By Heather Barto
In the warm summer months of the year, our ears and eyes are filled with messages about obtaining and maintaining a perfect summer body; we are told what to eat, how to exercise, which swim suits will make us look the best, mistakes we are making while we earn our body, and so much more in between. But what exactly does having a “summer body” mean?
The “summer body” commonly advertised with the strong emphasis on toned, tan, and slender bodies, is not what a true summer body should be. A summer body is a body playing beach volleyball with friends, jumping off of boats into cool lakes, laying in the hot sand on a beach reading a good book, laughing with friends and family at a barbeque, watching and taking pictures of sunsets.
Take your body to an outdoor café and order a refreshing lemonade or ice cream cone. Walk your body through parks or busy city sidewalks, with a friend or even a dog. Go shopping for your body and buy the things you feel most comfortable in, whether that be sandals and a floppy hat, a one-piece swimsuit, athletic shorts, or a flowing sundress. Lay and relax your body in a hammock and watch the clouds float by. Because the truth is, your body is already a summer body; it is beautiful just how it is. Don’t feel pressured to follow extreme diet or exercise routines to lose weight just to be happy in the sunshine and the outdoors.
It can be difficult to turn off the media messages of what is or is not acceptable for an ideal body, and it is even more difficult during the summer months, when outfits lose their layers and more skin is on display. But it is an uplifting feeling when you are able to push those negative thoughts about your body and self-image from your head or surroundings and truly be in the summer moment, loving life and having fun relaxing in the warmer weather. It isn’t easy to banish the self-doubt that makes it difficult to go to the beach, to wear a crop top, or to show off your body when going for a swim. Just know that your summer body is already ideal, already beautiful, and already summer-ready: go ahead, love it!