You Don't Need A New Body For Spring Break
It's finally March which means warmer weather is (hopefully) around the corner. Fingers crossed! Along with warmer temperatures, March also signifies the beginning of spring break season for many of us here in the US. Spring break usually means we get a well deserved vacation to warmer climates. It's also a time where many of us feel pressured restrict our food intake (aka diet) or amp up exercise to change the size of our bodies for the upcoming beach trips. Friends, I want you to know something. You don't need to change your body for spring break.
A spring break body is a body that you take with you on spring break. That's all.
When I was in college, the weeks leading up to spring break were insane. The gym was always packed with people, desperate to make their body smaller and sculpt last minute abs. Most of the girls in my sorority started choosing salads or vegetables for every meal or skipping meals altogether. It was like the diet culture dial had been turned all the way up. I remember feeling SO much pressure to get my own "spring break body" ready. While I never went on a super exotic or crazy spring break trip, I still felt pressured to do all of these things, to be acceptable in a bathing suit. Plus, I was a nutrition major, so I put added pressure on myself to look a certain way because I felt like I was supposed to know how to control my body size.
But here's the thing. We really can't control the size of our bodies. Especially not in the long term. And we can cause a lot of harm trying to do so.
When we go on a vacation, the whole point is to relax and get a break from our usual routine and commitments. How can we do that if we're obsessed with how we look? We won't be able to enjoy ourselves or be present with our friends or family. Going to the beach and putting on a bathing suit can feel scary. We're far more exposed than usual and may not feel comfortable that way. Diet culture tells us that only certain bodies are acceptable in bathing suits. People make hurtful comments and those stick with us. Our culture makes it really, really tough to accept our bodies.
But in case you've never heard it before, you are acceptable just as you are. You don't need a new "spring break body" to wear a bathing suit. You have permission to enjoy yourself and your vacation without worrying about what your body looks like. Having a smaller body is not a requirement for a fun vacation.
All bodies are good bodies
It takes intentional work to get to a place where we believe this about ourselves and others. But it's totally possible. Think about how wonderful it would be for our children and their children to grow up knowing they don't need to change their body to be accepted and beautiful. We first need to work on our own hearts and address our own weight biases. All of us have a purpose and something to contribute to society, regardless of what our bodies look like. If we're spending less time thinking about our own bodies, we can focus more on serving other people which would be an amazing thing.
Plus, if we're not focusing all of our energy on making our body smaller before our trip, we'll have a lot more free time!
Below are a few things you should do with your extra time to prepare for spring break:
- Purchase sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage
- Plan some fun activities that you're going to do while there
- Pack clothes that fit and you feel comfortable in
- Get good sleep so you're rested for a long drive or flight
- Feed yourself regularly so you have adequate energy to enjoy the activities you have planned
Let me know if you're planning to take a different approach this year!