All you have to do is type in the words “diet” and “summer” and 470,000 results come up. That is 470,000 different web pages/articles trying to tell us that our thighs are too big (3 weeks to summer shorts plan – I mean what?), our tummies are too jiggly and no WAY are we acceptable to go on a beach in a bikini looking the way we do now. As summer has approached I hear more and more people around me telling me how they need to get in shape or start going to the gym/eating healthily for the sole purpose of losing weight. Just for the record I am so not the right person to talk to about this, as I am in no way that supportive friend who will cheer you on through your diet.
About a year ago I wrote one of my first ever blog posts revolving around summer body goals. Back then I was still pretty new to the whole anti diet/body positivity mentality myself and I didn’t realise how bloody hard it is to go against the grain of society, where there are these constant messages bombarding our brains surrounding diet culture, and these messages increase ten-fold as it gets closer to summer. So, I thought I would use this opportunity to write a blog and remind both other people and myself of the reasons why dieting and “bikini body ready” should not be put together in the same sentence.
- You already have a bikini body. Want to know how? Put a bikini on your body and OUILA. There are no rules as to who can and who can’t wear a bikini. Your body is bloody brilliant and works hard for you every single day, so rock it and embrace it exactly as you are. Instead of focusing on how self-conscious you feel, shift your focus onto relaxing, having fun and feeling grateful that you’re on your holidays or even that the sun is shining!
- .”No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” This is one of my favourite quotes of all times. It comes down to the fact that yes, people may judge you (it’s human nature – even if we were the most perfect people on earth we would still be judged) but really, how does that affect your life? It doesn’t – unless you let it. How Sue talks about Sally says more about Sue than it does about Sally.
- You do not have to conform to society’s standards. We are told that to put a bikini on we should have flat stomachs, be smaller than a size ten, have zero cellulite, get rid of our bingo wings and have thighs that don’t touch. Why are women taught to erase and shrink their bodies? Who actually said that if we have rolls on our stomach or cellulite on our legs or stretch marks on our bums that this is WRONG and we should spend what little time, energy and money we have attempting to erase these ‘flaws’? I for one am tired of being told that these aspects of my body are not okay – fight back.
- Your friends/family/people you love will not think any less of you if you don’t shift those ten pounds. In fact, if you’re constantly hungry and moody and terrified of putting weight back on, they’ll probably wish you never started the diet in the first place. Have you ever met someone on a diet who is actually happy …
- YOU WILL BLOAT. So you know those abs you worked super hard for and those few inches you lost from your waist? Well unless you’re planning on dieting and restricting your food whilst on holiday/for the rest of your life then the likelihood is that you’ll only be able to show them off on the morning of your very first day. Dehydration, excess carbohydrates (because who doesn’t love wine and bread on holiday) & reintroducing food you’ve been restricting for the past x weeks = water retention = bloated belly. So all that calorie counting, all those meals of chicken and broccoli, all those 5am gym workouts you really didn’t want to do – was it really worth it?
I am all for being healthy. I love going to the gym, I love my vegetables, I drink gallons of water daily. However, what’s important is your motivation behind doing these things. For me, I have learnt to eat and move in a way which makes my body feel good and nourished and energised. Instead of focusing on aesthetics and reaching that goal weight in time for summer, instead try focusing on how you FEEL. Trust me, your physical and mental health will benefit so so so so much more from this approach. Remember, EVERY body is a bikini body – rolls, bumps, lumps and all!
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