It’s that time of year again… the magazine stands are filled with articles screaming at you to lose those ‘extra 10 pounds’, the ads on the side of your screen distract you with the seemingly ‘perfect’ bikini model revealing the secrets to a six pack in a week, all your friends all of a sudden begin stuffing their mouths full of salad and hit the gym excessively… yup, the summer preparations have officially begun!
For quite some time I have wondered to myself why in the world we put ourselves through this torturous process? Each year we know the days are going to get longer, the sun higher, and societies bodily expectations becoming more extreme than the summer heat.
You see there’s a difference between taking care of your body, nourishing it, and respecting it compared to being completely consumed with how to achieve unachievable and unrealistic perfection… thus being one of the most difficult things for people to face and understand especially as summer approaches.
Yes, we do need to fuel our bodies with foods that will bring it nourishment but that doesn’t mean depriving it of those yummy summer treats of ice cream, fruit pies, and the classic otter pops that dye your tongue blue. Caring for your body physically also doesn’t mean abusing it and putting it through unnecessary, overly strenuous, potentially harmful workouts. Yes, we should strive to be active so that we can maintain a functional living and keep us healthy, but there’s no point in killing yourself over the ideal ‘dream’ body that you see in the photos because that’s essentially what it is... a dream.
I don’t mean to be a dream crusher but darling those photos are edited, photoshopped and enhanced in ways to target people like us, pull us into the trap of being unhappy with the truly beautiful bodies God created for us. We weren’t placed in this world to please it, especially in regards to how our unique bodies look. We were placed here and given a much greater purpose than to be consumed with what our bodies look like and the thoughts and opinions people may have towards them.
I’m over it, I’m done trying to obtain the ‘perfect’ summer body. I refuse to lay at the beach too sore to move or wonder what people are thinking as they pass by. I have had it with being distracted from the beauty of the roaring ocean in front of me or the adventures awaiting because I’m too consumed with how I look!
Summer is a time to live adventurously, to explore Gods beautiful creations, push ourselves out of our comfort zones, and create lasting memories. It’s a season that we look back on each year and smile thinking back to ourselves about all of the good times. We don’t remember what our bodies looked like… we don’t remember how much we weighed that day or our fat percentage… and that’s good because that's not the point, that’s not the focus of this life.
“I think if you listen in, you can identify the things that make you YOU and you can derive great joy by pursuing these things, instead of pursuing the ‘shoulds’” –Meaghan Allyn
What we remember are the feelings and friendships made, the beautiful sunsets photographed in the back of our minds, the midnight swims, the secrets and giggles shared. Here’s to the summer days of soaking up the warm rays, to the happy ice cream belly as you chill by the pool, to the BA volleyball player you become as you stand strong and confidently behind the net and not caring what the back of your thighs may look like in the sun.
Here’s to letting it all go and stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing your beautiful true summer body. The summer body you have always had, all you needed to do was be open to a change of perspective and the realization that you totally can and willrock that summer bod no matter where you go, what you eat, and who you don’t 'please'...becauseYOUmy friend were made with a body specifically true and unique to you!