On September 8-10, 2019 I had the opportunity to attend Inspired Vacay, a retreat hosted by and for the members of the Female Entrepreneur Association. This year’s Inspired Vacay was held in Palm Springs and I headed to sunny California with a few set intentions: 1) I wanted to talk to FEA founder Carrie Green about See Jane Write and get her advice on how to grow my membership program. 2) I wanted to develop a vision and plan for my business for 2020 and the rest of 2019. 3) I wanted to make a genuine, long-lasting connection with at least one other attendee. 4) I wanted to get photographed in my new swimsuit.

Related Reading: How Inspired Vacay 2019 Turned Me Into the Dreamer I’d Always Claimed to Be

If you’re thinking that last item on my list has absolutely nothing to do with growing my business, think again.

Thick thighs save lives!

I currently weigh 40 pounds more than I want and, according to my doctor, 40 pounds more than I should. So, my body confidence is at an all-time low.

I’ve written before about how my body image issues can hurt my blog, my brand, and my business.

You know how this story goes. You need to do a photoshoot for your website. You need to start doing weekly Facebook or Instagram Live broadcasts for your audience. Your business coach says you need to start a YouTube channel. You need to promote yourself through speaking engagements and television appearances. But you won’t allow yourself to do any of these things until you lose weight.

Fortunately, I haven’t let my weight stop me from doing speaking engagements, webinars or live broadcasts on social media. But I’m long overdue for new photos and I’ve been putting off starting my YouTube channel for years.

By the end of the final workshop of my last full day in Palm Springs, I had checked off everything on my list of intentions except that swimsuit pic. Taking this picture was to be the first in a long list of activities I’m doing in an effort to love my body as is even as I try to shed pounds. But writing “Take a pic in new swimsuit” is a lot easier than actually doing it.

Enter my new friend CC.

Babes supporting babes!
Thank you, CC!

CC, another Inspired Vacay attendee, has a skincare business and also teaches entrepreneurs how to use their intuition in business. She’s also an actress and she looks like one, too. CC is gorgeous and quite frankly the last person I thought would understand my body image issues. But I was wrong. When I confessed to her that I’d promised myself I’d take a swimsuit pic and that I had yet to do it, she got it. She understood why this was just as important as every other intention on my list. And so, she jumped into action.

“Go put on your swimsuit. We’re taking pictures at the pool before we head to dinner,” she said.  

And that was that.

CC and I played photographer for each other for nearly an hour and had a blast. And our impromptu photoshoot was a perfect example of the beauty and the power of babes supporting babes.

10 Ways to Boost Body Confidence

Now that I’m back at home I’m working on both my business and my body. I’m putting into action all the things I learned at Inspired Vacay, but I’m also exercising most days of the week and next month I’m starting Weight Watchers.

But if I’m not going to let my body image issues get in the way of my business plan, I have to learn to love my body even before the number on the scale changes. Here’s how I plan to do it.

  1. Remember that empowered women empower women. Time has taught me that one of the best ways to stop worrying about how I look is to stop worrying about how I look! The trick is to focus less on myself and more on helping the women around me go after their goals. Also, just spending quality time with my girlfriends always leaves me feeling like I’m on top of the world.
  2. Queens compliment queens. I can’t explain it, but every time I compliment another woman, I feel better about myself. Perhaps when I recognize the beauty of another woman it makes it easier to recognize the beauty in myself.
  3. Do it for the ‘gram. I enjoyed my photoshoot with CC so much that I’m eager to pull out portrait mode with other friends, too. So, along with following body-positive Instagram accounts like @effyourbeautystandards and @gabifresh, I’ll be posting body positive pics of my own.
  4. Get moving. Exercising and focusing on what my body can do instead of what it looks like always makes me feel better.
  5. Make a note to self. Because I have a chronic illness that affects my joints and muscles, sometimes exercise is nearly impossible. On those days I write a love letter to my body to show my body that I appreciate it even when it can’t move the way I want it to.
  6. Listen to Lizzo. Does this really need an explanation?
  7. Stop the food fight. Yes, I’m going to each more fruits and vegetables as I work to improve my health, but I’m also not going to punish myself for occasionally eating pizza or ice cream, too.
  8. Treat yo’ self. When it’s in the budget, I plan to treat myself to a massage or a new outfit. When money’s tight, a DIY mani/pedi and a bubble bath should do the trick.
  9. Be bold. I must continue to move in the right direction whether or not the needle on the scale is moving, too. I am more than this body.
  10. Be whole. I am more than this body, but I am more than my business, too. I’m more than my blog. I’m more than my byline. I am a whole person. And I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

What do you do when you need a confidence boost?