Thoughts By Natalie

Ready Or Not

This is part of the Love Yourself Linkup—an ongoing series by women around the web that will focus on self image and body image. In our posts, we will talk about our thoughts on these subjects, tell stories of our personal experience, share what has inspired us, challenged us, and more. Learn more about it at Anne The Adventurer, and add your post to the linkup by clicking “click to enter” at the bottom of this post.

For what seems like the first time in my life, I love that summer is coming. The weather here in San Diego has been delightful and in many ways, it feels like summer has already arrived! From afternoons at the beach to backyard gatherings with friends, Brian and I are already embracing the season ahead.

Despite all of the sunshine and fun, though, I can’t help but notice all of the weight loss campaigns and commercials going on (anyone else?). It’s as if all of the companies have had a meeting about how to make us feel ashamed of our bodies, and I’m really sick of it. After all, summer should be a time to play and laugh and be care-free—not a time to live in shame and guilt and insecurity. It’s a time for popsicles and cookouts and splashing around in the water—not a time for fad diets, torturous exercise, nor sitting on the sidelines in a coverup.

Thankfully, I’m not the only one who feels this way. While reading Bread & Wine this weekend (which, by the way, I already finished and absolutely loved), I delighted in these true and inspiring words…

“I’m going to practice believing that I am more than my body, that I am more than my hips, that I am more than my stretch-marked stomach. I’m going to allow my shoulders to feel the sun, and even (gasp!) my thighs, instead of making sure I’m always, always safely covered and out of your view. I’m not going to bow to the voice inside my head that says I should be ashamed of myself for being so unruly and wild. I’m not going to develop a relationship with my cover-up that borders on obsessive. This summer, I’m not going to hide. This is my promise to you, and also my invitation. Repeat after me: swimsuit, ready or not, here I come.”

Shauna Niequist
Bread & Wine

Do you struggle with body image during the summertime? How do you overcome it (or strive to)?

Image via Another Feather

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