When Body Image Makes Your Summer A Bummer
It’s ironic that so many of us yearn for Old Man Winter to take a hike, only to trade in some low-grade depression after deciding to sit out another summer because of how we feel about our bodies.
There’s no bigger bummer than sitting in your house all summer long because you feel fat. Yet year after year, too many women refuse to enjoy the season because of body shame.
In the summer the clothing is lighter and there’s less of it (which makes perfect sense when you’re tossing around a beach ball). Shorts, sleeveless tees and the thought of trying on bathing suits are all potential summer stimuli that causes many of us to turn right back around and head indoors where the air is blowing cool and no one can see our thighs.
Like a diet (from fun), isn’t this behavior just another form of deprivation which can lead to over-eating, inactivity and help ratchet up the stress? One more year without going in the water. One more year without getting on a bike, or playing tennis or taking a ride on a boat, or sliding down a water slide or laying on a sunny lazy beach.
How To Break The Body Image Bummer Cycle
There is a way out of this cycle: Join in the fun! It can make you feel better. Plus, having fun is a big part of taking care of ourselves.
As Dr. Deb Burgard, pioneer of body positivity, points out,
“Body image is not visual and it is not about “confidence” – it is a relationship that you have with the part of you that identifies with your body. Like any relationship it gets better with love and attention. When we take care of our bodies’ needs, we build the feeling that we are worthy – if we wait to feel worthy we are actively neglecting ourselves and that is the feeling that will grow stronger.”
What’s more, as body and size acceptance starts to gain hold in society, you could very well be admired for getting out, participating and adding to the fun and enjoyment for those people who love you and your company.
If other people don’t like it? Call on your inner rebel (who is there to help you!) with this quote:
“Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
What you may discover is that getting back in the game will change your attitude and perspective for the better. Perhaps you find it motivating, perhaps you’ll find it just plain fun and want to repeat the behavior again and again. Because becoming more active and engaged is one of
best stress management busters around — and it just comes naturally.
Please share with us how you beat the summertime ‘I-hate-the-way-my-butt-looks-in-this-bathing-suit’ blues.