Have you ever seen that funny graphic that says: “How to have a bikini body: have a body, and put bikini on it.”
I laugh every time I see it, because honestly, how true is this? Today, I’d love to talk about how it’s okay to want to feel good in your body, and simultaneously enjoy everything that summer has to offer you. You don’t have to give up one or the other.
Feeling good in your body comes in two parts: (1) how you feel physically, & (2) how you feel mentally.
If you can’t love & accept yourself mentally, no physical change to your body is going to make a difference in how you feel (click to tweet).
We need to work on both parts at the same time.
We all know that summer is full of BBQ’s, vacations, dinners, bikinis, and going out with friends, right? And we all know the pressure this brings up for a lot of us women who’ve ever been on a diet before (how are we supposed to handle all of this eating?!).
I recently asked all of you what your biggest summer challenge was and the #1 response I got was:
“Wanting to feel good in my body AND wanting to enjoy all of the fun, spontaneous things about summer like saying BBQs, dinners, and parties.”
So, don’t worry, you’re not alone. I’ve been there and my own clients come to me with the same concerns. The good news is that we’re able to work through them by continually aligning ourselves with the truth that we can have both and more. Which is what ultimately brings more joy.
Here’s what you need to know today:
IT IS ENTIRELY POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO SAY YES TO ANY SUMMER BBQ, DINNER, OR PARTY… AND STILL FEEL GREAT IN YOUR BODY. AND, IT’S OKAY TO WANT TO FEEL GOOD IN YOUR BODY.
I can say this today only after having gotten through my own six year struggle with dieting and trying to control the size my body.
During these six years of struggle, I honestly believed that a smaller body would bring me joy, and that a smaller body was the only way to feel good. Relate? I also believed that the only way to feel good (& get that small body) was to diet, restrict, and exercise religiously.
Today, I can confidently say that a smaller body is NOT what will make you happy, and dieting and controlling is NOT the way to feel healthy.
SURE, you can choose diets, over-exercise, exhaustion, and limiting what you eat… but why would you do that if there’s another way to feel your best that is full of pleasure, choosing confidence, and lasting change.
I often talk about being nice to our future selves.
We so often think “On Monday, I’ll be better. Or, TOMORROW, I’ll be better.” When you think about it. What does this mean? It literally means, I won’t do what feels good now. But tomorrow or Monday, I’ll want to.
Do we hear how ridiculous this sounds when we read it? It doesn’t make any sense.
The truth is, tomorrow or Monday, you’ll ACTUALLY still be the same you that is here, now, in this moment. You’ll be same you who doesn’t want to feel restricted.
It took me FOREVER and countless, countless try-overs to realize how ridiculously true this was.
So, let’s talk about this… If you’ve ever gone on a diet and lost weight, how’d it go? How’d it go in the following three months? These three months are always where I look for the real results of the diet. And I’ve yet to see a successful one.
For most of us, here’s how it goes when we’re “doing good” on our diet:
Beginning of diet: “I feel great! I’m doing so good, I have no cravings, I’ve lost 5 lbs, etc…I’ve never had so much willpower.”
Middle of diet: “I have about 2 or 3 weeks left, I’m losing weight, and when I’m done, I’m going to keep eating healthy.”
Near the end: “I have 5 days left and I’ll slowly add only certain safe foods back in. Some things I won’t add back in at all (ahem, sugar).”
After diet: “I’ll just have ONE…”
Days later: “I’m frustrated. My cravings are back. I feel like I need to diet again. I need to cut x out completely. I just can’t have it – my cravings just take over, and I hate feeling cravings.”
ONTO THE NEXT DIET.
People create diets that promise what we we want: a perfect formula for quick weight loss. And before summer… companies market leading with “get your bikini body now, before everyone else does.” I mean, gosh, you wouldn’t want to be the ONLY person on the beach WITHOUT a bikini body.
They know just what to say to trigger our desire and need for what they’re offering.
We buy the diet, fall of track, and are in just the right place to buy the next diet because after a “successful diet” (meaning, we lost a few pounds) we feel WE are the problem and can’t do it on our own.
Good for them. Super crummy for us.
Let me just share SOME of my track record with you…
10-Day Juice Cleanse: lost 10 pounds, gained 13 back the next week.
7-Day Slim Down: lost 13 pounds, gained 15 back the next week.
Slimfast Diet: lost a few pounds, gained it all back a week later.
You know that pressure that dieting brings on? That feeling that we need to start Monday, because before then, we need time to psych ourselves up to get ready and build up all that willpower?
What do you think would happen if you let go of that stress/pressure? Any guesses?
Instead, you’d set your body up to get to a place where she can thrive, have balanced-health, and feel more joy. You’d have the space to focus on the things that are important to you (family, career, fun, etc…) and be able to focus on what it takes to feel good in your own skin AND live a great, pleasure-filled life.
And you didn’t even have to trick and manipulate your body to get there (which is impossible to maintain in the long run, as we know).
Do you want to feel strong, healthy, and confident? Do you want balance? Do you want to feel good in your day to day life, trusting that you’re able to make choices to care for yourself?
With the right tools you can (we will teach you these tools in the Self-Love Summer Challenge – coming soon!).
Let’s start by remembering the absolute best tool you have: your body.
You might be thinking:
“BUT… I can’t listen to my body… you don’t understand, I don’t know how! Every time I listen to my body, I eat everything in front of me and feel out of control. It doesn’t work for me… I’m not one of those girls who can eat what they want and lose weight…I have to at least diet a little bit.”
Just like anything else in life (getting your drivers licence; riding a bike; learning a new skill for your career; etc) you need to be taught and allow yourself the space to practice. Makes sense, right? Don’t expect to do this on your own.
All you need is the willingness to learn.
Abby and I just started our free 7-day challenge today, helping you to create your best summer yet. If you didn’t join, make sure you sign-up here to get days 2-7 (the link to day 1 will be in your welcome email)!
We’ll be sharing another opportunity for you to create incredible & intentional summers with us this Wednesday!