By: Bryna Gavin, MS, IFMNT
A client asked me today if I have a "winter body". I said "Yes. It's the exact body you're looking at, but I'm more forgiving with my leg hair."
Let's have quick chat about this whole "summer body Vs. winter body" verbiage. These terms normalize altering your physical appearance based on how many people are going to see your body, and it suggests that we should only prioritize our health during certain windows of the year. Both of these approaches are unsustainable, emotionally reckless, and less than you deserve. Not to mention it begets a whole emotional spiral and can be completely triggering for the 99% of the human population who don't happen to have come from tippy top of the gene pool with there unreasonably symmetrical faces and bodies that look flawless in a little red bikini. Every day I speak to men and women recovering from eating disorders, struggling to lose weight and regain their health, overcoming chronic illness, or who've been wearing a colostomy bag single childhood and they simply hate the term "summer body"...and to speak frankly, I think it needs to leave our lips and our collective vocabulary for good.
Your body deserves kindness, it deserves being prioritized, and your health deserves to be in the forefront of things you take care of every single day. Also, if you're goal is having a physical appearance you're proud of, then start by being proud of your physical appearance. "Looking good"- in my opinion and those of many of the mind/body wellness professionals I greatly admire- is a welcomed symptom of feeling confident, empowered, and taking care of your body on your own terms. The best way to start down this road is to take everyone else's opinions about your body, and throw them in your emotional dumpster with that-hurtful-thing-so-and-so-said and all the thoughts you had that time you compared yourself to a Kardashian. None of it is real. None of it serves you. You are too timeless and gorgeous to bog yourself down with the worries of what other people think about your physical appearance. And guess what? Your body is going to change and ebb and flow. Welcome to being a beautiful human being. But that doesn't mean we should care about it less sometimes, and more others. What I'm getting at here is, don't marry the numbers; on the scale, in the measurements, anywhere. Now does that mean we should jeopardize our health and disregard being at risk for disease? No way. It just means that there is so much to be learned in the journey, and you have to love the skin you're in along the way. There are so many studies that show us the link between negative body image and disordered eating habits so to me, talking about our self-acceptancle and body love is not only relevant in my field...it's imperative. We know from this study in the Journal of Social Psychology that a positive body image is often linked to a positive social, emotional, and psychological well-being. And this all starts at home, right now, with you.
Your health is everything. It directly determines your quality of life on this earth. So what do ya say let's throw out the "summer body" and just allow ourselves an "everyday body" that we try to treat kindly and care for with the love and attention it deserves. Cool. You're awesome. Now scroll on, friend. ❤️