Why the summer body narrative is toxic

Every year we hear the same narrative, summer is coming so it is time to prepare for your bikini body! You should get back to sport more regularly, eat salad and veggies, buy miracle products to flatten your belly, to minimise your cellulite, buy pills to help with your weight loss, buy drinks to help you throughout this process, do intensive sports for a while, try this diet or that one.

We hear this narrative all year along but when summer is approaching those sometimes erroneous and dangerous ideas are omnipresent and I simply can’t stand them anymore.

What I am referring to include:

  • The idea that you need to spend money to lose weight and get in shape whether with drinks, pills, the latest diet method or any other weight-loss products. Thing is, you don’t need to spend more money to lose weight. Those products are not a must. Not only most of those products are not necessarily good for your health and your well-being but some of them can also be dangerous. If some of them may have effects, most of the time it is throughout adopting a healthy habit. Let’s take the example of an expensive anti-cellulite cream which should be us daily, it never works on its own but thorough a massage technique which is also effective without the cream.
  • The idea that weight loss is a quick process. This is so detrimental health wise, trying to lose weight fast fast, as fast as you can, restring yourself and exercising excessively. Your body and mind probably won’t get enough nutrients to function as it should. Plus, you might enter this weight gain/weight loss circle, which is detrimental to your health.

When it come to this narrative it seems to me that we do not enough mention:

  • The importance of being regular and consistent. It is better to exercise smaller time several times per week rather than one time per week but for a longer time. It is also best not to eliminate things you like from your diet, and eat healthy and satisfying meals rather than restricting yourself for a short period which might result in gain weight
  • The importance of enjoying yourself throughout the process. You don’t need to hate anything that is not green. It is not about choosing between chocolate or going to the gym. It is about adopting a new lifestyle which includes both. It is about re-educating yourself and learning to understand what feel best for your body.

Thing is, we are all shaped differently, to decide to lose weight and to make the conscious decision to become healthier and more comfortable in your own skin, it has to come from a place of love. Because if you already love what you have and how you are shaped you are unlikely to indulge in a dangerous behaviour health wise as you want to care for yourself. It is because you love yourself that you want to become healthier, not because you don’t like yourself, this is when a lot of the troubles start.

I am not a weight loss or a fitness expert. However, the last years I have lost approximately 10 kilos throughout a process of 2 years. It happened without me planning on it, I changed my lifestyle for my inner well-being and it reflected externally. Throughout this process, I learnt so much about my body, my lifestyle, my wellbeing. That is why I do not believe in diets at all, I believe in improving your lifestyle so as to sustainably stay in shape. I learnt another big big thing.

A huge secret in regards to weight loss. There is no secret: maintaining a healthy lifestyle, being active and eating healthy is the way to go. There is no shortcut. The journey is not only worthy but extremely rewarding for your body, mind and spirit.

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