You guys. I have been feeling good lately. Like really good. So I decided to try and get motivational for you all and try and make you feel a bit more confident and in love with yourself. I don’t mean in some creepy way. But I bet you’ve all heard that saying that you can’t really love someone else until you learn to love yourself. I believe that you can love someone at any time, but once you start loving yourself, your love for that other person will only grow and be even deeper. I believe this because I’ve felt it in the last few weeks for myself and it’s great! I want to try and break down what has changed for me in the last little while in the hopes that you can apply my experience to your own life and feel better about yourself. I’m also going to give you a few challenges to do to help be more confident. I’m not saying you have to do them and report back or anything. But I’d love to hear if my advice works for any of you!

The first thing that I think has boosted my confidence lately is exercising. It helped me in more than the obvious way. A few months ago my mom was looking for ways to introduce exercise into her day and I remembered Blogilates that I had done years ago when I was more active. I showed it to her and we decided to try it together. Blogilates is a program designed by a super cute, perky, positive girl named Cassey Ho. Simply put, it’s pilates videos on YouTube. It’s kind of a combination of yoga and 80’s jazzercise videos. She has lots of videos on YouTube, but on her site she has calendars that you can follow that have 4 or 5 videos a day that work well together for a workout that lasts 20-45 minutes. So my mom and I printed calendars out and started working out 6 days a week.

Every night I take some time after Oliver goes to bed and workout. It’s not just the exercise that has made me feel good though. The act of taking those 30 minutes or so every night to do something for myself that really has helped me. All day I focus on Oliver or the house or making food and I don’t mind it because I love my son and my house and cooking. But having just a bit of time every night that is just about me is really nice.

So, my first challenge to you is to find something that you do just for you. If it’s working out that’s great, but it can be anything! Take some time each day to sew, or read, or color (because yes adult coloring is a thing), or whatever you like to do. Just take that time and don’t worry about all the other things you have to get done. I also challenge you to make that time for yourself social media free. Scrolling Facebook for 30 minutes isn’t going to help you feel better about yourself. I could do a whole post about how awful social media actually is for us, but I won’t get it to it now.

Now, there is the obvious bonus to my daily exercise other than some “me time”. Obviously, I have been losing some weight from it. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t see a number on a scale as a good indication of health. But I’ve had the goal since before I had Oliver that I wanted to fit back in to all my pre-pregnancy clothes by the time Oliver was 9 months old. I’m proud to say I achieved that goal. I was really proud of that at the time, but now I’m actually fitting in to my old clothes BETTER than I did before I got pregnant. I have to say, it feels really good! Just the other day I tried on a pair of skinny jeans that were almost too small when I bought them 3 years ago. I wasn’t too optimistic because they had always been too small. But I put them right on and they actually fit just fine! Then I found $6 in the pocket. It was a really great morning. Thanks to the exercise I’ve been doing, I feel like I might be a bit more confident this summer and I must admit, I’m excited.

The other lovely benefit of losing weight is people compliment you. It feels so good to have others comment and tell me that I’m looking good. It sort of validates my own thoughts that I’m looking good. This is the final thing I want to challenge you on. Learn to accept a compliment for what it is. So many times people compliment us and we try and tell them how wrong they are or roll our eyes. That is the absolute worst thing you can do for yourself and for the person complimenting you. Think about it. They have noticed something good about you. They want to let you know how good this thing is. Then you react by telling them how bad it actually is. It makes NO sense. And as someone giving a compliment, it feels bad to not have your thoughts accepted. I feel like I have gotten pretty good at accepting compliments for what they are. Compliments. It feels so good to receive a compliment and let it boost your self esteem instead of finding something negative to lower your self esteem back down. Embrace them when you get one. Someone is noticed a good quality that you have and you should feel proud. You shouldn’t feel like you have to explain it or make it seem like less. For me, the compliments I’ve been getting lately have been about looking thinner. Which is great, I’m trying to look thinner! So I simply say thank you, with a smile, and if they’re interested, I tell them what I’ve been doing to lose weight. I don’t say “Oh, no. I’ve still got a lot of weight to go.” Inside, I know that I’m still a work in progress and I always will be. I don’t have to negate the compliment by bringing that up.

This is kind of a short post, but I hope it inspires you a little bit. Take time to focus on yourself and embrace positivity around you. It’s hard nowadays to be positive, but there really is so much good out there if you want to see and accept it. Don’t compare yourself to the “perfect” people on social media. There is no perfect person. But take time to do things for you so that you can feel good about yourself and I promise you will start feeling better overall.

Also, on the subject of doing things for myself. I won’t be posting next week. I am going on my first solo trip in a long time. Semi-solo trip I guess. I’m meeting my best friend in Portland for a long weekend and leaving my baby and husband home. I’m excited and nervous and 100% am going to cry when I leave. But I’m going to enjoy my time away and I’ll have a post up about it in a few weeks!

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