Don't Tell Me To Work For My Summer Body, Because This Is It
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Health and Wellness

'Summer Bodies' Aren't Made At A Certain Time Because You Live In Your Body Every Damn Day

My "summer body" is no different than the body I have today.

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'Summer Bodies' Aren't Made At A Certain Time Because You Live In Your Body Every Damn Day
Lauren Stevis

"You look like you've lost 15 more pounds since I've seen you. You look sensational."

I've struggled with body image issues since the 6th grade. I remember being in a dressing room, crying because I was so obsessed with the number on the tag. I had convinced myself that every other girl in my class had a smaller number on her tag. I told that story to a 7th-grade class when I spoke to a middle school this week, and so many girls shot looks at each other or put their heads in their hands. I knew what I said was resonating with them.

I have spent so many years trying to look in the mirror and smile back at the person I see. Every day I walk into a cycling studio, and I see other girls who are thinner or more toned than I am. And I start to return to the mindset of the 12-year-old-girl who was afraid of what people would think of her when she got on the beach.

But then I remind myself of the journey I've been on, the journey to accepting what's on the outside. That journey has been just as difficult as accepting what's on the inside.

I don't need other people telling me I look "sensational" to quantify the success I've had with my body. But honestly, it helps me remember to stop criticizing myself while I swipe through pictures.

Since April of 2017, I've lost somewhere around 35 pounds. But the number on the scale isn't what matters to me anymore. It's feeling like I have control over something in a healthy way. It's feeling the rush of endorphins after I finish a workout and feeling like all of the bad has melted away. It's feeling like I'm as healthy on the outside as I am on the inside.

Summer bodies aren't made in the winter. Truthfully, that's a toxic mindset. Our bodies are made for each and every day. We have to live in them: they're our home.

It doesn't matter if you have a six-pack. It doesn't matter if you have a thigh gap. What matters is what YOU like about your body. For me? It's my thick thighs and my shoulder muscles. And what I don't like? My stomach.

But I don't stare at pictures and shit on myself like I used to. Because with every physical workout comes a mental one: I am beautiful, I am strong, and I am enough. In THIS body.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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