While the first official day of Summer has not yet arrived (it's June 21st if anyone was wondering!), Memorial Day has come and gone and regardless of where you live, the weather is probably/hopefully starting to get a little warmer. I know that here in Raleigh, NC, the weather has been downright HOT. These 90 degree days filled with humidity have me a little concerned about what August may bring. But at least it's finally pool weather right???
Well, for some women (I would bet most), warmer weather and getting into a bathing suit can trigger anything from a few nerves to a full on panic attack. The obsession with our bodies continues to reach new heights, and sometimes what we need is to step back and get a giant body image boost. Dr. Michael Levine and Dr Linda Smolak, together with NEDA, compiled a list of 10 "will-powers" for improving body image. I have been using this list with some of my clients lately (because I think that it is pretty great), and because I have gotten a lot of feedback on how helpful it has been, I wanted to share a few of them with all of you. My hope is that the following list may help us all to spend more time enjoying the sunshine, the company of friends and family, and the water this summer, rather than focusing on what we perceive to be the flaws and faults in our bodies!
1. I will ask myself, "Am I benefiting from focusing on what I believe are the flaws in my body weight or shape?
2. I will think of 3 reasons why it is ridiculous for me to believe that thinner people are happier or 'better.' I will repeat these reasons to myself whenever I feel the urge to compare my body shape to someone.
3. I will surround myself with people and things that make me feel good about myself and my abilities. When I am around people and things that support me and make me feel good, I will be less likely to base my self-esteem on the way my body looks.
4. I will practice taking people seriously for what they say, feel and do. Not for how slender, or 'well put together' they appear.
5. I will list 5-10 good qualities that I have, such as understanding, intelligence, or creativity. I will repeat those to myself whenever I start to feel bad about my body.