Beach Bodies Come in all Shapes and Sizes
Not two bodies are the same, so no two bodies should be judged the same. Here’s why I think beach bodies shouldn’t be judged and what I do to avoid it.
We know how vulnerable we feel when we wear a bathing suit. The gaze of the other alerts our consciousness causing us to cover or tuck any way we can. Almost simultaneously, the internal ranking process starts. “I am fuller than her” or “I definitely have more cellulite than her” and so on and so forth.
Wearing a bathing suit is a vulnerable experience that is tied most of the time to traveling. And while you are traveling your routine is thrown in the air and in constant flux. I, for one get really constipated when I fly and since I am not a huge fan of airplane food, I fill myself up with airline bread buns making my situation worst.
Feeling bloated is also a common enemy, especially if you are not drinking as much water as you usually do. Air pressure in the cabin is lower than at sea level so as cabin pressure falls while flying, gas starts to expand wreaking havoc in your digestive system.
Your diet also changes quickly. That buffet is making you indulge in perhaps a bigger breakfast that you usually do and having your choice of croissants, pancakes and cheese pastries is hard to pass on. And sometimes, especially after multiple days of enjoying the local cuisine, you find comfort in fried fast food.
Also while on vacation, we tend to eat more sugar and drink more. Happy hour drinks by the pool and wine with dinner are a must in my vacations. Again, perhaps consuming more alcohol than your digestion is used to, will also cause problems.
In my most recent trip to Turkey, I paid attention to my body more than usual. Perhaps because although I am vaccinated, the fear of COVID19 lingers, making me prioritize my health above all. Did my back feel like I was about to get a stiff neck because of the hotel's pillow? Was the homemade yogurt giving me acid reflux? You know the drill, especially if like me your body is not working like it did before you turned 30.
So I went easy on my body, instead of stressing out because I have gained weight during my trip, I embraced it. This is how I did it:
- When I felt bloated, I thought: "you are traveling under more stress than usual, it makes sense for your body to react to this environmental stress by overeating or eating what is not good for my gut."
- When I found myself in my bathing suit enjoying Antalya’s turquoise coast instead of focusing on my beer belly, I thought: "this body has taken me places."
- I constantly reminded myself that weight fluctuations are to be expected, not only because of changes in my routine but also because of where I am on my menstrual cycle.
- When my linen pants fitted a bit tighter, I thought: “I don’t have to have the same waist from summer to summer for my body to be a perfect.”
- When I recorded a TikTok of myself dancing in one of our swimsuits, I replayed it a couple of times and thought “My body looks amazing, why am I beating myself up so much?”
No matter what your body looks like, all that matters is how you feel about it. Yes, it’s hard when others stare or make negative comments. Yes, it’s hard when you don’t see in the media bodies that look like yours. It makes it harder when you don’t let go of other‘s comments and take them as facts, when in reality are subjective opinions that only matter if you give them importance. The hardest thing however, is what you tell yourself. The ideas you have about your body and it’s worth. Once you recognize that, take all your might to destroy that negative self-talk. Your body is beautiful just the way it is. Let this be your daily reminder.