Schools out and the summer holidays have begun and you’re probably getting all prepared for your upcoming family getaway.  Unfortunately for us, this time of year is also greeted with the latest fad diets to help us get the ‘perfect bikini body.‘  I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of these negative messages that women need to look a certain way while on holiday.  The diet culture constantly tells us that we need to change and conform to societies beauty ideals to be socially accepted.  However, I’d like to rebel against societies ideal and say that if you have a body and a bikini then you already have a bikini body, whether it’s in line with the media’s unattainable body image or not. 

Every year, women punish their bodies with grueling workout routines and deprive themselves of food because the diet culture tells them that this is the way that you’re going to feel fabulous on the beach.   Let me tell you this, no amount of dieting is going to make you love your body more, it’s all about your mindset.  Confidence and feeling good derives from working on your inner self, knowing that you are worthy whatever your size and discovering what makes you feel like a million dollars without having to morph into something you’re not.

Happiness is not determined by reaching a certain body weight, it’s achieved through experiences, creating memories and spending time with loved ones – basically living your life the way you want to without giving a second thought to what anyone else thinks.  No one should ever be at war with their bodies, constantly feeling ashamed because they don’t have a thigh gap or washboard abs.  If I really wanted to I probably could achieve a thigh gap and a six-pack, but truly the effort to get there just isn’t worth it to me because I know that I would be giving up my happiness. I have so much gratitude for my life right now, things are really good and I know that none of this is down to how my clothes fit. 

Self love is ultimately about acceptance and seeing how incredible you are.  Loving your body doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be totally happy with every inch because the reality for some is that’s probably never going to happen.  However, embracing your body, flaws and all, practicing self-compassion and knowing that your size is not anyway related to your worth as a human being is when the real magic starts to happen.  

I’m sharing my top 5 tips to help you love your body more this summer and beyond.  It doesn’t involve restrictive eating, calorie counting or anything that’s going to make you hate the way you look, in fact, if anything it’s going to have the opposite effect.  It takes a lot of mindset work to get to the point when you are truly happy with your body, but that sense of freedom it brings is worth its price in gold!

Reward Your Body For Being Crazy Awesome

We’re very shy about celebrating our own successes, big and small.  From a wellbeing perspective, this can work wonders to boost your mood and to get those feel good vibes flowing.   Make it a priority to reward yourself and your body for simply being awesome with a little treat now and then.  Try to practice this regularly, a little gift from you to you, because if nothing else you deserve it.   These gifts to yourself will work as a reminder to be kind to your body and what you love about yourself.  Never feel ashamed for celebrating your amazingness!

Talk About Your Body as You Would Your BFF

Would you ever tell your friend that she looks ugly in that dress, or that her thighs jiggle when she walks?  I can answer this question for you, no. Turn down the inner critic when you talk about your body, use the same tone and words that you would if you were telling your best friend how amazing they looked.  

Make Your Social Media Feeds More Diverse

If your social media feeds are full of insta-perfect body types and these are having a negative effect on the way you think about your own body, it’s time to have a refresh.  Have a social media detox and clear out these accounts from your feed. This is a great way to make more space for accounts that bring you more joy and perhaps have a similar body type to you. This will help to reinforce the idea that your body type is just as normal as anyone else’s because you are seeing it more regularly on your feeds. 

Do All The Things That You Have Been Putting Off

Life is happening now, this isn’t the rehearsal and we’re only given this one chance.  Stop putting things off until you achieve your “perfect” body.  You will start to cultivate a life full of happiness if you start living your life the way you want to now.  So book that holiday, buy that dress you’ve wanted to buy when you finally reach your goal weight.  I know that I don’t want to be looking back at my life in a few years time, regretting that I didn’t do something because I let how I felt about my body limit me.

Focus on How You Feel & Not The Number on The Scale

The number on the scale is totally void of knowing how you feel and isn’t really a true measure of being wholly healthy.  Focus on how you feel, feed your hunger with the foods you love and show up in your life in ways that are aligned with your heart.  When you’re connected with your emotions and letting them guide you, then your weight is just that, how much you weigh and in no relation to how you live your life. 

Remember that there is only one of you walking this earth – your uniqueness is beautiful and shouldn’t be frowned upon.  Be you and be proud to be you!

I would love to hear what you’re working on to help you love yourself more this summer in the comments.