Why You're Hung Up on Your, "Summer Body"
Well, well, well...
Good afternoon (it's been a bit, hasn't it?).
If your summer has been anything like mine so far, there have been a few bumps in the road: changes expected and unexpected, shifts small and seismic. It's been a ride, to say the least.
I've been working to create a bit more space for myself, as someone who has a tendency to fill all gaps (you, too? 👀 ).
Like most of the high-achieving people I coach, there is always more to do. And so, I do it, often barreling through the rest for which my body is aching, the reflection for which my soul is longing, and the time and space for which every cell of my being (and probably everyone around me, loool) is hoping.
This is particularly true, for most of us, when things feel uncertain:
When things feel out of control, or in any sort of transition where our footing is shaky, we grasp and grab at what it feels like we can control. We put more on our plate, we say yes to more things, we expect more of ourselves.
And, especially at this time of year, this can often show up as a desire to double-down on rigid fitness programs, in an attempt to control our bodies.
This makes sense (before you go beating yourself up thinking you shouldn't feel this way about your body): we're fed images of, "ideal," bodies all day long, and products to, "fix," ours (which, for 99% of the population, don't measure up).
During warmer weather in particular, we hear all about, "summer bodies," and, "getting ready," and all sorts of things implying that our bodies aren't enough as is, and, when we inevitably buy into it, we're often left with less money and more frustration than when we started, plus a heaping helping of shame.
Body image issues are logical: they don't come from nowhere, and nothing is wrong with you if you struggle to love your body.
(In fact, I'd argue that, "loving your body," isn't really the point, here; it's to think if your body less, so that you can be more of who you are, other than your body.)
And, the first step, for so so so many womxn I coach, is to recognize, while your body is certainly all yours and you can do whatever you choose with it (or you should be able to, anyway), perhaps (juuuust maybe), your thoughts on your body are not entirely your own.
Your perception of your own body, otherwise known as your body image, is about far more than whether or not you "love yourself:"
🤔 Can your body do the things you'd like it to do?
🤔 Do you see bodies that look like yours represented in the media? In what ways?
🤔 Are bodies that look like yours constantly, "before," pictures?
🤔 Is your body regularly mocked, commented upon, or judged?
🤔 Do you have access to ways to move, foods to eat, people around you who make you feel free, at home, safe, and comfortable in your body? (Bonus points: do the people around you bring your body to mind at all?)
🤔 Are bodies that look like yours targeted and/or marginalized in any way?
These are just a *few* questions brought to mind that have expanded my definition of body image over the years, and they've helped me make sense of the thoughts I have about my body (not all of which I agree with, entirely).
SO many factors are at play, here.
If you're feeling meh (at best) about your body as we keep on moving through the summer season, it's totally normal (and, in many cases, I'd be surprised if you didn't).
AND the role of your summer body can be played by...you know, the body you have right now.
There is space for you.
There is time for you.
You deserve to wear whatever you want to wear, be wherever you want to be, move however you want to move, no apologies or disclaimers necessary.
If you need support working through things like this, I'll have some exciting news to share soon about how you can do that with me in an in-depth, 1-on-1 capacity (this is part of my creating-space shift!). In the meantime, if you have any questions, a-has, concerns, or stories to share, drop a comment and let me know.