A survey of over 4,000 O, The Oprah Magazine readers found that 43% of women skipped going to the pool or beach because they didn’t like their appearance! That’s right, 4 out of 10 of us are missing out on summer fun because of negative body image.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed in spite of your best efforts at self-love, you’re not alone. It can be difficult to stay body positive when articles all around us are shaming celebrities for their weight gain, cellulite, or stretch marks.
I challenge you to challenge the notion that your body must be a certain size to enjoy summer. Treat your body (just as it is, right now) as valuable and worthy of respect. You’ll be amazed at how good it can feel. Follow these simple steps to keep your mental health intact and enjoy a healthy, happy summer.
- Create a list of all the things your body lets you do. Read it and add to it often as you become aware of what your body can do each day. Remember it is the instrument of your life, not an ornament.
- Create a list of people you admire: people who have contributed to your life, your community, or the world. Consider whether their appearance was important to their success and accomplishments.
- Practice radical self-care: The better you take care of yourself the better you feel about yourself.
- Eat lots of fruits and veggies, drink plenty of fresh water, sleep 7-8 hours per night, be grateful, get a massage, read, engage in activities that make you smile.
- Oxycise! because you love your body, not because you hate it. Besides the numerous physical and psychological benefits, research shows even a little exercise improves body image.
Focus on respecting the abilities of your body rather than its outward appearance, and you may be surprised what can happen over time. By simply treating your body with kindness and respect, you can enjoy a healthy summer of self-love and wellness!