How To Be Comfortable and Confident in Your Body this Summer
Body Confidence for Summer
Does summertime and the thought of shorts, swimming suits, and tank tops give you anxiety? Does it make you wish you can just fast forward to the fall/winter when you can hide in oversized sweaters and boots? You are not alone.
The official start of summertime here in the U.S. is only a week away and that means short shorts, bikinis and summer dresses, pool parties, backyard BBQs and vacations with the family. I used to hate summer. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin, so I wore long pants or capris, black shirts and rarely visited the pool. It was really hot and it wasn’t a lot of fun.
Now that I’ve gained some confidence and have a better body image summer is one of my favorite seasons. And I truly believe everyone deserves to have a great summer, regardless of whether or not you lost your “winter weight” or have a traditional bikini body. Here’s how you can do it.
Do Fashion Your Way
Summer is a lot more fun when you realize your summer wardrobe doesn’t have to look a certain way and when you give yourself permission to embrace your own style and leave all the other “tips” behind.
Forget Fashion Trends
Rompers are hugely fashionable right now and I tried in vain to find one that fit me properly to wear this summer, but my torso is too long. I’m sure there is a romper made for tall, extra curvy women out there, but when I didn’t find it after my first 4 tries I gave up. And that’s okay. One of the easiest ways to feel more comfortable in your clothing choices to choose things you love, whether they are the hottest trends right now or not.
Summer is all about bright colors and the shortest shorts you can find, but if that’s not you, don’t stress about it. If you want to wear dark colors or pants or the same swimsuit you’ve had for 5 years, do it! You’re going to be 100 times more comfortable if you aren’t trying to force yourself to wear clothes that just don’t suit you.
Where What You Want
I avoided wearing short shorts for most of my life because I thought my thighs were fat and had too much cellulite on them. I tentatively bought my first pair of short shorts a few years and have never looked back, because being cool when it’s 100 degrees is way more important than making sure no one sees my cellulite.
You don’t have to be a size 2 to wear a bikini, you don’t have to have toned, muscular arms to wear a tank top and you can have cellulite and still rock short shorts. Wear whatever makes you feel the best and forget about everyone else. There are no rules about what you can and cannot wear. If you look in the right places on Instagram you’ll tons of women of every shape and size (myself included) rocking bikinis and wearing clothing that wasn’t always “acceptable” for plus-sized women. We are making our own rules and having a ton of fun doing it.
On the other hand, if you just aren’t comfortable wearing a bikini or a tank top, that is totally fine too! You get to decide what makes you feel best. For some people that is showing a little (or a lot) of skin, and for some people that means covering up a little more.
Forget the Idea of a Bikini Body
If you read my last post, you know I think the idea of one type of body being deemed acceptable to wear a bikini is ridiculous at best and harmful at worst. You’ve probably seen hundreds of advertisements in the past 3 months preying on your insecurities and selling you a quick fix to get “flat abs” by summertime. But it’s all a lie designed to make money, and you don’t have to buy into it.
Everybody is a Bikini Body
I’m sure you’ve seen the meme that says “How to Get a Bikini Body - 1. Buy a Bikini. 2. Put Your Body in It.” It really is as simple as that. I totally get it. If you’ve been told your entire life that you are “too fat” for a bikini it is really hard to overcome that. If you’ve gone through the cycle of weight gain in the winter/weight loss in the spring to get ready for summer for years and years it can be hard to break. But dwelling on how much weight you could’ve lost or how much smaller you could’ve been by now is only going to make you miserable. Trust me, I’ve spent many summers trying in vain to make up for all the weight I didn’t lose before swimsuit season.
If your plans to lose all the weight before summer arrived didn’t pan out you are not a failure and your body is still perfectly acceptable for the beach, the pool or whatever other fun summer activities you have planned.
Body Diversity is Real
I’ve written about this before, but not all bodies are meant to be skinny. Bodies come in a huge range of natural sizes, just like they come in a huge range of heights. Not everyone is meant to look like a Victoria’s Secret Model. Not everyone is going to have a thigh gap or a flat stomach. Isn’t it amazing to think that of the billions of people on this planet you are the only one just like you? Embrace your unique beauty, work on being happy and healthy instead of striving for perfection.
Work on Your Mindset
This one is hard. Harder than working out and trying to lose weight. Harder than just wearing clothes that make you comfortable. But it’s also probably the most important. Because until you can change the dialogue happening inside your head, everything above is going to be really hard to do.
Not Everyone is Thinking About You
I have spent so much of life wondering, worrying about and beating myself up over the thoughts I thought other people were having about me. But I think it’s safe to say that most people spend a lot more time thinking about themselves then they do thinking about how a random stranger at the beach looks. I think it’s safe to say most people are too wrapped up in their own worries and issues to be judging you.
And if they are judging you, so what? Do you really care what a person you don’t know and will likely never see again thinks about your outfit or your body? Do you really care what hateful, mean-spirited people on the internet have to say? Those people have literally nothing to do with your life, so stop letting them make you feel bad about yourself. Stop letting the opinions of other people ruin your day. I love the quote from Rachel Hollis that says, “Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.” Don’t let other people’s opinions define your life for you.
If you’ve spent your entire life hating your body and tearing yourself down every time you passed a mirror this is going to take time and a lot of practice, but it will make a huge difference. Instead of immediately criticizing everything you see in the mirror start by saying one thing you like about yourself, body-related or not. Start by telling yourself, out loud, all the qualities you like about yourself. Start by picking one part of your body to stop hating. Start by realizing your body is not the enemy and then treating it that way.
If love is too far-fetched, start by simply accepting our body as it is right now. That doesn’t mean you can’t work on changing it, that doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your body goals but start by accepting the body you have right now. Start by focusing on living your life in that body right now, instead of waiting to reach your goals or get skinny.
Don’t let another summer come and go hiding in an over sized t-shirt and avoiding the water like it’s on fire. Don’t waste another moment of time on self-hatred when you could be making amazing memories instead.