Who's ready for summer? After a long, cold (very cold) winter, I am loving every 70 degree weather we've had in this past week. I can't tell how good it feels to run in a t-shirt and shorts again. Most people love summer....but also get extreme anxiety and spend so much energy worrying about their summer wardrobe. You know, wearing shorts, tank tops, and the dreaded swimsuit.
You tell yourself that every year that this year will be the year that you will be confident in your swimsuit, but when summer comes along, you panic. You start to go on a drastic diet plan, or just cut out all the junk food to lose weight fast. You tell yourself that you must get the flat stomach, thigh gap, perfect butt.
Ugh, really? The inner critic we listen to is ridiculous.
- Why do you let yourself spend so much energy and time worrying about wearing a swimsuit on the beach?
- Is it really worth it?
- Is your life really going to be full of happy rainbows and fireworks if you look like the Victoria's Secret model?
Really. Take a moment, and ask yourself these questions. Be honest.
The Beach Body Craze
Believe me, it's not just you who has these worries and anxieties. Body image is a huge struggle for most women, but it's not something we really talk about. If you buy any women's magazine, you'll see "beach body" workouts or pictures that tell us that there is one perfect body shape and size. Guess what? That "perfect body" is unrealistic and typically too thin. There's plenty of people who have reached that "perfect body" and say that nothing changed. They weren't happier or healthier - they were just thinner.
Yet, the pursuit of a perfect body is still there. We dream and wish for something we don't have right now. We distract ourselves from living life by controlling our calories and exercises in pursuit of the body that will lead to unlimited happiness and health.
Instead, you can choose to practice body positivity. By embracing - or even starting to accept - your body, you're telling yourself you're worth it. You're practicing self-care towards your incredible body.
You know, the body that allows you to run, walk, do yoga, move around. The body that keeps your heart pumping and lungs breathing.
What if you had fun on the beach without comparing yourself to other women? You can wear a swimsuit and actually live your life. Play frisbee on the beach. Swim. Lie on the beach. Drink margaritas on a boat.
Having a perfect body is not a pre-requisite for having fun or being happy.
You don't have to skip the beach to torture yourself for hours in the gym. There's no rules saying you have to have a flat stomach to wear a bikini and have fun on the beach. If you want a bikini body, simply put a bikini on your body :)
Believe me, it's not just you who hates the idea of wearing a swimsuit. I would honestly say it's most women at one point in their life (including me). You don't have to hide your body behind a towel. You don't have to lose weight fast to feel confident in your skin this summer.
By accepting your body, it doesn't mean you'll ever have negative body thoughts. It simply means you can notice those thoughts, but they don't have any real power over you. You can choose to hear those thoughts, then move on, and continue to practice body positivity.
Love the Body you Have
Loving your body can be really tough, and you won't get there overnight. Today, just try and let go of your body image worries. Use the mantra "Let go" when you hear these worries come up, or you can try this great meditation for worry & anxiety (it's only 4 minutes, so I'm sure you can fit it in!). You can also try these tips:
- Find a swimsuit that fits you well & that you love.
- Add a smile to your outfit.
- Be confident.
- Don't compare yourself to other women! "Comparison is the thief of joy."
- Keep up your healthy habits. Eat whole nourishing foods, and move your body regularly. Real food helps your body feel good from the inside out, and movement gives you those amazing endorphins. If you feel healthy and feel good, you will be more confident.
- Let go. Let go. Let go. Instead of wasting energy on hating your body, use it for good like going to a yoga class, heading out for a walk, or reading a book. You can always sing Let it Go if that helps you remember :)
PS: If you want to learn how to accept your body and take care of it through a non-diet approach, contact me about nutrition coaching. Guiding women towards practicing body positivity and intuitive eating is my passion!