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What’s the deal with summer bodies?

If you are like me, you have felt a lot of pressure to look your best this summer. Every body is either going to the gym or they are talking about summer bodies. We are constantly having ideas of what your body is supposed to look like shoved down our throats. Everyone has their own opinions about what everyone’s body “should” look like. Some people just don’t have an opinion, which is the best thing.

Ah, summer, the best time to go out have fun and do absolutely nothing and everything on weekends. Yet, body image struggles can cast a shadow over even the sunniest of days.

The Bikini body myth

Let’s start by debunking the biggest myth of all: the “bikini body.” Spoiler alert – if you have a body and a bikini, congratulations, you have a bikini body! The idea that only certain shapes and sizes are worthy of summer attire is a societal construct designed to sell you things you don’t need. Marketers and media have long peddled the idea that we need to look a certain way to be “summer ready.” But let’s be clear: summer is for everyone, and no one should feel excluded from enjoying it.

Scrolling through Instagram can be like taking a stroll through a hall of mirrors, each image more distorted than the last. Perfectly curated photos and airbrushed influencers can make us feel inadequate, but remember: social media is a highlight reel, not reality. Those perfect Gisenyi bodies often come with a lot of filters, good lighting, and sometimes, professional help. Comparing ourselves to these unrealistic standards is a surefire way to feel less than. Instead, let’s focus on what’s real – our unique bodies and all the incredible things they can do.

Body positivity isn’t just a trend; it’s a scientifically backed approach to improving your mental and physical health. Studies have shown that accepting and appreciating your body can lead to better self-esteem, lower rates of depression, and even healthier habits.

When we stop punishing ourselves and start treating our bodies with kindness, we’re more likely to engage in activities that make us feel good, like exercising for fun rather than out of obligation, and eating foods that nourish rather than restrict us.

Detox your Social Media. Unfollow accounts that make you feel bad about yourself. Instead, follow body-positive influencers who promote self-love and inclusivity. The algorithm is your friend – use it to create a feed that uplifts you.

Dress for Joy: Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and happy. Forget about trends or what you think you should wear. If a flowing sundress or a pair of comfy shorts makes you feel good, go for it.

Move for pleasure: Exercise shouldn’t be a punishment. Find activities that you enjoy, whether it’s dancing, swimming, hiking, or yoga. The goal is to move because it feels good, not because you’re trying to fit into a certain size.

Practice self-compassion: Be kind to yourself. When negative thoughts creep in, counter them with positive affirmations. Treat yourself as you would a dear friend – with love, patience, and understanding.

Focus on health, not size: Health comes in all shapes and sizes. Rather than fixating on weight, focus on how you feel. Are you energetic? Are you eating foods that make you feel strong and healthy? These are the markers that matter.

So, here’s to a summer of self-love, laughter, and living life to the fullest. You deserve nothing less.

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