Summer Body Ready

As the temperatures rise in many parts of the world, so may the volume of body-conscious thoughts and feelings. Warmer days mean less layers and more pressure to get ‘summer body’ ready. Summer months bring more social gatherings and more opportunities for photos and body checking. This can drive disordered behaviors around food and exercise in an attempt to show up as your most confident self. But since we already know diets don’t work, we’re here to propose an alternative: What if instead of changing your body this summer, you changed your thoughts?

Thinness=Confidence, Or Does It?

The belief that confidence is reserved for thin bodies only doesn’t hold up the way diet culture has us convinced. While it’s easy to think that women who match society’s ideals never experience moments of insecurity, there’s a simple way to debunk that misconception. If it were true, there wouldn’t be so many thin women who struggle with their body image. Likewise, we would never see women in larger bodies wearing bikinis unapologetically. Start paying more attention to them! Giving your brain body diverse input is a powerful way to rewire the way you perceive confidence. 

summer body ready

But I Felt More Confident When I Was Smaller

People often argue, ‘But I felt more confident when I was smaller’. This is a classic thought error when it comes to body image. Ready for the reframe? They felt they could show more skin and not be subject to their own self-criticism. They felt they could go for a second helping and not risk judgment from others. They felt they could look at photos and identify less ‘flaws’. That is not confidence. That is a false sense of safety.

summer body ready

This is why it makes total sense that you’re preoccupied with food, are restricting then binging, and not trusting your body to tell you when or how much to eat. Your brain’s number one priority is to keep you safe from danger. When your self-worth is dependent on other people’s opinions and also directly affected by your appearance, you take action to avoid those pains at all costs.

So What Is Confidence Then?

Confidence is a mindset of having your own back. It’s committing to never speak to yourself with that mean girl voice, no matter what your body looks like. It’s intentionally choosing to treat your body with respect regardless of whether it matches society’s impossible standards. It’s dressing in clothes that express your authenticity. It’s nourishing yourself adequately with food that tastes good and makes you feel good. 

Confidence in Application

If you plan a trip to the beach while thinking, ‘I hate my body’. You’ll take actions like punishing it with rigorous exercise and starving it, confirming to your brain that your body is worthy of hatred. 

If you want to feel confident planning a trip to the beach, you need to rewire your brain to think differently than it has in the past. The process takes time and practice, but is quite straightforward. Think of it like climbing a ladder working your way from your current thoughts to your goal thoughts one baby step at a time.

Replace the thought, ‘I hate my body’ with, ‘It’s possible my brain is lying to me when it tells me to hate my body’ and you’re a step away from body hatred. When that thought feels easy, try, ‘Other people feel confident in their bodies’ and look for evidence of that. Putting the attention on other people will take the pressure off your process. When you’re ready for the next step, try, ‘I have a human body’. Your brain can’t argue that, it’s a neutral fact. Going a step further, try, ‘I’m becoming a person who feels confident in their body’. 

The key is to be patient as you work your way from your current beliefs to your goal thoughts. And remember, progress is not linear. There will be easy days and others more challenging. Celebrate every win along the way, no matter how small. Acknowledging your wins helps keep the momentum going. You’re undoing years, maybe decades of conditioned ways of thinking. It’s not an easy process and you don’t have to do it alone. When you’re ready for support on your journey, we’re here for you. Together we’ll redefine your concept of confidence so you can leave dieting behind and show up as your authentic self.

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