Balmy Days and Body Image

The weather is heating up outside, and that can only mean two things: 1) allergies and 2) the existential dread about the pressure to meet unattainable and fatphobic body standards. (Oh, and more hot dogs, too). 

Why is this the Case?

For most people, the later sunsets, the warmer days, and the increased vitamin D absorption generally provide a “sunnier” outlook on life (pun intended). That being said, there is often also a slight, nagging fear that gets louder as the temperatures get higher – the voice that tells us our bodies are not enough “as is”. That WE are not enough “as is”. 

It makes sense that this fear exists. This time of year, social media becomes a barrage of “before and after” photos from random high school acquaintances. Every magazine at the grocery store guarantees that if you eat these very specific four things, you will “get your bikini body” in just three weeks! And coworkers begin the incessant oversharing of their latest juice detox in prep for their upcoming Cabo trip that no one asked about.

So How do we Protect Ourselves?

With these types of messages swirling around, it can be hard to protect your mental space and avoid restriction and/or self-critique. That being said, there ARE a few things you can actively do to ensure that the Spring season provides more than it takes:

  • Be mindful of phone usage
    • Use social media algorithms to your advantage.
      • Unfollow problematic influencers that make you feel “less than”.
      • If your “Explore” page is always teeming with triggering content, use the three dots at the top right of the photo to select “Not interested”.
      • Or try taking a social media break altogether!
    • Challenge yourself to avoid “zooming in” on your own photos.
      • Try to be mindful and aware of how you felt in the photo as opposed to obsessing about how the photo looks from all angles.


  • Conduct a closet audit
    • It’s your closet – make the space less intimidating! Challenge yourself to get rid of anything that elicits a negative response when you see it (i.e. that pair of “goal” jeans that makes you feel like crap whenever you see them).


  • Follow the “self-care” method when clothes shopping:
    • Consider your mental headspace before you even leave the house.
      • Are you regulated?
      • What can you do to avoid overstimulation once you are in the store? (i.e. noise canceling headphones, chewing gum for nervous energy, etc.)
    • Once in the store, grab the same article of clothing in multiple sizes. Mix them up and DON’T look at the size when trying them on.
    • When in the dressing room, turn away from the mirror while you are trying on the clothes. Ask yourself:
      • Do I feel physically comfortable in this?
      • Am I able to move in a way that doesn’t feel restrictive while wearing this?
      • How am I feeling on a sensory level? Is anything itchy or rubbing in a weird way?
    • Once you have determined that you feel physically good in the clothing, THEN and ONLY THEN turn around and decide if you like the look of it as well.


  • Mentally ground yourself before entering into potential “trigger-zones” 
    • Do a quick body scan to “feel into” what your body is trying to tell you. What about this environment feels scary? Where do you feel it in your body?
      • Take some time to breathe and process through the fears around the situation. Do you have evidence to support your mindset? Do your reactions feel more emotional or more rational? (Ask these things without judgement!)
    • Consider what would make you feel most empowered in that environment. Maybe that’s vocalizing your vulnerable feelings out loud. Maybe it’s bringing a support system with you that makes you feel wholly accepted at any weight or size. Remember, it’s okay to “trial and error” with what helps to make an environment feel safe.


  • Be aware of what you’re saying to yourself
    • The end goal is to have your brain and your body be “friends”. Think about the way that you speak to/about your own body. If someone else spoke to you the same way that YOU speak to you, would you be friends with that person?


Summer doesn’t have to feel scary. If you feel like you are stuck in your journey of making peace with your body, Nourished & Strong can help. Book a discovery call and find out how today.


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