I don’t have enough digits to count the amount of times in a day I see reminders telling me that I need to change how I look in order to have a successful summer. Whether it is a meme depicting an “unworthy” summer body or friends posting pictures of the food that is supposedly going to make them small enough to enjoy their summer, there is a clear message: many people are concerned with achieving a certain body size for summer.
As an almost 300-pound, self-proclaimed fat bitch, I am here to remind you that your summer body is ready the moment you decide it is. You do not need to lose 45 pounds before you step foot on the beach. You do not need to tone up before buying the bikini you have had in your cart since last September. You do not need to conform to the persistent and overwhelming diet culture that penetrates all your social media platforms, your grocery store trips, and your TV screens.
It can be difficult to remain body confident amongst the constant promotion of Flat Tummy Teas, Summer Detoxes and Beach Body programs. But, shockingly, it is possible! We can all do it. If you find yourself struggling, I am here for you and I have a few ideas on ways to make summer more enjoyable and less weight-loss focused. Below is a guide on how to survive summer in your amazing, current body.
We aren’t focusing on hitting the right angle this summer, we are focusing on hitting the real angles this summer.Toni Caggiano
Start the day in front of a mirror pointing out what you like about yourself.
Sometimes we are our own worst enemies, constantly looking for the worst in ourselves and voicing those negative thoughts. Let’s flip the switch and try something completely different! Wake up, wash your ass, and tell yourself you look good. Taking time to reflect on only the things you like about yourself is not only an awesome and positive way to start your day, but you will also start to retrain your brain into seeing yourself in a more positive light.
Unfollow/unfriend social media profiles promoting that make you feel like you aren’t good enough.
Our social media platforms are chock full of edited, ad-based content. You are typically looking at edited pictures that took 40 + takes to get. You are looking at images of men and women who bought their teeth and their slim waistlines. We spend hours a day scrolling through the different platforms and see ‘perfect’ looking people that are promoting weight loss supplements, body shapers and ‘fad’ diets.
It is easy to be overwhelmed or feel like you need to make a change when that is a good percentage of what you virtually consume. So, I say stop consuming it or consume less of it. Unfollow the accounts that tell you that you need to change before your life becomes worthy of enjoyment.
Focus on the memories you are making.
Summer is made for awesome times with good people, right? Vacations, silly and potentially sloppy Friday nights, brunches galore, and more. Focus on really enjoying every moment and the incredible memories you are creating. We aren’t focusing on hitting the right angle this summer, we are focusing on hitting the real angles this summer. Stop skipping out on pictures because you don’t like how you look in them. Stop missing out on good times with good friends because you fear the extra calories put forth by Taco Tuesday. Enjoy your summer and focus on what is important: creating memories.
Wear what you want, how you want.
This sounds simple, but if you struggle with your body image, you know it is much more complex. I know it can be difficult to put on a crop top for the first time or try on a bikini if you haven’t in the past. The moment you realize that you can wear anything you want, your life will change.
You do not need to sensor your appearance for the comfortability of those around you. There is no truth in claims that certain pieces are not meant for certain bodies. Those are skewed opinions based on ridiculous societal standards that need to be dramatically revised. Your body is the vessel for your soul and you can dress that vessel however you please.
One thing is certain: the messages encouraging weight loss and dieting prior to the summer months will persist. How you engage with those messages is completely up to you. You can spend your summer counting calories and dodging pictures, or you can decide that you’re worth the memories, just as you are. – TC
TONI CAGGIANO will be hosting our first-ever All Bodies Instagram meet-up on May 18th in Boston, MA. Get your free ticket.