We first spoke to BuzzfeedNews regarding this topic but here we take a closer look at the whole picture, plus ways increase our self-esteem.
As summer approaches we start to see a rising of social media posts filled with photoshopped models in bespoke bathing suits. Social Media has a way to clench its claws in us with unrealistic standards which leaves a lot of people expecting what we all call the “summer body”. WeCure’s own Sirin Haciomeroglu breaks down why we shouldn’t feel pressured into losing weight right before the lifting of lockdown.
With freedom on the horizon, with Boris Johnson roadmap announcements, there has been an influx of social media posts around weight loss, and a surge of sales for apps such as Noom.
We aren’t as active as we were, we are all exhausted, and we have very different priorities. It’s ok to come out of this lockdown a little heavier than when you went in. And take solace in the fact that you aren’t the only one.
As we come out of lockdown, we need to take care of our mental health more than ever. The transition period is going to be harder than people realise. Our social and communication skills have been affected, our social anxiety may have increased, and people’s attitudes have changed – and people have changed – it’s important to acknowledge this, and understand that you may not connect with people like you once did. It’s going to be more important to prepare ourselves for this transition, than it will be to lose weight.
Naturally, we will always put pressure on ourselves to lose weight and look good, and in normal circumstances, this isn’t always a healthy outlook. However, the pressure we are putting on ourselves now is potentially even more toxic, as we aren’t doing it for ourselves, but for others. This pressure is coming from a perspective of what we ‘want’ others to think, and that we want people to see our ‘lockdown successes’, rather than our struggles. It is exactly the same as ‘I need to learn a language’ or a new skill.
Also, once we put this pressure on ourselves, we then naturally don’t set realistic goals. Instead of saying, ‘I want to lose a couple of pounds to fit into my jeans’, we go from 0-1000MPH and set a goal to gain a six pack. These goals are damaging and set us up for failure, further adding to our mental health and body image issues. And when we set the bar so high, we forget to celebrate the small wins, which are usually the most important.
There are several ways to build your self esteem from now until June, that doesn’t involve setting damaging and unrealistic goals, but will leave you feeling great.
• Start dressing up around the house. If it suits you, put some glamorous clothes on, wear heels, wear a bra and do your make up – and do it for you. We’ve become settled in our loungewear (which is no bad thing), so dressing up a little every now and then will make us feel less frumpy. There is a lot of power in an outfit.
• Limit screen time. Phones and computers have become even more part of our daily lives, and it is destructive. Switch them off, turn off notifications and put them away for set times during the week, and replace them with reading, or tapping into your creativity. “When we do something creative, the body releases endorphins and our serotonin levels increase making us happier.” Creative people are proven to have more grey matter and naturally higher levels of serotonin. When we are creative, we see things differently, and are more accepting of things around us.
• Celebrate yourself. Spend 10-15 minutes a day focusing on all the amazing things that you are as an individual, and everything that you have achieved over lockdown and how you have managed to demonstrate how capable you are. Keep it by your desk, on you as a person so you can use it for an instant confidence boost when you need it.
• Look after our bodies from the inside out. I’m not a nutritionist, but when we feel great on the inside, we feel better on the outside. Make healthier choices when it comes to food and snacking, and keep hydrated throughout the day. Avoid a lot of caffeine (which is also bad for anxiety) and eat more fruit and vegetables. This will make our bodies feel more aligned and healthier, helping you take a healthier approach to weight loss.
In conclusion, we think people are making efforts to reject the expectations of the “summer body” the media creates. A healthy mindset should be encouraged in both girls and boys. Let’s embrace the reality of our bodies and honour them rather than trying to get them ready once a season.
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