Body Confidence Challenge

The purpose of this challenge is to help us:

-Identify and weed out some of the things that are contributing to poor body image

-"Unlearn" old narratives that tell us our bodies aren't good enough 

-Add in new habits and practices to help you begin building more body confidence

I'll be updating this page with the content we cover each week. (So if you joined mid-way through the challenge, no worries. You can catch the content from prior weeks below.)

Note: Can't seem to locate your copy of the Body Confidence ChecklistClick on the button below and I'll send you another copy.

Let's do this!

I'm so glad you decided to join in on this body confidence challenge.

Because here's the TRUTH: our bodies are the LEAST interesting thing about us. 

We deserve better than the lie that tells us that our worthiness is tied to our physical appearance.

We have SO much more to offer this world than a pretty face or a toned physique. 

So then...

Let's jump right in and start making peace with the skin we're in so we can focus our attention on the things that TRULY matter.

Want some one-on-one support? 

I've walked this road before and would love to support you on your own journey.

Click on the button below to schedule a FREE 30 minute intro call to see if one-on-one coaching with me is a good fit.

Body Confidence Challenge: Step-By-Step

Step 1: Clean Up Your Social Media Feed

We see garbage everyday that causes us to believe lies like “you're only beautiful if you look like this.” Or “everyone else is killing it at this whole pandemic thing--I suck at life.”

This kind of stuff chips away at our confidence and fuels self-doubt. 

We need to be extremely careful about who and what we let into our personal worlds…and this includes the people and things we pay attention to online. 

So to kick things off, let's do an audit of our social media feeds.  

Go ahead and unfollow any accounts that fuel low self-esteem or negativity, such as those that:

  • Trigger you into body shame (e.g., accounts that promote weight loss, idolize certain body types, focus too much on external appearance, or make you feel like your body is “less than")
  • Habitually make you feel “less than” or cause you to fall into the comparison trap
  • Promote lifestyles or messages that do not align with your values
  • Encourage anger, shame, or other unloving or unhealthy behaviors

Do a clean sweep. And then continue to monitor your feed. If/when something pops up that makes you feel bad? 

Do yourself a solid: unfollow.


Sometimes people we care about can be "repeat trigger" offenders who consistently post things that make us feel "eeeesh." 

You may not want to completely cut ties with these people, which is totally understandable. 

For such peeps, consider silencing them for a bit. You can always allow them back into your feed when you feel more resourced.

Step 2: Social Media Feeds that Inspire

In Step 2 we discussed how important it is for us to keep tabs on who we surround ourselves with (in-person and online), because as Jim Rohn so wisely put it... 

"You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with."

We've done a clean sweep of our social media feeds to weed out toxicity.

Next up, we'll be adding in some positive influences to inspire us and serve as good examples.

OK, so let's update that feed.

I encourage you to pump up the positivity factor in your feed on various levels (e.g, Christian mentors, folks who inspire and share words of encouragement, and accounts that promote good mental health).

However, as we're working through the Body Confidence Checklist, I want to specifically focus in on helping you up your social media game as it relates to true body positivity. 

This includes accounts with body diversity and those that promote the idea that all bodies are good bodies.

So why is this so important?

Well, first off, exposing ourselves to body diversity (e.g., various shapes, sizes, and races) helps normalize bodies and highlights the fact that most bodies don't look like those we see in the media. 

It allows us to see first-hand: cellulite, wrinkles, and having fat on our bodies is completely normal and doesn't need to be such an area of shame.

Secondly, exposure to body diversity also helps us see beauty in all bodies, including those that do not fit into cultural beauty "ideals." 

As we begin to see and experience beauty in other peoples' (imperfect) bodies, it in turn helps us heal the relationship we have with our own “earth suits” as well.

So then, go ahead and follow some body positive accounts. It may seem like such a small thing; but trust me, it has a HUGE impact.


Looking for some help diversifying up that social media feed? 

Check out the "Additional Resources" section of the Body Confidence Checklist for a list of body positive accounts and resources to get you started.

Note: Watch out for accounts that claim to be "body positive" but also promote weight loss and/or idolize certain body shapes and sizes (e.g., fitspo, Keto, or other diet accounts). These kinds of things are NOT truly body positive and promote the idea that certain bodies are better than others. So avoid, avoid, avoid!

Step 3: Practicing "Thank You"

Now, this one may make you squirm a bit.

This is the part of the journey where I challenge you to practice receiving compliments…with nothing more than a simple “thank you.” 

Lean into the awkward and say "thank you" the next time someone compliments you.

No explanation, no returned praise. 

Just a simple "thank you."

Really let those kind words sink on in.

But why?

Now, I know it may make you feel awfully squirmy to receive those words of praise...particularly without so much as a returned compliment.

But it's SO very important because when we discount compliments or refuse to accept positive feedback from others, we're essentially saying, "I'm not worthy of your praise. That's not true about me."

So instead of skirting around a compliment or immediately returning the favor, practice saying "thank you." 

Don't shrug it off. Don't discrediting it by pointing out your flaws.

Receive it.

Claim it as truth with a simple "thank you."

Repeat after me: "THANK YOU!"


Practice naming 3 things you appreciate about yourself and/or celebrate 3 things you're proud of yourself for each day. 

Naming what we LIKE about ourselves helps shapes a positive self narrative that builds us up, rather than tears us down. 

I like to do this by pulling out my "One-Line-a-Day" journal at the end of the day. I list out personal wins, goals I made progress on, struggles I didn't back down from, amongst other positive acknowledgements.

Step 4: Using the Mirror to Build Confidence

If you find your relationship with the mirror a bit complicated and rocky, I hear you, Friend. 

Sometimes the mirror can feel like a weapon used to inflict harm, taking stabs at our confidence by affirming our insecurities and pointing out our flaws.

But what if we could use the mirror as a tool to empower us instead? 

This week, we're gonna work on healing our relationship with that darn mirror.

We're gonna focus on using it as a tool to build up confidence and fight off body shame.  

Mirror Empowerment

Many of us struggle with the discouraging habit of zooming in on our perceived "problem areas" (i.e., the areas that make us feel most insecure) when we catch a glimpse in the mirror.

We see problems that need to be fixed or reminders of how we're not as youthful as we feel.  

Talk about discouraging.

Well, let's go ahead and break this habit. 

How about we change how we approach the mirror and the stories we shape through it? 

Rather than using the mirror as a way to "body check" or nitpick every perceived flaw...

Let's use the mirror as a tool to intentionally point out the things we appreciate (or even feel neutral) about as it relates to our bodies.

Here's What that Looks Like

In the days to come, intentionally set aside time (such as when you're getting ready in the morning) to affirm yourself in front of the mirror. 

Zoom in on 3 things you appreciate (or simply feel neutral) about your body when you're in front of the mirror.

For example, "I like my long hair and how it allows me to creatively express myself with different hairstyles" or "I love my genuine smile."

If there are specific areas that bother you, use the power of gratitude to shift the story. You can do this by naming something that body part does for you.

Here's an example. 

Maybe you're not so fond of those eye wrinkles because you think they're unattractive and make you feel old. 

You could tell yourself another story by saying, "I appreciate my eye crinkles because they are reminders of a life filled with laughter and good memories."  

(If gratitude feel too far-fetched...reach for the neutral. More on this in the Bonus Tip below.)

Practice, Practice, Practice

This exercise may sound silly, but it truly is so helpful in shaping a different story about our appearance and how we perceive ourselves. 

The more we use the mirror to affirm ourselves and zoom in on the things we appreciate...the less our reflections will trigger us into body shame. 

It takes time and repetition. But you can and you will heal that relationship with the mirror.

So, practice, practice, practice.


If you're having a hard time naming 3 things you appreciate and body gratitude feels way too far-fetched, go ahead and reach for the neutral

For example, an area that I personally am not super fond about is my stomach. When I feel triggered by this part of my body, I shift it to the neutral by saying something such as:

"I feel triggered by the roundness of my belly right now and that's okay. I won't always feel this way. I'm not the only one with fat on my belly. And ultimately, the shape of my belly has nothing to do with who I am as a person or what I have to offer this world."


Here's another quick video on how you can use the mirror as a weapon of empowerment.

 You can also see why my mirrors are filled with chalk markers scribbles here in this post

Step 5: Fighting Off Body Shame Triggers

Body shame triggers are unavoidable. 

No matter how confident we feel in our bodies, the truth is: insecurities will pop up from time-to-time. 

But that doesn't mean we need to sit back and take a shame-filled beating each time we're triggered. 

Oh no, we can choose to stand our ground.

This week, we'll be taking a look at how we can play defense when body shame triggers pop up (Step 5). 

The more we work at fighting back, the easier it is becomes to deflect those attacks and bounce back more quickly.

2 Tips to Fight Body Shame

Last week we started practicing gratitude and the power of neutrality to shift our perspectives related to body parts that trouble us. 

I want to have us dive a bit deeper into this area this week. 

Below are 2 tips to help you continue building up your body shame resilience. 

Tip #1: Use gratitude to neutralize body shame 

When you notice yourself having a negative body image thought, continue to practice counteracting that hate by naming things you appreciate about what your body does for you.

For example, let's say you're triggered by the cellulite on your legs.

To put a stop to the negative spiral you could list off some things your legs do for you, such as (if you are able-bodied),"I appreciate my legs for allowing me to enjoy hikes that refuel my soul."

Tip #2: Use objectivity to check yo-self and play devil's advocate

We are often way more harsh and critical with ourselves than we are with others. 

So, the next time you feel triggered, practice stepping outside of yourself for a moment. Put yourself in someone else's shoes.

Think about what's troubling you about your body. Then consider how your perspective would change if it was someone else's body instead of your own.


We all have hard body image days. Even those of us who have "done the work" to build up body confidence.

We can't escape negative body image days completely. However, the more we fight back against body shame, the less frequently it pops up and the better able we are to turn things around more quickly when it does.

Check out this post (and video) to empower yourself with 3 ways to fight back against body hate. 

Step 6: Finding Friends Who've Got Your Back

A few weeks ago, we discussed how incredibly important it is to surround ourselves with positive influences because the people we spend the most time with have SUCH a huge impact on us.

Whether we realize it or not. 

This week, I want to help us take a look at our closest circles. Be honest with yourself and consider whether the people you hang with could use any tweaks.

A few questions to consider

  • Does this person inspire me, motivate me, and build me up?
  • Does this person hold the same values as I do and does his/her lifestyle reflect that?
  • Can I be honest and vulnerable with this person and trust him/her with my “real”?
  • Is this relationship reciprocal (i.e., a two-way street)?

Seeking Out Body Positive Peeps

Specifically as it relates to body confidence, I suggest asking yourself whether you have anyone who can support you on your body acceptance journey. 

Let's do a quick temperature check on those in your closest circles. 

  • Do they often talk negatively or obsessively about bodies (their own or others)?
  • Are they consumed with physical appearance?
  • Do conversations with them tend to steer toward a lot of dieting, exercise, or body-shaming chatter?

If so, maybe it's time to seek out peeps who are on the same page when it comes to body acceptance so they can support you on your journey.  

After all, it's quite challenging to improve our body image if we're constantly surrounded people who body shame and/or obsess over their appearance. 


I'm not suggesting you need to "cut all ties" with friends who value dieting and prioritize exercise. (Unless you feel that is in your own best interest.)

What I'm getting at is that it's important to have connections with others who just "get it." Friends who will have your back when you need some additional support on the body positivity front. 


Consider partnering up with a close friend(s) to work on body confidence together. Set up challenges, keep each other motivated, and commit to holding each other accountable to weed out body shame. 

When I first started out on my body acceptance journey, I found this extremely helpful. I buddied up with an accountability partner to check in with several times a week (sometimes daily) via Marco Polos. We'd share wins, gratitudes, and chat through our struggles.

It made a world of difference having someone going through the same journey to walk alongside me: someone who could empathize and understand what I was going through. I think you'll find the same.


It can be difficult to find “real life” body positive allies. But don't lose heart. The Internet is jam-packed with body positive (BoPo) peeps. 

Facebook has some great BoPo community groups to help you stay motivated. Instagram's another social media space where BoPo Influencers and other individuals on the body acceptance journey love to hang out.

The Additional Resources section of the Body Confidence Checklist has a list of BoPo social media accounts I suggest you check out. 

Remember: you don't have to go this journey alone!

Step 7: Finding Friends Who've Got Your Back

You may have seen on social media that my friend, Katie Kibbe (@katie_kibbe), and I have joined forces to hardcore encourage people to close out 2020 with Acts of Kindness.

 We started this kindness movement (#AOK2020) to help us heal and be more resourced to deal with the “real" we're up against these days (i.e., hard realities, such as pandemic discouragement, a divided nation, and uncomfortable emotions, like anxiety, grief, hopelessness, and depression). 

One aspect of this kindness movement is doing acts of kindness for others. The beauty of kindness is it's a two-way street: we feel better when we do good for others. It's science, quite literally. 

(Here's an article that lists off 13 of the proven benefits we receive from acts of kindness, if you're interested in geeking out on the science/psychology behind it all. Here's also some more on #AOK2020 and how you can participate.) 

Helping others sure is important. 

But so is this second aspect that I'm stressing with #AOK2020:

It's important to show ourselves kindness, as well.

Sometimes we can discount or overlook self-care. Others need help and we want to do our part. 

But the thing is, we can't only pour out, my Friend. We also need to fill up our own cups. In fact, we are able to show up better for others when we also make a point to show up for (and take care of) ourselves.

Recently, I shared a post on Instagram talking about one aspect of self-kindness: talking to ourselves as we would a friend.

I'd like to expand upon that aspect a bit. (It also just so happens to be Step 7 of the Body Confidence Challenge I have been walking you through the past several weeks.) 

OK, you ready? Let's (quickly) talk self-talk.

Self-Talk That Build Up

Words are POWERFUL, my friend!

How we talk (or even think) about ourselves can either build us up or tear us down. So it's very important for us to be careful about the words we ascribe to ourselves. 

In the coming days, I encourage you to start bringing awareness to the things you say or think about yourself. Awareness is the key. We can't change what we don't know is broken.

Any time you notice negative chatter pop up (e.g., talking negatively about your physical appearance, personality, personal challenges…whatever), challenge those put-downs with positive, self-affirming statements.

For example, if you catch a glance in the mirror and think, “UghI’m so disgusting," replace thatgarbage with kind words like:

“I’m not disgusting. I'm just having a bad body image day and feel particularly vulnerable right now. This feeling is temporary and I won’t always feel this way. I choose to be kind with myself. What do I need right now?”

How About Some Help?

Below are some other empowering statementsto help you show yourself some self-kindness and counteract negative body image scripts if/when they show up:

  • "My body is the least interesting thing about me" (i.e., you have way more to offer to this world than what you look like)
  • "My body is not my enemy" (i.e., your body's only trying to take care of you and deserves respect - it's a key part to your whole integrated self) 
  • "My body is a vessel that allows me to experience this world, love on others, and live out my God-given calling" (i.e., your heart, soul, spirit, and overall "essence" - the parts of you that go unseen - are the parts that truly matter)
  • "My body is not the problem, the problem is society's twisted beauty standards" (i.e., our culture’s bogus body-worthiness-ranking ideals are the issue - the truth is all bodies are "good" bodies).

Affirm Yourself & See What Happens

Friend, it can be so easy for us to fall into the trap of self-criticism and self-judgment. It can be easy to forget to show ourselves the same kindness we willingly give to others. 

Well, I don't know about you, but I say it's time to turn that ship around. 

Let's start by intentionally choosing to speak kindly to ourselves, as we would a friend. 

Go ahead and affirm yourself...and just see what happens.


Want some more help keeping that self-talk in check? Here's a free Self Talk Guide to help you do so. 

This guide includes:

  • 15 common “confidence killer” phrases to watch out for (and empowering replacements to help you “flip that script”)
  • 15 bonus positive statements to help you practice affirming yourself 

(Just a quick head's up: you'll need to enter your name and email so I can shoot the free goods on over to you. But don't worry, it won't sign you up for any kind of spam mail. Promise.) 


Wanna dive deeper on this subject?

Here are some additional reads on the power of words (a 3-part series).

Step 8: Finding Friends Who've Got Your Back

Picture this scenario...

You're out to brunch with girlfriends and you're giddy with excitement; it feels like ages since you've all been together. 

The waiter pops by your table to take your order; but no one's even had so much as a peak at the menu because you've all been too busy laughing and catching up. 

After like...the fourth time popping by…the waitor masks his irritation with a forced smile and says, "Take your time, ladies!" But you all know what he really means is, "Get it together and order already!"

Finally, someone says, "OK, I guess we better take a look at that menu."

You begin to peruse the various options when suddenly, the previously life-giving conversation takes a sour turn as your friends offer up self-shaming comments like:

  • "Ugh, I should be "good" and have the salad; I ate so much last night!"
  • "Oh, screw it, I'm gonna be "bad" and have the french toast."
  • "That burger sounds so good; but I really shouldn't. I'm on a diet."
  • "Gosh, I really need to start working out more. I've gained so much weight."

This scenario sound familiar? 

If so, join the club.

Avoid Shame-Filled Conversation (i.e., "Shame Bonding")

Unfortunately, it's a common practice (particularly amongst women) to use body shame and/or diet & exercise talk as a way of "bonding" with one another (e.g., "I feel closer to you because you dislike your body as much as I do my own"). 

It's sadly become "socially acceptable" (perhaps even expected) - so much so, we often don't even realize it's happening. 

Friend, I strongly believe this is a habit worth breaking. 

How about you?


Let's be real: we have waaaaaay more interesting (and life-giving) things to talk about than diet and exercise. Or any self-shaming talk, for that matter.

Rather than allowing our conversations to circle around fitness goals, the latest food that's made its way to the "naughty" list, body dissatisfaction, or other self-shaming chatter...

Let's do our part to contribute meaningful conversation topics that add value to our relationships. 

Things like (just to name a few): 

  • How things are going on the personal front
  • Upcoming life events we're excited about
  • Ways God has been speaking to us
  • Things we could use support or encouragement around

Body-and-exercise-related talk drives us to focus on things that don't add much value (and honestly don't really matter all that much at the end of the day).

So let's do our part to change the tune. Let's be the change we want to see.


Diet and exercise talk can be extremely triggering for some of our friends.

So while talking about your weight loss goals may not seem like that big of a deal to could be inflicting a great deal of harm on loved ones struggling with food/body-related issues without even realizing it.   

So even if this kind of chatter doesn't bother you all that much, I encourage you to still make these tweaks. You could be really helping out a friend in doing so.


We can do our best to filter the things we contribute in conversation with others. But we obviously have no control over what others may say.

If/when shame-filled chatter pops up in conversation (such as, if a friend begins criticizing her body or starts to talking about wanting to lose weight), consider changing the subject to something more meaningful.

If you feel comfortable doing so, you could even add in your own body positive perspectives to steer the conversation away from the negative body shame spiral.

With close friends or loved ones, you may even consider opening up to them about your own body positivity journey. That way they can try to proactively support you by avoiding negative body chatter when they spend time with you.

Step 9: Clean Out That Closet

Okay, Friend. It's time for a little "Marie Kondo" action to that closet of yours. This week we're gonna “spark joy” into your wardrobe so it's a more inviting (and perhaps less triggering) space for you.

Now, at first glance this exercise may sound a little silly…or perhaps even a bit superficial…

But trust me, you don't want to skip this exercise. 

And here's why…

The clothing we own and choose to wear has the ability to have a big impact on our confidence, our self-perception, and the way we show up in this world. 

For example, let's say you opt to wear clothing that's way too big for you as a means of avoiding judgment or unwanted attention from others. 

The larger clothing may feel like a shield of protection. But this act of “escape” is implicitly reinforcing the misbelief that says “my body is not good enough”…or worse yet…"I'm not good enough."

Also, when we hide, we often feel unseen. And when we feel unseen, we are susceptible to dangerous false narratives, such as I'm unwanted, I'm insignificant, and I'm unimportant.


Friend, at face-value it may seem like our clothing choices aren't that big of a deal. But the truth is, the things we choose to wear can influence how we actually feel and perceive ourselves. 

So in that case, I'd say it's worth having a look at.

Weed Out Body Shame Triggers

It's time to weed out any items in your closet that don't fit, feel uncomfortable, or make you feel self-conscious in your existing body. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Are there any too-small clothing items I've been hanging onto in the hopes that someday I'll be able to fit into them again?
  • Are there items in my closet that feel tight, uncomfortable, or make me feel self-conscious?
  • Are there any items that are too big for me?
  • Are there any pieces that make me feel less than my best? 

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it's time to consider donating those items.

Why so? 

Because hanging onto things that make us feel “blah" is a shame-spiral just waiting to happen. 

For example, seeing those once-favorite jeans that are now two sizes too small may conjure up the false narrative that your “as-is" body isn't good enough and needs to be “fixed.”

And that's no bueno. 

We want to learn how to love and accept ourselves no matter the shape or size of our bodies. 

So make your closet a “safe place” and weed out potential sources of despair. Don't give your clothing the power to tell you you're not enough. 

Because you ARE enough and deserving of love…just as you are. 


It can be hard to let go of clothing for various reasons. For example, some items may be loaded with memories or you may find yourself mourning the loss of a smaller body size.

Here are 3  tips to make this process easier on you:

  • Before diving in, ensure you're emotionally resourced (if you're feeling vulnerable or particularly insecure, it's probably not the best time to do this exercise).
  • Allow this process to take as long as you need. Break it up into small chunks. Take breaks when you feel like you've had enough. This is not a race: your pace is your pace.
  • As you weed out clothing you've outgrown, defuse shame by reminding yourself that the "I'll be happier when I'm thin" game is completely bogus. Thinness is NOT the way to ultimate confidence or happiness. Confidence and happiness is a state of mind and way of being that has NOTHING to do with the physical condition or shape of our bodies.

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by emotion as you clean out your closet, please know it's completely normal. If this happens to be your own experience, please be kind and compassionate with yourself, Friend.


Q1) Why not hold onto items I've outgrown…just in case?

 I know it can be tempting to hold onto old or outgrown clothing items for various reasons. But resist the temptation to do so. One key ingredient to a happy wardrobe is owning things we feel excited about wearing. And that means: clothing that fits.

As we build more self-confidence, we also want to learn how to love and accept our bodies no matter their shapes or sizes. If we become too attached to a certain body type, it sets us up for a blow to our confidence any time our bodies fluctuate. It's important to honor and take care of our bodies, no matter what size.

On top of that, holding onto clothing we've outgrown can cause us to live out of the “I'll be happy when”mentality (i.e., “I'll be happy when I weight “X” lbs"). When we operate this way, it can cause us to lose sight of the things God has in store for us in the present. It also implies that who we are in the “here and now” is not good enough and we can't be happy unless things are different. And that's just a big fat lie. 

Q2) But what if my weight gain is temporary?

There are certain times when we experience temporary weight gain, pregnancy being one of those cases. It is also common for our bodies to fluctuate up-and-down within our body's natural set-point range (more on that here if this concept is new to you). 

For scenarios like this, it may not make sense to ditch your “too-small-today” clothing. 

Instead what I suggest is putting your smaller items in storage so they don't serve as constant reminders of weight gain, which may trigger you while you're working on body acceptance and overcoming fatphobia.

A quick note: I am NOT suggesting you hold onto clothing as “motivation” for weight-loss. There is plenty of scientific data supporting the fact that dieting is not only harmful to your body, but also doesn't offer long-term weight loss. Here are two suggested resources if you want to hear more on that: Anti-Diet (by Christy Harrison) and Health At Every Size (by Linda Bacon).

Q3) Why is it so important to accept my “as-is” body? Can't I just “fix it” to feel more confident?

It doesn't serve us to have our level of confidence or happiness tied to a particular body type. There's many reason for this. 

Here are two big problems I see:

First (and most importantly), attachment to a certain body type puts us at risk of becoming overly-consumed with and/or over-identified by our physical appearance. This can take us down a dangerous path of over-valuing what we look like which distracts us from the MOST important things in life (like God, our relationships, our callings, etc.). Not to mention: the more we focus on our bodies, the less satisfied we often become (the bar is ever-rising).

Secondly, attachment to a particular body size/shape/type sets us up to be easily rattled when body shifts occur in the future…which is inevitable. Whether we like it or not, our bodies will continue to change over time as we age. 

So it's in our best interest to work on accepting our bodies in whatever state they're in and focus our energy on building confidence that is not contingent up on our physical appearance.

Step 10: Spruce Up Your Wardrobe