when they strip down. The problems associated with eating processed foods, sedentary lifestyles and hectic schedules are compounded by the barrage of images of impossibly-slim women that Americans are exposed to every day. This combination has lead to a national body-esteem crisis. Confidence Coach Laure Redmond, author of Feel Good Naked, says it's time to take back your confidence and focus on getting more comfortable in your own skin. She offers up these tips:
- Eliminate Bloating Forget dieting, instead focus on: a. reducing sodium (The American Heart Association recommends a maximum intake of 1500-2300 mg a day. This is a difficult goal to reach when just 1 teaspoon of salt is 2400 mg) b. increase fiber (aim for 25-35 grams a day, most Americans only get 10 grams) c. more magnesium (which comes from foods like green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and nuts and seeds).
- Focus on Fun Many people lose their sense of fun and adventure as they get older, which actually makes someone age more rapidly. Set aside one day each week that is purely devoted to fun ... venture into a tavern that features line dancing, take a voice or musical-instrument lesson, drive to the nearest city other then the one you live in and eat lunch at a local diner. Free yourself!
- If You Can't Have the Body Part You Want, Love the One You're With It's what makes you uniquely beautiful. Your most hated body part is probably your lover's favorite (Think: Cindy Crawford's mole, J. Lo's booty, Molly Ringwald's red hair).
- Be Kind to Other Women Take pleasure in other women's success, happiness and beauty because when you're miserable with your own body, you've doomed yourself to "compare" and "despair". End this vicious cycle by verbally complimenting other women.
- Stretch YourSelf When you physically stretch you create space and allow for greater movement and physical growth. It's the same when you stretch yourself emotionally, too. Your physical and emotional selves are inseparable; stretch one and you stretch the other. It isn't always comfortable, but it's a wonderful thing!
- Make Peace with your Mother As women we learn what it means to be a woman from our mothers. Know the difference between your opinions and your moms; YOU are NOT your mother.
- Feed Your Soul not Your Belly Figure out something that gives your life great purpose and create as much space for that passion as humanly possible.
- Personal Attitude Trumps Size Tap into your own source of self-love without depending on the affirmations of others. Discover your own definition of beauty and show that to the world, while remembering that more then 60% of American women are a size 12 or larger.
For more information on mind-body health, visit Laure's blog.