The other day I had a really shitty body image day. Like a “look-in-the-mirror-think-oh-my-god-what-is-that-and-almost-cry kind of day. This often occurs when I have a bit of an overindulgence the night before. When I used to have these days (which was a significant proportion of the time) I would let the behaviors follow – the restricting, the over exercising, anything it would take until I felt good about myself again. Which, of course, was only ever superficial. And then when I was in my recovery phase and I found I still had these days the frustration would set in, and I thought I was “failing” because I still felt bad about myself, even if it was much less frequently than before.
Now I realise that we don’t have to love our bodies 100% of the time – for the majority of us that is not an achievable goal nor a realistic one. While I do (after a long long time practicing) follow the “love your body” mantra 90% of the time, the other 10% I simply accept it. I think about what it does for me and how grateful I am for it to be fully functioning. I pour over body positivity pages on facebook, instagram and all other forms of social media known to men, do yoga, read books and podcasts focusing on self love and do something that makes me feel nice and warm and fuzzy like getting my hair done or having a bath. And then just like that the negative feelings are gone.
Another powerful tool for changing negative thoughts are affirmations. So here are my affirmations for my own personal body acceptance:
I accept that my body is constantly changing.
I accept I take up more space now than I have before.
I accept I am not always going to be in love with myself or how I look.
I accept that who I am goes so much deeper than my outer shell.
I accept that I am more than just a number.
With all that being said lets move on to the most important bit: how to get a bikini body in no time at all. Super simple, super easy. Get a bikini and put it on your body – that’s it, you’re done, you now have a bikini body. With summer upon is it’s hard not to get dragged into the hype of the media – “8 weeks to your perfect bikini body”, “green smoothie for flat abs” and “lose 10lbs in 2 weeks!” I have done this for the past few years – as soon as it hits May I get stricter with my intake, lower my carbs (last year I carb cycled and it’s the worst thing I’ve ever done – three days a week with no carbs makes for a VERY grumpy Kirsty), up my cardio and spend longer in the gym. This year I didn’t do any of that, despite the voice of doom occasionally popping up in my head telling me “you’re really going to go on holiday and wear a bikini and have photographs taken looking like THAT?” – I just tell it to shut up and go and eat some pizza.
Because the truth is no matter how much weight you lose before summer or before your holiday, it will still never be enough. The perfect bikini body DOES NOT EXIST and crash diets are only a short term solution, a temporary fix. If you hate yourself at 140lbs, being 20lbs lighter will not make you love yourself any more. So instead of focusing on the external aesthetics first you need to love, accept and be confident in yourself no matter what size you are. If you still want to change your body, do it though love rather than hate. The inside is far more important than our outside and once we shed our inner perfectionist and accept ourselves exactly as we are you will feel 10 pounds lighter anyway.
As always please email me if you have any questions or just need to talk! firstname.lastname@example.org