Every year, it’s the same! As the British summer begins so do the headlines: ‘Get in Shape for Summer,’ ‘Get a Love Island Body,’ and ‘Get Bikini Body Ready.’ From juice detox plans to 28-day bikini body guides promising to ‘reinvent your entire shape,’ we are bombarded with messages about how inadequate our bodies (supposedly) are after months of baggy jumpers, and then we begin to tell ourselves that this year is the year we will get in shape for holiday. In fact, the term ‘bikini body’ itself is reported to have been started by a weight-loss chain called Slenderella back in the 1960s!
With the UK diet industry being worth £2billion, us women become an easy sell for brands and Insta stars alike to target, especially as UK women have one the lowest self-esteem rates in the World.
So how do you avoid the annual bikini pressure?
Firstly, ignore the hype! Start by unfollowing unhelpful social media channels and stop buying the magazines that are shouting at you to get that bikini body in the first place. Instead, begin to tune into more positive channels and messages, and that includes your friendship circles too!
Ask yourself why you want to get a bikini body? Are you doing it for yourself or for other people? All too often we want to slim down or tone up because we worry about what others may think of us, to attract a love interest, or because we think it will make us happier. And yet we pay so little attention to self-love and accepting that we’re perfectly imperfect. Learn to celebrate the body you have, not pine after the one you don’t.
Realise that no-one cares anyway! Most women are so wrapped up in their own thoughts and insecurities that believe it or not they won’t be paying any attention to you and whether you have a bikini body or not.
Know that cellulite is normal and is found in about 80-90% of adult women, and that from an evolutionary standpoint, we are not designed to have a flat stomach as it is central to our hormones and fertility! All too often the bikini body stereotypes are in the minority and yet we hold them up as the standard that we should all achieve.
If you do want to feel healthier and fitter for your holiday then be realistic about what you can achieve, for any weight loss or fitness plan requires time in order for it to be done healthily and safely. Weight gain has usually crept on over months, or even years, and then we expect to lose it all within ’28 days’! Not only is this unhealthy but when you set the bar too high you are only setting yourself up to fail because the goal or target is unrealistic and therefore unachievable. Start with small changes and they’ll soon add up to big ones!
So, instead of you holiday being filled with anxiety, dread and even avoidance, wouldn’t your time be better spent actually enjoying your holiday and all the experiences and fun that you could be having? Embrace what you do have, rather than what you don’t, and have the best summer!