Summer is a season that as the temperatures increase and layers start to peel off, our focus on body image is also on the rise. Unfortunately for some, self-confidence doesn’t always flourish with the season and the myths of summer steal our joy! If you love summer, all the shorts, tank tops, and things you have been waiting to wear all winter, GREAT! If you are comfortable in your own skin, even better! We spend 100% of our time in our own bodies and ideally, we would all feel safe, comfortable, and content in them. But that’s not always the case, so if you are one of the many who is feeling anxious because of the myths diet culture has lied to you about, here are the facts!
1. Myth: You need to have a “summer body” to enjoy the summer.
Fact: If you have a body, and it’s summer, you have a summer body. There is no “summer body,” other than the one you have now! There is no specific size, shape, or weight to a “summer body.”
2. Myth: You should avoid all carbs to get a summer body.
Fact: Carbohydrates are the first thing your body uses as fuel. There are carbs in everything from fruits and veggies to nuts and grains. Talk to your doctor before ever avoiding one food group. If you want to have a “body,” it will need fuel, and carbs are a great start!
3. Myth: You should only eat salads in the summer.
Fact: Salads are great, fun, and can be healthy! They can also be unhealthy! Eat foods you love! Eat food that makes you feel refreshed, energetic, and full! Whatever foods make you feel summer ready, eat those!
4. Myth: You need to lose weight.
Fact: Chances are you, or someone you know has been saying they need to lose weight every summer of their adult life. Ask them if that’s fun. Ask them if that’s making their summer better. Ask yourself, am I at a healthy and sustainable weight for my health and wellness? Can I do the things I want to do? Do I feel how I want to feel? If not, start with things that can help you do and feel the way you want to. Maybe you’ll lose weight while you do those, maybe not.
- Myth: You should avoid summer activities if you are “overweight.”
Fact: Never! Do not let your weight keep you from living your life! If you can safely do something, do it! Want to go hiking and you are “overweight”? Guess what? You WILL see other “overweight “people hiking. You’ll see all types of people doing just about everything! Pack the beach bag, get on the bike, or make the reservation for the wedding – YOU ARE GOING!
Society no longer gets to tell us what to wear or eat or where we can go, and it certainly doesn’t get to tell us how to feel. If you are feeling down, and you aren’t coming back up or you are really having highs and lows, you aren’t alone. This life is so hard, and we all have much more stress than we should. If you are living by the myths, and you can’t seem to let yourself live freely, or eat well, or you are missing out on life, it’s time to let in the help and support of a professional who can end this cycle of summertime sadness. Maybe what you are feeling is far beyond summer, and that’s ok too! Reaching out to a mental health provider is so normal! Did you know more people than ever are going to therapy because there are resources right online that can help you get instant support at your fingertips?
If you are just having the summertime blues and these myths are fooling with your mind, now we know the facts! It’s summer, you have a body, therefore you do have a summer body! Go live and love this summer while it’s still here and enjoy! Before we know it, the days will get shorter, the leaves will change, and the sweatshirts and pants will be coming back out of the closets. It’s a fact, you don’t deserve any summertime sadness!
Director of The Wellness Center