"I love summer, but my legs are so pale I can never wear shorts or a bikini."
The test of summer on your body and self esteem.
As summer arrives, I find myself shedding my layers of winter clothing and less than enthusiastic about what summer clothing reveals about my body. My winter body was pale, hairy, and not nearly as toned as I had hoped. I lost 10 pounds, which was awesome but not quite enough. As I stood in the grocery store staring at the magazines with bikini clad models who were thin, toned, and tan, I felt less than. I felt like I needed to pull back out the sweaters that I had just tucked away in the closet to cover up my offensive body.
Then I came to my senses. What was I thinking, that I need to wear ridiculous amounts of clothing in the humid south? Did I want to have a heat stroke? And when did I become so concerned with what someone in a magazine looked like anyway? I did not have the luxury of a hair and make up artist, spray tans, and Photoshop. But what I did have was an amazing body that was capable of being active in the summer and needed to be wearing a bathing suit, shorts, and tank tops. If someone did not like the look of my pale arms in a tank top, then I advised them to look away. I realized that I needed to stop being ashamed of what I looked like because that was not helping me at all.
So what do you do when you find yourself in this situation? First of all, have a stellar support system in place. If your family talks about your weight or how pale you are or the fact that you don't shave your legs, then tell them it's not their concern. Or better yet, tell them that you no longer want to hear any negative comments about your body, period. Surround yourself with friends, lovers, coworkers, and acquaintances who are positive and supportive about your body and your sense of self.
Step away from the magazines. Overexposure to fitness and fashion magazines can have just about anyone picking apart their body and deciding it does not measure up. I think it is okay to set fitness goals for oneself and move towards being healthier, but not if you are being negative about yourself and hating the way you look. It's important to remind yourself that many magazine photos have been touched up to look perfect. You are just a real person representing without being touched up. 100% realness. Instead, find some inspiring quotes or a model like the one above who makes you feel good about yourself. When I see a bigger girl rocking a bikini, it makes me less concerned about wearing a cover up at the pool or feeling inadequate.
Get active. Being active releases chemicals in your brain to make you feel good. So go swimming, take your dog for a walk, do some yoga, go for a big walk, or take a bike ride. Seeing your body take you somewhere or finish a workout can make you feel pretty awesome. Have sex. That is a workout and will also make you feel very good about yourself. If you are flying solo, then masturbate. Having an orgasm and getting excited always makes me feel awesome about myself and my body.
If you are reading this article, then you are on EF. Buy yourself some sexy lingerie. The nice thing about EF is that they have a variety of lingerie to fit a variety of body types. There is something for everyone. Find something that just makes you feel wonderful and wear it around the house or surprise a partner with your sexy self. Find that thing that makes you feel so good that you don't care that you are wearing a swimsuit or a tank top.