Striving for the “perfect” body often leads to negative self-image and anxiety.

We see this daily, working with our clients on their path to healing from eating disorders, disordered eating and making peace with food and body image.

This negative self-image is something you can overcome when you learn strategies to improve how you feel about yourself and your body.

Remember that true happiness and contentment come from self-acceptance and nurturing your body rather than conforming to unrealistic beauty standards.

Summertime should be a happy time; embracing positivity will help you enjoy yourself all season long!

Listed below are some strategies that will help you foster a more positive body image and enjoy the summer to its fullest. That’s what I want for you.

Summer is meant to be enjoyed, not feared, the list below will help you embrace your true self this summer. Be sure to share this list with your children and family, too; the more we can talk about how to embrace our true selves, the more everyone will feel comfortable making this the norm and leaving the world of diets and restrictions behind.

11 Strategies to Foster a More Positive Body Image and Enjoy Summer

1. Celebrate Your Unique Beauty

Start by recognizing and celebrating what you do like about your body. Each morning, find a new attribute to appreciate, whether it’s the strength in your legs that carries you through the day or the curve of your smile. Write these down and reflect on them. This practice helps shift focus from perceived flaws to the aspects of your body that bring you pride and joy. (We have a journal to help you with these reflections and more.)

2. Adopt a Posture of Confidence

Your body language speaks volumes about how you feel. By practicing good posture—holding your head high and straightening your shoulders—you not only project confidence but also start to internalize it. This simple adjustment can have a profound impact on your self-perception and how others perceive you.

3. Redefine Comfort and Style

Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident, including swimwear. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to style, so choose outfits that reflect your personality and make you feel good. If shopping for bathing suits brings anxiety, look for stores that celebrate all body types, offering a variety of styles that cater to different preferences and comfort levels. (Here is a list of women’s plus size retailers I curated when I was looking for a dress for my son’s wedding.)

embrace yourself this summer

4. Nourish Your Body

A healthy diet is not about restriction but about nourishment. Regular meals, plenty of water, and a balanced intake of nutrients are fundamental. Listen to your body’s hunger cues and give it what it needs. Remember, a well-nourished body is a happy body.

5. Move Joyfully

Physical activity should not be a punishment but a celebration of what your body can do. Find forms of movement that bring you happiness, whether it’s swimming, dancing, yoga, or a simple evening walk. The goal is to connect with your body and enjoy the sensation of being active, not to burn calories.

6. Practice Self-Compassion

Be kind to yourself. Replace negative thoughts with positive affirmations that reinforce self-respect and acceptance. Affirmations like “I honor and respect myself” and “I am perfect, whole, and complete, just as I am” can be powerful tools in transforming your mindset.

7. Challenge the Media’s Definition of Beauty

The media often presents a narrow and unrealistic standard of beauty. It’s important to question and challenge these ideals. Surround yourself with diverse and positive representations of bodies, and remember that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

8. Connect with Others

You are not alone in your journey to a positive body image. Engaging in group programs or communities that support body positivity (or even body neutrality), can provide a sense of solidarity and empowerment. Sharing experiences and strategies with others can help reinforce your commitment to self-love and acceptance.

9. Embrace a Weight-Inclusive Approach

Adopt a Weight-inclusive approach, which emphasizes health and well-being rather than just body weight. This approach encourages you to focus on nurturing behaviors that support mental and physical wellness, allowing your body to settle into its natural weight without the pressure of dieting.

10. Understand Intuitive Eating

Intuitive Eating is a framework that integrates instinct, emotion, and rational thought to improve health. It’s about becoming the expert of your own body and its hunger signals. This summer, allow yourself to enjoy the foods you love without guilt, and trust your body to tell you what it needs. (You can read more in this article, What is Intuitive Eating?)

11. Prepare for Summer with Love

As you prepare for the summer, do so with love and care for yourself. Whether you’re shopping for a new bathing suit or planning your vacation activities, make choices that honor your body and your well-being. Remember that the goal is not to change your body but to support it with kindness.

As the warm weather arrives and the beach beckons, remember that the journey to a positive body image is a personal one.  It’s about finding peace with your body and embracing the joy of living in it. By implementing these strategies, you can improve how you feel about your body and fully enjoy the beauty of summer.

Let this summer be a time of self-discovery, self-compassion, and celebration of your unique beauty.

Embrace Your True Self This Summer!

If you find it overwhelming to think about how you can make changes like this and truly have a summer to remember, please book a call with me (Erica) to discuss your situation and determine if one of our team is the best fit to help you.

Read more about the insurance options we offer for our services here and how to get started.

You can also download our free guide, 3 Steps to Making Peace with Food. It will get you started with many of these strategies shared above.

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