Cosmo Curve

11 women who showed us numbers mean nothing when it comes to body confidence

Focus on how you FEEL, not what the figures say.

By Catriona Harvey-Jenner

We measure most things by numbers: our height, our age, and even the success of our career where our salaries are concerned. But there's one thing we probably shouldn't use figures for: to determine how confident we feel within our own bodies. It's incredibly easy to set number-based targets when it comes to losing weight - "I just want to lose half a stone", or, "I want to fit into size 10 clothes again", for example - but it's time to stop all that. Because you'll be a whole lot happier - and healthier, for that matter - if you start going off how you feel rather than what the scales or your clothes tags say.

Here are 11 women who proved that perfectly this year:

1. The model who went up five dress sizes - and felt great

26-year-old model from Australia La'Tecia Thomas used to obsess over the numbers on the scales, working out for three hours a day and living on a restrictive diet. But all that changed when she realised none of it was making her happy. So she decided to embrace a more balanced lifestyle, went from a size six to a size 16, and she's so much better off because of it. "My mind is in a healthy place, and that's very important. I've taught myself to love myself and accept myself," she said.

2. The Instagrammer who proved clothes sizes differ BIG time

South African Instagrammer Mira Hirsch knows clothes sizes in shops are BS, and she's got the pictures to prove it. Here she is, wearing the same size trousers in the same shop. One pair fits, one pair doesn't. "Do not define yourself by a number", Mira wrote. Enough said.

3. The woman whose 'goal weight' wasn't all it cracked up to be

Christina Basil set herself a target weight after feeling like she'd put on too much. But after bending over backwards to achieve it, she realised she wasn't actually happy. It wasn't maintainable, and she was scrutinising herself day in, day out. So instead, Christina took a different approach to her workouts, concentrating on weight training, and now - despite weighing more than she did to begin with - she's finally found the body confidence she'd been hoping for.

4. The tweeter who called out H&M on their idea of a size 16

Samantha Bell wears size 16 jeans, but when shopping in H&M earlier this year, she noticed there was a pretty sizeable discrepancy between their idea of size 16 and Primark's, which she wears comfortably. H&M's size 16 jeans were way smaller, and Samantha wanted the shop to know this kind of thing could cause a huge knock on people's confidence if they believe all of a sudden they've gone up a size or two. "You guys NEED to sort this out," she wrote in a tweet that went viral.

5. The Instagram account that'll change your understanding of calories

Fitness Instagrammer Lucy Mountain started a second Instagram account this year - 'TheFFFeed' - which completely puts the idea of calories into perspective. While some people focus on calorie counting as a means of staying healthy - and this canwork to help control food intake - it doesn't take into account the nutritional value of what you're eating, as The FFFeed rightly points out.

6. The woman whose size 12 dress still fits her now she's a size 20

Michelle Elman is a body positivity activist, and she made a very valid point about clothes sizes this year. Sharing two photographs of her in the same dress - one now, and one in 2012 when she was five dress sizes smaller - she proved that you shouldn't judge yourself based on numbers or sizes. "A higher dress size doesn't mean: - you are less beautiful - you are less worthy - you are less lovable", she wrote.

7. When Pink revealed she's technically obese, and she DGAF

Urging her followers to ditch their scales, singer Pink shared a photograph of herself in the gym shortly after having had her second baby. "Would you believe I'm 160 pounds and 5'3"? By 'regular standards' that makes me obese," she wrote in the Instagram caption. But she looks - and most importantly feels great - so she doesn't care what category she should technically be defined by. "I know I'm not at my goal or anywhere near it after Baby 2 but dammit I don't feel obese. The only thing I'm feeling is myself. Stay off that scale ladies!" the singer added.

8. The blogger who called BS on dress sizes

Katy from @wodthefork, normally uses her Instagram to share motivational pictures of her health and fitness journey, but earlier this year she shared a different type of comparison photo which caught the internet's attention. In the pictures, Katy can be seen struggling to pull a pair of leggings over her bum and thighs. But the truth is, she's wearing exactly the same size trousers as she is in the second photo - taken just moments later. Sizes mean nothing! So let's all remember that next time we're feeling crap about not fitting into our usual size in the changing room.

9. The new mum who vowed to stop weighing herself

Prior to having her first baby, Mia Redworth was a UK size 4-6. After giving birth, she had put on weight and trying on her pre-pregnancy clothes only made her feel worse. But realising a negative attitude wasn't going to be helpful for anyone in the long run, Mia vowed never to weigh herself again. As a result, she's ditched any numerical targets she had - with the only one now being to feel great. "My fitness goals have never been to get back to my body before a baby because I had no booty and no muscle," Mia wrote. "With weight lifting I'm going to be bigger, I'm building muscle and THATS OKAY!"

10. The woman who pointed out how much our bodies can change in one day

Hop on the scales first thing in the morning, and you'll likely be okay with the number presented in front of you. Do the same 12 hours later, and it'll be another story. But that's completely normal - and it's exactly the point personal trainer and fitness Instagrammer Lauren Tickner made in this popular post. So why do we pay any attention to the figure on the scale if it can change so much in one day anyway? As nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert pointed out, "it is common for an average body to fluctuate in weight by 2-3kg over the course of the day".

11. The blogger who reminded us muscle weighs more than fat

For some people, the most exciting part of a new health and fitness regime is stepping on the scales after a few weeks to monitor your progress. So when that number is higher than it was to begin with, you can feel disheartened. But don't! As Instagrammer Adrienne Osuna highlighted: you're actually heading in the right direction. Muscle weighs more than fat, and the scale can't tell the difference between the two.