It’s summer and we all want the perfect summer body. We want to feel comfortable in our own skin, especially since it’s bathing suit weather. We consider going on a diet, taking diet pills, cutting out carbs, sugar, etc.
But these efforts are in vain because we don’t have to do a single thing differently to get our perfect summer body.
Growing up as a millennial with baby boomer parents, I would hear adults say things like, “I need to lose weight to get my summer body back,” or “I’m going on a diet so I can wear my bathing suit this summer!” There was this idea that in order to show any skin, you had to lose weight.
But it was confusing to me because some people were bigger than others, but everyone was still not okay to show any skin unless they had lost weight.
It wasn’t about their body at all. It was about feeling in control in the face of vulnerability.
Now I’m in my 30s and I still hear these comments occasionally, but mostly among the older generations. There seems to be a body positivity movement among the younger generations, and it makes my heart happy.
People can be healthy at so many different weights, and each body type is unique. I believe that there are only summer bodies. We’re allowed to exist in their natural form, which means anybody can wear a bikini even if they are technically “overweight.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, health comes first. But people don’t need to be shamed into losing weight to be healthier.
Obesity is actually not a choice, it is a disease – just like anorexia is not a choice. And both obesity and anorexia are very serious health risks. But some people who are called “fat” are actually healthy. And some people who are called “skinny” are actually unwell.
Furthermore, fat does not equate with bad, and skinny does not equate with good or better. Our bodies are constantly changing. We can fluctuate in weight and size daily from fluid shifts. And that should be okay.
Let’s make it the new normal that any body size and shape is a summer body and deserves to be able to dress in a swimsuit and show off a little skin.
After all, we have no say in what body we are born into. But we do have the choice to love it for what it does for us, like running, walking, breathing, swimming, hugging, laughing, jumping, and all the other fun things we can do because we live in bodies.
So throw out the scale, put on your swimsuit, and go jump in the water. There are so many wonderful summer adventures ahead of us. And if we are tied up worrying about losing weight, we will never get to enjoy the blissful afternoon lying in the sun with a large iced coffee.