Let’s be honest, our alarms go off in the morning, what’s the first thing we do? We check our phones. We go on social media and we scroll through miles of monumental distances with our thumbs. We dive into adventures on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter; and we discover new trails that lead us right into the filtered lives of picture-perfect strangers we’ve never even met. We invade their public “privacy” and we give them the freedom to invade ours back. We gaze at all the fit models/influencers and entitle their thin ideals to nest in our minds. Reality is, we allow ourselves to get bombarded with society’s unrealistic beauty standards from the comfort of our own homes.
As summer is in full swing, we start to get flooded with fad diets and green cleanses that’ll guarantee us that “summer beach bod”. What does that even mean? Do we deal with our bodies the same way we deal with our parkas and snow boots? Do we shove our “winter bodies” deep in our closet and look away until a cold breeze hits our face again in November?
Well, it’s time for a reality check- our bodies are not seasonal, surprise!
Since when is thin a synonym for health and joy? We live in a culture where we blame our flaws for our unhappiness instead of the unreasonable constant messages that whisper in our ears: you are NOT OK the way we are, you are NOT enough. All bodies are beach bodies. Opting for a healthy lifestyle that integrates balanced physical activity with mindful eating is way more important than trying to attain an unachievable ripped body. One way to take a step in the right direction is to build a healthy and safe relationship with food and exercise, and end our relationship with the scale. That number that pops up on the scale? That’s just a representation of the gravity that’s pulling us to the center of the earth. It’s not a measure of beauty, it’s not a measure of talent, it’s not a measure of strength and it’s certainly not a measure of self-worth.
What’s the point of having this body that we use as a shuttle 24/7 if we can’t enjoy it and have any fun in it? “It’s complicated”, you might think. You’re right. Our culture and society have distorted our views on food, exercise and aesthetics so much that yes, life has become complicated.
But it shouldn’t be, and here’s how you make life simple and enjoyable again:
1- Find meaning in life by trying to remember how sacred it really is.
2- Don’t get tricked into believing that your self-worth is tied to the external world: beauty, thinness and perfection.
3- Find meaning within, by truly living in the moment and being present.
4- Cherish days that remind you of how good life really is.
5- Unfollow or remove all unrealistic accounts that make you feel bad about yourself.
6- Wean yourself off of social media. Go outside, go on long walks, lay on the grass, have fun with your friends and laugh as much as you can.
7- Don’t waste time “crafting” a body that is already perfect, just the way it was created
8- Learn to accept the things you cannot change and the things that are not worth changing.
9- Don’t hold onto anger and negative energy.
10- Don’t be a slave to the scale.
11- Choose acceptance, happiness and freedom in the face of hatred and fat-shaming
12- Always keep in mind that you have done the best that you could.
13- Pick happiness and health instead of thinness and perfection, over and over again.
This article was written by Marie Helena Bitar, currently a summer intern at Savorfull. She is originally from Lebanon, but recently moved to the US after completing her BS in Nutrition with a Minor in Psychology, to pursue a Master of Public Health-Dietetics at the University of Michigan. With a lifelong passion for nutrition and health, Marie Helena is an advocate for mental wellness, physical wellbeing and body positivity at every size, age, race and gender.