Something that’s been coming up more and more as spring is here and bikini season (aka, summer) gets closer, is what happens to most of us every year when we start to think about being half naked in our bikinis on the beach (just sayin’).
We start to feel the pressure to shape up and diet down. To get our eating “back on track” and eat as clean as can be. We start thinking we need to exercise super regularly so that *this year* we can FINALLY have that bikini body we’ve always wanted.
I made a video for you that talks about *positive body encouragement* as bikini season gets close and what you can do instead of putting pressure on yourselves, like we tend to do every year!
Along with this video I’m going to jot down a few things that are top of mind. I talk about most them in the video too, but wanted to write them out for those of you who like to see everything in writing.
1. You’re only responsible for taking care of yourself, not forcing your body to be any certain weight/size
The first thing I think about when this bikini body pressure comes up for me, and yes, it comes up for me too – I’m a normal girl just like you – is I remember that *I am only responsible for taking good care of myself. I am not responsible for forcing my body to be any certain size or weight.*
This really helps me to take the pressure off myself. Instead, it opens me up to simply be gentle with myself, continue taking good care of myself, and continue focusing on what feels good.
2. Focus on feeling good
Which takes me to my next point, focusing on feeling good versus being a certain weight or size.
I talk about this a lot on my blog, and I talk about it even more with my clients, but when we focus on being a certain weight or size, we deny ourselves the opportunity to truly connect with our bodies and how they feel.
Instead of focusing on numbers, which I know firsthand it’s very easy to do, try to focus on how you actually feel day to day, moment to moment.
Let your choices come from a place of “I want to feel good” rather than “I need to weigh __ by summer” or “I need to fit into a size __” or “I hope my body looks like __ by summer.”
What happens when we hold on to a certain image that we need to look like by a certain time, is that we get to a place of obsessing over food and exercise, which doesn’t feel good.
For most of us, and definitely for me, when I start to feel the pressure of eating and exercising to my old standards of “perfection,” I actually end up listening to my body LESS and making MORE choices aren’t beneficial to my health. You too?
I have found over time that I make so many more choices that feel good and are beneficial to my body when I’m encouraged to be kind to myself, to listen to what would feel-good, and to truly trust that I am not restricted.
I like to think to myself reassuring thoughts that lead me away from extremes like: “I have an abundance of food and flavors available to me any time I want them, I make choices to listen to my body in the moment, and I can be completely satisfied AND feel good in my body at the same time.”
3. Keep your thinking neutral & calm
The next thing I want to bring up is neutral thinking and keeping our mind calm.
For a moment, think about what it feels like to be on a diet where you’re not eating sugar, and are craving it like crazy. You’re about to break the diet, and eat that entire box of cookies right in front of you…
If you were to rate the speed of your thinking on a scale of 0 to 10 in that very moment where you’re reaching for the cookies, 10 being the fastest, what would you rate the speed of your thinking in this moment?
This is where the *diet mentality* comes in. The mentality piece of the puzzle is so important.
When we feel deprived, our anxious thoughts about food hit a whole new level. We don’t have to feel this way around food at all. It’s not necessary or beneficial.
For a moment, think about a food that you do not allow yourself to eat, but that you REALLY love when you get your hands on it. Hold that thought. Now, turn your thinking all the way up to speed 10.
Feel, for just a moment, notice what that intense fast thinking feels like around this food. Almost as if you were about to binge. Or, we’re already in the midst of a binge.
Capture that moment.
Now, visualize placing your hand on a large knob that controls the volume and speed of your thinking. Grab a hold of the knob, and turn that volume down slowly to a speed 3 or a 4, and as you do that feel your thinking slow.
Capture this moment, and the feeling of being calmmmmmmmmm.
What this experiment should show you is that you are in control of the speed of your thoughts. When you start to feel anxious about food (or anything else), visualize yourself grabbing hold of that large knob and slowly turning the volume down, bringing yourself back to a place of center.
It is from THIS place that we can tune in and recognize that we are actually fully capable of changing the way we think.
This is the kind of mindset that you want to have when you’re about to make a decision with food, or your body. The Motivation is to *feel good.* Not to restrict. We’re choosing a mindset of self-care, not self-control.
4. What good things come from comparing yourself?
Ask yourself right now “what good things come from comparing myself to others?” Can you come up with anything?
Some of you might say, well, comparing myself to others makes me want to do better and be a better person.
So let me ask you this: when your motivation to change comes from a place of comparing yourself to someone else, how likely are you to actually make a change that feels good?
I can only answer this question from my own experience, so I want you to answer this question on your own. There is no right or wrong answer here, I simply want you to be curious about this.
If I were to answer this question, of how likely I am to actually make a change that feels good when my motivation is coming from a place of comparing myself to someone else, the answer is very unlikely.
The most impactful and meaningful changes I have made in my life come from a place of being in my own lane, not comparing myself to others, and moving forward in the direction that I inherently know is good for me (or, a direction I feel excited about – even if it’s scary).
What I’ve learned about comparing myself to others is that it’s simply not worth it. It feels so much better for me to stay in my own lane and ask myself things like “what would feel good?” and “what is it that I need?”
The great thing about getting to ask ourselves these questions (I have my clients ask themselves these questions OFTEN) is that it gives us an opportunity to really find out what WE want more of. The first step to change is knowing that you want more of something and what that is.
In fact, when my clients come to work with me one-on-one, the first thing we go over in our 60-minute consultation is getting very clear on where they would like to be after working together for six-months. The first step to creating change is getting clear on where you would like to be.
If this post was helpful for you, and you’re in Finally Free, I would love to direct you to sessions 4, 10, and 12 where we go even more in depth on staying calm around food, respecting your body, and honoring your health.
This Monday (just a few days from now!), Simi and I will be releasing new bonus videos, which we filmed last week while we were together in Ohio. We cannot wait to share them!
To get the videos, show up to my blog on Monday &/or get on my email list (enter your name & email anywhere on the blog).
Stay tuned and follow along at @finallyfreeprogram on Instagram.