Radiate Body Positivity This Summer

By Hannah Holder
Blog Content Contributor

It’s that time of the year again: the best and the worst season. All the gyms are crowded, fruits and greens are being restocked more often and we start putting ourselves down because that “summer body” just isn’t quite there yet. But where is the list of rules that define a “summer body?” There isn’t one. If you’re happy and comfortable in your skin already, why try to drastically change it in a little amount of time just to impress others? And if you’re not happy with your body, then begin that journey now, in a healthy and positive way.

I used to be that girl that began eating healthy and working out only weeks before summer began, every year. Then by the end of the summer, I was back to eating whatever. This was a constant cycle for a few years. During my freshman and the beginning of my sophomore year in college I gained roughly 20 pounds. Note — the freshman 15 is not a myth if you don’t balance your diet and exercise accordingly. Around this time last year, I was not comfortable in my body at all but did nothing to change that.

To my surprise, my parents told me we were taking a trip to Mexico over the summer. Immediately and frantically, I started dieting and working out once to twice a day while taking weight loss pills that were not good for my body. I was extremely hard on myself, and often put myself down for getting this way in the first place. Little did I know consistency and time were key. Pushing myself to keep pushing through is what led me to my results of losing twenty pounds before my trip to Mexico, and many months afterwards, I lost five more pounds.

Though my lesson was learned, I did not treat myself the way I should have during my weight loss process. I may have learned how to incorporate clean eating and daily exercise into a part of my everyday routine, but I would not recommend trying to get that “summer body” in such a short amount of time and on extreme terms. This process of pushing yourself too much and too hard can lead to self-destruction and body negativity.

clean meal
Some lighter-choice meals I typically eat on a daily-basis. I usually add in fruits, and the occasional “cheat meal” every once in awhile. Photo by Hannah Holder.

Thankfully, I changed my lifestyle, maintained my weight and created my own sense of body positivity. However, this is not the case for everyone. This journey is not an easy path, but if you’re determined, it is possible. The ratio to losing weight might come as a surprise: diet is 80 percent while exercise is only 20 percent. Eating healthy can be seen as expensive, which I totally agree with, but spending money on your health is so worth it.

Pinterest is my go-to when I’m needing some motivation, body positivity or healthy food recipes. It is so easy to lose motivation, but the results are so worth it. Either way, this year we’re learning how to radiate body positivity for everyone, whether you’re a health nut or not, a gym junkie or not. At the beginning of my health journey, I was negative and too hard on myself. I had too much pressure on my shoulders due to trying to lose so much weight within a short amount of time.

Do not do this. Push yourself, but do not self-destruct. You were molded into the body you’re in for a reason; it is your body, created for and by you. If you’re feeling how I used to feel, begin your journey to being healthy now. Do not be discouraged. It is possible and it will take time, just keep being positive. As for this summer, may everyone feel beautiful, comfortable and radiate body positivity for themselves and others!

Featured image by Hannah Holder.

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