With the weather hitting over 50 degrees in Happy Valley multiple times this past week, we can’t help but be reminded that summertime is coming in hot. Along with the exciting feelings of hotter days comes the constant pressure to start working towards a “summer body.” Not only has the media subtly reminded young people that short and swimsuit season is near, but many influencers are creating summer countdowns where the goal is to spend every day working out or eating on a diet in order to achieve your dream body by the time June rolls around.
There are multiple problems with this summer body countdown. For one, putting a time constraint on needing to hit a certain weight or having to diet for multiple weeks creates a sort of “do or die” extreme mindset which can lead to unsafe, unsustainable habits. By constantly reminding people who are sustainable to the unrealistic standards that the media already has on them can make them more inclined to push harder in the name of results, no matter the actual damage to mental or physical health.
In reality, creating a lifestyle to feel your best is a journey without any time limits. Sending a message to women that working out and eating differently are methods used only to look a certain way makes the real benefits of these things unclear.
The message should not be that women need to overwork their bodies in order to love them. Instead, the goal should be for women to treat both their minds and bodies kindly so that they can feel their best, regardless of what that looks like on the outside.
Queue VALLEY’s “Summer Body Countdown: Self-Love Addition,” where everyone is welcome to practice some of the tips below to achieve ultimate hot girl status this summer. Because true hot girls love themselves on the inside and out.
- Positive Morning Mantras
- While starting to say affirmations in the mirror can feel silly at first, there is nothing like the power of words to start to shift a negative mindset. By saying “I love….about myself” or “I am…”, we start to speak our dreams into reality.
- Hot Girl Walks
- “Hot girl walks” are starting to become preached all over the internet and VALLEY is here for it. The idea is to take some time to nourish your body by walking outdoors and taking in some sunshine, all while setting attainable goals for yourself in a positive way. Start by putting a location in Google Maps, like Saints Cafe, and spend the whole trek reminding yourself of your worth. Afterward, you will feel mentally and physically stronger by doing a sustainable activity.
- Balanced Meal Mindset
- Diet culture is being pushed onto us all the time, and just because summer is approaching does not mean that it is time to adopt a scarcity mindset when it comes to food. Instead, eat to fuel your body with foods that make you happy and feel good and full. By doing this, our bodies will naturally crave a balanced meal with lots of nutrients and color. However, if you want some food that does not fall into the category of “healthy,” that is okay too. It is better to eat a diet of balance and moderation over one of restriction and being hard on oneself. Eat to feel good, and confidence will come.
- Taking time to slow down, gather your thoughts, and focus on healthy breathing has so many benefits that translate to feeling better about yourself. By meditating daily through an app or guided video, you are sure to gain some perspective on things that may trigger you. Taking care of your mental strength looks good.
- The summertime can be a hard time to feel good in the clothing you want to wear. With Instagram flooded with people wearing shorts and crops, it is important to remember that comparing yourself to an image created online is a game not worth playing. Instead of putting on an outfit and feeling down, remember clothes are not supposed to look the same on everybody but instead be a form of self-expression. By wearing the clothes we love regardless of whatever “flaws” media say exist, we begin to earn back the uniqueness that makes us beautiful. Hot weather should never hold anyone back from that, so wear what you want knowing it would look good on others. Remember you can be your worst critic at times and start being your biggest fan!