Having a Summer Body
I recently wrote a short IG post about this topic, but I felt like it warranted a full on blog post. So here we are.
It’s always right around April that all of the “summer body” memes start popping up. You know, the ones using pictures of fat cats or Winnie the Pooh to joke about how your “winter body” is perfect but your “summer body” isn’t quite ready. It’s around this time as well that everyone starts acting like there is some sort of countdown to the first day of summer and if you don’t have a perfect body by then, you’re screwed. Like now they have to really stick to their diet, now they have to get serious about their workout plan.
Why does each season warrant a different body? Why is it that as soon as we have to wear a bathing suit, we all of a sudden don’t deserve to eat the way we’ve been eating since the fall?
I see people try so hard to work towards their “summer body” as soon as the weather starts warming up. But, most of the time, their goal isn’t reached. Why? Because as we know, crash diets don’t work. “I’m going to Hawaii in 2 weeks and all of a sudden want my body to look different than it’s ever looked” diets don’t work. Forcing yourself to follow strict rules always backfires. Our bodies are incredibly protective. So instead, June comes around, and you don’t feel worthy of a bathing suit. You don’t feel like you should wear shorts because your legs have cellulite. You choose to skip out on the boating trip or a day at the beach because the thought of being in your bathing suit all day gives you anxiety. I’m with you – when the weather reaches jeans-are-almost-not-comfortable-anymore weather, I get a little anxious. When our bodies are constantly covered in big sweaters and flattering jeans, it’s easy to not be preoccupied with constant thoughts about changing the way we look.
However, I’ve realized something over the last few years.
If we are always waiting for our body to be perfect in order to engage in activities, we will be waiting FOREVER. Your body will NEVER be perfect. Why? Because perfect is unattainable. Maybe your desired weight loss will happen but then you’ll find something else to be picky about. You’ll fit into that bathing suit you’ve been hanging up in your closet for motivation, but you’ll then realize you still don’t look like the model who wore that suit in the magazine (speaking from experience here).
I live in California, two hours from beautiful Pacific Ocean beaches and two hours the other way to the incredible Lake Tahoe. The beach is a constant in my life. I don’t want to look back on my life with regret about all the beach trips that I chose to sit on the sand. I don’t want to be sweating in jeans and a quarter sleeve shirt while everyone else is enjoying themselves in shorts.
You deserve to wear shorts NOW. You deserve to swim, to join in on paddle-boarding, wakeboarding, kayaking, whatever it may be, at the size you are now.
I know it can be scary to let your body out. It feels safe to be bundled up. It feels like if you do show your body, people will be shocked, embarrassed, and won’t stop staring at you.
But guess what? In your non-beach friendly attire, you stand out more.
I long for us to view our bodies as every-season bodies. Moreso, I want us to be so busy living and loving life through every season that our bodies are an afterthought. When the weather changes, I want us to be thinking of the fun traditions coming up and how we can’t wait to engage in them, the new outfits we can’t wait to wear, and all of the other joys that a new season brings. And no, this won’t happen once you achieve your desired body size. This needs to happen now.
This is a hard and lifelong process. You are rewiring the way you’ve been taught to think. Diet culture messaging gets even louder when summer comes around. You have to constantly fight against this messaging.