Thoughts About Your Summer BodyJul 13, 2023
Today, we’re digging into your thoughts about your summer body. We may be halfway through summer already, but the timing doesn’t really matter. The truth is that we wake up every morning, all year long, in a human body. And our brains have lots of thoughts about that body.
We’ve been told in countless ways that our bodies are not acceptable as they are, that they need fixing and that we should be deeply ashamed of them. Somehow, the way we look has become more important than everything else.
We’ll talk about these thoughts and messages and how painful and harmful it is when we think that our only value is in the way that we look. And I’ll give you some different ways to think about your body this summer and beyond.
What Does a “Summer Body” Even Mean?
Since the early 60’s, the idea of getting a “summer body” has purposely made us feel inadequate, implying that if we’re not toned, tanned, fit and ready for the summer, there is something wrong with us and our bodies.
It became a commonplace idea, a huge marketing strategy for multiple industries and a trend across social media. We’ve been told we have to prepare our bodies to be acceptable for summer.
These messages are everywhere. When your brain receives this information through your eyes and ears, it interprets that as the ideal, measures you against it and always finds you lacking. So, you feel unacceptable, inadequate and ashamed.
When this happens, we hide, avoid our lives, diet and beat ourselves up, thinking that if we can just make our body acceptable, we’ll feel better.
But the shame isn’t coming from our body. It’s coming from our thoughts.
New Thoughts About Your Summer Body
Here's the thing - We live in a world where these thoughts exist. We're not going to change that. What we can do is decide if we are going to believe these thoughts and then treat ourselves accordingly.
We need our bodies to have the experiences we want, but our thoughts, anxiety and shame about our bodies often keep us from fully enjoying some of the best moments in life. You have to take charge of the way you think about your body so that you can have the experience you want.
Here are a few new thoughts that I hope will change your mind and the way you think about your body.
There’s no such thing as a summer body. There’s only a human body. They’re all imperfect, and you can use your body exactly as it is, in any way that you want, in any season that you want. You don't need permission from anyone else to do any of it.
Try thinking about your body and the way you care for it as a continuous experience, rather than a seasonal one. You're always living in it. Your body is constantly changing, and it is always new.
There are no moments when your body is better or worse than another. You’re simply having different experiences throughout the different stages of your life. Your body carries you through them all, and that is so beautiful.
The usefulness of your body is not in how it looks. The usefulness is in what it can do. When we concentrate only on the visual appearance of our bodies, it diminishes who we are and what this earth life experience is all about.
Our brains like to judge, and often we look at our bodies as a reflection of whether we are a good person or a bad person. But what if your body has nothing to do with morality? What if your body is just a tool to get the experiences you want?
Your value is never in question and has nothing to do with the body you are in. We get so confused in this world. We think the most valuable things about us are the things that we can measure, and our body is just one of those things.
Your value has nothing to do with what you look like, what you do or what you accomplish. Your value is there just because you are, and you are worthy.
How To Enjoy Your Body Better
Be serious about your inputs. Your brain is creating meaning out of every image and message that you see and hear.
You don't have to entertain and think about every thought that exists in the world. You can filter a whole lot of the stuff that makes you feel terrible about yourself. Take control over what gets airtime in your brain, and create some more space in your life for the thoughts that you want to nurture.
When you have negative thoughts about your body, you don’t need to be upset about it. Your brain is going to think plenty of negative thoughts about your body, and it’s fine. You don’t need to resist or be mad about it. Get curious and redirect.
Think of your thoughts like a menu. You don’t have to be interested in all of them, and you don’t have to order anything you don’t want.
Come back to the meaning of the moment. Your experience matters far more than how your body looks. Remember what is really important to you in this moment and ask yourself, “What does it feel like to be alive in my body right now in this moment of space and time?”
Be on the inside of your body, rather than looking at your experience from the outside.
Whatever thoughts you have about your body, I want you to remember that they are just thoughts. I want you to remember that you get to choose how you're going to think about your body, and that choice will create your experience.
- Why there’s no such thing as a “summer body”
- New thoughts about your body
- Ways to enjoy your experience in your body more
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