As Netflix binges and walks around the block slowly make way for Great British beach days and weddings, just the thought of ditching our 'comfort blanket' wardrobe is enough to give many of us the jitters. But how can we dial up our body confidence when that self-doubt comes creeping in?
We chatted to life coach and new mama Charlotte Jonsie, also known as The Women's Coach, who inspires through her raw and honest take on all things motherhood, mindset and self-worth. Here, she shares her advice for feeling good – inside and out.
Your Instagram channel is such a beacon of positivity, especially when it comes to body confidence. Have you always felt this way?
Thank you! In all honesty, no I haven’t. For many years I struggled with my body image – throughout most of my 20s, I didn’t have body confidence or even body acceptance. I hated the way I looked for a long time. Unfortunately I abused it with extreme dieting, exercising and an unhealthy relationship with food. What I didn’t realise throughout all of this, is what I really needed to work on was my mindset. Work on your mind and you’ll change the way you view your body.
A year before I fell pregnant with my first baby, I finally got to a place where I was happy with my body because I worked on my mind. However I had to start all over again postpartum when I didn’t ‘bounce back’. My unrealistic expectation of how I should have looked after birth was because I didn’t see real postpartum bodies.
Since then, I’ve realised there is a need to share real postpartum bodies online to normalise them. It’s not easy being vulnerable online sometimes, but sharing my body to help other women feel confident about their body is more important to me. I’ve turned my pain into purpose, as I now coach women in accepting the body they live in (after all it’s your home for life!) and helping them change their mindset.
As we move out of lockdown and people start to make plans for holidays, festivals and weddings, do you have any advice for feeling good about yourself?
1. Dress for your body right now. That means wearing clothes and underwear that make you feel and look good. Do not try to fit into the dresses or jeans you had on before the pandemic. It makes the world of difference. Regardless of weight gain or loss, we've all been through 15 months of change – don't underestimate the impact that can have on both your body and mind.
2. Reframe your thoughts from 'negative' to 'neutral.' I don’t believe we can always change our thoughts from 'negative' to 'positive' straight away, it’s unrealistic at times.
3. Be kind to yourself. So many of us beat ourselves up and let the negative inner voice get the better of us. I call it the 'inner bully' because it’s bullying ourselves. Would you talk to your friend the way you talk to yourself in your head? Probably not, so speak to yourself more kindly.
4. Positive affirmations are really helpful when you’re feeling down about your body. There are lots on YouTube or I can help you with these as part of my life coaching service.
5. Write down what you like about yourself. We do have things we like about ourselves we just need to dig deep. I’m not talking just about surface level either. I’m talking emotional, mental and intellect attributes, too. We focus SO much on what we don’t like, because our brains automatically find the negative. We forget about how great we are. You’re more than a body!
What are your favourite health or fitness hacks for boosting energy and getting into a good mindset for a busy day ahead?
Start the day as you’d like it to go on. Small positive habits every single day is what you want to aim for. Consistency is key for a positive mindset. Even when you’re knackered and you’ve had no sleep, start your day with those positive affirmations.
Change your mindset from the beginning. Try not to look at social media for the first hour you wake up, grab a coffee or herbal tea and make time for some light exercise. This can be a walk, yoga, pilates, even if it’s just 20 minutes.
Podcasts are a brilliant way to change your mindset while you're doing something else whether it's going for a walk, having a shower or feeding your baby. I've just launched my own one called #Unfiltered Life with Charlotte Jonsie.
If you're finding it hard to juggle healthy eating with a busy post-lockdown schedule – or if you're a busy mum – try prepping your food the night before or choose a smoothie that’s full of nutrients. Equally, quick recipes like omelettes are a life-saver. You'll feel much better after than if you'd skipped a meal or grabbed some junk food.
What advice do you have for people struggling to juggle their much-loved lockdown wellness routines with post-lockdown life?
This might sound harsh but there’s no excuse anymore! We have access to free fitness and wellness content 24/7 with YouTube and Instagram. Even a ten-minute workout or mindfulness activity can make a difference to your mind and body. Gone are the days I can spend an hour or more in the gym!
I prioritise my fitness and mind when my baby naps in the morning. If you're a new mum, remember, your baby needs the best version of you, so this means looking after your mental health, too. Doing some yoga or getting out for a daily walk isn't a luxury, it's an essential so treat it as such and encourage your family and colleagues to view it as the same.
Looking for more lockdown-lifting inspiration? Take a look at these articles:
- Five Foods This Nutritionist Eats For Glowing Skin
- Summer Skincare: How To Prepare For a Special Occasion
- How To Tackle Lockdown-lifting Anxiety
- How This GP Takes Care of Her Mental Health
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