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Autumn is our favorite time of year - time to dig out your sweaters and wrap up warm in scarves and cosy coats. But if you're feeling a little bit blah, maybe because you had a bit too much to eat over the summer, it's time to boost your confidence.

Perception is everything - what you perceive is your own reality. If you perceive yourself to be fabulous, lo and behold, you'll be fabulous. If you perceive yourself to be fat or stupid or ugly, that's all you're going to see in the mirror. Altering your perceptions, and how you interpret what you see in the mirror, is the only way to improve your self-esteem and therefore your body confidence. 

A recent study on 75 pairs of college-aged women were asked how often they discussed four weight-related topics: appearance, exercise, weight loss and nutrition, whilst assessing the body image of the women and finding out whether or not they had a strong desire to be thin. Generally (and sadly) the conversations around these topics were usually associated with negative body image and lower levels of self-esteem, although when the women discussed exercise, their conversations were more positive than negative. Another really interesting point bought up by the study was the perception of others and the perception of self. Women who thought that their friends had low self-esteem were more likely to have low self-esteem themselves - as in, "I think that my friend feels badly about herself, so appearance is really important. I feel badly about myself, too".

A really good thing about the positive conversation surrounding exercise is that it shifts the focus away from what women's bodies look like, to what their bodies can do.

And when we start to focus on what we can do - and all of the fabulous things about our bodies - it means that we start to focus less and less on what we can't do and what we don't like. So, here are six ways to boost your body confidence this autumn, so that you'll be well on your way to your very best rockstar self in time for Christmas.

Stop the Fat Talk

We women are notorious for "passing the buck" when it comes to fat talk, so to speak. When one of our friends says something like, "I'm so fat", and our response is "No, I'm the fat one - have you seen the size of my bum?", we're reinforcing the belief that we're not good enough. It even reinforces the fact that your friend is fat, especially if you're smaller than them and are trying to make them feel better out of a misguided sense of "I don't like myself either".

Recognizing fat talk as something damaging and negative as soon as it happens, rather than letting it get out of hand, is the first way to reclaim your self-esteem.

What Can You Do?

If you don't like your bum, think about what it lets you do - sit comfortably, for example? Don't like your arms? They propel you forwards and let you move, which is probably one of the most important actions in the world. Focus on everything that your body lets you do and you'll soon learn to love it.

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