Bikini season. Those two words alone have the power to strike terror in the fiercest among us and can motivate even the most gym-avoidant humans to high-tail it to their nearest fitness center. And while mid-April should just be a time for us to enjoy the beginning of spring, for many people it begins the long-dreaded warm weather months and the return of #summerbod seemingly everywhere online. This year, you don’t need to groan at the sight of the sun. No more cringing in changing rooms and swearing off your favorite foods until fall. No more hiding under MuMus in the shade instead of lounging out on a fab pool floaty with those few flat tummied “sun-entitled” folks.
Enough is enough!
This is your call to arms. You are FABULOUS no matter what your size is or what your skin looks like (team #tigerstripes for the win, btw!), and together we are going to make this your best summer yet. Read on to learn how to embrace your beach body (hint: it’s just your body, at the beach), and gain the confidence you need to go from the sidelines to the spotlight!
Do Not Diet
Yes, you really did read that correctly. As you may already know, diets tend to come with tiny portions of food and huge helpings of self-criticism and negative self-talk. That’s because by dieting or depriving yourself, you’re telling yourself all day every day that there is something inherently wrong about you and your body when there is not. Let me be clear: your body is truly amazing just the way it is and you do not need to diet in order to “earn” a beach/bikini body. In fact, the diet will make things more miserable, so skip it, once and for all!
Heyyy sexy!! I know it sounds shocking but let me clue you in on a little secret: if you can’t be naked by yourself (and I’m not talking five seconds of “body checking” with a sad face before rushing to close your robe), then you are going to struggle to be in a bathing suit – bikini or otherwise – in front of other people. Why? Because bathing suits tend to be pretty revealing. Even the ones that are relatively modest still show people more skin than many of us are comfortable exposing, let alone flaunting to other people. By experiencing yourself naked on a regular basis and approaching yourself with a curious (instead of self-critical) tone, you’ll become more and more comfortable with whatever body you’re rocking. And confidence not only feels great, it’s also sexy!
Pro tip: trying brushing your teeth naked so that you have privacy, a mirror and a distracting activity all in one!
Embrace Online Ordering
There is a long rant inside me just waiting to come out about the bad business associated with the unflattering lighting, cramped stall sizes and terrible mirrors in most clothing store changing rooms…. That will have to wait for another time though! However, for all those reasons – not to mention the stress of finding “your” size (more about that below), in a style you like – I strongly encourage you to find a good website that has both bathing suits AND free return shipping (that part is key). That way you can try suits on in the comfort and calm of your own home. Having a peaceful, safe space can make all the difference in this experience, especially if you’re at fledging level when it comes to self-love and bathing suit confidence.
Edit Your Social Media Feed
This is something that I encourage each of you to do ruthlessly and regularly. Are you following accounts that are supposed to inspire you but instead make you feel bad about yourself or your body? Are you following individuals that somehow contribute to your sense of “less than” or “not enough-ness”? Say goodbye and don’t give them a second thought. Want to take it a step further? Try going every other day without social media. You’ll be amazed what a little digital detox can do for your self-esteem!
Love (something about) Yourself
Self-love can be a tall order, especially during diet season when every social media and magazine page seems to be telling you to do differently. That’s why having one thing that you really love about yourself and can hold onto in moments of doubt is so important. It can be a physical or personality trait, however it should be something that is constant (this typically means that anything related to size and muscle tone is out). For example, I really love my facial freckles – they’re poppin’ y’all! – as well as my sense of empathy for others. Write yours down and put them somewhere you can see them daily and challenge yourself to read them OUT LOUD on a regular basis.
It’s not easy to love yourself in a world that’s telling you to do otherwise and sometimes we need a little extra support. By going against the grain and following the advice above (saying “no” to pre-summer dieting, getting to know your body better, using online ordering for suits, saying goodbye to negative influencers and social media and identifying and holding onto those non-weight related things you love about yourself), you’ll set yourself up to have happier warm weather months!
If you want to go beyond this and do a full self-love tune up, join me for the 21 Day Self-Love , starting May 1st!! More details coming soon!!
PS A special thank you to Oyama Botha (@oyamabotha on Instagram) for the AMAZING featured image. Please go check her page out!