Moms, dads, boys, and girls…and, more importantly, ANYONE who is going to be heading outside this summer: summer body shaming season is approaching us. As much as we have it in our minds that we need to have the “perfect summer body like hers,” we don’t, because what is actually the "perfect-summer-body-we-have-to-go-the-gym-57-times-a-week-to-get" look like?
So take my advice on how to achieve your perfect summer body:
1. Drink water...or margaritas
Definitely drink water all the time, especially when spending long days outside in the summer heat. Being hydrated is super important all year round, whether you are looking to sit inside and watch Netflix or head to the beach. Drinking water shouldn’t only be for working towards changing your body for summer, but if that’s on your itinerary this spring, then yes, water.
2. Go the gym every day...or don’t.
The gym is a place to get healthy, get stronger, get slimmer or gain muscle. But for some, gyms can be places that people dread going to--intimidating people, confusing equipment. Heck, if you’re looking to get some exercise to be ready for the summer, head outside in the beautiful weather! Walk your dog (or a friend’s), go for a hike, ride a bike through your local park. There are so many ways to get exercise that aren’t about being locked up inside for most of your week doing enjoyable activities and feeling unmotivated and uncomfortable while doing so.
3. Don’t eat like sh*t…or order a pizza and wings.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not advocating for unhealthy eating above fruits, vegetables, and low carb meals. But I am advocating for happiness and a realistic lifestyle. So yes, eating healthy should be on everyone’s mind--but not only to work towards an unhealthy goal of suddenly losing tons of weight and gaining a super-round butt in the one month before summer starts. If these are your goals, great, good for you, and good luck! But it isn’t going to happen by June. And no, you don’t need a cheat day, but if your friends invite you to their barbecue with cheeseburgers and beers, please attend.
4. Take pictures!
There is a lot of body shaming in our society right now, especially when it comes to the summer, the beach, and swimsuits. Apparently, there is this idea of an “ideal summer body” and if you don’t have “it,” wearing a bathing suit, let alone a bikini, is taboo. I’m here, as someone who definitely eats too much ice cream to fit into this “ideal summer body” image, that you shouldn’t ever, ever, ever listen to this. Wear whatever makes you happy at the beach, in the park, on the boardwalk or wherever you may go this summer. And take pictures! Record fun memories with your friends and family, and be proud and confident in them!
5. Find friends to take on this challenge with you!
Whether these friends will be workout buddies or people who will make you feel confident with yourself while you skip the gym to hang out in the pool, keeping positive people around during the summer will help everyone to have a happy and healthy time off from school or work. Friends should pick each other up, and keeping yours around will create a happy summer atmosphere for everyone! Make sure to take pictures, too.
6. Buy a new swimsuit and clothes to wear!
Yes, totally do this. Whether you are buying new clothes to fit a new body you’ve been working towards or want new fun clothes for the summer in the size you already are, new clothes bring confidence and positivity. If you look good, you feel good, whether you’re buying a size two or twenty-two.
7. Be confident!
Obviously! Being confident is truly about your mindset. So take the earlier advice to help you be confident. Take fun pictures, wear whatever makes you happy, eat carbs or don’t, buy new clothes! Have fun this summer and be confident--confidence shows.
8. Don’t give up on your happiness.
Especially with unrealistic beauty standards setting “fake” rules for summer, happiness and confidence can be hard to maintain all the time. It is easy to be put down and feel like you have to be at the gym every day and living on carrots and water. But you don’t, unless that is what makes you happy. We all have rough days, but make sure to look ahead and work towards being as confident as you can be.
9. Last but not least…
Be the happiest and most confident you this summer. If the happiest you is being ultra healthy and attending the gym every day, then do it! Work hard, do the extra mile, and skip the dessert. If the happiest you is lounging in the pool and snacking on chips instead of carrots, then you eat the hell out of those chips. Whatever makes you happy, strive to do that all summer.
The perfect summer body is a real thing--it is the body you have now. There isn’t anything wrong with working to change your body--if that is what you want to do, then do it! But don’t shame others for not wanting to, and never say that someone’s current body is anything less than the perfect summer body.
So to the girl who decided I needed her advice to change my body, thanks but no thanks, I'm happy taking casual walks for exercise and replacing water with margaritas.