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Summertime is swimsuit season and for a lot of abled people, it can be an exciting time that we all look forward to but for many disabled people, it can be a time that we dread. Many abled people can do workouts to prepare for summer to look good in a bathing suit but for many disabled people that is not an option because you can’t work out in the same way and can’t get toned like abled people. You can’t change this reality and have to do what you can to fit but it still can be bothersome when your with your abled friends and you feel like they are judging you. Body confidence is more of a struggle for disabled people than it is for abled people because there isn’t much we can do to change our bodies. Body confidence can be hard for some disabled people this time of year so if you are struggling here are some ways you can gain confidence in your body while being disabled.
Stop obsessing about your appearance- People often become so obsessed with their physical appearance and there is nothing wrong with wanting to look good but there is a fine line with wanting to look good and being obsessive about it. Please stop looking in the mirror and pinching the fat on your body and wishing it would go away because it’s totally normal for everyone to have a little bit of fat but is in fact healthy. Your body actually needs fat to survive because it gives you energy and helps protects vital organs so you don’t want to get rid of all of it. Stop obsessing and saying negative things about yourself because it’s doing nothing for your body confidence and how eating and body image disorders always start. Let your positivity shine so you can inspire people to want to make a positive change!
Find a disabled role model– Abled people try to understand what disabled people are going through and sometimes they think they do because they know someone with a disability but truthfully you can’t unless you are disabled you can’t understand a disabled person’s struggles. Abled people might be abled to give good advice on how to become more confident within your disability but not to the extent a disabled person can. If you are struggling to be more confident in your disabled body and don’t know where else to turn find a disabled role model because sometimes other disabled people can open your eyes to things you would not have thought of, Two disabled people may have the same condition with the exact same form but every disability every each person differently and our experiences are always different!
Wear clothes you feel confident in- I live with two stoma’s and becuase of that, I dress a little more modestly than most people my age. I am always afraid of one of my stoma’s being exposed having to explain why I have a hole on my stomach so I always make sure I wear things I know for sure won’t expose them to avoid having that problem. Some people don’t mind showing off their stoma but I feel a little uncomfortable showing mine off so I keep it covered at all times. Wear clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable in your own skin because no one should be telling what you should and should not be wearing. I don’t wear bikinis because the thought of my stoma showing makes me anxious!
Everyone has a bikini body– Some people do a lot of workouts to look good in a bikini but technically anyone who is able to wear a bikini has a bikini body. There may be some people that may argue that some people shouldn’t be wearing a bikini because they don’t look good in them which is body shaming but that shouldn’t stop you from wearing one. Anyone who can wear a bikini has a bikini body and even if people are going to be rude about that shouldn’t stop you from doing what makes you feel most comfortable.
Try and do a little exercise- Exercise can help improve your endurance and strength so you feel more confident in your own skin. You don’t have to be doing high-intensity workouts every day to get the benefits of physical activity but actually, I don’t recommend working out at that intensity that often because you may overtrain. It doesn’t much to get the benefits for exercise and even if it’s light yoga for ten minutes a few days a week that is better than nothing and will make huge improvements on your health. When I started to workout I was really out of shape and hated my body but as I got stronger I become more confident so now I am not as sensitive when people make body remarks.
Gaining confidence in your own body can be hard when you are disabled because even if you think you have made remarkable progress it’s never good enough for someone. Someone always has to make a rude remark towards your body because society has this view on how people are supposed to look these days. If you aren’t super skinny people tend to look down on you and say that you should start dieting. Healthy looks different on everyone and even someone is super skinny that doesn’t mean they are healthy because fit looks different on everyone. Some people are not able to get super skinny because of their genetics so even if they wanted to look like a supermodel it would never happen for them. Gaining body confidence when you are disabled is hard because there are a lot of things abled people can do that disabled people can’t. Abled people don’t define a disabled person’s success because our abilities are different. How do you become more confident as a disabled person?