Ever found yourself thinking...."It's summer and I'm feeling sheer terror at the idea of a swimsuit.?" Who could ever imagine that this one piece of small clothing could feel so scary? I know as the weather gets warmer and the time comes to wear it, it's just looms larger and larger. You know all that terror? Any idea what it's doing to your biology? What it's doing to erode your health and longevity?
I can relate, I used to tell the people outside the fitting rooms that if they heard me screaming of swearing, I was just having a manic moment! Never mind a bikini summer body - all I could see in the mirror was an imitation Michelin women with dough-like tires oozing out everywhere. It can be really hard when everyone around you in in a tiny bikini, it makes you feel like you should be too. It can be a huge confidence killer and a time when your inner critic throws a party in your head and when your autonomic nervous system goes into shut down because that's what fear does.
It’s the time when losing the extra layer that seems to have found you during winter starts assuming emergency proportions. And all those lose-it-fast-cures sound like they’re speaking to you personally: “Buy me! I’m your key to a 20 pounds-in-2-weeks summer body.” While its neighbour shrieks: “No, Buy me! I'll help you slim for summer, take me and watch your bikini body come back overnight.”
You forget you ever contemplated joining a cellulite acceptance club – that orange peel has to go, that's no part of a bikini body! And taunting thoughts start to hip hop around, messing with your head: “Da fat it’s gotta go – NOW, not later – yo yo!”
It's so tempting to remember that you've started an intuitive eating journey that makes such sense that you wanted to weep when you found it. And why is it so difficult to ignore my body and just look at what style of swimsuit would be best for me? What color, what style and how could I make the most of my curves?
But this isn't the first summer body battle you've faced. You’ve been there, swallowed pills and consumed 'diet-shakes' before, so you 'know' these lose weight fast plans they’re not the marvels they profess to be. But eech it’s tempting – I mean what harm can a few white looking little M&M's do? Anything to get slim for summer.
Yikes, where are those weight paramedics - can't they rescucitate the bikini body I know is buried under this fat? And um… do they do emergency lipo suction or weight loss surgery? At this stage you’ve even managed to convince yourself that insurance might pay – after all isn’t this a matter of life and death?
Of course there are other sneaky thoughts too -you know those that keep you from living life as fully as you could? “I’ll just stay away from beaches, swimming pools…. In fact I’m going to take up crocheting socks this summer.”
So how do you stay sane and stick to Intuitive Eating?
Stop! BREATHE! Don't lose your head.
Remember instead that those overnight bikini-body- miracle-diets should carry warning labels: “Warning: taking this product is like taking a machine gun to your metabolism. Taking them makes your body go craaaazy!”
Here's why: These fad diets mean you lose
water first (looks fab on the scale because you know how heavy water is)
muscle second (also looks great on the scale because it weighs 3 times what fat does).
But given that water and muscle are two body components that keep our metabolism speeded up....well you've just shot yourself in the foot haven't you?
On the outside you may look like you have achieved that summer body -but internally it's gone in a winter of distress. Because in reality, what you've achieved is a thinner exterior but a fat-making interior!
Now’s when to trust your body.
“TRUST MY BODY??? Whaddya mean?, Just look what it did to me just during the few months of winter. Giving it any reign just gets me into trouble!”
Hey, didn’t I say, "Stop and breathe?" Don’t panic – trust me on this....
Stop focusing on a bikini body or getting slim for summer for the moment. Focus instead on thinking “I’m gorgeous, talented and wonderful enough to make me fabulously desirable. Who wouldn’t want me? And right now there’s a bit more of me to love – lucky them!"
Fake it till you make it if you have to! And a strange thing will most likely happen - when you act as if you're fabulous others will buy into that too! Your summer body starts in your mind, not in your body!
Ask yourself who you are trying to impress with your summer body - if it's a romance do you want to attract someone who cares a lot about how thin you are and is mainly attracted to you because of your body? When you see others with bikini bodies, are you constantly judging them and how they look? If not, what makes you think they are judging you? If so, why do you do that?
DON'T starve yourself - instead eat whenever you’re hungry so your body doesn't store food in preparation for an anticipated famine period,
Savor every morsel, you'll enjoy food more and ironically eat less
Simply stop eating before you've over-eaten.
Drink water when you're thirsty - keeping yourself hydrated also keeps cravings at bay.
Now's the time to play...dig into your closet, dust off your dancing shoes and get boogeying - keep your body feeling vibrant and wonderful.
And hey presto, soon that Michellin vision will find it's been sent packing back to the orphanage looking for a someone else’s head to make their home.
AND you won't have messed up your metabolism or your intuitive eating journey either!