Spring has arrived and it's time to get ready for your summer body, right?
The energy has already started to change. The days are getting lighter and warmer and people are starting to come back out to play.
And with the change of seasons and the reminder that summer is approaching, chances are many of you are starting to think about getting back into the gym and on a diet as you start to worry about getting your beach body ready for summer.
There are plenty of reminders out there right now.
Everywhere you look there are spring weight loss programs, detoxes, bikini beach body ready programs to remind you that it’s time to lose that winter layer and get into tip top shape.
If you tend to put your training shoes away for winter and find comfort at home on the couch with plenty of warm hearty food then the reminder of summer knocking on the door is sure to wake you up. This time of year often sees people kicking into fear mode about needing to shape up so they can look fab in that hot dress still sitting in the back of the wardrobe or feel confident wearing their swimsuits at the beach.
So what’s wrong with this whole scenario around pushing and forcing our body into shape for summer?
It suggests that our health and our self-worth depends on how our body looks on the outside.
It suggests that this is the time of the year to get trim, skinny, and fit rather than living and breathing wellness and vitality as a way of life; regardless of what time of year it is.
I get it. I really do. I've been sucked up in this before and found myself starting to get sucked up into this vortex several weeks ago before I woke up and realised what I was doing.
This urgency often comes from a fear driven space of lack. Of not being good enough, skinny enough or beautiful enough.
Over the long-term this behavior may become harmful because it develops into unhealthy patterns of obsession and restriction. This is harmful to our health. And more importantly to younger generations who are witness to us fretting about our bodies not being firm, flat or skinny enough.
It’s time for a change around how you treat your body....
Instead, to come from a loving, kind and respectful space where we consciously choose to nourish, care for and respect our bodies.
The truth is that while you continue to hate your body and engage in thinking patterns coming from lack of and not good enough, you will never be happy. It won't matter how toned, fit or slim you get you will still find fault. You will still think your thighs could be leaner, your abs more defined.
Why? Because from this space you are wired to find faults and evidence to support your belief that you will never be good enough.
It's also not sustainable to maintain these intense patterns of food deprivation, exercise obsession and restriction. This is why you find yourself in yo-yo patterns, and struggle to find a happy balance.
Take my word for it. I've been there. And it's not a fun or happy place.
What if instead....
We appreciated that the beauty of being human is that we are all beautiful, and unique in whatever shape or form we are in. Yes, it is important to be within a healthy weight range, to build metabolically active muscle tissue and reduce inflammatory adipose tissue or fat tissue. If you are overweight, the question is are you taking responsibility for it. What might be some of the deeper issues that influence you to disrespect your health, and your body.
Is it time to address what may be going on at a hormonal, physiological and emotional level, rather than continuing to feel guilt, shame and disgust towards yourself.
Start to nurture your relationship with yourself, and seek the truth from the self-defeating stories going on in your mind and you will learn to no longer compare yourself to others. As my mother wisely told me, "you are unique". Our bodies are designed to be different and unique, imagine how boring it would be if we all looked exactly the same?
So, why not celebrate your body instead?
Be thankful for what it allows you to do. Infuse love and kindness towards the miraculous things your body does for you every day with out you even thinking about it. When we come from this space we feel more calm and peaceful and are more likely to treat ourselves and our body with the love and respect it deserves.
- Moving daily.
- Eating high quality, nutrient dense and nourishing food.
- Managing stress and learning how to slow down and relax.
- Seeking support where needed.
- Paying attention to the warning signals it provides us in the form of pain, cramps, indigestion, bloating, headaches, fatigue, anxiety, depression, drowsiness and so on. If you experience any pain or symptoms it is simply the body’s way of communicating to you that something is out of balance.
The body is a powerful vehicle in communicating dis-ease, physically, mentally or emotionally. So pay attention, for if you don’t the knocks will get louder and louder until you can no longer ignore them.
If you are starting to fuss about your body with summer around the corner then here are my suggestions to long lasting body confidence and rocking your bikini body without self-doubt or worry
1. Take responsibility for yourself and your body.
Look after yourself in all aspects of your life. Your body is just the outer shell that is the result of how well you take care of yourself. Assess your work, relationships, finances, health, sense of joy and fulfillment, spirituality and emotional health. If things are out of balance your thoughts, emotions and behaviour will impact your health and your body will suffer one way or another. Ultimately it is up to you. No more blaming your parents, the weather, your partner or your job. The responsibility lies with you.
2. Choose to move and fuel your body because you love your body not because you hate it.
It may seem silly but energetically the space you come from and the feelings you generate as a result have a huge impact on your ability to sustain nourishing and supportive behaviours. When you make a choice because you love and appreciate this marvelous body that you have, it allows you to live now and fully experience this life.
3. Learn to love and treat yourself with respect all year round so when it comes to summer you’re not worrying about how you’re going to slim down in time.
This takes practice, patience and time, just like learning anything new. It is a commitment to yourself that says I am worth it. It’s learning how to fuel yourself inwardly from all levels of your life rather than going on a restrictive diet and forceful exercise plan every year.
What's your experience or thoughts about this post? Please share in the comments below.
With love and kindness,