January 03, 2024

Sami’s tips to boost your body confidence in 2024

Motivating, confident and inspiring – that’s our we describe Sami, our strength trainer and body confidence coach!

Sami is a certified personal trainer, registered counsellor and online coach. Each week of our Feel Good challenge, Sami will be guiding you through a confidence-boosting affirmation. Whether you’re joining our pilates, strength or pilates challenge, you’ll be treated to Sami’s infectious affirming words.

We sat down with Sami to find out more about where she gets her confidence and other feel-good advice.

You radiate confidence! Have you always felt this way?

Confidence is definitely a skill that I’ve worked really hard to develop, especially around my body! Growing up, I compared myself a lot to my friends, people on tv, and especially celebrities in magazines, and I always felt this pressure to look a certain way, and change myself to fit into what society deemed a ‘good body’.

This really came to a head in my 20’s when I was so obsessed with reaching my goal weight and getting abs, that I hardcore dieted, restricted, and overexercised just to get there – but once I reached my goal weight, I realised I still didn’t feel that magical, carefree sense of confidence that I always thought would follow.

From that moment something just clicked, and I realised that no matter what I weighed, there was no specific point where I’d feel ‘good enough’ if I was always trying to fit into someone else’s standards, especially one where the body standards are ever-changing goalposts. So I quit dieting and switched the focus to eating and moving for the purpose of FEELING good, and truly looking after myself, and that’s when I started becoming more confident, because I was tuning out everyone else, and just doing things that made ME happy.

How did you switch your mindset to focus on moving and fuelling your body to feel good, rather than looking a certain way?

For me it comes down to ‘doing it for the feeling’ – I noticed when I used to force workouts or specific ways of eating, I didn’t enjoy it as much, so I gave myself flexibility to only do what truly aligns with me feeling good from the lens of self care. Now, I CHOOSE to exercise, and I change it up to keep it fun. I still eat tons of healthy foods, but I don’t force myself to have sad boring salads or cut out everything I love – something that helped me do this was thinking “If I was already in a body I loved, what would I do to keep taking care of it?”, then taking the action that aligns most with that level of self respect, without any punishment or judgement.

How can we/why should we focus on setting intentions for 2024, rather than (unrealistic) resolutions?

Setting goals and intentions are great for helping you dream up something to work towards. We often fall into the trap of setting ‘New Years Resolutions’ that can be really rigid and box you into a corner, but planning your intentions for the year, while keeping it flexible, is more of a gentle nudge in the direction you want to go.

I also like to focus on a ‘word of the year’ that encompasses my overall intention – for example it could be passion, or growth, or balance – something you can refer to as a compass point when setting goals or making decisions that helps you re-align with your bigger intention for the year ahead.

How can affirmations help us appreciate our bodies and feel more confident in our skin?

Our brains are so incredibly powerful, and if we talk to ourselves harshly, with lots of self criticism, it makes it SO much harder to have a good relationship with your body! So practicing affirmations and mantras that help you speak more kindly to yourself can have a profound effect on your ability to build your confidence, and treat your body with respect – it’s much easier to love a body you’re taking great care of from the inside out!

Any last advice for our community who are looking to build a healthier and happier relationship with food or exercise in 2024?

Find what works for YOU! To me, balance with health and fitness is a spectrum, which looks and feels different for everybody. Try to tune out what others are doing, or what you’ve been conditioned to think you ‘should’ do, and focus your energy on what behaviours align with you living a healthy, balanced, happy life that you truly enjoy!