Dear Friend Trying to Lose Weight for Summer,
Before you go on a diet, there’s something I want to talk to you about. Consider it a very necessary Summer self-care tip.
Every year as warm weather approaches, I come across so many comments online from women saying it’s time to get back on a diet; that they need to lose weight so they’ll look good in a swimsuit.
I get it. I really do.
I remember when my daughter was little, she had to be about three, she would tell people I was trying to get back in a bikini. (Because I was.)
The idea we have to be a certain size before we can wear a swimsuit makes my heart hurt, for a couple of reasons.
One, we’ve been conditioned to believe we should hide our bodies, that a number on the scale, or our reflection in the mirror dictates whether or not we can wear swimsuits, shorts, and sleeveless shirts.
In the words of Dwight Schrute, “False.”
You get the final say over what you wear. You don’t have to shrink, literally or figuratively, just because society told you to. The fact of the matter is you already have a beach body; a body that was fearfully and wonderfully made and meant to enjoy the warm weather and summertime activities along with everyone else.
About a year after my daughter went around telling people I wanted to get back into a bikini, she told me she couldn’t eat the lunch I made her because she needed to lose weight.
Where do you think she got that idea from?
That’s when I stopped talking about weight, and size, and bikini bodies. Although, I continued to obsess over it, and try different diets for years.
That’s the other thing that grieves me; women think the answer is the same diet they’ve tried before, because ‘it worked last time.’ Except, it really didn’t.
Why would I say that? Because if it worked, we wouldn’t feel like we need to lose weight again.
A big part of simple living is being mindful and aware. That includes recognizing behaviors, habits, and beliefs that keep us living on a loop, repeating the same cycle over and over.
I eventually discovered resources that helped me give up dieting and build healthier habits into my lifestyle, and I gave myself permission to start wearing bikinis again.
The result has been nothing short of freedom.
Freedom from someone else’s standards.
Freedom from caring what others think.
Freedom from my own inner critic.
Freedom from mental distress.
And, freedom to express my personal style.
All of which has allowed me to become more confident in my size fourteen skin.
So, I’m asking you to guard your mental health this Summer. If you really want to take care of yourself, make this Summertime different.
I can tell you from personal experience, once you do, there’s no looking back.
For more Summer self-care ideas, read: