How many times do we see this phrase splashed across magazines and captioning “inspiration” photos online? In the months leading up to the summer the media and the internet become obsessed with the idea of being “bikini ready;” and along come mountains of articles about getting into shape for the summer, the perfect workouts to look good in a swimsuit, diet plans, fashion tips for hiding your “problem areas”… Essentially everything to make women (and men!) feel bad about themselves and their bodies. Every day we are constantly being bombarded with images of the ideal body type, and the society we live in has become fixated with our appearances. This stream of images is possibly at its worst at this time of the year. Inspiration and motivation are positive tools if used well, but the idea of a bikini body definitely gets taken too far and becomes an unhealthy preoccupation.
My advice on how to be confident at the beach is ridiculously simple: let go of your self-consciousness and just enjoy being on vacation! Dig deep and try to find some confidence in your own skin; it’s not always easy but everyone can do it. Pick out something that you love wearing; you’ll feel good and therefore you’ll look good. Get yourself a drink, select a fantastic book, slather yourself in sunscreen (it’s vital) and lay back. You are not alone in feeling nervous; we all feel a little self-conscious when stripping down to our swimwear, after all it’s the only time of year when total strangers see our bodies so revealed. But remember, no one is sitting there judging you, they’re either worrying about their own body or they’re too busy enjoying themselves!
Of course I advocate getting into shape 100%, being healthy will improve the quality of your life to no end. However, trying to lose weight or tone up because you feel under pressure from the messages being communicated by the media is not a good idea. Don’t let these messages make you feel guilty, you are you and you are brilliant, it doesn’t matter what you look like.
For those of us who like to work out a little more in the warmer weather, and anyone who wants to get into better shape in order to feel healthier and happier in their own skin, then why not start today? The summer is the perfect time to make adjustments; it’s easier to get outside and be more active when the sun is shining. We also tend to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables at this time of year; summer is definitely salad and smoothie season. Eating well and being active will not only transform your body but they will also make you feel good, and people who are more confident and who are generally happier with themselves tend to appear more attractive. So if you’re feeling a little nervous about stepping out onto the beach in your swimsuit, take a deep breath, pull your shoulders back, walk tall, and smile! After all, for those of us who don’t feel outgoing and extroverted, you can always fake it till you make it…