Summer is on its way and it can get HOT as we enjoy the sun shining outside, vacations at the beach, and BBQs in the backyard.
Warmer weather brings fun activities, but it also welcomes lighter clothing such as bathing suits, shorts, and tank tops.
How many times have you sat on the sidelines and missed out on summer opportunities because you didn’t feel that you were “good enough” to wear a swimsuit?
We’re going to challenge the unrealistic and fabricated idea of the perfect beach body AND we’ll give you tips for navigating summer clothes.
Before you know it, your summer will be a season that’s positive, fulfilling, and memorable, without body worries in the way!
Have you ever noticed that summer is another excuse for the $72 billion diet industry to sell you on their products?
Dieting advertisements, commercials, and health “experts” are everywhere screaming at you, “slim down and tone up in 14 days to get your summer body ready!”
Did you know…
Those marketing tactics are STILL being used today and contribute to the prevalence of chronic dieting, eating disorders, and negative body image in society
When you recognize that the “summer body” pressures are a tactic used to make more money, it gets easier to fight against the lies and the belief that there’s an “acceptable look” for summer.
The perfect beach body is NOT the one you see photoshopped on TV, in magazines, or on social media – the perfect beach body is YOUR body. Just as it is!
Even though we know much of the media has contributed to the worries about our appearance, it might not make wearing summer clothes any easier.
Going from puffy jackets and long pants to swimsuits, shorts, and tank tops from the back of your closet can be intimidating and daunting.
I haven’t worn these shorts since last year, what if they don’t fit me anymore?
Ugh, I really don’t want to wear a swimsuit, everyone will see my cellulite.
It’s so hot, but I’ll do anything to avoid my arms being exposed in a tank top.
Summer clothes can feel like they’re revealing each and every one of your insecurities.
If you focus too much attention on what you don’t like about your body, you’re likely to slip into body shame, judgement, and comparison that can ruin your summer and maybe even send you into a relapse.
The key is to wear summer clothes that fit your CURRENT body.
If a piece of clothing is too tight, ill-fitting, or simply doesn’t make you feel good, toss it, donate it, or sell it!
Take a trusted friend shopping with you and revamp your closet if you need to. You’ll feel better getting rid of any clothes that no longer serve you, and you’ll be surprised at how much wearing the appropriate size can positively affect your mindset!
Thrift stores are great for buying clothes on a budget, with access to a variety of clothes and sizes.
Stay away from the mirror and choose comforting clothes that you can breathe in. Sizes vary from store to store and even within the SAME store – remember that the clothing tag is pointless.
If you’re going on a trip, plan ahead and try on your clothes beforehand so that you’re content with what you’re packing. Decide what FEELS best, what needs to stay home, and whether you need to go shopping for a few items.
Sometimes we can get stuck in tunnel vision, thinking that everyone else has the “ideal body” except for us.
It’s very helpful to start “people watching” when you’re out at the beach or at a summer gathering. Open your eyes to who’s around you and we guarantee you’ll see diversity!
People of all shapes and sizes wear swimsuits at the beach, play tennis in the park, and go hiking by the lakes, taking part in all of the fun summer activities!
A “perfect beach body” is NOT required for a meaningful summer!
While you’re at it, diversify your social media feed. Unfollow accounts that cause comparison and follow accounts that promote body positivity.
You don’t need to feel like you have to conquer all of your summer clothing fears at once. You can take it slow and incorporate lighter clothing into your wardrobe at your own pace.
If you’re practicing wearing shorts, sometimes a flannel or a light cardigan around your waist can help you ease into showing your legs. A coverup, swim t-shirt, or swim shorts can also aid you.
You can also practice wearing your summer clothes in comfortable settings like lounging in your apartment in a pair of shorts or wearing a tank top to the grocery store.
Try not to be hard on yourself if it gets difficult. Be proud of yourself for simply trying different options that work for you and that lead you toward your recovery goals!
If you truly don’t want to wear certain types of summer clothes, it’s not necessary to force yourself. These small applications can make a big difference in keeping your mind off your body while also embracing your summer wardrobe.
Many of us value our friends and family. Instead of worrying about how you look in summer clothing, do your best to stay mindful and present within your relationships, connections, conversations, and experiences.
When you’re too busy putting your energy toward what you value, there’s no time to be distracted by your own physical appearance!
Plus, if anyone is concerned about “looks,” they’re likely caught up in fretting about their OWN body, not yours.
Watch kids running around, splashing, and playing without a care in the world of what their bodies look like! It’s so motivating!
Summer is also a wonderful time to appreciate nature. Listen to the sounds of the waves, the breeze through the trees, and the sun on your face. Nature is a good reminder of how unique beauty is!
Body acceptance and body neutrality means allowing your body to BE. While trying on summer clothes, it’s OK to not love the way your body looks.
Accepting where your body is at, right in this moment, regardless of its weight and size, allows you to detach your worth from your appearance.
With this, your body doesn’t need to be the focal point, but rather the vessel for you to participate in a positive, fulfilling, and memorable summer!