Really, really, really hot!
And while we’re all dying of this heat, trying to stay as cool as possible eating ice-cream to reduce the pain, most of my clients are in an existential crisis.
Summer – for them and for most of us women – is damn hard and often painful.
Summer causes us to either have panic attacks and feel awful most of the time or begin to berate ourselves for not having executed my control over the winter months.
I get it. I oh so get it.
When I was in recovery and had to gain weight, I hated summer. It was awful and I mostly dressed in clothes that were way too big to try to hide as much of myself as possible. I thought I wasn’t allowed to wear clothes that fit because my body was unacceptable as it was now. I also yearned for the days that I was privileged, one of the few who were thin and one that could wear anything in the world.
In short, summer sucked and I couldn’t wait for it to be fall, so that clothes would become more of a non-issue again.
Can you relate?
There are two options for those of you who are in pain because of summer:
a) go on a diet, detox, hardcore exercise regime
b) go inward, feel the pain, the insecurity, the loss and be with it
Road a) is obviously the easier road, right? You just lose a few pounds, feel great again and can wear whatever the heck you want. People will admire you, you’ll get more compliments and have a higher self-esteem. It only takes a few weeks of mental torture and ta-da, you’re back to your old skinny self again.
The drawbacks, though, are quite obvious: you’re beginning the vicious cycle of body hate again and go down that same road that led you to the place of insecurity and disconnection from your body in the first place.
Road b) is the harder one. The one that most of us shy away from because it hurts, it takes longer and it’s not just comfortable.
However, here’s the thing: if you can get through this summer, the next one will be so much easier. If you persevere and decide to stay strong, you’ll gain body wisdom and body confidence. You’ll initially be in pain, but you’ll be stronger and feel better in the long run.
Nothing will change if you walk the familiar road and the mental pain of living in a body you hate while trying to shape it to your liking will linger on – for the rest of your life.
So, what should you wear?
Whatever the heck you want. If you want to wear lose clothes because you just can’t deal with wearing clothes you fit, that’s OK. If you can venture out of your comfort zone and rock something you truly love, that’s awesome. If you feel like wearing the same dress over and over again, then do that.
The goal is to not hide too much, to stick with the body-acceptance program and to try to enjoy this time as much as possible not despite of your body but because of it.
Here are more action steps that’ll help you to find acceptance this summer:
Get rid of the clothes that don’t fit. While I usually recommend doing that in spring, now is as good a time as any to give away the clothes that make you feel ashamed, regretful and lazy. As soon as these clothes are out of sight, you’ll feel infinitely better, I promise.
Grab one or two items that truly fit as you are right now. Treat yourself to beautiful, stylish, fun clothes that express your essential self, that make you feel comfortable and sexy at the same time. Don’t wait for this phase to pass but instead embrace your body as it is at this time.
Fake it until you make it. Just pretend to be comfortable in your body and like yourself right now. Just pretend you still have that thin privilege that you’re so used to. Just pretend that you’ve already arrived at the place where you really, truly love your body.
Go inward. Big time. The more vulnerable you are the more you need to take care of yourself, nourish yourself and fill your self-love cup. Mediate, breathe, move, write, sing, love, laugh, paint, garden, read, dance, connect, cook, open your eyes and your heart. The more time you can invest in yourself and the things that bring you pleasure, the more you’ll drop back in your body again and begin to value it for its presence and gifts.