By Alli McGinnis
Two years ago, I was in the best physical shape of my life. I had just finished dancing and singing in a Broadway show 8 times a week for almost a year, and then practicing Pilates, daily, for 10 months while working towards my Pilates certification. I felt fantastic and extremely confident in my own skin. I was beyond thrilled when I found out we were pregnant. I couldn’t have been more prepared physically.
However, little did I know how much of a shock it would be adjusting to my post-baby body. To this day I don’t know exactly how much I weigh (I don’t believe in scales because the number isn’t important, it’s how you feel), but what I do know is that my clothes don’t fit the same and I don’t feel as confident in my skin as I did two years ago. When I talk to other women this is a common topic that comes up, and I find that the less confident we are in our skin the less motivated we are to actually do something about it. So instead of focusing on what I’m not liking about what I see in the mirror, I’m focusing on what I can do to help make myself feel more confident in my skin on a daily basis.
Here are 8 Steps to Feeling More Confident In Your Skin:
1. Surround Yourself with Friends and Family that Support your Healthy Lifestyle: I can’t stress enough how important this is. Find friends or co-workers that can be workout buddies, or schedule your coffee date at a juice bar.
2. Do Something Physical Every Day: Even if you only have 15 minutes, it’s so important to get your blood flowing and your energy up. Sitting on the couch isn’t going to get you anywhere. I love to take fitness classes, but usually don’t have the time. So, I walk my son every morning for at least 45 minutes in case I can’t get my own workout in that day.
3. Eat Clean: Make smart choices and take care of your body inside and out. Try food prepping for the week so you always have something healthy to grab out of the fridge or while on the go. I always keep a fridge full of chopped up veggies that I can nibble on or throw on a salad. I keep a ziplock of unsalted nuts in my car in case I’m out and about and need a protein pick-me-up.
4. Spruce Up: A little hair and makeup can make all the difference. Take a shower at night if you don’t have time in the morning, and swipe a few coats of mascara and lip gloss on before you run out the door for the day. Trust me, you’ll stand a little taller.
5. Try Something New: Tired of your old gym routine? Join an unlimited monthly membership to a yoga, barre, or cycle studio and challenge your mind and your body. I promise you won’t regret it. I’m teaching pilates at a yoga and barre studio so I get to take classes I have never tried before. It’s fresh and fun, not to mention I am making new fitness friends.
6. Eat Healthy, Don’t Drink It Away: Enjoy your morning cup of joe with a little cream and sugar, and then choose water to sip on throughout the rest of the day. By avoiding sugary drinks such as soda, juices, and fancy coffee drinks you are saving on hundreds of empty calories each day. Not to mention hydrating with water will make your skin glow. I always keep a water bottle on me and make an effort to fill it up at least 3x a day.
7. Sit Up Tall: “Don’t slouch,” as my Grandma would say. It doesn’t look pretty, and you work those core abdominal muscles when you sit up. Enough said. When I’m working on my computer I constantly remind myself to sit up and pull my shoulders back.
8. Don’t Beat Yourself Up: Give yourself a little grace each day. Beating yourself up isn’t going to change anything. Try rewarding yourself after a tough day or long week with an at-home facial or DIY mani/pedi. I always feel so refreshed after a little pamper treatment.
These are 8 simple tasks that I try to do on a regular basis. What inspires you to feel more confident in your skin every day?
Alli McGinnis is a Pilates instructor, beauty junky, and veganish foodie. Alli's goal is to create a space where women can come and be inspired to feel confident in their own skin. On her blog, Inside Out Beautiful, she writes about everything from beauty and fashion tips to fitness and living a healthy lifestyle from the "Inside Out." She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and seven-month-old son Declan.