Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Put That Swimsuit On

This post is for every beautiful person that has decided to take a few minutes out of their packed day to read a few words of mine. This is all for you. Ladies, gents, young, over the hill...The message I'm wanting to share is one that we ALL (myself included) need to be reminded of more often than not.

The long awaited summer months have arrived, and while that should bring joy, relief, and rejuvenation to us all, it is so clear that those feelings are being masked by some more powerful ones. Summer sneaks up on us and the mortifying realization that our "summer body" is not ready begins to sink in. It's impossible to avoid these thoughts. We live in a world with social media, photos galore, powerful advertisements, and endless media influences all SCREAMING at us that our bodies are not ready to compete with others.

This battle clearly is a year long, life long, never ending fight. Just when we think we have reached a steady state of "I love my body", we accidentally stare at the mirror a bit too long. We compare ourselves to an unrealistic image we see online. We even compare ourselves to a photo from years ago and cannot grapple the fact that we don't look as good as we did then. When will we ever understand and firmly believe that bodies are beautiful gifts that change and evolve with every phase of life? They should be celebrated. Not degraded.

Our thoughts need to shift because, friends, life is too short to be calculating how beautiful our bodies are based on how many likes we receive on a selfie. We are not defined by the size of our waist, the bulk of our muscles, or the gap in between our thighs. Rather, our character and strength is what will define us for years to come. Can you imagine what would happen if we all focused on our passions, our dreams and our abilities to help each other rather than focus on the stretch marks on our skin? What would happen if we began noticing each other's hearts and strength changing instead of noticing when one is losing or gaining weight?

It's time to set a new example. The generations rising up below us need to see strong, driven, tenacious men and women tackling the world. We cannot let them believe that their self worth is determined in the mirror. We must live and proclaim mantras of love, acceptance, and pride. Gone are the days of ten year old girls feeling the desperate need to go on a diet and junior high boys being bullied simply because they haven't hit their growth spurt yet.

Let us all live in the same idea that being healthy is stunning. Eat our veggies, drink our water, workout in a way that is fun and recharging. But, do not forget to live life! This world holds so many treats and treasures that have become forbidden. Enjoy the ice cream, the wine, the pizza, all in moderation. Don't let the number on the scale affect moments we spend with others. May we choose to be healthy and strong so that we can be around for a long time, not to reach an unrealistic size or shape. There is a difference between being healthy and being obsessive.

This is the summer to be brave. Put that swimsuit on and MAKE MEMORIES. We begin changing our way of living now. Be absorbed in the person you are becoming each day and the incredible souls that surround you. You are beautiful, loved and growing every single moment. CELEBRATE, friends.

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