Your “beach body” is simply your own body, right now, as it is.
The beginning of July ushers in summer, and sadly summer is often a season when our bodies are targeted by criticism and discrimination. We can feel bombarded by articles and news stories about getting your “beach body” or “how to tone up for summer” or by diet talk among colleagues, family and friends. Few of us can escape this barrage without feeling that we are not enough, that we are lacking in some essential way necessary to be loved or feel worth, with those in marginalized bodies particularly targeted by our culture’s obsession with a thin, white able-bodied ideal.
I am not here to tell you that you are not enough, that you need to change yourself. I am here to add my voice to those saying, you are enough, you are more than enough and always will be. So please, dear one, let’s move away from the airbrushed, photoshopped images, from the impossible standards, from the fatphobic voices voicing their discrimination loudly. Let’s try something else.
I’m going to borrow an exercise that was brought up at a recent talk by the inspiring duo behind Be Nourished, Hilary Kinavey, MS, LPC and Dana Sturtevant, MS, RD - please check them out at BeNourished.org for more on their amazing body trust work! They asked those of us lucky enough to be in the audience to answer a question - if you could live in a world without fatphobia or discrimination, where all bodies were treated with worth regardless of size or color or ability, what would you do for self-care? And I asked the same to you - what would you do to care for your body if you didn’t try to have to change it?