Women often feel pressure to achieve a ‘perfect’ body due to the likes of Instagram and can develop unhealthy habits to keep up with girls on the platform who promote largely unachievable physiques. Often, people don’t realise they are doing themselves more harm than good with self-criticism as it lowers confidence and creates negative body images.

Ben Edwards by Theo Southee Photography

Ben Edwards by Theo Southee Photography

There is evidently a lack of necessary education surrounding healthy eating, fitness and mental wellbeing, this is particularly concerning when you consider the increasing influence social media platforms now have. 75% of users admit to feeling pressure to make their lives seem more exciting online, undoubtedly stemming from the many Instagram models and social media superstars portraying idyllic lifestyles and ‘faultless bodies’. Steps clearly need to be taken to debunk the myth that this is a ‘norm’, or that a ‘perfect body’ exists. Instead we should be promoting the beauty that comes with us all being unique and authentic and women particularly should be encouraged to celebrate and embrace their differences

While several ‘insta-famous’ bloggers have bravely stepped forward with refreshing posts calling out this façade, over 1.6 million people continue to suffer from eating disorders throughout the U.S. This is unfortunately an ever-present issue and must be addressed further, as misconceptions surrounding healthy eating continue to be distorted with seemingly disastrous results.

To help with the task of improving self-confidence, Ben Edwards, a life coach, qualified NLP practitioner and motivational speaker, unveils the truth behind several common myths and emphasises the true ways in which we can find happiness with our bodies.

Firstly, we must accept that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What is more important is what you think of yourself, rather than random strangers on the street or bullies hiding behind a computer screen. Although a difficult task, if you build a positive view of yourself this will allow your new-found confidence to seep into every aspect of your life, from work to relationships. Generally, your wellbeing will benefit incomparably from developing your self-esteem; stressing over your desire for a ‘perfect body’ will heighten your anxiety levels which, if sustained, wreaks all kinds of havoc on your body and health.

It is equally important to recognise which sensationalised claims are true and which are not. For example, the infamous idea that starving yourself throughout the day will help you to lose weight does not ring true. Instead, this slows your metabolism down and when you do eat, your body reacts by storing all that you consume as fat. This is incredibly unhealthy with long term effects including amenorrhoea (a severely disrupted menstrual cycle), hair loss, body dysmorphia and more.

Platforms and influencers that endorse fad diets will not help to build confidence or a healthy lifestyle. If your body is starved of carbohydrates during the infamous ‘no carbs before Marbs’ diet, your body becomes more sensitive to carbohydrates. As a result, when you do eventually consume carbs – be this drinking a glass of wine or indulging in a pizza on the exotic Italian getaway you have so been looking forward to – you will bloat excessively. The fundamentals of this philosophy are severely flawed.

Similarly, diets such as juicing cleanses or weight loss groups promoting branded meals and snacks are often not sustainable and again, pose a distinct risk to self-confidence and health. It is important to lead a well-balanced, sustainable and emotionally fulfilling lifestyle. If you are not able to efficiently fit your diet around your lifestyle, indulge in treats or socialise over cocktails on occasion, it is unlikely this extreme adjustment will become a permanent fixture in your life.

If you wish to lose weight safely and for health purposes, then seek the advice of a professional who can steer you in the right direction without risk to your wellbeing. Otherwise, ask yourself why you feel inadequate in your own skin – this is the biggest concern of all. There is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ body or flawless physique, our bodies are constantly changing and fluctuating and often our self-perceived ‘flaws’ are those characteristics most treasured by our loved ones. Feeling confident within yourself, acknowledging the beauty in your uniqueness and filling your life with things you’re passionate about is the true key to happiness. Remember, Instagram profiles are carefully curated, and life would be very boring if perfectly predictable.

Should you need help improving your self-confidence, contact Ben Edwards: www.be-limitless.co.uk