Great news: you don't need to work on your summer body this year. You already have it! Here's how to rock the body you have right now with pride.
Summer is finally here! Are you constantly saying you need to work on your summer body? Then here's some great news: you can stop right now because you already have a summer body! Read on if you're perplexed and wondering how that could be possible when you didn't even finish your workout plan. Learn why you already have a summer body (hint: you have a body, and it's summer) and how you can be proud of it this year.
Body Dissatisfaction: Chasing the Summer Body
If you're always thinking about working on getting your body in better shape for next summer (or next winter, or next event, etc.), you're not alone. Body dissatisfaction and wanting to change how your body looks is overwhelmingly common in U.S.—especially with women (but also in men, too!). Did you know that, at any time, 69 to 84 percent of all American women express body dissatisfaction? And 20 to 40 percent of American men report being unhappy with their physical appearance.
There are many reasons Americans are so hard on themselves regarding their appearance. First, social media with filters and editing plays a huge role. All day long, Americans scroll through unrealistic bodies, making them feel that their natural, unedited body is insufficient. Additionally, Hollywood and fashion have long glorified unrealistically thin body types, particularly for women, which can make regular American women feel inadequate and too large. These cultural phenomena set up expectations for ways people should look. They feel disappointed or dissatisfied when their bodies don't look like their expectations.
Embracing the Body: Tips for Loving Your Summer Body
Summer is a particularly popular time for body dissatisfaction because it's swimsuit season. With more exposed, people feel driven to lose weight or tone muscles. In reality, however, there is no need to take drastic measures to change your body for a season. All bodies are good bodies as long as they function. So, this summer, you can feel proud to show off the body you have while you're in your swimsuit or sundress. If you feel unsure about how to love your summer body without wanting to shrink or change it, try the following exercises or activities which can help.
Eat for Health and Happiness
Loving your summer body requires eating healthy food that makes you feel good and gives you energy. Dieting and restricting can lead to bingeing and a disordered relationship with food. Focus on intuitively eating whole foods rich in nutrients until you feel content and satisfied. In the long run, you'll end up much happier and more nourished with a healthier relationship with food.
Make a List of All the Things Your Body Can Do
Your body is an amazing machine. It can do so many things for you, including breathing and keeping you alive! Make a list of all the incredible things your particular body can do to make you appreciate it as a strong, talented, and capable summer body. Maybe you're a great runner or mountain climber; perhaps you've birthed and breastfed babies; or possibly carried food and drink to and from tables for your restaurant position. Whatever your summer body is capable of doing, thank it. This helps you realize that your body is good enough this summer, without changes.
Throw Away the Scale
Experts say if you want to conquer body positivity and feel happy with the summer body you have, it's time to ditch the scale. Measuring your body based on weight is an inaccurate measurement of health or vitality. It usually doesn't even accurately measure size since weight is affected by hormones, water retention, the type of scale you use, how much you've eaten, and more. To stop beating yourself up about the size of your body, get rid of your scale. Then tune in to natural cues about how your body feels. Your body measures up just right if you feel energized and ready to conquer the season.
Start with Body Neutrality
Getting to body positivity in time for your summer body might be challenging. So, if repeating a mantra like "I love my summer body" in your head feels unrealistic, try doing some thought work. It's an effective way to change your repetitive thoughts into more believable ones—and won't cause you to be skeptical of yourself. For example, take a neutral phrase like "I have a body this summer." This is factually true, and your brain won't refute you when you think it. You can slowly change your negative thought patterns with bridge thoughts, which are neutral thoughts that can help us move from negative beliefs to positive ones. If you want to work toward good emotional health, thought work is a great place to start.