Summer is fast approaching (YAY!).
With summer comes iced coffee, longer and hotter days, and park hangs. However, the approaching season also leads to pervasive talk about “summer bodies”. How many conversations about “summer bodies” have you heard this past month within your community, on social media or in marketing?
For those of you that don’t know, “summer bodies” is one facet of diet culture that tells you your body needs to change – specifically become slimmer and build muscle – to be in ‘ideal’ form for the summer months (a season where you tend to wear less clothing).
The fitness industry especially is guilty of perpetuating the summer body dialogue. Ever heard of a “Summer Shred” fitness program? Fitness players will use the notion of people losing weight or ‘sculpting’ their body to ‘look good’ in a bikini, in order to drive sales.
But we’re here today to shut that sh*t down! And you’re reading this because some part of you is willing to change this mindset and is tired of hearing the dialogue. The only reason “summer bodies” continues to thrive in the media is because people are willing to buy into it. So, it starts with you, and your willingness to buy into it.
Here’s the deal: there’s no such thing as a summer body. It’s not your body you need to change, it’s your mindset and relationship with your body. It’s doing the deep work, understanding and living your values, believing you are worthy and valuable regardless of your body and truly realizing YOU ARE MORE THAN YOUR BODY.
You don’t have to look a certain way to wear a bathing suit. Your body is summer ready all year round. There’s no certain point when you look ‘good enough’ to wear a bikini. You can and SHOULD wear a bikini whenever you feel like it. Bikini season, like fitness, is not a shape, size or look.
We understand this is all easier said than done. So how do you actually shift this mindset?
First thing would be to truly understand the inherent value of fitness. Strength training has an immense amount of benefits that have nothing to do with your physical appearance. Here are just a few:
- Slows age-related issues, such as osteoporosis and muscle loss.
- Reduces rate of injury.
- Minimizes pain (i.e. a strong core and glutes can drastically reduce low back pain).
- Improves your joint health.
- Increases your confidence.
- Boosts your sex life → learn more about that here.
- Improves brain functioning.
- Reduces stress and improves mental health.
- And so many more.
When you truly believe that fitness actually has nothing to do with your appearance you can begin to tune out the dialogue about working out to be “summer body ready”. Instead, you believe in working out to promote longevity and improve your quality of life. That, becomes so much bigger than the idea of what you look like. This is just one step to mend the relationship with your body for the upcoming summer season (and every season thereafter).
Another way in which you will start living and breathing the “you are more than your body” belief is to control your body shaming. Ultimately when you put pressure on yourself to get “summer body ready”, you are shaming the current state your body is in. You’re telling yourself you’re not valuable and whole as you presently are. So, navigating body shaming is the next and most important step to diminish the summer body dialogue. This takes work, we can’t lie. Therapy and mindfulness are two great tools to assist with that journey – however, there is another option too, keep scrolling to see!
Don’t allow a negative body image to control your summer. We hope this helps you go into the summer season with confidence and kindness toward yourself.
All Day Fit founder, Cassie Day, put together a 3-part guide to help you break the cycle of body shaming. You can find it here!
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