How to Set Up Your BEST SUMMER YET 🍍

Self-Love Summer Challenge

Hey gals!

Abby and I are at it again! The Self-Love Summer Challenge is here for the FOURTH year in a row! This time we’re doing it “summer kick-off style” with a 12-day Instagram challenge!

Today I have Abby, my other half in Self-Love Summer, here on the blog answering questions where I interviewed her. I’m also going to include a link to her podcast where she interviewed me and asked me the same questions.

If you are having thoughts about how to prepare for GREAT summer that is free from diets, food restrictions and body obsession, you are going to love these two interviews! So make sure to read Abby’s full interview below and make sure to click here and listen to the interview I did with her, podcast style. (I had SO much fun doing the podcast interview!).

Self-Love Summer is the perfect place for you to be if you would like to prepare, set up, and be intentional about creating a summer that is free from dieting, full of joy, and focused on the things that really matter to you (GOING to the beach and enjoying ALL of the things you love about summer rather than staying home because bathing suits stress you out).

For 12-days we are going to teach you through Instagram posts and videos, on a private Instagram account for members only, how to create this type of summer. We are going to teach on topics like: comparison, how to go to a barbeque and fully enjoy yourself, how to get dressed in the morning without picking apart your own body, and so much more!

My hope is that every single one of you reading this would join us for Self-Love Summer this year. It’s only $27 to join, and the reward will be absolutely endless for the entire summer. You’re going to gain so much from it…

Check out our website to see what other people have said about Self-Love Summer from previous years. This year is going to be the best one yet!

And now… we move into the interview with Abby! Abby is the owner and coach at Eat, Work, Play, Balanced. She is an ABSOLUTE gem and is incredibly compassionate and dedicated to helping women create healthy, balanced relationships to food and their bodies. I 100% adore her and feel HONORED that I get to do Self-Love Summer with her! I know you all will love her just as much as I do!

Enjoy!

1. ​How do you think women can fully LET GO and enjoy summer? Is it even possible to enjoy summer when you’re struggling with the diet voice/fear of weight gain?

I think it is totally possible to enjoy summer EVEN if you are feeling “stuck” in the diet cycle. How can women do this? By STARTING. By that I mean START to work on your relationship to food and your body. START to make a plan on what baby steps you can take to be MORE present and slowly release diet rules.

Ask yourself things like:

  • How do I want to feel this summer?
  • What are my current priorities in life? What matters most?
  • What’s one thing I want to focus on changing in my relationship to food?
  • Do I need to work on my mindset around my body and food?
  • How can I care for myself? How can I treat myself like I’m WHERE I WANT TO BE?
  • Where do I want to be 1 year from now?

These questions help relieve the tension of the diet obsession. FOCUS on moving forward instead of staying stuck by journalling and taking time to think about those questions above! :)​

2. ​What are your FAVE ways to practice self-love? How did you learn that these are things that help you feel your best?

For me (I think it’s similar to you, too, Paige)… it’s all about solo walks and alone time. That’s how I feel refreshed. When I am jam-packed with plans I get tense, and a little irritable! I’ve learned this over time. It really wasn’t until I stopped dieting and starting tuning into myself that I really learned what I wanted/needed.

I feel like when we’re so consumed with dieting and following these unrealistic plans that it is so hard to hear what our body is screaming out for! I know when I’m starting to feel “off” or grumpy it’s usually because I haven’t taken a good walk by myself or had some me time to organize my life and thoughts!

My recommendation for people is to start to get curious.

Ask yourself:

  • What sounds good?
  • What’s missing?
  • What’s too much for me right now?
  • When do I get/feel the most chaotic or stressed?
  • When do I feel the best and the happiest?
  • When was the last day/hour that I felt so content or right? Why was that?

​3. ​What’s your favorite topic that we cover in SLS?! Why?! Could you share a tip about that topic?

I talked about this on the podcast with you, but I love our topic of “Releasing Unrealistic Expectations.” This is SO important because if we want to feel FREE and LET GO we have to stop trying to live in a way that isn’t true to us. We have to stop living in a way that is so strict that it doesn’t even take into account how we want to FEEL.

Limitations, harsh expectations, and rules FUEL the cycle of bingeing/restricting and shame/guilt.

A tip for this topic is to create a list of the diet rules, plans, myths that you HAVE followed and currently follow. Look through them. Re-read them. Think back to those times. (No carbs after 6pm anybody? That was a hard one for me to get out of my head… that and 1200 calories or less per day!)

Ask yourself:

  • Are these rules serving me?
  • Are they maintainable for life?
  • What would I say to my best friend who has tried/tries to follow those rules?
  • Would I want my daughter to think about food in this way?
  • Pick out ONE of those rules to listen for…. to SLOWLY get rid of. Once you’re AWARE of it, it’s waaay easier to call it out and PAUSE. Its way easier to remind yourself that it doesn’t serve you!

​4. ​In SLS we talk a lot about BODY IMAGE. What is a tip or ​two you have for someone who is wanting to feel confident in their skin but thinks dieting is the only way to get there?

Ugh, this is so tough! We are bombarded by things and people that tell us to be thinking about our bodies and judging them!

One tip I have that can be SO HELPFUL in helping you have POSITIVE body image is to RELEASE THE JUDGEMENT OF OTHERS.

Getting rid of judgement towards OTHERS is so much easier than getting rid of judgement on ourselves. And the cool thing with this is that once you release the urge to judge other people it helps you no be so harsh towards yourself!

So, here’s how it works:

  1. We ALL judge people… we can’t help some of the thoughts that automatically come up.
  2. What you CAN do is start to HEAR the judgement (positive or negative).
  3. When you HEAR the judgement practice saying to yourself “PAUSE. Am I showing compassion? If not, let it go.”
  4. Repeat that phrase often! Eventually it becomes natural! You’ll start to say it to yourself and out loud to your friends who are beating themselves up.
  5. When you are better to OTHERS; you are better to yourself. When you are better to yourself it’s easier to listen to your body, hear your hunger cues and release the urge to binge/overeat!​

5. ​​I work with women who WANT ​to find ​balance with food… ​as we work together, that diet voice creeps back in every once in a while. Any tips for someone ​when the diet voice DOES inevitably come back up? (It’s such a habit to break).

We have to know that this is bound to happen. It HAS to happen unfortunately. What we CAN do is start to think of the diet voice as a little reminder of what we’re working on. The diet voice WILL want to challenge you…. it will WANT you to keep going back to it.

Be prepared for the diet voice by knowing it will show back up. Celebrate moments that are really positive in your intuitive eating journey (the more we celebrate and recognize baby steps, the more positive momentum we’ll have!).

Take time often to journal about WHY you want balance with food. Write about WHY diets don’t serve you and where thy have gotten you to. Do this proactive work and it’ll be so much easier to pause and move on when the diet voices DO come up! (You won’t be perfect though and that’s okay! There’s no perfection here!)

​6. ​What is your summer going to look like?! Anything fun and exciting for you? How do you want to FEEL this summer?

I want my summer to feel peaceful, simple, FUN. Nothing too exciting over here! My husband and I are both teachers so we get the summer off to spend together… I’m excited for long walks with our pups, a couple house projects (gotta redo a bathroom!), and coffee out on our deck every morning! It’s going to be fun & simple. I can’t wait!!

Oh.. and of course I’m excited for Self-Love Summer!! June 10!!!

​7. ​Who would you say SLS is right for?!

It is right for women who are needing a nudge in the direction of self-love, body love, food freedom, and PRESENCE. It’s for amazing women who want to hop on Instagram to get POSITIVE & uplifting PRACTICAL advice to change their relationship to food for good and have the best summer ever… while connecting with other women who are going through the same thing!!

I wish there was a Self-Love Summer Challenge around when I was really struggling to love myself and honor my hunger.

8. What’s the best advice you could give someone who is just starting their “journey” to food freedom/self-love?

KEEP IT SIMPLE! There’s no need to try and do it all at once. Break it up like you would a big project in college. Focus on ONE thing at a time! They all build off of each other.

Another tip is….. that it will ALL BE OKAY. You can change. You are capable. Don’t take this all so seriously! Let this be an adventure towards the life you deserve. REMEMBER THAT!

9. Fave summer drink? Fave summer snack/meal?

Iced coffee alll the way!!! Fave meal and snack has to be fruit (pineapple, watermelon, kiwi) and coleslaw/potato salad. YUM!

10. If someone is really working on balance and self-care this summer, how do they talk to their friends about this who are dieting or trying to lose weight?

Be honest with your besties! You’ll be SURPRISED at how happy and excited they are for you. They may even connect with what you’re working on and want to know more about your journey. There’s no need to try and overshare/over do it to try to get others on board. Just gently let them know what you’re doing and why! They’ll ask you questions if they want to know more and are genuinely interested.

Example of what you could practice saying… “I’m really focussed on balance this summer. I don’t think diets are serving me any longer. I just want to be carefree and ENJOY food! You can support me by asking how it’s going!”

Paige here, again! Okay… HOW incredible is Abby?! She is SUCH a love and I CANNOT WAIT to do Self-Love Summer with her this year! We start on June 10th. You can learn ALL about the challenge here. Please come on over and join us in Self-Love Summer! 🙂

Love, Paige
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