All Bodies Are Summer Bodies
All Bodies Are Summer Bodies!!!
Somehow we are already at the end of May, which for many of us means summer kick off is in full swing. Bring on the BBQs, lake floating, and wine spritzers. Most of all BRING ON THE SUMMER BOD!!!!! No, I don’t mean bring on the summer version of “New Year New Me” or “Lets feel bad about our bodies until we have excessively exercised and cut out enough foods to make us miserable and sad”.
What I want to emphasize, is a reminder, that if you have a body, it’s ready for ALL seasons. That body you’re soul is contained in, is a summer body whatever your size.
I practice and teach body liberation or body neutrality. This means focusing on aspects of life that bring you joy, bringing in practices of nourishment that feel fun, compassionate, restorative, healing, and invigorating. We’re all human, we’re all going to have “bad body days” when we aren’t totally comfortable in our skin no matter our size (it’s how our culture functions), but we are worth so much more than just our bodies!!
Summer can be such an exciting time. A time to enjoy our community, get outside, enjoy outdoor music and long days soaking up the sun. If we are constantly trying to change our bodies and bringing the focus onto how we look, how will we ever truly enjoy what is going on around us? How will we embrace the Sunday morning pancakes, or the waves crashing at our feet, if we are so focused on what we perceive as our imperfections, shaming our bodies and food choices??
YOU DO NOT have to eat less, exercise more, or change your body in any way to have a summer body, all you need to do is show up.
When those fat-phobic, diet culture rules start stealing moments of your life, put them back in their place..
When media and advertisements try to sell you the magic pill to a beach body, remember they are marketing to your fear and insecurities.
Don’t let another summer go by stressing about anything other than, “Did I put on enough sunscreen.”
You are worthy, you are enough, you’re body is already a summer body, and there is nothing “wrong” with any of us!!
In need of some tangible “Summer Body” tips to ward off any lingering body shaming thoughts? Check out my 5 tips below!
Buy clothes that feel good on your skin.
It can be uncomfortable going into a new season, finding that clothes just don’t feel the same way they did last season. This could be for a number of reasons. Maybe your body has changed (Yay!! Your a living breathing human!!), maybe your clothing taste has changed, maybe there is an external non body factor weighing in on your psyche. Remember, it’s all perception. Your body image comes from within so finding or purchasing some staple clothing items that are comfortable to start, will help you feel more confident in your skin. Quick mini tip? Let go of giving a clothing size more power than it deserves. Try bringing a couple sizes bigger than you think you need into the dressing room and work your way down to the size that feels most comfortable on your body. Doesn’t feel good? Thank you, NEXT!!
EAT THE SUMMER FOOD.
Yes, I mean it. Eat the foods you love and make you feel good! Summer time means tons of fresh, colorful options and fun opportunities to try them out. Allowing a variety of foods, helps our bodies get to decide what they like and don’t, instead of having food rules drive the bus. By letting go of putting foods into proverbial good/bad boxes, we allow our bodies to intuitively learn what it needs to feel nourished and cared for. This means allowing food groups like Carbohydrates (Yes, that means gluten too), yummy fats that keep us full and our hormones healthy, protein to keep us strong, and fun foods with full permission. Practicing intuitive and mindful eating helps us attune ourselves with what works best for us at an individual level with full autonomy and respect.
Our internal dialogue is a great indicator of how we are treating ourselves on a daily basis. This is a wonderful time to begin practicing some positive self talk. This can mean anything from standing in front of the mirror and saying words of affirmation to start your day, to re-directing that mean girl voice that keeps you from really being in the moment. We have the ability to be our own biggest advocates, but it takes some practice and self realization to grasp where we are in the process.
To be honest, enjoyment factor might seem like a crazy concept. We often lose sight of truly asking ourselves what brings us joy and taking the time to find out what that looks like. No, it would be unrealistic to believe life would be joyful ALL the time, but could you find joy for a moment each day? Are there times in your week you have set up that really light you up? Could you put self-made rules aside and really ask yourself, what would bring me joy in this moment, and allow yourself to act based on that? We are humans with needs that deserve to be met and we can’t truly show up for others until we are showing up for ourselves first. So are you acting from a place of restriction and shame or compassion, empathy, and finding joy? What have you decided you can’t do because of the body you’re in right now? What are you not allowing yourself to fully enjoy or hide away from because you need to diet or over analyze your body or restrict?
Unfortunately movement has gotten so tied into weight loss that so many of us have forgotten what it feels like to move for pleasure and because it brings us joy. We either tell ourselves we will start moving when we have changed our bodies or we don’t allow ourselves to get curious about what types of movements we actually like! Summer time is the perfect opportunity to try new methods WITHOUT any focus on weight what so ever. Joyful movement can be beneficial in so many ways as it can help lower stress, anxiety, increase energy, help us feel a part of our community, increase our self-awareness and exploration, boost our feel good hormones, reduce cardiac risk, and overall just add another element of joy to our lives. Not sure how to begin the process? Start by thinking about what types of movement you enjoyed as a kid! Many studios and gyms have introductory rates so that you can try out different classes a couple times and decide if it’s something you might enjoy. GET OUTSIDE!!! Summer is a wonderful opportunity to get outside, take walks with friends, swim, find free classes in your area, rent a bike or try something new your community offers!
It can feel scary to think about stepping out of your comfort zone and putting your weight or diet on the back burner, but coming at that fear with curiosity and compassion goes a long way.
Remember chronic/seasonal dieting although prevalent in our culture, is not a requirement.
Beginning to take a stance of body neutrality opens up the doors to finding much more joy in living. Be gentle with yourself, this is not a perfect process but a practice that takes time. If you have been dieting for a long time, it’s understandable that that negative self-talk will want to creep back into your subconscious. Maybe you have a friend who is starting the newest fad detox or a inappropriate family member making comments, remember you are so much more than your body, and that body of yours deserves respect separate from any weight goals.
Feeling overwhelmed or not sure how to get started? There are tons of wonderful accounts and people who are on this journey too. IT IS POSSIBLE to start respecting your body as it is right now, and accept that a summer body is simply a body during one of the 4 seasons.
Want to talk a little bit more in-depth or start your body liberation journey? I’d love to hear from you. Shoot me an email or head here. As an inclusive registered dietitian my passion is helping individuals reclaim their food and body freedom.
-Kaitlin Bolt-Lovett RD, LD