Sunday, February 28, 2010

Itsy-Bity, Teenie-Weenie

Spring is right around the corner. The trees are ready to bud, the skies will open with rain (like we haven't had enough of that bounty), and the sun will (hopefully) start coming out to play, giving us good old Vitamin D to boost our moods while kissing our skin to liven us up a bit.

With all of this loveliness awaiting us in the coming days, there's also a little looming demon that can posses a woman; a stress that can cause her to rip her hair out, cry, scream, binge, feel completely uneasy with herself and question her own worthiness...

Swimsuit Season.

I would be lying if I said it was my favorite thing to dwell on. I have a woman's body, and in this media-saturated society, even a healthy woman's body can seem less than ideal when clad in a wee one-piece and paraded around in the afternoon daylight. No matter what size you are, we all have self-conscious (self-obsessive?) tendencies when thinking about the majority of our flesh on display for the general public.

This being said, I think it's time for a new year. For everyone. Not only should we start going easy on ourselves for what we cannot change, we should start going easy on ourselves for what we can change.

What I mean by this is that by recognizing and applying positive, healthy changes that will gradually make our bodies look and feel better is the key to a new swimsuit season...actually, a new swimsuit life. It's not about going on a fad diet, obsessing over points systems, substituting processed, packaged shakes for meals, working out for hours on end, or taking stress-inducing supplements to "rev up metabolism".

It's about taking time to nourish yourself, honoring your female physique, eating real, whole foods and finding a form of exercise (ie. moving your body) that you enjoy. Dance around for twenty minutes while pretending you're _______ (substitute favorite pop icon here, I prefer Beyonce), and you've gotten some substantial exercise in your day. Grab a friend, and go for a walk before dinner. Actually attend that yoga class you've been curious about for the past three years (whoops, that last one's for me).

The path to healthier living starts with you. Have fun with it. Take some time today to think about what you know you could do in this moment to implement healthy change. It could be stepping away from the computer to take a brisk walk, pouring a glass of water, or grabbing that untouched celery from the back of your crisper that you purchased with the best of intentions (better yet, check it for freshness and walk to the store). Just start now, you'll be so glad you did.

Now that you've started to get the wheels turning in regards to healthier eating, make sure you work on healthier living, too. Grab a notebook and start writing down everything that you are grateful for, and focus on your body. Do you have two legs? Awesome. Eyes that can see the world? Sweet! Can you breathe on your own? Lucky. You get the point. Focusing on our bodies' capabilities will help to foster a new respect for the miracle that is the body electric.

And get started now, because now is all you have. Love your body today, tomorrow, and every day. You've got what it takes. Take care.