Stories by students, for students.
“I am so not ready for swimsuit season.”
“Gotta hit the gym to uncover my beach body”
“I can’t eat that. I’m on a diet to slim down for summer”
May is quickly approaching so you’ve probably heard these or, something similar around campus recently. You may notice the gyms are a little busier or maybe your friends are loading a little less food on their plate. Before you start worrying if your body is summer season ready, trust us, it is.
The truth is there is no such thing as a summer body. Anyone can wear a swimsuit (one-piece or two – it’s up to you), shorts are totally acceptable and tank tops are a great way to stay cool. All we ask is that you put on some sunscreen!
You may feel like society has put a size limit on summer and promotes unrealistic body image ideals. But the truth is everyone is allowed to enjoy the sunshine, poolside or otherwise!
If you want to use summer improve your physical wellness and improve on your healthy habits here on some tips.
Tip #1 – Don’t Diet
Diets are not sustainable and they don’t work. They often start a cycle of losing then gaining weight and they can lead to disordered eating patterns. Dieting can harm your body and deprive it from getting appropriate nutrition. Check out these 10 Reasons Not To Diet.
Tip #2 – Learn About Nutrition and Take The Focus Off Food
Learning about nutrition and what it means to your body is a great way to feel empowered. When you know what your body needs and how food affects it, you can make choices that feel good for you. Food shouldn’t be a topic you think about beyond when you’re hungry and it is time to eat. Learn about normal eating and how you can get there.
Tip #3 – Find a Physical Activity You Enjoy
If you don’t like going to the gym, that is okay! Running laps or lifting weights isn’t for everyone. The important thing is to find a physical activity you enjoy. Instead of thinking of physical activity as a mean of changing your body, think of it as a way to embrace the amazing things your body can do. We like to call it mindful movement, instead of working out! Whether that means playing a game of frisbee on the Campanile lawn, exploring one of Ames’s many parks or centering yourself with some yoga, find an activity that makes you and your body happy.
Tip #4 – Love Yourself The Way You Are
Most importantly, love yourself and the body you have. Loving who you are and the way you look is the absolute best thing you can do for your mind and body. If you are already here, that is amazing. If you need help, we understand. Self-acceptance can be a journey and we are here to help.
If you are struggling with self-acceptance, here are some great resources to help you on your journey:
Body Kindness by Rebecca Scritchfield – Check out the website to learn about the book, listen to podcast and learn how to love yourself!
Join The Body Project – The Body Project is a dissonance-based body-acceptance program designed to help high school girls and college-age women resist cultural pressures to conform to the appearance ideal standard of female beauty and reduce their pursuit of unrealistic bodies.
If you are afraid you’ll have too much free time now that you don’t have to worry about getting a beach body, here are some suggestions!
5 Things to Focus On Instead of A “Summer Body”
- Finals – They are less than three weeks away so your time is much better spent studying for these
- Packing Up For Summer – Mom and Dad might be mad if they show up and you’re still packing.
- Summer Plans – Do you want to learn a new skill, travel somewhere new or catch up with some friends? The possibilities are endless.
- Enjoying the Rest of the Semester – Have fun with your friends and enjoy spending time on our beautiful campus.
- Living Your Life – There are so many other thing to focus on besides your appearance! Don’t limit yourself!