Ok, I know the title suggests tips on how to get beach body ready and you’re not going to get that from me I’m afraid, but if you’re frantically reading articles on how to get the perfect body then please carry on and read this one too.
Firstly, if you’re worried about what other people are thinking about your appearance let me put your mind at rest. 99% of people are not thinking about your appearance at all. Those that are are either noticing your assets or picking up on any flaws simply to make themselves feel better. Do not worry about it, get your cozzie on and get poolside if that’s what you want to do.
Second, think of all magazine style articles on body image as entertainment not fact – the models are not real life. They are made up, staged and lit by experts and then very probably air brushed afterwards. Personally I find I’m much happier not reading this kind of media at all, but that’s for you to decide.
I did try, for a while, to follow the advice that is so often on the following page to the bikini body articles…love your body as it is! (The irony!) I’ve found this way too difficult. I’ve spent many years hating my body, probably since I was about 13 I’ve been the wrong shape, size, weight or skin shade (it really is astonishing how pasty I am!)
I’ve tried to fix myself with restricted diets that made me miserable before falling off the wagon repeatedly and often in spectacular fashion. I’ve consoled and comforted myself with junk food, eating until I feel totally stuffed and probably a little sick. Mainly bringing shame and resentment and no real comfort at all. More of a punishment than a reward when I think about it.
I’ve fought the fat, battled the bulge and cut the crap and still felt inadequate. Expecting me to be able to love my body just by telling me to is as likely as me completing the London Marathon.
But here’s what I can do.
I can take a moment to appreciate all the cool stuff my body allows me to do. Just this week it managed to get me to the top of a hill to enjoy magnificent views. My legs weren’t best pleased about it at the time but they did it. In fact my body caters for my every whim pretty much every day. Even though I don’t often give it the thanks it deserves. None of what I’ve achieved, enjoyed, loved, hated, seen or experienced to date would have been possible without this collection of tissues and cells that makes me who I am.
Maybe I can’t love it right now. But I can be grateful for it – even if I have to do it a toe at a time – and I can start treating it with the respect it deserves.
If I was looking after someone else’s body, how would I treat it? What would I feed it? How would I look after it? That’s how I’m going to treat this body from now on and I hope that you can ask yourself these same questions and show gratitude for your body too.